Mircea Eliade

Mircea Eliade was a Romanian historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, and professor at the University of Chicago. He was a leading interpreter of religious experience, who established paradigms in religious studies that persist to this day. Eliade's scholarly work includes a well-known study of shamanism, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, a survey of shamanistic practices in different areas. His Myths, Dreams and Mysteries also addresses shamanism in some detail.

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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.

There are three ways of becoming a shaman: first, by spontaneous vocation (the "call" or "election"); second, by hereditary transmission of the shamanic profession; and, third, by personal "quest," or, more rarely, by the will of the clan. By whatever method he may have been designated, a shaman is recognized as such only after having received two kinds of instruction. The first is ecstatic (e.g., dreams, visions, trances); the second is traditional (e.g., shamanic techniques, names and functions of the spirits, mythology and genealogy of the clan, secret language). 

"Clearly, the rebirth of shamanism or, as it might better be called, "neo-shamanism" is one of the prime spiritual and religious events of the late twentieth century. It was unexpected. Before the 1970s, religious innovation seemed more likely to come from Asia in the form of yoga, Zen Buddhism, and other traditions."

Latest Quotes

"The Experience of Sacred Space makes possible the 'founding of the world': where the sacred Manifests itself in space, the real unveils itself, the world comes into existence."

"The primitive magician, the medicine man or shaman is not only a sick man, he is above all, a sick man who has been cured, who has succeeded in curing himself."