Shamanism is one of humankinds’ most ancient traditions, pre-dating recorded history and traceable back at least 40,000 years as man’s first spiritual discipline. Archeological findings provide evidence that shamans existed on every continent, including ancient Ice Age Europe. Separated by land and water, and without means of communication or even the awareness of the existence of other shamanic cultures, we find that essentially the same healing methods, sacred tools and ceremonial approaches were used by shamans to restore balance to their communities. Becoming a modern day shamanic healer is not the result of a career choice; it is the result of a calling. And as in ancient times, the practices and procedures are learned by direct interaction with teachers of a non- ordinary realm who have sought out the apprentice.
Shamanism is not a religion or a philosophy. Unlike a religion that is based upon a belief in the words of another, it is an absolute known, based upon direct personal experience and revelation. The shaman’s practice of direct revelation is the predecessor of all our religious and philosophical traditions, both ancient and modern. To quote Michael Harner, renowned author of The Way of the Shaman; “a shaman is a man or woman who enters an altered state of consciousness at will to contact and utilize an ordinarily hidden reality in order to acquire knowledge, power, and to help other persons. The shaman has at least one, and usually many, ‘spirits’ in his personal service”.