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1. Shamanism As a Spiritual Practice
2. Plant Spirit Shamanism: Traditional
3. Secrets of Shamanism: Tapping
4. The World of Shamanism: New Views
5. Reiki Shamanism: A Guide to Out-of-Body
6. Shamanism: Archaic Techniques
7. Practical Shamanism, A Guide for
8. Shamanism: A Biopsychosocial Paradigm
9. The Practical Power of Shamanism:
10. Northern Magic: Rune Mysteries
11. The Complete Idiot's Guide to
12. Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic
13. Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas
14. Shamanism, Colonialism, and the
15. Psychedelic Shamanism: The Cultivation,
16. The Strong Eye of Shamanism: A
17. Astrotheology & Shamanism:
18. Advanced Celtic Shamanism
19. Fire in the Head: Shamanism and
20. Singing to the Plants: A Guide

1. Shamanism As a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life
by Thomas Dale Cowan, Tom Cowan
Paperback: 224 Pages (1996-09-01)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$9.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0895948389
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This inspirational book blends elements of shamanism with inherited traditions and contemporary religious commitments. Drawing on shamanic practices from the world over, SHAMANISM AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE FOR DAILY LIFE addresses the needs of contemporary people who yearn to deepen their own innate mystical sensibilities. This inspirational book shows how to develop a personal spiritual practice by blending elements of shamanism with inherited traditions and current religious commitments. Contents include:The central role of power animals and spirit teachers.Visionary techniques for exploring the extraordinary in everyday life.Elements of childhood spirituality including songs, secret hiding places, power spots, and imaginary power figures.A journey to an ancestral shaman to recover lost knowledge. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars My Personal Favorite Book on Shamanism
I've read dozens of spectacular and not-so-spectacular books on Shamanism.This book is by far my #1 favorite, in terms of depth of coverage, interest,points worth mentioning, etc.

This is a handbook of the Shaman - from solving personal problems in the life of your own, to those of others.

One of the main reasons why I love this book is because of the diverse array of (fascinating) ideas and recommendations for journeying.A book not to be put down!I often re-read it for inspiration and journey ideas.

3-0 out of 5 stars not working for me
There are some interesting ideas in here for taking inner journeys.They did not engage me.I guess I am needing to be present rather escaping.

3-0 out of 5 stars cat's cradle
I enjoyed reading this book.As with some of the other books on neo-shamanism, there is a finely-tuned good humour and sensitivity to aspects of nature seen through the windows of the imagination.An open and childlike awe of life is psychologically healthy and it is as it should be.I do find, with regard to New Age shamanistic books, that it helps to use what is said opens ways to expand your mind and perspectives, that the message to take from one's reading is that there are ways to live more fully. To read in such a way is to develop one's understanding of one's own mind and how to develop it more fully.Nonetheless, I would not like to see anyone take as a message from this book that there are actual fairies at the bottom of their gardens.

2-0 out of 5 stars not impressed
ok honestly ive only gotten through chapter one so far. and based on my interpretation of what he said is that if i want to practice shamanism i shouldnt copy tradtions but make my own. That to me is like saying pratice but dont do it in the way it was meant to be done. Peopsoanlly i think you can make it your own but first you have to understand why they did things the way they did. he sends alot of mixed messages. He also said that some people hide who they are... the only reason i can see people hiding who they are and living in fear of being "exposed" is that theyre not comfortable with who they are in the first place. not that they should go shout from the mountian tops or anything but hiding who you are is like saying what your doing is wrong or bad. Persoanlly i dont like to live life with fear constatnly present. Hopefully the next chapter is better...I would however reccoment the book "the way of the shaman" by michael harner

5-0 out of 5 stars Shamanic journeying for Americans
As the author makes clear, becoming a Shaman is a rare, intensive, dedication to a way of life few modern Americans (or any other culture) would embrace.The Shamanic Journey for power animals and guides is quite another matter.My own experience closely corresponds to Cowan's. My teacher, co-Director of the Fire and Wind Institute ([...])was also a student of Michael Harner. The practice has opened new and wonderful vistas for me. Highly recommended. ... Read more

2. Plant Spirit Shamanism: Traditional Techniques for Healing the Soul
by Ross Heaven, Howard G. Charing
Paperback: 280 Pages (2006-08-03)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594771189
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
An in-depth look at the role of plant spirits in shamanic rituals from around the world

• Shows how shamans heal using their knowledge of plant spirits as well as the plant’s “medical properties”

• Explores the core methods of plant shamanism--soul retrieval, spirit extraction, and sin eating--and includes techniques for connecting with plant spirits

• Includes extensive field interviews with master shamans of all traditions

In Plant Spirit Shamanism, Ross Heaven and Howard G. Charing explore the use of one of the major allies of shamans for healing, seeing, dreaming, and empowerment--plant spirits. After observing great similarities in the use of plants among shamans throughout the world, they discovered the reason behind these similarities: Rather than dealing with the “medical properties” of the plants or specific healing techniques, shamans commune with the spirits of the plants themselves.

From their years of in-depth shamanic work in the Amazon, Haiti, and Europe, including extensive field interviews with master shamans, Heaven and Charing present the core methods of plant shamanism used in healing rituals the world over: soul retrieval, spirit extraction, sin eating, and the Amazonian tradition of pusanga (love medicine). They explain the techniques shamans use to establish connections to plant spirits and provide practical exercises as well as a directory of traditional Amazonian and Caribbean healing plants and their common North American equivalents so readers can ex-plore the world of plant spirits and make allies of their own.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars A theoretical and practical book on plant healing and magic
To begin with, I particularly enjoyed reading the preface by Howard G. Charing. I quote part of it (page xx): "Gathered around me were giants in ornate costumes of gold and multicolored feathers blowing smoke and fanning me. These were the spirits of ayahuasca, whose soft, gentle and exquisitely sensual voices spoke to me of creation and the universal mind". It is precisely that kind of universal spiritual opening described that makes the Ayahuasca experience so captivating and inspiring to read about.

I believe (and this is also mentioned in the book, page 53, on the challenges westerners face when it comes to the shamanic diet. Shaman Javier Arevalo also speak of this on page 87) that it would be very helpful for a lot of readers - myself included - interested in the topic of this book to seek out the kind of experience mentioned in Charings preface in order to connect to the "other" world, cosmic consciosness, higher self or God if you will in a direct and authentic way, thereby creating a new inner pesonal psycho-spirtual framework and then proceed from there.

To quoute Terence McKenna in the beginning of the preface: "We are not talking about passive agents of transformation; we are talking about an intelligence, a consciousness, an alive and other mind, a spirit.... Nature is alive and is talking to us. This is not a metaphor"

There are interesting interviews throughout the book with various indigenous practitioners of shamanism, plant healing and magic. The authors theorize about how and why plant healing and magic works and how to communicate with plant spirits. They write about using intention and love as a language in communicating with plants/plant spirits.

In chapter 1 there is mention of some interesting experiments in plant-human relationship/communication by Cleve Backster, Alfred Vogel and a student of his Vivian Wiley. One thing these experiments show is basically that plants are sensitive to human intention, that they react in some way to our thoughts by some unexplained means. (suggestive of an interconnectedness between all living things in spirit, a theoretical basis for magic to be effective and a part of the shamanic worldview.) From the point of view of the traditional materialistic worldview this concept is - as one would expect - met with strong scepticism and thus these experiments are as far as I can tell not accepted by the scientific community in general. The chapter ends with an invitation for us readers to try a similar experiment on our own. (page 50)

Chapter one also includes practical guidelines to making "mojo-bags" and "offerings" to influence and direct the forces of the universe, for example in healing, luck, love and personal success.

Other interesting points discussed in the book is the evolution of the human species and the possible role of psychedelics in brain development. I quote page 81: "we have been hardwired for the sacred" (This is along the lines of Terence McKennas ideas in his book Food of the Gods)

A very interesting discussion on the ethics of pusangas (magical potions that for example can make people attracted to you) takes place in chapter 5. On the surface, pusangas may seem like a method of manipulating other poeple and thus may be thought of as unethical. However, another perspective is mentioned page 155: Pusangas do not change the other person, they change *you*, it makes your natural ability to attract other people come out. In other words, the magic takes place within *you*.

I am an open-minded person, but I am somewhat sceptical to some of the things in the book, no doubt because of my atheist upbringing in our western society. It often (if not always) comes down to personal experience when breaking with the old ways (the western materialistic worldview) and becoming aware of the larger spiritual side of existance (the shamanic/transpersonal worldview). I have limited personal experience. For example I hold it as highly likely that consciousness survives bodily death but something like magic is still an area where I have a relatively high degree of scepticism but also ignorance. I do however have a theoretical interest in it and this book gives me an increased understanding and insight. It may even make me curious enough to further explore magical/healing rituals because it does make a lot of sense within a larger framework (the shamanic/transpersonal worldview) that something like magic would actually have a real effect, that plants have spirits we can communicate with and that can influence our lives if we ask it of them.

Some questions arise as I read the book:

What factors influence magic?
To what extent does: personal belief, sociocultural upbringing, group psychology, "hardwired" ESP-abililies, effect outcome?

What about shamanic initiation, spiritual opening, altered states of consciousness in relation to magical practice?
To what degreee does that increase the effect of magical practice? (concievably as a result of believing in it more because of the expanded worldvew that frequently results from such experiences)

What about the shamanic worldview and the law of karma and reincarnation, can past life experiences be the cause of disease aswell as spirit intrusion and soul loss?

I feel the authors should have explored these questions more. Shaman Javier Arevalo talks a litte about the western lifestyle in relation to working with plant spirits on page 148: "To control oneself is fundamental to having the strenght to work with the spirits, but city people [Westerners and Peruvians with westernized lifestyles] do not take responibility for themselves and their power wastes away. Now they don't even know what they want or what is good for them or how to get it [because we give control of ourselves over to society and the goverment]".

Key to making magic work according to one don Eduardo of Cusco is your own belief in it (Page 151): "You must believe without an atom of a doubt [because] lack of faith robs your spirit of power". If this is the case, then it puts the western would be magician/shaman in a difficult position. Having been raised in western society it may prove quite a challenge for him to break with the old world and be reborn into the world of magic and spirits. As mentioned previously, Ayahuasca may provide a sort of gateway for this purpose, in my opinion this point should have been more prominent.

