The ancestors of everyone, very, very far back were animists and used shamanism as a tool (from 200,000- 300,000 years ago until about 8000 BCE). While many people think of shamanism in terms of indigenous peoples of today, it actually predates what we call “civilization”.
Tribal hunter-gatherers were living in a very different world, not only externally, but in their viewpoint of it. Their view is generally considered to be what’s called animism. Animism is an experience of being connected to the spirits of all beings – humans and other animals, plants and trees, and stone people, and so forth. These humans lived throughout the world, before agriculture became firmly established.
Tribes were nomadic, moving according to food availability. An egalitarian yet specialized way of life worked. Some in the tribe were very good hunters and gatherers. Others were experts at knapping tools or curing skins for clothes. Yet others were shamans who were very good at journeying to the spirit world and bringing back information to support the tribe’s survival. Everyone was aware of the spirit world, but shamans specialized in it.
Today animism/shamanism is re-surging. We sorely need it to reconnect to nature and our own souls. It offers direct experience of the spirit world. Some are concerned with shamanism being cultural approriation from indigenous cultures. This can be avoided by not taking on the cultural practices and rituals and beliefs of these peoples. When shamanism worldwide was studied core practices were found, no matter what the local cultural trappings and modifications were. Using core shamanic practices, it’s possible to learn more directly from spirit world helpers.
Finding a teacher who is both knowledgeable and experienced in core shamanism will avoid any cultural appropriation. Safe and ethical use of shamanism can support personal and group development.
Interested in trying shamanism and learning about animism with core practices?
Paul Francis is Terra’s preferred teacher. Paul shares a complete basis for your journeys and allows for your own path in all the worlds. You can find him HERE. Lots of free information and great classes.