Arachnae's Metaphysics


Shamanism, loosely defined, has come to mean a system of natural magic that puts a practitioner, or shaman, in touch with spirits that can guide human decision making if heeded.

In the West, the term now is used to refer to the system of 'medicine' practiced by native Americans. This usage is controversial, since the term is Asian and originally referred to animistic practices in Siberia, Mongolia and environs.

In this section, we will post articles on both Eastern and Western influenced schools of shamanism, much of which could now be called 'neo-shamanism' anyway.

FEATURE: Smudging: what it is and how to do it

One of native America's most 'cross-over' traditions is that of smudging. Many people who are completely uninterested in other aspects of Native American culture routinely smudge their environment to clear the air and keep the creepy feelings away. Simply put, smudging is purifying an area or object by the use of ritual smoke. The smoke of purifying herbs is thought to carry away bad influences and spirits and make the space hospitible to helpful and positive spirits. (more)
Shamanic Drumming

One of the simplest and most powerful tools of the shaman and shamanism is the hand drum. Drumming, either alone or in a group, can reduce stress, energize the drummer and invoke altered states of consciousness.

A simple heartbeat rhythm, the repetitive da-dub sound of a heart, can induce calm and a zen-like state in the most hyper individual. Research shows that drumming can cause alpha and theta brainwaves associated with reveries and dreaming and bolsters the immune system. (more)