The word shaman has been brought into the common language from Siberia. Even there, the connotation is that of a healer. The shaman’s tasks might include praying for a good crop, conducting special occasion ceremonies, reading the future, or interpreting past events.
Healing is probably the most important job of a shaman.
In his medicine bag, the shaman has a vast knowledge of natural herbs and other plants that hold healing qualities. These he may make into a tea, a poultice, an ointment, or burn as an incense. He may add one or more of the vegetative material to a small fire and smudge the person who needs to be healed.
As a healer, the shaman attempts to restore the individual’s personal power. The old adage of mind over matter certainly applies to what the shaman does. Implied here, of course, is the notion that the body can heal itself.
Michael Harner, in his book, The Way of the Shaman, tells us that shamanism is an ancient methodological system of mind-body healing. Modern science provides numerous examples of the mind healing the body.
If the nature of the person’s illness is serious enough the shaman may go into an altered state of consciousness. In the trance state, the shaman works to restore the patient’s personal power. He does this by direct communication with the Spirit World. In this state, he hears, sees and feels the presence of other entities. It is within this framework that he asks for help to heal his patient.
©Norman W. Wilson, Ph.D. 2010. Originally published by ezinearticles. com May 31, 2010