An essay on shamans and shamanism

Leave a reply Shamanism is a term used in Europe to describe people from different tribes who performed different rites. In different tribes Shamans perform different functions.

An essay on shamans and shamanism

Animism Several different religions involve spirits in their beliefs; animism and shamanism are two of many. The shamanistic beliefs about the spirit world, spirits themselves and the power of man over spirits are all in contrast to animistic beliefs. Animists believed that they could only appease spirits, [1] while shamanism believed that one could persuade spirits to do their bidding.

It is also defined as the worship of spirits opposed to that of gods. If, for some reason the spirit did not return by morning, its body would be found dead.

He then hit the lifeless body on the head with the branch. This was meant to force the spirit back into its body. Neither religion had an established church, nor do they have a holy book. The spirit world was very real for both religions.

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However, their interpretations differed from each other. Animists believed that spirits could physically harm the living if they so desired. Animists were not surprised when the food they offered was not touched by a spirit, they believed that the food had its own presence in the spirit world, and therefore could be eaten there.

Shamans were the spiritual leaders in their village or tribe, and often received knowledge from spirits, rather than harm. Thus, Shamanism and animists believed the spirit world was real, but disagreed on how safe they were from it.

If a member of the tribe or village that the shaman was in needed spiritual guidance, or needed mental help, the shaman would mix two plants together.

Ayahuasca, which made whoever ingested it nauseous, and chacruna, a hallucinogen that provoked visions. Once these two plants had boiled together for ten hours, the shaman would have his patient drink the solution.

After the visions started, the shaman began chanting, guiding his patient through his or her visions as he did. Shamans used this ritual on themselves to contact spirits and ask for their knowledge.

A shaman had the power to heal and guide his tribe members by having them visit the spirit world. Animists believed that most spirits were malevolent, and would cause disturbances, or kill one of the living unless they worshiped or made offerings to the spirits.

When a man died, a shrine would be built to honor his spirit.

An essay on shamans and shamanism

Friends and relatives would visit the shrine often. However, shamans were always careful about what they said to spirits. They would not invite a spirit into their body, and warned others not to do so, as that could have led to possession.

The ritual would begin with a girl having patterns painted on her face; members of the tribe would begin chanting. After her face was painted, a shaman would begin cutting her hair, and the girl would be in contact with the spirit world. Then, an animal would be sacrificed and brought to a sacred area.

Everyone would then make contact with the spirit world, and the ritual would end soon after. Animists worshiped and feared spirits, while shamans spoke to and honored spirits.


Animists also believed that spirits could become gods, and take residence in this world. When a shrine dedicated to a spirit was worshiped often, beliefs could develop that the spirit the shrine was dedicated to must have been a god. Animists also believed that if a tree moved without anything to move it, then a god must have taken residence in the tree and it was announced sacred.

They worshiped the tree immediately. So, animists worshiped some spirits as gods. Animists thought that men were superior to women, and that a man should take his belongings to the afterlife [25]while shamans believed the opposite.

When a man died, his wife and servants would be buried alive with his corpse so they may serve him in the spirit world. Shamans did not take part in anything like that.

Indeed, there were female shamans, according to Chinese literary texts dated back to BC.Shamanism is the use of shamanic practices within a shamanic value system. Traditionally a shaman goes through the experience of a "calling", usually through illness, accident or some unusual quality of being, then through an arduous apprenticeship of teaching, training, and testing, followed by some sort of passage rite into their new status.

Shamanism is a term used in Europe to describe people from different tribes who performed different rites. In different tribes Shamans perform different functions.

Mostly they were treated like doctors or people who know medicine. Some people also believe that shamans . Shamanism is humanity's oldest form of relationship to Spirit. As such, it is the underpinning beneath all religion. But shamanism is not a religion.

It is a complex set of practices, beliefs, values and behaviors that enable the practitioner to elect a shift from ordinary consciousness into a trance state with a specific goal in mind, such as healing, obtaining information, power, vision.

Shamanic work is done with the aid of a helping ally of some sorts that the shaman has befriended. Shamans throughout the world and throughout time, recognize that the universe is alive, conscious, and filled with spiritual power/5(3).

Essay: Shamanism vs. Animism – SchoolWorkHelper

Essay: Shamanism vs. Animism Several different religions involve spirits in their beliefs; animism and shamanism are two of many. Though these two tribal religions have some beliefs in common, such as the spirits’ power over the physical world, they also differ greatly.

An essay on shamans and shamanism

Published: Mon, 5 Dec Shamanism is a huge factor in most traditional religions, some of which include the Africans, Native Americans, many parts of Asia, as well as other cultures.

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