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1. Shamanism As a Spiritual Practice
2. Practical Shamanism, A Guide for
3. Plant Spirit Shamanism: Traditional
4. Reiki Shamanism: A Guide to Out-of-Body
5. Shamanism: Archaic Techniques
6. The World of Shamanism: New Views
7. Secrets of Shamanism: Tapping
8. Singing to the Plants: A Guide
9. Shamanism for Beginners: Walking
10. Healing States: A Journey Into
11. Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas
12. Shamanism
13. Shamanism, Colonialism, and the
14. Fire in the Head: Shamanism and
15. Shamanism: A Biopsychosocial Paradigm
16. Shamanism (Quest Book)
17. Journeying : Where Shamanism and
18. Healing with Form, Energy, and
19. The Complete Idiot's Guide to
20. Ecstatic Religion: A Study of

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. 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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Editorial Review

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

3. 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

4. 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$9.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1844091333
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

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

5. 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
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
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

6. 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$3.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0738705756
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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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
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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

7. 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$4.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380756072
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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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

8. 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
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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

9. Shamanism for Beginners: Walking With the World's Healers of Earth and Sky
by James Endredy
Paperback: 288 Pages (2009-06-08)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$0.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 073871562X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Healers and visionaries, food-finders and rainmakers—as intermediaries between the physical and spirit worlds, shamans have served a vital role in indigenous cultures for more than 40,000 years. The timeless wisdom of the shaman also holds relevance for the challenges we face today.

James Endredy explores shamanic paths from around the globe and discusses the tools, rituals, and beliefs that are common to most traditions. You'll discover how shamans are chosen and initiated, and how they establish a relationship with power animals, ancestors, and other inhabitants of the spirit realm. Along with many stories from his own experiences, Endredy shares insights from other scholars in the field, including Mircea Eliade, Michael Harner, and Holger Kalweit, and from indigenous shamans throughout history.

Shamanism for Beginners concludes with a thoughtful, empowering look at how shamanic practices can help restore balance and peace to our lives and the earth.


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Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Much Different Here
Although Mr. Endredy has had experience with indigenous cultures and has learned at the feet of many a shaman, he is not presenting much different from most 101 NeoShaman books.I like how he presented shamanism as a calling, rather than something you pick up, and I like that he provided a wider range of directions than most "beginning shamanism" books, and went without an animal totem dictionary or other usual fare.He stuck to what he set out to do, and I appreciate it.However, this is such an overview-styled book that it lacks the power, punch, and direction of his other books.It is perhaps needed to address a lot of oversight that other books leave out, (i.e. the variety of experiences one can has when called to shamanism) but it still suffers, in my view, from being a little too generic in its scope.Calling to more of some very specific practices he has learned, assuming he is allowed to share them, would have added to the teaching value of the book.His experiences, as he writes them in his other works, are teaching ones.Still, a solid 101 book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Shamanism for Beginners
Use messages in the book for students and clients.Easy and excellent for beginners.More information than have obtained in taking classes from some Elders.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book of authentic authority
Contrary to what you have been taught, Shamanism is the oldest profession on the planet.

James Endready's new book on Shamanism takes a look at the world's oldest profession with insight, depth, all grounded in his own personal experience of working with indigenous peoples all over the planet. The book is comprehensive in scope.

James is one of the few people born into a Eurocentric culture who is a practitioner of shamanism worthy of your time. But as he accurately notes, even Eorocentric peoples were originally part of shamanic practices. He understands deeply the commitment/responsibility side of taking up this rather profound `call' by spirit, and what is entailed in walking this path.

He notes in his introduction that he is a "small shaman" understanding that shamanic knowledge is a lifelong quest, where one's full powers are achieved in old age.

James differs substantially with the New Age (or neo-shamanism) movement in profound ways.He understands his commitment is to serve the traditional communities who keep these traditions alive for humanity; he further understands his own personal responsibility to his mentors, who have shared their knowledge with him.

Too often in our contemporary moment, there is a rush by some to embrace "spirituality" as a commodity. In this sense, spirituality and neo-shamanic practices in particular, are seen as nothing more than a path to personal prosperity and happiness.

As James succinctly notes in his narrative, a shaman is chosen by spirit for a specific commitment to his or her own community; in this regard the `call' a shaman receives is to service to others, and not to one self. I suspect that the `call' any prospective shaman receives to take up this healing art and requisite commitment to training is understood by Spirit to also posses the required maturity to serve others selflessly.To further understand the call, is to also understand the sacredness of the indigenous world view and its connection to the land itself as a nexus to the ancestors who abide upon the land at the service to the continuity of the people. This relationship between the living, the ancestors who have passed over, and the land is critical to the entire meaning of indigenous identity. When broken, the stories die and pass from the living font of the tribe.

