Shamanism-General Overview-Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Dean Edwards (
Fri, 3 Nov 1995 20:08:11 GMT

Archive-name: shamanism/overview
Last-modified: 3 Nov 1995
Version: 1.7

NOTE: The following general overview of shamanism is not intended to
be the last word or the definitive work on this subject. Rather it is, as
its title implies, intended to provide the participant or reader with a set
of guidelines that will familiarize them with the general use of the terms
shamanism, shaman and shamanic in the trends, study and practice of
historic, traditional and contemporary shamanic experience.
The word 'shaman comes to English from the Tungus language
via Russian. Among the Tungus of Siberia it is both a noun and a
verb. While the Tungus have no word for shamanism, it has
come into usage by anthropologists, historians of religion and
others in contemporary society to designate the experience and the
practices of the shaman. Its usage has grown to include similar
experiences and practices in cultures outside of the original
Siberian cultures from which the term shaman originated. Thus
shamanism is not the name of a religion or group of religions.
Particular attention should be paid to the use of qualifying words
such as "may" or "usually". They indicate examples or tendencies and
are not, in any way, intended to represent rigid standards
Please send comments to (Dean Edwards).

Shamanism-General Overview-Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
(c November, 1993, 1994, 1995 by Dean Edwards)
This FAQ shall be posted monthly and is maintained by Dean Edwards
( It is intended for the private non-commercial use
of Usenet users. It may not be sold or resold without the permission
of the author.

Table of Contents:

1. Terms used in this FAQ
2. What is shamanism?
3. What is Shamanic Ecstasy?
4. Becoming a shaman
5. The role of trauma in the development of a shaman
6. The relationship between shamanic traditions and culture
7. The role of Shamanic Ecstasy
8. The origin of the term "shamanism"
9. Roles of the shaman
10. Reasons for this FAQ
11. What recommended books are available on shamanism?
12. What useful books are available about Siberian, Central Asian,
Finno-Uralic and Arctic shamanism?
13. What useful books are available about Celtic Shamanism?
14. What useful books are available about nontraditional
contemporary shamanism?
15. What useful books are available about shamanism among
Native Americans in North America?
16. What useful books are available about shamanism among
Native Americans in South America?
17. What useful books are available about African shamanism?
18. What useful books are available about shamanism in South and
East Asia?
19. What useful books are available about Shamanism and Ethnobotany?

1. Why were the terms used in this FAQ selected and do they have special
meanings. There is an extensive literature about shamanism that has been
compiled since the late Eighteenth Century. Like any field of study and
religious practice, shamanism has developed a specialized vocabulary.
Please note that some of the words used in the material that follows are
drawn from scholars who have a solid background in shamanic studies and
may have meanings that are specific and less general than is often the
case in popular usage. Consulting a good dictionary should clear up any
points of confusion.

2. What is Shamanism?
Shamanism is classified by anthropologists as an archaic
magico-religious phenomenon in which the shaman is the great master
of ecstasy. Shamanism itself, was defined by the late Mircea Eliade
as a technique of ecstasy. A shaman may exhibit a particular magical
specialty (such as control over fire, wind or magical flight). When a
specialization is present the most common is as a healer. The
distinguishing characteristic of shamanism is its focus on an
ecstatic trance state in which the soul of the shaman is believed to
leave the body and ascend to the sky (heavens) or descend into the
earth (underworld). The shaman makes use of spirit helpers, with
whom he or she communicates, all the while retaining control over
his or her own consciousness. (Examples of possession occur, but
are the exception, rather than the rule.) It is also important to
note that while most shamans in traditional societies are men,
either women or men may and have become shamans.

There are a number of relatively common practices and experiences in
traditional shamanism which are being investigated by modern
researchers. While the older traditional practices are ignored by
some researchers, others have begun to explore these older techniques.
The emergence of the new field of the 'anthropology of consciousness'
and the establishment of Transpersonal Psychology as a "Fourth Force"
in psychology have opened up the investigation of research into the
nature and history of consciousness in ways not previously possible.
Outside of academic circles a growing number of people have begun to
make serious inquiries into ancient shamanic techniques for entering
into altered states of consciousness.

Traditional shamans developed techniques for lucid dreaming and what
is today called the out-of-the-body experience (oobe). These methods
for exploring the inner landscape are being investigated by a wide
range of people. Some are academics, some come from traditional
societies and others are modern practitioners of non-traditional
shamanism or neo-shamanism. Along with these techniques, the NDE
or near-death-experience have played a significant role in shamanic
practice and initiation for millenia. There is extensive document-
ation of this in ethnographic studies of traditional shamanism. With
this renewed interest in these older traditions these shamanic
methods of working with dreams and being conscious and awake while
dreaming are receiving increased attention.

The ability to consciously move beyond the physical body is the
particular specialty of the traditional shaman. These journeys of
Soul may take the shaman into the nether realms, higher levels of
existence or to parallel physical worlds or other regions of this
world. Shamanic Flight, is in most instances, an experience not
of an inner imaginary landscape, but is reported to be the shamans
flight beyond the limitations of the physical body.

As noted in this article, the Call to shamanize is often directly
related to a near death experience by the prospective shaman. Among
the traditional examples are being struck by lightening, a fall from
a height, a serious life-threatening illness or lucid dream
experiences in which the candidate dies or has some organs consumed
and replaced and is thus reborn. Survival of these initial inner and
outer brushes with death provides the shaman with personal experiences
which strengthen his or her ability to work effectively with others.
Having experienced something, a shaman is more likely to understand
what must be done to correct a condition or situation.

