Monday, December 31, 2007

What is Shamanism?

What is Shamanism?

The word Shamanism came out of the Mongolian word for their spiritual priest and healer. The word became popular from the studies done by various Western anthropologist. It is my understanding that Mongolians prefer the word Tengerism instead of Shamanism because Shamanism means worshiping the Shaman. The Shaman is respected for his or her abilities to bring balance to the world which is given to them from their spirit helpers but the Shaman is not worshiped.

Because of anthropologist all sorts of spirituality got called Shamanism and they are from totally different cultures and are different from the Mongolian pathway.

This also happened to Native Americans as well with people thinking all Native Americans are exactly the same. People don’t seem to understand that the different Nations have different religions and different cultures. It would be like saying the Germans are exactly like the Americans in culture and that is not true.

There is also core shamanism which was developed by the well known anthropologist Michael Harner who says he took all of the aspects of shamanic pathways that were the same and therefore got to the core of the spirituality without the culture.

The Shaman

In Mongolia as with the Native Americans there are many types of healers. Bone setters, herbalist, etc which are also important. The Shaman was the one with an extra soul that was called since birth. Therefore not everyone is a Shaman.
The main function of the shaman is to restore and maintain balance in his community. Shamans conduct blessings, rituals of protection, hunting magic, and divination. They also cure sicknesses that have spiritual causes such as spiritual intrusions, spiritual pollution, soul loss, and curses. Shamans are also the caretakers of traditional culture. Because of their knowledge of ancient tradition, their counsel has been sought throughout the ages.

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