Communication with the spirits beyond the curtain of our visible/audible/tangible world is a skill belonging to the most spiritual, and perhaps the most insane among us. Those who hear the voices of gods and goddesses, angels and demons, ancestors and ghosts have been revered, feared, and ridiculed through ages and cultures of human history.
These holy men and women appear to see and hear things the average person does not. Sometimes with the senses, sometimes beyond their senses they experience a tie to a realm invisible to human eyes, and inaudible to human ears.
What distinguished these holy people from the common public was not only having ears and eyes, which perceive things most people do not, but even their speech hearkened the unseen realm. These mystics of the other world spoke the language of the spirits, and their communication traveled in both directions. They heard the secrets of the heaven and hell, and somehow spoke the secrets in languages unknown to the uninitiated.
During the initiation of a Shaman, he/she often must learn a new language. It is a language of the spirits - sometimes a language of the earth's creatures. Especially common among the Northern Asian, and Arctic Shamans this secret language was also found among Shamans of Sumatra, Borneo, South America, North America, and Guiana.
The ability to communicate with spirits and animals set the Shaman apart from others, and gave evidence to the ecstatic, and supernatural component of his or her healing and blessing activities.
The Shaman is a psychopomp. Lost postmortem souls are supposed to be led by the Shaman to their place of rest. The fact that the shamans communicate with the unseen realm is evidence to the uninitiated that they truly walk in the unseen world - the place to which our souls travel after death, and therefore know the paths of death which the uninitiated are forced to someday travel alone.
I am a Pentecostal/Charismatic Christian, and I find that there is a connection to these shamanic languages within my own faith. I speak the languages of angels, and men - languages which I have not learned through education, but which have spontaneously flowed from my tongue in times of worship and prayer.
Could it be that Charismatic Christians have become secret speakers who like the shaman speak the languages of men and angels, and declare divine mysteries hidden in the dark recesses of human history?
The shaman was required to communicate in the secret language of the spirits, and as such it was evidence that he held special communication with the realm of the Spirit.
Could it be that the Pentecostal languages of men and angels are God's way of giving evidence to the mystical, other-worldly travels of the souls of His followers? Could it be that it is evidence to a dying world that there are people who have mapped the way to a place of peace beyond the grave? Is this a portion of what Paul meant when he said that, "tongues are sign to the unbeliever?"
If Moses had been the leader of a Siberian tribe, he might have cried out "Oh, that all the Lord's people were [shamans] and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!" (Numbers 11:29) But as a leader among the Hebrews he called for us to be "prophets."
God's heart is the same toward shamanic cultures as it is toward the culture of the prophets, and He as such is developing leaders after His own heart who speak the languages of heaven, and know how to communicate the messages of heaven here on earth
This newly paganized, urban western culture requires people who hear the voice of the Spirit. Although every person will be forced to travel the path of death alone, those who have discovered the mysteries of the unseen world are called to become the pre-mortem psychopomps to those who fear that day of death. We are called to map the way to eternal peace for the uninitiated soul. The ecstatic languages rising from my innermost being declare that I have walked on the winds of the Spirit, and know the paths of life and death.
This gift is not limited to a few initiates of a special class, but to the common follower of Christ, and as such it demands of us that we take on the role of the shaman, and map the way toward eternal peace.