This article is from the Shamanism FAQ, by Dean Edwards email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
Why were the terms used in this FAQ selected and do they have special
meanings. There is an extensive literature about shamanism that has been
compiled since the late Eighteenth Century. Like any field of study and
religious practice, shamanism has developed a specialized vocabulary.
Please note that some of the words used in the material that follows are
drawn from scholars who have a solid background in shamanic studies and
may have meanings that are specific and less general than is often the
case in popular usage. Consulting a good dictionary should clear up any
points of confusion.