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Shamanism, a religious and cultural tradition, is said to be one of the oldest forms of healing.  Some have dated it as far back as 10,000 years ago and is a part of many regions of the world.  It has been widely practiced in South America, Oceania, China, Tibet and Korea.  It is also a part of many Eskimo, Native American, and Celtic cultures.

Taking a look at the original and unabridged concept of Shamanism, we take the word shaman which comes from eastern Siberia, an area where shamanism was the most prominent and where its origins may be found.  Translated, shaman means, "to heat up; to burn; to work with heat and fire.  Heat and fire are two essential characteristics of shamans.  They are masters of energy and of fire as a medium of transformation.  They realize that all life on earth carries behind its material guise an energy that connects it in a reciprocal fashion, with the other world - the invisible, spiritual world.  The concepts of energy, heart, fire and burning reflect the actual personal experiences of shamans while they dwelled in the other world, meeting the spirits, gods or the Supreme Being.  A characteristic ability of shamans is their real access to and contact with the beings of the other world, the beings of the heavens.  The experiences of these contacts give them insight into the original Oneness of heaven and earth - of God and Man.  A shaman knows that the harmonic sustenance of the community or individual is decided by the will of the gods. 

The distinguishing characteristic of Shamanism is the ecstatic trance the healer enters in order to communicate with spirits, rescue souls, battle with ogres or reconcile an offended nature spirit.    



Circle of Inner Light
Cleveland, Ohio