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About Shamans 

In primitive cultures the innate abilities of prospective shamans were usually recognized at anearly age and neophyte shamans were mentored in the use the tools and practices specific to that culture. Once trained, it was up to the community to recognize an individual’s shamanic ability, however.

 

Excellence as a shaman depended on a person's innate ability as well as theirr specific training and the acquisition of tools and knowledge to negotiate life in both ordinary and non-ordinary realities since being a shaman was never a full-time career.

Knowledge of power animals is essential to a shaman and his/her success depends on acquiring as many spirit guides as possible since the more of these a shaman has, the more powerful he or she is. A power animal, also known as power helpers, totems, and spiritual guides re a spirits that reside within each individual protecting the shaman and lending specific healing powers for his/her work.

 

To obtain a power animal, one must enter shamanic reality and there are several ways to do this: initiation, vision quest, a serious or crippling illness, or a near death experience. Different cultures stress different methods. The easiest way, however, is with the help of a mentor who can assist the neophyte shaman and lead him/her through the shamanic dimensions. The best way to understand the role of the mentor is to compare shamanic journeying with traveling to a foreign country. One can buy a ticket and get on a plane and go to a foreign country and one will enjoy the journey and learn much. 

 

However, if one has a guide, who speaks the language and knows the history of the country one is visiting, the journey will be much easier and much more accessible to the traveler. In the same fashion, a shamanic mentor will be a great help to the struggling shaman. The mentor can explain and prepare the fledging shaman. I

 

n this case, however, the lessons learned with be colored by the filter of the mentor who may pick and choose the experiences to be taught; much again as the tour guide decides where to take his/her tourist. Regardless of which method is used, one is visiting the same place,  shamanic reality

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