Post-Shamanic: While shamanism may be readily identified among
many hunding and gathering peoples and in some traditional herding
societies, identifying specific groups of individuals who might be
called shamans is a difficult task in more stratified agricultural
and manufacturing based societies. A society may be said to be Post-
Shamanic when there are the presence of shamanic motifs in its
traditional folklore or spiritual practices indicate a clear pattern
of traditions of ascent into the heavens, descent into the nether-
worlds, movement between this world and a parallel Otherworld, are
present in its history. Such a society or tradition may have become
very specialized and recombined aspects of mysticism, prophecy and
shamanism into more specialized or more 'fully developed' practices
and may have assigned those to highly specialized functionaries. When
such practices and functionaries are present or have teplaced the
traditional shamans found in historical or traditional shamanism the
use of Post-shamanic is appropriate.
Dean Edwards ( (August, 1995)

More specifically, a society may be said to be Post-Shamanic when
at least 6 of the following 8 conditions have been met:
a. Shamanic ecstasy is still present, but light trance techniques
are also used to access the Otherworld.
b. Agriculture and some forms of manufacturing/crafts have replaced
hunting and gathering as the primary basis for the economic life of
the community.
c.The society has developed a highly stratified social structure and
very specialized occupations.
d. Religion and spiritual methodology has become more fully developed
and can no longer be properly referred to as 'archaic'. This is
expecially important for rituals, ceremonies and ecstatic techniques
which had traditionally been the domain of the shamans.
e. Mystical ecstasy and unitive visions have become at least as
important esoteric experiences and doctrines as shamanic ecstasy,
ascension and descent in the religious and spiritual life of the
f. The shaman is no longer the primary escort for the souls of
the dead into their place in the next world (psychopomp). This
role generally either passes onto the priestcraft or clergy to
perform through ritual, is an object of individual or group
prayer, or is beleived to be done by gods of guardian spirits,
angels or demons.
g. A professional clergy is present which regulates the religious life
of the community.
h. Other forms of healing, divining and counseling are present
have replaced shamans as the primary source of such services.
Post-shamanic motifs are found among many Indo-Eruopean, Asian,
African and some native peoples of North America. The use of
Post-Shamanic as a term makes examination of these parallel traditons
and possible survivals of earlier shamanic traditions easier.

3. What is Shamanic Ecstasy and how does it compare with other
forms of ecstasy?

From the Greek 'ekstasis', ecstasy literally means to be placed
outside, or to be placed. This is a state of exaltation in which a
person stands outside of or transcends his or herself. Ecstasy may
range from the seizure of the body by a spirit or the seizure of a
person by the divine, from the magical transformation or flight of
consciousness to psychiatric remedies of distress.

Three types of Ecstasy are specified in the literature on the subject:
a. Shamanic Ecstasy
b. Prophetic Ecstasy
c. Mystical Ecstasy

Shamanic ecstasy is provoked by the ascension of the soul of the
shaman into the heavens or its descent into the underworld. These
states of ecstatic exaltation are usually achieved after great and
strenuous training and initiation, often under distressing
circumstances. The resulting contact by the shaman with the
higher or lower regions and their inhabitants, and also with
nature spirits enables him or her to accomplish such tasks as
accompanying the soul of a deceased into its proper place in the
next world, affect the well-being of the sick and to convey the
story of their inner travels upon their return to the mundane

The utterances of the shaman are in contrast with those of prophetic
and mystical ecstasy. The prophet literally speaks for God, while the
mystic reports an overwhelming divine presence. In mysticism, the
direct knowledge or experience of the divine ultimate reality, is
perceptible in two ways, emotional and intuitive. While these three
varieties of ecstatic experience are useful for the purposes of
analysis and discussion, it is not unusual for more than one form of
ecstasy to be present in an individual's experience.

However, it can be argued that, generally speaking, there are three
perceptive levels of ecstasy.
a) The physiological response, in which the mind becomes absorbed in
and focused on a dominant idea, the attention is withdrawn and the
nervous system itself is in part cut off from physical sensory input. The
body exhibits reflex inertia, involuntary nervous responses, frenzy.
b) Emotional perception of ecstasy refers to overwhelming feelings of awe,
anxiety, joy, sadness, fear, astonishment, passion, etc.
c) Intuitive perception communicates a direct experience and
understanding of the transpersonal experience of expanded states of
awareness or consciousness.

While the physiological response is always present, the emotional response
may or may not be significant when intuition is the principal means of
ecstatic perception. Some have argued that beyond the intuitive state there
is a fourth condition in which the holistic perception exceeds mental and
emotional limitations and understanding.

The ecstatic experience of the shaman goes beyond a feeling or perception of
the sacred, the demonic or of natural spirits. It involves the
shaman directly and actively in transcendent realities or lower realms of
being. These experiences may occur in either the dream state, the
awakened state, or both. Dreams, and in particular, lucid dreams, often
play a significant role in the life of a shaman or shamanic candidate.
TRANCE STATES (or whatever title you want to give it)

(The following edited extracts from a paper wrtten by Joseph
Bearwalker Wilson in 1978.It describes some theory of the
trance state as it applies to shamanism.)
copyright, 1978, 1995 by Joseph Bearwalker Wilson
( (Reprinted by permission of the author.)

In order to journey to the other dimensions of existence a shaman
induces an altered state of consciousness in himself similar to a
state of self-hypnosis. While in this shamanic trance he is in
complete control; able to take his consciousness and subtle bodies
into nonphysical reality where he visits the heavens and hells of
existence, communicates with and controls spirits, gains information,
retrieves souls, and makes subtle changes in reality which may affect
the physical world.

A classical, and fairly accurate descriptive definition of hypnosis
is "a condition or state of selective hypersuggestibility brought
about in an individual through the use of certain specific
psychological or physical manipulations of the individual." The key
words here are "selective hypersuggestibility." A hypnotherapist uses
that selective hypersuggestibility in order to help bring about
desired changes in an individual. On the other hand a person
practicing shamanic techniques uses that state in order to fine tune
his or her senses in order to see, feel, hear, and smell more
vividly while traveling in the other worlds.

