Do you have to be ethnic to be a shaman?

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I really find myself pulled to shamanism, and I have natural abilities and talent for it, but I’m caucasian and white as snow. Everything I’ve read about shamanism describes tribes and ethnic people, but I’m not ethnic–I’m of western European descent (Dutch, German, and French).
Does ethnicity make a difference, or is it simply a matter of being called as a shaman?
I guess by ethnic, I mean indigenous tribes and peoples, such as Native Americans, Aboriginees, etc. Everything I’ve read has been centered around race and culture, and I wondered if those were requirements, if I could be a shaman without belonging to any ethnic group.
I’m not Native American, African American, Tibetan, Siberian, Aboriginal, Mongol, etc etc. I’m just white, just me. It’s not a racist question, but a racial one. I guess in a way I’m trying to find out if I’m allowed to be a shaman.

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How can a person not be “ethnic”?


being white is an ethnic dear.


Since each human has an ethnicity, we are all ‘ethnic’. If you’re trying to say black, brown or some other color than white please just do so.


Do you really imagine that the ancient gods of nature could possibly care less about your skin pigmentation or what part of the planet your ancestor’s tribes lived in? If so, you’re not thinking about this in a clear, critical manner.


by the way, a shaman is a religious leader within a particular religion – generally a native or so called “primative” one.
So you can’t “be a shaman” without lots of training within a particular religion.
not sure how you have “tallent for it”, since I suspect you’ve not spent years studying it.

Shaman Val

Animism is world wide. It arises spontaneously in every culture during all era’s. It is not restricted to any one type of person, male, female or child. Some have it from birth, others develop it later, or via a near death experience.
It’s an interesting belief system so studying up on it will be fun if nothing else. It is also scientifically provable that shamans do actually alter their brain state and experience an out of body experience. Induced simply by listening to a particular drumming tempo. It is repeatable in the lab. 🙂
Also the fundamental nature of the universe of the ancient shamans is very similar to what the quantum physicists are saying. For example, the Animistic ‘we are all connected by invisible energy threads’, and the quantum mechanics ‘quantum entanglement’, are actually describing the same thing.
Practicing Shaman….. quantum physics rocks

James O

There were European shamans going back to Cro-Magnon

Eclectic Heretic

No. Well, everybody is “ethnic”, really, that’s been noted. I’m Irish-Scottish myself and I have done shamanic journeying and studied some in shamanism.. Let me recommend an excellent beginner’s book for this:
“The Way of the Shaman”, by Michael Harner. He set out originally to study shamanism, ended up as a shaman himself, and has even taught indigenous people how to revive their own shamanic traditions they were in danger of losing. There are also impressive references to other shamanic writers and an extensive bibliography. Totally well worth the read. No web site given, but I am sure you could google under “Foundation for Shamanic Studies” for further information.
Blessings on your Journey!
PS – love the “Bastet’s Kitten”. I just lost one of Bastet’s little 4-legged kittens on the 9th of this month, miss her!


I have assisted a native shaman in some of her work, but she began learning at her grandmother’s knee. It takes a lifetime of learning to do it right, but there is no reason that a white person couldn’t do it. You just need people to train you, and develop your gifts, if you have them.


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