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This section examines the methods of healing performed by shamans, (for
either individuals suffering from illness or for a community as a whole)
including: healing of the spirit, herbal healing, bodywork, divination, soul-
leading, ceremony and ritual. It also provides information about a shaman’s
guides or “spirits” and the processes by which a shaman travels to the “other
world” (or induces a “shamanic state of consciousness”). A brief discussion of
cultures that use various hallucinogenic or mind-altering substances is
included, as well as major archetypal themes individuals experience during
their shamanistic journeying.
d. How does shamanic healing work
This section examines the practices of shamans and the question of “trickery”
or deception surrounding their methods of healing and how it was viewed as a
form of neurosis or schizophrenia since the Enlightenment.
II. Neo-Classical Shamanism and “core shamanism” (the last third of the paper
focuses on the contemporary emerge of shamanistic practices and the personal, social,
and cultural implications):
a. What is neo-shamanism What is “core shamanism”
This section explores the emergence of interest in shamanism in contemporary,
Western world and discusses the concept of “core shamanism” developed by
anthropologist Michael Harner. It examines the contributing factors for this
interest within the context of other non-western healing or spiritual practices
(such as yoga or meditation).
b. What is our contemporary understanding of shamanic methods
This section examines the psychological (with an emphasis on Jungian
psychology), physiological, and chemical mechanisms involved in altered
consciousness and its ramifications upon an individual.
c. How can anyone use shamanistic practices to heal themselves or others
This last section explores the personal benefits of using core shamanism as a
healing or spiritual practice.
Conclusion: The conclusion examines the broader personal, social, and cultural
implications of shamanistic healing in the 21
century. It discusses how various
shamanistic practices can aid the individual, how it can be used in our community, and
the intended ramifications for the earth at large.