Overall, the book is an easy and interesting read. It presents ideas in an easy to understand way. As a practical guide it gets 5 stars, however the theoretical part should have been more elaborate and could have been more convincing and it gets 3 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Break Through
I read this book and discovered a whole new level of understanding of the "awareness" of plants.This book is a must for anyone who has any contact with plant life on a regular basis and a window for those who are exploring the wonders of the planet.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book!
Plant Spirit Shamanism is a must read for anyone interested in South American plant medicine.It was hard for me to put this book down - very enjoyable and informative.

5-0 out of 5 stars this book will open your mind about our world
I bought this book with little knowledge about plants, other than herbalism.
I'm very glad that I read it because it totally changed the way I look at plants, and our earth now.Before plants were just green things to me, they were just there.I never realized how truly alive and 'intelligent' they are.
I loved reading this book, very enjoyable read and fascinating.the more you read, the more you begin to appreciate the beautiful and fragile nature of our world.I really came to appreciate plants a lot more.I'm glad I'm a vegetarian, because I can see how healthy plants can very positively affect the human body.

EDIT: I have since learned some things about one of the authors, namely that he is not as much of an expert on ayahuasca as I had thought, when I first read this book. The author in particular is Ross Heaven.

I really recommend anyone who is interested in this topic to read other books.This is a good book, but not a higher authority.this book is the tip of the iceberg as far as this subject is concerned!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on the benefits of nature's healers
Have been studying shamanism as a hobby for the past few years and find that this book is a helpful tool in gaining beneficial insights to the mysterious plant spirit world.Both authors did a wonderful job by bringing forth their experiences and knowledge in a manner that was easy to understand and open to other possibilities.Thank you for Pablo Amaringo's Foreword in your book, who I greatly admire, for his beautiful artistic visions that resulted from journeys he experienced while working with nature's intellingence of the plant world. ... Read more

3. Secrets of Shamanism: Tapping the Spirit Power Within You
by Jose Stevens, Lena S. Stevens
Mass Market Paperback: 227 Pages (1988-08-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380756072
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Throughout history, shamans have possessed the power to journey deep within themselves to tap the universal source of information and wisdom. Bypassing the stumbling blocks of the outer, material world, they perfected techniques of communication with the innermost world of the spirit in order to find answers to questions, foretell the future, and achieve, profound understanding.

Now psychologist Jose Stevens and his wife Lenademonstrate how the ancient techniques of Shamanismcan be adapted to the needs and concerns of the modernworld. Through a series of simple exercises, lessons,and rituals, they teach you how to identify and communicatewith your inner spiritual guides -- and how to achieve professional success, psychological enlightenment, and personal fulfillment. Shamanism will help you harness the power you never knew you had. It is an exciting way of thinking and perceiving that will completely change the way you live your life.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite book on Shamanism
This is the most awesome little book on Shamanism I have ever found! A must have in my library. Throw the others away!

1-0 out of 5 stars fluffy and generic
This book uses the word "shaman" the way many of us use the words "Kleenex" or "Xerox".
There are no "secrets" in this book. Its just very vague in a "new age feel good" kinda way. The lessons are contrived and the exercises to try at home are quite useless.
This book has NOTHING to do with Native American Tribal Spirituality.
Native Americans do not use the word Shaman. Each tribe has a different set of beliefs and practices.
They only teach their spirituality orally, not in books. Please keep that in mind.

I have studied paganism, neo- paganism of all sorts. I have a library at home of over 500 books and this is the only one that disappointed me so much i actually considered asking for my money back.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice Meditations and Visualizations
I really enjoy the meditations and visualizations contained in this book, it's the kind you don't usually find anywhere and they're very powerful.

I would have preferred it in a trade paperback size or larger instead of its pocketbook size; there's too much important info in this book for such small packaging.

You may also like to try Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small

4-0 out of 5 stars Secrets of Shamanism: Tapping the Spirit Power Within You
Interesting, but doesn't match my physical and menthal condition. These excesises break the balance of tension and relaxation in my body, and I become more self-content and less of service to others. However, the experience with shaman jorneys cast another light on that. Everything envisioned seems true!

4-0 out of 5 stars My first Shamanic book.
When I read this book, I was really amazed because I was like, this is how I see things and understand things.An excellent book, and covers alot of things in Shamanism not found in other books. ... Read more

4. The World of Shamanism: New Views of an Ancient Tradition
by Roger Walsh
Paperback: 336 Pages (2007-08-08)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0738705756
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Fascinating, comprehensive, and eminently readable, this guide explores shamanism—the world's most enduring healing and religious tradition—in the light of modern medicine, psychology, neuroscience, consciousness disciplines, and religious studies.

Praise for The World of Shamanism
"As if on cue, just when I am beginning to think that shamanism is the ground from which all religions spring, along comes this book.  I cannot imagine a book that would be more helpful to me in thinking through this important subject."
—Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions

"...Unquestionably the most rounded compact introduction to shamanism, particularly the inner world of shamans, available today. A door-opening book for students of consciousness and spirituality."
—Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., M.Litt, author of The Yoga Tradition

"A splendidly clear and timely survey of shamanism."
—Jean Achterberg, Ph.D., author of Imagery in Healing

"Quite simply, this book is a major step forward in understanding the vital phenomenon of shamanism. I recommend it highly."
—Charles Tart, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of California at Davis, author of States of Consciousness
"...Eminently useful and inspiring. A brilliant integrative work that pushes the frontiers of consciousness in insightful, practical, and powerful ways."
—Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., Cultural Anthropologist, author of The Four-Fold Way and The Second Half of Life

"...Unique in bringing together the full range of anthropological, psychological, and psychiatric literature on this vital subject. It does so with admirable scholarship yet still manages to be sensitive and clear."
—Christie W. Kiefer, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, University of California at San Francisco
... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Shamanism Today
Shamanism is a rather loose term used to describe a system of thought used by healers in a wide variety of `primitive' cultures that have their roots in the realm of magic rather than in the realm of science. Many people feel a disconnect with the world as presented to them by science. They feel, at a gut level, that there is something more and in shamanism they hope to find a path that can lead them to that other something.

This is not a book of do-it-yourself instructions for becoming a shaman but a look at the history and practice of shamanism, its many varieties and the ideas that underlying it. Dr. Walsh takes you by the hand and gently leads you through the subject dealing with vision quests, journeys to other worlds, altered states of consciousness, spirit helpers and beliefs. He effortlessly combines anthropology, psychology, and psychiatry with a smattering of New Age thought while grounding his writings in scientific research as much as possible. He carefully documents his sources to produce, if nothing else, a truly awesome bibliography. Yet he writes in a manner that anyone can understand keeping his discussions short, crisp and to the point.

Yet for all of this he manages a fluidity of thought and breath of view that will make many scientists uncomfortable. What comes off as New Age thinking or even crackpot thinking is actually the thinking of a man ahead of his time. For he has the insight, or perhaps the humility, to realize that science is not the only game in town. In shamanism we have an alternate way of looking at the world, one far older than the scientific view. In his discussions of the nature of consciousness, altered states of being and the world as the shaman sees it he does a valuable service to science by pointing to areas of thought that many scientists dismiss to easily.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent and thoughtful book
Amid the new age superficiality that is common for this topic, Walsh provides a very accessible yet probing analysis of the long journey of our ancestors.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Analysis of Shamanism
Dr. Walsh's meticulously researched study analyzes shamanism by both investigating what it is, and what is not. He does so by considering it on a host of levels and in a broad range of areas including anthropology, neurology, psychology, religion, medicine, and altered states of consciousness, to name but a few. His extensive credentials enable him to speak with authority, while analyzing the topic in great depth and from many different angles as only an intellectual classically trained in philosophy can do. The result is an un-ignorable, essential work.

In his attempt to thoroughly investigate shamanism, Walsh introduces and synthesizes a broad range of cutting edge studies and theories, making it a fascinating read all the way through. I also highly recommend this book to anyone who desires a comprehensive analysis of mystic arts in general.

I have no reservations in giving this definitive work 5 stars and hope other scientists and laymen alike will consider this study with the seriousness it deserves. Walsh has done his homework across many fields and postulates a workable definition of shamanism.

The only thing negative thing I can say about this work is the use of "She" instead of "He" or "Them". Though rare in the book, I found each instance an unnecessary, politically-correct distraction.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good resource
This book is a well-written solid informational book from the perspective of one who has studied this subject thoroughly. Don't be fooled, it is not a self-help book and does not teach the reader any techniques, or how to be a shaman for themselves or others. It does provide a wealth of important information that a student or practitioner of shamanism would find useful. As a shamanic practitioner and an author of several books on shamanism and healing, Seeing in the Dark: Claim Your Own Shamanic Power Now and in the Coming Age, Energy for Life: Connect with the Source (Next Step), and Inner Power: Six Techniques for Increased Energy & Self-Healing I would recommend The World of Shamanism to anyone interested in learning more about shamanism from an informational stand point.

4-0 out of 5 stars Beware! Older edition not the same!
Great introductory book for those studying shamanism with an open mind - it's a blend of anthropological academic theory, and more... esoteric considerations of the subject. As it's more of an overview, it's definitely not the only book you'll want, but it can be a good addition to a beginning collection. However, buyers need to BEWARE that Amazon's "new and used" section links from the newer version of this book, "The World of Shamanism," to an older version, "The Spirit of Shamanism," which is not quite as comprehensive. Either is worthwhile, but for those seeking a more up-to-date reference, be sure you are selecting the newer version before you order. ... Read more

5. Reiki Shamanism: A Guide to Out-of-Body Healing
by Jim PathFinder Ewing
Paperback: 192 Pages (2008-09-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1844091333
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of either Reiki or shamanism will learn how to heal people, places, and things, whether at hand or from a distance, in this useful guide. Presented by an expert in both traditions, the techniques of Reiki and the principles of shamanism are explained in simple, concise terms, then brought together using real-life examples to show how Reiki can be practiced within the shamanic journey. Supported by mastery exercises, references to other books, and internet resources, both novices and experienced practitioners will expand their knowledge and ability to help subjects clear old energies and accelerate their "soul purpose."
... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Great reading. Just what I was looking for. He has great insight and writes very well. This is a book you can read over and over and get new things every time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Reiki Shamanism: A Guide to Out of Body Healing
An excellent introduction to Reiki Shamanism. This book gives a clear explanation of both modalities as individual healing practices and a concise description of how to put the two practices together. Included are several hands-on exercises. It's a good read and one to hang on to for reference.

