What is Shamanism?
Shamanism has existed since the beginning of time. The word shaman originates from the Tungus tribe of Siberia and means "one who sees in the dark". A shaman enters alternate states of consciousness to travel in spirit between this world and the other worlds to gather information in order to find healing and guidance for others. The other world that the shaman enters is divided into three realms which are known in modern Western shamanism as the upper, middle and lower worlds, this is often symbolised by a world tree with the roots, trunk and branches corresponding to the lower, middle and upper worlds, respectively:
Lower World - is usually the place where the shaman will go in order to retrieve power, or seek guidance from ancestral spirits. It is often where our power animal resides. The beings inhabiting the Lower World are the spirits of plants and animals as well as human spirits. The Lower World would be considered our unconscious/subconscious self.
Middle World - is the energetic parallel of the everyday reality we are used to. The Middle World is also the realm of the ideas and thought-forms that go into the creation of the physical world. In the Middle World the shaman travels back and forth through human histories. Sometimes the soul has remained in a past moment of their lives while the outer world has continued to move onward. To rescue the soul the shaman must travel through the Middle World to this moment and then find a way to get the soul out of it. The Middle World would be considered our ego or conscious self.
Upper World - an ethereal place its the home of our spirit guides, angels, archangels, archetypes and teachers. The Upper World would be considered out higher self.