Reverend Anthony Farmer, OUnI, is an ordained Interfaith Minister (The New Seminary, New York) and an ordained Interfaith Cleric and Wisdom Keeper (The Order of Universal Interfaith, Washington, DC). He walks the path of a shaman. Reverend Farmer~BlackEagle is a spiritual teacher and guide, published author. “My spiritual journey began, consciously, in a deep meditation where my spirit shape-shifted into an eagle and soared out the window into the air. Life has been an eventful ride on the rapids ever since.” His website is www.visionsoftheheart.org and he can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
- What is a shaman?
There are so many definitions to this one word. Shaman, from a word of the Tungus people of Asia, is one who enters into an ecstatic trance or shamanic journey to the spirit world to receive knowledge, ritual, or guidance to use in the healing of a patient. The shaman is a bridge or intermediary between the physical world and the spirit world. The shaman is one “who knows.”
- What does a shaman do?
The shaman is the one who holds a body of ancient techniques and knowledge that are used to restore and maintain “balance” through the healing of themselves, others and the community. The shaman works with Spirit and spirit allies to achieve this energetic balance. The shaman does nothing alone. The word shaman has come to apply to those who may be understood as medicine men and women, witch doctors, herbalists, seers and visionaries, mystics, healers and numerous other people of spiritual depth, depending on the tradition and culture.
- What are the principles of shamanism?
The principles of shamanism are based on the tradition and culture. The shaman is subject to the principles and understandings of his people. The shaman also operates within the guidelines as dictated by her teachers through her training. In my various readings and experiences, one thing is very true--shamans understand on a deep, intimate level the relationship of all things in the universe, in the physical and spiritual worlds and beyond. Everything is connected.
- Is shamanism a religion or what is it?
Shamanism is not a religion. Shamans are not only keepers of knowledge and techniques used in service to others, they are also the embodiment of this knowledge and power. Some people will embrace the path of shamanism, using the various tools and techniques, without becoming a shaman. To some people, shamanism is more than a philosophy or a way of being; it is who they are. Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D. states in Shaman, Healer, Sage that, “a shaman is a self-realized person who discovers the way of Spirit through her inner awakening.
- Do Shamans believe everything has a spirit?
My understanding is everything has a spirit. Everything is from the Great Spirit, or Mother/Father God. And everything is connected, and that connection is spirit. I understand that and I am still learning it.