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What is SHAMANISM?

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#1 reptyle

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:20 PM

what exactly is shamanism?


what is a shamanic practice?


What is a shamanic product?


in a concise and literally legible format please describe what you believe shamanism to be.
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#2 ∂an

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 09:00 PM

shamanism is the practice of techniques that allow the full nature of reality to become apparent. certainly not limited to the ingestion of illegal compounds. what is the legal context of your question?
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#3 reptyle

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 09:06 PM

"shamanism is the practice of techniques that allow the full nature of reality to become apparent."

nice one.

well its a bit hard to say... "i am a shaman"...if you dont know what it is.

and so to defend your beliefs using shamanism needs a well thought out definition, defined by the people who are going to use it to describe themselves.

and hence... i am searching for the communities defintion of what it is... it is legal issue because everything in the english language is a legal issue.

maybe we can change the oxford dictionary definition even... to something more useful for our representational purposes...

so... yeh...

i repeat the above questions.
We meditate upon that Divine Sun,
the true Light of the Shining Ones.
May it illuminate our minds.

#4 Psylo

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 09:24 PM

It is to dance joyously with the Pelican. To peirce the spiritual soul with her feather, the poisoned calamus embedding a new reality into the shaman's chi.
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#5 Distracted

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 09:25 PM

Shaman;
A member of a shamanic organization.

Maybe it's easier to think of it like that and then discuss what views a shamanic organization has and what it actively does and tries to achieve?

which is basically just rewording your first post...

Maybe this angelfire website could help, or at least provide inspiration.
http://www.angelfire.../shamanism.html

of particular interest is the origin of the word shaman.


From wikipedia

Shamanism (Posted Image /ˈʃɑːmən/ SHAH-mən or /ˈʃmən/ SHAY-mən) is an anthropological term for a range of beliefs and practices relating to communication with the spirit world.[2] A shaman is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing.[3]




As above as below... a shaman taps into a space not normally accessible to most to do what she/he wishes, for good or for bad.
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#6 Stillman

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 10:15 PM

As Distracted said.
However this link on Angel fire site has a different value to shamanism from there specific cultural angle. http://www.angelfire...ot_shamans.html
a quote from the article "Some people go so far as to charge for vision quests or sweat lodge ceremonies. Never get taken in by someone like this, much less by self-proclaimed spiritual leaders who cannot tell you truthfully where they received the permission and training to perform these ceremonies."

Edited by Stillman, 24 March 2012 - 10:21 PM.

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#7 ErraneousHerbalist

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 10:55 PM

Some prefer the term Vegetalisto.

To answer your question.
The healing of the community/self/whole through the knowledge of the spirits/ancestors and of the plants.

Edited by ErraneousHerbalist, 24 March 2012 - 11:26 PM.

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#8 paradox

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 12:11 AM

shamanism is a word. in most cases a largely redundant, debased & probably unhelpful label & quite possibly imo a hindrance rather than an aid to those who choose to label themselves thus or who have that label placed upon them, except perhaps for commercial purposes.
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#9 ∂an

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:05 AM

shamanism is a word. in most cases a largely redundant, debased & probably unhelpful label & quite possibly imo a hindrance rather than an aid to those who choose to label themselves thus or who have that label placed upon them, except perhaps for commercial purposes.


yeah the etymology of shamanism is interesting:


The term "shaman" is a loan from the Turkic word šamán, the term for such a practitioner, which also gained currency in the wider Turko-Mongol and Tungusic cultures in ancient Siberia.[5] Shamans were known as "priests" in the region of where Uralic languages, Turkic, or Mongolic languages are spoken.[6]


so its a construction by anthropologists to describe the phenomena of ritualised spirit communion by a segment of many societies around the world. perhaps it has been a hinderance in that the traits of siberian shamanism have become representative of all shamanic groups. I agree that to label oneself a shaman seems a bit cliché'd these days...labels have a tendency to do that I guess.
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#10 whitewind

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:58 AM

what exactly is a shaman?

A shaman is someone who endeavors to understand nature and spirit and the interconnections between the two.

what is a shamanic practice?

