Modern Shamanism is perhaps the most diverse of all the forms of Pagan practice and is less clearly defined as a tradition than other Pagan paths. Shamanic practices are an underlying aspect of all expressions of Pagan religion and there are those who would describe themselves as Wiccan, Druidic or Women's Mystery Shamans. Bearing this in mind, there are, however, a growing number of men and women who see themselves on a specifically Shamanic path.
Those who see themselves as Shamans place great emphasis upon individual experience. Shamans may sometimes work together in groups, but the ethos of this way of working is more of a solitary path. Shamanic practice is characterized by seeking vision in solitude and is deeply rooted in the mysteries of Nature.
Shamanism is an ecstatic religion with an essential belief in the reality of the spirit world. The Shaman, through training or calling, is one who is able to enter that world and work with the unseen powers. The Shaman acts as an intermediary between the spirit world and the everyday lives of men and women. He or she may also guide others to experience the spirit world for themselves and so deepen their spiritual lives. Through contact with the spirits, the Shaman can work acts of healing, divination and magic - revealing by way of vision, poetry and myth the deeper reaches of the human spirit.
Joan Halifax, Shamanic Voices , E P Dutton, NY, 1979.
The Shamanic practice of today ranges from those trained in the paths of traditional societies such as the Native American tribes, to those reconstructing Shamanic practice from historical accounts and from their own experience. Shamanism in its pure form, as practised in tribal society as a part of tribal religion, is less accessible than other Pagan paths, but modern reconstructions are growing in popularity.
||The Pagan Federation, BM Box 7097, London WC1N 3XX, England||© 2000-2012 Pagan Federation. All rights reserved|