terms used in discussing shamanism

Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)
Fri, 8 Sep 1995 02:39:29 GMT

There are a number of terms which are used frequently in
discussions about shamanism. The following comments, in being
attached to the soc.religion.shamanism-Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQ) are not intended to be interpretations of either the charter or
the Shamanism-General Overview. They are comments which have
been extracted from articles posted to soc.religion.shamanism
discussions. For a detailed and specific overview of shamanism, please
refer to Shamanism-General Overview-Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQ). This present document contains only my comments, however, as
others post their comments, additional entries will be selected from
among them.

Shaman: A master of archaic techniques of ecstasy. (Eliade, 1951).
This mastery of shamanic ecstasy (flight) is the heart of the shamanic
experience. It is the cornerstone of the shamans experience and
practice. Not all shamanic techniques and experiences are ecstatic,
however, the ecstatic journey is the primary and distinguishing
technique of shamans worldwide.
A shaman is a trained initiate who maintains a tradition of walking
between this and other worlds (while in a state of ecstatic trance
known as shamanic ecstasy shamanic flight) and then acts as a bridge
between the worlds. He or she then uses the knowledge thus gained when
working in the community or with a client. Activities of shamans in
addition to shamanic flight may include divination, control over the
elements,soul retrieval and escorting the souls of the recently
deceased to their place in the next world (psychopomp). A shaman may
also be able to see, hear or send messages or messengers over great
distances or even fly to distant locations in ecstatic trance or
through shapechanging. They may also assist their communities by
obtaining the cooperation of animal and nature spirits whose
assistance makes possible a more productive hunt, harvest, catch of
fish or the protection of herd animals from predators.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Shamanism: The religious psychic and spiritual practices of a shaman,
and of the helpers, apprentices and crafts and community activities
which support, assist or interact with the shaman in his or her work
as a shaman. In a strict sense, shamanism has also been defined as the
traditional religious systems of the native peoples of Central Asia,
Siberia and the circumpolar region of the Northern Hemisphere. The
term has also been applied more loosely to similar religious practices
found in other areas of the world.
(See also Neo-shamanism, Pseudo-shamanism and Post-Shamanic.)
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Historical Shamanism: Traditional native systems and traditions of
shamans and shamanism which existed in the past. Historical shamanism
is believed to extend back many millennia and to be among the oldest
human religious and spiritual practices.
(See 'shamanism' for additional information.)
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Contemporary Shamanism: The practices of contemporary shamans and
of the apprentices, assistants, helpers and clients under their
instruction or of those individuals involved in working with or
otherwise assisting the shaman in his or her work.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Traditional Shamanism: Native traditional practices of those who
have acquired the ability to move into and perceive other worlds
by means of "archaic techniques of ecstasy" and of the apprentices,
assistants and helpers under their instruction and others who
otherwise support, assist and work with shamans
as they work in their communities.
(For additional information see 'shamanism'.)
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Non-traditional Shamanism: Often at least loosely based on one
or more traditional shamanic systems, non-traditional shamanism
is usually a hybrid of ecstatic techniques of shamanic journeying
and other aspects of contemporary psychological, religious and
spirituality. Rather than attempting to continue a pre-existing
tradition, the non-traditional practitioner focuses on utilizing
the ancient techniques of the shaman in ways appropriate to a
modern audience. Some of the resulting systems and practices can
no longer be properly called 'shamanism.' The proposed term 'Post-
Shamanic' is intended to address such gray areas as well as more
fully developed systems and practices which contain shamanic
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Neo-shamanism: A movement which has grown out of a combination
of environmentalism, popular anthropology and a growing desire for
more open non-institutionalized forms of religion and spirituality.
Since the early 1970's it has been gaining adherents in many western
and (more recently in) former communist countries. Each individual is
believed capable of becoming their own shaman usually under the
instruction of a shamanic instructor or counselor. These new shamanic
practices, termed 'neo-shamanism' by Piers Vitebsky, (Ph.D.,
anthropologist and head of the Scott Polar Research Institute,
University of Cambridge, England), in his book, The Shaman, (1995),
have been influenced by popularization of certain
aspects of Native American religious practices including spirit
helpers and power animals. Among the leading instructors in the neo-
shamanic movements are Michael Harner and Kenneth Meadows, authors
of various books and who offer workshops and courses of study.
Michael Harner is an anthropologist and a founder of The Institute for
Shamanic Studies (,now located in Marin County, in northern

