Shamanism : an ancestral spiritual practice

Origines and definiton

Shamanism is one of the most ancient spiritual practices humanity has ever known, going back thousands of years. Present in many cultures around the world, this tradition is characterized by a deep connection with nature, spirits, and the invisible world. Although its manifestations change according to the cultures, shamanism is based on common and universal principles.

The word “shaman” comes from the tongouse “šaman “, which means “the one who knows“. A shaman is generally perceived as an intermediary between the human world and the spirits world. He uses various techniques to enter into a trance state to communicate with the spirits and bring healing, guidance, and protection to the community.

Shamanism throughout the world

Shamanism is not uniform; it declines in various forms acording to the regions and cultures. Here is an overview of some shamanic traditions throughout the world.

  • Sout America: In Amazonie, shamanism is a key element in the Indigenous culture, using plants like ayahuasca to access spiritual worlds and deeply heal.
  • The Celts : Regarding ancient European celts, druids, mostly assimilated to shamans, used to connect to nature and ancestral spirits, being spiritual councelors and healers.
  • Ireland and England: Shamanism, as a part of druidic traditions, used to be practiced in sacred sites like Stonehenge and Newrange, linking terrestrial energies to stellar.
  • Mongolia: shamanism is still very active, with shamans communicating with nature spirits and ancestors, using songs, drums, and dances to heal and protect.

What is a shaman ?

A shaman, is a spiritual and mystical figure, present in various cultures all around the globe. He plays a central part as an intermediary between the human world and the spirit world. Here’s an explanation of what is a shaman and what are his/her duties :

A shaman has various essential duties within his/her community: he/she heals physical, mental, and spiritual pains through rituals and medicinal plants; he/she is the intermediary between the human world and the spirit world to get pieces of advice and benedictions; predicts the future and interprets dreams to guide the community; protects against evil spirits and bad influences; and plays a crucial part in ceremonies, ensuring prosperity and protection of individuals during important stages of their lives.

Shamanism renewal

Nowadays, shamanism is becoming more and more popular, particularly in Occident. More and more people are looking to reconect with nature and explore alternative spiritual ways. Shamanic retreats, shamanic workshop trips, and ayahuasca ceremonies are growing more and more popular.

Howerver, this renewal comes with challenges, including the cultural appropriation issue. It is essential to respect and preserve the authenticity of shamanic traditions while acknowledging traditional shamans’ crucial role in their communities.

Shamanism offers a view of the world where everything is connected, where men, nature and spirits are living in harmony. In an era where many people want to reconnect with close to nature lifestyles, shamanism still amazes and inspires many.


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