Shamanism is one of Earth’s oldest – if not the oldest – form of magic. [Click to Tweet!] It’s the ur, the source from which today’s magical practices flow – from witchcraft to hoodoo.
- Shamanism is global. You can find it in Asia, among the American Indians, and yes, even in Western Europe, though it’s largely died out on that continent. And though shamanic practices and beliefs vary by region, there are certain “core” practices central to all shamanism.
- Journeying is one of those core shamanic practices. To journey, shaman enters a trance state – through drumming, dancing, or singing – and then psychically journeys to Upper or Lower World. This blog focuses on those core practices.
- In most shamanic belief systems, there are three spiritual worlds – Upper World, Lower World, and Middle World. Human ghosts dwell in Middle World and are generally to be avoided. Helpful animal spirits live in Lower World (Lower World is NOT to be confused with Hell). And higher beings live in Upper World.
- Shamans work with the spirit world to create changes in our physical world. While shamans can work with spirits of the dead, more typically they work with animal or Upper World spirits.
- Shamans believe people can lose fragments of their souls, causing mental and physical illnesses. In order to heal these people, shamans will go on a “soul retrieval,” psychically traveling to Lower World to find the pieces of the patient’s lost soul and returning them to the patient.
- There are two classes of shamans: healers and warriors. Warrior shamans work to protect their tribe, using their abilities to scout for enemies and setting up early warning systems should invaders approach.
- In order to become a shaman, the shaman usually undergoes some form of dismemberment. This is typically psychic – a spiritual trauma or a visionary dismemberment during a shamanic journey where they are broken into pieces and put back together. But it could be a real physical illness or accident.
So what’s up with me and shamanism? Samantha, the heroine of my paranormal erotic romance, Spirit on Fire, is a shaman. Her dismemberment was a physical attack (no actual dismembering, fortunately). Rather than let the attack beat her down, she learned forgiveness and lifted herself up. It’s that heart full of forgiveness that makes her an equal match for her lover, Marek, who struggles with his desire for revenge. She’s dived deep into that black pool herself and understands the darkness in him.
And if you’d like to read more about core shamanic practices, then I can highly recommend anything by Michael Harner.
by Katlyn Conrad. Originally posted, with some edits, on 3 Chicks After Dark.
Samantha wants a normal life but the were world won’t leave the sexy new shaman alone. An outcast, she has the potential to control were spirits of all kinds—if only she can figure out how. When she encounters a red-hot demon were, everything she never wanted to know about the supernatural gets turned on its head.
The fire demon Marek claims he’s been ordered to kill Samantha but he’s disobeying the command. He’s come to save her instead, so they can work together against his sadistic vampire master. Demons are notorious liars, so Samantha has her doubts but no choice. A common cause—survival—draws them together and cool suspicion turns to sexual heat.
A Romantica® paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave.
Book length: Novella, 26,000 words.
About the Author
Katlyn Conrad has never met a chocolate dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching True Blood reruns and drinking old vine Zinfandels. She has a deep and abiding love of magic, myth, and mayhem.