Hello all, I'm looking more and more into Shamanism these past few months. I started off with some basic research which led me to a series of books written by Alberto Villoldo. Is shamanism something I can choose to be apart of? Or do I need to be "chosen". Any information (the more detailed the better) will be very helpful. Thank you!
Shamanism is a bit of a broad term. It's something used as a catch-all for spirit working religions that have no gods. Native Americans, pre-pagan Norse, Mongols, etc could all be described as Shamanism. What type are you particularly interested in?
You do not have to be chosen to be a Shaman or be a part of Shamanism. You can learn its ways and become a Shaman that way. I find that the books from Alberto Villoldo are a good method of learning the basics of Shamanism.
While books are a great resource for learning about shamanism, nothing beats actually meeting with them face to face and learning. While they can be hard to track, you will often find locals to be your best resource. Simply emailing tourist businesses and asking if there are native tribes around is often enough. (However, dont mention your intent. This can be taken the wrong way )
There are several Apache traditions I have learned that allow you to touch a deer without it running, or to have birds land on you. While it is very difficult to achieve, I can message you the details if your interested.
Good luck with your search!
Apache don't really have shamans. Our Diyin are often called that by outsiders, but no one actually identifies as a shaman among our people. The Diyin are the closest thing, but they're more of a medicine man or healer. We also have what are often referred to as witches, the ilkashn. I've never seen anyone among my tribe performing beast mastery, but I have participated in it myself with Cherokees, and it has nothing to do with magic or shamanism, it's about knowing how to interact with the animal without frightening it.
For the most part, you are correct. However, I have found through personal experience that what the Apache (scouts) did had some overlapping aspects of shamanISM. Not that they were exactly shaman. I apologize that I didnt make that clear (: