21st Century Shamanism…
Swiatoslaw Wojtkowiak Photography

I won’t pretend to be one of those North American hippies who is searching for the psychedelic transcendence of an aboriginal shaman. The closest I came was my teenage mushroom phase, and that crashed and burned a long time ago, probably because I was searching for oblivion, not wisdom. But I am fascinated with the traditional process of connection to the universe, and the plants that make that connection possible. I do believe that there are doorways in the human mind that can only be opened through the use of certain substances, ones that close the door to one reality as they open the door to another. Photographer Swiatoslaw Wojtkowiak travels around the world capturing these moments of mental┬átransition and spiritual healing with reverence and respect, and his photos are magical. He documents his and others’ journey to better understand shamanism and its global forms. Take a look at some ancient sacred practices still alive in the modern world, and see more and read his stories on his blog.


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The Author



Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation webzine and clothing.

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Shane BerminghamSancho CalimquimBlake Viola Recent comment authors
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Shane Bermingham

“Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream, it is not dying.”

Sancho Calimquim

Close your eyes and forget you name. Step outside yourself and let your thoughts drain.

Blake Viola

It’s disrespectful to assume that taking hallucinogenic plants and “certain substances” are the only methods that exist to open these doorways. Contrary to the western belief, not every single shaman culture uses plants or other substances to reach these places (though many of them definitely do). Also not everyone is a shaman, there is a reason why only certain people within these groups are called to be one. Not everyone can see. (I am not saying I’m a complete expert that knows everything there is to know about this, though I will say that I have studied the subject for… Read more »