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Shamanism is a term for a range of beliefs and practices related to communication with the spirit world. Shamans—sometimes referred to as “medicine men” or “witch doctors”—are the keepers of ancient techniques used to achieve and maintain well-being and healing for themselves and members of their communities. Shamans are considered intermediaries between the human world and the spirit worlds, entering a trance-like state during a ritual to practice divination and healing. They treat ailments and/or illnesses by mending the soul. Shamanic methods are strikingly similar all over the world and are believed to have been in use for tens of thousands of years.
In Kristy's book, THE SPARROW, Emma Hart travels through the Grand Canyon in a wooden dory and undergoes a shamanic initiation.