Home Discussion Forum Shamans on the board....?

Shamans on the board….?

Several of you said you consider yourself to be shamans or believe in shamanism. I have seen it divided into some subgroups like Celtic Shamans.
SO my question is–do all of you consider yourselves to believe the same thing (sort of like Christians all have the basic beliefs of the bible) or is it more like the term “pagan” and your beliefs are as different as Norse and Greek–different gods entirely?


  1. Shaman is a very ancient and broad term for someone who is able to walk between the worlds and go into altered states of consciousness. Shamans are able to walk in the dream time, alternate reality, to bring about healing, increase power, spiritual protection for themselves, others and communities. They often serve the role as a community leader watching over the spiritual, mental and physical health of the community they live in.
    It is a term that is as broad as Pagan as no two shamans will ever do anything the same, although the basis is the same for helping oneself, others and community. But then again, no two Christians or any other religion truly do anything exactly the same either even if they follow the same religious text..

  2. Shamanism is more of a cultural practice rather than having anything to do with religion that is why it is quickly absorbed into local religious practices when other remedies don’t work.
    I guess your interpretation of Shamanism is too broad here…

  3. Shamanism, ie the practices of the shaman, actually refers to the specific practices of the spirit-workers of a specific tribe. A lot of people mistakenly use the term to refer to shamanistic practices – I know it sounds like quibbling over terms, but I think it shows more respect to call people by the terms they prefer, and use that term to refer to them specifically.
    From my understanding, most spirit-workers utilize certain techniques – the basics of which Harner termed “Core Shamanism”. However, those basics are just that – basic. There’s a lot more that people use, and those practices can vary widely.
    Most spirit-workers have particular worldviews that are influenced by their tribal/cultural associations, but there’s some common threads that can be found, such as working in balance with ancestors and other spirits. Two different people might interact with the same spirit, but there’s no guarantee of that.

  4. Shamans are intermediators between the physical world and the spiritual world. That is all. Subgroups or divisions are merely styles associated with the primary duty of the Shaman. Religion doesn’t make a Shaman. You could, theoretically be an atheist and still be a Shaman. Or you could be a Christian, a Jew, a Wiccan, a Hellenist, an Asatruar, etc. All of these people could also be Witches, Sorcerers, Priests, or plumbers. None of these imply a specific religious belief.
    The word Shaman actually came from Northern Eurasia (not Native America as many will insist). It is used to describe a specific position within the tribe (see paragraph 1) or village. Most traditional communities contain at least one person who fulfills this role, though each language has a different word to specify that person. We have no appropriate word for this in English(though we may have once, but the meaning has changed), so we have stolen it and applied it to anyone who performs activities associated with this role and tacked on qualifiers to specify specific cultural or spiritual styles because we have no clue what the original word for that culture would have been. We could find out, but then nobody would know what we were talking about, unless they’d studied that language too.

  5. I can give you a plain and simple definition of a shaman to me,
    A ” Person” who walks in more than one reality at a time.
    This is not from a book, this is my own definition.
    And for you own information the North American Native Americans, did not or do not have a person they call a ” Shaman” that is a white man term.
    Want to know a little bit more about the old ways,
    read Black Elk Speaks. This will give you a window into the world of a MEDICINE MAN


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here