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What is Shamanism
Shamanism is a methodology based on the the concept of
Animism and that the mediation between the visible and the spirit worlds is effected by shamans
Shamanism is an anthropological term referring to a range of beliefs and practices requiring communication with the spiritual world. A practitioner of shamanism is known as a shaman
Shamanism is not a religion, but a methodology. It is a system of beliefs or practices that emphasise communication between the physical and spiritual worlds and predates the other organised religions of mankind. Shamanism is also recognised as the oldest healing tradition in the world.

Shamanism

Shaman

Shamanic Books

History of Shamanism

Definitions of some Shamanism Concepts

 

 

Shamanism
Shamanism is a tribal system that exists today in cultures without a tradition of literature, shamanism emphasises that links exist between the human world and the world of spirits. Practiced intermediaries known as shamans, act as a type of conduit to pass communication between both these worlds.
Shamanism still exists throughout the world today, despite the persistent attempts of missionaries, religious zealots and fanatics to eradicate it.

Shamanism has enjoyed a resurgence of interest in the last twenty years. Many books on the subject have contributed to the heightened interest. Many indigenous shamans have come forward in recent years to help train others and share their knowledge. They believe their prophecies have urged them forward and that the time is now. One of the basic principles of shamanism is the belief that everything has a spirit and is alive. The tree has a spirit, the rock has a spirit, If everything has a spirit and is alive, we humans then find ourselves in a position of equality rather than dominance.
Most importantly, shamanism can make a practical difference in this world we live in, it can bring about a change.

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Shaman
Over many thousands of years, our ancestors all over the world discovered how to maximize human abilities of the mind and spirit for healing and problem-solving. The remarkable system of methods they developed is today known as "shamanism," a term that comes from a Siberian tribal word for its practitioners: "shaman" (pronounced SHAH-mahn). Shamans are a type of medicine man or woman especially distinguished by the use of journeys to hidden worlds usually known through myth, dream, and near-death experiences. Most commonly shamans do this by entering an altered state of consciousness often using monotonous percussion sound.
What we know today about shamanism comes from the last living bearers of this ancient human knowledge, the shamans of dying tribal cultures scattered in remote parts of the world. Few of them are left today, due to the destruction of their peoples and cultures, and to deliberate attempts to eradicate the shamans and their knowledge, even though shamanism is not a religion, but a methodology.
A shaman is one who goes into an altered state of consciousness at will. During this altered state, the shaman makes a conscious choice to journey to another reality, a reality which is outside of time and space. This other reality is composed of three layers: the lower world, the middle world and the upper world and is inhabited by helping spirits. The shaman is able to establish relationships with these spirits and to bring back information and healing for the community or the individual.
Now, at the last moment, open-minded Westerners are beginning to discover for themselves that the shamanic methods can yield astonishing results in problem-solving and healing, both for themselves and for others. As a result of their use of these ancient methods, people are acquiring a new awareness of their spiritual unity with all beings, with the Planet, and with the Universe. They are also discovering that there is a dimension of reality beyond that ordinarily perceived.

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Shamanic Books

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History of Shamanism.

The practice of shamanism is derived from ancient teachings and is practised worldwide. Although ancient, (it is estimated that shamanism may have originated over 10,000 years ago) its practice also exist in the modern world, it survives in areas such as Tibet, North & South America and within various African tribes. Shamanism is used to restore balance and healing to both people and the planet we live in. The practice of shamanism involves shamanic practitioners making journeys or soul-flights to other realities in order to bring back advice, help or soul-parts for the individual/community.
Shamanism has existed since the beginning of time on every continent of the planet.
It is the oldest way of healing the individual, dating back as far as to the Stone Age. A shaman/shamanka (feminine) is an individual that can alter his/her state of consciousness and travel at will between this world and otherworlds to find healing, guidance and knowledge for themselves, the community and the environment.
Aspects of shamanism were encountered in later, organised religions, generally in their mystic and symbolic practices. Greek paganism was influenced by shamanism, Some of these shamanic practices of the Greek religion were later adopted into the Roman religion.

There is a strong shamanistic influence in the Bön religion of central Asia, and in Tibetan Buddhism. Buddhism became popular with shamanic peoples such as the Tibetans, Mongols and Manchu beginning in the eighth century. Certain forms of shamanistic ritual became combined with Tibetan Buddhism and became institutionalised as the state religion under the Chinese Yuan dynasty and Qing dynasty. One common element of shamanism and Buddhism is the attainment of spiritual realisation, often mediated by entheogenic (psychedelic) substances.
In Europe, starting around 400 AD, the Christian church brought about the collapse of the Greek and Roman religions. Many temples were destroyed and important shamanic ceremonies were outlawed. Starting with the Middle Ages and continuing into the Renaissance, much of remaining areas of European shamanism were wiped out by campaigns against witches often orchestrated by the Catholic Inquisition.
This repression of shamanism continued as the Christian influence spread with Spanish colonisation. In the Caribbean, and Central and South America, Catholic priests followed in the footsteps of the Conquistadors and were instrumental in the destruction of the local traditions, denouncing practitioners as "devil worshippers" and having them executed.
Later in North America, the English Puritans conducted periodic campaigns against individuals they perceived as witches, and more recently, attacks on shamanic practitioners have been carried out at the hands of Christian missionaries to third world countries.

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Definitions of some Shamanism Concepts.


1) The 3 Worlds or Layers of Shamanism

  • Upperworld
    The Upper World is the spiritual realm which contains the realm of the stars. It is the world where the blueprints of life may be seen. Teachings about healing and identity are derived with the help of guides and the lessons of mutual responsibility are found.
  • Middleworld
    The Middle World is that world in which we live and breathe. This world is shadowed by the otherworld, which constantly overlaps, so that we may move from one dimension to another
  • Underworld
    The Under World is the realm of ancestors and spirits - the root of our deepest thoughts and emotions, the depths of our psyche. It is the place where the light within the earth may be accessed to bring healing and growth

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2) Animism
Animism (from Latin anima "soul, life") is a philosophical, religious or spiritual idea that souls or spirits exist not only in humans but also in animals, plants, rocks, natural phenomena such as thunder, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, or other entities of the natural environment. Animism may further attribute souls to abstract concepts such as words, true names or metaphors in mythology. Animism is found widely in the religions of many indigenous peoples, and also in Shinto, and some forms of Hinduism, Sikhism, Pantheism and Neopaganism.

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