What is Shamanism?

Shamanism is a method where an individual (a shaman) attempts to solve problems through manipulation and contact with the spirit world. In shamanism, everything has a spirit (animism) and is alive, including rocks, clouds, trees, rivers, as well as animals and people. This means that all things that have spirits are equal with us.  These spirits are everywhere, permeate our world, and can affect our lives.  Shamans use altered states of consciousness to contact spirits which can be either good or bad in order to learn the future, make decisions, or attempt healings of people who might be oppressed by bad spirits.  Shamanism uses spirit guides, contacting these guides in order to have them direct your life.  Shamans use astral projection, where the spirit of a person leaves the body and travels into the spirit world, and various means of predicting the future such as throwing bones.

Essentially, shamanism is divination and sorcery and is generally practiced by Indian tribes.  The Bible condemns divination as a sin.

  • Lev. 19:26, “‘You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying.”
  • Deut. 18:10, “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer.”

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.