5-0 out of 5 stars Reiki Shamanism
I really enjoyed this book.It is a little bit Reiki and a little Shaman and the two are delightful together.

5-0 out of 5 stars A library MUSTfor any healer or traveler between worlds
Compelling and informative, this book was one of my favorites by author Jim Pathfinder Ewing.I really like the way that questions about Reiki and the Shamanic way are dealt with in such an easy to understand manner: lots of plain talk and examples, no-nonsense descriptions and simple but effective strategies toward understanding and practicing these healing modalities.If you currently practice Reiki, you simply must add this to your library. If you're curious about healing in shamanic travels, this is your guidebook.

The author's decades of experience in Native ways, including shamanic travel and healing, are evident in every page.I found this particularly reassuring as I read some of the extraordinary firsthand experiences and descriptions of the shamanic dimensions. In addition, Jim give an unbelievable bibliography and glossary, both of which are worth the price of the book by themselves!I highly recommend it (can you tell?)

5-0 out of 5 stars Reiki Shamanism
All of Jim Ewings book have been very helpful to me.I refer to them
constantly.I just hope there is another book coming from Jim.His
Drumming CD is also at the quality level of his books......excellent.

Linda Brewer ... Read more

6. Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (Bollingen Series)
by Mircea Eliade
Paperback: 648 Pages (2004-01-19)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$18.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0691119422
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
First published in 1951, Shamanism soon became the standard work in the study of this mysterious and fascinating phenomenon. Writing as the founder of the modern study of the history of religion, Romanian émigré--scholar Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) surveys the practice of Shamanism over two and a half millennia of human history, moving from the Shamanic traditions of Siberia and Central Asia--where Shamanism was first observed--to North and South America, Indonesia, Tibet, China, and beyond. In this authoritative survey, Eliade illuminates the magico-religious life of societies that give primacy of place to the figure of the Shaman--at once magician and medicine man, healer and miracle-doer, priest, mystic, and poet. Synthesizing the approaches of psychology, sociology, and ethnology, Shamanism will remain for years to come the reference book of choice for those intrigued by this practice. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars Eliade's Classic Text
Steven B. Herrmann, PhD, MFT
Author of "Walt Whitman: Shamanism, Spiritual Democracy, and the World Soul."

This is, without doubt, the classic textbook on shamanism. As Eliade clearly points out, the history of religious ideas distinguishes between three categories or types of initiation to mark the transition from childhood to adolescence.The first type of initiation, he asserts, is "obligatory": the "puberty rite," or "initiation into an age group."The second initiation-type leads to incorporation into a "secret society." The third, initiation-type has to do with the vocation of the "medicine man," medicine woman or "shaman," the most intense form of initiation known to man, and this level, he says, is not typically available to the rest of the human community (1958, 3). Moreover, the pre-ecstatic euphoria of the shaman constitutes the universal source of "lyric poetry" and provides the spiritual inspiration for the mystics of the East and West. The experience of Ecstasy often leads the shaman to song, a secret language, from which the allegorical words of the mystics and prophets of all cultures later crystallized (Shamanism, 511). What distinguishes shamanic initiation from the "lesser" initiation-types, Eliade asserts, is the emotion of Ecstasy. In this work Eliade is in a category of his own, with what would appear, from what I have read, to be few if any real competitors. I have read this book several times and each time I read it, I learn more and more. He illuminates the pattern of initiation at its most fundamental level. This is no leisurely read. It is scholarly and informs many sources. Many of the best works on shamanism, in the second half of the twentieth century, have drawn on this book as their central inspiration. Not all of the data from Siberia, India, the Far East, Polynesia, Europe, and Central and North America, is developed theoretically and could indeed be taken further, as many of his ideas have. Take for example what Eliade has to say about "quartz crystals," or "spirit possession," or this nugget from his "Epilogue," where he ends by saying that "shamans have played an essential role in the defense of the psychic integrity of the community," and adds that they are "preeminently the antidemonic champions; they combat not only disease, but also the black magicians" (508).All of these passages can be amplified and extended in a psychological, spiritual, or sociological direction to explain what takes place in culture and in the culture of depth-psychology and individual analysis. Anyone interested in shamanism would be wise to begin here.Many of C. G. Jung's late comments on shamanism were taken from this source. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I keep it on my writing desk as a companion.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential for anyone interested in art history, culture, anthropology, psychology and more.
Few books of cultural and religious history are classics. Shamanism Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy by Romanian religious historian, Mircea Eliade (1907-1986), draws its timelessness from both its passionate and dispassionate nature. Eliade describes the phenomena of shamanism and surveys the practice of shamanism over two and a half millennia of human history, moving from the Shamanic traditions of Siberia and Central Asia, to North and South America, China, Indonesia, and Tibet.
Eliade describes the function of the shaman in world cultures with detachment and objectivity.In the exhaustive, magnificently organized volume his passion for the subject is obvious. To study it is to understand the unpinning of religion, art, theater, psychology and anthology and much more.If you are interested in any of these, this book must be on your shelf.

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid Work on Religious Basis of Shamanism
I'm not sure why indie musicians are, by and large, such uninteresting people.Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they all think that they are interesting people and therefore spend no time learning about new things or thinking about new ways to make themselves interesting to others.It's not like everyone has to be interesting: I don't expect a gas station attendant to engage me in sparkling conversation, but it seems that if one is going to create art/culture that this person would go out of their way to learn about new things, try new experiences, etc.Such is clearly NOT the case, here in San Diego, or anywhere else, for that matter. The indie music world often seems about as interesting to me as junior high.I don't have any truck with the social world of junior high, with it's cliques and posturing, but, simply put, it's a boring world.It's the same thing with the indie music world:Like junior high, but with bands.

I was super excited to read Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy after seeing the citation in the Shape of Ancient Thought.I was even more excited when I realized that Wendy Doniger, my favorite scholar/professor, was mentored by this guy (Mircea Eliade is a Romanian, and a man, not a chick.)Shamanism was originally published in English (from the French) in 1951, but the book I have is a 2004 re-print with a new foreword by Doniger.Eliade's scholarship is a leetle out of date 50 years on, but that doesn't detract from the fact that this book was the first comprehensive approach to Shamanism that treated it as something other then a "degraded" "uncivilized" object of scorn.In fact, Shamanism appears to be the basis of all religious thought everywhere, showing up not only in the civilized religions of the Near East, West and East, but also in the indigenious peoples of Australia, New Guinea, Polynesia and North and South American.Shamanism is the closest things humans have to a "universal" religion prior to the emergence of the great world religions of Christianity, Islam and Buddhism (sorry Hindus!!!!)

So what is Shamanism?Eliade defines Shamanism as religious practice governed by the reaching of non-conscious ecstatic states by the Shaman.During this state, the Shaman travels to the sky or the underworld and rescues the souls of the sick/ill etc.That is Shamanism in a nut shell, but it's the description of the ritual ascents and descents that I found most interesting.I don't want to spoil the joys of the world tree, the soul egg and the bridge for those who might actually read this book, but suffice it to say that Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, contains enough food for thought to keep the reader thinking for months.Also, all the quoted sources are in Russian or German, so you don't have to worry about follow up reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very detailed.
This book is very detailed about shamanism in all parts of the world and it is very dry, but very informative.

5-0 out of 5 stars Shamanism:Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy
Extremely dry, Eliade's book also suffers from a certain tendency to overgeneralize. Nonetheless it remains the most authoritative work on shamanism overall. ... Read more

7. Practical Shamanism, A Guide for Walking in Both Worlds
by Katie Weatherup
Paperback: 160 Pages (2006-09-30)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$9.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0977815404
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
There are worlds of healing, protection, and insight available to you just beyond ordinary reality. The knowledge to simply, powerfully journey to these worlds, to connect with your spirit guides, to build a vision of yourself as healthy, intuitive and psychically alive, is within this book. Whether you are just beginning to seek a truer and more meaningful existence, or you are an experienced traveler of worlds, this book provides a reliable, straightforward, friendly and practical guide to basic shamanic practices, including more advanced instruction in past life healing, shadow work, and soul retrieval. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy to understand
This book truly is for the who wants a deeper spiritual understanding but who lives in this world and wants to stay here. I ordered four other books when I ordered this one - I sent three of them back.They were too traditional for what I was looking for at the time.The book is written in an easy to understand way without arrogance.I have many books on shamanism and this is the best (but also the least "traditional").Katie gives a simple to follow directions to go on a Shamanic journey - if you try, don't give up - it might take more than one try.I will read this one again.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite book on Shamanic journeying
This is my favorite book on Shamanism. Katie's writing style is engaging, honest, and to the point. The book has sufficient detail without bogging us down, and her instructions are easy to read, easy to grasp, and organized so they're easy to find in the book.

I really like the way she addresses us as modern readers, and talks about the issues we may come across, such as the feeling of a journey seeming like we are making it up. Along with these issues, she encourages us, and states the signs that point at the realness of the experience.

This is a great no nonsense book that will take you into journeying in a comfortable manner. I met two of my guides today for the first time. I thought I was going to the Lower World. That was my intent, but my guides pointed out to me, with some laughter, that though that was my verbal intention, my mind brought me to the Upper World to meet them. It was quite an experience!

Katie's methods are very similar, if not the same, that other author's recommend, but I really like the way she explains the experience and addresses doubts that may arise.

I'm not lending this book out to anyone, so buy your own. It's wonderful, and I highly recommend it!


1-0 out of 5 stars Practical Shamanism A Guide for Walking in Both Worlds
The author needs to hire better editors as well as take some time to learn more about other subjects outside of the subject they are originally attempting to write about. A person's ignorance becomes clear when they attempt to wander into areas they are not very well informed about.

