The Way of the Shaman - Study Guide Chapter 2, The Shamanic Journey: Introduction Summary & Analysis

Michael Harner
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A shaman may be distinguished from other medicine men by the ability to enter altered states of consciousness at will and by the one or more spirits that aid in guiding the shaman through a hidden or nonordinary reality. This state is a kind of ecstasy through which the soul leaves the body and ascends or descends depending upon the purpose of the journey. In this state, healing occurs by restoring beneficial power or extracting harmful power from the patient. This state is described in more detail by the shamanic scholar Mircea Eliade, whom Harner quotes on the subject.

The shamanic state of consciousness, or SSC, is achieved through a combination of entering a trance state together with learned methods of cosmic geography and nonordinary reality. A shaman enters the SSC for a serious, specific purpose. It...

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This section contains 818 words
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