Shamanism – The Beginnings

There are many different speculations around where Shamanism came into humanity.  Today I share a little bit that I have uncovered through various sources – including a book I love called Shamanism for Dummies, books/excerpts by Alberto Villoldo, Kristen Madden (and others), my learnings through the Spirit Moon Shamanic Community over the past couple years, and good ol’ Google searches . Yep – plenty of knowledge out there – so I’ll summarize some of what I recall during my studies.

There are compelling evidence that shamanism developed at the very beginning on human history is found in caves and dwellings and rocks dating back to the Paleolithic era.

There are images depicting ceremonies held around hunting practices thousands and thousands of years B.C.E.   Many people believed that animals belonged to gods, goddesses, spirits, and some referred to them belonging to masters.

Shamans helped cure disease or bad fortune that would have been believed to originate from bad spirits or witchcraft. Even when religion began to take over – shamans still played vital role in healings and solving community strife.

The Mayan civilization began rising around 1500 B.C.E and was a grand display of temples, pyramids, irrigation canals, fertile fields, and even intricate belief system around different gods and kings that commanded fertility, rain, and more.  They too believed in the different worldly levels. Today, Mayan shamans use mixed techniques picked up over the years though acquisitions from war and much more.

Over the years shamans have been a part of every day community jobs such as shop owners, carpenters, or engaged in urban occupations. 

Explorers and anthropologists were responsible for documenting shamanism from around the world.  I have a tendency to believe that over the years as organized religion took over – some of the findings were cast out as to carry out specific agendas and truths were not always carried forward in all situations.

Shamans are known for their ability to contact spirits for their help, sometimes going into an altered state of consciousness.  Shamans  sometimes call on the spirits or travel into their worlds taking many different forms.  They would use variety of methods such as meditation, hallucinogenic plants, drumming and rattling, singing, dancing, chanting and much more.

Shamanism spread to the West in the 1950s and 1960’s.  It went global around the 1980’s and traditions have become integrated with modern day main stream societies.

I consider myself a shamanic practitioner.  I do not feel comfortable using the term Shaman, as across the world there is lineages and traditions that run deep with that title.  I practice shamanism in many different aspects of my life, my career, and my coaching practices with others, 

Feel free to add comments on some of what you know about the beginnings of Shamanism. I can never get enough on this topic!

Look for the next post coming in a week around the different worlds traveled such as the Lower World, the Middle World, and the Upper World. Over the next several weeks I will be sharing different aspects of Shamanism, my practices and experiences.

Shining Through the Shadows ~


photo credit:

Responsibility Disclaimer: If you have never been taught to journey by a trained Shamanic practitioner or Shaman – please do so before attempting to communicate with beings in other realms. I highly recommend researching into your local communities and finding someone that resonates with you and helps you find comfort in these practices. Your safety is of the upmost importance. Please feel free to reach out to me directly with questions and I will help the best I can.


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