For example, the author needs to learn more about the subject of karma and magic in general. Better, just do not go there in the first place and leave it to those who are far more education in those subjects.

If that is not enough she talks to the reader as if you are around five or six years old. "....energy that carries some of the biggest, nastiest karmic consequences" not only sounds childish, it also reveals she knows little about this area. She would do well to actually study eastern philosophy that explains this subject in depth. Karma is not about punishment.

What I am reading from her book is more parroting of information that has been written by numerous authors. Which does not make the information correct, it is simply misinformation being handed down.

There is indeed such thing as psychic and magical attacks and one would be wise to learn about these subjects. She claims effective black magic takes vasts amounts of energy. It takes no more energy to do black magic than it does any kind of magic.

The above examples are just a few areas in her book I found sadly lacking. There are just too many other problems to list in this review.

It is obvious she needs a better editor, one who has more experience. Books are costing readers far too much to read things such as"This can be done simply by visualizing energy from the earth coming in through the souls if your feet...". I personally believe people have souls but when did just your feet develop their own separate soul? I think she meant to write *sole* of your feet/foot. This may sound trivial, even humorous, but readers/buyers deserve far better.

The author spent way too much time promoting everyone else's work and after a short time, the book begins to look more like a promo for other folks than any real research or real personal experience.

Honestly, there are far better books on the subject of Shamanism around. This book is just more of the same from a student of people who have already written enough on the topic. If one is really serious about this subject should do your own research. There are many organizations that can help put you on the right path. Even for a beginner, there are better books out there.

4-0 out of 5 stars great starter book on shamanism
This is a great read for those just learning about shamanism, its terms and general practices. Katie writes in a clear and understandable way that makes it easy to read. A lot of topics are covered, included the three shamanic worlds, psychic attack, journeying techniques and personal experiences with her clinets and her own healing experiences.
Having said that, I would look for other books that go into more detailed accounts of shamanic based work. For example, in her Curses and Black Magic section, I get the impression she brushes off these aspects of shamanism. People need to know there is an opposite of healing shamanism and its called sorcery. Energy is energy, its the intent behind it that makes it good or bad. She explains that even though there may be those skilled in the art of black magic and curses, it would be pretty rare for it to have a great affect on anyone (what about those rare cases that it is effective then?) and that most of the times, its the clients own obsessions and beliefs that draw negativity to them (true, but not always the case). I feel a lot of healers need to be more informed about the dark side of shamanism. We live in a free will world and just because one one is working within the light, dosent mean you turn a blind eye to what others may do in the dark. Sorcery is very real and the power of black magic does not cease to operate because you choose not to believe in it. I reccomend Alberto Villoldos books for a more informative take on this aspect of shamanism that this book lacks.

5-0 out of 5 stars Practical Shamanism: A Guide For Walking In Both Worlds
I have been practicing Shamaniam for several years. I find her insight as fresh reawaking to some lessons learn. ... Read more

8. Shamanism: A Biopsychosocial Paradigm of Consciousness and Healing
by Michael Winkelman
Hardcover: 309 Pages (2010-08-05)
list price: US$54.95 -- used & new: US$35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031338181X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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What does the brain do during "soul journeys"? How do shamans alter consciousness and why is this important for healing? Are shamans different from other kinds of healers? Is there a connection between the rituals performed by chimpanzees and traditional shamanistic practices?

All of these questions—and many more—are answered in Shamanism, Second Edition: A Biopsychosocial Paradigm of Consciousness and Healing. This text contains crosscultural examinations of the nature of shamanism, biological perspectives on alterations of consciousness, mechanisms of shamanistic healing, as well as the evolutionary origins of shamanism. It presents the shamanic paradigm within a biopsychosocial framework for explaining successful human evolution through group rituals. In the final chapter,"the author compares shamanistic rituals with chimpanzee displays to identify homologies that point to the ritual dynamics of our ancient hominid ancestors.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars An important new look at shamanism
This important book examines the nature of shamanism, humanity's oldest and universal expression of religiosity, from fascinating fresh perspectives. It shows consciousness to derive from a blending of bodily, neurological, social and environmental interactions, and the altered mind states of shamanism, specifically, to be adaptations of these causing ancient and modern parts of the brain to function in an integrated manner allowing nonverbal, symbolic and metaphorical mental content to be experienced directly in immersive ways, such as in "shamanic flight" - the so-called out-of-body experience.The book touches on a considerable range of related topics such as healing, the effects of music on the brain, and, most importantly, it explores how the development of shamanic rituals was a key factor in human evolution.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Students of Religion
The second edition of Winkelman's Shamanism is better than the first edition.It offers one of the few perspectives that balances the cultural and neuropsychological aspects of the subject.The author is a noted authority on the anthropology of altered states of consciousness, and the role of extraordinary experiences on religious systems across cultures.This is an area that is way underplayed in histories and socieologies of religions and it is refreshing that the breadth of coverage is so well combined with the biological and neuroscience research behind such experiences.This book is a must read for any serious student of shamanism or the evolution of religious systems. ... Read more

9. The Practical Power of Shamanism: Heal Your Life, Loves and Losses
by Mary L. Stoffel
Paperback: 252 Pages (2010-05-28)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$17.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0984480013
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Heal your life, your loves and your losses with the practical power of shamanism.Mary Stoffel, shamanic practitioner and teacher, de-mystifies the ancient wisdom of shamanism, showing how you can use the practical technique of the shamanic journey to regain control of your life.This step-by-step guide helps you solve problems in finances, health and relationships by accessing information and guidance from the spiritual realm.Sample exercises help you define your goals and track your progress. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars even more than I expected!
Mary introduced me to shamanic practice years ago, but back then I didn't feel it was right for me.Lately, however, I've gotten back into it and so I eagerly got her book and drumming CD.The drumming is deep and soothing and the book contains practical exercises and a journal area too.That was an expected bonus!I look forward to using this as one more tool in my problem-solving, personal growth toolbox.WAY worth it! ... Read more

10. Northern Magic: Rune Mysteries and Shamanism (Llewellyn's World Magic Series)
by Edred Thorsson
Paperback: 264 Pages (2002-09-08)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$6.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1567187099
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This in-depth primer of the magic of the Northern Way introduces the major concepts and
practices of Gothic or Germanic magic. From Pennsylvania Dutch hex-magic to Scandinavian
runes, Northern Magic explores the folk traditions, ancient lore, Germanic Mysteries, magic,
and wisdom of this ancient Germanic culture.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Personal Favorite
Northern Magic is one of the best books for a beginning student of the Runic arts. It provides an excellent look into the ways of the Northern European shamanic and magical practices. The book is detailed and interesting while proving a decently easy read. It covers rune carving, galdr and seidh work as well as some further rune esoterics and even a section on the Pennsylvania Dutch Hexagrams, a Germanic magical artform.

Thorsson as an author is one of the supreme authorities of this age on Runology. He has an impressive university record as Stephen Flowers and his basis in Germanic history and language provide an excellent background for his work in the Northern historical and esoteric fields. His list of published works is impressive considering the quality of the materials he has presented.

Northern Magic is one of my personal favorites of his works as Edred Thorsson. Along with Futhark: A Handbook of Runes it has lead me far in my path. Any serious Odian should at least give this one a look.

As one further note, the Kindle edition is lovely! The layout is excellent. The pictures are clear and easy to view. I highly recommend it to any Kindle-owning Runer!

2-0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite
I picked this up because Thorsson is widely acknowledged as an authority on modern esoteric runeology and the northern path but I didn't get that impression from this book. It wanders off into places that feel silly or irrelevant to the subject and most of the sources he cites are his own previous works. The section on hex signs was interesting but really is not part of the northern path and would be better published as it's own book. There is some good stuff in the rest of the book but you have to work to sift it out and you could find much of the same information elsewhere.
If you are a fan of Thorsson's work you will probably like this as well but I think I'll pass.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book on the Revivification of Norsk Viking Magick
A few people gave trashy reviews of this fine book.The bottom line is that no one can say for sure, what the original runesters did.Edred 'Stephen Flowers' Thorsson presents an interesting modern interpretation of the ways of the scandinavian pagans of yesteryear.Many of the old building structures of northern europe,have those 'Hex-signs' highly displayed still.The christian romanisation of Scandianavia incorporated the symbols into the catholic church.And later the protestants left the symbols there,because it was so apart of their social identity.If Sweden and Norway had embraced Russian communism,the physical Hex-signs would have been removed and destroyed.I think most literate pagans would agree,this is a valuable book on the revival of the Norsk Shamanisic beliefs and traditions.

5-0 out of 5 stars Operant Hexology
I give this book 5 stars not for its information on runes or norse mythology, but for the small chapter on the Pennsylvania Dutch Hexsigns. I am very interested in Hexology and Powwow, and read anything I can get my hands on about it. Mr. Thorsson has given the reader a basic introduction to Hexology, examples of Hexsigns, and pretty good history too. I cannot speak about the rest of the book, but buy it for the hex information if for nothing else.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great source for younger futhark runes
Edred Thorrson is perhaps the most trusted modern authority when it comes to the Runes and Northern occult tradition.

This book is a great introduction to many practices rooted in the Northern way, including a fascinating section on the only system of unique colonial American magic that I have come into acquaintance with, Pennsylvania "Dutch" Hex-signs.

