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Shamans and Shamanism


The relationship between the healer and the patient is not a one – way street. Can be healed and the healer to get help might help himself. The same relationships, rituals and States of consciousness to heal the patient, can heal and the therapist. As we will see below, even the mere desire to help and heal can be beneficial to both parties. This process of mutual healing is especially important for shamans because shamans have always been “wounded healers”, or otherwise affected in the past. As clinical observations, but also world myths indicate that he who went through his own illness, maybe better than anyone else, to help alleviate the suffering of others. As Carl Jung said, “suffering eliminates suffering”.

Shamans are people who are often in so much pain. This suffering might fall upon them suddenly during the crisis of initiation or the shamans themselves went deliberately to suffering during periods of seclusion and asceticism. Often, these people overcome the crisis through the ritual, and helping others. Sometimes “the shaman must first heal himself and his disease initiation and only then to treat the other members of their community”.

Either the shaman cures himself by helping others or first heals himself and then helps others, it is very important prodolzhateli and assistance in order to avoid the return of the disease. Chukchi say that “while the shaman is in a state of inspiration, he should practice medicine and does not hide its power – otherwise, it will declare itself in the form of bloody sweat or fit of madness, similar to epilepsy.”

If shamanic practices really samoistselyatsya, how is the healing? In shamanic cultures, healing is made possible due to the fact that the shaman communicates with the spirits, but such self-healing can be explained in terms of psychological processes. Depending on the belief system of these psychological processes can either be viewed as serving as a liaison addition to the spiritual aspects, or how full their (spiritual aspects) expression.

What, then, are psychological factors, which could, at least partially, explain such a dramatic transformation of the shaman from patient to healer, from the victim to help, from mental patient to therapist? How can we explain the fact that shamans are often the healthiest members of their community? These processes include a shift in the interpretation of the shaman of their symptoms, the consequences of performing a shamanic role and work, the effects of altered States of consciousness, psychological changes that occur during shamanic journeys, and the results of following the principles of altruism and service.

Reinterpretation of symptoms of the crisis of initiation

Shamanic initiation crisis begins as a drama, violating the habitual way of life anxiety. In our own culture to a person covered by this kind of concern is likely to be diagnosed with any mental illness, and the doctors will probably try to suppress the symptoms with medication. Doctors believe patients patients patients believe that it is.

In primitive tribal cultures such symptoms are interpreted quite differently. The patient was a future shaman, and symptoms – this isn’t evidence of pathology, and calling; not an extreme situation that represents a health threat that should be suppressed, and the awakening that needs to go towards. Here we have an example of what Western psychologists call reatributsii or restructuring. It is a powerful technique by which mental symptoms reinterpreted with more beneficial, more healthy point of view. It inspires the patient acceptance of symptoms and work with them on high and even evaluating them as part of the vital process of development and cognition.

The future shaman is languishing and floundering helplessly in their experiences. On the contrary, it seeks to explore healing rituals and eventually to help others. The newcomers are convinced that their symptoms are treatable and that they can heal themselves. This faith helps them realize their own strength, enhances sense of confidence and self-esteem that is reinforced by also performing the role and work of the shaman.

As a result of these processes is observed by shamans of radical shift in views on the world and my place in it. Negative attitude to disease is eliminated, shamans now filled with positive expectations about themselves, their roles and their capabilities. As new beliefs and expectations tend to function as self-fulfilling prophecies, the consequences of such shifts can be extremely powerful and healing.

The work of the shaman and his role

Love and work – these two words Sigmund Freud was the criteria of mental health. About the ability of the shaman to love we know very little, but his ability to do meaningful, useful work is beyond doubt. For the tribe the shaman’s work is important, even crucial, and therefore allows him to occupy an important position, gives power, privileges and other benefits, and perhaps saved him from the fate inconspicuous, which would be to him, whether it is different. It reinforces self-esteem and self-confidence..

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