Shamanism Defined

     Michael Harner, a world-renowned expert on shamanism, says that for over tens of thousands of years, our ancient ancestors all over the world discovered how to maximize human abilities of mind and spirit for healing and problem solving. The word "shaman" originates in Siberia with the Tungus People. In the original Tungus language the word shaman refers to a person who makes journeys to non-ordinary reality in an altered state of consciousness. Although the term is from Siberia, the practice of shamanism has existed in all parts of the world throughout history.
     After years of extensive research, Mircea Eliade, in his book, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, concluded that shamanism underlies all the other spiritual traditions on the planet. For Eliade, the most distinctive feature of shamanism - but by no means the only one - was “the journey to other worlds in an altered state of consciousness.”
     Shamans are often called "see-ers", or "people who know" in their tribal languages, because they are involved in a system of knowledge based on firsthand experience. Shamanism is not a belief system. It is based on practical personal experiments conducted to heal, to get information, or do other things. In fact, if shamans do not get results, people in their tribe will no longer use them. As a practice, Shamanism has survived because of its effectiveness.
     Michelle Christensen is a Shamanic Practitioner in Portland Oregon. She is often referred to as a "technician of the soul". Her work is result oriented and based in compassionate action. Her organization Ancient Wellspring is dedicated healing with ancient Shamanic practices blended with modern psychology. For more information about private healing sessions, classes, workshops, contact Michelle Christensen click here.

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