Very informative and suitable for beginners as well. ... Read more

11. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Shamanism
by Gini Graham Scott
Paperback: 336 Pages (2002-06-18)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$1.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 002864364X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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You-re no idiot, of course. You know that shamans are also known as medicine men and women, who use the power of the mind and call on spiritual helpers to heal the afflicted. However, this ancient art has been put to more modern uses, including problem solving, empowerment, and personal mastery.But you don-t have to trek through steamy Amazonian jungles or frigid Siberian tundra to become enlightened in the ways of shamanism! The Complete Idiot-s Guide- to Shamanism will show exactly how to discover your own shamanic power-and how that power will guide you in your everyday life! In this Complete Idiot-s Guide-, you get:--Shamanic history-from its origins in Paleolithic times to its spreading influence today.--Power animals-where to locate them and how they communicate with you.--How to take a shamanic journey-traveling through the Lower, Upper, and Middle Worlds, and exploring your past or future.--Shamanic healing techniques in use with modern medicine. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars Skip this one
Bought a few years back at the suggestion of a friend.Might fit for someone with no exposure to Spirit yet maybe not even that.Writing is detached . Far better works like anything by Bradford Keeney and Shaman, Healer, Sage.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is great!
If you could choose only one book to start someone off learning about Shamanism, this should be the one.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of Ayuahuasca
I am no expert on shamanism--which is why I thought this book would be a good one for me to read.But this book was not for me.The author's version of shamanism is totally different than what I have read or experienced.Her idea of a shamanic journey is no different than a guided medititation.And she views shamanic practice in a totally psychological way.She believes that a shaman can heal psychological problems but medical problems should only be taken to a medical doctor.She doesn't seem to understand that the spirit world is real and not a figment of the imagination.She also seems to think that a person chooses their power animal.

Another thing that bothered me was that many of the pictures in the book were of neo-pagan or wiccan rituals but the author never made an effort to explain how these religions are related to shamanism.She also states that the majority of shamans are male--which is totally untrue--it may be true in some places, like south america--but korean shamans are almost exclusively female and in many places the number of male and female shamans are equal.

I wanted to like this book--I generally like the complete idiot's guides--but this one seemed like fluff to me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Take a Shamanic trip
Gini Graham Scott has done an excellent job in putting together a 'general introduction' to Shamanism in this book. She takes a number of different topic regarding it and describes them in terms virtually everyone can understand and makes it clear all who read this can benefit from using various "shamanic techniques" in their own lives. She also cautions in a few places in the book about those who claim to be "shamans" but may be using the term to profit from it more than helping people go on shamanic journeys.

Ms Scott devotes a couple chapters to the "history" of shamanism, starting from prehistoric times to the present, as well as describing its forms in various parts of the world. Even if all of these forms of shamanism developed indepedently of each other, it's interesting how they all seem to share some common ideas. I liked how Ms Scott talks a bit about "power animals," I have a handful I work with when doing meditations and have found them to be very helpful. Ms Scott also does a great job describing the various "shamanistic worlds," Upper, Middle & Lower and what you will find in each of them. Ms Scott also describes the process behind going on a shamanistic journey and what to expect and what to watch out for on such journeys.

This is a topic that up until recently most people found to be very mysterious and now that it seems to be gaining in popularity I'm glad to see a book like this out that gives a good overall view of what shamanism is and isn't. I have friends that are shamans and now I have a much better understanding of who they are and what they do. ... Read more

12. Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism
by Daniel Pinchbeck
Paperback: 336 Pages (2003-08-12)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$8.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767907434
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A dazzling work of personal travelogue and cultural criticism that ranges from the primitive to the postmodern in a quest for the promise and meaning of the psychedelic experience.

While psychedelics of all sorts are demonized in America today, the visionary compounds found in plants are the spiritual sacraments of tribal cultures around the world. From the iboga of the Bwiti in Gabon, to the Mazatecs of Mexico, these plants are sacred because they awaken the mind to other levels of awareness--to a holographic vision of the universe.

Breaking Open the Head is a passionate, multilayered, and sometimes rashly personal inquiry into this deep division.On one level, Daniel Pinchbeck tells the story of the encounters between the modern consciousness of the West and these sacramental substances, including such thinkers as Allen Ginsberg, Antonin Artaud, Walter Benjamin, and Terence McKenna, and a new underground of present-day ethnobotanists, chemists, psychonauts, and philosophers. It is also a scrupulous recording of the author's wide-ranging investigation with these outlaw compounds, including a thirty-hour tribal initiation in West Africa; an all-night encounter with the master shamans of the South American rain forest; and a report from a psychedelic utopia in the Black Rock Desert that is the Burning Man Festival.

Breaking Open the Head is brave participatory journalism at its best, a vivid account of psychic and intellectual experiences that opened doors in the wall of Western rationalism and completed Daniel Pinchbeck's personal transformation from a jaded Manhattan journalist to shamanic initiate and grateful citizen of the cosmos.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (61)

5-0 out of 5 stars Most interesting
Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R12HBEPWOTKC54 I found the book interesting and informative.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating piece of journalistic art!
This book was fantastic, Pinchbeck does an amazing job at bringing different world views into the eyes of the reader.I would strongly suggest this book to everyone.Great read that keeps your mind racing like the psychedelics described by pinchbeck throughout the book.Journalism at its finest!

5-0 out of 5 stars Engaging, flowing and digestible
Breaking open the head by Daniel Pichbeck takes a balanced look at indigenous shamanism and psychedelic use in the west from multiple angles. While not focusing on an exploration of the farthest reaches of specific topics its strength lies in its substantial breadth of inqury and as such the book may be of tremendous value to the neophyte explorer of deep mind. The book touches on a wide varierty of key topics: entheogenic use in ancient cultures; spiritual atrophy in western culture; ayahuasca tourism; the growing threat facing the rainforest and its peoples; LSD and the 60's; DMT and extradimesional entities, and much more. Especially intriguing are the small bits of anomalous phenomena encountered by Pinchbeck himself in his shamanic quest. The book also contains absolutely fascinating shamanic anecdotes told by interesting peolpe Pinchbeck has met on his journey. Reading the book I feel a sense of ambiguity towards spirit realms, and that seems to be a good thing.

P.S A very interesting synchronicity occured one day as I was reading the book. I was reading about Rudolf Steiner and became tired so I put down the book and turned on the TV to watch a quiz show I often watch. About 15 minutes after I had put down the book a question came up on the TV show: "What spiritual movement was Rudolf Steiner famous for founding?"

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book for the beginner psiconaut
Overall good, but there are some parts extremenly technic and difficult to understand.

8.5 of 10

3-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but deeply flawed
The book begins fairly well with often hilarious (and as another reviewer pointed out, sometimes unintentionally so) accounts of the author's various psychedelic dabbling with modern-day 'shamans' and other, more dubious purveyors of mind-altering drugs. But it fairly quickly slides downward into Pinchbeck's narcissism and drug-induced paranoia. The early portions of the book exude a kind of youthful optimism and well-meaning if naive interest in mind-altering drugs and what they, and cultures that have used them for thousands of years, might have to teach us. But Pinchbeck seems to find fault (quite justifiably, it seems) in all of his 'shamanic teachers' while at the same time advocating that a return to some kind of shamanic usage is the best path. He also blasts Timothy Leary for promoting open-access for these drugs for everyone, while it is almost certain that Pinchbeck himself would never have encountered these drugs had it not been for Leary's proselytizing. By the end of the book Pinchbeck is convinced that a psychedelic substance has released a 'poltergeist' in his New York apartment, and that a friend he met at the Palenque conference had developed telekinetic (or something) power over the weather... where did the questing spirit of critical inquiry go amiss??? Somewhere between ibogaine, heroin, ayahuasca, and blow, apparently.

Certainly entertaining, but ultimately kind of vacuous and disappointing. ... Read more

13. Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas
by Surendra Bahadur Shahi, Christian Rätsch, Claudia Müller-Ebeling
Hardcover: 320 Pages (2002-09-30)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$26.66
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0892819138
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The first comprehensive guide to the shamans and tantrikas of Nepal 605 color and black-and-white illustrations, including 135 color thangkas.*Includes more than 20 psychoactives never before documented.*The result of 18 years of field research.

The Himalayan kingdom of Nepal may be the only culture in the world where both shamanic and tantric techniques are still alive and in full practice today. The result of eighteen years of field research, Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas presents for the first time a comprehensive overview of shamanism that is based on the knowledge and experience of the different tribes from that region. Included are original statements from the various ethnic groups and 135 color thangkas, which act as visual guides to the specific practices of the tantric tradition. In addition to the thangkas, the book is lavishly illustrated with numerous photos of different shamanic healing ceremonies, ritual objects, and culturally significant plants that have never been published before. The book also contains a wealth of original recipes, smoking mixtures, scientific tables, charts, and descriptions of more than 20 plants whose psychoactive properties and uses by shamans have never before been researched or documented. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
I recently attended a semi- private workshop in Chicago with Matthew Wiley on plant magic and shamanism. During the day course he frequently sited passages from this book.I ordered it the following day and can't put it down! It is an all inclusive, must have for every student and teacher of shamanism and tantra-you wont be disappointed.

Happy reading


5-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, rich
I wish I could find more books like it is: Full of pictures, details, showing the beauty of Tibet, before it desapears completely...

5-0 out of 5 stars Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas
The book is just wonderful and it was shipped very quickly.Thank you!

3-0 out of 5 stars Visual masterpiece, subtle disaster
Im afraid The austhors have gone beyond their calling on this one
I was truly amazed by the lavish colour of the book and the volume of topics covered
I do recommend it but i also recommend a thorough study of the topics with other resources before taking anything to heart

The few issues i have with this book are serious

Firstly is the issue of Botanical misrepresentation. Christian was involved in re-editing 'Plants of the gods' and made the same errors there in my opinion ruining what was a cornerstone book with loose scholarship. Beware some pictures are misleading and shouldnt be used as ID.
Secondly there are a lot of lists of plants, many of which are presented as if to confirm psychoactivity whilst they remain in reality unconfirmed.There are also several areas where references are used in a very sloppy manner to appear to prop up paragraphs of pure conjecture (i know these because i own the source documents in question)
Much of this could have been clarified easily by the people christian knows, that is to say I KNOW he knows people who could have peered his editing better becuase i know one of them and that person knows many more. This book was released far too early, it needs quite a bit ore review and editing. In contrast we are all still waiting on the English version of the encyclopaedia....

Thirdly the word of the shamans is taken too seriously. Musch of what they say is true but having spent some time making local contacts and chasing similar herbal and cultural connections (the similarities are striking in the interactions with an interested foreigner relayed between Nepalese villagers and Balinese villagers).
The word of the shamans is taken too literally even when contradictions arise. the weakness doesnt lie in that necessarily rather that the information was presented based on this secondary view of reality and seemingly not on the primary view which would have need quite a bit more investigation to elute what the shamns thought, felt , did and really understood to themselves. Without this there i the danger you are being told what you want to hear and what you ellicit even by non verbal cues

A specialist researcher going into this situation runs into real danger unless they are trained properly to be the quiet yet interactive observer and not be ask questions that might 'lead the witness'.

