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Massive Exploitation, Really!?!?[edit]

About the last sentence in the article... I haven't read Daniel C. Noel or Robert J. Wallis, or Harner for that matter. Maybe they really do say it's "massive exploitation," but imagine how this sounds to the skeptical audience. I think the vast majority of readers believe it is all superstitious nonsense (with maybe a fair number of Christians and others believing it is deceptions of the Devil, but definitely not legitimate religious worship). How does one "exploit" what the majority of indigenous people think superstitious imaginary nonsense of various peoples, especially when these indigenous people have already abandoned their own traditions, mainly in favor of Christianity? The definition of "exploit" means something of value, some resource that is worth something, is being taken away. "Misappropriated" is right terminology, and there might be some sense of dignity of indigenous cultures is violated, but no rights here are being denied here to indigenous people, some of their ideas are being "borrowed." The Neoshamans are basically rifling through indigenous peoples' intellectual trash. Note, I know this sounds disrespectful of many people's beliefs, but Wikipedia is encyclopedic, and not taking either side. It is also a large number of people's beliefs that this is either the work of the devil, and/ or is illegitimate religion for reasons other than it is offensive to "authentic" Western shamans. And please, before some critic (like the one below in the "Untitled" section) scolds me by making some provocative comparisons to Christianity or other major religion, I'm an atheist. But, I believe articles here should be encyclopedic and we should include other criticism, especially actual quotations from "aggrieved" indigenous people (there must be a lot to choose from, given the nature of the subject and core shamanism), and not narrow infighting between those that believe themselves to be respecting indigenous religious beliefs and those that are not. Or at least label it as "Controversy" instead of "Criticism". Actually I'm going to do just that in the last section. Tumacama (talk) 20:25, 3 July 2016 (UTC) Postscript I went back to read about Noel and Wallis, and they are both supporters of the neoshamanistic endeavor. It would seem that this last section was lifted outright from the article on "Core Shamanism" when the articles were combined. Therefore their criticism of Harner sounds like they are critical of the entire enterprise, because it is taken out of context. With their personal stakes in the matter, it is not surprising they would use hyperbole to describe the cultural appropriation. I hope someone can take the time to further delineate what are the critical voices from within the community, as opposed to those outside the community (of which there is apparently none in this article at all. Tumacama (talk) 02:21, 4 July 2016 (UTC)


putting NeoShamanism under the category "New Age" is like putting Islam under Category "Christianity." New Age by definition, in my opinion, is a series of simplifications and cultural and religious rip offs, from assorted systems, into a candied, psuedo-Christian amalgam. Yes, it is true that Islam was a reactionary movement to earlier patrifocal religions, no, Islam is not a type of Christianity. NeoShamanistic Movements are, for the most part, (other than "Core Shamanism," The New Age variant) Trying to reconstruct whole Shamanic systems. Shamanism is its own, independant item, under the taxonomic parent, "Types of World Religions." Prometheuspan 21:24, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

"New age by definition, in my opinion, is a series of simplifications and cultural and religious rip offs, from assorted systems" I'm sorry but that's most people's view of neoshamanism too, as the article says.:) Sticky Parkin 02:15, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Core Shamanism is core shamanism[edit]

