Shamanism Resource Page | Atlas Studio
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The Path of the Shaman
Have you ever felt drawn to call a friend or loved one and got on the phone and realized as the conversation unfolds that you were guided to call at that particular time for a clear reason, or found your car headed somewhere you had no intention of going and as you arrive, wondering why you are here and how you will be received only to be welcomed with open and hungry arms? In our culture these are all signs that you might be headed for a life as a modern shaman. I believe that we as a collective are looking for new expression of our religious nature and crave ritual and meaning in our daily practices. It is interesting how we are turning to one of the “oldest forms of the religious life – the practice of shamanism”. (Shamanism: An Expanded View of Reality 1987, Nicholson)
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the term shaman (pronounced SHAH-mahn) comes to us from the Evenki (Tungusic language of Siberia) word, šamán. An abbreviated definition of shaman, in layman’s terms, is one who self induces an altered state of consciousness in order to influence multi-faceted human-beingness for healing or divining purposes. Shamans have been a part of tribal societies around the world throughout history. Modern interest in this ancient tradition recalls the “democratization of the spiritual experience”. In universal tradition we find that the way in is through direct experience, one must do the work to practice shamanism and/or receive shamanic guidance.
Shamanism is used to help release or overcome trauma, heal the body/mind/spirit, find inner strength, and to commune with nature.