The Neoteric Shaman - Paul E. Wanvig

The Neoteric Shaman

So many prejudgements

Before I was properly introduced to shamanism in 2004, I thought all shamans were scary men and women living in the forest, wearing wolf skins, feathers, and paint on their faces. Further, I thought they all used psychedelic drugs like LSD, ayahuasca, and mescaline, and had extreme experiences in overheated sweat lodges. I was under the impression that they had exhaustive and painful shaman deaths, voodoo dolls, black magic, and the power to control and manipulate others to do things against their will. I also believed that only a few chosen people with special skills could become shamans. Of course, this was nothing for me.

Even though everything I had read about shamanism earlier was negative, I was desperate to restore my health, so I was willing to investigate it. I knew that my mentor and teacher Master Luebeck, whom I had met for the first time a couple of months before in New York, was very pragmatic and result-oriented in his work.

Nevertheless, at my first seminar at the White Feather Shamanic School® (my European shamanic family tradition) in 2004, I was hugely relieved to see and experience that none of my prejudgments was true in this tradition. There were no drugs involved. Also, my teacher distanced himself from exhaustive and painful, extreme experiences, and using the skills with destructive and dark intentions to satisfy the fear of the ego.

He spent a lot of time explaining why beings in the metaphysical dream world of the shaman wouldn’t listen to humans who were motivated by the fear of the ego and help them manipulate and destroy. He said that if any of the students had come to the seminar to learn how to harm others or satisfy the fears of their ego, they had come to the wrong place.

He went on to teach us the coolest things I ever had seen and show us methods for changing matter with objectively measurable results. Being able to see the concrete results was something the engineer in me liked. From that moment on, my path was clear. I wanted to learn and understand the depths of this art. After years of extensive training, I became a teacher, and after some more years, I began educating other teachers in this tradition.

What Is a Shaman?

What I learned was that there are thousands of shamanic tribes and traditions around the world. To say that a shaman is a shaman is the same as saying that a car is a car. All have different philosophies, methods, tools, morals, ethics, worldviews, and ways of doing their craft. The shamanic path I chose distances itself from all the practices of the prejudgments I described above.

As a simplified explanation, a trained and skilled shaman understands and can interact with the metaphysical laws, fields, wisdom, and immense possibilities nature gave us. The shaman is a mediator between the metaphysical worlds and the material world and helps people to understand and live according to their true selves’ vision and mission by respecting and understanding the nature inside and outside themselves. A shaman’s knowledge, wisdom, power, and magic can be used for good or bad, according to the tradition and what kind of training, ethics, and character the shaman has.

The Neoteric Shaman

The word neoteric comes from Late Greek neōterikos and means new or modern. A neoteric shaman is someone who combines the best of modern science, knowledge, philosophy, technology, psychology, and medicine with immensely powerful ancient tools and wisdom of the shaman to obtain fast and objectively measurable results.

A neoteric shaman can use his skills, tools, and methods to full effect wherever he is—in a work meeting, during a flight, at home, or in nature. He doesn’t depend on long and tedious rituals and special clothing and equipment to obtain results.



The first couple of years I studied shamanism, I didn’t dare tell anyone because I was afraid that my colleagues, business relations, family, and acquaintances would think I was dicey and that I would lose my reputation as a serious entrepreneur, academic, and business leader.

After about two years of training, I was tired of hiding. I had documented dozens of extraordinary results and experienced huge progress in my life by using the methods and knowledge I had acquired from my teacher. The path had changed my life and health, both physically and mentally. Vitality, happiness, peace, meaning, and serenity were flowing through my life, and my company was thriving like never before while I was working fewer hours a week than I had ever done in my adult life. So, I thought, why should I be ashamed of something I was proud of and could vouch for 100%? Why shouldn’t I share this experience with others?

Also, when I set out to
write my first book, I was warned not to write about this part of my life and profession because it could make people distance themselves from me. But this is who I am. On the one hand, I’m a pragmatic engineer who wants to see objectively measurable results. On the other hand, I’m a shaman who sees, experiences and actively utilizes the metaphysical part of the universe.

