The word 'shaman' comes from the Tungus language in Siberia. The term refers to the spiritual leaders of certain societies, usually small-scale societies without centralized political organizations and occupational specialization. The shaman's primary function is to serve as an intermediary between his or her community and the spirit world. He has direct contact with the spirit world through trance states, uses the trance state for healing, bewitching and divining for his people, and uses his connections to spirits to achieve good or evil goals. Because of this perceived power, he is often the most feared person in the society. The techniques used in shamanic religions have been adopted by individuals and groups of non-shamanic societies seeking access to the spirit world. Modern versions of shamanism emphasize healing of self and others, but often lack the community foundation of traditional shamanic religions. In these contexts, shamanism is no longer a religion but rather a spiritual practice borrowed from traditional beliefs.
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- Sacred Hoop Magazine List of contents of this UK magazine on Shamanism, Animism, earth wisdom, native spirituality and ecology, with some material online. Also shopping.
- Path Of The Feather Teaches techniques of shamanic journeys and the use of medicine wheels and spirit animals.
- Dance of the Deer Foundation The mission is to preserve the Huichol culture and its shamanic practices and traditions. Features Huichol history, information about the foundation and details on seminars and retreats.
- Den of ZaWolfSpirit Dedicated to shamanism in all its aspects, with a penchant towards Wolf.
- Shamanic Ecstasy A general overview of shamanism plus newsgroup FAQs. Includes information on ayahuasca and other shamanic hallucinogens.
- The Raven Lodge Shamanic resource center for shamanic and personal development with details of a home study course, bookstore, craft-work section, news-letter, down-loads section and articles.
- Shamanism FAQs A collection of FAQs regarding shamanism.
- The Foundation for Shamanic Studies A non profit educational organization founded by Michael Harner. Includes the Way of the Shaman Basic Workshop, Advanced Shamanic Training, Books, Videos and Tapes.
- Shaman Links Provides educational information and links to information on shamanism. Also links to shamanic practitioners, teachers, and teaching organizations listed by city and state or country.