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Biograf
journal for qualitative research

ISSN 1211-5770
Registration code MK ČR: E 8364
Published by the civil association Casopis Biograf
Krompach 26, 47157
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ICO: 27003213
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Editor-in-chief: Barbora Spalová (editor@biograf.org)

Text detail

Biograf 2017/65

In the Shamanic State of Consciousness: Shamanic Journeying Technique in the Context of Contemporary Occulture

Kateřina Horská

In the Shamanic State of Consciousness: Shamanic Journeying Technique in the Context of Contemporary Occulture

While conducting my research into the area of contemporary spirituality, I encounter many practices and techniques traditionally associated with the idea of “altered states of consciousness”, “trance” or “ecstasy”. In this paper, I intend to point out that these analytical concepts may obscure the nature of many of these practices, because they do not facilitate the description of the complex dynamics between spiritual experiences, their interpretations, teachings of the given spiritual movement, influence of religious group, and other aspects. These very dynamics are – in my view – crucial for understanding neo-shamanic practice as well as many other spiritual practices. Furthermore, the concept of altered states of consciousness is rich with many additional associations which are passed on from anthropological discourse, to emic discourse of contemporary spirituality, and back again. Over the course of this communication, both parts adapt these ideas to their own needs, which causes confusion also addressed in this paper. For me, the most important notion implicitly contained in the idea of altered states of consciousness is that all the techniques work similarly and are merely interchangeable ways to induce identical experiences. My research findings are not in accordance with this view. Therefore, I want to describe specific features of the neo-shamanic journeying technique which differentiate it from other techniques used to obtain spiritual experiences.

Keywords:

Neo-shamanism, altered states of consciousness, trance, new age, spirituality, technique, ethnography.

Citation:

HORSKÁ, K. (2017): V šamanském stavu vědomí: Technika neo-šamanského cestování v kontextu okultury [In the Shamanic State of Consciousness: Shamanic Journeying Technique in the Context of Contemporary Occulture]. Biograf, (65-66): 32 paragraphes. Available at http://www.biograf.org/clanek.html?id=1016 [last access20. 07. 2019]

Acknowledgement:

Vznik této publikace byl podpořen Grantovou agenturou Univerzity Karlovy (projekt č. 227273); tímto děkuji za podporu. Poděkování patří také Markétě Zandlové za zajímavé připomínky k první verzi textu a Barboře Spalové za rady a podporu. A v neposlední řadě děkuji i dvěma anonymním recenzentům tohoto článku, kteří poskytli podnětné připomínky.

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