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As per their way of life, Shamans live like ordinary people and earn their living as other people in the community. This is supplemented by contributions provided by the members of the community as a kind of payment to appease the spirits. Depending with the region of the world, shamanism tends to differ among many nations and cultures but there are distinct beliefs that are common to all forms of shamanism. As per Eliade, the common beliefs are that spirits in question can either be evil or good, a shaman has the power to heal any sickness associated with evil spirits, shaman has the ability to communicate with the spiritual world, shaman’s spirit often leave the physical nature to the spiritual world in search of disturbing answers, spirits do exists and they have definite roles in the lives of individuals and the society. Also in about all regions practicing shamanism, the shamans, have to call upon the images of animals which acts as guides of the spirits and the carriers of the messages. There is also a common belief that shamans are able to tell the future through throwing of bones, and any other forms of divination (Stevens, 2004).
In actual sense, in healing a shaman virtually, gets into the body of the patient in order to fight the spirits and bring healing to the infected spirit. Some societies attribute shamans to having power to kill and to heal, in such a case; they are confused with witchcrafts who curst evil spell to people. In practice shamanism employs traversing of the axis mundi and getting to the spiritual world by altering how the consciousness is transmitted, getting into euphoric dreams. To affect trance there are various method that are used, many of them being used together. These includes, use of plants for example tobacco and cannabis, there is dancing, music, singing, fasting, vision quest, and sword fighting (Wolfe, 2002).
Today shamanism has fell in many countries due to the fact that as people become educated, they tend to forget about their traditions terming it as outdated and non helpful. It therefore largely exists today in undeveloped countries and regions such as jungles and deserts and places like Africa and some parts of South America where shamanism had largely dominated in old days. Most regions practicing shamanism have gender variation. In Europe, it still exists as a traditional form of religion, in places like Altaic, among Hun peoples, in Udmurtia and also in Mariel (Aldhouse-Green, 2005). In Cyprus traces of shamanism are seen in the way folk dances are performed. They seem to borrow so much from the traditional ways of worship and also the incantation form of worship. Healers are also present today in Cyprus.
China on the other hand, being an industrialized country remains on the top with the long history of shamanic practice. These practices are still there today with the group of male chauvinist shamans rejecting the existence of female shamans. In Korea, the practice is still in place especially in the southern parts, with women are mostly taken as shamans who are mostly consulted for marriage and financial matters. Shamanism can be obtained via inheritance and are seemingly from low class in the society. It is evident that the shamanism that exists today is a reinvented form mostly carried on by many esoteric and occult circles. Many churches today also try to identify themselves with power to communicate with spirits. Many spiritual leaders travel to Peru today to seek help to leaders who use ayahuasca, which is said to effects some form of spiritual meetings and resulting to revelations that are divine.
In conclusion, shamans are the same as the prophets of today and they are there to mediate between human beings and the spirits. Shamanism still hides itself in the face of the new religion considering how occult groups have adopted it and made it modern and no matter how it is opposed and denied, it will continue to thrive in the remote regions or the countries that had its strong roots. Shamanism is a form of worship like any other and should be respected as other forms are respected since it comes to solve the problems that do affect the community and it recognizes that there are supreme spirits that are in control.
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