Its strange - i love this book for its beauty and enjoyment and yet i do not hold it in high regard as a refernce text for anything id write. Its simply got too many holes and glaring errors to be trusted enough. And thats it all, Trust.

Its a function of the sum quality of the scholars work and without that what might have been a great book is converted to something half true and potentially very dangerous to the truth

Great coffee table book though i think the more concise books, the original Plants of the gods by Schultes and hoffman as well as the stunning work, Great books of Hashish vol 2 is of a much higher standard.

4-0 out of 5 stars More Shamanic than Tantric
The purpose of this work is to explore the worlds of Shamanism and Tantra, specifically in Nepal, not all over the Himalayas, as the title would suggest. The authors divide the subject up into just over 30 major themes and then exposit to varying depths on the particular facets. Each chapter is a mixture of their personal experiences, the reports of their Shaman friends, relevant side-bar quotations from a wide range of sources, and full color photography from beginning to end. Over all, it has some very clear strengths and weaknesses.

On the positive side, the pages are dripping with stunning photography. Rich color reproduction shows off the details of the Shamanic world, Nepal, and over 50 gorgeous paintings of the relevant deities. These paintings are given their own descriptive addendum to insure they are properly appreciated. The majority of what is discussed in the text is pictured somewhere nearby, so if anything is unclear there is immediate visual help at hand. The text itself is clear, engaging, and stock full of details, many of which appear to have been overlooked by other authors writing both on the Himalayan region itself and on Shamanism in general. This wealth of information is because the authors were not satisfied with being arm-chair anthropologists, but spent over a decade among the Nepalese Shamans, becoming their friends, gaining their trust, and being allowed into their world. They are very sympathetic to this view of reality and write about it with passion, so it's rarely boring.

On the other hand, there are some problems. First, despite the size and the comments in the other review, don't be misled into thinking this is encyclopedic. It isn't, and the authors clearly say so themselves. Their major focus is on making available data that is not found in most run of the mill books on Shamanism in this region. The general picture is there, but the details focus on trying to shed light where there has been little before. For this reason, it probably isn't the first book on Shamanism you would want to read. Second, if it's the Tantra angle that interests you, there is very little on it. There is so little, in fact, that there is really only one sustained discussion on it, which is only part of one chapter. The other information is scattered throughout the rest of the book's discussion on Shamanism. Again, this isn't the first book on Tantra you would want to read, but if you know enough about Tantra to connect the dots yourself it provides some really interesting links and suggestions regarding how the two worldviews relate, both doctrinally, artistically, and historically. On the picky side, the text suffers various lapses that will annoy people to different levels. Those involved with religious studies will be progressively irritated with the naive philosophy of religion that the authors display. Despite the book being a monument to the fact that Shamanism functions as a religion, they insist it isn't. They also claim it involves no faith, again in the face of many things presented in the work that must be accepted by faith. In fact, a number of the statements of the Shamans in here are factually inaccurate, yet nothing, no matter how far out, is ever questioned in the slightest, nor is the epistemological problem this casts on the information they gain from their trips, whether on hallucinogens or not, ever discussed. Social and psychological aspects that effect the Shamanic interpretations and the authors' research methodology are dismissed, if not completely ignored. If things like that don't bother you, the sloppy inconsistency on points might. For example, on the exact same page (186) they proclaim that destructive energies can be both destroyed and not destroyed. How about their claim on page 13 that "shamanism only exists in specific areas of Asia" today, which is contradicted by their displayed knowledge of it in the Americas elsewhere in the book? These should not be confused with the numerous contradictions between the various Shamanic schools that are presented, which are given for completeness. Finally, and this would not be worth mentioning if it didn't come up so many times in a book repeatedly promoting love, harmony and understanding: at least one of the authors is anti-Christian to the point of unreasonable bigotry. It ranges from statements of factual error (such as Christianity not being an historically oriented religion) to slander (such as the long disproved accusation that Wycliffe translation teams are covert CIA operatives, for which the authors can only provide a specious debunked source over 20 years old).

All that aside, I bought it, read it, and it has a secure place in my library as a resource I can see returning to many times in the future. It's pricey, but it's worth it. It's the only book I've ever had where I constantly caught people stopped in their tracks looking at the pictures over my shoulder and interrupting my reading to find out what it was. ... Read more

14. Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing
by Michael Taussig
Paperback: 538 Pages (1991-12-15)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0226790134
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Working with the image of the Indian shaman as Wild Man, Taussig reveals not the magic of the shaman but that of the politicizing fictions creating the effect of the real.

"This extraordinary book . . . will encourage ever more critical and creative explorations."—Fernando Coronil, [I]American Journal of Sociology[/I]

"Taussig has brought a formidable collection of data from arcane literary, journalistic, and biographical sources to bear on . . . questions of evil, torture, and politically institutionalized hatred and terror. His intent is laudable, and much of the book is brilliant, both in its discovery of how particular people perpetrated evil and others interpreted it."—Stehen G. Bunker, Social Science Quarterly
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Difficult, but worth the effort.
Michael Taussig takes a stance towards "terrorism" not common in today's world. By trying to trace the roots of this phenomenon, he brings to light many explanations and understandings many of us fail to realize, only because we have not come across them before. I give this book four stars instead of five simply because it is a difficult read, but if you are interested in what we, today, call "terrorism" and are willing to take the time to plunge into this book, then it will certainly be worth your while.

5-0 out of 5 stars Taussig takes one on a terrifying, gut churning, horrifying
trip through the rubber boom of the 1800's in South America.From detailed historical survey to his first hand accounts of life around the Amazon, he never ceases to confront the reader with reality.His study iscomprehensive in that he brings attention to all different aspects of theEuropean, Indian and African people who live there.The study helpsintegrate the anthropological view of society to consider the religious,political, economic and moral as part of the collective consciousness of acommunity.Powerful book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Much more than a simple ethnographic investigation...
Arguably one of the most accomplished anthropologists working today, Michael Taussig provides an intensely individualistic bricolage of literary, historical, and ethnological interpretations of his many years of fieldwork in the Upper Amazon.One of the most detailed and poignant accounts of shamanism in its cultural context - will very soon be regarded as a classic. ... Read more

15. Psychedelic Shamanism: The Cultivation, Preparation & Shamanic Use of Psychoactive Plants
by Jim Dekorne
Paperback: 155 Pages (1994-05)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$28.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559501103
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly applicable how to and experiential data
If you have some basis of knowledge of both shamanism and entheogens, and would like to apply it, this may be a good book to consider.The author breaks up the material in easy to follow sections.History, cultivation, application, and examples of experiences are included.This book has basic information on synthesis of some compounds, such as DMT.

This is probably not a good step for you if you are just learning about psychedelics or shamanism.To appreciate them, especially if you do not live in a culture that normally embraces them, you are probably going to be best rewarded with gainful experiences by exploring both before bringing them together.

3-0 out of 5 stars Modestly useful book.
This is a nice book giving a general overview of the subject matter. There are however more sophisticated and complete books on the subject. Since the book was written in the nineties this is no surprise.

5-0 out of 5 stars Psychonauts bible...
I have to disagree with the "other" reviewer who no doubt works at the Salvia Shoppe. Salvia must be concentrated in order to give a strong effect as the leaves are just not potent enough. Personally, I'm not crazy about the stuff...it doesn't have the spiritual feeling that other plant materials have for me. Traveling is something I do when out of the US as other countries are not as rabid about legality.
If you're looking for the SHAMANIC info (which is key as this isn't a psychedelic enclyclorpia here) on plants this will awe, entertain, and inspire some journeys across the border and elsewhere. Many plants are not "schedule" as they are in the good ol' US so may be easier to obtain and explore without worry. There are actually Ibogaine clinics for heroin addicts in the UK and Mexico, and other such viable places to explore a full on Shamanic experience. This isn't the recreational users type of stuff here. Much more depth than that!

5-0 out of 5 stars Dated But Still Useful
First published fourteen years ago, this guide is in obvious need of an update, as other reviewers have pointed out. I still have my old copy, worn and dog eared and value it as an encouragement for the individual to take control of his or her spiritual quest through time and shamanic honored cultivation of plant allies. A new addition might take into account "ayahuasca tourism," which I recently observed in Cusco, Peru. Lots of folks down there are hanging out their Shaman shingles come one come all, which brings up the question of authenticity vs. cheap exploitation of an ancient native ceremony.

5-0 out of 5 stars ESSENTIAL Shamanist Reading
I only heard of this book when it was referenced in Daniel Pinchbeck's superb and equally enjoyable "Breaking Open The Head." It clearly was a major inspiration for Pinchbeck's book, and the two make a great set for anyone seriously interested in Shamanism. It's true as noted in another review that some of the author's data is outdated and inaccurate. A revised edition is clearly in order, particularly regarding salvia divinorum, which is indeed one of the most potent entheogens thus discovered. "Sally" is a fickle sacrament, however, and DeKorne can be forgiven; he may have had a dud experience as many do. Despite the fact that there are several good web resources (and some great ones) with information regarding this subject, PSYCHEDELIC SHAMANISM is truly a classic in the genre, written from the standpoint of an intelligent and sophisticated "old head." It is entertaining and informative, offering insights and advice which shed important light on a multitude of shamanistic practices. DeKorne has a cool sense of humor and natural storytelling ability which make for great reading. I would put this book and Pinchbeck's at the TOP of any shamanic reading list and would read them both, starting with this one. ... Read more

16. The Strong Eye of Shamanism: A Journey into the Caves of Consciousness
by Robert E. Ryan Ph.D.
 Paperback: 320 Pages (1999-01-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0892817097
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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An exploration of shamanism and the archetypal symbolismthat sits at the foundation of all human life.* Not just an academic work. Helps the reader experience the actual* mindset of the shaman.* Presents a cohesive view of the recurrent patterns of symbolism and* visionary experience that underlie all religion.

