Shamanism is a spiritual practice found in cultures around the world from ancient times up to the present day. First and foremost, shamans’ practices are practical and adaptable.
Many formalized religions, from Buddhism, Hinduism, to Christianity, came from ancient shamanic roots and still exhibit the shamanic threads of deep connection to the divine in all things. However, shamanism itself is not a formalized system of beliefs or an ideology. Rather, it is a group of activities and experiences shared by shamans in cultures around the world. These practices are adaptable and coexist with different cultures, systems of government, and organized religious practices.
Due to the fact that it is not an organized religion but rather a spiritual practice, shamanism traverses all faiths and creeds, reaching deep levels of ancestral memory. As a primal belief system, which precedes established religion, it has its own symbolism and cosmology, inhabited by beings, gods, and totems, which display similar characteristics although they appear in various forms, depending upon their places of origin.
Shamanism itself isn’t tied to any single culture, but experts say the term “shaman” originated from the Tungus tribe in Siberia. The noun is formed from the verb ša, which means “to know,” so the term “shaman” literally translates to “one who knows.”
Shamans are highly spiritual men and women who are believed to be visionaries and spiritual intermediaries. They spend their lives in pursuit of connecting with the nature of the universe. Usually, this pursuit of connection comes from a desire to better perceive truth and ultimate reality. This often takes the form of the shaman trying to understand his or her culture’s religion, deity, or nature itself.
A shaman is one who helps people return to their most authentic relationship with their life in all its fundamental elements.
This means returning to the authenticity buried underneath societal conditioning, familial programming, religious ideologies and any other forms of conditional love or constraints.
A shaman has the ability to assist people in improving the relationship they have with themselves. This then further impacts relationships with family, with friends, your body, ancestors, your connection, and experience to nature and of course, with your innate spirit.
Through this technique, shamanism exists to remind humanity of how powerful we are and what we are capable of doing. Shamans help others by demonstrating that capability in both our own transmission of energy and our shared understandings of emotional intelligence. Because energy and the body are interdependent, this also allows us to assist optimization of physical abilities.
Shaman is the name given to someone who is believed to be able to connect with the spirit world and channels their transcendental energies into divination or healing. In practicing shamanism, it is believed that a person can enter altered states of consciousness.
The shaman is seen as the intermediary between the spirits and the human world, and they are believed to be able to communicate with spirits of the deceased. In some shamanic practices, the shaman may conduct rituals such as drumming, singing, dancing or herbal work in order to reach a state of spiritual or religious ecstasy; and in doing so, enter into communion with spirits of the deceased.
Typically, the shaman will endeavor to heal ailments or illnesses by working on the soul of the individual. They may seek to alleviate trauma to the spirit or soul, which is thought to have an impact on the individual’s physical health, or they may call on their spirit guides to perform healing acts.
Because of the shaman’s role in treating emotional and physical ailments as well as communicating with the deceased, some have suggested that the shaman’s role is partly to help those in their community manage their grief and bereavement.
Do you choose to become a shaman yourself, or are you chosen by others?
That’s a very interesting question, and one that could equally be phrased as “are shamans born or made?”
Clergymen or women will often tell you that they did not choose their profession – rather it was God who chose them.
The same applies to becoming a Shaman, only here the term used is God, Spirit, The Universal Consciousness, the Ancestors and the Divine.
According to ethnologists the selection of a shaman occurs in three ways:
Of course, just getting a certain training does not make one a shaman. Shamanism is an innate and inevitable trait. It states that shamans are chosen by spirits and that the shaman’s choice does not depend on personal will. This choice is sometimes made according to some symptoms defined in the person. Thus, it is believed that the person who will become a shaman shows his extraordinary powers in advance and allows the public to accept that person as a shaman.
The term “shamanic calling” is used to describe those (it can include people of all ages and professions) who have been chosen by the spirits. It includes persistent suffering, unusual behaviors, and strange visions and dreams of the afflicted.
The calling may also include animal attack, lightning strike, or near-death experience, health issues and so on.
In most cases, all the above symptoms dissipate after the person accepts the shamanic calling. Once an individual becomes a shaman, she or he must make a lifelong commitment to helping others.
Shamans are typically “born” into their abilities and will undergo a series of “initiations” before they become a practicing shaman. Spirits will tend to overtake their body and create an illness, causing extreme, unexplainable symptoms like stabbing pains and losing the ability to walk.
Keep in mind that the path to becoming a shaman is in no way an amusing ride. It’s often marked by an illness or “dark night of the soul” and many shamans in-training will contemplate whether it is even worth it to go through this tumultuous process. However, if you know, deep down, that you are meant to be a shaman, then it is so. Those destined to be shamans will willingly go through what they must because they know it is what they are meant to do.
Being a shaman is like being a doctor, always on call, ready to help and serve the community through the wisdom they discover in the spirit realms. It is a full-time job, but the rewards are great. Many shamans will feel a deep sense of purpose to the Collective Consciousness and nobility from the services they provide to humanity.
Shamanism speaks to the evolution of human consciousness. Throughout history there have been overwhelming gatherings and crowd’s hostile to shamanic, Earth-based, or goddess-honoring practices. It was crucial that the priests, priestesses, shamans, and other spiritual elders took those teachings into hiding to preserve them for a time when humanity would be ready for them again.
No matter how or why these traditions and practices have been hidden and excommunicated, I believe it is time for the ancient teachings, mystery schools and sacred texts to be made available – to everyone.
What was once esoteric and reserved for a select few to safeguard is now desperately needed and fervently sought. Humanity is raising in consciousness. Shamanism is not just for shamans anymore.
Book your appointment now online or visit me at Sacred Space here in Athens and experience your own Shamanic Healing.
Give your body, spirit, soul and mind the opportunity to finally embrace all its finest qualities… the ones blessed with from Spirit…
Always here, always yours,
KC The Greek Shaman
"May we be Light, may we be Love, may we be Aligned"KC The Greek Shaman