The lighter trance states feel like those times when you are reading
a book, or watching television or a movie, and are so engrossed that
you are not aware of your surroundings. The deeper trances feel
similar to how you feel when you are first waking up in the morning.
You are aware that you are awake, your imagery is vivid and
dreamlike, and you feel relaxed, calm, and good.

The ability to attain a and control a trance is the result of
cumulative conditioning and mental training.

A weight lifter trains himself by practicing daily. He begins by
lifting relatively light weights and progresses to heavier and
heavier ones. Eventually he is able to lift a 200 pound weight above
his head with relative ease. By working in this manner he has trained
his muscles to respond according to his will. After he has reached
his goal he can maintain the ability by practicing only two or three
times per week. If he stops practicing entirely his muscles will
gradually loose their conditioning and strength and, after a time,
he will no longer be able to lift the weight. By reestablishing a
routine of practice he will bring his ability back to where it was.

This same principle applies to the trance state. You train your mind
to respond in accordance with your will in order to produce the
ability to develop a deep trance. This is done by daily practice. It
may take some time and effort to establish that ability, but once
you have it you will be able to maintain it by practicing only once
or twice per week. If you stop practicing entirely your ability will
gradually lessen. Like the weight lifter you will need to begin a
more regular practice in order to reestablish your abilities.

When you go into any trance you gradually progress from ordinary
consciousness into deeper levels. It's convenient to have a means of
measuring the depth of your trance, so the paragraphs that follow
outline some of the symptoms found at various depths. For convenience
sake I've divided the depths of trance into four major sections, and,
using terms borrowed from the hypnotic sciences, called them the
Hypnodial, Light, Medium, and Deep trance states.

In the Hypnodial Trance you progress from ordinary consciousness
through the following steps: feeling physically relaxed, drowsy, your
mind becomes relaxed and you may feel apathetic or indifferent, your
arms and legs start to feel heavy, you may have a tendency to stare
blankly, and have a disinclination to move your limbs. As you border
this and the Light Trance your breathing becomes slower and deeper,
and your pulse rate slows.

In the Light Trance you progress to a reluctance to move, speak,
think or act. You may experience some involuntary twitching of your
mouth or jaw, and sometimes of the eyes. You will feel a heaviness
throughout your entire body and a partial feeling of detachment. You
may also experience visual illusions. As you border this and the
Medium Trance you recognize that you are in a trance, but may find
that feeling hard to describe.

In the Medium Trance you definitely recognize that you are in a
trance and may experience partial amnesia unless you consciously
choose not to. By giving yourself the proper suggestions you can
make any part of your body insensitive to pain, and can experience
the illusions of touching, tasting, and smelling. You will be more
sensitive to variations in atmospheric pressure and temperature
changes. As you border this and the Deep Trance you may experience
complete catalepsy of your limbs or body. In other words, if your
limbs or body positions are changed you will leave them in the new
position until they are changed again.

In the Deep Trance you can have the ability to open your eyes without
affecting the trance. You will also have the ability to control such
body functions as heart beat, blood pressure, digestion, and body
temperature. You can make your body and limbs completely rigid. You
will be able to recall lost memories and experience age regression.
Here you can vividly experience the sensation of lightness, floating,
or flying. You can also experience both positive and negative visual
and auditory hallucinations both while in the trance, and, if given
the proper suggestions, after awakening from the trance state. (A
positive hallucination is when you are told that you see something
that is not there, and you see it. A negative hallucination is when
you are told that you do not see something that is there, and you do
not.) In this state you can also stimulate dreams and visions, both
during the trance state and (upon proper suggestion) later in your
natural sleep.

Each depth of trance has valuable uses. For example, in the Light
and Medium Trances you can learn to begin practical shamanic
journeying so that you can see, hear, touch and smell experiences in
the worlds which border ours. In those trance states these journeys
will feel similar to a fantasy or daydream and you may wonder if it
is real, or just your imagination. As you train yourself to deepen
the trance the journeys become more vivid, until, in the Deep Trance,
they look and feel as though they are taking place in physical

Copyright (c) 1978, 1995 Joseph B. Wilson
Joseph Bearwalker Wilson (

4. How does one become a shaman?

Some have wondered if the experience of shamanic ecstasy or flight
makes a person a shaman. Generally speaking, most would say no.
A shaman is more than someone with an experience. First, he or she
is a trained initiate. Usually years of enculturalization and
training under a mentor precede becoming a functioning shaman.
Second, a shaman is not just an initiate who has received inner and
outer training, but is a master of shamanic journeying and techniques
(shamanic ecstasy). This is not a casual acquaintance with such
abilities, there is some degree of mastery of them. Finally, a
shaman is a link or bridge between this world and the next. This
is a sacred trust and a service to the community. Sometimes a
community that a shaman serves in is rather small. In other
instances it may be an entire nation. A lot of that depends on
social and cultural factors.

One becomes a shaman by one of three methods:
a) Hereditary transmission;
b) Spontaneous selection or "call" or "election";
c) personal choice and quest. (This latter method is less frequent
and traditionally such a shaman is considered less powerful than one
selected by one of the two preceding methods.) The shaman is not
recognized as legitimate without having undergone two types of
a) Ecstatic (dreams, trances, etc.)
b) Traditional ("shamanic techniques, names and functions of
spirits, mythology and genealogy of the clan, secret language, etc.) The
two-fold course of instruction, given by the spirits and the old master
shamans is equivalent to an initiation." (Mircea Eliade, The Encyclopedia
of Religion, v. 13 , p. 202; Mcmillian, N.Y., 1987.) It is also possible
for the entire process to take place in the dream state or in ecstatic
Thus, there is more to becoming a shaman than a single experience.
It requires training, perseverance and service.

