Trip to jungle

Who is a shaman Spiritual leader and healer of traditional cultures

The word shamanism, although it may seem so, is not derived from the South American region. “Shaman” is of ancient origin and comes from the Evenk language (the language of the indigenous people of Siberia), which means “one who sees” or “one who knows the origin”. Looking at the word from an academic perspective, a shaman is “an individual who acts as a medium in tribal or traditional communities”. Over the years, the understanding of what we think of as a shaman has changed, depending on how humanity has interpreted the characteristics of shamans.

Both men and women who are highly spiritual and dedicate their lives to practices that bring them closer to a connection with the universe or help them better understand reality are considered shamans. In Africa, Asia but also in South America, shamans are considered spiritual leaders, authorities and healers in tribal communities.

Shamanic skills

Shamanic skills are widespread among different cultures and religions, with each shaman exhibiting a unique set of abilities. These skills may vary from individual to individual and from culture to culture, but in general, shamans develop the following skills and qualities in the area of healing:

Physical healing: shamans use knowledge of natural medicines, acupressure points, and meditation techniques to treat physical ailments.

Faith healing: This method involves the use of prayer, meditation, and miraculous healings, which may include the unexplained disappearance of serious illnesses such as cancer. It is important that patients always consult a doctor after such healings before stopping prescribed medications.

Mental and Emotional Therapy: Shamans offer insights into patients’ lives, provide direction or advice on major life decisions, and consult with natural or spiritual forces to help patients find inner peace and equanimity.

Different types of shamans

Shamans serve as spirit guides and healers in their communities and come in many forms. The most common types include:

  • Healers: these shamans use rituals and medicinal plants (such as ayahuasca) to help eliminate physical and emotional problems.
  • Spiritual leaders: These shamans provide spiritual guidance and counseling to their communities.


Within these categories, shamans can further specialize, and there are different skill levels:

  • Great Shamans: They are considered the most insightful and enlightened, with deep knowledge of the spiritual world and practices from different cultures and periods.
  • Intermediate Shamans: Those who have an intermediate level of spiritual knowledge and practices in shamanism, but do not reach the level of the Great Shamans.
  • Beginning Shamans: These individuals are at the beginning of their journey and are just gathering the necessary skills and knowledge.

Shamans in the context of ayahuasca healing

Shamans, as deeply respected spiritual leaders and healers in traditional cultures, play a key role in the use of ayahuasca, a ritual drink that is the result of a unique combination of two plants from the Amazon rainforest: Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis.

These plants, when combined, form a powerful drink that allows users to explore spiritual and energetic worlds that are beyond the normal state of consciousness. It remains a mystery how shamans in the Amazon learned to combine these two plants, each of which is almost inactive on its own, out of the thousands possible in the Amazon rainforest.

The odds of finding the combination to make ayahuasca by chance are extremely low – a million to one. However, the indigenous healers of the Amazon believe that the recipe for making this drink was revealed to the shamans by the plants themselves.

Ceremonies led by real shamans and guides

Shamans and guides in ayahuasca ritual are traditional healers referred to by various names such as:

  • Ayahuasquero
  •  Taita
  • Curandero
  • Onaya
  • Maestro

In the USA and other regions outside of South America where shamanic ceremonies with ayahuasca are held, ceremony leaders may be named differently, especially if they are not directly associated with Amazonian culture. The term “plastic shaman” is used to refer to persons outside of indigenous communities who improperly pass themselves off as shamans without the appropriate training or experience.

We have spiritual leaders and great shamans on our shamanic team directly from Ecuador who will safely guide you through the ceremony.

Indigenous healers have different attitudes towards ayahuasca. Shamans are aware of the interest of “white people” in ayahuasca rituals, and there is an understanding in the South American community that people of Western descent will continue to use ayahuasca. Therefore, it is important that they are given proper guidance in its use. I myself have been lucky to come across the right people in Ecuador, and I want to pass on my experience and story to you.

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