The five main signs of a true shaman.
And the future of shamanism

Answering the question of who shamans are is both difficult and simple. It is difficult, because the word "shaman" today is accepted to denote people who profess and practice, often, completely different beliefs, and in different nations they are called in their own way. But it is not so important what the intermediaries between the worlds are called, the essence of their deeds boils down to one point - to teach humanity the art of living in harmony with nature.
shaman and spirits
So, let's return to the central figure of shamanism, the shaman. What are his attributes and qualities? Let's try to list them briefly:

1. Since a shaman is an intermediary between the worlds of spirits and people, he must be appointed or chosen by the spirits themselves. In almost all peoples of the world, where shamanism has been preserved as a cultural phenomenon, shamans necessarily go through the stage of the "shamanic sickness", the result of which is the symbolic "death" of the chosen person and his "birth" already as a shaman.

2. A shaman is necessarily endowed with the ability to move between worlds in order to fulfill his mission and obligations to relatives and society.

3. The shaman, as a rule, has a special costume and attributes like drums and magical items with which he maintains interaction with spirits. The shaman's activity consists of traveling to other worlds, "diplomatic negotiations" and "battles" with hostile spirits and other shamans.

4. In order to successfully solve the function of an intermediary, a shaman must be a carrier of cosmogonic knowledge and a deep connoisseur of folklore, he must represent in detail the structure of the visible and invisible worlds, know their rules. In the past, shamans were among the most literate and informed people among their tribesmen.

5. Since, regardless of the shaman's "professional inclinations", healing is the basis of shamanic practice, he must know human anatomy and physiology and have the ability to "psychoanalysis".

This is the set of signs a real shaman should have. Moreover, gender does not affect shamanic power in any way, strong and weak shamans were found among both men and women.

Does shamanism have a future?

Shamanism appeared in the Stone Age, but according to archaeological sources, primarily concerning Siberia, it can be traced only from the Bronze Age, from the III-II millennium BC. So why does shamanism have such a long life? For only one reason, he has been successfully solving people's problems all this time. If these problems are reduced to a common basis, then there will be three main positions:

  • Protection of tribesmen from otherworldly dangers (rites of healing, divination, purification, protective magic for humans and space). In addition, shamans, when faced with unusual situations in the community, explained the essence of what was happening and offered solutions.
  • Concern for the preservation of "cosmic balance" through mediation between the worlds (calendar and life cycle rituals, rituals of "weather regulation", trade magic).
  • The "expertise" of all emerging innovations in the culture and ideology of the people.
As elements, "echoes" of shamanic mysteries are present in all religious practices of all world religions. But, considering that shamanism is the religious basis of a tribal community, it has been preserved in its archaic forms only where there is a tribal community, that is, among peoples living within the Far North or the tropical South.

Does this ancient religious system have a future? Under the conditions of the state, shamanism, in its traditional form, loses to world religions, "going" into the forests and into the countryside. The idea of mandatory consideration of the "interests" of wildlife, characteristic of shamanism, as a rule, contradicts the development strategies of modern states. But as long as humanity retains the need to interact with nature, shamanism, in one form or another, will live.
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