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Awareness Magazine
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Shamanism Officially Recognized Religion in Europe

By Mystic Trish

Did you know that there have been actual indigenous Shamans in northern Europe all along? The term Shaman is Siberian in origin and refers to people who practiced their spirituality as far back as 10,000 years ago in northern Russia and the Arctic circle. On February 25, 2012, Shamanism was officially recognized as a religion by the Norwegian government.

This is the first time that Shamanism has been officially recognized as a religion in Norway. Ms. Lone Ebeltoft of the newly-founded Shamanic Federation welcomed the decision and expressed her ambition to preserve and continue the Shamanistic traditions and practices in the country. “It is about understanding and respecting nature. It is in no way mysterious. Shamanism is a world religion where we in the North are committed to preserving the Sámi and Norse (Arctic) tradition,” she said.

Sámis can be found in the northern reaches of Norway, Sweden and Russia. They have been practicing their Shamanistic beliefs since before Christianity was introduced. The Scandinavian language has many words to identify these people. A few are “Klok Gumma” for Wise Woman or “Klok Gubbe” for Wise Man or collectively “De Kloka” for the Wise Ones, as they were called in Sweden.

The Sámi follow a shamanistic religion based on nature worship. The Sámi pantheon consists of four general gods: the Mother, the Father, the Son, and the Daughter. There is also the god of fertility, fire and thunder, Horagalles, the sun goddess Beive, and the moon goddess Manno, as well as the goddess of death, Jabemeahkka.

The Sámi are also the Lapp peoples who for thousands of years have herded reindeer near the Arctic Circle. You may recognize them as Santa’s little helpers with the flying reindeer. And they were there long before the Vikings.

You might wonder what Shamans, and Psychics, and Wiccans have to do with indigenous people. Well quite a bit actually. Most Indigenous people across the globe have individuals within their group who have always had a little something extra: the ability to know things or heal people.

Sometimes this was knowledge passed down through generations, and it explained which plants healed a fever, or how to safely set a broken bone, or bring a baby into the world. Other times it was a more spiritual knowledge. All three labels have some overlap in the way they function. I believe that individuals with abilities to touch and interact with the spirit world and understand the language of the natural world have always been with us.

A Shaman can connect with the departed and all the seen and unseen worlds, and heal what ever ails a person. The difference is Shamans and Wiccans are involved in an Earth-based belief system and are polytheists. They believe in a male God and a female Goddess as well as multiple other divinities. They believe the Earth itself and all its creatures are sentient beings. Psychics do not necessarily hold these same beliefs.

Not all Wiccans are psychic. Not all psychics are Wiccans and certainly not all Wiccans or psychics are Shamans. It is highly insulting to say so.

I have been saying this for a long time and most people have to pause for a moment to process it. Then I see the light of understanding come up in their eyes. They get it that these are very different and distinct groups of people. To use these terms willy-nilly would be insulting to these different people. The terms have been used interchangeably for years.

Recently we have been hearing a lot about the rise of Shamanism all around the world. Mostly it is referring to tribes from the Americas and their Earth-based belief system or to the neo-pagan movement and the 2012 predictions. But if you dig into Europe’s ancient roots you will find many Shamans there as well.

As you can see there is a lot of sharing of qualities and terms among people with special abilities. Shamans seem to be one of the first indigenous spiritual leaders who are recognized in the ancient and modern world. Please keep these differences in mind when you use the terms Psychic, Wiccan or Shaman... or Lions and Tigers and Bears, OH MY! ‘Cause Toto we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Trisha Howe is a born intuitive who started psychic training at age 15. She has over 30 year’s experience in Intuitive Counseling, Crystal Healing, Tarot, Mediumship, and Clairvoyance. Contact her at Mystictrish@cox.net or at (949) 493-0705.