It might be a form of "Neo-Shaminism" [a term I am just learning about after knowing about Core Shamanism for 15 years] and some might see it as being "Pop-Shamanism [also a new term to me] but it is still a seperate entity and should have its own article. Carptrash 06:35, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Yup.Probably doesn't go under New Age. ----Wodensdy
I'd vote that "Core Shamanism" goes under the "Neoshamanism" heading. I applaud anybody who is sincere about their study, and who is trying to encourage people to at least look into "shamanism" (by whatever name); perhaps even to go farther than just looking into it... Michael Harner is authentic in that way of course. But in any case, there are so many people coming up with their own variations on the theme of "shamanism" that it seems to me that these should all go under one heading, perhaps "neoshamanism". It wouldn't bother me if my work was called that. ----samnotsam
Well the Neo-shamanism article is a fine place to put links to other articles - such as core shamanism. Like you, My work also falls easily and comfortably under Neo-S, but if i were to create something, such as Harner has done, that gets a life of its own, then i might feel that it deserves its own entry. I'm not thrilled about being an apologist for Harner, i definately am not a follower [and would be interested in your rants, but I am not a follewer of Carlos Castaneda either, but he has, and deserves his own place too. Carptrash 14:41, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Please consider registering as a wikipedian so that we can carry these discussions out 1. on our talk pages, and 2. well, registered users are often [at least by me] trusted more than folks not registered. Your User Page is also a place to put your rants. Meanwhile, I think that putting Core Shamanism under Neo-Shamanism is fine, but I feel that it should also have its own article because it is something distinct from other types of Neo Shamanism. Like . . . Judaism, Christianity and Islam can all be included in a article Religions from the Middle East but should still have their own articles. Rant on. Carptrash 17:44, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Re "Please consider registering", yes, I realized that that would be appropiate after writing those things. This was my first exposure to Wikipedia. Anyway I'm now registered, but what to do next??? Ranting on my "User Page" doesn't interest me--I don't have an ax to grind, just that I think Wikipedia is a good thing (wow) and it's worth contributing to. If that might help the overall effort. If you are an "experienced Wikipedian" then what's the custom in a situation like this? Should I delete what I wrote, then write something under my pen name?? I read the page on pros and cons of using real names. Now I'm confused. My idea was that using a real name would be the surest way to express trustworthyness. But as I say I'll gladly adapt to whatever the customary Wikipedia way is as soon as I understand what it is.

By the way, I said that "Core Shamanism" falls under "Neoshamanism" but I can clarify that and say that whatever the term, I think it is not a special case. It should receive exactly the same treatment as all the other New Age (so called) shamanisms. Why ever would it be different? Is it because Mr. Harner is more famous?? As we know from every field, fame and authenticity sometimes coincide and sometimes not. They are not related. So I vote that every shaman gets the same treatment, and the reader is not given the impression that one voice is more authentic than another. Better for the reader that way. ----Sam

First of all, try signing your postings with four of these fellows. ~ [top left of the keybord - for those of us who still hunt-&-peck]. That will get your name in blue here. I will then click on your name and write to you at your user page. Or, click on mine, go to my user page, click on DISCUSSION and write me there. Oh yes, don't delete what you've already written. It is now part of the bigger picture. Carptrash 14:36, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Meanwhile, back to the point you make about Michael Harner. He does, in my opinion, rate somewhat special treatment because he is well known. Wikipedia, or any other encyclopedia for that matter, is about allowing folks to look up the famous. I know several people who might be as good or better at doing shamanic work as Harner, [i imagine that he does, of did do, some shamaninc work] but until they publish [most are not interested in doing so] and found [or "fund" as my first typo had it] a school, the Institute For Shamanic Studies, that goes world wide, they will not be included here, at least not by name. I look forward to hearing from you. Carptrash 14:45, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

I think Core Shamanism belongs in the Neoshamanism article. Both are short, and once you look at the history of both phenomena, they cannot be separated from one another. Harner's work formed the foundations of the entire NeoShamanic phenomenon. It's only because Harner's misrepresentations have been exposed that those who are using his materials want to distance from his reputation (much as has been seen with Wiccans and Gerald B. Gardner). - Slàn, Kathryn NicDhàna 21:27, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

I just removed this[edit]

, sometimes as the result of genocide

from the article and put it here so that someone who think sit should remain can talk about it. Carptrash 23:45, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

I see nothing controversial about the statement. Can you explain why you think it does not belong? I'm putting it back in. --Kathryn NicDhàna 01:44, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Since you have already put it back in my explanation seems somewhat superfluous, but . . ... back it is and back it will stay, at least as far as my actions go. My feeling is that shamanic cultures that no longer exist ceased to function for a bunch of reasons and picking out one sensational one is not particularly helpful. I agree that many cultures were systematically and intentionally destroyed and if you feel that calling attention to the genocidal aspects of it, okay. Carptrash 02:09, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps then we should include some of those other reasons as well? --Kathryn NicDhàna 02:18, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps. Without giving it too much thought, I'm not clear on WHY the reasons that various cultures ceased to exist is important to a very short entry on neo-shamanism. Carptrash 02:51, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

" It's also relevant as we're generally talking about those of the oppressor culture now wanting to be "shamans".

