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
FEATURE: Smudging: what it is and how to do
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