Michael Harner is the founder and president of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and was a pioneer in the introduction of shamanism to contemporary life. He defined the term "Core Shamanism" and his breakthrough book was "The Way of the Shaman".
Shamanism has been practiced for millenia in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Research by Michael Harner and others has shown great similarity in the practices and traditions between them all. In this post we'll give a little history on shamanism and then outline some different points of what makes a person a shaman.
Journeying is a critical skill for those on a shamanic path and offers many invaluable tools to help your healing and your life. For most shamanic traditions when you journey you are visiting one of the 3 worlds. Sandra Ingerman and Alberto Villoldo do a great job of outlining what those 3 worlds are.
The basic criteria I used in making up the list is by answering the question, "Who are the most influential people in shamanism in the world today?" By influential I mean, they reach many people and share their knowledge in a way that people are able to absorb the information and use it in their lives. The list was pretty straight forward to put together and I'm hoping to add to it over time.