Shamanism is the most ancient spiritual practice known to humankind. Many anthropologists believe that the practice dates back over 100,000 years. 


The word “shaman” comes from the Tungus tribe in Siberia and it means spiritual healer or one who sees in the dark. Shamanism has been practiced in Siberia, Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, Greenland, and native North and South America.

Shamanism teaches us that everything that exists is alive and has a spirit. Shamans speak of a web of life that connects all of life and the spirit that lives in all things. Everything on earth is interconnected and any belief that we are separate from other life forms including the earth, stars, wind, etc is purely an illusion. And it is the shaman’s role in the community to keep harmony and balance between humankind and the forces of nature.

One of the major ceremonies a shaman performs is called a shamanic journey. A shaman is a man or woman who goes into an altered state of consciousness and travels outside of time into the hidden realms that many term non-ordinary. I see non-ordinary reality as a parallel universe to ours. The Australian aborigines call non-ordinary the Dreamtime. It is also referred to as the Other World in Celtic traditions.

In these hidden realities there are helping spirits, compassionate spirits who offer their guidance and also their healing help in behalf of all life on earth. 

Typically shamans use some form of percussion, especially drumming or rattling, to go into an altered state that allows the free soul of the shaman to journey into the invisible worlds. In Australia you also see shamans use the didgeridoo and/or click sticks. Some traditions use sticks or bells.

Scientific study has found that when we are in an ordinary state of consciousness our brain waves are in a beta state. But when the shaman or shamanic practitioner listens to a rhythmic or monotonous drum beat, the brain waves slow down, first to an alpha state, which is a light, meditative state of consciousness, and then into a deeper state called a theta state. And that’s the state that allows the shaman’s free soul to journey into the invisible worlds having access to helping spirits.

When one looks at shamanic traditions around the world there are three common levels that are spoken about and also depicted through different paintings and other forms of artwork. The hidden worlds that the shaman travels to are known as the Under World or Lower World, the Middle World, and the Upper World. There are numerous levels in both the Lower World and also in the Upper World and they are outside of time.

Shamanism is a system of direct revelation. All shamans might describe experiences differently. And how the different experiences are interpreted and seen by others is how beautiful they all are.

- Sandra Ingerman
 

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Shamanism

Shamanism is the most ancient spiritual practice known to humankind. Many anthropologists believe that the practice dates back over 100,000 years. 


The word “shaman” comes from the Tungus tribe in Siberia and it means spiritual healer or one who sees in the dark. Shamanism has been practiced in Siberia, Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, Greenland, and native North and South America.

Shamanism teaches us that everything that exists is alive and has a spirit. Shamans speak of a web of life that connects all of life and the spirit that lives in all things. Everything on earth is interconnected and any belief that we are separate from other life forms including the earth, stars, wind, etc is purely an illusion. And it is the shaman’s role in the community to keep harmony and balance between humankind and the forces of nature.

One of the major ceremonies a shaman performs is called a shamanic journey. A shaman is a man or woman who goes into an altered state of consciousness and travels outside of time into the hidden realms that many term non-ordinary. I see non-ordinary reality as a parallel universe to ours. The Australian aborigines call non-ordinary the Dreamtime. It is also referred to as the Other World in Celtic traditions.

In these hidden realities there are helping spirits, compassionate spirits who offer their guidance and also their healing help in behalf of all life on earth. 

Typically shamans use some form of percussion, especially drumming or rattling, to go into an altered state that allows the free soul of the shaman to journey into the invisible worlds. In Australia you also see shamans use the didgeridoo and/or click sticks. Some traditions use sticks or bells.

Scientific study has found that when we are in an ordinary state of consciousness our brain waves are in a beta state. But when the shaman or shamanic practitioner listens to a rhythmic or monotonous drum beat, the brain waves slow down, first to an alpha state, which is a light, meditative state of consciousness, and then into a deeper state called a theta state. And that’s the state that allows the shaman’s free soul to journey into the invisible worlds having access to helping spirits.

When one looks at shamanic traditions around the world there are three common levels that are spoken about and also depicted through different paintings and other forms of artwork. The hidden worlds that the shaman travels to are known as the Under World or Lower World, the Middle World, and the Upper World. There are numerous levels in both the Lower World and also in the Upper World and they are outside of time.

Shamanism is a system of direct revelation. All shamans might describe experiences differently. And how the different experiences are interpreted and seen by others is how beautiful they all are.

- Sandra Ingerman