By Christina Pratt
Shamanism should be outlined because the perform of initiated shamans who're wonderful by way of their mastery of a variety of altered states of awareness. Shamanism arises from the activities the shaman takes in non-ordinary truth and the result of these activities in usual truth. it's not a faith, but it calls for religious self-discipline and private sacrifice from the mature shaman who seeks the top levels of mystical improvement
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Extra resources for An Encyclopedia of Shamanism, vol. 1
Shamans are masters of the ancient arts, the techniques of ecstasy used to induce and utilize the shamanic altered states. The essential characteristics of shamanic altered states are voluntary control of entrance and duration of altered state, the ability to communicate with others during the altered state, and memory of the altered state experience after returning to ordinary consciousness. Shamanic altered states are also characterized by a type of selfawareness that allows for single-pointed task focus, direct relationship with the unseen world, and working relationships with specific helping spirits.
It is important for people to experience regular and literal contact with the Divine. For many in the audience, this contact is in itself the healing. The symbols, spirits, and stories brought forth from the shaman’s trance are unique and authentic to each healing ritual. While a practicing shaman must adapt his or her interpretations of the invisible world to the expectations of the community, those expectations do not define what the shaman finds in the invisible world. It is not enough that a shaman has visions and enters into controlled trance states.
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 shaman must have great courage of heart to sustain action within the relationship and the clarity of vision to understand when the task is accomplished. If the shaman has all of this then his or her relationship with spirit enables the shaman to do for humans what can’t be done without the intervention of spirit. It is through this practical working relationship with spirit that shamans perform everyday miracles.