One of my life mottos is the following: It’s better to attract the few who appreciate who you truly are than thousands who admire your perfect mask and shining armor. Before my burnout, I had that perfect mask and shining armor. Even if I was seriously ill, everyone around me thought I was extremely healthy. I would be on stage in front of thousands of people, exuding vitality and enthusiasm. But when I got home, I would crash because keeping the perfect mask and shining armor took a lot of energy and caused a lot of frustration. Today, I don’t need a mask anymore. I’m much happier with my vocation since those who seek me already match what I am and what I stand for.

Now I find it pure joy to see my students’ world views shaken when they experience what I did in my first seminar in 2004. I teach methods that have immediate results in the beginner seminar to remove participants’ potential disbeliefs and doubts that what I teach works. The more they experience that things work, the less they need to believe, and the more they know. It also gives the participants the self-confidence and motivation to explore other methods that don’t have immediate results.

Some who come to me, for example, to prevent or recover from burnout, only want to use the modern approach discussed in my book and no ancient or metaphysical methods. I respect that completely, and the Seven Golden Keys alone can yield comprehensive results.

However, I advocate leveraging all available resources that can help us change and progress on our path in a better and more efficient and fulfilling way. Why should we not use these resources actively instead of being influenced by them passively?

Shaking the CEO's worldview

I love it when clients like Henning, a CEO, come to me with a skeptical mind still open to learning new things. Henning’s statement “Show me results, and I will believe it” was everything I needed to skyrocket him into the ancient universe of shamanism, so he could experience results in his personal life and his companies that he couldn’t even imagine before he started.

Now Henning can do his shamanic work while leading board meetings. Of course, it requires some experience to do several things at the same time, but the results can be quite spectacular. For example, when Henning leads meetings where there is tension and lack of communication between the parties, he uses shamanic dream traveling and other methods while leading the meetings. It often has an immediate effect, creating a calmer atmosphere, easier communication, and more willingness to find the solutions that are best for all parties.

By utilizing the wisdom of the runes, (which are similar to the Chinese I Ching, The Book of Changes) as an adviser, he gains an understanding of his projects, companies, and people and what is the wisest next step to take. He says, “My biggest challenge in using the knowledge of the neoteric shaman is my ego. I’m a businessman and leader with a strong ego that has helped me survive the rough environment I’m in and brought me to where I am today. But I know that what I’ve learned from Paul will have no effect if I use it out of fear, a desire to manipulate, or greed. My life as a business executive changed drastically the day I understood the concept of doing what is best for all parties, not just me. Instead of always trying to compete with others, I’m now more relaxed and have a deeper inner peace. My results have improved greatly, and it has also benefitted my personal life significantly.”

Interview with the CEO

Although we in the Western society often are afraid, ignorant, or disbelieving of involving a shaman in decision-making processes in businesses, many Asian companies take it for granted that a qualified shaman is a part of them. When a CEO like Henning can overcome his opinions and skepticism that, mostly, are based on beliefs and fears rather than facts, and starts to experience objectively measurable results, it’s very difficult to ignore it. 

I predict that more and more Western companies will imitate the practice of the Asian companies that ally themselves with qualified shamans. After all, why should a company or any professional ignore something that can give them an advantage in the market? Several large companies, business leaders, and politicians in Europe already utilize this resource. Of course, they don’t talk about it since there are still stigmas about it. Like I was, they are afraid that if they tell the world about it, people will take them less seriously and distance themselves from them.

The Biggest Challenge

The biggest challenge of walking this path is your motivation. You must be motivated by the heart and not the fear of the ego. This is why the Seven Golden Keys are fundamental in my training of my students, especially when I train them in the more complex world we touch on in this part of the book.

Without developing and widening the consciousness, taking self-responsibility, utilizing free will, becoming self-motivated, and creating strong self-reliance, character, and ethics, it’s very difficult to access the most powerful opportunities and possibilities of this path. The Seven Golden Keys are a pre-framing of the training in shamanism that allows them to understand that without opening the heart and learning how to be motivated by the heart and love in daily life, you can get only so far on this path.

Why Do You Need a Teacher?

To pay forward the skills and abilities of the metaphysical world, just realize there is so much more than words that must be transmitted from the teacher to the student, so there must be a student-teacher relationship.

Exploration of the metaphysical shamanic dream worlds should always be accompanied by a skilled teacher. Finding a qualified teacher is something you should be diligent about.