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dreamweaver
10 Sep 2013, 05:24
Is Shamanism a religion? I've heard many that say it is and many that claim it isn't.I mean no disrespect to anyone at all,I'm just looking for some input on the subject.

Gleb
10 Sep 2013, 05:32
I don't think it's a religion. I think Shamanism is like witchcraft (perhaps I am wrong, I know very little about it).

Gardenia
10 Sep 2013, 06:24
Generally speaking, shamanism is often used as an umbrella term which refers to a grouping of spiritual practices from many cultures that have shared common elements, rather than a single religion or practice. It is somewhat a bit like the term witchcraft in that respect, where witchcraft isn't a single thing, but rather there are many varieties and traditions of witchcraft.

That said, there are also those who use the term more specifically to refer to a specific group of practitioners in Siberia and some near-by areas, whose language we got the term shaman from, rather than the broader use.

monsno_leedra
10 Sep 2013, 07:48
I don't think it's a religion. I think Shamanism is like witchcraft (perhaps I am wrong, I know very little about it).

When compared to aboriginal or first nation practices it is a way of life not a spiritual / religious pathway. Consider that the "Shaman" will follow the same gods / goddesses or cultural / ethical beliefs of the nation or people to which they belong. The very social identity of the nation, tribe, people an all encompassing identity that supports and re-enforces the total identity of the people. His / her role within the society is to be an aide or extra that assists the religious and / or cultural leaders in identifying why something is occurring.

I suppose one might relate it to some of the old adages about you can take the man out of the country but can't take the country out of the man type things.

Yet within neo-shamanism it has become an assumed spiritual / religious pathway. I think this is especially so due to the fact the neo-shaman has no clan, tribe, nation that they work for in interacting with or acting as a go between with the natural and spiritual worlds. There is no deeper cultural, social, ethical structure that binds them all together. I think much of it also has to do with those who follow a shamanic pathway today are individuals who focus upon the self and not the community and their relationship / support to it.

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Is Shamanism a religion? I've heard many that say it is and many that claim it isn't.I mean no disrespect to anyone at all,I'm just looking for some input on the subject.

That is a difficult question to answer now.

It has become such an umbrella term that it's really difficult to say what is and what isn't classified as Shamanism or what components make up shamanism. Many now recognize "Core Shamansim" as a listing of beliefs or practices that are routinely part of neo-shamanism. It's like a few years ago all Shaman were also practitioners of Totemism yet today that term is not used so much, especially do to cultural appropriation. One hears animism and animist also used a lot today as aspects of shamanic practices. Here lately it seems the term "Hedgerider" or "Hedge Witch" has taken on many of the implied meanings as Shaman or shamansim.

Whether it is a religion or not I suppose depends upon the person who is being asked and how they view themselves and their practice. Personally I do not consider it to be a religion / spiritual practice but a way of life. It is applied within and upon the spiritual / ethical beliefs of the person. For instance I acknowledge my way of life and application as Shamanic yet my spiritual / religious practice is more Hellenic in beliefs.