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Buryat shaman with drum in ceremonial garb (1904) - the classic Siberian shamanism often serves as a paradigm for the most varied of shamanism concepts
“Shaman” from Amazonia (2006) - the occurrence of shamanism beyond Eurasia is, however, controversial from a scientific point of view

In a narrower sense, shamanism describes the traditional ethnic religions of the cultural area of ​​Siberia (Nenets, Yakuts, Altaians, Buryats, Evenks, also European Sami and others), for which the presence of shamans was regarded as an essential common characteristic by European researchers during the expansion period . For a better demarcation these religions are often called "classical shamanism" or "Siberian animism".

In a broader sense, shamanism means all scientific concepts that postulate the cross-cultural existence of shamanism based on similar practices of spiritual specialists in different traditional societies . According to László Vajda and Jane Monnig Atkinson, due to the multitude of different concepts, shamanisms in the plural should be spoken more appropriately .

Siberian shamans and various necromancers of other ethnicities - who are also often generally referred to as shamans - supposedly had or have influence on the powers of the hereafter in many traditional worldviews . They use their abilities primarily for the benefit of the community , in order to restore the "cosmic harmony" between this world and the hereafter in seemingly insoluble crisis situations. In this broad sense, shamanism describes a series of vaguely defined phenomena “between religion and healing ritual ”.

A more detailed general definition is not possible, as the definition contains different perspectives from the point of view of ethnology , cultural anthropology , religious studies , archeology , sociology and psychology . Among other things, this has the consequence that information on the spatial and temporal distribution of the “shamanisms” differ considerably and are in many cases controversial. The American ethnologist Clifford Geertz therefore already in the 1960s denied any explanatory value to the “western idealistic construct of shamanism”.

There is only agreement on the “narrow definition” of classic Siberian shamanism - the starting point for the first “shamanisms”. Above all, this includes the exact description of the ritual ecstasy practiced there , a largely identical ethnic religion and a similar cosmology and way of life.

According to broader definitions, shamanism is viewed as an early, cross-cultural development stage of any religion until the 1980s. Above all, the concept of Core Shamanism by Michael Harner has to be mentioned here. However, this interpretation is now considered to be inconsistent. Since the 1990s, the aspect of “healing” has often been the focus of interest (and the respective definition).

In contrast, the Indologist Michael Witzel assumes that, given the similarity of Australian, Andaman , Indian and African initiation rituals with the corresponding Siberian rituals, which use the phenomena of rising heat, trances ( dreamers ), ecstasy and collapse, symbolic death and rebirth Psychoactive drugs, taboo preservation, sorcery and healing have given an older prototype of shamanism. With the out-of-Africa migration of modern humans, this spread along the coasts of the Indian Ocean and early to Eurasia and North America. Late Paleolithic bear cults and rock carvings as in Les trois frères (see illustration below) speak for this . Siberian shamanism represents a younger evolutionary stage of this prototype (with fur clothing, drum, etc.); he had a secondary influence on the North American hunter cultures through further waves of migration. In place of the sacrifice of wild animals, which the shaman asks for permission to kill or to which he apologizes for the act (as with the bear cults of the shamans of the Ainu , Aleutian and Trans-Baikal peoples), later domesticated animals like that Kicked reindeer (in Siberia) or dogs (as in Russia or India). In this respect, Witzel follows the broad phenomenological definition of shamanism by Walter and Fridman.

Since the classical shamanism of Siberia already has a number of variants, more far-reaching geographical or historical interpretations that consider such phenomena as detached from their cultural context and generalize them are criticized by many authors as speculative. In contemporary literature - popular science (especially esoteric) books, but also scientific writings - it is often not made clear in this context to which ethnic groups representations of certain shamanic practices specifically refer, so that regional (often Siberian) phenomena also in other cultures in whose traditions they are, however, actually alien. Examples of this are the world tree and the entire shamanic cosmology : mythological concepts anchored in Eurasia, which are equated here with similar archetypes from other parts of the world and thus create the misleading image of a uniform shamanism. However, Witzel sees the Eurasian (Germanic, Indian, Japanese, etc.) conception of the tree of life, which has to be climbed, or in the world tree, only an analogy to the older conception of the shaman's flight, which has nothing to do with other construction myths.

In particular, the extremely successful books by Mircea Eliade , Carlos Castaneda and Harner created the “modern myth of shamanism”, which suggests that it is a universal and homologous religious-spiritual phenomenon. In view of the great interest in the population, some authors point out that shamanism is not a uniform ideology or religion of specific cultures . Rather, it is a scientific construct from a Eurocentric perspective, in order to compare and classify similar phenomena around the necromancers of various origins.


According to most authors, the term shamanism is derived from the word “shaman”, borrowed from Siberia, with which the Tungus peoples refer to their necromancers. The word probably comes from the Evenk (i.e. Tungus ) šaman , the further etymology of which is controversial. It may be based on the Manjuric verb sambi , "to know, to know, to see through". The older term "shamanism" does not refer to the scientific concepts, but only to the existence of necromancers in different cultures without establishing any specific connections.

(For more information see: Etymology in the article "Shaman")

Shamans and shamanism

George Catlin's portrayal of a shaman (Medicine man) of the Black Foot Indians who performs rites over a dying chief.

In general, the term shaman , borrowed from Siberia, is used to designate spiritual specialists who have (allegedly) “ magical ” abilities as mediators to the spirit world . Such necromancers are part of many ethnic religions , but also some popular religious expressions of the world religions. Shamans still play an important role today, especially in some indigenous or traditional local communities (→ “Traditional spiritual specialists of the present in the light of history” in the article Shamans ) .

Since the first descriptions of such spiritual experts in various societies, European ethnologists have tried to identify similarities and possible patterns and to derive connections.

The existence of a shaman is undoubtedly a prerequisite for any shamanism thesis, but not necessarily the central idea. Often it is more about religious beliefs, rites and traditions than about the prominent role of the shaman. In this respect, the various, conceptually differing definitions arose.

The shamans are integrated into the living environment and natural environment of their respective cultures and cannot be regarded as the embodiment of a certain shamanistic religion or cosmology. Shamanism is closely related to healing the sick, to funeral rites and to hunting magic . Michael Lütge compares his role with the “ anamnesis of the parish priest during the condolence visit”, who tracks down biographical fragments of the deceased that “blow” him from the inner circle of relatives. In other situations he practices "anticipatory [...] hunting propaedeutics similar to the school fire protection exercise".

History of science

Soviet ethnologists saw shamans as men who wanted to gain political power with the help of religious rituals. In fact, there were female shamans as well, and socio-politically necromancers tended to be outside of society
Mircea Eliade is considered to be the founder of the shamanism thesis to which esoteric neo-shamanism in particular refers today. The validity of his theory and the seriousness of his work is highly controversial in science.
Mexican bald head , the first popular "intoxicating mushroom"
The hippie movement paved the way for a new spirituality in the West
Fantasy portrait of the literary shaman figure Don Juan Matus (Jacob Wayne Bryner), who made the writer Castañeda world famous
Tuvinian shaman: traditional knowledge is falsified by neo-shamanistic influences

"Shamanism is not a uniform religion, but a cross-cultural form of religious perception and practice."