James notes many interesting anecdotal stories of his own experience working with indigenous healers, elders, and sages, who have kept the stories and traditions alive. One of the functions of keeping these stories alive is the vast diversity of the art and its keepers. As James notes retelling a story of a question posed to a friend about something he did not understand in a ceremonial function:

"He casually explained that shamans all have different levels of knowledge and experience. Even the wisest and most experienced shamans didn't know everything that another shaman does, or even all the myths and histories of the people. That is why there are multiple shaman leaders, or kawiteros, that would always come together at special ceremonies and work together to keep the tradition alive. "

The author also pays particular attention to the maturity of the shamans he studied under noting that they often keep silent or speak briefly to the point; they avoid participating in community gossip, and are role models representing the best of human character traits. He discusses the differences between authentic shamanic power, and what it is not. He describes the various ways one is chosen to be a shaman and the signs or portends to this end.

In taking up the call, any prospective shaman undergoes a rigorous initiation where the former life drops away, and a new life emerges through intense trails. This is not a calling for the faint of heart, or dilettantes engaged in New Age superficiality.

So the author's discussion on Becoming a shaman is worthwhile and directly to the point.

The discussion on the plant spirit medicine is also profound. Again, as juxtaposed with the New Age movement which is entirely geared toward making a buck, or to create a cottage industry that is ubiquitous through eco-travel; James notes the dishonesty, not only to those who are being defrauded by shame healers, but also how this preoccupation with eco travel diminishes the indigenous communities.

As a case in point, I often visited the Shaur Indians deep in the upper Amazon jungle in Ecuador. On one particular trip, a couple of thrill seekers showed up obliquely with a tribe I had a relationship with through the environmental organization Dreamchange. In a subsequent conversation, these two were giddy and eager to participate in an Ayahuasca ceremony without also understanding the sacred nature of the ceremony.As it turned out, neither had a vision using the medicine and both were disappointed afterword. I later asked the shaman why they did not receive a vision, and was told simply said that "their hearts were not true."

James also notes how different shaman use companion plants with the Ayahuasca, thus the brew is unique to every shaman. He also offers a warning that this is nothing to fool around with, if your heart and focus is not prepared in a good way that also honors the traditional practices. Since the authentic indigenous healers have been working with this medicine for thousands of years, and have a deep spiritual relationship with the plants, it is nothing to be taken lightly or as just another experience.

As I've previously noted, this book is comprehensive in scope and practice. I give it my highest recommendation.James brings to this work a creative spirit will still honoring the traditions and cultures giving them birth. You won't find a better guide or healer from a western perspective that Endready.

... Read more

10. Healing States: A Journey Into the World of Spiritual Healing and Shamanism
by Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D., Stanley Krippner
Paperback: 240 Pages (1987-06-15)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671632027
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A colorful and compelling examination of evidence for the mind's ability to heal, taking a step into the fascinating world of psychic healing and shamanism. 80 black-and-white photographs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Changed my Life
I have strengthened my clarity because of reading this book, I have had to take some action lately and did so because of what don Eduardo tells his apprentices "a shaman knows he can die at any time, so don't leave any loose ends".

There is no perfect life, but there is greater peace, clarity and wisdom.

Thank you to the authors and their efforts to bring the shaman's work out, very helpful and interesting.

5-0 out of 5 stars Healing States
Awesome book and an easy read!I finished the book in one setting I got so enthralled with it. It is an excellent book discussing Villado's experiences with various healing traditions in particular shamanism.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!
This book takes one deeper into the spiritual practice of mediumship and Shamanism. Mediumship and healing is not meant to be separate, and this book teaches that, and teaches the spiritual practice of the healer or true psychic. Much as many do not see or know it, truth this is what we are ment to use our abilities.

5-0 out of 5 stars The trail starts here.
I bought this book shortly after it was published and to this day, I still refer to it.A few years later I was privileged to study many of the healers discussed in these pages with Dr. Krippner in Brazil.It was every bit as amazing as reading about it for the first time.The accounts are factual, described in detail, and skillfully written with academic objectivity.If you are reading this you are probably open to the experiences described in the book but it may lead you as it did in my case, much deeper into the world of healing, alternative medicine, shamanism and good magic.
Carlisle Bergquist, Author of "The Coyote Oak: Burgeoning Wisdom"
The Coyote Oak: Burgeoning Wisdom ... Read more

11. 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

12. Shamanism
by Piers Vitebsky
Paperback: 184 Pages (2001-03)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$12.54
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Asin: 0806133287
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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The shaman occupies a key role as a healer mediating between the world of the living and the world of spirits and is a potent figure in alternative medicine. Shamanism, a richly illustrated guide, looks at both historic and present-day manifestations, from the snowscapes of Siberia to the jungles of the Amazon.

