Shamanism is essentially a state of mind, a way of viewing life as a whole. The shaman gains insights and wisdom by connecting with other parts of creation and healing the divisions that exist between the saparate pieces. Such divisions can occur anywhere: within the self, within groups, between people and environment, and so on.
The word shaman comes from the Tungusic dialect of the Ural-Altaic tribes of Siberia. Shamans were the priest-doctors of the tribes, responsible for officiating at ceremonies and rituals, tending the sick and caring for all aspects of the spiritual wellbeing of the people.
Shamanism does not recognize age, gender, race or religious doctrines and so is available to all. Indeed, many people have shamanic experiences without labelling them as such. It could even be said that some important scientific discoveries have been instigated by shamanic experiences. Humans are a part of creation and shamanism is our way of connecting with the whole. It is a fundamental part of our heritage and, although the connection my be weakened by modern life, the ability to connect, and the inclination to do so, is still present.