Shamanism

shamanshamansshamanicshamanisticshamanistshamanessShamanistsBaksidoctorJapanese Shamanism
Shamanism is a practice that involves a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to perceive and interact with what they believe to be a spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world.wikipedia
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Neoshamanism

core shamanismPower animalneo-shamanism
In the 20th century, many Westerners involved in counter-cultural movements have created modern magico-religious practices influenced by their ideas of indigenous religions from across the world, creating what has been termed neoshamanism or the neoshamanic movement.
Neoshamanism refers to "new"' forms of shamanism, or methods of seeking visions or healing.

Altered state of consciousness

altered states of consciousnesstrancealtered states
Shamanism is a practice that involves a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to perceive and interact with what they believe to be a spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world.
Followers of various shamanic traditions "enter altered states of consciousness in order to serve their community."

Mediumship

mediummediumsspirit medium
The third definition attempts to distinguish shamans from other magico-religious specialists who are believed to contact spirits, such as "mediums", "witch doctors", "spiritual healers" or "prophets," by claiming that shamans undertake some particular technique not used by the others.
The practice is associated with several religious-belief systems such as Shamanism, Vodun, Spiritualism, Spiritism, Candomblé, Voodoo, Umbanda and some New Age groups.

Modern Paganism

NeopaganNeopaganismneo-pagan
It has affected the development of many neopagan practices, as well as faced a backlash and accusations of cultural appropriation, exploitation and misrepresentation when outside observers have tried to represent cultures to which they do not belong.
Similarly, while examining neo-shamanism among the Sami people of Northern Scandinavia, Siv Ellen Kraft highlights that despite the religion being reconstructionist in intent, it is highly eclectic in the manner in which it has adopted elements from shamanic traditions in other parts of the world.

Plane (esotericism)

planes of existenceplane of existenceplane
Shamans also claim to enter supernatural realms or dimensions to obtain solutions to problems afflicting the community.
The concept may be found in religious and esoteric teachings—e.g. Vedanta (Advaita Vedanta), Ayyavazhi, shamanism, Hermeticism, Neoplatonism, Gnosticism, Kashmir Shaivism, Sant Mat/Surat Shabd Yoga, Sufism, Druze, Kabbalah, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, Rosicrucianism (Esoteric Christian), Eckankar, Ascended Master Teachings, etc.—which propound the idea of a whole series of subtle planes or worlds or dimensions which, from a center, interpenetrate themselves and the physical planet in which we live, the solar systems, and all the physical structures of the universe.

Mongols

MongolMongolianMongolians
The term "shamanism" was first applied by Western anthropologists as outside observers of the ancient religion of the Turks and Mongols, as well as those of the neighbouring Tungusic- and Samoyedic-speaking peoples.
Their culture was nomadic, their religion shamanism or Buddhism and their military strength formidable.

Trance

trance statesystemic trancetrance states
A shaman (, or ) is someone who is regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing.
(see Yoga, Sufism, Shaman, Umbanda, Crazy Horse, etc.)

Witch doctor

witchdoctorwitch doctorswitch-doctor
The third definition attempts to distinguish shamans from other magico-religious specialists who are believed to contact spirits, such as "mediums", "witch doctors", "spiritual healers" or "prophets," by claiming that shamans undertake some particular technique not used by the others.
The Oxford English Dictionary states that the first use of the term "witch doctor" to refer to African shamans (i.e. medicine men) was in 1836 in a book by Robert Montgomery Martin.

Mircea Eliade

Eliade, MirceaEliadeAllan
However, Mircea Eliade noted that the Sanskrit word śramaṇa, designating a wandering monastic or holy figure, has spread to many Central Asian languages along with Buddhism and could be the ultimate origin of the Tungusic word.
In his work on the history of religion, Eliade is most highly regarded for his writings on Alchemy, Shamanism, Yoga and what he called the eternal return—the implicit belief, supposedly present in religious thought in general, that religious behavior is not only an imitation of, but also a participation in, sacred events, and thus restores the mythical time of origins.

Turkic peoples

TurkicTurksTurkish
The term "shamanism" was first applied by Western anthropologists as outside observers of the ancient religion of the Turks and Mongols, as well as those of the neighbouring Tungusic- and Samoyedic-speaking peoples.
The Khaganate retained elements of its original animistic- shamanistic religion, that later evolved into Tengriism, although it received missionaries of Buddhist monks and practiced a syncretic religion.

Curandero

curanderaCuranderismocuranderism
In the Peruvian Amazon Basin, shamans and curanderos use medicine songs called icaros to evoke spirits.
A curandero (, healer; f. curandera) or curandeiro (, f. curandeira) is a traditional native healer/shaman found in Latin America, the United States and Southern Europe.