Is that what we are talking about? That neo-shamanism is made up of members of the "oppressor culture" who want to play at being shamans? Well it's the end of the discussion for me. Write the history any way that you wish. Carptrash 03:02, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Fradulent Shamanism[edit]

Thanks for referencing the sentence:

Some believe neoshamanism is used as an excuse by fraudulent shamans to cover up inconsistencies in their ceremonies.

Even though it is backed up, I still think it doesn't quite fit, as the use of "some believe..." sounds an awful lot like weasel words. Maybe there's a better why to say this. I'm sure it's a completely valid point; I just think that it could be stated in a more encyclopedic way. Any thoughts? romarin [talk ] 05:09, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Agreed on the weasel words. As I was putting it back in I sat here staring at it, but am too braindead at the moment to rewrite it. If I think of something I'll fix it. I might need sleep first, though ;-) --Kathryn NicDhàna 05:21, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Well the phrase " some believe " suggests, at least to me, that " some do not ", causing me to wonder why the some who do believe are getting the ink ? Perhaps Eric Hoffer already answered that question in his book, The True Beliver ? Carptrash 14:53, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Would you care to elaborate on that point? Not being familiar with Eric Hoffer, I can't say I get the reference. I agree with you though, that it needs to be presented in a more balanced way. romarin [talk ] 16:17, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Hoffer is a fellow, a longshoreman as I recall, who wrote a book called the True Believer back in the 1940s or 50s. It's point, or the one that stuck with me for 40 years or so [so I could have it wrong] is that the True Believer [in anything] can always convince him or herself that "by any means necessary" or that the "end justifies the means" and that sort of thing is appropriate. What I am seeing here is a tendency to create victims of folks whose traditions are being begged, borrowed or stolen by Neo-Shamans by using language like genocide and quoting what "some people say" and focusing on the "fraudulent" side of neo-shamanism . I don't see this a being a good thing, spiritually or encyclopedically, but am not really inclined to fight it either, being content to carp about it instead. Carptrash 00:29, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

The way I see it, issues of cultural appropriation, invention of tradition, and the like, are incredibly complex; to state simply that someone is fraudulent, or someone appropriated someone else's religion, is oversimplifying the issue. Cultures all over the world engage in tradition invention, both within their own culture and on behalf of others. Discourses of authenticity need to be carried out with these complexities in mind.

While not the same thing as Shamanism, Neoshamanism is a spiritual system in its own right, and I don't believe that anyone has the authority to label one spiritual system as more or less "authentic" than another. It is important to be aware of the differences in the histories and applications of different "traditions," and of course it is important to realize when one is taking advantage of another, or masquerading as another, but again, these issues are incredibly complex in themselves and must be treated carefully. I don't see this article (or others referencing similarly contemporary spiritualities) doing so. I'll work on it if I get the chance, but I'm also afraid that I'm up against some opposition, as many people are content to see only one side of the issue. romarin [talk ] 01:50, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

