Shamanism has been a part of the human spiritual progression since the beginning, evident in all its wonderful forms the world over. Shamanism may be the oldest of all the healing arts. Archaeologists and anthropologists have dated shamanistic practices as ancient as 40,000 years. The oldest archaeological evidence of shamanistic practices comes from the Altai and Ural Mountains of western China and Russia. These practices have been concluded to have been some sort of religion, I however have a difficult time believing it was a religion, for reasons of which are truly a coffee topic and not a “how to do shamanism” topic!!
In the Tungusu-Manchurian language, the word shaman means, “to know.” What researchers have found is that many early cultures had their own and often unique forms of shamanism. Some of the cultures evidencing shamanism are the peoples of North and South American, Asia, India, Africa, the South Pacific and Australia. We can see through the artefacts, local myths and stories that each early culture throughout the world had its own shamans and shamanic practices. Often times the shaman was thought to be the only person in the tribe able to communicate with the spirits of ancestors and the various Gods and Demons. The Shaman had the role of being the communicator and translator of the Spirits and the unseen world to the people of the community/tribe/village. The treatment of the shaman socially often varied from group to group, but not many envied the role. There were then and still are so many superstitions and fears surrounding communication with the Spirit World and the unseen that few people want to travel this road.
So where does that leave us today? Shamanism has to change inorder for it to be a living spirituality. We live in modern times with a different understanding of the world around us. The drumming circle we have is dedicated to pursuit of the intellectual, as well as the experiential aspects of shamanism.