Anthropologist here. Shamanism relies on altering one's mental state to widen their perception and come into touch with whatever higher powers they believe in. It's not a specific form of religion, but rather a means to an end. Many different religions across the world use shamanistic methods to pursue their spiritual goals.
A shaman is one who takes these spiritual journeys and sometimes brings others along in opposition to many faiths wherein a mass trusts a leader's word as truth.
While many spiritual paths rely on the teachings of a master, shamanism is very individualistic and ultimately left up to the perceptions of the shaman. Unfortunately, many modern practitioners use shamanism as an excuse for drug consumption without fully understanding the religious nature of the practice.
Some popular examples of shamanism include the consumption of ayahuasca or peyote. In fact, the classic white and red fly agaric/amanita "magic mushroom" is/was used by Sami shaman in Northern Fennoscandia. Some argue that the tradition of Christmas reindeer is loosely derived from this practice.
Shaman have spirit companions they cast their spells or heal through. They've also got a lot of zone effects to keep track of, especially when you start reaching Paragon and Epic levels, and they're one of the few classes that use totems as an implement. They're unique, but when compared to the Bard or Warlord, Shaman aren't exactly stellar healers and should really only be picked for the utility of the spirit companion.
by MrMaranatha 6 years ago
I'm sick to death of listening to people bash religion with this line of thinking... "Where is my freedom from your religion?" Well... Where is MY freedom from YOURS? Yours is being taught in the schools as Science... call it Evolution if you will but the fact is that...
by Castlepaloma 7 years ago
Do you think Jesus was an amateur shaman because of our over ego world, today. Yet, still a very intelligent and spiritual man.
by Chetan thakare 14 months ago
What are religions and for what they are? Are they only hypothetical??As we know all organisms have same origin why do humans belongs to religion?Is it only political and mental issue since ancient time?
by Dale Hyde 6 years ago
Just curious as to what Animals are your totem, spiritual guide, familiar, etc?I have two, Raven and my cat, Misty.
by Mrs.Nita 7 years ago
I was just curious if someone could shed a little light on withcraft. Is this something else that's faith based. What's the true history behind witch craft. What is a Shaman? Does this fall under witchcraft? Oneday I had a dream about Shaman's. I had never heard of Shaman's...
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