Shaman (pronounced SHAH-maan) is a word from the language of the Tungus people
of Siberia. A Shaman is a man or woman who enters and altered state of
consciousness at will. The Shaman does this to contact and utilize an ordinarily
hidden reality to acquire knowledge, power, and to help others. The Shaman
usually has at least one or more spirits in his or her personal service.
The trance or “ecstatic” state of consciousness the Shaman enteres can be termed
as the Samanistic State of Consciousness (SSC). The shaman does not enter this
state for play, but only for serious purposes. The Shaman must also know the
basic methods of accomplishing the work in the SSC before entering such a state.
For example, if the Shaman wishes to recover a patient’s guardian animal, he
must know the techniques for reaching the Lowerworld, entering it, finding the
spirit animal and bringing it back safely. Subsequently, he must know what
instructions to give the patient in the ordinary State of Consciousness (OSC).
The Shaman is an accomplished seer who works in the dark, or at least with the
eyes covered in order to see clearly. For this reason, the Shaman usually
engages in such practices at night. Some kind of Shamanistic seeing can be done
with the eyes open, but that kind of perception is usually less profound. In
darkness, the distractions of ordinary reality are less, making it possible for
the Shaman to concentrate on aspects of non-ordinary reality essential for the
Shaman’s work. The SSC must also be entered with the assistance of drumming,
singing, dancing and the use of rattles.
Shamanistic Enlightenment is the literal ability to lighten the darkness and see
what others cannot perceive.