What is the difference between a Shaman and a Shamanic practitioner?


What is the difference between a Shaman and a Shamanic practitioner? 

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In many indigenous cultures around the world, there is a belief that all individuals are called but some are called to be shamans, while others are called to practice the shamanic way of life. The shamanic way of life is what most people know as rites-of-passage, which is used to integrate an individual into the traditional way of life. In traditional times, this is when a boy becomes a man and is assigned various responsibilities that they must abide by to ensure that his family, community, and people are in balance. It is also where a girl becomes a woman and is assigned various responsibilities that she must abide by to ensure that her family, community, and people are in alignment with nature. Although in modern times, various ideologies are used to determine the course of an individual’s life, the principles of Maat have not changed because they are based upon the nature of the human spirit and not social movements, which means men and women still have specific responsibilities to the world at large. Shamanism, therefore, helps these individuals to find the balance regardless of their ideologies.

Shamans, on the other hand, are individuals who have been called to help themselves find balance by helping others to find balance. Many shamans were shamans or members of the priesthood in the past lifetime who have incarnated to complete a task from the previous incarnation. 

The big difference between the two is that shamans serve the community, whereas the other professions tend to serve only themselves and typically for a profit. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this but, it must be understood that shamans are dutybound to the community and people they serve.

For instance, when a shamanic practitioner becomes drastically ill and recovers. He or she may help others by testifying how they recovered, and be supportive. But, when a shaman becomes drastically ill, when he or she recovers they become a specialist to help others recover from similar illnesses. Along with praying and performing rituals to help the individual to recover, the shaman may even enter into a mild trance (dreams, visions, etc.) to gather specific instructions that pertain to the individual’s recovery, which may or may not include herbal remedies or ritualistic practices that the individual should implement.

There is a saying that a shaman can be a healer, magician, seer, diviner, psychic, etc. but a healer, magician, seer, diviner, psychic, etc. cannot be a shaman. 




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