What is Shamanism?
Shamanism is a worldview that offers us a perspective that the physical world we live in is only one part of reality. This worldview encourages us to be aware of the spirit that lives in everything.
“Shamanism is an ancient universal spiritual practice that dates back over a hundred thousand years…As shamanism has been practiced all over the world, you most likely have personal ancestors who at one time practiced shamanism.”
Sandra Ingerman in Walking in Light: The Everyday Empowerment of a Shamanic Life
Shamanism is a global spiritual system, encompassing cross-cultural spiritual practices and addressing the spiritual needs of people everywhere.
Shamanism has similarities and differences from culture to culture. While there are core principles across cultures, each culture also offers a unique approach. I may be captivated by the ecstatic dancing practices of the San Bushmen in the Kalahari while you may find you are drawn to the songs of the Celts or the vision plants of the Native Americans.
“The techniques of shamanism help us awaken to our true essence,” says Sandra Ingerman. “When we do, we become a vessel of light, able to radiate healing by our very presence.”
Shamanism is not a religion and doesn’t conflict with any religious traditions. People from all faiths can and do practice shamanism. There are no rules or beliefs in Shamanism. Shamanism is based on the principle of direct revelation. This means that you have a direct experience with the helping spirits and spirit worlds.
Who is a Shaman?
The name Shaman is a Siberian word with multiple meanings. One meaning is “to be consumed with fire” [of inspiration]. The term Shaman generally refers to a person who has the capacity to be a bridge between the physical and spirit worlds.
A shaman can have many skills such as: spiritual and physical healing, performing soul retrievals, helping spirits of the deceased and divining information. A shaman often plays multiple roles such as medicine woman, herbalist, gardener, therapist and diviner.
A simple definition of a shaman was given in 1944 by Swiss anthropologist Alfred Metraux as “any individual who maintains by profession and in the interest of the community an intermittent commerce with spirits…”
Mircea Eliade in his 1951 book Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy defines a shaman as “…the great master of ecstasy.”
The modern shaman continues to fulfill many roles such as teacher, doctor, information technology specialist and weather worker.
Everyone can learn Shamanism, integrate shamanic principles into their everyday life and journey into the spirit worlds for guidance, inspiration and healing.
If you feel your heart pulled in the direction of Shamanism and you would like some guidance, you may consider taking our Shamanism 101 course.
If you’d like some guidance on living shamanically and integrating the principles of shamanism into your everyday life you may enjoy a personal teaching session.
These teachings aren’t about becoming a Shaman. If it’s your destiny to become a Shaman you will be guided by your helping spirits. Rather, we’ll help you connect to your helping spirits and the spirit realms. You will also be taught how to live a spiritual way of life and gain ancient practices to help you live with integrity as a spiritual being.