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Shamanism, a spiritual practice of direct revelation in the service of healing and divination for individuals and communities, has been found on all inhabited continents and is of unknown antiquity, perhaps at least 30,000 years. Although the term shaman derives from the Tungusic speakers of Siberia, it and the word shamanism are used by anthropologists to apply to similar principles and practices used in indigenous cultures worldwide, where it occurs under a variety of local cultural names. Although some doubt that there is a common shamanic tradition or view shamanism as a meaningless catchall, the universal shamanic tradition is widespread, persisting into the present and on the rise in the West.

As practiced by shamans worldwide, the universal shamanic tradition includes (a) the existence of spirits ...

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