Shamans have been a lot of things, through legends. But most agree they’re a spiritual, magical person with abilities in healing, work with energy, or see visions. The word “shaman” even comes from an old language and means “spirt-woker.”
A Shaman, through his manipulation of energy, actually dissociates with his human body to connect with the spirit world. During this process, the shaman is in a trace state. Some stories connect the spirit world with divination or healing. They heal by returning the lost part of the human soul to his body.
An important part of the shaman lifestyle is the spirit guide, a particular spirit that the shaman connects with to lead him through the spirit world. Although the guide is always with the shaman, anyone else can only encounter the guide while the shaman is in his spirit trance.
Although shaman powers may be inherited, the magic needs a little training. There are lots of site for such things, such as the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, which preserves the shaman art of healing.
Although the belief system has taken many forms, a historical shaman, Eliade (1972), penned them as follows:
- Spirits exist and they play important roles both in individual lives and in human society.
- The shaman can communicate with the spirit world.
- Spirits can be benevolent or malevolent.
- The shaman can treat sickness caused by malevolent spirits.
- The shaman can employ trance inducing techniques to incite visionary ecstasy and go on vision quests.
- The shaman’s spirit can leave the body to enter the supernatural world to search for answers.
- The shaman evokes animal images as spirit guides, omens, and message-bearers.
- The shaman can perform other varied forms of divination, scry, throw bones/runes, and sometimes foretell of future events.
A Shaman Story
Now, if you wanted to put a shaman in your story, you might start with the spirit guide. Sounds like an interesting relationship, don’t you think? After that, is your shaman more the healing kind or the divination kind? How much does the spirit world play into your story. Just some considerations from me to you.
As always, if you liked the fun new shamanic facts you learned here, share this post on your favorite social media to spread the love. If you’ve got some questions or a great story idea, let me know in the comments.