As the editor of this website and the events coordinator of the Traveling Shamans I recognize the problems inherent in using the Mongolian word - Shaman - both in our title and on this website.
However, I submit that English is a living language, and as such, words will tend to enter the language when no Engllsh word works as well. I believe that Shaman is the best word to describe the humans who consistently journey between worlds searching for answers and experiences. Our use of this word does not indicate the specific techniques used by each practitioner. I also believe that the nature of shamanism is such that words in any language will be inadequate. Much is transmitted at a non-verbal level.
This page is a collection of links to articles that we hope will provide a cross section of thoughts on the use of the term Shaman from across the web and the world - although I posted these excerpts here, I am not the author. When you click on READ MORE you will be taken to the original post.
I invite you to become informed about issues of cultural appropriation. At the same time I would ask that you recognize that shamanic experiences are universal to humans and across cultures. By limiting ourselves to the vocabulary of the dominant culture we limit how we are allowed to express our experiences to others. Keeping these pardoxes in mind I would invite your comments on the subject in the right-hand column. Warmly, Julia