Shamanic practices are extremely variable, but frequently require ingestion of plants to achieve understanding. Also involved are meditation and spending time alone in nature.

What is a shamanic product?

Increased understanding of the Spiritual and Natural World.

#11 whitewind

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:07 AM

The difference between shamanism and witchcraft is that witches use the understanding of the spiritual and natural world in order to enable change.

#12 vual

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 12:37 PM

well said paradox, let me continue....

Anthoplogy tells us, A Shaman is a cultural figure head that everyone in the tribe trust's, a shaman is considered a healer of a tribe and also sometimes, but not always a elder. A shaman traditional is thought to use plant spirits to heal, but the healing proccess of a shaman is much deeper, a sharman is like a tribal phycologist, the ritual, fire, drugs, song and dance are all tools used to heal the problem, shamans try to get to the base of the problem and heal from the problem stems from with intense counciling sessions. 90% of a shamans power comes from the tribe, NOT from spirits and NOT from plants, simply becuase the tribe beleive is what gives the shaman power, most of the time a tribe member will start the healing proccess just by knowing they will go to the shaman.... (imagine it as a placebo effect for it was programed into you when you are born)

Mix in intensive counciiling, some drugs, trust and the placebo effect and you have a shaman.
Same goes for a mediceine man or a bush man.

People here see A shaman visit as: "is a intensive counciling session with mind altering drugs to speed up finding the bloackages."

A shaman is a tribal ... Natropath.

shamans are much missunderstond and given alot more credit (in this culture) then they deserve.
we have councilers, they have shamans...
we have doctors ... they have shamans...
we have herbalists.. they have shamans..
we have science... they have.. shamans..

there is no 1 relegion to cover shamans so why would one genralize them "they eat plants to see spirits".......
There are many tribes with many shamans from many cultures, and so do many other religions have there same similar rituals, a shaman is no different from a catholic priest for a catholic priest was once our cultures accepted shaman and even in most cultures shamanism is institutionalised or requires a 7 year apprentiship that you will pay for with time=money, they are simply the spiritual and healing figurehead of the community.

Many people link shamans to ethnogens but thats not the case, and it leads to alot of missunderstanding. a shaman is simply our doctor and our priests rolled into one becuase those cutures are behind on scienece and understanding (no offence please), i use the word "placebo" with lots of resepct, for u understand how healing really works, and the world placebo isnt a bad one, it just means the shaman helps the patient heal themself ;)

Uneducated people may find this post offensive, simply pointing out the truth, shaman isnt a marketing ploy that cam be used to take drugs, to be a shaman first you must be accepted by your tribe........
If you have a tribe over hear in austrlaia that trust you and come to you with the problems then congrats you are close to being a shaman, but i doubt it. People lable things they dont understand, here be dragons on the map where we dont wanna explore we dont understand it so we give it a lable "dragons on a map"....

How did this guy help me... i dont understand common conuciling techniques... i dont understand that under intense drugs i am more open to conuciling... wow must be magik and must be spirits...

Most the time the patient will simply council them self while high on ethno's....

Edited by vual, 25 March 2012 - 01:01 PM.

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#13 danshaman

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 02:31 PM

shamans all work with the same 'realm' they all just have different ways to acheive this higher understanding of life. they understand the non physical side of our existence and how they all resinate with each other, after all we are spiritual beings inhabiting a physical body aren't we? and if our body can be mapped out through energy pahways then changing the frequency to the dimension where our spiritual body 'exists' in the whole physical body can be reconfigured through this

you make some good point vual but it seems you fail to recognise complexity and infite possiblities of the the spiritual and how highly evolved us 'humans' are the fact you are comparing shamans to western practice is unsettling shamans are far beyond what western science can perceive even trying to explain how they operate is silly in this language lol they don't have enough credit

i believe the shaman is part of the gang when it comes to the spiritual all these plants that heal would exist in differents frequencies as 'entities' same with the elements, the weather the sun and the moon the shamans communicates through this and can literally do anything.

we all have the power to be a shaman in western civilization.