5. What is the role of personal crisis or trauma or crisis in the
selection or development of a shaman?
A common experience of the call to shamanism is a psychic or spiritual
crisis, which often accompanies a physical or even a medical crisis, and
is cured by the shaman him or herself. This is a common occurrence for
all three types of shamanic candidates described above. The shaman is
often marked by eccentric behavior such as periods of melancholy,
solitude, visions, singing in his or her sleep, etc. The inability of the
traditional remedies to cure the condition of the shamanic candidate and
the eventual self cure by the new shaman is a significant episode in
development of the shaman. The underlying significant aspect of this
experience, when it is present, is the ability of the shaman to manage
and resolve periods of distress.

6. Does the presence of an active shamanic tradition necessarily mean that
the society itself should be deemed "shamanic"?
No, not at all. The presence of shamanism in a nation or a community does
not mean that shamanism is central to the spiritual or religious life of
the community or region. Shamanism often exists alongside and even in
cooperation with the religious or healing practices of the community.

7. What is meant by shamanic ecstasy and what role does it actually play
in shamanism?
The ecstatic technique of shamanism does not involve itself in the broad
range of ecstasy reported in the history of religion. It is specifically
focused on the transpersonal movement of the consciousness of the
shaman into higher or lower realms of consciousness and existence.
Another aspect of shamanism is that compared to other spiritual
traditions, it is a path that the individual walks alone. While much of
the focus of shamanic studies has been on the shamanic complexes of north
and central Asia, shamanism is a universal phenomenon, not confined to any
particular region or culture.

8. What is the origin of the word "shaman"?
Shaman comes from the language of the Tungus of North-Central Asia. It
came into use in English via Russian.

9. What are the usual roles of a shaman?
In contemporary, historical or traditional shamanic practice the shaman
may at times fill the role of priest, magician, metaphysician or healer.
Personal experience is the prime determinant of the status of a shaman.
Knowledge of other realms of being and consciousness and the cosmology of
those regions is the basis of the shamanic perspective and power. With this
knowledge, the shaman is able to serve as a bridge between the mundane and
the higher and lower states The shaman lives at the edge of reality as most
people would recognize it and most commonly at the edge of society itself.
Few indeed have the stamina to adventure into these realms and endure the
outer hardships and personal crises that have been reported by or
observed of many shamans.

10. Why was this FAQ written?
This FAQ was originally written to support a new Usenet
newsgroup, 'soc.religion.shamanism'. The purpose of this
newsgroup is to provide a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas,
views and information about historic, traditional, tribal and
contemporary shamanism. This FAQ is intended to provide a useful general
overview of what 'shamanism' actually means and what it is in practice.
In doing so, it has focused on shamanic ecstasy as being at the heart
of shamanic experience and practice. Many other aspects of shamanic
experience are encountered in the journey toward that center. Likewise,
much is also experienced in the journey out from that core experience.

11. What recommended books are available on shamanism?
(Items denoted by * are currently in print.)

*1. 91-21838. Ashe, Geoffrey. Dawn behind the dawn: a search for
an earthly paradise. Geoffrey Ashe. 1st ed. New York: H. Holt,
1992. viii, 274 p. : ill., map ; 25 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL311 .A74 1991
*2. Christman, Brian. Music & Trance in the Shamanic Universe. (Orig.)
Redwood Seed. 1993. 44p. pap.

