Shaman vs Magician

Is there a difference between a shaman and a magician?

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I only know shamans because of an anime called “Shaman King”, and I’m kinda sure that real ones are not like that, despite living with spiritis and going out with them is much like that show. However, it has always been amusing to me how English speaking people pay so much attention to words that have specific connotations, like having magicians, wizards, warlocks, sorcerers, shamans, witches and treating them like different things and making videos explaining why one word is more correct than the other for talking about some specific kind of practitioner. I still don’t know what I am in English


The way I see it, there’s no difference between a Shaman and a Magician. PM me if you got that reference.

Those words are context dependent. In Dungeons and Dragons Shaman is a class of Magician.

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shamanism is a particular path, magician is a general label for someone who follows one of the many paths of magick. A person who does rituals can call themselves a magician just like a person who does direct energy work.

A shaman can call themselves a magician if they want but in my opinion they are pretty different shamanism depending on the path of shamanism a person takes may differ a bit.


“Shaman” tends to refer specifically to spirit workers.


A shaman won’t use metaphysical knowledge to harm others or manipulate people , he/she works with the best intentions involved usually , they specialize in stuff like soul retrieval , healing ancestral trauma , healing subconscious, contacting guides for information , stuff like that
Magician is more open ended and free willed , can do bad and good stuff with it


I’m not particularly associating my opinion with the Tungus people, Indian people, African people — just more so your layperson who practices Neo shamanism

I think that the divide between shamanism and practitioners should
be mentioned when discussing ‘vocabulary’. In many ways the study of
is a academic pursuit (valuable but still academic). Unless
you are willing to posit a sort of eclectic, global shamanism which subsumes the various specific instances and manifests within and through Academia; then the terms are exterior to the individual traditions or particular within certain exemplars.

‘Shamanic perspective’ is an ideal. I’m sure that there are countless perspectives which function for shamans quite well (hey, I could be wrong). My hit on this is that some shamans do function as bridges and this is called by many names. These ‘higher and lower states’ are mythological referents to specific experiences of the subjective universe, which is as much a reflection as it is the origin of what modern materialists call ‘the real world’.

…While it is true
that the shaman exists at the ‘edge of reality’ this need not only be the fringes of an urban or village population (i.e. geographic). The shaman just as accurately lives on the edges of a society’s consciousness, existing below or within that society and ‘tweaking’
it like psychotechnicians tuning up their host body; a veritable pineal gland regulating the social endocrine system.


They also have good knowledge about the spiritual effects of certain drugs , which is very important , even weed can really open your aura up

Though a shaman can do harm if they find feel it’s needed, but it won’t be in the similar instance as a ‘magician’ who you’ll most times or not seeking help from a demon or so.

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Right , they believe in dealing with the shitty painful aspects of your subconscious and healing them , not running away from them and wishing for the shaman to do all the work in my experience


Truth is that, what made many magicians of this era is Books.

Shamanism isn’t like that. You learn. You take oath. They have their culture.
But this magicians…nah! They are ‘do as you like!’


A shaman is first and foremost a healer.


My experience studying core shamanism would be that a shaman primarly serves his community, whereas a magician primarily serves his own desires.

But there’s always crossover, even if those were taken as definitive.

One cannot really be a shaman without interacting with spirits in some form, a magician can use choas magick and never once contact a spirit or enter a different plane, as well.


Shamans are always a motor of preserving the group, heal it, helping it evolve and keeping it safe and healthy.

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Shamanism is the, core, of entire magick… Everyone is a shaman

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A friend of mine who’s Native American and a witch claims that a shaman is a sought out by the spirits or born into a hereditary line while a magician seeks out the spiritual through study and practice.

I would say this is pretty much true. I’ve never heard of any magician getting “shaman sickness,” for example, which is where the spirits make the budding shaman very ill until they decide to walk the path.

Being a shaman was a heavy burden, and not one to enter lightly. Some had to be forced into it because, essentially, their life was no longer their own. It belonged to the community, and to the spirits.

In my opinion, the biggest difference between a shaman and a magician is control. In ceremonial magick, everything is controlled, from the magician’s breathing and thoughts, all the way down to the sounds and smells in the environment, and onto the spirits themselves. There is a certain way things are done, and the magician must not stray from that way lest the spirits become unruly and cause problems. It is very formal, which is why magicians have traditionally been portrayed as very stern and serious, like a headmaster at a British boarding school.

In shamanism, by contrast, the spirits are intimate, and immediate, not distant like they are in ceremonial traditions, and the shaman interacts with them daily, not just when he feels like it. The spirits are considered to be the shaman’s family, and often they will take a spirit bride, who acts as a companion and guide upon the path.

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I wouldn’t say this, and it kind of devalues actual shamans.


Yes, I have decided to devout myself to Ceremonial magick to learn this sort of control. By perchance I encounter a demon, I’d like to believe I can protect myself if I feel the need.

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Sapmi people of Scandinavia has the same beliefs.