- Piers Vitebsky

There have been detailed accounts of the shamans of Siberia and their practices since the late 17th century. The attitude of Europeans to this fluctuated several times between respect and contempt. At first, these reports only aroused dislike and incomprehension. In the course of German Romanticism , the pendulum swung in the opposite direction and shamans were transfigured as “charismatic geniuses”.

Scientific research in the context of ethnology is also characterized by this large discrepancy: At first, shamans were viewed as pathologically psychotic and their forms of expression were referred to as “arctic hysteria”. Later epilepsy or schizophrenia were related to shamanism.

But as early as the beginning of the 20th century, the special social position of the Siberian “Master of Spirits” and the legitimation of his actions in the respective cultural and historical context were examined in detail from a sociological and psychological perspective: He was legitimized to carry out techniques that other members of society in the Dominated everyday life. Shirokogoroff found in his field among Evenki and Manchu that it is indeed often handle at the shaman to neurotic people; However, he distinguished himself from the then widespread explanatory model for the actions of the shamans: The shamans' trances , ritual ecstasies or "fits" are not expressions of hysteria or obsession , but rather well-staged, culturally coded, performative conflict solutions which, for example, B. were used against Russian rule - that is, historically specific phenomena. In the Soviet Union, for example, shamans were vilified as charlatans who allegedly wanted to gain power with the help of religious rituals.

The “ghost men” or “sorcerers” of North America also repeatedly took on the role of political leaders during the white colonist's wandering west and took the lead in nativist movements. As early as 1680, the Tewa uprising in New Mexico against the Spanish colonists, which was at times successful, was organized by the medicine man El Popé . In African revolts against the colonial rulers, spiritual mediators often played a role as leaders, such as the healer Kinjikitile Ngwale , who was allegedly possessed by the spirit Hongo the serpent god, in the Maji Maji uprising of 1905–1907. Those who showed that they were possessed by a Hongo could have a great influence on the religion and politics of their ethnic group. Lévi-Strauss also reports on shamans who competed with tribal leaders.

With the abandonment of the racist German culture doctrine and the evolutionist "level ideology" in the Marxist- influenced states, a more respectful attitude towards the cultures of the so-called indigenous people prevailed in ethnology .

In North America, as early as the turn of the 20th century, there was a certain romanticization and idealization of the Indian cultures of North America and with them the spiritual-religious ideas, which soon began with the ecstasy-shamanism of Siberia and later with the occult practices of South America which the Selk'nam on Tierra del Fuego were summarized as a shamanistic complex .

The Romanian theologian and Roman -author Mircea Eliade , it was finally in 1951 the term "shamanism" coined decisively and made popular in academic and intellectual circles worldwide. Eliade saw in it the oldest form of the sacred , indeed the cross-cultural archetype of every occult tradition in general. His cultural-philosophical approach is seen today as very speculative and romanticizing.

In the late 1960s, the fictional and purported personal experience reports of the American writer Carlos Castañeda aroused enormous interest among a mass audience almost worldwide. The focus of his work was on the archaic ecstasy technique preformulated by Eliade , which he stylized as a decisive characteristic of shamanic practices.

Around 1970, trance-induced spiritual practices first became the subject of neurology, which dealt more closely with the changed states of consciousness of the shamans and / or their healing successes. Endorphins (“happiness hormones”), hypnosis or placebo effects through drum and dance rituals were used as explanatory attempts. The trance techniques include a. in question: "monastic seclusion with sensory deprivation ", fasting , sleep deprivation , litanies or repetitive verbal suggestions, dance with the side effect of hyperventilation , drugs like Indian soma , Iranian haoma , Mongolian harmine , African iboga , Mexican mescaline and psilocybin in Mexican peyote cactus (see peyote cactus in Mexican peyote cactus) ) , European henbane , fly agaric , hashish , alcohol, and East Asian opiates .

In 1980 Michael Harner's concept of core shamanism appeared as a universal original religion. Many authors criticized such far-reaching generalizations and again based their concepts only on the classical Siberian shamans; or they clearly distanced themselves from the predominance of the spiritual aspects and examined, for example, cultural characteristics, social functions or the healing significance of the necromancers in different cultures.

Spiritual Shamanism Concepts: Origination, Popularity, and Criticism

"Shamanism = technique of ecstasy [in which the] soul leaves the body [of the shaman] for journeys to heaven and the underworld."

- Mircea Eliade

It was Eliade's extensive work that laid the foundation for all later theories of shamanism, in which the diverse forms of necromancy of different cultures were reduced to the religious-spiritual aspect and the techniques of ecstasy.

The socially critical literary movement Beat Generation opened the way in the 1950s for the occupation with spirituality and for the use of hallucinogenic drugs in the western world . In this context are the autobiographical publications of the New York banker and private scholar R. Gordon Wasson in Life magazine about the use and effects of the psychotropic mushroom Mexican bald head , which the Mazatec shaman María Sabina had taught him. Wasson tried to prove the worldwide traditional use of mushroom drugs and described this phenomenon as a "religious moment". As a result, a real "mushroom pilgrimage" to Mexico arose; including well-known musicians such as Mick Jagger , John Lennon and Bob Dylan .

In the 1960s, the young, educated post-war generation criticized the increasing technocratization, commercialization, anonymization and rationalization of society that goes hand in hand with the demystification of the world. Against this background, the so-called countercultures emerged , which were an important part of the new , especially in the hippie movement as a "psychedelic revolution" with the interest in Far Eastern and Indian religions or shamanic soul journeys as well as the consumption of mind-expanding drugs (from mushrooms to marijuana to mescaline and LSD ) Striving to transcend life. In science, too, an increasing interest in spiritual practices awoke: the psychologist Abraham Maslow , as the founder of humanistic psychology, formulated the “theory of self-realization”, in which spiritual striving is at the forefront of human needs. On this basis, Transpersonal Psychology emerged as a sub-discipline , which postulated a great therapeutic benefit in this pursuit.

The book Altered States of Consciousness ( ASC for short ) by the psychologist Charles Tart (1969), who described the human perception and cognitive potential as going beyond the normal senses and rational reason, had a great influence on the concept of shamanism . He named dreams, trance, drugs, meditation or hypnosis as access to such altered states of consciousness . This was the foundation of the Esalen Institute , which was founded in California with the assistance of Alan Watts , Aldous Huxley and Abraham Maslow to convey alternative spirituality - including shamanic techniques - and to propagate its benefits for individual self-realization.