3. 75-901516: Crookall, Robert, 1890- Ecstasy: the release of the
soul from the body. 1st ed. Moradabad: Darshana International,
1973. 163 p. ; 25 cm.
*4. 91-115619: Eliade, Mircea, 1907- Shamanism : archaic
techniques of ecstasy. London, England: Arkana, 1989. xxiii, 610 p.;
22 cm.
*5. 91-21073: Flaherty, Gloria, 1938- Shamanism and the
eighteenth century. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University
Press, c1992. xv, 320 p. : ill.; 25 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 F53 1992
6. 89-45567: Goodman, Felicitas D. Where the spirits ride the wind:
trance journeys and other ecstatic experiences. Bloomington: Indiana
University Press, c1990. xii, 242 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BF1389.A7 G66 1990
*7. 82-132245: Grim, John. Reflections on shamanism: the tribal
healer and the technological trance. Chambersburg, PA: Published
for the American Teilhard Association for the Future of Man by;
Anima Books, c1981. 16 p. 23 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: E98.R3 G74 1981
*8. 92-53905: Halifax, Joan. The fruitful darkness: reconnecting with
the body of the earth.1st ed. [San Francisco] : HarperSanFrancisco,
c1993. xxxi, 240 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL624 .H26 1993
*9. 81-67705: Halifax, Joan. Shaman, the wounded healer. New York:
Crossroad, c1982. 96 p.: ill. (some col.); 28 cm.
London: Thames & Hudson, 1982, 1987.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 H33 1982
*10. Harner, Michael J. Hallucinogens & Shamanism. Oxford University
Press, 1973.. xv, 200 p. illus. 22 cm.
*11. 90-44703: Heinze, Ruth-Inge. Shamans of the 20th century; with
contributions by Charlotte Berney [et al.]. New York: Irvington,
1991. xx, 259 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 H418 1991
12. 90-175691: Hoppal, Mihaly and Sadovszky, Otto von, edited by.
Shamanism: past and present. Budapest: Ethnographic Institute,
Hungarian Academy of Sciences; Los Angeles: International Society
for Trans-Oceanic Research, 1989. 2 v.: ill.; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 S4915 1989
*13. 94-43549: International Conference on the Study of Shamanism
and Alternate Modes of Healing (11th: 1994: San Rafael, Calif.)
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on the Study of
Shamanism and Alternate Modes of Healing: held at the Santa Sabina
Center, San Rafael, California, September 3 to 5, 1994/ Berkeley,
Calif. : Independent Scholars of Asia, c1994. p. cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 I55 1993
*14. 94-2722: International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and
Alternate Modes of Healing (10th : 1993: San Rafael, Calif.)
Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on the Study of
Shamanism & Alternate Modes of Healing: held at the St. Sabina
Center, San Rafael, California, September 4 to 6, 1993; Berkeley:
Independent Scholars .of Asia, 1994. p. cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 I55 1993
*15. 92-47429: International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and
Alternate Modes of Healing (9th : 1992: San Rafael, Calif.) Proceedings
of the Ninth International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and
Alternate Modes of Healing: held at the St. Sabina Center, San Rafael,
California, September 5 to 7, 1992 / Berkeley, Calif. : Independent
Scholars of Asia, 1992. ix, 323 p. ; 23 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 I55 1992
*16. 92-6776: International Conference on the Study of Shamanism
and Alternate Modes of Healing (8th : 1991: San Rafael, Calif.)
Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on the Study
of Shamanism and Alternate Modes of Healing: held at the St.
Sabina Center, San Rafael, California, August 31 to September 2,
1991. [Berkeley] : Independent Scholars of Asia, c1991. vii,
354 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 I55 1991
*17. 92-50127: Kalweit, Holger. Shamans, healers, and medicine men.
1st ed. Boston : Shambhala, 1992. x, 299 p., [8] p. of plates: ill.;
23 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 K35813 1992
*18. 87-28842: Kalweit, Holger. Dreamtime & inner space: the world of the
shaman / 1st ed. Boston : Shambhala Publications ; [New York, N.Y.] :
Random House [Distributor], 1988. xvi, 297 p. ; 23 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 K3513 1988
*19. 86-40405: Nicholson, Shirley; compiled by. Shamanism: an
expanded view of reality edited by 1st ed. Wheaton, Ill., U.S.A.:
Theosophical Pub. House, 1987. xxiii, 295 p.; 21 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 S48 1987
*20. 92-5415: Ripinsky-Naxon, Michael, 1944- The nature of
shamanism: substance and function of a religious metaphor.
Abany, N.Y. : State University of New York Press, c1993. xi, 289 p.:
ill. ; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 R52 1993
*21. 85-1107. Rouget, Gilbert. [Musique et la transe. English]
Music and trance: a theory of the relations between music and
possession. Gilbert Rouget ; translation from the French
revised by Brunhilde Biebuyck in collaboration with the author.
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1985 . xix, 395 p.:
ill ; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: ML3920 .R813 1985
*22. 92-46586: Sansonese, J. Nigro. The body of myth: mythology,
shamanic trance, and the sacred geography of the body. Rochester,
Vt.: Inner Traditions; [s.l.]: Distributed to the book trade in the
U.S. by International Distribution Corp., c1994. p. cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL313 .S326 1994
*23. ocm27-490807: Siikala, Anna-Leena. Studies on shamanism/
Helsinki: Finnish Anthropological Society; Budapest: Akademiai
Kiado, 1992. 230 p.: ill.; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL 2370 S5S66 1992
*24. 93-246913. Thorpe, S. A. Shamans, medicine men and traditional
healers: a comparative study of shamanism in Siberian Asia, Southern
Africa and North America. S.A. Thorpe. 1st ed. Pretoria: University
of South Africa, 1993. 146 p. ; 22 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 T48 1993
*25. 86-31810: Villoldo, Alberto. Healing states. New York: Simon &
Schuster, 1987. xvi, 207 p., [8] p. of plates: ill.; 21 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: RZ400 .V5 1987
*26. 89-48642: Walsh, Roger N. The spirit of shamanism; Los Angeles:
J.P. Tarcher, 1990. p. cm.
26. Witchcraft and sorcery of the American native peoples / edited
by Deward E. Walker, Jr. ; preface by David Carrasco. Moscow,
Idaho : University of Idaho Press, c1989. xi, 346 p.: ill., maps;
26 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: E59.R38 W58 1989

