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> Shamanism, from Encarta
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Shadows 
Posted: 05-Mar-2005, 05:13 PM
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Shaman, religious specialist, originally found in hunting-gathering cultures, which are loosely structured, technologically simple, and homogeneous. The word shaman is derived from a word in the Tungusic language of Siberia, one of the areas in which the classical form of shamanism is found. Several forms of shamanism have been observed in widely distributed nonliterate societies located in Central Asia, North America, and Oceania.

Although a shaman can achieve religious status by heredity, personal quest, or vocation, the recognition and call of the individual is always an essential part of that individual's elevation to the new status. The shaman, usually a man, is essentially a medium, a mouthpiece of the spirits who became his familiars at his initiation, during which he frequently undergoes prolonged fasts, seclusion, and other ordeals leading to dreams and visions. Training by experienced shamans follows.

The main religious tasks of a shaman are healing and divination. Both are achieved either by spirit possession or by the departure of the shaman's soul to heaven or to the underworld. Shamans also divine the whereabouts of game, the position of the enemy, and the best way of safeguarding and increasing the food supply. Shamans may occupy an elevated social and economic position, especially if they are successful healers.

Attempts to explain the shamans and their cures have been numerous. Some scholars have drawn parallels between shamanistic healing and psychoanalytic cures and have concluded that in both instances efficacious and therapeutic symbols are created, leading to psychological release and physiological curing (see Faith Healing). Several anthropologists, rejecting a theory that shamans are basically neurotics or psychotics, have suggested that shamans possess certain cognitive abilities that are distinguishably superior to those of the rest of the community. Other scholars simply explain shamanism as the precursor of a more organized religious system or as a technique for achieving ecstasy.



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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 17-Mar-2005, 06:03 AM
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I would love to learn more about it. I tried to find a brief "summary" of what a Shaman would be from what I read above. As a point to start on...

As I understood Shamanism possibly is the oldest spiritual way/path of healing we know. It is maintaining balance and harmony and is keeping our connection to Earth Mother and all creation knowing that all things are alive. A Shaman is a medium through whom there is connection to the spirits...could we say he is walking with one foot in this world and with his other in the spirit world?

Shadows, could you recommend any books on this topic?


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Shadows 
Posted: 17-Mar-2005, 10:46 AM
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Riding Windhorses - Sarangerel

A Journy Into The Heart of Mongolian Shamanism.


Very interesting reading!
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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 17-Mar-2005, 01:15 PM
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Shadows, thank you for this recommendation. I was able to order the book and hope it will arrive soon.
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Corwinna 
Posted: 03-Apr-2006, 02:54 AM
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QUOTE (Shadows @ 17-Mar-2005, 10:46 AM)
Riding Windhorses - Sarangerel

A Journy Into The Heart of Mongolian Shamanism.


Very interesting reading!

Hmm, I will definitely try to get hold of this book! Sounds like one I really have to read smile.gif


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stoirmeil 
Posted: 03-Apr-2006, 09:30 AM
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I'll be interested into looking into that one too. Thank you!

You can also have a look at Michael Harner's The Way of the Shaman, kind of a classic anthropological study of the old school (anthropologist participates in practices). And anything you can get hold of by one of his more prominent students and shaman trainees, Sandra Ingerman.
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Corwinna 
Posted: 05-Apr-2006, 01:33 AM
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I have Michael Harman's book right here, ehm... In Dutch that is! biggrin.gif I found it very helpful and it helped me through my first trancejourneys. My boyfriend is reading it now. I also found the book by Tom Cowan a nice help: Shamanism as a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life. A lot of it you can find in the book of Michael Harner too, but you might like it. Try to read some before you buy it so that you can decide if it's a nice add-on. I'll look into the books of Sandra Ingerman as well. I'm always looking for really usefull books on shamanism. There's not so much in the Dutch language, but there's too much in the English language. Can't find my way through al those books!

I'm planning on making my own power shield later this year, but I'll probably have to go to a workshop for it. Too bad, but I lack the practical skills to do al such things by myself. I hope to get hold of reindeer antlers in order to make a powertool out of that, but I have no experience in working with bone and antlers. I understood that tools for woodcarving would be correct to use in order to keep the material intact. Is there anyone here who makes there own powertools and who has experience in working with bone and antlers?
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 05-Apr-2006, 09:59 AM
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QUOTE (Corwinna @ 05-Apr-2006, 01:33 AM)
I also found the book by Tom Cowan a nice help: Shamanism as a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life. A lot of it you can find in the book of Michael Harner too, but you might like it.

Now, that's good. It reminded me of another of Tom Cowan's books that I absolutely loved: Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit. It's more of a description and a history than a manual for practitioners, but it's really beautiful. The title is a reference to "The Song of Wandering Aengus", that poem of WB Yeats that starts out "Because a fire was in my head. . . " and ends ". . . the silver apples of the moon, the golden apples of the sun."

I just found this link, doodling around looking for the Cowan reference. It might be useful, and looks like a good read of the personal confession type, and also with reference to the soul healing aspects of shamanism.

http://www.alastairmcintosh.com/articles/1...c_shamanism.htm
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Corwinna 
Posted: 05-Apr-2006, 03:28 PM
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@ Stoirmeil: thank you! I'll look into it when I'm back from holiday. I'm going to spend a week in an area that we can consider one of the last natural areas in our country though not a very vast one: the Veluwe. Reconnecting with nature.... happy.gif
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Shadows 
Posted: 29-Apr-2006, 11:06 AM
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ZodiacHolly

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Another site to visit for those with Shamanistic tendencies:

http://www.tribesofcreation.com/
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