A shaman according to Hank Wesselman's Spiritwalker: Messages from the Future:
The individual shaman - apart from his cultural shell of mask, costume, and ritual - possesses a very real skill, one that distinguishes him from other kinds of religious practitioners... Able to achieve expanded stats of awareness, visionary perceptions of what tribal people often call the spirit world. They usually exercise this unusual ability to heal members of their communities - spiritually, psychologically, and physically. Directed by strong, altruistic motivations, the traditional shaman is a master of trance.Hank Wesselman's book was more than I could have ever expected. In fear of reading "just another text book" I bought the book, but immediately shoved it into my bookshelf. I picked it up the other day after watching the movie "The Secret." I felt the urge to drown myself in a sea of leaning once again. I'm glad I did.
Wesselman's book Spiritwalker was a fantastic story - and a very informative read. I learned more about shamanism from his book than I think I ever have with any other shaman centered book. Most of the books I have read are dry. Very text book-y. Wesselmans' was so wonderful based on the mere fact that when you read his book, you are reading a story. When I can visualize something in my mind while I'm reading it - I can retain that much more. Its almost like experiencing it all myself.
Wesselman's teachings lie within the Hawaiian culture mostly, but he never restricts his form of Shamanism to be completely Hawaiian.
First published in 1995, his experiences date back to the 1980's; however, his story is very relevant to today's times. Thirteen years later, many of the things he writes about are currently becoming more of a factor in the fall of western civilization as we know it.
If anyone is interested in learning more about shamanism, or is practicing to be a shaman themselves I highly recommend this book. It is very eye opening and a great read at the same time.