What is a Shaman?
A shaman is someone who has the ability to move between the visible world of form and matter and the invisible world of energy and spirits.
For me this ability has the purpose of asking questions and bringing the answers back to help and heal things in this reality.
Shamanism is a spiritual practice, not a religious one. Shamanism is the belief in the first-hand, direct experiences of the supernatural, whereas Religion is the belief in the supernatural experiences of someone else.
A shaman stands with one foot in this world, and one foot in the world of spirit. The consciousness that creates our waking reality is a universal consciousness, a vast sea that is navigable. Most people are content to live on the land, and they know this sea only as it appears to them from their own shores. But it is possible to know it fully, to navigate the sea, to cross it, to immerse yourself, to let it wash over you, to discover its depths. The shaman is one who has learned how to swim and how to sail, how to navigate through this sea and return to its shore, and to communicate its wonders to his people.
Excerpt from an article by Alberto Villoldo