12. What usrful books are available about Siberian, Central Asian,
Finno-Uralic and Arctic shamanism?

1. 91-22-00863-22: Ahlback, Tore. Saami Religion: Based on papers
read at the symposium on Saami religion held at Abo, Finland, 16th -
18th August 1984. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1987.
293 p.
2. 78-313734: Backman, Louise, 1926- Studies in Lapp shamanism.
Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1978. 128 p.: ill.;
24 cm.
*3. 1. 95-127754: Circumpolar religion and ecology: an anthropology
of the North. Tokyo : University of Tokyo Press, c1994. xiii, 458 p.:
ill., maps ; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: GN673 .C57 1994
*4. 89-77158: Balzer, Marjorie M., ed. Shamanism: Soviet Studies
of Traditional Religion in Siberia & Central Asia. Armonk, N.Y.:
M.E. Sharpe, c1990. xviii, 197 p.: ill. ; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 S492 1990
5. Blodgett, Jean. The coming and going of the shaman : Eskimo
shamanism and art : the Winnipeg Art Gallery March 11 to
June 11, 1978. Jean Blodgett, Curator of Eskimo Art. [Winnipeg]:
The Gallery, [c1979].
LC CALL NumBER: E 99 E7 B6585 1979
6. 15-13480: Czaplicka, Marie Antoinette, d. 1921. Aboriginal
Siberia, a study in social anthropology, Oxford, Clarendon press,
1914. xiv p., 1 l., 374, [2] p. 16 pl., 2 fold. maps. 24 cm.
7. Dioszegi, Vilmos. Popular beliefs and folklore tradition in
Siberia. Edited by V. Dioszegi. English translation rev. by
Stephen P. Dunn.. Bloomington, Indiana University, c1968.
(Series title: Uralic and Altaic series ; v. 57).
8. 79-300802: Dioszegi and M. Hoppal., editors. Shamanism in
Siberia. Budapest: Akademiai Kiado, 1978. 531 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
9. 70-398375: Dioszegi, Vilmos. Tracing Shamans in Siberia. The
story of an ethnographical research expedition. [Oosterhout]
Anthropological Publications [1968] 328 p., 24 p. of photos. 20 cm.
*10. 83-47834: Grim, John. The shaman: patterns of Siberian and
Ojibway healing / Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c1983.
:xiv, 258 p. ill.; 22 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 G75 1983
11. 70-864890: Hatto, A. T. (Arthur Thomas) Shamanism and epic
poetry in Northern Asia, London, University of London (School of
Oriental and African Studies), 1970. [2], 19 p. 25 cm.
12. 86-161648: Saami pre-Christian religion : studies on the oldest traces
of religion among the Saamis / Stockholm : Universitet Stockholms :
[Distributed by] Almqvist & Wiksell International, c1985. 212 p. : ill.,
maps ; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL980.L3 S22 1985
*13. 93-215323: Hoppal, M. & Pentikainen, J., eds. Northern religions
and shamanism; Budapest : Akademiai Kiado ; Helsinki : Finnish
Literature Society, 1992. xv, 214 p. : ill.; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL685 .N678 1992
14. 85-672605: Hoppal, Mihaly, editor. Shamanism in Eurasia.
Gottingen: Edition Herodot,. c1984. 2 v. (xxi, 475 p.): ill. ; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 S487 1984
*15. 95-9141: Leonard, Linda Schierse. Creation's heartbeat: following
the reindeer spirit. New York: Bantam Books, 1995. p. cm.
16. 88-46031: Pentikainen, Juha. Kalevala mythology. Bloomington:
Indiana University Press, c1989. xix, 265 p.: ill.; 25 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: PH326 .P4613 1989
17. 79-322371: Siikala, Anna-Leena. The rite technique of the
Siberian shaman. Helsinki: Suomalainen tiedeakatemia: Akateeminen
kitjakauppa [jakaja], 1978. 385 p.; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: GR1 .F55 no. 220
*18. 92-169420: Symposium on the Saami Shaman Drum (1988:
Turku, Finland) The Saami Shaman Drum: based on papers read at the
Symposium on the Saami Shaman Drum held at Abo, Finland, on the
19th-20th of August 1988. Abo, Finland : Donner Institute for Research
in Religious and Cultural History; Stockholm, Sweden : Distributed by
Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1991. 182 p.: ill.; 25 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: DL42.L36 S96 1988

13. What useful books are available about Celtic Shamanism?
(Note: There are also a number of other materials available on
contemporary and traditional celtic practices by John and Caitlin
Mathews and R. J. Stewart.)

*1. 92-53909: Cowan, Thomas Dale. Fire in the head: shamanism
and the Celtic spirit / 1st ed. [San Francisco]: HarperSanFrancisco,;
c1993. 222 p. 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL900 .C69 1993
2. 88-132275: Naddair, Kaledon. Keltic folk & faerie tales: their
hidden meaning explored. London : Century, c1987. 269 p.: ill.;
25 cm.
*3. 94-33811: Matthews, Caitlin, 1952- Encyclopedia of Celtic wisdom :
the Celtic shaman's sourcebook; Shaftsbury, Dorset ; Rockport, Mass.:
Element, 1994. p. cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL900 .M466 1994
*4. 94-22046: Matthews, John, 1948- The Celtic shaman's pack:
exploring the inner worlds; Shaftesbury, Dorset ; Rockport, Mass.:
Element, 1994. p. cm.

*5. 91-46470: Stewart, R. J., 1949- Earth light : the ancient path
to transformation: rediscovering the wisdom of Celtic and faery lore.
Rockport, MA : Element, 1992. p. cm.

*6. 92-32310: Stewart, R. J., 1949- Power within the land: the
roots of Celtic and underworld traditions, awakening the sleepers,
and regenerating the earth. Shaftesbury, Dorset ; Rockport, MA:
Element, 1992. xxiii, 163 p. : ill.; 23 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BF1552 .S75 1992
14. What useful books are available about nontraditional contemporary

The following is a list of some materials available on
contemproary nontraditional shamanism?
(Please note that the following books may also contain useful
information about tradtiional or historical aspects of shamanism.)

