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Talk:Shamanism

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 Definition Range of traditional beliefs and practices concerned with communication with the spirit world, and entering supernatural realms to obtain answers to the problems of their community. [d] [e]
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 Workgroup category Anthropology [Editors asked to check categories]
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Scope

First off, I apologize for complaining without really contributing. I'll have a chance to weigh in more soon.

Shamanism involves much more than healing alone. To be sure, healing is generally the primary function of a shaman but it is far from his only function. An introduction to cultural anthropology that I have here, for example, states "People may seek help for practical matters, such as where to get food resources or whether to relocate, but solving a health problem is most often the goal of a shaman. Shamans may also bring news from spirits, suchas a warning about impending disaster."

The most important aspect of shamanism isn't really healing, it is contact with the other world: the shamanic journey. Thus, I would suggest that the article be oriented around trance and altered consciousness rather than healing. --Joe Quick 16:30, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Joe, I do have an interest in the broader aspects, but my specific reason for starting this was to get rid of redlinks to the specific issue of shamanic healing in articles on traditional medicine and integrative medicine. I would not, at all, object were this article to be renamed shamanic healing as a subset of spiritual therapies, and have the shamanism deal with the aspects that quite reasonably are more focused on anthropology?
There still would have to be an introduction to the nature of shamanism in a shamanic healing article until there was a general shamanism article to which the specialized article could link. What would be your preference?Howard C. Berkowitz 17:19, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
I think this article could actually serve both purposes pretty well. I replied on the other page in a little more detail. Let's move further discussion about scope in general for such articles to someone's user talk page so that it is contained in a single place. --Joe Quick 01:59, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I'd recommend CZ Talk:Healing Arts Workgroup. There's some discussion there already; this could be a topic in that area. Putting it on a user page will make it hard for new people to find. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:11, 7 January 2009 (UTC)