Ritual

ritualsreligious ritualritualistic
A shaman (, or ) is someone who is regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing.
Healing rites performed by shamans frequently identify social disorder as the cause, and make the restoration of social relationships the cure.

Nanai people

NanaiNanaisHezhen
For example, among the Nani people, a distinct kind of shaman acts as a psychopomp.
The Nanai are mainly Shamanist, with a great reverence for the bear (Doonta) and the tiger (Amba).

Soul dualism

soul lossdualistic concept of the soul
Sometimes, a shaman's "free soul" may be held to be able to undertake a spirit journey.

Entheogen

entheogensentheogenicspiritual
Generally, shamans traverse the axis mundi and enter the "spirit world" by effecting a transition of consciousness, entering into an ecstatic trance, either autohypnotically or through the use of entheogens or ritual performances.
The religious, shamanic, or spiritual significance of entheogens is well established in anthropological and modern contexts; entheogens have traditionally been used to supplement many diverse practices geared towards achieving transcendence, including white and black magic, divination, meditation, yoga, sensory deprivation, asceticism, prayer, trance, rituals, chanting, hymns like peyote songs, and drumming.

Psychoactive drug

psychoactivepsychotropicdrug
An entheogen ("generating the divine within") is a psychoactive substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual context.
These substances may be used medically; recreationally; to purposefully improve performance or alter one's consciousness; as entheogens; for ritual, spiritual, or shamanic purposes; or for research.

Icaro

In the Peruvian Amazon Basin, shamans and curanderos use medicine songs called icaros to evoke spirits.
Today, this term is commonly used to describe the medicine songs performed in vegetal ceremonies, especially by shamans in ayahuasca ceremonies to induce a profound state of healing, awareness or amazement.

Ronald Hutton

Hutton, RonaldHutton, RHutton, R.
The English historian Ronald Hutton noted that by the dawn of the 21st century, there were four separate definitions of the term which appeared to be in use.
Hutton next turned his attention to Siberian shamanism, with Hambledon and London publishing Shamans: Siberian Spirituality in the Western Imagination in 2001, in which he argued that much of what westerners think they know about shamanism is in fact wrong.

Axis mundi

world pillarmoundNavel of the World
Generally, shamans traverse the axis mundi and enter the "spirit world" by effecting a transition of consciousness, entering into an ecstatic trance, either autohypnotically or through the use of entheogens or ritual performances.
The axis mundi symbol may be found in cultures utilizing shamanic practices or animist belief systems, in major world religions, and in technologically advanced "urban centers".

Indigenous peoples of Siberia

nativesSiberian populationsSiberia
The word was brought to Western Europe in the late 17th century by the Dutch traveler Nicolaes Witsen, who reported his stay and journeys among the Tungusic- and Samoyedic-speaking indigenous peoples of Siberia in his book Noord en Oost Tataryen (1692).
Members of the Shors practice Russian Orthodox Christianity, animism or shamanism.

Nicolaes Witsen

Nicolaas WitsenNicolaus Witsen
The word was brought to Western Europe in the late 17th century by the Dutch traveler Nicolaes Witsen, who reported his stay and journeys among the Tungusic- and Samoyedic-speaking indigenous peoples of Siberia in his book Noord en Oost Tataryen (1692).
Witsen was also interested in religion, but in an ecumenical way: his interests stretched to "saint Confucius" as he called him (based on his analysis of a Han dynasty Chinese mirror in his collection), as well as to shamanism.

Inuit

InukInuit peopleEskimos
One such tribe is the Inuit people of the Canadian Arctic.
One of the customs following the birth of an infant was for an Angakkuq (shaman) to place a tiny ivory carving of a whale into the baby's mouth, in hopes this would make the child good at hunting.

Russia

Russian FederationRUSRussian
The term was introduced to the west after Russian forces conquered the shamanistic Khanate of Kazan in 1552.
The country's vast cultural diversity spans ethnic Russians with their Slavic Orthodox traditions, Tatars and Bashkirs with their Turkic Muslim culture, Buddhist nomadic Buryats and Kalmyks, Shamanistic peoples of the Extreme North and Siberia, highlanders of the Northern Caucasus, and Finno-Ugric peoples of the Russian North West and Volga Region.

Ecstatic dance

dancingecstaticEcstatic dancing
In the ancient and widespread practice of shamanism, ecstatic dance and rhythmic drumming are used to alter consciousness in spiritual practices.

Salvia divinorum

salviamagic mintQuid-chewing
Examples of traditional entheogens include: peyote, psilocybin and Amanita muscaria (fly agaric) mushrooms, uncured tobacco, cannabis, ayahuasca, Salvia divinorum, iboga, and Mexican morning glory.
Salvia divinorum is native to the Sierra Mazateca in Oaxaca, Mexico, where it is still used by the Mazatec, primarily to facilitate shamanic visions in the context of curing or divination.