The Impact of Social Media on Italian Shamanism and Folk Magic
In the last decade, the use of social media has become widespread among all age groups in Italy. Facebook, in particular, has fostered the spreading of information and aided the gathering of like-minded individuals. This process has slowly but steadily affected communities involved with indigenous and trans-cultural shamanism. From the evolution towards a more inclusive and syncretic approach within autochthonous traditions to the wider reception and reinterpretation of imported shamanism, the narratives created online have translated into a tangible change of how practitioners position themselves within the affiliated tradition. By analysing data collected on a Facebook group I created ad hoc for my doctoral research and the content posted on public profiles and groups, I will argue that the use of Social Media reshapes the way practitioners construct their traditions and practices. In the case of vernacular healers, this prompted the development of a shared terminology while fostering a discussion on autenticity among trans-cultural shamans.