Expert Answer Forum

identify of word QUESTION from Marie August 14, 2000 Dear John Paul:
Can you tell me what a Shaman is? I am not sure of the spelling either, but apparently the person that I was told about was a self proclaimed Shaman it is said that he was beating a drum during a inner experience ??? Please explain. Thanks
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on October 18, 2000 Dear Mrs. Marie:
A Shaman is a witch doctor.
Many tribal societies have shamans, or witch doctors who act as a medium between the visible world and an invisible spirit world. These shamans use magic or sorcery for purposes of healing, divination, and control over natural events.
In other words, a shaman in a witch.
The theology of witchcraft is pagan in nature usually animistic or pantheistic, sometimes polytheistic - depends on the group.
The inner experience was probably some form of spiritual exercise, such as a Vision Quest of some American Indian cultures that has been popularized in recent years on TV. The purpose of the exercise is generally to contact one's spirit guide (often an animal) that will lead you to the answer of your question, or to some type of enlightenment.
There are thousands of different variations on this theme and practice, so it is hard for me to pin point for you what the person was referring to exactly. Buy you can get a generalize idea from my comments above.
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