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Author Topic: The Difference Between Wizardry And Shamanism (keep it laical please)  (Read 1236 times)
chicar
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« on: April 03, 2016, 11:00:37 pm »

Is there a difference (historically and theologically speaking of course) between wizardry and shamanism , or are they the manifestation of a same practice ? For me wizardry is more akin to alchemy whiles shamanism is a form of communication with the gods|spirits|god. I ask this because of the recent controversy concerning a certain Harry Potter's spin off accused of bastardising native american mysticism by assimilating it to wizardry(but lets concentrate on my main question and avoid any religious or political debate outside of academic occult factoid ).
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The word pagan came from paganus , who mean peasant . Its was a way to significate than christianism was the religion of the elite and paganism the one of the savage worker class.

''Trickster shows us how we trick OURSELVES. Her rampant curiosity backfires, but, then, something NEW is discovered (though usually not what She expected)! This is where creativity comes from—experiment, do something different, maybe even something forbidden, and voila! A breakthrough occurs! Ha! Ha! We are released! The world is created anew! Do something backwards, break your own traditions, the barrier breaks; destroy the world as you know it, let the new in.''
Extract of the Dreamflesh article ''Path of The Sacred Clown''
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2016, 11:24:09 pm »

Not speaking as an expert by any stretch of the imagination,  it seems to me Shamanism is more akin to religion, and activity performed for the sake of maintaining balance between the gods,  the environment and humans. Whereas wizardry is not necessary focused on maintaining that balance. Of course my image of wizards having been bastardized by centuries of Christian dogma. Maybe they're good fellows,  I don't know,  but I tend to see the Shaman as a holy man with a higher purpose.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 03:40:21 am »

Shamanism seems to be tied to nature and spirit worship. It is a very old practice that pre-dates writing.

This might be it: The shamanism that I've read of seems to be trying to appeal to nature spirits or ancestral spirits to gain supernatural favors. Wizardry seems to be trying to harness supernatural forces to perform actions.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 04:47:55 am »

I think it's a question of intent, more than anything.
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morozow
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2016, 09:25:41 am »

Shamanism is not taught in schools.

The shaman enters into a trance.

Good question. Just do not understand, and who are the wizards?

Here shamans they are real. They are studied and described. At least ethnographers.

But sorcerers? We about what?
About real sullen men from the villages? About urban occultists? About mages from fantasy and computer games?
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Sorry for the errors, rudeness and stupidity. It's not me, this online translator. Really convenient?
Rockula
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2016, 01:35:53 pm »

The first Shaman were probably those early humans who, whilst trying out different foodstuffs, accidently encountered any number of plants that had psychotropic properties. They probably discovered which plants had healing properties as well.

The psychotropic 'mind altering' or 'mind expanding' experiences, depending on your point of view, would make the individual seem somehow different to his tribesmen and they would treat him as exalted and special. His drug induced visions would be seen as 'signs' from whatever deity or idol the tribe had chosen to represent nature. They became the first 'priests' and 'doctors'. Leaders came to rely on their council because of their perceived wisdom.

Then these interpretations of induced 'dreams' would evolve over millennia and spread with human migrations and change and evolve and be reinterpreted over and over again until many, many 'religions' would cover the globe.

Many centuries later the unexplained would become feared and labelled as 'supernatural'. The organised 'religions', now holding much power, would see the early practices as dangerous and contrary to their devised dogma. Shamanism would be labelled as merely 'pagan' and seen as a threat to the control the big religions had developed. Practitioners of the early rituals would become labelled as outcasts and ridiculed or even hunted and executed.

These outcasts eventually became known, amongst many other names, as Wizards and Witches.

So...what's the difference between Wizardry and Shamanism?

Probably 4 or 5 thousand years is all.
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morozow
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2016, 02:53:25 pm »

In Russia there are shamans. Live and active.

Well, 100 years ago there were wizards and witches. And not only in Russia but also in Europe. Not like in the movies and books, without fireballs and lightning out of your fingers.
Czech writer Gustav Meyrink, tried to condemn for the use of occult practices in the stock market game. He even sat in jail.