In neo-shamanism, the states range from light altered states of
consciousness to deep trance. Usually drumming, rattling or tapes
are utilized to assist in inducing these 'shamanic states'. As is the
case with Non-Traditional Shamanism, many aspects of Neo-
Shamanism move far beyond what may properly be called
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Pseudo-shamanism: A term applied to non-ecstatic visionary traditions
such as those found among many Native Americans in North America.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Core Shamanism: A term used by Michael Harner and others associated
with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. As with 'Shamanics' (see
below), Core Shamanism seeks to identify and make available, to a
wider contemporary audience, the core techniques of the shaman as
they have been used for millennia in cultures around the world.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Shamanics: A term used by Kenneth Meadows which focuses on many of
the essential elements and practices of shamanic experience and states
of consciousness. The purpose of this metaphysical approach to
shamanism is to make these essential aspects and experiences of the
extraordinary available to people living ordinary lives. These have
been removed from their "social, religious and cultural contexts.
Similar to Harner's Core Shamanism, it makes use of drumming, rattles
and tapes to induce a type of mental traveling or 'Journey' into other
realms and altered states of consciousness.
deane@netcom.com (Dean Edwards)

Kenneth Meadows defines Shamanics as:
"A personal development process which incorporates the essence of
universal shamanism - the ancient wisdom of the visionaries and 'Wise
Ones' of many cultures and traditions into a Science of living for
Modern Times that is the most practical of all metaphysical systems.
A way of experienced and revealed knowledge that is motivated by the
Spirit enabling individuals to relate to Nature and come into harmony
with the totality of their own being and find meaning, purpose and
fulfillment in their own lives."
(Kenneth Meadows, Where Eagles Fly, pages 240-1, 1995.)

Techno-shamanism: The use of technology to enhance and enter into
shamanic 'altered states of consciousness'. These range from the
hemispheric synchronization of the Monroe institute which uses a
binaural beat and following frequency response to other forms of
electronic stimulation of the nero-muscular system and the use of bio-
feedback, EEG and PET scans, other neuromuscular monitoring devices
or stimulation by chemical agents artificially synthesized in a
laboratory. Any or all of these may be used to monitor and assist in
inducing ecstatic deep trance states found in traditional shamanism.
This is a popular term and is not yet found in literature about
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Shamanic Tradition: Systems of religious and spiritual practice of
shamans become traditions over time which are passed on from shaman
teacher to shaman apprentice. These usually contain the a specialized
knowledge and understanding of the lore of the community being served;
recognizing the presence of Spirit and of natural and elemental
forces, guiding, helping, ancestor and teaching spirits; blessings,
charms, wards and ceremonies; methods of divination; the means for
creating or obtaining the costume and equipment necessary for the
performance of shamanic responsibilities, initiatory rites; and
techniques of shamanic flight and access to other realms and states of
consciousness. In addition, there are some aspects of these traditions
which may also be learned in dreams or while in trance state or from
direct observation of Nature and of life in the community. In some
instances, a community may be without a shaman to pass on these
traditions. When this occurs and direct instruction by experienced
shamans is not possible, the new shaman must reacquire the
continuity of the shamanic tradition from dreams, inner journeys and
observation as the primary sources of his or her training.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Siberian Complex: The native cultural traditions of Siberia,
an the Finnic peoples of Norther Europe.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Circumpolar Shamanic Tradition: The native traditional shamanic
systems and practices of shamans of the Arctic and Subarctic
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Post-Shamanic: While shamanism may be readily identified among
many hunting 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 replaced the
traditional shamans found in historical or traditional shamanism the
use of Post-shamanic is appropriate. (See Shamanism-General Overview
for more information.)
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) (August, 1995)

Guardian Spirit: A spirit which protects, instructs or assists a
shaman (or other persons) while journeying, carrying out shamanic
responsibilities or training. Encounters with these numinous beings
may occur in trance, dreams, visions or in observing and interpreting
the events and circumstances of daily life.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Spirit Guide: (See Spirit Guardian.)

Tutelary Spirit: A spirit which instructs a shaman or other person.
This may be done in visions, dreams, trance, other altered states of
consciousness, or through observation and interpretation of daily life.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) (August, 1995)

Spirit Helper: A subordinate spirit to the shaman who assists him or
her in understanding or carrying out shamanic responsibilities and
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) (August, 1995)

Power Animal: A spirit perceived as taking an animal form which
instructs, guides and protects an individual or shaman and usually
becomes closely identified with the individual concerned. Unlike the
clan or group totem, this is a distinctly personal relationship with
an individual or collective animal spirit-being. The presence of a
power animal is thus unique to an individual, rather than being shared
by a group, family or clan. (Others in the group, may also have the
same power animal.) These spirit beings are prominent in many
shamanic and non-shamanic Native American traditions. In such
traditions, both shamans and non-shamans may have power animals
as spirit guides.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Michael Harner defines a power animal as: "a spirit being that not
only protects and serves the shaman, but also becomes another identity
or alter ego for him."
Michael J. Harner (The Way of the Shaman, 1980, 1990; page 43.)

