Far back in time, in the days when animals could talk and we understood them, we knew there was more to life than what our ordinary senses perceived. In dreams and waking visions, we visited those other realms, where monsters and heroes, goddesses and giants, the very small and the immeasurably large, live and breathe. The roots of shamanism lie deep in the Paleolithic, making this our oldest spiritual tradition.
Through ways of knowing outside logic, we connect with others who can challenge us, guide us, and heal us.
In all cultures, throughout history, some people have had special skills in traveling to these realms for gathering information, finding balance, and bringing healing to individuals and communities. Each culture has its own names for these skilled ones: wise ones, druids, witches, curanderas, seers, medicine people, shamans.
Today, the practices of shamanic journeying and healing are taught within various cultural traditions, and in what is called core shamanism. Those of us of European ancestry can choose core shamanism as a starting point for exploring our lost traditions.
Shamanism today offers openings to self understanding, connection with Imaginal realms of spirit and mystery, connection to ancestral traditions and allies, dreaming, divination, and healing. This path connects deeply with the Earth, honors the natural world and all her beings, recognizes the worlds of spirit surrounding us filled with sentient beings, and seeks balance in all things.