Core Shamanism: Commonalities of Shamanic Practices
  Three key elements shape the particular shamanic traditions/practices of a people: their land, their myths & stories, and their religious beliefs. A forth element is the connection with ancestors and ancestor wisdom. In spite of cultural distinctions, all shamanic traditions, no matter where or when they exist, share certain basic characteristics, a common repertoire of spiritual principles and healing principles. This common backbone is called Core Shamanism, a term introduced in the 1960s by famed anthropologist and shaman, Michael Harner.

The principles of Core Shamanism can be practiced successfully on their own, opening shamanic healing techniques to those whose culture does not otherwise incorporate them. Core Shamanism also provides a basic foundation on which a modern shaman can build her own individual practices out of whichever older traditions "resonate" with her. This is especially meaningful and rewarding to those of us who have lost touch with our own indigenous culture: we can re-discover, or re-invent, our own individual "indigenosity". On a larger scale, Core Shamanism has contributed to a world-wide revival of shamanic practices, and the growing recognition of shamanism as an ancient, universal and legitimate form of healing.

Principles of Core Shamanism
  (1) A call to Heal: shamans (men & women) are called to be healers rather than choosing this path
(2) Shamans move in two worlds: ordinary & non-ordinary reality
(3) A shared conception of Non-ordinary Reality (NOR): the spirit world or "Otherworld"
(4) Accessing Non-Ordinary Reality through an altered state of consciousness
(5) Sacred objects: shamanic practice harnesses the sacred/healing energies of physical objects
(6) A responsibility to the community: to heal and to celebrate the sacredness of life.

More on the Principles of Core Shamanism. . .

Who practices Core Shamanism?
  Not everyone who practices shamanism is considered a shaman. A true shaman undergoes many intense initiations and many years of training to learn how to serve her community. It is only by witnessing the successful, practical results of her work that the community recognizes and honors her as a shaman.

However, shamanism can still be employed by people who are not necessarily called to community service. Shamanic practice offers the individual ways to bring healing to himself, deepen his spiritual awareness, and add sacredness and ceremony to daily life.

The principles of Core shamanism have been developed primarily in the USA & Europe thanks to the work of anthropologist Michael Harner, founder of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies.

Contact information for the FSS : Tel 415 380 8282,

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