The shaman is a man or a woman who is able to intentionally ‘re-geography' the focused concentration of their conscious awareness, transferring it into the normally invisible worlds of ‘things hidden' that surround us everywhere and all the time.
These are those same transpersonal realms that the traditional peoples call the ‘spirit worlds', the ‘dreamtime,' the ‘other worlds,' or simply ‘the sacred.'
The first thing that a shamanic initiate learns about this realm of ‘things hidden' is that these worlds are inhabited by transpersonal forces that are variously perceived as the spirits of nature, the ancestors, and the higher organizing intelligences, to name only a few.
Through entering into relationship with these transpersonal forces, shamans are able to accomplish various things, initially on behalf of themselves and then increasingly on behalf of others. What sorts of things?
These include restoring power to someone who has lost it, repairing the fabric of a person's damaged soul matrix, accessing information through the spirits through divination, guiding the souls of the recently deceased to where they are supposed to go in the after-life, and facilitating healing at both the personal and transpersonal levels of being, to name only a few.
Shamans are medicine people, and at the same time we can observe that not all medicine people are shamans. In fact, most medicine people are not shamans but rather fulfill social roles more like those of priests in that they serve their communities as ceremonialists and ritual leaders. Medicine people may also serve as healers, of course, drawing on their traditional knowledge, and especially of the plant medicines, but they do their main work here, in the world of things seen. The shaman does their main work there in the transpersonal worlds of spirit.
In confronting the spirit of an illness, for example, shamans drawn upon their transpersonal allies in spirit to diminish the power of the spiritual aspect of the illness, and in response, the physical or energetic expression of the illness often diminishes in kind.
The shaman is the master healer in the imaginal realms, and many in the transformational community have personally experienced the power of spirit medicine.