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TOPIC: Shaman and Shamanism

Shaman and Shamanism 6 years 4 months ago #911

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Shamanism are refering to a range of traditional beliefs and practices concerned with communication with the spirit world. There are lots of types of shamanism throughout the world, though there are some beliefs that are shared by all forms of shamanism:

The soul can play important role in a human live.
The shaman can cooperate with the spirits for the community's benefit.
The spirits can be good as well as bad.
Shamans get into a trance by singing, dancing, taking entheogens, meditating and drumming.
Animals play an important role, acting as omens and message-bearers, as well as representations of animal spirit guides.
The shaman's spirit leaves the body and enters into the supernatural world during certain tasks.
The shamans can treat illnesses or sickness.
Shamans are healers, psychics, gurus and magicians.
One of the most important object to a shaman is the Drum. It means a lot for them. Sometimes drums are decorated with rattles, bells or bones to mean different spirits and animals, depending on the region and the community.
Its practitioners claim the ability to diagnose and cure human suffering and, in some societies, the ability to cause suffering. This is believed to be accomplished by traversing the axis mundi and forming a special relationship with, or gaining control over, spirits. Shamans have been credited with the ability to control the weather, divination, the interpretation of dreams, astral projection, and traveling to upper and lower worlds. Shamanistic traditions have existed throughout the world since old old times.

Some anthropologists and religious scholars define a shaman as an intermediary between the natural and spiritual world, who travels between worlds in a state of trance. Once in the spirit world, the shaman would commune with the spirits for assistance in healing, hunting or weather management. Ripinsky-Naxon describes shamans as, "People who have a strong interest in their surrounding environment and the society of which they are a part."

Shamanism is based on the rule that the visible world is surrounded by invisible forces or spirits that affect our living. In contrast to animism and animatism, which are usually all members of a society practice, shamanism does not require specialized knowledge or abilities. Shamans are, however, often organized into full-time ritual or spiritual associations, as are priests, being the unordained priests of instinct.
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Shaman and Shamanism 5 years 11 months ago #2001

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I have read that shamans are not those who are chosen, but those, who overcame some difficulties, such as very difficult illnesses or liturgical dream. Only after such shocking circumstances the person is ready to be shaman. It means to be able to go in the worlds, where he has been. Shamans don`t like to be advertised. They are shamans in their inner world. They could go into the Trans and to penetrate into the other world, where they help to the souls to get their way. Also they help the soul to come back to the body of the patient.
It is not so easy to be shaman. These people could not only to penetrate into the other worlds, they also treat those, who need help. Today so many children indigo were born. And seems that mankind will need in the nearest future people with such qualities. That’s why it is very important to try to understand the spirit of shamanism itself. This direction today has more and more power in many tribes and small people groups. Most people begin to remind what it is to be a shaman and new shamans appear and appear. That can only be a prove that our Universe really needs those people who can look inside the prism of the world and to understand what is going on not only in our world, but also in the other ones. I suppose, we should be more attentive and more patient to those who called themselves shamans. There are really those who just use this name. But there also a majority of those, who are real shamans and who do many good for their people
For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something else.
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Shaman and Shamanism 5 years 11 months ago #2067

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I used to believe that shamanism is a kind of spiritual practice, but it appeared to be a religion in some countries. I read several books of Carlos Castaneda. They were very fascinating and I had even a desire to become a shaman and to practice some rituals. So I decided to find out a little bit more about shamanism.

Shamanism is the most ancient religion of mankind. The main part of shamanism is associated with a religious system in which the shaman acted as a mediator between spirits and humans. The shaman was always as a minister of religion, serving the holy places, giving names to children, treating diseases by means of getting into a trance. The function of shaman was primarily ritual. For example, a strange calf was born, it was necessary to understand why it happens so, and if necessary to sacrifice it to the spirits.

And now shamanism has changed a great deal. Before it was closely attached to the nature, to the powers of nature. If you go to Siberia, there can still find how shamans maintain the holy places and do ritual in honor of their genus, to be prosperous and to have many livestock. But if you look at shamanism, which exists in Moscow, in Berlin or New York, it will be quite different shamanism. It is a form adapted to the needs of an ordinary modern man. Shamanism was very much modified.

Shamanism came into fashion in 1993, when the book of Carlos Castaneda became popular . After that Michael Harner wrote his book “My Path in Shamanism” . There was a growth of interest to the shamanic culture, but to the type of it, which is urban. Harner showed the urban model of shamanism. In this model was in demand. With these books also rose the interest to the peoples who traditionally practice shamanism. But this was not traditional but contemporary shamanism, with quite different points of view and there’s quite a big difference between them.

And here are some main differences:

Traditional Shamanism
1. According to the tradition (from the point of view of its followers) only the one who was clearly and obviously selected by spirits can become a shaman. And/or the one could inherit the "status" of the shaman
2. Not a person himself chooses the path of the shaman, he is selected by spirits. The rejection leads to disease. The chosen person cannot stop being a shaman, otherwise the disease returns. This is the gift, one cannot refuse from.
3. There’s a radical and sudden change of personality after a shamanic initiation, which is almost always accompanied by serious illness or even apparent death.
4. Shamanism takes the main part in one’s life, everything else fades into insignificance.
5. A huge amount of rules and taboos, the violation of which can lead to serious consequences for the shaman.
6. The shaman usually works only within his own tribe or cultural group, his strength depends on the specific geographical location (This is according to personal perception of the shaman).
7. There is a well-defined cultural and symbolic context in which the shaman lives.

Basic Shamanism
1. This model of shamanism is available to anyone, who shares the basic provisions of shamanism. The cultural and religious traditions do not matter.
2. This path is chosen voluntarily. Although a person may feel “calling” or even have spontaneous contacts with the spirit world, he is not forced to choose shamanism, there is no disease when one stops shamanic practices.
3. There is a gradual change in personality and in life, which is usually not associated with really life-threatening events. There’s gradual strengthening of mental health.
4. The shamanic practices can take a bigger or a smaller place in one’s life, only the person takes decision on this. Usually shamanic practices are combined with other aspects of life, or fit into the already existing set of techniques for inner development and spiritual growth.
5. There are no taboos usually, although they may appear as a result of special “agreements” with spirits. And their violation leads to the loss of powers, the one has received from the spirits. The traumatic experiences are possible, but they are very rare.
6. Modern shamanism can be practiced alone and the person does not need to be in a specific geographical location or in a group.
7. Basic Shamanism does not involve a specific cultural and symbolic context.
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