The practice of shamanism is derived from ancient teachings and is practised throughout the five continents of the planet.
Although ancient, (it is estimated that shamanism may have originated over 10,000 years ago) its practice is also contemporary, surviving in areas such as Tibet, North & South America and within various African tribes. Shamanism is used to restore balance and healing to both people and the planet we live in. The practice of shamanism involves shamanic practitioners making journeys or soul-flights to other realities in order to bring back advice, help or soul-parts for the individual/community. As such, the practitioner acts as a medium through which help is channelled.
Shamanism has existed since the beginning of time on every continent of the planet. A shaman/shamanka (feminine) is an individual that can alter his/her state of consciousness and travel at will between this world and otherworlds to find healing, guidance and knowledge for themselves, the community and the environment.
Shamanism makes use of energy and power and the guidance/help of Spirit and otherworldly beings. In one respect, Shamanism differs from other magical and visionary techniques in that part of the shaman’s soul makes a spiritual journey/flight between the worlds. Methods of mediumship, divination etc. may contain elements of shamanism, however they are not actually shamanism unless the soul flight takes place.
Aspects of shamanic practice developed according to the way of life of the various races of people, ie. nomadic, hunting, settled etc. In Irish society, as in other “Celtic” societies, shamanism was practiced. However, the role became somewhat fragmented upon various people such as the filidh, healers, the brehon and priests. On the whole, the essential component of shamanism was lost, although certain families retained knowledge and teachings which were held and guarded. Practices such as spiritual healing, poetic invocation, second sight and communication with otherworldly beings have been maintained.