*1. 84-20748: Achterberg, Jeanne. Imagery in healing : shamanism
and modern medicine / 1st ed. Boston : New Science Library,
Shambhala ; New York: Distributed in the U.S. by Random House, 1985.
viii, 253 p.: ill.; 23 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: R726.5 .A24 1985
*2. 91-55334: Arrien, Angeles 1940- The four-fold way : walking
the paths of the warrior, teacher, healer, and visionary.1st ed. [San
Francisco] : HarperSanFrancisco, c1993. xviii, 203 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BF1611 .A76 1993
3. Tom Brown. Awakening Spirits.
15. Serge King. Urban Shaman
22. Vicki Noble. Uncoiling the Snake.
23. Gabrielle Roth. Maps to Ecstasy.
*4. 94-35159: Cruden, Loren, The spirit of place: a workbook for
sacred alignment. Rochester, Vt.: Destiny Books, c1995. p. cm.
*5. 87-32233: Doore, Gary, compiled & edited by. Shaman's path:
healing, personal growth & empowerment. 1st ed. Boston:
Shambhala: Distributed in the U.S.A. by Random House, 1988.
xii, 236 p. ; 23 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 S525 1988
6. 81-15771: Drury, Nevill, 1947- The shaman and the magician:
journeys between the worlds. London ; Boston: Routledge & Kegan
Paul, 1982. xii, 129 p.: ill.; 22 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 D783 1982
*7. 95-18506: Espinoza, Luis. Chamalu: the shamanic way of the heart.
Rochester, Vt.: Destiny Books, 1995. p. cm.
*8. 89-46444: Harner, Michael J. The way of the shaman; 10th
anniversary ed., 1st Harper & Row pbk. ed., San Francisco: Harper
& Row, 1990. xxiv, 171 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: RZ401 .H187 1990
*9. 94-144219: Hughes-Calero, Heather. Circle of power / Sedona, Ariz. :
Higher Consciousness Books, 1993 137 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
*10. 91-73187: Hughes-Calero, Heather. The flight of Winged Wolf:
1st ed. Carmel, Calif. : Higher Consciousness Books, 1991. 159 p.: ill.;
23 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BF1999 .H379 1991
*11. Hughes-Calero, Heather. The Shamanic Journey of Living as Soul.
1st ed.; Carmel, Calif.: Higher Consciousness Books,1994. 144 p.:
ill.; 23 cm.
*12. 89-82151: Hughes-Calero, Heather. Woman between the wind.
1st ed. Carmel, Calif.: Higher Consciousness Books,1990. 156 p.:
ill. ; 23 cm.
*13. 90-56447: Ingerman, Sandra. Soul retrieval: mending the
fragmented self.1st ed. San Francisco, Calif.: HarperSanFrancisco,
c1991. xii, 221 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL65.M4 I45 1991
*14. 93-4429: Ingerman, Sandra. Welcome home : following your soul's
journey home. 1st ed. [San Francisco, Calif.]: HarperSanFrancisco,.
c1993, 187 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL65.M4 I453 1993
15. 86-28856: Jamal, Michele. Shape shifters : shaman women in contemporary
society / New York : Arkana, 1987. xx, 204 p. : ports. ; 20 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL458 .J36 1987
*16. 93-48357: Keeney, Bradford P. Shaking out the spirits : a
psychotherapist's entry into the healing mysteries of global
shamanism. Barrytown, N.Y. : Station Hill Press, c1994. vi, 179 p.:
ill. ; 23 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BF1611 .K33 1994
*17. 90-39839: King, Serge. Urban shaman. New York: Simon & Schuster,
c1990. 256 p.; 22 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 K58 1990
*18. Larsen, Stephen. The Shaman's Doorway: Opening Imagination to
Power & Myth.. Barrytown, N.Y.: Station Hill Press, 1988. xii, 258 p.:
ill. ; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL304 .L37 1988
*19. 92-195879: Meadows, Kenneth. Earth medicine: a shamanic way
to self discovery. Shaftesbury, Dorset ; Rockport, Mass.: Element, 1991.
xi, 333 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BF1622.U6 M43 1989
*20. 92-194584: Meadows, Kenneth. The medicine way: a shamanic path to
self mastery. Shaftesbury, Dorset ; Rockport, Mass.: Element,1991. xx,
228 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BF1622.U6 M44 1991
*21. 91-37142: Meadows, Kenneth. Shamanic experience : a
practical guide to contemporary shamanism. Shaftesbury,
Dorset; Rockport, Mass. : Element, 1991. 196 p.: ill. ; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BF1611 .M42 1991
*22. 92-56408: Mindell, Arnold. The shaman's body : a new
shamanism for transforming health, relationships, and community.
1st HarperCollins pbk. ed. [San Francisco, CA]: HarperSanFrancisco,
1993. xvi, 236 p.; 21 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BF1611. M56 1993
*23. 95-12177: Natale, Frank. Trance dance: the dance of life.
Rockport, Mass.: Element, 1995. p. cm.
*24. 91-58922: Noble, Vicki. Uncoiling the snake: ancient patterns in
contemporary women's lives: a snake power reader. 1st ed. San
Francisco, Calif.: HarperSanFrancisco, c1993. xv, 189 p.: ill.; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BF1611 .N63 1993
*25. 89-45959: Noble, Vicki. Shakti woman: feeling our fire, healing
our world: the new female shamanism. 1st ed. San Francisco, Calif.
HarperSanFrancisco, c1991. x, 255 p.: ill.; 25 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL625.7 .N63 1991
*26. 91-42561: Roth, Gabrielle. Maps to ecstasy: teachings of an urban
shaman. San Rafael, Calif.: New World Library, 1989, 1992. p. cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 R67 1992
*27. 90-29017: Scott, Gini Graham. Shamanism & personal mastery:
using symbols, rituals, and talismans to activate the powers within
you.1st ed. New York : Paragon House, 1991. xiii, 284 p. ; 23 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BF1611 .S39 1991
*28. Tucker, Michael. Dreaming with open eyes: The shamanic spirit
in twentieth century art and culture. San Francisco: Aquarius/
HarperSanFrancisco, 1992. xxiii, 432 p., ill., 25 cm.
LC CALL NumBER: BL2370.S5 T83 1992
*29. 94-30646: Warter, Carlos. Recovery of the sacred : lessons in
soul awareness; Deerfield Beach, Fla.: Health Communications, Inc.,
c1994. p. cm.
*30. 90-55404: Whitaker, Kay Cordell. The reluctant shaman : a
woman's first encounters with the unseen spirits of the earth.
1st ed. [San Francisco, Calif.]: HarperSanFrancisco, c1991.
viii, 296 p. ; 22 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL73.W45 A3 1991

15. What useful books are available about shamanism among
Native Americans in North America?

1. Hultkrantz, Ake. The North American Indian Orpheus tradition; a
contribution to comparative religion. Stockholm, 1957. 339 p. 25 cm.
Series: Ethnographical Museum of Sweden, Stockholm. Monograph series,
publication no. 2.
2. 92-18476. Hultkrantz, Ake. Shamanic healing and ritual drama:
health and medicine in native North American religious traditions.
New York: Crossroad, 1992.
LC CALL NUMBER: E98.R3 H825 1992
3. Johnson, Ronald. The art of the shaman. Iowa City, Iowa :
University of Iowa Museum of Art' 1973. 32 p.: ill. 26 cm.
4a. Park, Willard Zerbe. Shamanism in western North America; a
study in cultural relationships, by Willard Z. Park. Evanston and
Chicago, Northwestern University, 1938. viii, 166 p. 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: H31. N6 no.2
4b. Park, Willard P. (Willard Zerbe) Shamanism in western North
America; a study in cultural relationships, by Willard Z. Park. New
York, Cooper Square Publishers, 1975. viii, 166 p. 24 cm.
Reprint of the 1938 ed. published by Northwestern University,
Evanston. viii, 166 p. 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: E98.R3 P23 1975
5. The Shaman from Elko : papers in honor of Joseph L. Henderson on
his seventy-fifth birthday / [editorial committee, Gareth Hill,
chairman ... et al.]. San Francisco : C. G. Jung Institute of San
Francisco, c1978. 272 p.; 23 cm.

