Shamanism is a spiritual practice found in cultures around the world from ancient times up to the present day. First and foremost, shamans’ practices are practical and adaptable. These practices coexist over millennia with varying cultures, systems of government, and organized religious practices.
Many formalized religions, from Buddhism to Christianity, came from ancient shamanic roots and still bear the shamanic threads of deep connection to the divine in all things. But shamanism itself is not a formalized system of beliefs or an ideology. Rather, it is a group of activities and experiences shared by shamans in cultures around the world. These practices are adaptable and coexist with different cultures, systems of government, and organized religious practices.
Nowadays, in non-indigenous cultures, shamanism is studied and practiced as a life path. Following a shamanistic perspective, individuals seek to be in relationship with the spirit in all things. They seek to use information and guidance from non-ordinary reality to intentionally form their own life experience.
This perspective is not inherently contradictory to any religious practice that allows a person to be in direct relationship with whatever they perceive as a higher power.