“These are a series of geographical elements that are considered special places for the transition of shamanic journeys, which is why they are considered sacred places that take on vital importance in their practices, among them are:
The sacred tree
Its location consolidates one of the most important sacred sites of shamanism. The most famous tree is the Yggdrasil, known as the “ash tree of the universe” or “the tree of life”, typical of Nordic mythology. However, it is known that all cultures practicing shamanism have their own sacred tree. Trees such as apple trees, oaks, cypresses and laurels usually appear for this purpose.
The location and use of caves represents the perfect space for shamanism, as it is considered the purest representation of the connection between the return to the womb, with the earth element, and the connection with the ancestors. If we refer to the first human beings and their habits, the cave represents a fundamental space, since it has been the refuge for many of these communities, as well as the place of worship where several representations have been found that show the connection of man with the environment that surrounds him in his daily life, since they leave evidence on the walls of the experiences of these first communities.
Although it may sound a little strange, the truth is that the staircase comprises one of the most important transition sites within Shamanism, especially those in the shape of a spiral that may be curious to anyone interested in getting started in Shamanism, since it is precisely the shape of this staircase that symbolizes the transition to another space. The stairs do not necessarily “lead” to a specific place, as their construction takes on a symbolic value of connection with the underworld.
The bridge and the well
Similar to the representation of the staircase, the bridge also takes on a sense of transition, however, it is taken because it crosses a stream of water, so it represents this connection as an element that is capable of connecting realities. Likewise, it takes a great value as an element that allows to overcome narrow paths or with difficulty, uniting the two worlds where the water symbolizes the separation of realities from the borders.
Following the connection with the element of water, the well also takes on great meaning in shamanism, even if it is a well made by human beings or natural, so it is directly related to the rites of divination, as well as miraculous healings and even legends of immortality.
The lake and the river
The lakes are also one of the sacred spaces of this set of beliefs since it is taken as a kind of door that gives access to the other world. A great variety of myths and legends also appear in them, including strange animals that live within its waters, so that they represent one of the main centers of worship, but also of pilgrimage. An example of this is Lake Titicaca, the highest lake in the world, whose waters are the sweetest in which there are very important legends.
Likewise, another of the water currents, the rivers, also represent one of the most important spaces of shamanism, as the river is considered as a giver of life and also as a way of access to the other world.
On the other hand, the mountains in shamanism are the representation of the natural way of access to the dwelling of the gods who are found in the beyond. While many cultures have a deep respect for mountains, in shamanism they are also revered and feared in equal measure. To climb mountains is to be able to be much closer to the gods. In addition, mountains represent access to secret places that can hold treasures, being the only constructions that can bring humans closer to heaven.
Shamanism survives today in the world, especially in indigenous peoples where its value prevails and their beliefs are closely linked to the practices of their daily lives. Likewise, the practice of the beliefs that shamanism brings together lives mostly in rural areas, such as jungles, deserts, tundras and other spaces, including also urban areas, as it has been found in towns, suburbs, cities and villages, extended especially in the American continent.”