Ten Things You Need To Know About Shamanism
Shamanism is a powerful spiritual practice which is perhaps as old as civilisation itself. Its beliefs and traditions are deep-rooted in ancient cultures and are followed even today, despite the emergence of modern philosophies and cultures. Shamanism was born as the answer to the religious, spiritual and mental problems of people and gained popularity and acceptance due to its holistic and powerful nature. Here are ten facts you need to know about this prehistoric philosophy which has been a huge help too mankind down the ages.
The word ‘shaman’ was used initially by the Siberian Evenks, a North Asian ethnic group, to mean ‘he/she who knows’.
He acts as a medium between the spirit world and human world and channels the energies of the spiritual realm to heal and guide people in the mortal realm.
The rituals of shamanism are steeped in the proper use of spiritual energies and are vigorous, involving song, dance, revelations and epiphanies.
Shamanistic healing works in some ways like the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda, by targeting the root cause of the problem and using energies and natural remedies to heal the person.
In many of the ancient developed civilisations such as Peru, the emperors had to be trained as shamans before they could execute their royal power and duties.
The Catholic Inquisition and the Nazi regime tried hard to overthrow this ancient practice and replace it with their philosophies and beliefs, but shamanism survived the Inquisition and the Holocaust and exists even today.
A shaman is the spiritual leader in Shamanism who serves the society in multiple ways as a healer, priest, counsellor, teacher and even a performing artist.
The shamans enter into altered states of consciousness to connect to the spirit world and are said to communicate with the dead to collect information about things which are beyond the physical and tangible world of knowledge and understanding.
Shamans claimed to receive their knowledge of Nature and its holistic use in medicine and daily life from the spirits and were ardent worshippers of Nature gods which included animals, birds and the forces of Nature.
Shamanism can be practised by followers of any religion and philosophy, since it is mainly focused on spiritual healing and holistic development and does not involve conversion to its faith and beliefs. One only needs to understand its underlying philosophy and apply it for positive effect.