What Is Shamanic Witchcraft? Your Guide to Understanding How It Works

Shamanic Witchcraft, by my definition, is a blending of earth based practices. Shamanic Witchcraft, like all magick, is about liberation, independence and empowerment, the things that set Shamanic Witchcraft apart from other modalities are the tools used and the initiation rights of passage. More about that later, let me start with definitions and then show how Shamanism and Witchcraft link together.

There is no real beginning date of witchcraft – it is present in all ancient cultures and can be found (in varying forms) as far back as we humans go. Shamanism, as we know it now, traces its roots through Russian anthropologist work in Siberia in the 1900s but is also very ancient.

The accepted definition of SHAMAN is:

“A first definition of this complex phenomenon, and perhaps the least hazardous, will be: shamanism = technique of ecstasy.” Eliade

There is no accepted definition of MAGICK but here is a good one:

The science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with the will. Crowley which is much better than Websters Dictionary definition:

“the use of means (charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces.”

Hmmm, this is my explanation as a Shamanic Witchcraft practitioner.

In shamanic ritual there is an exit from the human body while in a tranced state to seek answers or guidance from the spirit world, (usually from an ancestral or tibal overspirit), in witchcraft ritual there is a space created (a circle) where new energies are formed, old wisdoms are accessed and new understandings are learnt from any channel that is called to open. There are lots of cross overs when journeying work is done; shamanism and witchcraft both teach access to other realms through travelling in company with (or as) familiars.

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Both shamanism and craft work are devoted to conscious co-creation, the success of which is determined by the expertise of the practitioner, the purity and wisdom of the channels contacted and the alignment with the life path of the individual. For instance, there will be discussion with the various energies present at any healing ritual or blessing to understand if healing is the best outcome, what healing is best and how best it will take place to serve the individual, and the community.

Shamanic Witchcraft is truth full magick in an altered state to serve a community’s evolution. Plato wrote in his Phaedrus that the “first prophecies were the words of an oak”, and that those who lived at that time found it rewarding enough to “listen to an oak or a stone, so long as it was telling the truth”. The reason I give for why Shamanic Witchcraft is so profound is that it can be applied directly to whatever we find challenging in life. It can present new solutions within our own truth and teach us, as Nature always does, to learn more about our Self and who we are. Shamanic Witchcraft, like any endeavour, is most powerful when it is totally devoted to bringing more peace and love to each party and the Earth.

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Good books for reference, easy to not so easy.

Hedge Witch by Silver RavenWolf – easy ritual steps for uncovering your own magical powers.

Ritual Magic by Donald Tyson – not for the faint hearted, in depth history and comparison of magic across the ages. Very good for those wanting to be adept in magickal art.

The Shamans Body by A Mindell – it doesn’t get any better than this for applying shamanic thinking and practice to every avenue of life. Very hard but extremely practical read.


by Rebecca Ryan