Shamanism is not a Belief System

Shamanism is the about being connected with nature, understanding that we are earth-based, the real and living knowledge which is then used for balance, health, relationship as well as success in all that is that we do.

By understanding the word “shamanism” we would know that it is one of the oldest tribal healing traditions of indigenous people, which can be found in many different cultures worldwide. As well as many other methods, the one thing they have in common is communication and interaction with the spirit world. It is the oldest way in which human race has sought connection with Creation.

Shamanism is the path to knowledge which is gained through experience of many aspects of life, such as rituals, ceremonies, prayer and meditation, trials and tests. It is the practise, or discipline of interconnectedness and unlimited potential; which can create a total transformation of self.

Healing is the most important function in shamanism along with prophecy as well as addressing the condition of the Soul for healing to occur in the first place.

There are places all over the world where the spirit world merges with the physical world. These two worlds are in close contact with each other. Some of them are personal, some are secretive and some are very well known ‘power spots’.

Stonehenge – England
Skellig Islands – off the Irish Coast (County Kerry)
Serpent Mount – Southern Ohio
The Black Hills – South Dakota

Whether ancient or modern, human spirit, ordinary people, we are attracted to locations where we notice energy, greater power and spiritual force. And as we are all aware, we feel the longing, wanting to be back to experience them again and again, the physical sensations of transformative, energising presence of magical, invisible powers. These realms where eternity meets with the temporal world. The place where we know there to be more to the universe than we perceive with our physical senses.

The late Mircea Eliade defined Shamanism itself, as a technique of ecstasy.

48 thoughts on “Shamanism is not a Belief System”

  1. When I was 7 years old, I suddenly woke up and walked to the window around 3am. I had seen a spirit in the water calling me to go, it made me Believe that it was my mother. My brother woke up and told me nothing was there, and made me go back to sleep. I still remember til this day …when I woke up.

  2. She may be your soul mother. Our souls are created by other souls. I have met my soul mother and she is wonderful. I’m not sure if this is typical, but my soul mother helped me select my mother on earth. It is not uncommon for us to communicate better with other planes of existence near water. I hope this helps.

  3. I was wondering, I meditate once in a while but never went into trance. Do I keep doing it or is it not possible to reach the astral realm in meditation? I astral project when I sleep atleast 2 times every 3 weeks though.

    1. You can definitely go into third attention (trance) through meditation.

      However, you must become an apprentice to Shamanism before attempting to practice Shamanic Arts.

      Similarly, for example, many purport Wisdom is the result of experiencing.

      On the contrary, Wisdom is the virtue of discerning knowledge gained, having sought and understood the true nature of the experience, thus, applying the intended purpose to life.

      1. Dear White Cloud,
        Are you Native American by birth and if so,what Tribe? I have recently experienced incredible visions while meditating with “the great spirit tree” on my family’s property. It’s been there for approx.120-150 years. My visions have been very keen on the great horned who actually visited me while meditating and I was called daughter by the great spirit once he fashioned a crown upon my head, I was imparted with the knowledge that in the great spirit’s word,”will offer protection”. I was told I am a warrior,but I understand that women aren’t recognized as Chiefs or warriors so much in Blackfoot Nations. I am trying to understand what I’ve been given and do need a real Shaman.

        1. I have not seen a reply to you here, but I am wondering what knowledge has been imparted to you by the Great Spirit since you wrote here in February. The Spirit has also called me daughter, crowned me, and said His/Her Word would protect me. I am not Native American, however, this cannot be coincidence, and I am wondering if other women are experiencing the same thing, perhaps even around the whole earth.

          1. I am following this. I have not had this particular experience but do feel a calling. Maybe I am resistant subconsciously. I have not been meditating much lately.

          2. I am curious also about this experience… four years ago I similarly was crowned (unexpectedly) during journey as a warrior and steward. It was a pivotal moment, beginning profound changes in my life and spiritual direction. I am not Native American but have Cherokee ancestors. Maybe crowning is a universal symbol of honor, so spirit uses it as initiation into deeper work? I love knowing ya’ll are out there and we are connecting with this source together. Blessings

          3. I have seen the Great Spirit recently many times, he blessed my cat as well! I have witch ancestry, and I was called by my ancestor to begin to do journeying and healing in the first place. I first had lot of journeys to underworld to meet my animal spirits, later I did ancestral healing together with my witch ancestor, who was a war hero and chief in his times. This is from the North, so not native American either. I have some Sami/Sapmi-ancestry too, and my work took a huge leap forward after I purchased a Sami-witch-drum and some rattles. After only few months I saw the Great Spirit – before I had felt horns in my head many times, and had merged with a reindeer among some other ( wild ) animals. I am white and also a woman, and I have heard of many lately, who have met the Great Spirit and didn’t know who he/she was. I then chanced upon Cercennus, that is closest in the descriptions about the looks and especially the forest nature. I guess this is happening, because it is absolutely necessary, and in Northern and Celtic cultures women were warriors too. Not to mention all the female shamans/witches/healers! Balancing the energies and getting in tune with the nature and acknowledgeng that there is a spirit in everything, is more important than ever, it’s our last minute I would say … And so at least Cercennus would very well crown women to be warriors too, not just men. I hope we will have many more healers to come – I can’t think of anything more important concerning the Earth and the future of it with or without humans… Blessings to you and I hope that the crowning from The Great Spirit is bringing lot of healing gifts forward. 🙂

    2. Not all people will trance but if you find out where about there is a trance medium you may get the correct guidance and I have a feeling that for trance you would need to sit in a private circle including a mediums to guide and protect you along your progression ,there are tool to use for your protection and grounding .ect .

