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Whats the difference between a shaman and a witch?

i mean real people who claim to be shamans and witches
nah ive heard males call themselves witchs and ive heard females call themselves shamans
no witchs CAN be male
If u r into wicca u r a witch
i just wanna know whats the difference between a witch and a shaman
thats meant to be
“witchs CAN be male”


  • Shaman comes from the Siberian Saman and was adapted into the English language between 1690-1700 to refer to the Siberian Saman.
    Over time and the discovery of new lands the definition was expanded to refer to people in other cultures to refer to a person who through some particular method is able to cross the boundaries into the spiritual dimension and interact with those who reside in that dimension. The person crosses in spirit and depending on the cultural ideology this may either be with the spirit or a part of the spirit. Some cultures believe in a duality or multiplicity of the spirit. For example, with the dual interpertation it is seen as one part of the spirit is bound to the body until death and the other part is that which may cross through the boundry.
    Many poeple incorrectly consider the practices of a medium or psychic to be shamanic practices. Being as they remain in the physical world, this does not meet the actual description of what differentiaates the shaman. Another common misunderstanding is that Native Americans have shaman. The use of the term is strictly an English interpertation and not of the Native peoples although there are some Natives who may utilize the term for the purpose of being better understood by non-Natives. A madicine man, healer or spiritual leader of Native cultures may or may not partake of shamanic practices, it varies and is a personal path and ability. As Harrison correctly aknowledged, many are New Age practicioners who have perverted other cultures and are charlatans looking to make a profit from calling themself a shaman. Many of these individuals have no actual experiance or understanding of the abilities necessary or the risks, responsibilities and commitments that come with shamanic practices.
    A shaman may be a healer as is commonly considered but this is not always the case, others may be magic users or simply a “normal” member of society without any other extra considerations aside from being able to wilfully cross between the worlds. One side effect that is common for the shaman is that they may have contact with spiritual beings even when not altering their awareness consciously. For some this may never occur, some after long years of experiance and for yet others it is a everyday part of their life even before they learn to cross between the worlds. It is one thing that leads some to become a shaman.

    A witch is a practicioner of the manipulation of natural energies by use of their knowledge, willpower and intent. Many will make use of rituals for these purposes. Wicca is the most common religion associated with this practice although not all witches are Wiccan and not all Wiccan are practicioners of witchcraft. Many Pagan religions have some methods and beliefs in which the natural energies that are around them are able to be harnessed, collecetd and amplified and controlled or sent forth for a particular effect. This is commonly referred to as witchcraft and among the practicioners it is generally called magic. The ideas found in Harry Potter, Charmed and most any Hollywood fantasy are far from the truth as is the Christian idea that the abilities come from the devil. Pagans do not believe in a devil or even have one in their beliefs, this is a Christian idea.

    Both a Witch and a Shaman may be either a male of female. One may be either or possibly both. For the person who practices either or both, it is a way of life and caution should be taken when dealing with a person who offers to provide services for a fee. Even when the person may be able to perform, the profit motive often conflicts with them holding a high standard of morality and responsibility. It is often a tell tale sign of a person who is what they claim and one who plays for profit.

  • In Arizona and New Mexico we have regionalized idea of what witches and shaman (SHAME MAN). Shamans are usually “new agers”. They use the word to try to give them impression that they are wise or powerful.
    We recognize wiccans/pagans as coming from an authentic religion. We also have witches that are a part of our culture, but they are malevolent beings, not people like the wiccan witches.

    The official word shaman, is what anthropologists would refer to a person who fulfills a role of witchdoctor or medicine man or priest. It does not matter if they are men or women, it is gender neutral word. It is a term that came from siberian.

    In real life, we view a SHAME MAN as a fake, wannabe or a new ager, who comes and interrupts our ceremonies, who steals artifacts, who intrudes, who asks us to reveal parts of our religion or culture that are not shared with outsiders. They come and do an “interpretive dance in the middle of the village. The desecrate shrines, historic places and graves. They try to force themselves into sacred spaces. They INSIST that we tell them (we either blow them off or tell them something fake) info that isn’t shared, they often misinterpret what we do share with them. They hold fake ceremonies and CHARGE MONEY. (You should NEVER pay money to join a sweat). They hold ceremonies that are culturally in appropriate, that or that are bastardized with ceremonies from other cultures.

  • Witches practice spells , rituals and work with goddess energies and earth energies .
    Shamans work with spirit and nature/earth energy, they do not use spells , they harness the energy around them for healing , and work at balancing the feminine and masculine energies within. They also work with animal spirit, and in harmony with the land and animals around them. Shamans are taught to look within themselves for the answers , and spend a great deal of time mastering the SELF. They a awakened to the true power within. They practice journeying, and fine tuning all natural abilities inherant in Man/humans. They honor all living things , and believe all living things are a spark of conciousness and interconnected. There is no seperation.
    Shamanism is a practice of mastering the Self , and honoring of all things/energies .

  • The witch idea comes from Christians who didn’t like the old religion too much and Shamans are what they where when they were before Jesus. Shamans can be women some of the best are reported to be women, witches can be men as far as I know the words wicca(Which is a completely modern tradition with old elements) and witch have the same root word. The term witch is masculine and a woman is called a She Witch. Shamans are a very serious part of Mongolian, Siberian, Karelian, Nenets, Saami, and many other cultures especially in Eastern Europe, Previous USSR countries like Tuva and Baltic Countries. Native American Medicine People prefer not to be called Shamans, Alaskan natives have Shamans, Shamans in Asia also.

  • Well, different cultures have different definitions of what a witch is, but I’ll assume you mean the modern, Western, neo-pagan version.

    A witch is simply someone who practices witchcraft. Different practitioners use their skills in different ways, but most commonly they cast spells as a way to use the Earth’s natural energy to assist in accomplishing a goal. This version of witchcraft developed in the mid-20th century, and anyone who wishes to practice can take up the study.

    The word “shaman” is Siberian, but over the years the word has come to refer to anyone whose practices are similar to the Siberian shamanic tradition. There are some, such as many Native Americans, who resent that term being applied to them. A shaman is tied to a specific people and their belief system, and the knowledge is passed down from teacher to student. Shamans perform different functions, which can vary from place to place, but two primary ones are healing and communing with the spirits on behalf of their people or village. Traditionally, this isn’t something that just anyone can do.

    Of course, modern beliefs and traditional beliefs don’t always mesh on issues such as these.

  • Not a lot of difference, really. Both involve similar practices. I think it really comes down to the tradition one learned, or the culture one came from.

  • Shaman is more of spiritual guide or leader, who speaks to the spirits and tries to interpret mysteries for people.

    Witches might do that, but they may also decide to keep to themselves and may focus more on working hands-on with the elements of nature (such as rituals and the use of herbs).

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