Core shamanism

   Term used by Michael Harner and colleagues, including Sandra Ingerman, at the Foundation for Shamanic Studies to define the key features of shamanism, specifically the journey to other worlds in a willfully induced (controlled) altered state of consciousness “in order to acquire knowledge, power, and to help other persons” (Harner 1990 [1980], 20). The emphasis on the shamanic journey derives from Mircea Eliade’s understanding of shamanism as an “archaic technique of ecstasy.” The approaches of both Harner and Eliade are problematic in their universalizing of diverse and discrete, culturally situated shamanisms into a monolithic category to be palatable to Western audiences. Harner has reached tens of thousands of practitioners globally in workshops teaching core shamanism, in which drumming (and other monotonous or rhythmic sounds) is used to induce a shamanic state of consciousness. Core shamanism arguably has the greatest currency as a shamanic practice today, not only among Westerners but also those indigenous communities reviving their own shamanic traditions with the assistance of core shamanists, including some Native American, Saami, Inuit, and Central Asian tribes.

Historical dictionary of shamanism. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Core Shamanism — is a system of shamanic beliefs and practices synthesized by Michael Harner. Core shamanism does not hold a fixed belief system, but instead focuses on the practice of shamanic journeying and may on an individual basis integrate indigenous… …   Wikipedia

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  • Neo-Shamanism —    Also neo Shamanism, neoshamanism, new shamanism, whiteshamanism, contemporary shamanism, urban shamanism, Western shamanism. A term applied by scholars to engagement with, application of, or appropriation from indigenous or prehistoric… …   Historical dictionary of shamanism

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  • Chronology —    Shamanism is sometimes said to be the earliest religion, the original religion. In fact, there is no evidence that could prove or disprove such a claim. To the contrary, it is certainly the case that every shaman living today utilizes skills… …   Historical dictionary of shamanism

  • North America —    Shamanism has been identified among a wide range of indigenous nations in North America, from the Yaqui living around the Mexican border to the Inuit of the Arctic. Objections have been raised to the use of the word shaman with reference to… …   Historical dictionary of shamanism

  • Bibliography —    As the scope of the dictionary entries and extent of this bibliography make clear, there is a huge range of literature on shamans, from introductory works, general discussions on such topics as definition, and culture specific ethnographic… …   Historical dictionary of shamanism

  • Townsend, Joan —    Professor emeritus in anthropology at the University of Manitoba, Canada. Broadly concurring with Michael Harner’s definition of core shamanism as the essential character of indigenous shamanisms, Townsend’s analysis of “modern shamanic… …   Historical dictionary of shamanism

  • Eliade, Mircea — (1907–1986)    Historian of religions and fiction writer who was born in Romania but lived most of his life as an exile in France and the United States, where he became professor of the history of religions at the University of Chicago. Eliade… …   Historical dictionary of shamanism

  • Foundation for Shamanic Studies — (FSS)    A nonprofit educational organization located in Mill Valley, California (formerly the Center for Shamanic Studies in New York, established in 1983), founded and directed by Michael Harner. The FSS aims to “preserve and revive indigenous… …   Historical dictionary of shamanism

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