Researching European shamanism, and then delving into the fairy tale tradition and observing how indigenous European spirituality lingered on in the folk tradition, has opened new doors of reflection. Joseph Campbell was one of the first mythologists to discuss myths as deeply intuitive messages from our ancestors with important messages for our own personal growth. His "Hero's Journey" theory has been hugely influential on subsequent storytellers. But, there is another important journey that we see depicted by certain figures in myth and fairytales; the shaman.
Searching for the European Shaman
Here's a little something I learned while searching for the European Shaman :-)
First some background. Europe's shamanic tradition, in my opinion, mostly evolved into other forms before it was lost, and this makes it a bit obscure... To the degree that some scholars have insisted that Europe was never a shamanic culture. I disagree, and I explain in detail in the fully researched article on this subject.
Not to mention that this statement does not apply to all European cultures, as we know that shamanic practices continued strongly among the Saami of Lapland, the Magyars of Hungary, and among pockets of ethnic minority groups in rural areas of the Slavic lands, such as the Mari of Russia.