Julian Silverman, one of the directors, conceived shamanism as a form of therapy as early as 1967, but the concept of Esalen's student Michael Harner, who understood shamanism as "a technique accessible to everyone for personal experiments and expansion of perception", achieved much greater popularity in the 1970s . Before that, however, the novel-like and autobiographical books by Carlos Castañedas - who had also taken courses at Esalen - made the subject extremely popular with a mass audience almost worldwide from 1968 onwards. In addition, he was one of the pioneers of the new methodology of direct experience of shamanic practices by scientists, which are imparted directly by traditional indigenous people. Naturally, this had to lead to extremely subjective and difficult to verify results that hardly meet the criteria of scientific work . Castañeda himself was the best example when it was proven in 1976 that his alleged teaching by the Yaqui shaman Don Juan Matus was simply made up. Nevertheless, the fascination with his work remained, which, as a modern myth, served the emotional and intellectual needs of society precisely and masterfully.

Even in the sciences, a number of other authors, despite the revelations about Castañeda's work and the criticism of Eliade's work, stuck to the concept of a universal “transcendent shamanism” or used such theses as explanations for other phenomena. In addition, a few other autobiographical ethnographies appeared in which truth and fiction could no longer be separated from one another. These include the books by Hyemeyohsts Storm, Lynn Andrews and Jeremy Narby .

However, the concept of core shamanism (supposedly the "intersection" and the common "core" of all shamanic practices) by Michael Harner, which had similar far-reaching effects as Eliade's work, achieved the greatest popularity . Harner is also one of the autobiographical ethnographers. His career is the best example of the individual transformation from a scientifically working ethnologist to a practicing necromancer. The Foundation for Shamanic Studies founded by Harner has significantly influenced the development of esoteric neo-shamanism . Here a kind of “shamanism light” is conveyed to a broad audience in various courses, which (supposedly) manages without risky elements such as drug consumption or ecstatic trance. At the same time, Harner's institute established various contacts between western esotericists and traditional shamans. Again, not only ethnographic reports are collected, but there is an active exchange in both directions. The relatively well-preserved shamanism of the Tuvins in South Siberia is changing drastically as a result: possibly in a direction that will soon have nothing in common with the original traditions of this people.

It was only in the last decade of the 20th century that some authors turned increasingly against the concepts of altered states of consciousness (ASC). The German ethnologist Klaus E. Müller writes cautiously: "Whether this makes it possible to experience any 'reality' that is inaccessible to the usual, so to speak 'coarse-sensual' perception [...] cannot be decided by ethnological means." The French ethnologist Roberte Hamayon however, clearly rejects the thesis with the argument that altered states of consciousness cannot be empirically proven and often have no equivalent in the original descriptions of the indigenous peoples.

Widely recognized theses

The classic Siberian shamanism or animism

Shaman from the Altai Mountains (between 1911 and 1914)

“[Siberian] shamanism is not just an archaic ecstasy technique, not just an early stage in the development of religion and not just a psycho-mental phenomenon, but a complex religious system. This system includes the belief that worships the shaman's auxiliary spirits and the knowledge that guards the sacred texts (shaman's chants, prayers, hymns and legends). It contains the rules that guide the shaman in acquiring the ecstasy technique, and it requires knowledge of the objects that are needed for healing or divination during the seance. In general, all of these elements occur together. "

- Mihály Hoppál

Research into the shamanic traditions began with the small Siberian peoples , and at the beginning of the 21st century she comes back to it many times: Many authors use the term shamanism exclusively for the Siberian cultural area, but without specifying it; and although shamanism and religion are usually not placed in a primary connection, the classic Siberian form (often only undifferentiated shamanism called) because of their extensive history of research often synonymous with the animistic religions of Siberia and Central Asia used

Distribution of the Haplogrupo C3

Crucial for the classical shamanism of Siberia is the homologous (originating from one root) of its varieties through the historical cultural transfer from one ethnic group to the next or - according to Michael Witzel - through the migration movements of the ancient Asian peoples and their expansion over the Bering Strait . He points out that the range of a myth complex isolated by YE Berezkin (2005), described by Witzel as "Laurasian" and dated to the Late Paleolithic, largely coincides with the range of shamanism and the spread of the hypothetical Na-Dene language family and the C3 - The haplogroup of the Y chromosome coincides.

Historical development

Modern Buryat shaman with ritual staff
The reindeer herding Sami of Northern Europe used to have shamans who belong to the Siberian type

The representation of the similarities between the beliefs, rites , cults and mythologies is hardly understandable without knowing the historical background of the peoples living there. Siberia was first settled around 20,000 to 25,000 years ago in the Upper Paleolithic , until most of the entire area was inhabited in the Neolithic . The first archaeologically verifiable places of worship emerged a few thousand years ago. They already show a pronounced cultural differentiation between the peoples there.

In the steppes and forest steppes of southern Siberia there lived peasant and shepherd peoples, in the taiga adjacent to it to the north, however, hunting, fishing and foraging were the normal subsistence strategies . The peoples of Yakutia and the Baikal region in particular had close ties to one another; archaeological artifacts such as rock paintings are evidence of this, which allow certain conclusions to be drawn about their religious beliefs. The tundra and forest tundra of the far north were predominantly small and relatively isolated peoples who either lived from sedentary fishing or hunting for marine mammals or were semi-nomadic reindeer herders .

Until the 16th and 17th centuries, the peoples of Siberia still lived apart from European influences. Meanwhile, the beliefs there were for centuries under the influence of various religions from the Near East, Central and East Asia. In addition to Zoroastrianism , Manichaeism and Christianity , this included , above all, the influences of Buddhism . The Proto-Mongolian peoples had already come into contact with it from the 2nd century BC. Mongolian tribes then brought Mahayana Buddhism to Central Asia as far as the Amur region between the 8th and 12th centuries . At the beginning of the 15th century, the Gelug school of classical Indian Buddhism was founded in Tibet and spread to Buryatia , Kalmykia and Tuva until the 17th century . Towards the end of the 19th century, Buddhism was established among the Trans-Baikal Buryats and influenced the everyday life, culture and outlook of many Siberian and Central Asian peoples. This led to a syncretistic mixture of shamanic and Buddhist ideas. An example is the shaman mirror toli, originally from China, among the Buryats and the appearance of people who were both lama and shamans.


The world according to Germanic mythology roughly corresponds to the classic Siberian cosmology of the three worlds. The Indian stupa is also a third underground.

Part of the classical shamanic cosmology was the concept of the afterlife of a multi-layered cosmos made up of three (sometimes more) levels: in the upper and lower world there are benevolent and ill-meaning spirits and a world axis (axis mundi) connects the three levels in the center. Depending on the culture, this axis is symbolized by the world tree, the smoke hole in the yurt, a sacred mountain or the shaman's drum. The soul was viewed as an entity independent of the body that can travel to the spirit world on this axis with the help of animal spirits.