Nature Spirit: A spirit which embodies the essence of an elemental
of natural force. Such spirits may be encountered in this world or
while journeying in other alternate realities and states of
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Spirit Wife/Husband/Spouse/Lover: A spirit who engages the shaman
in an inner sexual relationship and may even become the person's numinous
spouse. This is a frequently encountered motif in both
Siberian Shamanic Tradition and Celtic Faerie Lore.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Totem: A plant, animal, natural force or material which is identified
with a specific group or clan. Totems may have a particular importance
in connecting the people with the land on which they live. A totem may
thus be understood as being a group badge with sacred connotations.
A totem, such as the Bear in many of the Northern Circumpolar
Traditions, may be seen as an actual or spiritual relative or ancestor
of the family, clan or group.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Totem Place/Totemic Site: A location (most often) without specific
boundaries around a central site which has ritual or mythical
importance and a connection between the group and the its totem.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Totemism: A system of practice, belief in or use of totems.
(See Totem.)
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com

Soul: In shamanism, soul is the life force of a person, animal, plant,
or anything which exists on any plane of being. A soul may be any of
the bodies or sheaths in which this life force dwells as well. Thus,
the physical body may sometimes be referred to as the 'animal soul'.
The astral, mental or spiritual bodies may also be referred to as soul
in discussions and literature about shamanism. As the individual life
force, soul may be lost or drained away in part or in whole. When this
happens an individual is affected with some psychic or physical illness
or other malady and a shaman may attempt to retrieve the lost life
force. If enough of this life force is lost or stolen by another a
person may experience serious and debilitating illness or even death.

The Latin word for soul, ANIMUS, may be interpreted as meaning
'breath of heaven' or breath of Spirit'. This bears some similarities
to many traditional shamanic views of Soul.

Soul may also be defined as the indwelling individualized spiritual
essence, a divine spark, or unit of awareness.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Mystical Ecstasy: In the ecstatic experience of a mystic, unitive
visions or union with Spirit, God or the Divine is the characteristic
feature. This is in sharp contrast to shamanic ecstasy.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) (August, 1995)

Shamanic Ecstasy: The ecstatic experience by which the shaman journeys
into other realms, both higher and lower than this realm, as well as to
parallel regions sometimes known as a middle earth or to distant areas
of this world.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Shamanic Flight: The journey of a shaman while in trance into other
realms of being or distant regions of this world.
(See Shamanic Ecstasy)
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Journey/Journeying/Journey of Soul/Soul Travel: The journey of the
individualized life force of the shaman or other person experiencing
some form of astral, mental or soul travel. This may, in a broader
sense, also apply to the larger journey of Soul as it moves through
each lifetime and from life to life.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Ascent of Soul/Ascension: The experience of the consciousness
leaving the physical body and ascending into the heavens. Shamanic
journeys are often very similar to those found under 'ascension' or
'the ascent of soul' or to the 'descent of soul'.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Descent of Soul: The conscious descent of soul into the nether-
world, Underworld, hells, or other lower realms, usually via
descent into the Earth.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Shamanic Healing: Healing which is done by a shaman. Such healing
may be physical, psychic or spiritual.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) (August, 1995)

