“Shamanism,” like “love,” is a notoriously hard word to define. Any meaningful discussion of an idea, however, depends on the idea first being clearly defined so that everyone understands exactly what is being discussed. I came across this definition on a Norse Mythology Website: http://norse-mythology.org/concepts/shamanism/ “Shamanism can be considered to be the practice of entering an ecstatic trance state in order to contact spirits and/or travel through spiritual worlds with the intention of accomplishing some specific purpose. It is a feature of countless magical and religious traditions from all over the world, especially animistic ones. When a person listens to the steady beat of a drum at say…120 to 130 beats per minute, our brain waves will shift into a theta state. Here we enter into a light, aware trance much like lucid dreaming. Our personal experience of this state may vary each time we journey. You might experience vivid sensations and or sounds while another person might have technicolor visions.
“Shamanism is a worldwide practice in which the spiritual interrelationship of the earth with the otherworlds forms an interwoven fabric of physical and psychic being, affecting all forms of life, both seen and unseen. Within shamanism certain individuals are chosen, by the spirits or by virtue of their unusual skills, to act as walkers between the worlds, interpreters of the spirit realms. Their task is to explore these unseen realms by means of the spirit-journey (which occurs in a shamanic trance), to interact with the beings they encounter there and to retrieve knowledge, healing and advice which may benefit the people.” Celtic Wisdom, Caitlin & John Matthews