What's the difference between a shaman and a druid?

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Ben M.

They both harness the powers of nature. However shamans are more of callin forth nature while druids are protectors of the Earth, who have the powers of nature itself.
I might’ve phrased it poorly but the skills should be self-explanatory.
Shaman : Chain lightning, nature shocks and totems.
Druids : Animalistic Transformations, treant summoning and stuff.

Granny Annie

A) Shamans –
In those tribal societies with shamans it was their function to intervene between the tribe and the gods/goddesses/spirits of nature. They were pre-eminently the tribal healers, both physically and spiritually. Their function had nothing to do with the governance of the tribe, though their advice was often sought it could as often be ignored in favor of the tribal leader’s wishes.
B) Druids – had all the of the above responsibilities but were also the ultimate authorities on the governance of the Celtic tribes they served. The tribe didn’t go to war, didn’t start building projects, didn’t pass laws without the intimate political intercourse of the Druid priests. They served also as judges of the accused miscreants of the tribe. They settled trade and territorial disputes. They brokered marriage and trade agreements for their tribe. They were the executioners of tribal justice, even unto capital punishment. They were also the repositories of tribal lore and history through a special branch of their order, the bards. In effect they ruled the tribe. The chieftain was little more than a warlord who got his place through courage and strategy in battle and kept it by being ruthless whenever the Druid priests of his tribe told him to go forth and be ruthless.
Hope this helped.


far as i know shamans are known as the primitive healers originated somewhere in siberia while druids are the shape shifters animals more likely.

crimson rambler

Not a lot, except that a shaman follows a path of intuitive interaction with the forces of nature, while a druid is more interested in poetic tradition


A shaman is some one who finds their spirituality thru chanting & meditation,
A druid is a pagan from the UK


There really isn’t all that much difference between a Shaman and a Druid. Shamans are people who deal with the spirit world, and act as intermediaries for people who do not know how. It was taken from an IndoEuropean word from tribal folks in Siberia. That is the name they call their person who performs that service. The word Shaman has been borrowed into the English word to mean anyone who performs actions associated with the Siberian Shaman, because we have no such word in our language.
Druids are the same, different language, different word, different way of doing things. Druids are generally found within pre-Christian celtic belief systems specifically. Modern Druids may have slightly different belief systems, a different pantheon perhaps, but they may keep the name to describe the way they do things.
Contrary to some previous statements, Druids were NOT the only Shamanic tradition that provided council to tribal leaders. Many tribal leaders consulted their Shamans before making major decisions and asked their Shamans to intervene with the spirit world on behalf of the tribe, to encourage more game, better weather, etc. Shamans are/were most often healers, but depending on the culture, may also appeal to the spirit world on behalf of their leaders for the death of their enemies, failure of their enemies crops, etc. Both Shamans and Druids served as repositories for tribal wisdom. Druids were often teachers (according to the lore) and Shamans were/are sometimes teachers as well (depending on the culture). Shamans and Druids both shapeshift and deal with tribal totems- again, depending on tradition.
To sum up. In the English language, the word Shaman is very general, the word Druid is specific. Druids are Shamans, but not all Shamans are Druids.


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