Shamanism is a broad term for the cosmology, rituals and healing practices that are common to traditional indigenous communities all over the earth. In these modern, disruptive times, many people are looking for meaning to these beliefs and practices that are rooted in man's life on the planet and are rooted powerfully in our psyches. The popularity of modern healing modalities, from acupuncture to Reiki to depth psychology, attest to the power of this urge that draws us to understand life in the face of our fractured society. The resurgence of interest in shamanism is powered as well by the recognition of the limits to expensive, government supported health care systems.
In ancient China, the first doctors were the Wu/Shamans who were usually the women, often midwives. In these highly disruptive and separative times, people look for meaning in their roots. As the population of the earth reaches beyond the ability for the planet to support us and we recognize our inability to find another place to live, we realize that we must manage our resources sensibly.
Shamanism is both subjective and objective in its observations of life and nature. It speaks the language of the person: forces of nature are personified, as in the Greek myths;, the energy and movement of the seasons and the qualities elements are observed in their relationship to man's health and well being; our relationship to our ancestors: the dreams and misdeeds of our grandparents affect us in terms of their influence upon our development which is sometimes discussed in terms of 'ancestral qi' or 'ancestral karma.'
The wide dissemination of theories of modern physics sparks our imagination as we see the world as more transparent and maleable than Americans half a century ago. The speedy evolution of society through modern technology allows us to see our dreams become reality in record time. Thus many realize that we must ground ourselves in a solid reality to prevent the undisciplined insane proliferation of tehnology based upon nothing more than greed and whim, or the urgency of immediate gratification and solving problems by 'fighting fires' rather than analyzing long range causation and envisioning a long-term life-affirming wholistic future for our children.
So one might ask, "how is it possible that shamanism could achieve all this?' How it can do this is by reconnecting us to the essence of who we are, individually and as a community. The Taoists refer to this individually as our 'curriculum.' Each of is born with lessons to learn and unique talents to enable us. The more we are true to ourselves, the more qi, or life force, is available to us to accomplish this. The better we function, the happier we are, the more impact we have