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Essentially, shamanism is a practice of a sacred trance meditation (which is called a journey) that allows the practitioner to access the spiritual realms… to travel between the worlds. The word “shaman” comes from a Siberian tribal language that means “seer", in other cultures it can mean “one who sees in the dark” or “people who know”.

Shamanism is the world’s oldest known spiritual practice. The practice of shamanism is a method, not a religion. It coexists with established religions in many cultures, on virtually every continent.

shell holding burning herbs

Photo credit: Kelley Barry

​​Most of the above information is paraphrased from the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, founded by Dr. Michael Harner, a famous anthropologist. Harner started practicing shamanism 40 years ago and he is credited with bringing shamanism to the West and helping to preserve and protect indigenous shamanic knowledge. Contemporary people can now access these ancient methods to benefit themselves, their communities and the world. 

Ultimately, shamanism is a way of living. It's a path of love and truth that requires courage, discipline and compassion. It's knowing that everything has a spirit and that everything is connected, in the seen and unseen. It is the path of surrender. It is not easy, but it is the most beautiful way to walk the Earth.

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