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

Michael Harner
This Study Guide consists of approximately 38 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Way of the Shaman.
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Chapter 2, The Shamanic Journey: Introduction Summary and Analysis

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 813 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Way of the Shaman Study Guide
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The Way of the Shaman from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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