heres a scenario

there is a group of teenagers taking alot of drugs and abusing there bodies as time goes past things just go down hill one of these teenagers disapears for a lil while and finds the his inner light and gains a better understand of life through himself he rejoins this group to share his new findings most of them are intrigued and start to follow the same path as the years go by and more and more 'lost souls' find out about him and want to know more about this amazing new thing called life this young man is now in his 30's and has spoken to numerous spiritual healers, natrupaths, and shamans incorperating all his knowledge into practice, a hole community may now see him as a shaman now he might not have the generations of knowledge given to him through his ancestors directly but has successfully tapped into the higher realms where anything and everything exists in the language of life

now im only a drug fucked teenager who has found hapiness within myself and come to many concepts i cant even perceive at this point in time but i am only learning more and more each day im always helping others and spread love and hapiness as much as i can where ever i go

we are all shamans in a sense that the people who frequent these forums have a better undertsanding of life then the average joe we have power to set off a massive love bomb and flood the world with this way of looking at things

thats the best i can do with what i understand

lets do this B)

Edited by danshaman, 25 March 2012 - 02:32 PM.

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#14 vual

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:58 PM

shamans all work with the same 'realm' they all just have different ways to acheive this higher understanding of life. they understand the non physical side of our existence and how they all resinate with each other, after all we are spiritual beings inhabiting a physical body aren't we? and if our body can be mapped out through energy pahways then changing the frequency to the dimension where our spiritual body 'exists' in the whole physical body can be reconfigured through this

now im only a drug fucked teenager who has found hapiness within myself and come to many concepts i cant even perceive at this point in time but i am only learning more and more each day im always helping others and spread love and hapiness as much as i can where ever i go

we are all shamans in a sense that the people who frequent these forums have a better undertsanding of life then the average joe we have power to set off a massive love bomb and flood the world with this way of looking at things

lets do this B)


You make good points also, i compleatly agree in regards to spiritulism and "spiritual realms" deep inside.......
Even your examples are great i cant argue them, perfect example of how one could be a "shaman" in this culture.....

i just like to be difficult its sick i know, im fucked in the head!! I like to add good points for arguments sake... Everyone was going to say the same thing i knew from the start, i figured i would say something different to let us all know we are alive, im just a bastard.. :P

Also i was aproaching it from a point of view that was disregarding spiritual "stuff", i was thinking from another perspective per say, just for arguments sake, I knew that everyone here takes the spiritual factor of shamanism to heart and was just being a blantent dick, trying to unsettle you.... but yes spiritualism really does play a huge part in all healing, i do beleive.

And my statment trying to highlight "anthoplogy" was also bullshit for anthopolgy takes into consideration religion and spiritualism to a great degree.....

Thanks for calling me out, shamanism is much like traditonal healing but it contains a spiritual element, and alot of placebo.

Edited by vual, 25 March 2012 - 04:07 PM.

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#15 Distracted

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 07:01 AM

Does a shaman have to be good, or help his peers by definition?
What about shamans that manipulate people via fear of the unknown?

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#16 ∂an

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 07:27 AM

Does a shaman have to be good, or help his peers by definition?
What about shamans that manipulate people via fear of the unknown?


By the anthropological definition of a shaman, yes they help their peers (via curing, predictions etc). Whether or not they are good is subjective, how do we define good and bad? Those who seek to manipulate others are generally labelled as sorcerers. I guess it comes down to whether the shaman/sorcerer intends to help or hinder by their actions.

Edited by kalika, 26 March 2012 - 07:27 AM.

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#17 Distracted

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 08:13 AM

This looks like it would be an interesting read

On the little-known and darker side of shamanism there exists an ancient form of sorcery called kanaimà;, a practice still observed among the Amerindians of the highlands of Guyana, Venezuela, and Brazil that involves the ritual stalking, mutilation, lingering death, and consumption of human victims. At once a memoir of cultural encounter and an ethnographic and historical investigation, this book offers a sustained, intimate look at kanaimà;, its practitioners, their victims, and the reasons they give for their actions.