The ritual ecstasy

African sangoma medicine man dancing in a possessed state
Percussion rhythms with drums or rattles are critical to ecstatic states
Lying Sámic Shaman: Ritual postures lead to trance faster

The so-called “ritual ecstasy” was and is an essential element of classical shamanism, but also of all religious-spiritual shamanism concepts, some of which go far beyond Siberia. Depending on the patient's illness, the wish of a group member or the task of the community, the shaman went on a “soul journey into the world of spirits” in order to contact them or to positively influence their work in the sense of the problem to be solved. As a rule, the natural balance between the worlds was considered to have been disturbed in some way, and in this way it should be rebalanced.

Such a necromancy ( séance ) was a strongly ritualized matter that required various measures and had to take place at the right time in the right place (→ Kamlanie, the séance of the Siberian shamans in the article “Séance”).

The actual ecstasy is experienced either as a stepping out of one's own soul or as being possessed by a spirit , depending on the culture .

Stepping out (also passive or trophotropic ecstasy ) - the classic and by far the most common type of ecstasy in Siberia - is described as a magical flight into another space- and timeless world, in which man and the cosmos form a unity, so that answers and insights are revealed that would otherwise remain inaccessible. The experience of this inner dimension is extremely real and extremely conscious for the shaman.

In the imagination of traditional people, experiencing a journey to the hereafter corresponded to the dreams of ordinary people, although consciously brought about and controlled; similar to a lucid dream . The shaman's vital functions drop to an abnormal minimum: a shallow breath, slow heartbeat, lower body temperature, rigid limbs and clouded senses characterize this state.

In stark contrast to this is the ritual ecstasy of (learned) possession ( active or ergotropic ecstasy ), which in Siberia only occurs in a few ethnic groups in the transition areas to the high religions Islam and Buddhism. In South and Southeast Asia or Africa, however, such states of possession are the norm. The shaman has the feeling that a being from the Otherworld would enter him and seize his body for the duration of the ritual in order to solve the task at hand. This leads to a strong increase in body functions: He gets into turmoil, rages, foams, fidgets or “floats”, speaks in incomprehensible languages ​​and shows enormous strength.

Both forms of ritual ecstasy lead to changed perceptions that can affect all sensory impressions (sight, hearing, sense of touch, smell, taste, body sensation). In addition, the emotions, the experience of meaning and the sense of time are modified. The intensity of these impressions is much stronger, more unpredictable and goes beyond the accumulated wealth of experience of humans than, for example, in imaginary journeys that can be generated while awake.

From a neuropsychological perspective, there is a certain form of an expanded state of consciousness in both cases , which is referred to as an "ecstatic trance". With all forms of deep trance a very deep relaxation arises at the same time as in deep sleep, highest concentration as in awake awareness and a particularly impressive pictorial experience as in a dream. The special way as the shamans of Siberia (but also Central Asia, the northern North America, some East and Southeast Asia and some peoples of the rest of America) bring about the trance, as well as the cultural background and the corresponding religious orientation, resulting in shamanic Trance through the neurological “state of hyper rest” to passive or through “hyper-excitement” to active ecstasy .

The shaman always experiences this extraordinary mental state as a real event that apparently takes place outside of his mind. Sometimes he sees himself from the outside (out-of- body experience ), similar to what is reported in near-death experiences . As we know today, man has direct access to the unconscious in this state : The hallucinated spirits arise from the instinctive archetypes of the human psyche; the ability to grasp connections intuitively - i.e. without rational thought - is fully developed and often manifests itself in visions that are later interpreted against one's own religious background.

In order to achieve such states, certain formulas, ritual actions and mental techniques are used: These are, for example, the burning of incense, certain monotonous rhythms on special ceremonial drums or with rattles, dance ( trance dance ), singing or special breathing techniques. The Siberian shamans usually do not need psychedelic drugs to achieve ecstasy like many other peoples. The toadstool is only occasionally used by the Ural peoples (for some authors, the ability to trance without drugs is a characteristic of classical shamanism).

In order to achieve a non-drug-induced trance, it is particularly important to adopt ritual postures (according to Felicitas Goodman ) in connection with even percussion rhythms in the range of 3.5 to 4.4 Hertz (which equates to about 210 to 230 drum beats per minute). These frequencies correspond to the theta and delta brain waves that are otherwise typical of sleep or meditation. So-called "paradoxical states of excitement" (Paradoxial Arousal) occur during the trance. Paradoxical because on the one hand they indicate a state that can be described as “more awake than awake” and at the same time show EEG curves that are otherwise only known from deep sleep stages. Test subjects reported particularly impressive hallucinations during these trance phases. In addition, significant beta and delta increases are measured, which characterize a very deep relaxation and u. a. promote physical healing reactions and memory processes. The paradoxical states of excitement discovered by Giselher Guttmann in 1990 thus indicate a “relaxed high tension”. In general, the release of a special combination of different endogenous neurotransmitters is stimulated, which "open" the consciousness: The perception focuses entirely on inner contents ( intersensory coordination ), the cognitive filters of the normal waking state are inactive, the observing ego remains active.

In principle, all ritual trances produce either particularly passive or particularly active physiological effects, which are then expressed in the shamans in the two aforementioned forms of ecstasy. However, the following applies: the more intense the respective ecstasy, the less it is possible to control the deliberately induced hallucinations.

The measurement of brain waves etc. Ä. Procedures can only prove that the consciousness is active in a certain way. However, no conclusions can be drawn about the specific content of the respective states of excitement. Therefore it is in principle impossible to prove or disprove that the impressions in ritual ecstasy are imaginations or actual glimpses into a world beyond. This remains a matter of belief.

Müller: elemental, complex and possession shamanism

Shamans as "experts and mediators to the spirit world" according to Klaus E. Müller before the European expansion , which began in the 15th century (colored areas); as well as traditional shamans and other religious-spiritual specialists at the beginning of the 21st century who still have various social functions (black and white symbols / hatching)
Elemental shamanism Complex shamanism Obsession Shamanism
Classical (primary), Arctic races Classical (secondary), North Siberia Classical, Southeast Asia * Subarctic North America Limited, North America Limited, South America Australia

Classic West Siberian Classic Central Siberian Classic Altai Classic Manchurian Classic Southeast Asian ** Northeast North America Southwest North America Meso- and South America

Islamic sphere of influence Lamaist sphere of influence Buddhist-Daoist sphere of influence

colored circle symbols:
*) = largely traditional hunter and Collectors within modern or peasant societies
**) = largely traditional planters within modern or peasant societies
Map-icon-circle-black.png Isolated ethnic groups with completely preserved social functions of their religious-spiritual specialists
Map-icon-black-question-mark.png Isolated ethnic groups of New Guinea with traditional religions, but without knowledge of shamans or similar necromancers
Map-icon-circle-black-white.png Local communities with largely intact traditional structures in which necromancers still perform some of their original functions. However, their functions are already more or less influenced by modern influences.
Map-icon-Transition-area - hatch-black-white.png Traditional societies with largely intact structures in which necromancers still perform some of their original functions (distribution density depending on hatching / area filling)
Map-icon-dotted-area-black.png Traditionally in states and / or other religions integrated “urban shamans” of East and Southeast Asia
Stone Age cave painting in the cave Les Trois Frères with a hunting context: “Lord of the animals” or shaman?
The living conditions of the arctic peoples have hardly changed over millennia, so that according to Müller's assumption, the shamanism there has hardly changed

For a concrete description of the current situation and references, see: Modern shamans in the light of history in the article "Shamans"

"Apart from all secondary additions, the core of shamanism is obviously very old and optimally adapted to the conditions of existence of wild and field-hunter cultures, that is, apparently 'proven' and insofar stable over a long period of time, coherent and coherent 'unified' theory of being and nature . "

- Klaus E. Müller

In 1997, the German ethnologist Klaus E. Müller presented an approach that describes shamanism as a kind of " science of magical-mythical thinking " that was developed, conveyed and preserved by "appointed experts" with important social obligations. Although Müller recognizes the similarities with regard to religious conceptions or ritual trance techniques, he expressly distances himself from considering such “ spiritualistic and occultistic aspects” as defining characteristics.

