Shamanism is the oldest documented spiritual belief system, dating back 40,000 years.
It’s practiced in every indigenous culture across the planet. It is an open-source practice rooted in the presence, gratitude, and the inter-connectivity of all things.
The term “shamanism” evolved from the Evenk or Tungus language of North Asia. It was introduced into the west after Russia conquered the Khanate of Kazan in 1552. Upon learning about other religions with similar features, Western scholars applied the term to indigenous religions in Asia, Australia, and the Americas.
A “shaman” refers to a person who makes journeys to other realities or “worlds” in an altered state of consciousness. The journeys are intended to heal, get information, or do other things. In fact, if shamans do not get results, they eventually are not used by their people.
Technically, Shamanism is not actually a religion. It can coexist with religions. For example in Siberia, Shamanism is conducted within Buddhism and Lamaism, and in Japan within Buddhism. Shamans are normally found in cultures which believe that there are spirits. Shamans interact with spirits to obtain results like healing.
Shamans do not exclude other methods of healing. The shaman’s purpose is to make a person well. If this can coordinate with modern medicine or technology, most shamans would have no issue.
As the modern world encroaches, tribal youth choose modern conveniences over learning traditional culture from their elders. Within a single generation, much of this wisdom could be lost forever…