Shaman are spiritual beings with the ability to heal, work with energies and 'see' visions.
The essential characteristics of shaman
are mastery of energy and fire as a medium of transformation. A shaman may exhibit a particular magical specialty - such as control
over fire, wind, magical flight, or shape shifting.
The distinguishing characteristic of shamanism is its focus on an ecstatic trance state in which the soul of the shaman is believed to leave the body and ascend to the sky (heavens) or descend into the earth (underworld). The shaman makes use of spirit helpers, with whom he or she communicates, all the while retaining control over his or her own consciousness.
The ability to consciously move beyond the physical body is the particular specialty of the traditional shaman. These journeys of Soul may take the shaman into the nether realms, higher levels of existence or to parallel physical worlds or other regions of this world.
Shamanic Flight, is in most instances, an experience not of
an inner imaginary landscape, but is
reported to be the shamans
flight beyond the limitations of the physical body. While most
shamans in traditional societies are men, either women or men may
and have become shamans.
These methods for exploring the inner landscape are being investigated by a wide range of people. Some are academics, some come from traditional societies and others are modern practitioners of non-traditional shamanism or neo-shamanism.
Along with these techniques, the NDE or near-death-experience have played a significant role in shamanic practice and initiation for millennia.
The term 'Shaman' comes to the English language from the Tungus language via Russian.
Among the Tungus of Siberia it is both a noun and a verb. While the Tungus have no word for shamanism, it has come into usage by anthropologists, historians of religion and others in contemporary society to designate the experience and the practices of the shaman.
Its usage has grown to include similar experiences
and practices in cultures outside of the original Siberian cultures
from which the term shaman originated.
Among the traditional examples are being struck by lightening, a fall from a height, a serious life-threatening illness or lucid dream experiences in which the candidate dies or has some organs consumed and replaced and is thus reborn.
Survival of these initial inner and outer brushes with death provides the shaman with personal experiences which strengthen his or her ability to work effectively with others.
Having experienced something, a shaman is more likely
to understand what must be done to correct a condition or situation.
While shamanism may be readily identified among many hunting and gathering peoples and in some traditional herding societies, identifying specific groups of individuals who might be called shamans is a difficult task in more stratified agricultural and manufacturing based societies.
A society may be said to be Post-
Shamanic when there are the presence of shamanic motifs in its
traditional folklore or spiritual practices indicate a clear pattern
of traditions of ascent into the heavens, descent into the nether-
worlds, movement between this world and a parallel Otherworld, are
present in its history.
practices and functionaries are present or have replaced the
traditional shamans found in historical or traditional shamanism the
use of Post-shamanic is appropriate.
With this knowledge, the shaman is able to serve as a bridge between the mundane and the higher and lower states.
Few indeed have the stamina to adventure into these realms and endure the outer hardships and personal crises that have been reported by or observed of many shamans.
Among the cultures that practice Shamanism are
Native Americans in North America, Indians of South America, Africa,
and South and East Asia.
Many people connected to the 'Rave'
movements will enhance the sounds of the music electronically. These
groups often use techno-shamanistic sounds in their music.
They see this as a form of communication. I believe that many of these people are striving to reach the tones of creational harmonics for initiation and triggering of their soul memories.