Müller continues Adolf E. Jensen's thoughts, who understood shamanism as a typical phenomenon for hunter cultures, which basically regarded animals as their relatives. Clear indications of this assumption are the various totemic animal references : the shamans were called by the “animal mother” in the spirit world or the “lords of the animals” , the auxiliary spirits were predominantly animal-shaped, the shaman - often dressed with animal attributes - often transformed the journey in a spirit animal, the magic drum or the mallet was seen as a symbolic mount for the journey and much more.

According to Müller, the original form of shamanism is above all a ritual for forgiveness and averting punishment and calamity when a hunter disregards the traditional appeasement and binding rituals for killing an animal. This played a central role in everyday life for all hunter peoples and ultimately served to secure the animal and plant populations.

In his opinion, shamanism originated somewhere in Asia in the Upper Palaeolithic well before 4000 BC. It developed from there in many centuries among the "soul mate" hunter peoples over the entire Asian continent and beyond to North, Central and South America as well as Australia. On the basis of the description of the shaman as an "expert and mediator to the spirit world" and the resulting social obligations, a corresponding distribution map of shamanism can be drawn up.

According to Müller, the “classic” area includes not only Siberia, but also today's Kazakhstan as well as scattered local communities in Southeast Asia including the Indonesian islands. Sometimes he also mentions the shamanism of the Eskimo peoples of North America in this context. However, it is not clear whether he actually counts them as classical shamanism or not. According to Müller, the forms of shamanism of the Aborigines and the Indian peoples split off from the classic elementary forms at an early stage and developed further in isolation. In contrast, for Witzel, Siberian shamanism is a relatively "young" split (at least 20,000 years old) from a more widespread paleo-shamanism .

Müller believes it is likely that the original (“elementary”) shamanism of hunters and gatherers in the subpolar regions of Asia and North America has remained largely unchanged until modern times, because the environmental and living conditions there have remained almost the same. In addition, he notes that to this day it can be found mainly among ethnic groups that have a close relationship with the animal world ( hunter and pastoral cultures as well as horticultural and moving field farmers in Amazonia, whose way of life has a strong “hunting” component). In pure planter cultures or among agropastoralists , shamanism has always played only a marginal role.

Klaus E. Müller therefore derives his forms of shamanism primarily from their socio-economic foundations and developed a three-part classification model (the following descriptions are written in the past tense, as they only apply to a few isolated peoples today ):

Elemental shamanism

Shaman of the Jukagirs (Northeast Siberia, 1902)
Shaman of the Northwest Coast Indians

Color scheme: 

  • Origin:
The (primary) elementary shamanism was typical for pure hunter cultures or for ethnic groups in which hunting played a prominent role culturally.
  • Characteristics:
The social basis is based on egalitarian local communities or kinship groups ( lineages , clans ). The ethnic religions were generally animistic . The shaman was mostly male. He believed that he was called by animal spirits and was primarily responsible for the success of hunting or compliance with the “hunting ethics ”, but also worked as a healer and monitored the reproductive success of the group. The ritual was not very pronounced and costumes or special aids were rarely or only sporadically and in a simple form.
  • distribution
1. Classically Asian cultural area 
  • Unique shape:
Original nomadic to sedentary hunters, fishermen, etc. Collectors of northern and eastern Siberia; since the Russification often reindeer herders like the other Siberian peoples. Variants from the historical differentiation:
 Paleo-Siberian (primary) hunters ( Chukchi , Jukagiren , Koryaks , Itelmens )
Siberian (secondary) hunters ( Nganasanen , Keten )
In northeast India with a few groups (weakened), especially in the central area (e.g. Birhor ), scattered hunters and gatherers of Southeast Asia ( Derung , Yao , Akha , Mani , Orang Asli peoples, Sentinelese , Shompen , Mentawai , Kubu , Penan , Batak , Aeta )
2. America and Australia 
  • Clear (classic?) Shape:
Nomadic to sedentary hunters etc. North American Arctic Collectors ( Eskimos and Aleutians )
  • Unique shape:
Nomadic to semi-sedentary hunters etc. Collectors from the subarctic ( Athabasques , Algonquin ) and sedentary fishermen on the northwest coast
  • Restricted form:
Nomadic to sedentary hunters etc. Collectors (partly field farmers) of the " Wild West " ( Plains Indians and Indians of the cultural areas of Plateau , Great Basin and California )
Nomadic hunters a. South American collector of the South American cultural areas Llanos, Paraná and Tierra del Fuego
  • Variable shape, not continuous:
Nomadic hunters a. Aboriginal collectors , not always (especially in the Western Desert and in Northern Australia)

Complex shamanism

Shamanic ritual in the Siberian steppe
Shaman of the Urarina from Peru

Color scheme: 

  • Origin:
The secondary Komplexschamanismus originated in pastoralists and cultivators with significant Wildbeuter share in Asia and in America presumably by diverse influences from neighboring agricultural societies and by contact with other religions - to Witzel by substituting the animal deities such by plants and vegetation gods (for example, maize gods. like Cinteotl .)
  • Characteristics:
Relatives, tribal societies or autonomous village communities form the social basis . The animistic religions were more complex (for example with ancestor cult , sacrificial beings and a complicated cosmology). The vocation of the shamans was traced back to ancestral spirits or the dead souls of earlier shamans (the latter especially among Tungus people and groups in the Altai Mountains), or the shaman status was passed on from father to son or from mother to daughter. There were mostly male shamans, although there were also more female shamans. On the one hand, the functions and techniques of the shamans corresponded to elementary shamanism, but there were also priestly, communal and domestic-family functions (such as births, naming, burials, initiations). Rites, costumes with extensive accessories (e.g. made of metal) and utensils were often complex and of great importance. Entheogenic drugs were also often used to achieve trance .
  • Distribution:
1. Classically Asian cultural area 
West Siberian reindeer herders (e.g. Sami , Nenets , Chanten , Mansi )
Central Siberian reindeer herders ( Tungus peoples )
Altaic reindeer and horse breeder (z. B. Kazakhs , Dolgans , Tuvins , Yakutes )
Manchurian fishermen (e.g. Tungus peoples of Manchuria , Niwchen , Ainu )
  • Tropical / subtropical planter societies, not continuous, isolated
Local minorities behind India (including Naga , Aimol , Moken , Jakun , Senoi ) and Indonesia (including Dusun , Halmahera )
2. America 
  • Differentiated forms, e.g. Sometimes not consistently:
 North America's northeast , (e.g. Shawnee , Iroquois , Sauk , Powhatan )
 Mexico (e.g. Tarahumara , Huichol )
 Meso- and South America (all planting societies outside the high Andes)

