Ecstasy

Ecstasy – Shamans are sometimes distinguished from other religious or cultural leaders by the ability to achieve an altered state of consciousness which Mircea Eliade labeled “ecstasy.” The etymology of this originally Greek word implies an ability to “stand outside” oneself. It is often used as a synonym of journeying and an antonym of possession, because Eliade claimed that shamans control or master spirits rather than losing control.

SOURCE:

Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007

BOOKS FOR YOU TO READ IN OUR LIBRARY:

Related Articles

Mastery of Spirits

Mastery of Spirits – Shamans are sometimes distinguished from other religious or cultural leaders by their ability to control or master spirits or other other-than-human…

Psychotechnologies

Psychotechnologies – Term used by Mircea Eliade to refer to the strategies shamans use to alter states of consciousness and thereby achieve “ecstasy”—from drumming and…

Journeying

Journeying – Spirit journeying, soul flight, or ecstasy are often taken to be essential and even definitive features of shamanisms. Neo-shamans, particularly practitioners of the…

Drums and drumming

Drums and drumming – Rhythmic sounds and movements are commonplace in shamanic performance. In Mircea Eliade’s construction of shamanism as “the techniques of ecstasy,” the…

Possession

Possession – Shamans are sometimes distinguished from other religious or cultural leaders by their ability to deliberately enter a trance that is sometimes considered to…