    3. Keep doing it! There is no real wrong way to meditate, and as you continue to practice, many different forms of meditation may be revealed to you; for instance walking meditation, sweating, lying meditation, yoga, sexual meditation. The options are as endless as we are. I myself am a practitioner still in the beginning stages, but want to encourage you so as to encourage myself to stay the path. Thank you.

    4. I’ve been meditating pretty much every day since 1976 and It is highly recommended to meditate at least 20 minutes every day and don’t get frustrated when you miss once in a while. Doing it daily allows you to gain dominance of the subconscious mind. The more control you have allows you to go into deep levels of silence. See yourself floating down a stream on an inner tube. Objects floating down the stream will come at you and all you have to do is gently push them aside. That’s exactly how you handle random thoughts, just gently push them aside. It does take practice and effort and repetition is the key.
      I recommend the 72 Birth Angels by Terah Cox. Every time you speak one of the names you cast a burst of intense light into your inner cosmos. Over time you’ll develop a deep sense of well being that you’ll gladly go back to over and over, they never get old they just get better. I hope this helps.

  4. I need some help. Shortly after awakening, I fell into an awful clinical depression to which antidepressants saved my life. I am now tapering off the antidepressants but am afraid of the calcification of the pineal gland that they have caused. How permanent will these be? I don’t know how to move forward.. especially with the SSRI discontinuation symptoms that are driving me insane and into isolation.


    1. There’s no shame in taking meds if they help. Stay on them or talk to your psychiatrist about fine tuning the right dosage. You are not alone. Sometimes reality becomes unmanageable.

  5. I haven’t taken much heed to any of this although I’ve had many shaman-type (for lack of a better explanation) experiences throughout my life that have been trying to teach me. I’ve, for the most part, dismissed them. But very recently I took a trip to the southwest. We got to our resort and started unpacking. Our room was on the ground floor and as I stood there over my suitcase, I started to well up with tears and had to leave the room and step outside. I walked out and looked up over the desert and into the cliffs and began to sob. Uncontrollably. Tears started streaming for ‘no reason’. What I saw was a very old, beautiful man staring down at me and he wore feathers–beautiful black, long feathers and he had a hood over his head made of feathers with a long curled ‘beak’ that seemed to come and go. I knew him. I know him. I’m not sure of the meaning, but I sobbed for quite a while and my heart knew that it was ok. That these were tears of gratitude and love but also of sadness–of letting go. Perhaps this is the end of it, but that’s not so as it feels like I’m being told to seek. I would love to talk to someone about this but I don’t know who. It’s such a different part of me and not part of my everyday experience.

    1. Hey Jimmy, you are not alone…similar awaken scenario uncontrollably tears started streaming for ‘no reason’. My thought revise toward ancestors Tainos Indian’s unjust wrongful death…I felt pain and anguish I knew not, but sobbed for days within a meaningful conviction despite that long evils trials of darkness it was Okay and ordained for theirs Spirits never died, that it was alright. It Also were tears of gratitude and love but left sadness–of letting go.

  6. Dear Pekahontas
    Spiritual awakening is often followed by some darker times as the stronger inner light shines into the areas that were previously unconscious. I have found Rudolf Steiner’s basic exercises for the heart chakra very valuable to calm thinking and renew balance spiritual growth. Get his book Knowledge of Higher Worlds. Don’t worry about your past. Spirit can make all good again. Ian

  7. For those who may be interested in learning to journey, a workshop is a good way to learn. There are specific things that should be taught to a journeyer and it is best to be taught by a reputable teaching organization who knows to cover the basics. It also seems to be easier to learn the technique with a group of people. The effectiveness of shamanic work, and apparently journeying seems to be magnified when performed in community.

