Micheal Harner, who recently passed away, was an anthropologist who studied shamanistic similarities around the world. The foundation for shamanistic studies houses the largest data base preserving the practice.
Shamanism can be seen as a fundamentally spiritual approach to real-life problem solving informed by an animistic philosophy that is practiced by individuals for the benefit of their group. These individuals systematically utilize a technique or combination of techniques to alter consciousness in such a way that they reliably access nonordinary reality.
“Core shamanism emphasizes the shamanic journey, an excursion into nonordinary reality by an individual or group of individuals facilitated by monotonous drumming. The excursion is purely a consciousness experience. The destination(s) of the journey is/are the conventional Lower, Middle, and Upper Worlds. Individuals are taught to journey in a weekend workshop, focused on methodology. Each participant has as a goal in initial journeys the meeting of at least one of their own existing power animals and spirit teachers. These become the indispensable resources of each person for further shamanic work. Participants are taught that shamanism is designed for healing, both of self and others“(1)
Prior to colonialism regular people had access to the spirit realms and these things were forcefully done away with, while the church took control over spirituality—Now you had to go through them, while they swept under the rug ancient practices that gave people personal connections, personal ability to provide for their own spiritual needs, it was viewed as heretical or witchery, outdated or “uncivilized”, but the fact is that there were core shamanistic practices around the world, all different walks of life shared in the same common rituals to seek out higher levels of spiritual connection beyond our ordinary reality.
A common thread—They knew something, (and the church continued to keep their own mystics), while abolishing it wherever they could outside the church walls. Common people didn’t lose their ability to connect with god, but it was taken from them and replaced with a forgery that only provides hope without substance. The churches will never replace what man could originally do for himself, but that won’t keep the church from claiming authority for these things, while all along it was done at a higher level and with regularity (at will) by maintaining certain practices that are largely missing from the modern world.
It is evidenced by Christianity today, each believer going their own way but knows not where to turn, picking and choosing and searching, but failing. The power has always been within you to chart your own spiritual journey, but the churches have destroyed the tools to do so, yet each has gone their own way is evidence christianity has failed the people at a global level.