An Encyclopedia of Shamanism, vol. 1 by Christina Pratt

By Christina Pratt

Shamanism should be outlined because the perform of initiated shamans who're wonderful by means of their mastery of more than a few altered states of attention. Shamanism arises from the activities the shaman takes in non-ordinary fact and the result of these activities in usual fact. it isn't a faith, but it calls for religious self-discipline and private sacrifice from the mature shaman who seeks the top phases of mystical improvement

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Extra resources for An Encyclopedia of Shamanism, vol. 1

Sample text

We see that we do matter to the spirits. This interdependence lies at the core of the working relationship between shamans and spirits. The relationship between shaman and spirit is not idealized. The relationship is not established in a search for enlightenment or personal ascension. It is a practical relationship that must work here in the realm of the living. The shaman must have the ability to enter the type of relationship needed to get the job done and possess the personal power necessary to hold his or her own in that relationship.

The capacity to experience a range of trance states is a basic human potential. Solid, scholarly research shows that it is statistically normal for humans to access altered states of consciousness. ” Humans are physiologically designed to enter a wide variety of altered states. The capacity to enter altered states of consciousness makes us human, not shamans. Different cultures recognize different types of consciousness. Some cultures have a highly refined awareness of different states of consciousness, while the awareness of consciousness in other cultures is quite limited.

This misunderstanding arises in part because we don’t have the words to accurately describe the relationship and in part because we don’t have the experience to understand it easily. Nonetheless, understanding the true nature of the relationship between the shaman and the spirits is essential to understanding shamanism. Simply put, the relationship between the shaman and the spirits is a practical, working relationship. As with all effective working relationships, each party brings something unique to the relationship and derives something from it.

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