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Shamanism Is Dead: Long Live Shamanism!

Shamanism Is Dead: Long Live Shamanism! Tom Wright

In December 2010 I had the privilege of asking the following questions of don Miguel Ruiz, a fellow Toltec healer and the author of The Four Agreements. They were designed to ferret out a new understanding of our roles as shamans and healers in the world today. What I discovered was the need to redefine the way our modern world uses the term "shaman," since all ages redefine their most important terms. Hence the observation that the archaic use of the term "shaman" is no longer relevant.

There are so many outdated practices in shamanism—as it has been traditionally understood—that don Miguel Ruiz states that it clearly "has no future." And he's right: The role of the archaic shaman is doomed, along with superstitious practice—but only if we fail to redefine the term for this era.