Obsession Shamanism

Tantric Buddhism and shamanism are fused together among the Mongolian peoples
Lakota medicine man Sitting Bull: complex shamanism like in Asia?
Shaman from Alaska at a healing ceremony

Color scheme: 

  • Origin:
The high cultural-syncretistic dominated obsession shamanism can be traced back to the influences of the archaic high cultures , the Asian high religions (especially Buddhism ) and the merging with obsession cults.
  • Characteristics:
The usual social basis was the rural village community . The religious orientation consisted of an official direction - such as Islam , Lamaism , Vajrayana Buddhism, Hinduism , Shintoism, etc. - and a syncretistic popular belief that fused elements of high religions and traditional beliefs. Women who felt called to do so were more often shamans than men. They felt lifelong tied to a spirit power or deity who was regularly sacrificed and worshiped in small, purpose-built temples. The tasks of the shaman corresponded to those of complex shamanism and focused primarily on medical services as well as counseling and divination. In contrast to the other forms of shamanism, there was no “journey to the hereafter” by means of a ritual ecstasy, but rather the shaman had the impression during the trance that her personal partner spirit would take possession of her; "enter" into them and heal, prophesy, etc. In contrast to other - according to Müller, non- shamanistic - obsession cults of other cultures (for example Africa or New Guinea), the entering of the spirit took place at the invitation of the shaman and not "like an attack" or against the will of the person concerned.

In the Islamic contact area, the influence of the old religions is much less noticeable today than in the Buddhist contact area.

  • distribution
  • Asian cultural area 
Especially with sedentary rural village societies
 Islamic sphere of influence (e.g. Uzbeks , Tajiks , Kyrgyz , Uyghurs )
 Lamaist sphere of influence (e.g. Buryats , Mongols , Yugur , Tibetans , Changpa , partly Nepalese )
Buddhist-Daoist sphere of influence (e.g. majority populations of Japan , Korea , Taiwan , back India )


Although Müller includes various cultural aspects in his approach and his “three-type model” does make differentiations, his “normalization” also leads to questionable results due to the global scale. René Tecklenburg, for example, states that the shamanism of the Lakota Indians cannot simply be assigned to elementary shamanism, as it also has clear characteristics of the rural type (close ties to the protective spirit, numerous cult objects, complex ceremonies and rituals, sacrifices, etc.).

Holistic medicine

Modern theses often focus on a certain sub-area of ​​shamanism in a reductionist way : for example on the psychological or neurobiological aspects or on medicine, although the cultural background is ignored.

Today, shamanism is often only understood as a special form of traditional healing methods. Ronald Hitzler , Peter Gross and Anne Honer, for example, describe it as “a complex, integrative social art that embeds the competence to heal, in the medical sense, in the concern for and in the service of the existential 'salvation' of other people in general.” They attest This gives the shamanic healing rituals a wholeness that is no longer present in modern medicine. Instead of impersonal "repair services on the object to be treated" by doctors who no longer understand much about health, but all the more about illness, shamanism is characterized by empathy , mutual communication and human care, which goes beyond the well-being of the patient and woe to the whole community. For Hitzler, Gross and Honer, shamanism is also "a way of man's universal historical endeavors, through knowledge, to gain control of the powers within himself that seem unfathomable to common sense."

General criticism; controversial and speculative theses

(See also: Dead ends in ethnological research on religion )

The separation into a natural and a supernatural world arises from Christian thought and cannot simply be transferred to other worldviews
The knowledge of the "primitive peoples" was passed down orally and is heavily dependent on the intermediary
Neo-shamans (here Ahamkara) also organize rituals and programs for children

“What in these writings [Eliades, Harners et al. a.] is called a shaman or a shamanic event, has little more than the word in common with what is to be understood in Siberia among the Chukchi, Tungus and Buriats under shamanism. "

A fundamental criticism of all concepts of shamanism arises from the fact that all scientific approaches were written from a Eurocentric perspective and do not correspond directly to the magical-mythical thinking of traditional indigenous people: Thus, neither the basic Western assumption of a separation into a natural-material one and a supernatural, transcendent world, still in nature and culture easily transferred to non-Western world views.

In addition, those theses are particularly criticized that have torn ancient, grown traditions from their cultural and historical context and constructed a “new truth” from them, which have the character of an ideology rather than a model thesis . The word component "-ism" already suggests a seemingly independent, systematic religion: In fact, however, it is "a complex of different religious ideas and ritual actions that are connected with the person of the shaman." And which are selected, interpreted and selected by Western authors have been rearranged. One of the main problems of the cultural comparison of shamanic phenomena lies in the oral transmission of knowledge by individuals and a completely lacking doctrine ; this “power of the shamans” leads to an enormously changeable diversity that must counteract any scientific approach. If the development of the community and the retention of shamanic power require it, then new elements - such as biomedical knowledge, Christian ideas or "new spirits" - are simply integrated, and have been for centuries.

The more an author generalizes and abstracts , the more he relies on evidence and unprovable assumptions, or the more unconventional his approach, the more extensive the criticism his theses evoke. In the shamanism theses there are some to which these statements apply. The extensive ethnographic records of 19th century Russian researchers already provide examples of this: the ethnographer Shoqan Walikhanov , for example, was so fascinated by the idea of ​​cross-cultural Siberian shamanism that he met the (sacrifice) priests of the Islamic Kazakhs (Baqsi) and Kyrgyz (Baxši) equated with the Siberian shamans. Walikhanov did not realize (or ignored) that there were a number of other magicians and healers in the two cultures and that the Bagsi / Baxši must be described very differently on closer inspection. Especially in the unifying ethnographic theories of the 19th century, which are not used today or are no longer used in their original “scope” (such as animism , fetishism , totemism , primitive peoples , racial studies, etc.), such “scientific wishful thinking” was widespread.

There are also enough recent examples in which scientists have deliberately mixed up or obscured fiction and reality in order to underpin their concept in a popular way (→ Spiritual Shamanism Concepts: Origin, Popularity and Criticism ) . Against this background, the (unscientific) neo-shamanism is to be seen, the authors of which use many shamanism concepts arbitrarily and in good faith, often uncritically mixing parts of this and that thesis and in this way creating fictitious thought structures that do not "open up" beforehand solid foundations ”.

