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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Shamanism


Shamanism: A shaman is one who helps people in their dealings with the other worlds. These other worlds are the realms above, beyond, and deep with the experiences of our lives. These are the realms of the spiritual, psychic vision and pure, natural Earth energies. In shamanism these worlds were traditionally represented as the upper world of the sky, or spirit levels, and the lower worlds of Earth and Nature.
source: Truth about Shamanism, Amber Wolfe

Shamanism: A family of traditions whose practitioners focus on voluntarily entering altered states of consciousness in which they experience themselves, or their spirit(s) interacting with other entities, often by traveling to other realms in order to serve their community.
source: The World of Shamanism, by Roger Walsh, MD, Ph.D.


The Path of the Shaman Then and Now
I recently heard a wonderfully simple definition of the word shaman. It was: "A shaman is one who helps people in their dealings with the other worlds." These other worlds are the realms above, beyond, and deep within the experiences of our lives. ...
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The Shamanism of Today
We all have the capacity to follow a shamanic path. In our increasing attunement to Earth wisdom, we have all become like shamans mapping our journeys and our relationships with Nature. Shamanism is an ancient art, a creative craft, and a way of ...
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Vodou - An African Shamanic Tradition
At first sight, shamanism and Vodou - what Hollywood has introduced into the popular imagination as "voodoo" - seem to have little in common. The former seems based on peaceful co-existence with nature and the elements, while the latter, in so far ...
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Shamanic Healing Through Soul Retrieval
Soul retrieval – a contemporary therapeutic practice rooted in the ancient spiritual tradition of shamanism - is attracting significant attention in the modern world as the holistic healthcare movement continues to gather force. Shamans believe ...
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Shamanic Symbols
Functioning as a priest(ess), healer and channel between the worlds, the shaman calls on a very unique abilities—that of divination. Divination is the ability to use perception and attunement to interpret signs and symbols. Shamanic divination is ...
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Lakota Wisdom
One of the most beautiful, synchronous aspects of the current shamanic reemergence is that it coincides with the great expansion in human consciousness and potential. The shamans of old may have had to rely on harsh experiences of physical and ...
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Power Objects
It has been said, power is effective energy. In the shamanic philosophy all aspects of the universe have energy, which has potential use and power. Developing a relationship with objects in Nature, or in Spirit, to use their energy is called ...
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Ayahuasca – the Vine of Souls, the Medicine of Love
Shamanic healing often employs plants to good effect, though it is rarely about herbalism, per se. Indeed, most shamans are explicit that the pharmacological properties of the plants they employ are of far less importance than the spirit which is ...
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Review of Shaman Tarot
Summary: The Shaman Tarot recreates the shamanic experience introducing you to dancing, journeying, and healing. By inviting you into the other-realms, the Shaman Tarot opens your mind and spirit to all that is and all that can be. You will meet ...
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The Message from Stone: Stone & Rock Divination
The lessons of quantum physics and its new kid on the block, holographic theory, are that all things are connected through the energy that infuses the universe and all it contains. According to scientists, 90% of the universe is unknown - meaning ...
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The mighty dead, divination, and portals to other worlds… there are so many places to celebrate Samhain in the northeastern United States… The cooler weather, the colorful leaves, and, as the memes say, "Pumpkin everything!" Like so many witches, autumn is my favorite season, and Samhain, my favorite Sabbat. As a child I loved... read this article
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