Shamanism is the oldest of spiritual traditions, and it is found in most hunter-gatherer cultures. Virtually all of
the world's religions have their roots in shamanism, though those roots may no longer be obvious. The word shaman
comes to us from the Siberian Tungus, but it is derived from the ancient Vedic Sanskrit word sram, meaning
"to heat oneself or practice austerities."
The shaman is one who navigates between the visible world and the invisible spirit world, healing, divining, helping
the dead cross over, and tracking lost souls, objects and game. In the words of Joan Halifax, the shaman is "a specialist
in the human soul."
The shaman is one who restores harmony, to individuals, to communities, and to the world. Many traditions say
that the way of the shaman is the way of power, but a good shaman always uses his or her power for the greater good.
The way of the shaman is the path of service.