Neil L. Whitehead tells of his own involvement with kanaimà;—including an attempt to kill him with poison—and relates the personal testimonies of kanaimà; shamans, their potential victims, and the victims’ families. He then goes on to discuss the historical emergence of kanaimà;, describing how, in the face of successive modern colonizing forces—missionaries, rubber gatherers, miners, and development agencies—the practice has become an assertion of native autonomy. His analysis explores the ways in which kanaimà; mediates both national and international impacts on native peoples in the region and considers the significance of kanaimà; for current accounts of shamanism and religious belief and for theories of war and violence.

Kanaimà; appears here as part of the wider lexicon of rebellious terror and exotic horror—alongside the cannibal, vampire, and zombie—that haunts the western imagination. Dark Shamans broadens discussions of violence and of the representation of primitive savagery by recasting both in the light of current debates on modernity and globalization.


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#18 mud

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:28 AM

To me, shamanism is clearing back the shit and talking to the world directly.
Communicating with and facilitating the wild powers, its a kind of paradigm
to allow 1:1 experience with reality. A frame that allows immediate, ecstatic communion
with any aspect of life- it is a rich and wide-eyed respect of the mystery, and a resignation
to the organic nature of life- a kind of responsibility met, as conduit for Gaia and all her
life forms.

The practice oughta be recognized as wide and varied as any pagan or majkal technology
which works with the abstract, impersonal forces of universe and nature- and can involve
guides, allies or intermediary tools toward achieving trance through ritual.

Shamanic product...
lol. I dont understand.

Bliss? Ecstasy? peace? Freedom from the fear of death.. these could all be products of the shamanic worldview.
Healing. Seeing things as they are..to know the is-ness.

rationale:
religions, cultures and consequently 'shackles' are all based in a relative structural hierarchy. No matter the apparent humility, connectedness and efficacy of the indigienous community-shaman-belief system- its still just a belief system. Restoring a kind of personal pride and empowered path of progress to each individual- should be part of the work in engineering a new culture and awareness of such that can really serve a new empowered revolution. In other words- we all gotta become our own priests, our own shaman- our own God (and master). Furthering the mystique and glamour of 'shaman' in this case, might only serve to reverberate mayas net, instead of deconstructing or avoiding the identification with matter. Henceforth: the movement, standardisation or legitimization could just happen through a simple expose` of the unknown so that this valuable life-possibility can be made more and more accessible- and as easy to implement as it is wise to adopt.

and this:

we are all shamans in a sense that the people who frequent these forums have a better undertsanding of life then the average joe we have power to set off a massive love bomb and flood the world with this way of looking at things



Edited by mud, 26 March 2012 - 01:57 PM.

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#19 7baz

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:50 PM

i hold my indian pipe loaded with spice to a young lady and while i am lighting it i am explaining to the young lady not just what she is about to experience but what we can learn from this experience and what it has to teach us.

and i am explaining why and how and the whole purpose and my thoughts and theories.
i feel i am directing her back to nature.. back to the light , to give a insight in the conscious mind.

does this not make me a shaman ?

Edited by 7baz, 28 March 2012 - 11:56 PM.


#20 paradox

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:28 PM

i hold my indian pipe loaded with spice to a young lady and while i am lighting it i am explaining to the young lady not just what she is about to experience but what we can learn from this experience and what it has to teach us.

and i am explaining why and how and the whole purpose and my thoughts and theories.
i feel i am directing her back to nature.. back to the light , to give a insight in the conscious mind.

does this not make me a shaman ?


or just a dude giving a girl a pipe & ranting your opinions about the universe at her..

probably the real trick in a situation like that is knowing whether loading someone with your opinions right before an epic journey is really appropriate to the unique subtleties of their constitution or whether perhaps a completely different approach is needed, or no approach at all so as not to colour someones perception in a way that may not suit them right before takeoff.

i would be more inclined to define you as a 'shaman' if the welfare of this girl in all aspects of her life was of utmost importance to you & you'd spent years, if not her whole life interacting & working with her for her spiritual benefit & in return she had absolute (& completely justified) trust in you to guide her in such deep & important metaphysical matters... & then you handed her the pipe. not just cause you gave her a strong hallucinogen & told her your opinions... but thats just me, maybe you are a shaman..
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#21 CβL

