A form of psychospiritual crisis, which is called anthropology by a shamanic or initiating crisis. It appears as dramatic episodes of the extraordinary state of consciousness that were at the beginning of the career of many shamans. These crises often occur as real, sometimes life-threatening diseases, or as a reaction to traumatization. Emphasis is placed on physical suffering and encounter with death followed by rebirth. The elements of the descent into the underground alternate with the ascent to the higher floors of the world and meetings with spiritual guides. Contact with totem animals, or animals representing the personal strength of an individual, and confrontation with demons or evil spirits are often described.
This experience gives shamans the ability to enter extraordinary states of consciousness and use it to find healing capacity and convey new information that helps in healing.
Additional information about this category /quote from the book: Grof, Stanislav. Grof, Christina. Crisis of spiritual development. Prague: Chvojka Publishing, 1999. ISBN 80-86183-09-2/
Shamanism represents humanity's oldest religion and healing art. This universal phenomenon dates back to the Palaeolithic and has persisted in most pre-industrial cultures to the present day. This is clearly linked to the basic and early aspects of the human psyche.
The professional career of many shamans - witch doctors, and healers - begins in various cultures with a dramatic visionary episode, which anthropologists call "shamanic disease".
At this stage, the future shaman usually loses any contact with the environment and experiences a profound inner experience, including, among other things, a descent into the underworld associated with attacks by demons that put him under incredible trials and torments. Such a condition often culminates in the experience of death and disintegration of the body, followed by rebirth and ascension to the celestial spheres.
If these episodes are successfully completed, they can be profoundly healing. Such a psychospiritual crisis often dramatically improves the shaman's emotional and physical health. This involuntary initiation can bring deep insights into both natural forces and disease dynamics. Whoever experiences such a crisis becomes a shaman and returns to the community as an active and highly respected member.
We know cases where modern Europeans, Americans, Australians, and Asians have experienced episodes of resembling shamanic crises. In addition to the elements of physical and mental suffering and the theme of psychological death and rebirth, similar states also included an experience of connection with animals, plants, and elemental natural forces. Individuals experiencing such crises may spontaneously tend to create rituals identical to the practices of shamans of different cultures.