New shamanism

During the last 50 years, shamanism has acquired new followers the world over.

Many have approached the shamanistic faith in order to come into contact with other levels of consciousness and perhaps to foretell the future or to heal. This interest has been called “new shamanism”.

In order to achieve another state of consciousness, drums in particular are used, but also dance, song and other methods. Some have used various intoxicants to achieve the desired effect.

Sámi shamanism, noaidevuohta, too has attracted new followers. The Sámi form of new shamanism is based on knowledge of the old faith, but it is debatable whether this new shamanism can be said to be descended from the pre-Christian Sámi faith. It is a great leap, both in time and culturally, from the last noaidis, who were part of a Sámi shamanistic society, to the individuals who wish to practise Sámi shamanism today.

Those who practise Sámi new shamanism believe that they are calling on a force which has always been accessible and that this in itself connects them with an ancient tradition. Some also point to kinship with actual noaidis from pre-Christian times.

Pollan, Brita, 1993:
Samiske sjamaner.
Eriksson, Jörgen I., 1988: Samisk shamanism.
Norwegian new shamanistic web pages

Govva/Foto: Mihkku Solbakk