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What is Shamanism?

What are the basics of Shamanism and how is it different from Wica?


  1. Shamanism is a completely different tradition then wicca. Shamanism is used in a variety of pagan cultures. Practitioners are referred to as shaman priests/ priestesses. Shamans practice the art of healing and soul revivals while combining the art of magick and herbalism. It’s a type of witchcraft, but has nothing to do with the religion of wicca.

  2. Shamanism=
    The animistic religion of certain peoples of northern Asia in which mediation between the visible and spirit worlds is effected by shamans.
    A similar religion or set of beliefs, especially among certain Native American peoples.
    whereas Wica is
    A polytheistic Neo-Pagan nature religion inspired by various pre-Christian western European beliefs, whose central deity is a mother goddess and which includes the use of herbal magic and benign witchcraft.
    A group or community of believers or followers of this religion.

  3. Shamanism refers to a range of traditional beliefs and practices concerned with communication with the spirit world. There are many variations of shamanism throughout the world, though there are some beliefs that are shared by all forms of shamanism:
    The spirits can play important roles in human lives.
    The shaman can control and/or cooperate with the spirits for the community’s benefit.
    The spirits can be either good or bad.
    Shamans engage various processes and techniques to incite trance; such as: 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, gurus and magicians.
    Shamans have 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 prehistoric 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.”
    Other anthropologists critique the term “shamanism”, arguing that it is a culturally specific word and institution and that by expanding it to fit any healer from any traditional society it produces a false unity between these cultures and creates a false idea of an initial human religion predating all others. However, some others say that these anthropologists simply fail to recognize the commonalities between otherwise diverse traditional societies.
    Shamanism is based on the premise that the visible world is pervaded by invisible forces or spirits that affect the lives of the living. In contrast to animism and animatism, which any and usually all members of a society practice, shamanism requires specialized knowledge or abilities. It could be said that shamans are the experts employed by animists and animist communities. Shamans are often organized into full-time ritual or spiritual associations, like priests. In Indian culture as well there are those who are called tantrics and are said to have the power to control spirits and force them to do their bidding. People often visit them for many reasons but most often it is to ensure the spirit’s aid in their work or to curse someone who they feel is an enemy of theirs or opposes them.
    In some cases, at some cultures, the soul concept can explain more, seemingly unassociated phenomena.
    may be based closely on the soul concepts of the belief system of the people served by the shaman (online). It may consist of the retrieving the lost soul of the ill person.See also the soul dualism concept.
    Scarcity of hunted game
    can be solved by “releasing” the souls of the animals from their hidden abodes. Besides that, many taboos may prescribe the behavior of people towards game, so that the souls of the animals do not feel angry or hurt, or the pleased soul of the already killed prey can tell the other, still living animals, that they can let themselves to be caught and killed. The ecological aspect of shamanistic practice (and the related beliefs) has already been mentioned above in the article.
    Infertility of women
    can be cured by obtaining the soul of the expected child to be born.

  4. Shamanism is the general term for the oldest religions in the world.
    The term “Shaman” is a commonly used term by anthropologists to refer to an individual who has acquired exceptional powers to deal with the supernatural. Shamans are very common in Arctic cultures, and also in South American cultures.
    Sha”man (?), n. [From the native name.]
    A priest of Shamanism; a wizard among the Shamanists.
    ~ Definition by Webster 1913


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