16. What useful books are available about shamanism among
Native Americans in South America?

1. 91-42609: Portals of power: Shamanism in South America. Eedited
by E. Jean Matteson Langdon and Gerhard Baer. 1st ed. Albuquerque:
University of New Mexico Press, c1992. x, 350 p.: ill., map ; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: F2230.1.R3 P65 1992
2. 81-103991: Spirits, shamans, and stars: perspectives from South
America. Editors: David L. Browman, Ronald A. Schwarz. The Hague;
New York: Mouton, c1979. vii, 276 p.: ill.; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: F2230.1.M4 S68
*3. 87-10643: Wilbert, Johannes. Tobacco and shamanism in South
America. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987. xix, 294 p.: ill.;
25 cm.
Series title: Psychoactive plants of the world.
LC CALL NUMBER: F2230.1.T63 W55 1987

4. 89-20493: Witchcraft and sorcery of the American native peoples.
Edited by Deward E. Walker, Jr.; preface by David Carrasco. Moscow,
Idaho: University of Idaho wress, c1989. xi, 346 p.: ill., maps;
26 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: E59.R38 W58 1989
*5. 87-10643: Wilbert, Johannes. Tobacco and shamanism in South
America. New Haven: Yale University Press, c1987. xix, 294 p.:
ill. ; 25 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: F2230.1.T63 W55 1987

17. What useful books are available about African shamanism?

1. 89-205906: Culture, experience, and pluralism : essays on
African ideas of illness and healing. Uppsala : Academiae
Upsaliensis; Stockholm, Sweden: Distributed by Almqvist & Wiksell
International, 1989. 308 p.: ill.; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: GN645 .C85 1989

18. What useful books are available about shamanism in South and
East Asia?

1. 55-28909: [Ch'u, Yuan] ca. 343-ca. 277 B.C. The nine songs; a
study of shamanism in ancient China London, G. Allen and Unwin
[1955] 64 p. 23 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL1825 .C45 1955
2. 86-183798: Covell, Alan Carter. Folk art and magic: Shamanism
in Korea. Seoul, Korea: Hollym Corp., c1986. 216 p.: ill
(some col.); 25 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2236.S5 C68 1986
3. 83-81487: Covell, Alan Carter. Ecstasy : Shamanism in Korea
Elizabeth, N.J.: Hollym International, 1983. 107 p.: ill.
(some col.); 26 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 C68 1983
4. 78-27500: Harvey, Youngsook Kim. Six Korean women: the
socialization of shamans. St. Paul: West Pub. Co., c1979. xi,
326 p., [8] leaves of plates : ill.; 25 cm.
5. 87-37256 Heinze, Ruth-Inge. Trance and healing in Southeast Asia
today. Bangkok, Thailand: White Lotus Co.; Berkeley [Calif.]:
Independent Scholars of Asia, 1988. ix, 406 p.: col. ill.; 22 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 H42 1988
6. 84-244601: Korean folklore. U.S. ed. Seoul, Korea: Si-sa-
yong-o-sa Publishers; Arch Cape, Or., U.S.A.: Pace International
Research, c1983. viii, 312 p.: ill.; 23 cm.
*7. 94-2375: Lee, Jae Hoon. The exploration of the inner wounds--Han.
Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press, c1994. ix, 188 p.; 23 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BF575.H26 L44 1994
8. 82-133339: Lee, Jung Young. Korean shamanistic rituals. The
Hague; New York: Mouton, c1981. xvi, 249 p.: ill.; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2236.S5 L43 1981
9. 87-71271: Shamanism: the spirit world of Korea / Berkeley,
Calif.: Asian Humanities Press, 1988. 190 p.; 23 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2236.S5 S48 1988
*10. 94-23024: Maskarinec, Gregory Gabriel. The rulings of the night:
an ethnography of Nepalese shaman oral texts. Madison, Wis. :
University of Wisconsin Press, c1995. p. cm.
*12. 92-23545: Desjarlais, Robert R. Body and emotion : the
aesthetics of illness and healing in the Nepal Himalayas.
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, c1992. xii, 300 p.:
ill., map; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2033.5.S52 D45 1992
13. 88-40440: Mumford, Stan. Himalayan dialogue : Tibetan lamas and
Gurung shamans in Nepal / Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin
Press, c1989. xii, 286 p.: ill.; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2034.3.G93 M85 1989
14. 81-52908: Peters, Larry. Ecstasy and healing in Nepal : an
ethnopsychiatric study of Tamang shamanism. Malibu, Calif.: Undena
Publications, 1981. 179 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: DS493.9.T35 P47 1981
15. 76-902895: Spirit possession in the Nepal Himalayas. New Delhi:
Vikas Pub. House, c1976. xxviii, 401 p. : ill., map ; 25 cm.
*16. 90-42659: Walraven, Boudewijn. Songs of the shaman: the ritual
chants of the Korean mudang. London ; New York : Kegan Paul
International, 1994. x, 307 p. ; 25 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: BL2236.S5 W35 1994

19. What useful books are available about Shamanism and Ethnobotany?

1. 92-50768: Plotkin, Mark J. Tales of a shaman's apprentice: an
ethnobotanist searches for new medicines in the Amazon rain foresti.
New York: Viking, 1993. x, 318 p., [8] p. of plates : ill.; 24 cm.
LC CALL NUMBER: F2230.1.B7 P56 1993

Dean Edwards
End of FAQ