Controversial theses

The approaches that go beyond the scientifically proven geographical and historical distribution area of ​​the North and Central Asian shamanism are not infrequently criticized.

Prehistoric shamanism

This famous representation in the Lascaux cave served as the starting point for the interpretation “Shamanism in the Paleolithic”. The prehistoric interpretation is also often viewed as speculative.

The expression in the English literature sometimes prehistoric shamanism used to designate those theses, which due to archaeological artifacts , which in recent phenomena shamanic recall practices, a prehistoric shamanism postulate .

Although many of the finds are evidently reminiscent of shamanic rituals - such as the bird and the human bird's beak on the famous Lascaux cave painting and the way in which the bison was killed on its "lifeline" from anus to penis - other interpretations are in principle also possible. It is undisputed that early humans expressed religious ideas artistically, but what exactly they are in each case will always remain a mystery due to the fragmentary evidence and lack of context information. Even the most recent, widely acclaimed, and well-respected conclusions by South African archaeologist David Lewis-Williams and French archaeologist Jean Clottes remain speculative and unprovable in many ways.

Relationship to Sufism

As numerous, mainly Soviet and Russian researchers show in the anthology "Shamanism and Islam", there is a close relationship between Central Asian / Siberian shamanism and Sufism . This is characterized by the adoption of numerous religious practices, such as the healing ritual or the meditative practice dhikr in Sufism. Also the belief in spirits in itself, in the form of the veneration of saints, is adopted in its basic features.

Speculative theses

The concepts of shamanism, which select certain phenomena across cultures and use them to construct far-reaching models with universal claims, are now viewed as too speculative and therefore - at least with regard to their core theses - hardly recognized anymore.

Shamanism as an archaic ecstasy technique

Eliade created the modern myth of the ecstatic shaman trance that is widespread worldwide
After Eliade, primitive man was still permanently in contact with the divine (Bronze Age rock carvings in Sweden)

"Il n'existe pas des zones geographiques privilégiées où la trance chamanique soit un phénomène spontané et organique: au rencontre des chamans un peu partout dans la monde ..."

- Mircea Eliade

This quote from the Romanian religious scholar and novelist Mircea Eliade reflects his central thought: “There is no specific geographical area (of shamanism), because shamanic trance is a spontaneous and organic phenomenon that one encounters with all shamans in the world. "

From his extensive cross- cultural research in Russian and Finnish ethnographies, he created an ideal type of shaman. He conceived shamanism as the primal phenomenon of human religiosity that is widespread worldwide and raised the (passive) ecstatic trance with the “flight of the soul into the world of spirits” as the central feature of all shamanic phenomena. In addition, he considered the classical Siberian cosmology to be a universal, which in many cultures was covered by external influences. Eliade also clearly emphasized that primitive man and today's “primitive peoples” are characterized by a mystical-sacred state that has made direct contact with the divine possible.

With his work Shamanism and Archaic Ecstasy Technique (first edition in French in 1957), when it was published in the USA in 1964, Eliade sparked enthusiasm in intellectual circles for a topic that until then had only marginally interested religious scholars. This was not only due to the content of his studies, but at least also to the unusual approach: Eliade brought together the ethnological, philosophical, religious studies and psychological perspectives in a synthesis of empirical analysis and imaginative religious philosophy. For a long time his thesis was considered the standard work on shamanism. It was instrumental in the rehabilitation of spiritual practitioners who were previously considered to be insane or charlatans.

Since the 1990s, however, it has been frowned upon more and more in ethnology. Art historians, literary scholars as well as neo-shamanistic and popular science authors, however, still refer to Eliade, although the criticisms largely dismantle his thesis.


Critics recognize Christian motifs (paradisiacal state, the fall of man) and romantic transfiguration in Eliade's work

Since Eliade wanted to concentrate completely on his holistic religious studies approach, he refrained from taking a closer look at the historical and political context of the phenomena. Instead, he set up comparison criteria that can be described as “result-driven” instead of “open-ended”. He also missed the previously mentioned errors in the old ethnographic records from Russia. In search of a deeper meaning , he mixed religious with mythical-literary phenomena and placed the “ creative before the empirical ”. He assumed that the "sacred character" did not reveal itself with the help of the reductionist methods of various disciplines (physiology, psychology, linguistics, art, etc.), but only in its "own religious modality". His thesis is not a purely academic, but a metaphysical interpretation of history and the world. He explained contradictions and deviations through "decadence" and "contamination" by other cultures and religions.

Eliade idealized and romanticized the "archaic spirituality" and the "primitive cultures" in the Eurocentric tradition of Herder and Boas. Instead of approaching the actual ethnic mentalities, some authors recognize rather Christian motifs in him: The original mystical state corresponds to paradise, the historical process of civilization corresponds to the fall of man and the shamanic journey of the soul was allegedly originally a "heavenly journey" to the upper world, according to Eliade.

His approach led to sharp debates about his methodology until the 1990s, but also about reductionism in religious studies. From the perspective of anthropology, Eliade's method is mainly criticized because it is rooted more in his role as a shamanic prophet than in serious scientific work. Various authors complain that he simply ignored historical, anthropological, sociological and economic perspectives so that his representations are not verifiable . In addition, he is accused of going beyond the mere attempt at explanation and providing legitimation for unscientific neo-shamanism with the statement "that the mystical original state with the help of shamanic ecstasy can be visualized by anyone at any time". Klaus E. Müller described Eliade's theses as "very speculative in terms of content".

See also

List.svgSubject lists : Ethnology of Religion  + Ethnomedicine  - Overviews in the portal: Ethnology


  • Mircea Eliade: History of Religious Ideas. 4 volumes. Herder, Freiburg 1978, ISBN 3-451-05274-1 .
  • Mircea Eliade: Shamanism and archaic ecstasy technique. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt 2001, ISBN 3-518-27726-X (original: 1951).
  • Martin Gimm : The secret shamanism of the Qing emperors and the Tangzi shaman temple. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2018, ISBN 978-3-447-10962-8 .
  • Valentina Gorbatcheva, Marina Federova: The peoples of the far north. Art and culture of Siberia. Parkstone Press, New York 2000, ISBN 1-85995-484-7 .
  • Giselher Guttmann, Gerhard Langer (Ed.): The consciousness. Multidimensional designs. Springer, Vienna / New York 1992, ISBN 3-211-82361-1 .
  • Michael Harner: Hallucinogens and Shamanism. Oxford University Press, New York 1973.
  • Mihály Hoppál: The Shaman's Book. Europe and Asia. Econ Ullstein List, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-550-07557-X .
  • Åke Hultkrantz , Michael Rípinsky-Naxon, Christer Lindberg: The Book of Shamans. North and South America. Munich 2002, ISBN 3-550-07558-8 .
  • Adolf Ellegard Jensen: Myth and cult among primitive peoples - religious studies. dtv, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-423-04567-1 (original: 1951).
  • Hans Läng : Cultural history of the Indians of North America. Gondrom, Bindlach 1993, ISBN 3-8112-1056-4 .
  • David Lewis-Williams: The Mind in the Cave. Consciousness and the Origins of Art. Thames & Hudson, London 2004, ISBN 0-500-28465-2 .
  • Klaus E. Müller: Shamanism. Healers, spirits, rituals. 4th edition. Beck, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-406-41872-3 (original: 1997).
  • Dirk Schlottmann : Korean Shamanism in the New Millennium. Peter Lang, Frankfurt / Bern 2007, ISBN 978-3-631-56856-9 (European university publications; folklore / ethnology).
  • Monika and Udo Tworuschka: Religions of the World. In the past and present. Bassermann, Munich 1992/2000, ISBN 3-8094-5005-7 .
  • Karl R. Wernhart: Ethnic religions - universal elements of the religious. Topos, Kevelaer 2004, ISBN 3-7867-8545-7 , p. 134.

