Home Discussion Forum Is shamanism a Pagan belief system/religion?

Is shamanism a Pagan belief system/religion?

Not in the old definition of “anything other than Christian,” but does Shamanism fall under the definition of what are considered Pagan religions today?


  1. Definition
    A complex pattern of diverse rites and beliefs, shamanism is a tribal religion in societies without a literary tradition. Healing is one function of the shaman and the most important along with prophecy. The shaman uses mystical powers to journey to other worlds or realities and communicate with spirits in order to bring about a balance between the physical and spiritual worlds.

  2. shamanism is not a religion in itself but a type of practitioner of a given religion. kind of like a monk so to speak. this person would supposedly have great mystical powers due to their deep immersion and devotion to interpreting the cosmic.

  3. Yes you’re right, it depend on the definition used.
    The Shamanistic approach is seen in many different indigenous forms of spirituality. So personally I’d say “yes”..

  4. Well to get to the root of what being a pagan means is to be one who worships nature, whether or not that is personified in the form of Gods. Shamans would fit that definition, especially when you get into areas like spirit totems and the divineness of nature itself. Paganism of course has a kind of negative connotation to it, while most modern day shamans would not fit the perception of what is popularly though to be a pagan.

  5. The definition of shaman, much like pagan, can vary from person to person, depending on the practitioner. So, yes and no.

  6. Numerous modern Pagan groups incorporate some ideas from shamanism as well as beliefs and practices from other cultures. The anthropologist Alice Kehoe wrote a book titled ” Shamans and Religion: An Anthropological Exploration in Critical Thinking” in which she was quite critical of the use of the term “shamanism” because of what she considered misappropriation by westerners.

  7. Shamanism, like witchcraft, isn’t really a religion… it is more like a craft or way of doing things. People of any religion may practice shamanic techniques.
    The word Shaman comes from native Mongolian practices, but has been adopted to refer to any number of traditions and techniques that a person could use to contact otherworldly beings, generally by entering into some sort of trance state. A shaman or shamanic practitioner may use any number of tools from herbs to rythmic instruments, even self-mutulation in some cases, to attempt to create a communication link between the worker and spirits, demons, angels, ancestors, fairies, ghosts, you-name-it for the sake of achieving a goal such as healing. The worker may also apply healing techniques such as herbal treatments or energy work directly to a client or patient.
    I specify that a shaman is different then someone who practices shamanic techniques because there is much lore and tradition behind the idea that a true shaman must be chosen by the spirits and that choice is marked by serious misfortune and pain (and often a near-death experience) and then rewarded by special spiritual gifts. No one I know would actually choose to become a shaman, but once you’ve been chosen, becoming a shaman is the only way to heal from the trails the spirits have laid upon you. The techniques of shamanism, however, are open to anyone to use, though, like witchcraft, some training, preparation and caution is well-advised.
    Note that some people confuse the term shamanism with Native American or First Nation religious beliefs and medicine… this is not true and can be irritating to aboriginal north americans who do not describe their traditions this way.

  8. pagan means rural not non christian, it was adapted to mean non christian, by christianty, which came thousands ofyears after paganism
    so its meaning cant logically be the origional
    yip, shamanism is a pagan beleif based ‘religion’

  9. No. Shamanism can be either be a practice or a position but not a belief system in itself nor does it fall into all pagan religions/folkways.


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