These then are the main reasons why I do not do the most popular pseudo-Indian rituals and I've always done and continue doing Shuar shamanism.
The life of the Indios in the Amazon is very different from the one of North American Indians. Among the Shuar – though the community is fundamental – also individuals are important and therefore the local shamanism is also concerned about them.
That's why I always believed and still believe that Shuar shamanism is suitable to westerners, too.
Among the Shuar the individual is protected because his qualities and his Powers will be useful to the community or anyways should not harm it.
I have noticed that for westerners even the Shuar's more moderate sense of community is too much: they want to worry only about themselves, their individual success and to make their overwhelming and often a bit dumb egos stand out.
However maybe someone will understand sooner or later.
In this light, it is ridiculous to even think of westerners following the Lakota religion!
The Indian "shamans"
For the readers who still want to follow Indian Ceremonies and as well attend Maya rituals (actually a syncretism between Christianity and the Quichua culture, one of the most bastardized cultures of South America), Celtic rites (non-existent: no one knows what they were) and Siberian ceremonies, I dare to give some advices.
I do not believe that these recommendations will be of any interest to most of the people. Generally speaking, nobody cares at all of authentic rituals. During their own vacations abroad most of the people prefer a resort, where everything is western, except the indigenous dances for tourists and the fake "local" food. In the same way they want to see rituals meeting their Western expectations.
However, just for the very few really interested, I'll try to give some indications:
No Indian who is not Lakota (Teton Sioux) would ever conduct a Sweat Lodge calling it Inipi. Inipi is not just a Lakota word: it is a Lakota ceremony. There might be other Indian nations – not all of them, actually – that have a Sweat Lodge ritual, but it will be different and they will never call it Inipi. Whoever does it is a charlatan.
Originally Indians used to pay – in cash or horses or furs – for certain ceremonies or in order to belong to certain societies. After they were conquered, they became poor so they decided not to exclude any of their people due to economic reasons. That is why (and because of the influence of Christianity) it is considered to be unethical asking for payments for a ceremony.
No authentic medicine-man nor holy man rejects this position even if not shared (for the "incomprehensible" sense of community of Indians), and would never request a payment for a Sweat Lodge ceremony, nor for any other one.
You should not even pay for the accommodation and meals, this seems to be be discriminatory, too. Among the Indians in the reservations you sleep with them in their tents or caravans. The problem is in fact that the ceremonies, as I said, only make sense in an Indian community.
However whoever requests payment for a ceremony, even a few euros, is rejected from the Indian community, and if he still claims to belong to it, he is an impostor.
No authentic medicine-man nor holy man ever creates a sacred ceremony from scratch or modifies the existing ones. It is not in the Indian tradition and it would be disapproved by the community. The true and honest Indians only conduct ceremonies in the traditional way.
When a ceremony is changed, it is decided by the elders and this needs years.
A true Indian will never ever make syncretism between religions of various Indian nations nor talks nonsense of a nonexistent Indian spirituality.
Even less would any serious Indian holy man give lectures on holistic medicine, meditation or talk about such things. Nor he is likely to work with sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists and other professionals of the West. Some might do it, it happened sometimes in the past, but they are all Indians "sold" to the westerners or willing to exploit them. Usually both.
The Indians (and so all the natives) facing the Western superpower are hypnotised like children by toys. A true spiritual master, however, should not be persuaded to the point of changing or seeking approval for his religion. Sometimes it happens when they are very old, because they are manipulated by others.
True Indians despise the New Age (which they call Nuage) mostly because of the way it represents them. Besides they do not cooperate with centres of New Age spirituality, Reiki, channeling or the like. Compared to them i belong to / or i am a fanatical of New Age m a... fanatical new-ager!
No authentic Indian agrees to train a white man to become a medicine-man or a holy man. But even if he he agrees to do that, the white should follow him to America in the reservation of his people and stay there for many years.
Certainly an Indian would never spend time to lead or teach a group or community of white followers. It does not make any sense.
It is at least very unlikely that a true Indian, especially a medicine-man, uses the term Native American to refer to himself, to his people or to the red men in general. He would say Indian, the historic name that he will never deny.
The politically correct term is Native American, which is used only by westernized Indians or by the ones who want to be accepted by the westerners.
No authentic medicine-man nor holy man is ever called Shaman nor considers his religion shamanism nor agrees to be named like that.