Shamanic Counseling: Shamanic consultations, healings and soul
retrievals are conducted during counseling sessions in which an
experienced shaman or 'shamanic counselor' journeys to assist
the patient or 'client' in remedying a physical, psychic or
spiritual condition or situation. In many of these sessions, the
client may be instructed in the techniques of shamanic journeying
so that he or she may serve as their own shaman. (Vitebsky refers
to such egalitarian access to the sacred as "spiritual democracy.")
When it is the client, rather than the shaman who is primarily
responsible for journeying, the shaman or counselor may journey as
well. In 'soul retrieval' the shaman or shamanic counselor does the
journeying and retrieval of the lost or stolen life essence and then
usually assigns followup work to the client.
(See also Neo-Shamanism)
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Soul Loss: The loss of the spiritual or psychic energies of the
life force of an individual. This may be due to lack of discipline
by the individual experiencing this loss or by actual theft of this
vital essence by another person. Such theft may not be conscious,
but may also be due to a lack of personal discipline or concern
with the effects of ones physical, emotional and mental conduct.
This loss of life force may result in physical or psychic illness
or distress.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Soul Retrieval: The retrieval of lost or stolen life essence or
psychic life force of an individual by a shaman or shamanic counselor.
(See also Soul Loss and Shamanic Healing.)
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Psychopomp: A spirit or individual or divine entity which accompanies
the soul of the recently deceased to a place in another world. Hermes
is an example from classical antiquity of a post-shamanic psychopomp.
This is a common motif in shamanic traditions.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Shamanizing: The experience of the shaman working while entering
and experiencing shamanic ecstasy, usually in a ceremonial setting.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Call (shamanic): Shamans are 'called' by Spirit, Soul or by spirits
to become a shaman. This may occur in a number of ways. A person may
experience physical trauma or psychic distress or from a direct or
indirect experience in dreams, spontaneous trance states, or by the
invitation of Spirit or of spirits. Physical distress may include
such events as a fall from a height, being struck by lightening, or
a serious fever or illness, or other near encounters with death.
Dream and trance initiations and experiences with spirits are also
common experiences of being called to become a shaman. Sometimes
psychic distress may be experienced as sudden and significant mood
swings or periods of lengthy melancholy, loss of affect, incoherency
or even loss of consciousness. The Call may also come from deep
within, from the higher core essence of the prospective shaman.
When signs of shamanic tendencies are recognized by other shamans or
members of the shamans family, clan or community, the individual who
appears to have been 'called' may be advised to seek training and
begin to gather the necessary equipment of a shaman which is
appropriate to that community and cultural milieu. Some may chose to
avoid this Call to become a shaman, others may deliberately seek it
out. (See Shamanism-General Overview for additional information
about becoming a shaman. See also Shamanic Sickness.)
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Shamanic Sickness: When someone is called to become a shaman this Call
is often accompanied by a period of physical or mental distress or
illness. A potential shaman may then elect to avoid that calling or
may decide to seek training and begin to shamanize. (Among the Tungus
of Siberia, from whom the word 'shaman' originates, the word is in
fact used both as a noun and as a verb. In English, the verb form is
'to shamanize'.)

The first task the new or prospective shaman must face then is to
master his or her own condition and this experience becomes an
essential part of what resources may thereafter be drawn upon when
shamanizing or engaging in shamanic healing or other activities. The
personal experience of those shamans who do encounter
such an initial period of 'shamanic sickness' is characteristic of
the role of personal experience in the way of shamans worldwide.
Overcoming this initial period of illness or distress, when it is
encountered, and which may be brief or last for many years, provides
shamans with the type of experience which is considered absolutely
necessary for their work as shamans. As self therapy, it also enables
the shaman to participate in the day-to-day life of the community
(which may not have been possible while in the throws of 'shamanic
(See also Call.)
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Shamanic Initiation: There are both inner and outer initiatory rites
and experiences in traditional shamanism. Initiation may come in
trance or in a dream. The manner in which the individual is called is
in itself a form of initiation. Dreams of being cooked, boiled and
consumed are one common initiatory dream. The internal organs of a
shaman may be removed and replaced with more spiritually attuned
ones or the shaman may be infused with the power of his or her
tutelary spirits or of Spirit itself. Other forms of inner
initiation range from the terrifying to the sublime. The acceptance
of a shaman by the community is often another form of initiation.
There are also certain ceremonies or ritual practices or journeys
which the shaman may be expected to undertake before being considered
to have been fully initiated as a shaman. (Significant treatment of
this Shamanism-General Overview for additional information.)
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Great Shaman/Celestial Shaman: This numinous figure is found in
various shamanic traditions, particularly in Siberia and Central
Asia. It may be identified as a specific spiritual entity or even
with the northern Pole Star (the peg in the sky or the nail of
heaven.) The Great or Celestial Shaman is the highest source of
shamanic initiation. (There seems to be some parallels with
Post-Shamanic Sufi tradition of the Qutb, which is also identified
with the Pole Star.)
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

First Shaman: The first shaman may be either a reference to the
Celestial Shaman, a mythical first shaman in this world or to the
first shaman of a tribe or people.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Runesinger: In historical Finnish shamanism a runesinger was a
singer of charms and sacred chants. This has parallels with the
old traditions of Galdr among the Germans and Scandinavians and
of bardic, 'glamour' or faerie music lore among the ancient Celts.
The sacred aspects of this ancient sound tradition have also
influenced contemporary literature such as in the writings of
J.R.R. Tolkien.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Shapeshifting: A motif frequently encountered in shamanic practice.
There seem to be three distinct types of shapechanging.
a. The way in which an inner body appears. This may be called soul or
spirit shifting, because it involves the movement and shifting in
appearance of the image of someone or something as they appear
inwardly in spirit form.
b. When it is the spirit form which can be physically seen. The
person shapeshifts and can change how they appear to others while in
spirit form.

c. Actual physical shapeshifting.

