The term "Shaman" has its origins
in Siberia, and is used by anthropologists world over. There are Shamans in every country and with every race. The first origins
of Shamanism trace back to Aboriginal healers. A Shaman is a medicine man. They have mastery of using the four elements...earth,
air, wind and fire. Many times they communicate with animals and use animal spirits to help them in their quest. Personal
experience is the determinate of the status of a Shaman. Alligator
Shamans are traditionally men. However, there are women that
have become Shamans. Shamanism is classified by anthropologists as an archaic magico-religious phenomenon in which the shaman
is the great master of ecstasy.
Knowledge of other realms of being and consciousness along with the cosmology of those
regions is the basis of the shamanic perspective and power. With this knowledge, the shaman is able to serve as a bridge between
the mundane and the higher and lower states.
During public lodge Shaman ceremonies, Spirit is encouraged to enter the
body of the Shaman with drum beating and chanting. The spirits are then asked to depart and perform the needed acts.
other times, when not in a public ceremony, Shamans enter into a trance state and traverse the underworld, going to distant
places in this world to seek lost possessions or performing healing.
A Shaman always has 'tools' at his disposal that
he uses in the acts to be performed. Some of these items are different types of masks, stones, herbs, staff, drums, and a
leather pouch that hold things only known the Shaman.
Few indeed have the stamina to adventure into these realms and endure
the outer hardships and personal crises that have been reported by or observed of many shamans,
Aggression, survival, adaptability
Group minded, perseverance, step by step. The ant represents
discipline and a group effort. Teamwork.
Guardian of the night, cleaner
mother cunning, healer, gentle strength, dreaming.
Power, direction, connection to creator
Sacredness, life builder. The buffalo provides all good things for living, and bestows great
Metamorphosis, carefree, transformer
Leadership, courage, power,
swiftness and balance.
Prankster, insight, playful. The coyote symbolizes duality and the ability to
present both sides of an issue. Clowning and humor, perhaps sarcastic.
gentleness, kindness, gracefulness and sensitivity. Deer carries the message of purity of purpose, and of walking in the light.
Kindness, play, bridge man to ocean. Dolphin brings us teachings from the water. Breath control and
the awareness of tone is also Dolphin power.
Flighty, carefree. Dragonflies symbolize whirlwind, swiftness
and activity. The dragonfly is an important insect in Zuni legend, where they are shamanistic creatures with supernatural
powers. In Hopi rock art, the dragonfly is symbolized by a vertical line with two or sometimes one, horizontal cross line.
Divine spirit, chief of all the creatures in the air, the primary servant of the sun. Powerful in battle,
the eagle protects the people from evil. Eagle medicine attributes include clear vision and soaring spirit. The eagle is associated
with success, prosperity and wealth.
Strength, agility, freedom, power and nobility.
provider, intelligence. Fox represents twilight and feminine magic.
Connection with water element
Mother, nature's pharmacist
Messenger of the sky, observer
strength and power. The horse was introduced to the plains tribes by the Spanish. Shamans are often pictured flying on mythical
horses. Horses can symbolize coping under difficult circumstances. Horse is love and devotion, loyalty.
stopper of time. Hummingbird represents optimism and sweetness. Being able to roll with the punches is an attribute of Hummingbird.
Conservation, agility. Lizard promotes dreaming.
Headstrong, unstoppable longevity.
Moose represents value and integrity.
Laughter, curiosity, mischievous. Otter is a feminine power, and
the symbol of grace and empathy.
Wisdom, truth, patience. The Mescalero believe that Owl carries the souls
of the recently deceased, a death messenger. Owl is the totem of clairvoyants and mystics.
Trickster, teacher, hoarder. To Pacific Northwest Coast tribes, Raven represented the shaman's
powers and a belief in transformation between human and animal spirits. Raven symbolizes change in conciousness and is the
mark of a shape shifter.
Instinct, persistence, determination
Hunter, survival, adaptability
Shrewdness, transformation. Life, death and rebirth
are represented by the shedding of skin. Among the Pueblo Indians snakes and lightning are equated with rain and fertility.
Creative, pattern of life. Spider connects the past with the future, creating possibilities.
Self contained, creative source. Turtle represents Mother Earth. Informed decisions,
planning and adaptability are attributes of Turtle.
Loyalty, success, perseverance, stability and thought.
Wolves are also regarded as pathfinders and teachers. Wolf is represented by the constellation Sirius, the Dog.