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 03:00 PM

I agree that it's a heavily loaded word, and has perhaps more bad connotations than good when used in a serious tone.
I think that the idea that a word's definition determines its usefulness more so than its connotation is mildly laughable simply because of how impractical it is to 'police' the interpretation of the definition. If 95% of the public thinks a shaman is an anarchist cult-leader, then basically that's what the word means. That's the power of the media, and the inability of people to separate a codified definition from a common (but sometimes incorrect) contextual meaning. For example, who knows what the definition of faggot is? Here it is:

noun
1.
a bundle of sticks, twigs, or branches bound together and used as fuel, a fascine, a torch, etc.
2.
a bundle; bunch.
3.
a bundle of pieces of iron or steel to be welded, hammered, or rolled together at high temperature.

- Would you seriously argue that the definition of the word is as valid or more valid than the connotation? I don't think so. For the same reason, retro-defining a word like "shaman" is not a smart idea, as we will be fighting a tide of sewage. You can fight a tide of sewage, you can turn it back if you want... But since we are all smart enough to know "we are not a word" - I think we should stop being so precious about this particular word and eventually migrate to new words, saving ourselves a ton of hassle.
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#22 qualia

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 03:27 PM

i prefer to think of a shaman as someone trained/gifted to treat the unique human condition.

what is the human condition?
"If the cow had the cognitive ability to form thought and speak, would it say, 'Where's the milk? I'm not getting any milk,'" - Judge James J. Morley

- Stay inside. Don't drink, or eat, anything.

#23 chnt

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 05:42 PM

chnt is the human condition

what is chnt?

Edited by chnt, 29 March 2012 - 05:42 PM.

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#24 7baz

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 06:27 PM

or just a dude giving a girl a pipe & ranting your opinions about the universe at her..

probably the real trick in a situation like that is knowing whether loading someone with your opinions right before an epic journey is really appropriate to the unique subtleties of their constitution or whether perhaps a completely different approach is needed, or no approach at all so as not to colour someones perception in a way that may not suit them right before takeoff.

i would be more inclined to define you as a 'shaman' if the welfare of this girl in all aspects of her life was of utmost importance to you & you'd spent years, if not her whole life interacting & working with her for her spiritual benefit & in return she had absolute (& completely justified) trust in you to guide her in such deep & important metaphysical matters... & then you handed her the pipe. not just cause you gave her a strong hallucinogen & told her your opinions... but thats just me, maybe you are a shaman..


he he i know what you mean.

what i mean is i am giving this person a insight on what they are about to experience , in all cases when someone has taken there first deep breath in i shut up and leave them alone , i think im just rest assuring them hello i am here if you need me etc etc , like a lil peace of mind for that person.

i tend to give that person the universal common knowledge of what happens in the same manner as we all experience it.. meaning the basic prinicples.. no i dont rave on about there preceptions and what they might or may not see , because no experience is alike nor is each and everyone of us is alike in terms of brain chemistry.

but by me doing this and going to that extent , just thought i would see me , you and in fact most of us as modern day shamans , i mean we all have understanding of plants and trees and how it can guide us right ? , i believe we are all shamans.

i mean isnt that what this whole forum is about ? sharing the knowledge of trees , plants and spiritual concepts of conciousness.

#25 paradox

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 08:55 PM

yeah i can see where you're coming from. from my perspective i just think saying & doing those things that you mention should be a prerequisite for anyone who's giving another person a strong psychedelic. isn't it just common decency to help prepare someone for a very profound experience & set up a positive space? like it's so obvious that it's a bit silly to call it shamanism... but i guess maybe thats unrealistic because the majority of people perhaps wouldn't do that but don't people not do those things just because they're ignorant? having common sense when it comes to drug use isn't shamanism is it? it's just not completely ignorant.

i guess these are more the things that people 'like us' are concerned with... so i can understand your comment about many people at this forum maybe being able to be defined like that but i think most of us here just have a little more respect than the average joe thats all. which again to me is just common sense, not anything special. it's not like in doing that you're doing something great, you're just being thoughtful in a situation where you should be... but then some of us take it very seriously indeed & take it way way deep & if thats the case & it works for someone to call themselves a shaman then fine, i just have a bit of an aversion to the word myself, but thats just a personal thing i suppose.





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