The human psyche contains archetypal patterns largely lost tocontemporary society but which shamans have employed for over 30,000years to gain access to the spiritual world. Shamanic symbols bothaffect and reflect these durative patterns that exist, with uncannysimilarity, in civilizations separated by expanses of time anddistance. The Strong Eye of Shamanism draws together the many facetsof the art of shamanism, presenting a cohesive view of the recurrentpatterns of symbolism and visionary experience that underlie itspractice.

The strong eye of the title refers to the archetypal symbolism thatsits at the foundation of all human life--whether in Paleolithic cavesor today's temples. The author asserts that society has becomeseparated from the power of those symbols that lead us into deeperunderstanding of our spirituality. In today's world of splinteredpsyches, a world in which people are in search of their souls,shamanism survives as an age-old technology of soul recovery, a livingRosetta stone that reminds us of the shared foundation that existsbeneath even the most radically different perspectives. Through itsstudy of shamanism, archetypal psychology, and symbolism, The StrongEye of Shamanism encourages individuals--and society--to look inwardand remember that the deepest forms of awareness begin with theknowledge that the answers reside within us. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars History of Shamanism over the last 35,000 years.
This book is a History of Shamanism over the past 35,000 years.

If you are interested in practising Shamanism; this Book will not help you.

This book explains the role of the Shaman in his or her culture. acting as mediator between the spirit world and the physical plane, and as healer.

If you are interested in practising Shamanism; please skip over this book and view my Shamanism, listmania list.

Please E-Mail me if you have questions or comments; Two Bears.

Wah doh Ogedoda (We give thanks Great Spirit)

3-0 out of 5 stars Shamanic Underground
This is a decent book on the shamanic roots of Paleolithic cave paintings.But frankly, I've gotten a little tired of seeing so many praises of C.G. Jung's influence on art, folklore, literature, the occult, science, mathematics, mythology--and now shamanism.And you hear it every other page--Geez!Enough already!The book would have lost a quarter of its pages if he'd said it only once.The focus is also on most famous examples of European cave-art (largely to the exclusion of Australian Aboriginal cave-art, which may more concerned with hunting magic, btw).A book better than and foundational to this one is Gertrude Rachel Levy's superb "Religious Conceptions of the Stone Age" (which is absolutely priceless if out-of-print).Ryan's book is well worth reading but, to me, its like an updated appendix to Levy, with some important new information on the Mayans and other meso-American cultures. In fact, the most important thing about this book to me was the reference to Levy (for which I thank another reviewer).

5-0 out of 5 stars Archeological aspects of theology, psychology and religion
Not since G.R. Levy's "Religious Conceptions of the Stone Age" and "The Sword from the Rock" has archeology revealed so much of man's spiritual origins. Well researched exposition revealing mankindsheritage; 30,000 years of insights into our relations with the transcendantReality of all faiths. This may turn out to be one of the mostcontroversial books published in recent times. Read it! ... Read more

17. Astrotheology & Shamanism: Christianity's Pagan Roots. A Revolutionary Reinterpretation of the Evidence (Color Edition)
by Jan Irvin, Andrew Rutajit
Paperback: 246 Pages (2009-02-04)
list price: US$51.49 -- used & new: US$40.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439222436
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Jan Irvin and Andrew Rutajit delve deep into Judeo-Christian symbolism and mythology in Astrotheology & Shamanism to reveal the true origins of Christianity in fertility cults and entheogenic drug use. The authors show, with the use of numerous images, textual citations, and etymological analyses, how the symbols used in Christian art and encoded in sacred texts reference sacramental use of psychedelic mushrooms as well as ancient astronomical knowledge. This knowledge has been kept secret from the public, however, and the truth has remained concealed behind a campaign to prohibit access to entheogenic sacraments through a Pharmacratic Inquisition (of which the current “War on Drugs” is the latest manifestation). Along with a call to wake up to the true history of Judeo-Christian tradition, the authors call for a return to direct spiritual experience through visionary sacraments unmediated through dominating religious institutions. This is a powerful and provocative book that is sure to challenge and inspire.- Martin W. Ball, Ph.D.Author, The Entheogenic Evolution: Psychedelics, Consciousness and Awakening the Human SpiritAmazon.com Review
Linking Christianity to its nature-based, shamanic roots, this wide-ranging, lavishly illustrated, and exhaustively referenced book establishes a new benchmark for scholarly (and controversial) views in the field.

Rick Strassman MD

University of New Mexico School of Medicine

Author, DMT – The Spirit Molecule

We live in a world of paired opposites—all things in the field of time come in twos. This offers comfort and predictability by allowing neat compartments for diverse things, but also leads to elaborately complex symbols and belief systems over time. Christianity, as with Hinduism, has been conceptualized as a tree growing up from a solid platform, but what you don’t see are the roots and fruits, the mystery that helped spawn these traditions. The mystery is, however, revealed in various art forms often hidden away or obscured in some clever fashion. All these traditions—Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Indus Valley—have their origins in shamanic experiences with mind-altering substances. This was not recreational; this was serious business. Jan Irvin and Andrew Rutajit have captured this tone and perspective in, Astrotheology & Shamanism. Well written with clear definitions, but if you think Jesus was a real person, you’re in for a bumpy ride.

John A. Rush, Ph.D.,

Sierra College, Department of Anthropology

Author, Failed God: Fractured Myth in a Fragile World

This is a mind-expanding book. It helps us share the perspective of a shaman (a seer or wise man) on the world and on the interplay of sun and stars…. Ideas put forward by John Marco Allegro about the origin of religion in The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross in 1970 – which met universal condemnation – are here largely vindicated…. The dry philological approach in The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross is here supported by a wider study of symbols, iconography and mythology and further work on word derivation.

Judith Anne Brown

Daughter of John Marco Allegro

Author, John Marco Allegro: The Maverick Of The Dead Sea Scrolls

Having studied many of the same sources listed in Astrotheology & Shamanism; we find the presentation of facts in this 2nd edition to be a refreshingly rational and logical viewpoint- which empowers the reader to observe many perspectives simultaneously. This book decrypts the minutiae and ideology of religion, in which we are all immersed between cradle and grave. It will open your mind to critical thinking and new choices; producing a brilliant ray of hope in an almost post-literate world.

– Richard Grove, 8th Estate Media & Research ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Stellar!
Many people who hear the term "astrotheology" will either look at you like you have a leg growing out of your forehead, roll their eyes, or give little more than a sneer. Many think that it's either the stuff of conspiracy theories and/or it's not a true field of study. But Irvin and Rutajit have thoroughly shattered this myth.

Even during my years as a Christian, I grew suspicious of the claims of church leaders and biblical authors. I knew there was something more, but I had no idea where to look. Over time I began to put the pieces of the puzzle together with somewhat satisfactory results, until I discovered The Pharmacratic Inquisition and Astrotheology and Shamanism. The mystery of Christianity's secret origins began to unravel.

I can't thank Irvin and Rutajit enough for compiling their findings into this comprehensive book. It is easy to read, easy to research, and filled with footnote after footnote, source after source. There is more data to be found, to be sure. But if you have doubts of Christianity's claims or wonder about the origins of traditions and customs of Christmas and Easter, then you absolutely need this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book brings truth to light
Anyone who finally wants to get to the bottom of religion and get answers to questions that have been squelched for millenium will really enjoy this book.The author takes great care to note his sources, lay out the facts carefully, and provide beautiful color illistrations.I felt scales fall away from my eyes as everything fell into a simple, scientific, and logical truth.A must read for anyone looking to move beyond religious dogma.

5-0 out of 5 stars Alchemical Gold
A book that is a must own for anyone interested in Christianity's pagan roots and/or shamanism. Jan Irvin and Andrew Rutajit combine brilliant writing, impeccable research, and immaculate illustrations from Nicholas Zervos in a clear and open minded book that will give any reader a jaw dropping tour of Christianity throughout the ages. This book will leave you with a deeper understanding of religious symbolism and will even make sense out of the modern holiday traditions of Christmas and Easter. The authors leave no stone unturned in an attempt to illuminate the reader with the resplendent truth about the origins of Christianity. This work is truly Alchemical Gold! The information in this book is so strong that when you're finished reading it you will pass it along to everyone you know. A great gift for the holidays! Hurry up and buy it already!

5-0 out of 5 stars Truth Be Told
Jan Irvin and Andrew Rutajit offer open-minded readers an expansive and encompassing--though not exhaustive and overwhelming--look into the depths and origins of religion around the world and throughout history.The underlying themes presented in this well written and expertly illustrated book are certainly evocative; and to the uninformed reader, some of the ideas may come as a shock, in all their profundity.But to those who are willing to set aside cultural bias (and programming), this book provides a wellspring of information that serious seekers will find both refreshing in its authenticity and liberating in its implications. The story that emerges contains within it the seeds of transformation that could play a formative role in bearing the fruit of a completely new worldview, one that reconnects humanity with our deepest and most vital selves.This book may be ahead of its time, but that time is coming, and when it does, this is the knowledge that is going to help humanity envision and eventually build a new world, one that is based on ancient and timeless truths. Highly recommended reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius
It was the summer of 1973 and The 5th Dimension was playing "Let the Sunshine In" at the Wisconsin State Fair Park and I was getting really high for the first time under the grandstands with some total strangers.Thus began a long love affair for me with altered states of consciousness.I have endured ridicule, condescension and the threat of government sanctions ever since merely for acknowledging and continuing to seek the mind expanding experiences available via the plants that nature has provided for us.Astrotheology and Shamanism goes way beyond affirming that the insights I gained from using naturally occurring plants to "get high" were legitimate.Jan Irvin and Andrew Rutajit go much deeper indeed showing clearly how the use of mind altering plants has influenced the evolution of religions and cultures across many, many generations.This book is a must read for anyone desiring to break free of the psychic stranglehold currently being enforced via the War On Drugs aka, the Pharmacratic Inquisition. ... Read more

18. Advanced Celtic Shamanism
by D.J. Conway
Paperback: 350 Pages (2000-09-30)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$45.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1580910734
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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The hazel tree and the sacred well - ancient mythical symbols of Celtic wisdom and spirituality - provide a thread to follow through history and lore, back to the ancient practice of European shamanism. In her new book, D. J. Conway uses the four paths of shamanism (healer, bard, warrior, and mystic) to translate Celtic spirituality into a usable form for today's seekers. Unlike beginners' guides now on the market, this book is an advanced study of the practice. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good directional info
I bought this book after reading a friends copy.I found that while it has some inaccuracies, there are many parts of this book that ring true (for me at least), and wanted my own copy for future reference.I believe it is an excellent book for continuing to study The Shamanic Path; but as with all written information, your own direct experiences are more important and this book should only be used as a guide.

