Shamanism has many interpretations and hence many different meanings depending on which people use and for which reason. Shamans were like priests and they performed rituals on behalf of people in a community. They were able and they are able today to connect with the spiritual world to heal or solve a problem. However, all along there have been distorting meaning and the functions of shamanism. In some instances it has been associated with charms, drugs and witchcraft.
Evidently, shamanism involved true spiritualism in many ancient cultures but is intriguing how it spread throughout the world. People who associate shamanism with healing, spiritualism and other virtues are better placed to understand it and not the ones who associate it with evil. One other misplaced is the use shamanism for personal gain contrary to its original intended purpose that for the well being of the community and not an individual. Shamanism has been associated with reaching the spiritual world through animals.
“Some people for commercial reasons are using shamanism associating it with animals to pull clients to pay and get healed or their problem is solved” (Internet). In the actual sense the animals do not have the healing power but it is purported that the spirit of healing or solving the problem chooses to use the animal. Then the question is why does it not choose the person who is linking the clients to it and it only decides to use animals? Then it does not show whether the healing occurs. However, there is an exchange of money for the services.
This is very contrary to the whole understanding of shamanism because it should not be personal or for personal gain or is commercialized but it must be communal and free for all who seek assistance. The claim of animals is not applicable because even priests work directly with the Supreme Being. Therefore anybody who claims to be a shamanist must connect directly to the spiritual world not through animals. Reference: Alida Birch. Internet source. Retrieved on 13th December 2008 from, <http://www. alidabirch. com/index. html>