Wednesday, November 18, 2009


"Heaven Earth" from Harald Scherz on Vimeo.


SHAMANISM is a complex transcultural phenomena, a psycho-spiritual system and conglomerate of socio-cultural practices, found around the world. The word "shaman" derives from tungusic language and means "one who knows".

Traditionally the role of the shaman is of great importance to many oral cultures. In various cultures shamans have numerous functions within a cultural system, reaching from religious, political, medical, social to economical fields of actions. Shamans are intermediators between the physical and spiritual world.

Shamans transcend between the "world of the ancestors" and the "world of the living" or between "Heaven" and "Earth". Thereby the shaman brings back information, he gained during his journey into the 'spirit world'. In shamanism, understanding of the natural environment is characterized by the idea of animated nature and the assumption of a "subjectivity" of all living creatures. This socio-ecological concept includes trees, plants and animals. In some ethnolinguistic groups, the shaman organizes the management of available ressources.

In the last decades the West has discovered "Shamanism", mostly through scientific, popular and New Age media. A rise in the interest of western recipients, willingly to participate in 'shamanic' suances has increased.