1-0 out of 5 stars Fictitious Fluff
D.J. Conway does it again.Seriously, why doesn't she just write fiction novels.It's clear that most of her ideas are fantasy backed up by more fantasy.There is almost nothing of value in this book about Celtic or shamanic anything.Conway even embarrasses respectable wiccans.I agree with another reviewer, I wish there was a 0 setting.I'm just glad I was not duped into opening my wallet for this garbage, I reviewed it in the bookstore.

1-0 out of 5 stars advanced bs... not worth a dollar
firstly, this book is historically and factually incorrect. (not always but ive found big mistakes like citing aries as a water sign? fire duh basics) anywaze also alot of DJ Conway's references are basic 101 reader works and not reference texts or nonfiction works. (she gets her references from books that i dont consider advanced.) So where is this advanced shamanism.. not here. Dj Conway changes information to fit her idea of the occult and lables it something that is historic, ancient, and obviously pre-established. This is NOT a good book. tell you what youd be better off reading a book by an archeologist and putting the peices together by your self. She does have good meditaions but this is not what it presents its self as. Straighforward, it was a waste of money.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not advanced, but a continuation of the first book
This book is not necessarily advanced but merely a continuation of the earlier book By Oak, Ash, and Thorn by the same author, with some overlap.Filled with mini glossaries, correspondances and exercises, it's only recommended if you absolutely adore the first title.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not great.
I'm not normally so turned off by a book that I give it one star and wish like mad that there was a choice for zero.This is one such book, however, and I have yet to find a DJ Conway book that I have been able to take seriously.Conway has a habit of making up her own tradition and writing it as fact, as history, as Tradition.Conway's idea of tradition is to decide what feels right for her, which is more than fine - many of us do this in our own lives, however where she loses my respect in her writing is in that she writes of these beliefs as having some historical basis when there is in fact none.

If you want something that will give you advanced *anything* Celtic, read the works of Skip Ellison (ArchDruid of Ar n'Draiocht Fein), John & Caitlin Matthews, and especially Celtic mythology and legend such as The Mabinogion for more of a Welsh flavor, The Tain bo Culain (or simply The Tain) which is also known as The Cattle Raid of Cooley for the Irish end, might also try reading Celtic Heritage by Alwyn and Bryn Rees, it's a bit dry but brilliant and well-researched.

I suppose what it comes down to is this:What is it that you want to get out of your reading materials?If you want fiction, this book certainly fits the bill as it is the author's mostly made-up and ill-researched version of Celtic Spirituality/Shamanism but you might find more interesting and educational fiction in the books of Marion Zimmer Bradley or Morgan Llewellyn.

How serious are you about your Path?Try reading around and find out.
... Read more

19. Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit
by Tom Cowan
Paperback: 240 Pages (1993-05-14)
list price: US$17.99 -- used & new: US$9.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0062501747
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Advice and step-by-step guidelines for those seeking to recover from addictive relationships. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

1-0 out of 5 stars A poorly written work
I first came across this book in the mid-90's and just recently bought it in a used book store for about five dollars. I wish I had kept the receipt. This work distorts its source materials to fit into the author's deluded notions of a European Shamanism. The writing is erratic, and disconnected from one point to the other. The author makes a point about paleolithic cultures of Europe, and then seeks to extend same ideas to much later Gaulish invaders. Bad scholarship, distortion of sources, and a whole lot of "core shamanism" crap all in one binding.

Mr. Cowan... if you ever read these reviews, please send me my money back.

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic of the field
Despite debate, if one approaches this book with an open mind, one finds alot of evidence supporting the idea of Celtic Shamanism.This is a remarkable cross cultural survey as well of shamanism.It's well researched and presented.I love it so much, I am on my third copy.It's a classic of this admittedly narrow field.

5-0 out of 5 stars More history than instructional...
...but that doesn't mean that this isn't a top notch book.I found it to be an exceptional source of information about shamanism in general and celtic shamanic beliefs in particular.I highly recommended it to all with an interest in such subjects.IF, however, you are looking for a "how to" book, this is not what you are looking for.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Metaphor in the Humanity
On my shelf of shamanist titles, this one sits prominently figured.Cowan presents the traditional fantastic experiences of the shaman in an amazingly receivable framework.His experience of archetypes in well-known myths and legends opens one to the ability to read all things symbolically, thus, as the dynamic spiritual presences that they are.To that end I regard Cowan as a shapeshifter of symbols, not an interpreter of them.His telling of olde tales connects their spirit with a modern audience.

In this book his love and connection to the Celtic path is evident, though it is not necessarily rooted in what we know of Celtic history, itself.I feel it is important to make that distinction, as Cowan is cultivating the opening of the shamanic experience of metaphor in a Celtic context.He is not a Reconstructionist, thus this work offers, rather, an experiential opportunity in a Celtic framework.

4-0 out of 5 stars Packed!
Lots of good solid information here. I must admit I like his writing style as well. Excellent material, well presented! ... Read more

20. Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon
by Stephan Beyer
Paperback: 544 Pages (2010-06-30)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0826347304
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In the Upper Amazon, mestizos are the Spanish-speaking descendants of Hispanic colonizers and the indigenous peoples of the jungle. Some mestizos have migrated to Amazon towns and cities, such as Iquitos and Pucallpa; most remain in small villages, their houses perched on stilts on the shores of the rivers that are their primary means of travel. Here in the jungle, they have retained features of the Hispanic tradition, including a folk Catholicism and traditional Hispanic medicine. And they have incorporated much of the religious tradition of the Amazon, especially its healing, sorcery, shamanism, and the use of potent plant hallucinogens, including ayahuasca. The result is a uniquely eclectic shamanist culture that continues not only to fascinate outsiders with its brilliant visionary art but also to attract thousands of seekers each year with the promise of visionary experiences of their own.

Ayahuasca shamanism is now part of global culture. The visionary ayahuasca paintings of Pablo Cesar Amaringo are available to a world market in a sumptuous coffee-table book; international ayahuasca tourists exert a profound economic and cultural pull on previously isolated local practitioners; ayahuasca shamanism, once the terrain of anthropologists, is the subject of novels and spiritual memoirs. Ayahuasca shamans perform their healing rituals in Ontario and Wisconsin.

Singing to the Plants sets forth, in accessible form, just what this shamanism is about -- what happens at an ayahuasca healing ceremony, how the apprentice shaman forms a spiritual relationship with the healing plant spirits, how sorcerers inflict the harm that the shaman heals, and the ways that plants are used in healing, love magic, and sorcery. The work emphasizes both the uniqueness of this highly eclectic and absorptive shamanism -- plant spirits dressed in surgical scrubs, extraterrestrial doctors speaking computer language -- and its deep roots in shamanist beliefs and practices, both healing and sorcery, common to the Upper Amazon. The work seeks to understand this form of shamanism, its relationship to other shamanisms, and its survival in the new global economy, through anthropology, ethnobotany, cognitive psychology, legal history, and personal memoir. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Jolly Good Read.
This is best book I have read in a long, long time.The writer holds that wonderful line between scientific objectivity and true, worldview melting, ethnography.He evidences a great sense of humor, an encyclopedic knowledge of all things Ayahuasca, and a scholarly hold on its surrounding literature.This is a brilliant book by a brilliant mind on a fascinating subject.The last book of this caliber I have read was: The Hypnotic Brain: Hypnotherapy and Social Communication by Peter Brown, M.D. which Earnest Rossi called "a jolly good read."This book is a "jolly good read" as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Honest Perspective
Steve Beyer has a clear and unique perspective. This masterful tome delves deeply, respectfully and honestly into shamanism of the Upper Amazon. He has accumulated mountains of research from a wide variety of resources, but the bulk of the information he presents is judiciously filtered through his considerable personal experience living with and learning from the shamans themselves.

5-0 out of 5 stars From One Ayahuasca Writer to Another
As someone who spent the past 5 years writing about the experience of drinking Ayahuasca (just recently published "Fishers of Men: The Gospel of an Ayahuasca Vision Quest" with Tarcher/Penguin and Evolver), I know how difficult it is to write about this subject matter with both integrity and objectivity. Stephan is an elder in this regard. A gifted writer and academic. An elegant voice. A sincere heart. Singing to the Plants is the most comprehensive examination of Amazonian shamanism ever written. At once personal, accessible, and incredibly intelligent, as a young man blossoming into authorial adulthood I will re-read Singing to the Plants many more times and will continue to trust Stephan as a heart-centered wordsmith of the numinous.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Very thorough and very well researched. It combines extensive literature review with his own experience and observations and manages to cover every facet and perspective on the topic. I expect this to be a great resource for anyone interested in upper Amazonian Shamanism.

5-0 out of 5 stars Viewpoint from an experienced Ayahuascero
I recently finished reading Beyers "Singing to the Plants" and I have to say that I am very impressed. Not only has Steve covered practically every facet (that I can think of) of Ayahuasca and the Shamans who use it in ceremony, but he has done so with incredible insight and accuracy in regards to the truth. I make this last statement as a person who currently lives in Iquitos, Peru (close to where many Ayahuasca shamans reside and practice),has personally experienced over 100 Ayahuasca ceremonies, and who knows a fair amount of the players involved, at least currently. I have experienced many of the things that Steve's book touches on, from witchcraft to healing to divine knowledge, to name a few. Not only has Steve done an exhaustive study of the shamans, the plants used, the people who participate, etc., but he has participated in many ceremonies himself, and the knowledge gained from this incredible personal experience comes through in the book. If you are interested in understanding the experience of Ayahuasca and all the elements involved, you can do no better than this book, short of having the experience yourself.Highly recommended. ... Read more

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