Shamanism is the worlds earliest and most widespread religous tradition , remnants of it are found across the world in places such as siberia, the united states, mexico, tibet and aboriginal australia. Shamanism can be regarded as a visionary approach to nature and the cosmos, which utilizes altered states of consciousness as a means of contacting the sprit world. A shaman is a magical practioner who through the art of will can enter into a trance and journey to the land of the gods and by visionary means identify the cause of the sickness.
In all forms of shamanism it is the notion that the universe is alive with gods and sprits, the shamans role is to identify the harmful sprits which are causing individual illness. So the shamans are entering a state of consciousness between the natural and metaphysical worlds, meeting the sprits in there own world. Shamans are often given their role because of there ancestral lineage or are called to the path through dreams and visions. Because this visionary capacity is restricted to just a few, shamans have found themselves somewhat on the edge of society.
Anthropologists have even speculated that shamans could be victims of mental illness, with which through trance training they control. Observing shamans has led westerners to look closely at the nature of different types of experience and to wonder that the trance state shamans enter is similar to which the mentally ill involuntarily wander. Many people believe the shamans discover a part of the human mind that normally remains untapped. Obviously now through the western lifestyle we have become disconnected with this ancient tradition and lost touch with an ancient way of seeing the world, a part of us thats still inside and never really acknowledged.