There are also stories of bilocation in which a person may appear
in more than one location at the same time. This is not necessarily a
shapeshifting phenomenon, but may also involve shapeshifting.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Axis Mundi: The Axis of the World around which the Earth and the
heavens rotate. Long a synonym for Spirit, the Axis Mundi has
been represented as a great mountain, a tree, a pillar, a column,
and a rod or staff of power,
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

World/Cosmic/Universal Tree: A symbolic representation of Spirit
as the axis mundi or center of the world. With its roots deep in
the Earth and its uppermost branches reaching out into the
heights of the heavens, the World Tree symbolizes the presence
and flow of Spirit upon which shamans and other esoteric
practitioners are said to ascend and descend in their journeys.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

World/Cosmic Pillar/Column: A symbolic representation of Spirit as
the axis mundi or center of the world. The World Column is often
portrayed as the link between Earth and the heavens. This connection
is symbolized by Polaris, the northern Pole Star.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

World/Cosmic Mountain: A symbolic representation of Spirit as
the axis mundi or center of the world. The World or Cosmic
Mountain, like the World Tree, has its foundations deep in the Earth
and its heights in the Heavens.This Mountain of God is a common motif
not only in shamanism, but also in various religious traditions
around the world.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

The Sacred River: Another representation of Spirit, the river may be
both seen and heard. It represents the flow and presence of Spirit in
the varied realms of the heavens, the Earth and the Underworld.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

The Pole Star: In Siberian shamanic tradition, the northern is
sometimes called the peg in the sky or the nail of heaven. It is the
visible point in the sky where the axis mundi connects the Earth with
the heavens. It may also represent the Great or Celestial shaman, just
as it does the Qutb of (the post-shamanic) Sufi traditions of Islam.
According to Siberian traditions this also represents the Great
Celestial Shaman and may even represent a initiatory state in which
the Great Shaman may, on rare occasions, be represented by an
actual physical shaman.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Otherworld/Faerie: The realm of the Tuatha de Danann and other
fantastic races and creatures in Celtic lore. This has very strong
parallels with shamanic otherworld traditions.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Non-Ordinary Reality: In the Harner Method of shamanic journeying,
this is where the person journeys to during a session. These
alternate realities are described as a higher, middle and lower
world. Non-ordinary realities parallel the existence of this world.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Ordinary Reality: Normal everyday reality and the physical world and
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Lower Earth/Netherworld/Underworld: These may be lower parallel
regions which are otherwise similar to this world or dark, shadowy
realms or hells. In the case of such regions as the Celtic Underworld,
these lower Earths may not have a sun to produce light, but rely on
light which is naturally emitted by the land itself.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Middle Earth: Middle Earth may be either a parallel physical world
or this world itself.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Upper Earth/Upper World: The heavens are the traditional upper worlds
of most traditions. These range from the actual Sky to higher planes of
existence extending into the heart of God.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

Dream Time: Among Aborigines of Australia, this is the time and realm
of the foundation, the beginnings. Everyone lives out their lives in
a relationship with this state. Time from this perspective is viewed
as being circular, like the breathing technique employed when playing
the Digeridoo. This is the archetypal or primordial state from which
creation was formed. Thus, time is very different than time in the
normal outer world.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

W.F.H. Stanner described the Dream Time as "the common but not
universal way of referring to the time of the founding drama.... two
complementary emphases stood out in the doctrine of the Dream Time:
the fixation or instituting of things in an enduring form, and the
simultaneous endowment of all things--including man, and his condition
of life--with their good and/or bad properties. The central meaning
was clear. Men were to live always under that foundation.?
(W.F.B. Stanner. Religion, totemism and symbolism. In Aboriginal Man
in Australia, edited by R.M. Berndt and C.M. Berndt. Sydney: Angus
and Robertson. 1965, pages 214-215.)

The Dreaming/Dreamings: The Dreaming is the continuing relationship
which exist between traditional Aborigines of Australia and the
beginnings and life in the Here and Now. It is a continuing experience.
Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com)

W.F.H. Stanner writes that the Dreaming "is represented as a
continuing highway between ancestral superman and living man, between
the life-givers and life, the countries, totems and totem-places they
gave to living men, between subliminal reality and immediate reality,
and between the There-and-Then of the beginnings of all things, and
relevances of the Here-and-Now of their continuations.
(.H. Stanner. Some aspects of Aboriginal religion. Colloquium 9(1):
page 23.

The comments of others shall be added to these comments in the
soc.religion.shamanism-Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Dean Edwards