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Definition of "shamanism" [sha•man•ism]

  • The animistic religion of certain peoples of northern Asia in which mediation between the visible and spirit worlds is effected by shamans. (noun)
  • A similar religion or set of beliefs, especially among certain Native American peoples. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "shamanism" in a sentence
  • "While rituals and paraphernalia may differ somewhat from one place to another, shamanism is one of the earliest forms of religious experience."
  • "One characteristic feature of shamanism is the "out-of-body" experience, in which the shaman leaves his or her physical body in the material world while the spiritual body travels to the spirit world in search of transcendental knowledge to bring back to the people."
  • "A vitally important aspect of the practice of shamanism is understanding right relationship with power, and the acts and implements of power, such as sage, ceder, feathers, the drum, ceremony, disincarnate spirits, totem animals and allies."