Shamanism is a path of life devoted to the healing of others through both herbal and energy means, guiding others peacefully, and serving as a 'middle man' between the spiritual world and the physical world. Shamans work very closely with nature and all of creation. The commune with spirits by means of ritual, meditation, astral projection, spiritual shamanic journeys, scrying, or hallucinogenics. Although in most Shaman cultures, the use of drugs and hallucinogenics is discouraged.
"The word shaman originates from the Tungus tribe in Siberia. Anthropologists coined this term and have used it to refer to the spiritual and ceremonial leaders among indigenous cultures worldwide. The word shamanism can be used to describe the ancient spiritual practices of these indigenous cultures. Clearly the countless similarities between various ancient traditions played a role in the continual generalization of the word.
Over the past few decades the term “shamanism” has been popularized throughout the western world, especially in new-age circles. Today, it can be difficult to distinguish between traditional forms of shamanism and modernized, often esoteric practices that utilize the term.
One could view shamanism as the universal spiritual wisdom inherent to all indigenous tribes. As all ancient spiritual practices are rooted in nature, shamanism is the method by which we as human beings can strengthen the natural connection." 
Michael Harner: "The word "shaman" in the original Tungus language refers to a person who makes journeys to nonordinary reality in an altered state of consciousness. Adopting the term in the West was useful because people didn't know what it meant. Terms like "wizard," "witch," "sorcerer," and "witch doctor" have their own connotations, ambiguities, and preconceptions associated with them. Although the term is from Siberia, the practice of shamanism existed on all inhabited continents."