Modern Shamanism is perhaps the most diverse of all types of Paganism, and much less precise than the other directions. Shamanic uses are the basis of all Pagan movements, and there are people who would describe themselves as Wicca- Druid or shaman. More and more people start to follow a specifically shamanic path.

Those who see themselves as Shaman put a strong emphasis on individual experience. Shamans sometimes work in groups, but it is actually a solitary path. Shamanism is characterized by seeking vision in solitude, and it is closely connected with Nature’s mysteries.

Shamanism is an ecstatic religion, with a firm belief in the reality of the spirit world. The Shaman can, by training or by vocation, enter this world and work with the unseen forces. He or she may also guide others on this trip, and is an intermediary between the spirit world and our daily reality. Through contact with the spirits, the Shaman can heal, predict and practice magic, and with visions, poetry and myths he can reach the human spirit.

Shamans are healers, seers, visionaries … They are connected to the world of gods and spirits. Their body is left behind when they travel to the unseen worlds. They are poets and singers. They dance and create art. They know the cosmic and earthly geography; they know the plants, animals, and elements. The psychologists and storytellers, but above they are the “technicians of the sacred” and the masters of ecstasy.
(Joan Halifax, Shamanic Voices EP Dutton, NY, 1979)

The Shamanic ritual forms come from both the traditional communities like the Native Americans and from reconstructions from history, archeology, and their own experience. Original Shamanism as practiced in ancient communities is difficult for Western people, but modern reconstructions are increasingly popular.

© PFI Netherlands, translation by Cailin.