And now there are people who say that they are wizards and witches. But I messed up the progress, I don't trust them.

Here before, were sorcerers, magicians. And now scammers.

And shamans still real. They live in the same environment as that of 100 years ago. And therefore remain real.

Interesting that someone filmed in the Soviet times the ritual - https://youtu.be/2ZlOPkIbR50
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 03:14:24 pm by morozow » Logged
Atterton
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2016, 04:21:59 pm »

Most societies have people who think they got magic powers. The difference is what you name them.
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chicar
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2016, 06:27:40 pm »



Good question. Just do not understand, and who are the wizards?

Here shamans they are real. They are studied and described. At least ethnographers.

But sorcerers? We about what?
About real sullen men from the villages? About urban occultists? About mages from fantasy and computer games?

This questions answered lots of mine. For me, the term wizard evoke more sumerian magi than the synonym of witchcraft (than i consider a synonym of shamanism)it came to be. Putting wizardry and shamanism in the same is equal to me to confuse nuclear physic and biology. And Harry Potter's definition of wizardry look very much like mine in my outsider, hence the faux pas it was to try to assimilate shamanism to it.
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morozow
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2016, 07:46:31 pm »

Now the interpreter will explode. But I will try to say.

It is difficult to compare the fictional magic of Potter and real shamans. But I'll try.

I think the magic of Harry Potter, it's not the shamans.

The magic of Harry Potter, this is "science". It goes back to European "high" tradition of the occult, magicians and Chaldeans. They have books, textbooks, formulas, research. Spells open mages-researchers.
To use the spells need to be a magician. But still have to properly execute it. To pronounce words correctly. Properly wave a magic wand.
 The magic of Harry Potter material.

Shamanism is not a science. It is an art. For example, as a martial art. There are principles, but there are no clear laws. You have the power to cope with the spirits, you have no power to cope with the spirits. Your strength. No sadness of Solomon, to subdue.

Well, the manifestation of power of the shaman and the spirit world, usually not material.
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chicar
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Chicar556
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2016, 10:16:56 pm »

My thought exactly.
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2016, 09:47:39 pm »

I think the Potterverse and other settings are wildly different.

Potterverse first. Rowling's reimagining of our world uses a single source of Magic, those in the know (IE, non-aware muggles) understand that Magic accounts for an thing magical or otherworldly. In the context of her setting ng shamanism is just another use of that Magic by wizard type people. The same could easily be expanded out to cover pretty much any form of religion or spiritualism. The reinterpretation and in universe filtering of myths, legends and indigenous or traditional beliefs is hardly new, things like Lore, The Dresden Files, Fables, Hellboy and BPRD have huge chunks of their framework taken from such.

Outside of that setting I'd see the two as very different. Shamanism is classicly depicted (and im going to paint in broad strokes here) as being being largely tribal, indigene or uncivilised (what a horrible phrase, but less wordy than the alternative), from ancient cultures to the modern world. The Shaman normaly (but not exclusively) has a role within the structure of the society he's a part of, partly advisor, guide and supplier of luck and faith from supernatural/spiritual/ancestral and other animistic sources.

The shamans knowledge will be largely verbal, based on the oral history of his people, places, traditions and rites. Non or only minute amounts will be written down, if the Shaman dies without passing all his knowledge on it is likely to be lost forever. The shaman's knowledge is likely to be local, in so much as it covers the area and entities of their societies domains but is not likely to extend largely beyond that.

Wizards (they've a lot of names) on the other hand is classicaly depicted as an entity of civilisation (though they may exist outside of it), educated, literate and a hoarder of knowledge from various sources from far and wide. Such knowledge is likely to be written and stored, tested and refined for the bits that may or may not function. Likely to be results focused rather than holistic.

While the Shaman is probably a part of his society the wizard is more likely to be detached from it, an aloof scholar or observer to the shamans guiding role.

Lastly, generally, as a tribal/society figure the Shaman is about power for their people, the wizard is about power for themselves.
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