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New/old spiritualities in the West: Neo-shamans and neo-shamanism

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Chapter Summary

Shamanic phenomena have always been part of the human consciousness and modern Western shamans (neo-shamans) are seeking to (re)-claim what some would see as their (lost) heritage. The literature on neo-shamans focuses primarily on core shamanism or re-constructed shamanisms as practised in parts of Britain, the United States, and Northern or Western Europe. This chapter, an annotated bibliography drawn from the author's doctoral thesis about contemporary shamanic healing and neo-shamans in New Zealand, covers many landscapes and crosses numerous boundaries, drawing on literature from various academic disciplines, popular publications and the internet. Neo-shamanic journeying is a transformative process for many neo-shamans. The New Zealand neo-shamans claim that their shamanic experiences healed psychological wounds, improved their general health, and that their shamanic journeying had transformational benefits. There are many positive potential roles for neo-shamans to fulfil in contemporary Western societies, paying extra to shamanism.

Keywords: New Zealand neo-shamans; shamanic healing; Western shamans



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