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Shamanism

Shamanism is a religion with an estimated 8,000,000 followers or Shamanists. Modern reference sources state that Shamanism was founded by Siberians (or northern Europeans), in the 1700's. Also, Shamanism is still being practiced by natives of Siberia. The term 'Shaman' comes from the Tungus language of Siberia via Russian.

However, Shamanism is very likely to be of much older, ancient origin. There is now some anthropological evidence that Shamanism has existed for over 20,000 years. Also, any references to sorcerers or sorcery in mythology (as in Greek and Nordic) may be related to or similar to shamans and shamanism.

Again, Shamanism is a religion that is characterized by the belief of a world of gods, demons and ancestral spirits unseen to physical eyes, but visible in altered states of awareness or consciousness by shamans (priests or priestesses). Shamans use their spiritual skills (often, referred to as magic and far more powerful than the skills of priests and priestesses of many other religions) to cure the sick and for the divination of hidden and controlling events.

Of course, shamans have varying spiritual skills that are based on their individual knowledge, development and experiences. People become shamans usually via training by other shamans, unless they are born with the gift.

Shamanism is now considered by some as one of the oldest healing arts in the world. In this regard, a shaman may also be called a healer, "medicine man" or metaphysician.

The practice of shamanism also makes use of chants or mantras, fire, powders made from ground plants (some of which may have hallucinogenic or psychedelic properties), rituals (such as dance and drumming) and stones. Shamanism may also involve the use of talismans (or objects that have a particular spiritual energy or property, such as for protection).

The practice of Shamanism consists of many small and independent groups, that each have a shaman, throughout the world. There is no central headquarters or unifying body.

Besides Siberians, Shamanism is also the religion for some Mongolians tribes (of Northern Asia) and many Native American Indians. This supports the theory that native American Indians came from Siberia (in the continent Asia) across the Bering Strait into what is now Alaska (in North America) and then, migrated down towards South America.

Shamanism includes the teachings or popular mystical writings of Carlos Castaneda (who claims to be an apprentice of Mexican Yaqui Indian sorcerer, don Juan Matus). Some people put Carlos Casteneda and similar individuals into the relatively new "New Age Shamanism" category. However, the fundamental practices of the shaman or sorcerer are the same now as they were thousands of year ago.


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