it is interesting (opinion) to note that even the person writing the text admits it sounds weasely. Life. what a place to live. Carptrash 00:58, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Um, if you mean me, I didn't originate the section, I've only worked on it. --Kathryn NicDhàna 05:12, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm all with you romarin but I seem to go up against a wall because valid neoshamans seem to be more discrete than fraudulent ones so finding sources and verifiable information to counter the current perception of neoshamanism is a difficult task. As with most things spiritual, I guess it's more of an inner manifestation into trust rather than proving things on the physical dimension :) I believe that those who hold on to the past and refuse to look forward with the excuse that only what is traditional is authentic miss the whole point of these traditions, which is to adapt to the environment, to the times and to life itself as it evolves. Peace Sud Ram (talk) 14:37, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Welcome to the discussion, 4 years later. But, never too late. Those with a spiritual bent , who feel that not everything can be explained and that intellectualizing everything is not the way to get to basic truths are at a disadvantage here. So the game must be played by their rules. That means sourcing and footnoting all postings and at least requiring "them" to do the same. Carptrash (talk) 21:50, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Better late than never! I sourced the edit as you requested. My only concern is that the focus tends to be more on the negative aspects of neoshamanism than on its positive ones. This happens for many other "new" concepts and all gets thrown into the now unmentionable "New Age", which in itself was a quite remarkable philosophy before it got connoted as something unworthy of looking at. Sud Ram (talk) 10:51, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Revisiting Split/Merge Issue[edit]

See above: Talk:Neoshamanism#Core Shamanism is core shamanism - Slàn, Kathryn NicDhàna 21:34, 15 February 2014 (UTC)


Sorry for the lack of edit summary. I forgot rollback didn't let me add one. What I added on the IP's page: "You deleted sources critical of the subject, and altered sourced text to introduce inaccuracies, thus misrepresenting the sources. Please read up on WP:RS. To be stated as fact, Harner's claims have to be sourced to someone other than Harner. They also have to be true and verifiable. - CorbieV 17:14, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

I find this phrase[edit]

"However, the peoples of these tribes assert that Harner's creation is not in any way an accurate reproduction of their ceremonies, beliefs or practices,[2][3] nor do they call their spiritual leaders "shamans".[2][12]"

difficult to accept because, well Shaman is a word of Russian derivation so naturally native people would not use it and also am a bit perturbed that reference 2 seems to have been published 2 years before Harner published "The Way of the Shaman" so . . ... is that source really talking about Harner as the article seems to suggest? Einar aka Carptrash (talk) 00:01, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

I am finding the criticism of Harner in here to be not supported by the references, who largely do not mention him. Also having just learned from the article that native people "do not call their spiritual leaders "shamans". I then discover "use of the term "shamanism" as a cultural appropriation of Native American culture." How are these two statements reconcilable? Carptrash (talk) 14:45, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

I am a graduate of the foundation and I have studied with other shamanic elders in south american and china[edit]

I am a graduate of the foundation and I have studied with other shamans in South American and China. I also have a doctorates in Chinese medicine. The foundation first of all NEVER encourages anyone to call themselves a shaman and tells us from day one that real shamans don't call themselves shamans. Whoever wrote this is really using words and saying things in light that just aren't true and negative about Harner's work. I am extremely suspect over who wrote this article and what the objectives are.

Harner made it his life's work to understand these miracle healers around the globe. He came up with the best terms he could to explain this phenomena. His work has done allot in creating a portal to open many peoples minds and understanding in the need to be apart of a shamanic indigenous culture once more.

He has worked with many indigenous tribes all across the states and he has worked with many around the world. He has read allot 

of studies also, but he has also personally worked with these people as have his students. His effort was to create a global academia understanding of indigenous knowledge as a body of knowledge in order to reconnect western society to their roots. He has done wonderful things. In chinese medicine and most all medicines dreamwork is the most powerful way to shift consciousness. This is why he chose what he did to work with from personal experience with a variety of shamanic elders he sought out.

For many westerners, who are completely disconnected from their roots, journeywork is wonderful. It reconnects them to their inner knowledge so they can even realize where their roots are. It also opens their mind and hearts to indigenous ways all over the globe. Stop cutting him down. He never claimed to be creating shamans. But what he has done is help empower people and reconnect them to appreciating their indigenous roots.

We all need to work together and support one another. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:01, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

I suggest that you register as an editor (I suggest that you don't use anything shamanic in your user name) and get in here and start editing the article and get it right. Carptrash (talk) 05:06, 18 October 2016 (UTC)