Shamanism is a word derived from indigenous Siberian tribes who engaged in a process of visiting a spirit world to enact healing and assistance for people in this world. This was said to include connections with spirit guides who live in that spirit world, and in some cases may also have included channeling them.

Many indigenous peoples have similar concepts, though they’re all called different things, and the details differ strongly.

A few decades back, Michael Harner, an anthropologist, decided to try to study all of these different systems of belief and synthesize them into a sort of generic shamanism that anyone could use. This is called Core Shamanism. Another variant is called Neo-Shamanism, which places an emphasis on personal exploration and ideas over rote rituals.

Both of these things have been called appropriative, both because of the words involved, and because of the techniques involved. We’re not going to comment on that except to say that there is somewhat of a match between some of the things taught in those concepts and what we do, so it’s worth bringing up.

For all the reasons that it is problematic, and also that it doesn’t 100% match, we will not, however, refer to Feathersong as shamanic or neo-shamanic.