By Christina Pratt
Shamanism should be outlined because the perform of initiated shamans who're amazing via their mastery of a variety of altered states of recognition. Shamanism arises from the activities the shaman takes in non-ordinary truth and the result of these activities in usual fact. it's not a faith, but it calls for non secular self-discipline and private sacrifice from the mature shaman who seeks the top phases of mystical improvement
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Additional resources for An Encyclopedia of Shamanism, vol. 1
Through long and arduous training, shamans gain knowledge of the Universe. As they master the ability to intentionally enter and exit altered states of consciousness, they begin to experience other possible realities and the infinite nature of space and time. Though the metaphors they use to communicate these experiences are drawn from the ordinary world, the experiences themselves are quite extraordinary. These experiences often demand great sacrifices, culminating in the self-sacrifice of the initiation.
Often they are connected only through the circumstance of working with the same shaman. All working relationships are experiential. However, they are not all the same quality of experience. Some are quite adversarial, with the shaman gaining the spirit’s help only through clever trickery, bargaining, or all-out battle. Others can be quite erotic and sexual, often resulting in spirit children in the spirit world. Most working relationships fall somewhere between these two extremes. Only one quality is consistent among all the relationships forged between shamans and spirits.
Conversely, the fact that the form does not work today is not proof that it did not work in the past. What is perhaps more surprising, given all of the variables involved, is how much of the old ritual and ceremonial forms are still potent and powerfully effective today. The primary difference between ritual and ceremony occurs after the sacred space has been opened and a connection with spirit has been established. In ritual, no one––including the shaman––knows exactly what will happen or how the effect of the ritual will play out in the lives of the participants.