Web links

Commons : Shamanism (shamanism)  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Shamanism  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  1. This definition of terms forms the lowest common denominator of various current definitions from the period after 1990.

Individual evidence

  1. Gorbatcheva, p. 181.
  2. Mihály Hoppál: The Book of Shamans. Europe and Asia. Econ Ullstein List, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-550-07557-X , p. 11 ff.
  3. a b c d e f g László Vajda, Thomas O. Höllmann (Ed.): Ethnologica. Selected essays. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden 1999, ISBN 3-447-04209-5 , pp. 145-147.
  4. Viviana Korn: Shamanism . In: "Brief information on religion" by the Religious Studies Media and Information Service e. V., Marburg 2010, accessed on January 30, 2015.
  5. Manfred Kremser: In the beginning was the ritual - Schematic constellation work in indigenous cultures? In: Guni Leila Baxa, Christine Essen, Astrid Habiba Kreszmeier (Ed.): Embodiments: Systemic constellation, body work and ritual. Online edition, Auer Verlag, Heidelberg 2002, ISBN 3-89670-718-3 , pp. 110–128.
  6. Karl R. Wernhart: Ethnic Religions - Universal Elements of the Religious. Topos, Kevelaer 2004, ISBN 3-7867-8545-7 , p. 139.
  7. a b Piers Vitebsky: Shamanism. Taschen, Cologne 2001, p. 11.
  8. ^ Roger N. Walsh: The spirit of shamanism. Tarcher, New York 1990, p. 11.
  9. ^ Roger N. Walsh in Gerhard Mayer: Shamanism in Germany. Concepts - Practices - Experiences. Volume 2 of Crossing Borders. Contribution to scientific research into extraordinary experiences and phenomena. Ergon, Würzburg 2003, ISBN 3-89913-306-4 , p. 14.
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  13. a b c Thomas O. Höllmann, Götzfried u. Claudius Müller (Ed.): Ethnologica: Selected essays by László Vajda. Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1999, ISBN 3-447-04209-5 , pp. 145-147.
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  17. Michael Witzel: The Origins of the World's Mythologies. Oxford University Press, New York 2011, p. 382 ff.
  18. Mariko Namba Walter, EJ Neumann Fridman (Ed.): Introduction to Shamanism. Santa Barbara 2004, pp. XVII ff.
  19. ^ Walter Hirschberg (founder), Wolfgang Müller (editor): Dictionary of Ethnology. New edition, 2nd edition. Reimer, Berlin 2005, pp. 326-327.
  20. Witzel 2011, p. 132 ff.
  21. Heiko Grünwedel (ed. If applicable): Shamanism between Siberia and Germany: Cultural exchange processes in global religious discourse fields. transcript, Bielefeld 2013, ISBN 978-3-8376-2046-7 , p. 46.
  22. a b c Michael Kleinod: Shamanism and globalization. Essay as part of the seminar Cultural Globalization and Localization, Ethnology, University of Trier 2005, ISBN, pp. 4–7.
  23. ^ Karl R. Wernhart: Ethnic Religions, published in: Johann Figl (Hrsg.): Handbuch Religionswissenschaft: Religionen and their central themes. Verlagsanstalt Tyrolia, Innsbruck 2003, ISBN 3-7022-2508-0 , pp. 278-279.
  24. Juha Janhunen, Siberian shamanistic terminology, Suomalais-ugrilaisen Seuran toimituksia / Memoires de la Societe finno-ougrienne, 194, 1986, pp. 97-98.
  25. Hoppál, p. 11 ff.
  26. Marvin Harris: Cultural Anthropology - A Textbook. From the American by Sylvia M. Schomburg-Scherff, Campus, Frankfurt / New York 1989, ISBN 3-593-33976-5 , p. 285.
  27. Alexandra Rosenbohm (ed.): Shamans between myth and modernity. Militzke, Leipzig 1999, ISBN 3-86189-159-X , p. 7.
  28. Florian Deltgen: Directed Ecstasy: The hallucinogenic drug Cají of the Yebámasa Indians. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-515-05630-0 , p. 27.
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  32. Klaus E. Müller, p. 104.
  33. Klaus E. Müller, pp. 104-105.
  34. Klaus E. Müller, pp. 107-108.
  35. SM Shirokogoroff: Psychomental Complex of the Tungus. Kegan, Paul, Trench, Trubner; London 1935.
  36. Klaus E. Müller, p. 109.
  37. ^ Claude Lévi-Strauss: Structural Anthropology I. Frankfurt am Main 1967, p. 187.
  38. Klaus E. Müller, pp. 110-111.
  39. Wolfgang Saur: Mircea Eliade today. In: Secession. No. 16, February 2007. ISSN  1611-5910 .
  40. Raymond Prince: The Endorphins and: Shamans and Endorphins . Ethos. Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology 10 (4): 303-316; 409-423 (1982).
  41. M. Lütge: Der Himmel als Heimat , 2008, p. 35.
  42. Klaus E. Müller, pp. 8–9, 19–20.
  43. Mircea Eliade, quoted in: Riedl, p. 93.
  44. Anett C. Oelschlägel : Plurale Weltinterpretationen. The example of the Tyva of South Siberia. SEC Publications, Fürstenberg / Havel 2013, ISBN 978-3-942883-13-9 , pp. 31, 60 f.
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  47. Gorbatcheva, p. 181.
  48. Witzel 2011, p. 39.
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A. Karin Riedl: artist shamans. On the appropriation of the shaman concept with Jim Morrison and Joseph Beuys. transcript, Bielefeld 2014, ISBN 978-3-8376-2683-4 .

  1. Riedl, p. 104.
  2. Riedl, p. 103.
  3. Riedl, pp. 90, 98-99.
  4. Riedl, pp. 81, 86-89.
  5. Riedl, pp. 89-91, 98-99, 102.
  6. Riedl, pp. 102-103.
  7. Riedl, pp. 103-104.
  8. Riedl, p. 94.
  9. Riedl, pp. 105-106.