  8. Dear Shaman,
    I like your page very much and time to time take a look there for explanation of some symbols. But now I cannot find nothing in web about capercailie symbolism. Can you help me with this issue.
    Thank you in advance
    Best regards

  9. I’m looking for a Shaman in North West Montana…Any one whom might point me in the rite direction, I would be forever thankful …
    I do know that Shamans can not just come out and say this is who and what they are its against their rules. So it is difficult to find some one who truly Is…

    tThank you to all ,
    Love & Light,

    1. Spiritfeather, My suggestion is to seek advice from the elders of any of the several Native America tribes in your area – here is a link that may help you locate some groups – – also please avoid the term “Shaman” – many Native American Medicine people are offended by the term actually, Our practice is not one that can be learned in a weekend seminar, workshop, or on-line course, it is a life-long apprenticeship and practice – Often those who practice Earth Medicine will be reffered to as an Elder – However, if you approach the Elders in sincerity and respect, most likely, you will find the assistance you seek –

  10. I have just returned home from a shamanic soul retrieval. I was told that out of the animals seen a fox cub wanted to be with me. Also, the healer when feeling my chakras did not feel my heart chakra. The main thing I would like to know is that she saw black, gluey and thorny cords/vine attached around my neck, wrists and ankles. This she removed. Trying to find the meaning of this from spirit. How it may of effected me in life.

  11. Hello,

    Since a year and a half i have dark times, after being whipped/taught through plant spirits. Most of the exhaustedness being lived through, i pray. Now i’m done with a few identity struggles and looking for guidance.
    Its hard looking at my own snake for such a period, finding new balance and not knowing which direction to go. Not trusting myself leaves me in the dark over and over. Being oversensitive or making myself crazy, i don’t know if it’s the ego or heartmind seeing things, for i really lost it a few times.
    I don’t want to dig for gold and still i find myself digging these shamanic sites again.
    Really feel lost and locked sometimes, can not really talk about it with people.

    Any kind of help in my situation i would gladly hear.
    Blessings to all,


    1. David, It sounds like you are out of balance by spending time in lower levels attempting to micro-manage. Focus on upper levels, the unconditional love of the universe. Surrender to it, trust it, accept with love what it gives to you. It thrives with you, when you surrender to it.

  12. I never comment on sites but I needed to share this story. I went to an antique store I had been wanting to visit and was drawn to get a framed picture of the Virgin Mary. When I got to my car I noticed a ladybug on my shorts. I looked up the meaning and found this site and was absolutely amazed. I know the Mother is looking after each and every one of us and that there are no coincidences. Amen.

  13. Hello,

    I was looking over your Power Animals, Totems, Spirit Guides section, as I see it posted in Tree Tribes. Can you or anyone reading this give me info or a good link to the Whale Shark? This creature appears in my dreams most frequently and usually fellow sea creatures, however, the Whale Shark has left me with a very emotional feeling to this day since my very first dream.

  14. Several years ago after seeing an ad in a magazine of a Native American on horseback a story came to me. Later, through acupuncture, I learned that I knew the people of whom I wrote. Though I am not Native American in this lifetime I was in a prior one. I am now getting ready to release this book. The second book in this series will deal with how the shaman teaches a female to take over from him. I am so excited, and honored, to be able to tell their tale.

  15. Hi I read your articles on shamanism I really like them, a question I have a friend who goes on shamanic journeys so if we organize ourselves we can do a shared shamanic journey as if we were close in ordinary reality? If so, how?

  16. Greetings,

    I’m a young researcher and i would like to contact Ina Woolcott. Someone knows how can I please ?

    Kind Regards,

  17. I have been experiencing some very powerful communications with nature and animals since eliminating alcohol one year ago. I am a healer by profession and have been asking the universe for guidance, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised it is answering. It is intensifying now at a rapid pace and I was told yesterday (by a dragonfly no less!) to take Sandra Ingerman’s journeying workshop. I know this sounds crazy to many, but these messages I am getting are real and powerful and I know in my bones I need to listen. Synchronicities are happening to me daily that I can’t ignore. I feel a bit anxious about this journey so I am learning all I can, but it can feel lonely since most don’t understand this. I feel like I have one foot in and one foot out of this world. I have Irish and Native American ancestry that I feel very connected to, but have little tangible information. I have had a strong connection to the Celtic Goddess Brigid and feel I am being told to continue her work. Has anyone else had this message come to them? The rise of the feminine is alive and well so I know I am not alone. I feel so comforted to know there are others out there who understand. Sending all of you love and light 🧡🌿✌️

  18. Um, many of you seem to be messing with stuff above your paygrade.
    I’m a thirty year Reiki Master, have a BA in Cultural studies (Lots of Anthropology and Psych but Cultural and Consciousness Psych). I started with Martial arts when I was about fifteen and discovered and experienced Qi.
    A few years ago I stumbled across Qi Psychosis. It was related to Qi Gong practitioners. In recent years Kundalini Psychosis has hit under the radar.
    Essentially too many people mess with the entirely uncaring energies of the universe and some suffer severe side effects.
    If I recall correctly Yogi’s say that during meditation people may develop powers, Siddhis. They should be ignored as they distract from achieving enlightenment.
    In my personal Shamanic journey I have encompassed many near death experiences, life and mental health threatening illnesses, and much adversity.
    At present I’m simply attempting to allow the Tao to flow. To experience the universe as one.
    But I will caution against playing with powers and “things” (nice all encompassing word) one is ill prepared to manage.
    Play at your own risk.

  19. I have enjoyed your wise and in-sight-full website for years. Who has blessed your Animal Symbol pages with their glorious art work?

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