This article is from the Religion-Shamanism FAQ, by Dean Edwards, Stef Jones, Jilara, Jane Beckman, Ann Albers with numerous contributions by others.
A master of archaic techniques of ecstasy. (Eliade, 1951).
This mastery of shamanic ecstasy (flight) is the heart of the shamanic
experience. It is the cornerstone of the shamans experience and
practice. Not all shamanic techniques and experiences are ecstatic,
however, the ecstatic journey is the primary and distinguishing
technique of shamans worldwide.
A shaman is a trained initiate who maintains a tradition of walking
between this and other worlds (while in a state of ecstatic trance
known as shamanic ecstasy shamanic flight) and then acts as a bridge
between the worlds. He or she then uses the knowledge thus gained when
working in the community or with a client. Activities of shamans in
addition to shamanic flight may include divination, control over the
elements,soul retrieval and escorting the souls of the recently
deceased to their place in the next world (psychopomp). A shaman may
also be able to see, hear or send messages or messengers over great
distances or even fly to distant locations in ecstatic trance or
through shapechanging. They may also assist their communities by
obtaining the cooperation of animal and nature spirits whose
assistance makes possible a more productive hunt, harvest, catch of
fish or the protection of herd animals from predators.
Dean Edwards (email@example.com)
One who enters altered states of awareness and communicates with
spirit guides to bring back information or healing (definition borrowed
Ann Albers (firstname.lastname@example.org)