The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

Letter to the editor: Shamanism

Photo by Noelle Friedberg

By Charla Lopez


Women’s roles across cultures and across time have been transformed and adapted. Before the masculine structure of society and religion, there was a sacred powerful role that women held and ruled from.

Shamanism is regarded by various sources to be the original religion from which all religions stemmed and branched out from, not only humankind’s first spiritual practice but a healing practice as well.

Shamanism has been defined by the western world as a religious belief system in which the shaman is a specialist in the knowledge required to make a connection to the world of the spirits in order to bring about benefits for the other members of the community within the culture.

From my research I have found that women were the first shamans and are still regarded as being more powerful. Women are designed in such a way, including biologically, that is better suited to shamanism and its duties. Women were known to be “chosen” by the spirit or universe versus men who were chosen and “initiated” by other male shamans and these facts can be reinforced by male shamans today.

Different cultures have their own creation shaman story of origin about the first shamans being women and how they were somehow overthrown and erased from history. They include the occurrence of men being jealous of women’s power and conspiring to steal the power from them. The only way men could attain the power that the women shamans had was to be given the objects and tools from their female elders or steal their objects of power and kill the shaman; only then could they assume the powers and use them for their own purposes.

In the article “Path of the Shaman,” Peggy Andreas describes that shamans heal themselves (and serve as a healing catalyst for others) in three main ways: removing blockages in the energy flow, balancing and centering and attunement and harmony.

It is important to point out that shamanism acknowledges the importance of both masculine and feminine energies and traditions. So it would be beneficial for people today to adopt aspects, if not most parts of shamanism, with its powerful women leaders and positive holistic attributes. I would like to end with some questions for you all. How did humanity arrive at this masculine-dominated structure of society and even religion? At what point did women lose their sacred power and revered position in the world?

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *