When should we distinguish Neoshamanism from Shamanism?

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I’m trying to tread as lightly as possible on this, but I asked:
What do you think of cultural appropriation of Shamanism by non-indigenous cultures?
..and the word indigenous was proven to be problematic as it was interpreted for the part of its definition that denotes geographical origin, but I intended it to more-so imply that it means occurring naturally within an ecology. Should we call the practice of Shamanism Neo-Shamanism when it occurs outside of its original ecological context and culture? For example, when it is practiced in an industrialized and developed society. Is this a proper and respectful differentiation between the words due to the differences between industrialized nations and cultures and indigenous cultures, which I view as having occurred naturally?

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Shamanism is Shamanism, regardless of where or how you live.


Try reality instead, okay?

Prospero Reincarnate

A Shaman has political power within a town. A Neoshaman uses shamanic techniques for their own benefit.

Something Smells Fishy

Shamanism itself (the original “indigenant” variety) has existed in several different forms around the world, so it is hard to generalize. I don’t see why we need to separate it based on whether the practictioners live in industrial societies or not. It seems arbitrary to me. Perhaps to an anthropologist that distinction would make sense.
Though some might see “Neo-Shamanism” as a false version of Shamanism, as someone who knows several modern-day shamans, I don’t see it that way.

Dave K

Shamanism: various forms of native shamanistic beliefs around the world since ancient times, some still practiced today and some evolved into a “organized” religion (Taoism, Shintoism, Chinese Folk Religion, Korean Shamanism etc).
Neo-shamanism: white breads trying to have fun by lighting some candles and getting high. and showing no respect for the original native shamanism by just throwing things in and calling it “shamanism”.
although I’m not saying that their neo-shamanism is ‘wrong’. Europeans has their own forms of shamanism too, still widely practiced in Russia, and religions like Druidry and Wicca are also shamanistic in nature.


If you have a modern person attempting to practice cultural shamanism with respect and in such a way as most closely resembles how it was/is done, I don’t see a problem.
Some European cultures also had/have a history of shamanism, and the most widely practiced shamanistic tradition at this point is Celtic Shamanism.
The Native Americans did and do not call their Holy Men ‘Shamans’. That term is actually a European term.


All Shamanism not practiced by the Tungusic peoples is “neo-Shamanism” OR already has an indigenous name we should call it by.


well, let me answer this best as I can. A Shaman is one who has a special gift of a Healer. They probably vary in their own particular talents. A Shaman maybe called such in whatever culture that calls them this. They may be a Shaman in a different location, but called by another name. Maybe like, ‘Witch Doctor”, or “Medicine man/woman”.
Everyone has some particular spiritual gift. They all vary in degrees.


How do you think life was before the bible?

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What is the next evolution from religion?

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Would love your thoughts, please comment.x