Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Shamanism and Witchcraft - What's the Difference Exactly?

I know both terms cover a variety of practices (including neoshamanism and Neopagan witchcraft), but how would you separate them? Like shamanism being concerned with spirits, but witchcraft with something else? Don't they overlap a lot?

Is there a difference at the core? Are shamanism and witchcraft different magical techniques, different worldviews, different ways of life or maybe religion? Like shamanism being 'earth centered' and witchcraft not necessarily?

Is there such a thing as shamanic witchcraft or witchy shamanism? Or do people who practice both (if such people exist) practice them separately?

Or is it just two different names for basically the same thing, but with different associations? I have the impression that Christians and atheistic secular humanists do tolerate Shamanism more than witchcraft. Shamanism is just primitive nature religion (sometimes even in a romantic way) for some of them while witchcraft is superstitious or evil. Has 'witch' just become a derogative term for someone who practices magic in a nature religious context? If shamanism is used as a term for a variety of nature religious practices worldwide doesn't it automatically apply to a lot of witches too?

I don't want to insult anyone. I know people use it as different terms, but how do you define the difference? If you practice shamanism and/or witchcraft, how do you call it and why?

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