The book discusses visions, initiation rites, shamanic chants, shamanism and mental health, the shamanic use of plants, and the political and social background to the shaman's work. Also covered are the links between the shaman's sense of unity in nature and the recent growth of ecological consciousness in Western societies. *

Includes more than 250 color illustrations that present a unique pictorial record of shamanism in practice and as represented in art and artifacts*

Includes a detailed region-by-region survey of shamanism with full-color maps*

Explores both spiritual and psychological aspects of the subject, as well as the relevance of shamanism to contemporary Western culture ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Author
I own The Shaman writen by the auther on sale from another popular book store here in Maryland, and I found that book to be the best far read. As for this book? I not read it, but it may be re-written of the one I just boughts, which seems no longer publish? Anyway, this author is good writer, and his books are high quality. If this book is the same a The Shaman, it is well worth buy. He explains about shamans all over the world, different beliefs and practive. He covers way morte than so far I read from other books on shamanism.

5-0 out of 5 stars Start here!
Anthropologist Piers Vitebsky, Head of Anthropology and Russian Northern Studies at the Scott Polar Research Institute, has been doing fieldwork among shamanic cultures since 1975. His researches range from Siberia to India to Sri Lanka and beyond. In this book he has provided a clear, non-technical introduction to a badly misunderstood field. Included: bibliographic information (including citations of his own studies) and a glossary. The book begins with a discussion of shamanism and its worldview, moves on to regional traditions, talks about shamanism from the shaman's viewpoint, and ends with a brief discussion of the new shamanic "movements" (fads).

As with "Far Eastern wisdom" reinterpreted and sold by people educated in the West, shamanism has been the target of intense cultural appropriation. A worldwide esoteric spiritual tradition has been diluted into self-help, with guided imagery exercises sold as "shamanic journeying." As Vitebsky notes, "Many forms of neo-shamanism use elements from North American native religions which I have characterizedin this book as not strictly shamanic. In addition...native organizations have started to criticize some of these systems for cultural imperialism or intellectual piracy." It would seem to be a characteristic of the empire psychology so many of us share but do not see that we feel entitled to uproot practices and traditions that grew up in very different societies instead of exploring our own.

A strength of this book is its presentation of shamanism as actually studied in its indigenous contexts. This frees it of the choking layer of common mischaracterizations (e.g., shamanism as dark night of the soul, self-improvement method, or spiritual path for people taking drumming lessons). I often recommend this book in my graduate holistic studies classes because here in California everyone and their mother think of themselves as shamans after attending some workshops and watching a few videos. The real shaman does not decide to become one but is selected from a long shamanic lineage by imaginal guides ("spirits") whose manifestations vary across cultures. The selectee then works as a shaman if he or she survives the initiatory illness (some do not). Nobody who has lived through the illness would choose to walk it as a spiritual path. It has nothing to do with self-improvement, and genuine shamans sometimes report feeling wounded by it for decades after enduring it.

Bonuses of this book include the glossy text stock and beautiful photography. Most of the pictures are small, but evocative, especially the agonized expressions of the shamans who appear throughout the book (e.g., pages 10, 58, 65, 98, and 156). The book also discusses the arduous training the shaman will need for a lifetime of dissociating and painful ecstatic trances that (in the shamanic view) hold the energies of the world community in balance beyond the healing work done with an occasional human client.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Quick Reference
This volume provides a good quick reference on the varying aspects and traditions of shamanism. Whilst it doesn't boast the detail of Eliade's Shamanism for example or contain any how to information, it is an excellent introduction for those approaching the subject for the first time. It is beautifully illustrated and does provide enough pointers to guide you in the right direction. It is supplemented by a good bibliography and a list of contacts (although how current the latter are I don't know). Taken for what it is, an introductory text, the book achieves its goal admirably. In my opinion it is also a useful supplement to Eliade by countering the dryness of Eliades text. In summary a readable introduction to the topic.

3-0 out of 5 stars An interesting look into Shamanism
Vitebsky may have not put together a masterpiece with this book, however there is a multitude of excellent information within its pages.The book covers shamanism cross culturally, so you get a taste of shamanism in Siberia (where it first originated) Africa, South American, North America, and many others.Some of the information in the text may be a little dated or flawed, but if you are someone who is just getting interested in the area of shamanism I highly recommend it.The text is easy to read, has vivid pictures, isn't too dry or boring, and doesn't spend an exorbitant amount of time on any one thing in particular.In short it's a fun and interesting educational read.

1-0 out of 5 stars a perfect example of "don't judge a book by its cover."
i was assigned this book as a text for a course on shamanism at my university.the cover is eye-grabbing and colorful.i was excited to crack this book open.

i was horribly let down.

...first of all, it's completely disorganized.vitebsky jumps all over the place and can't seem to make a coherent point to save his life.

secondly, the material is seriously flawed.vitebsky shows virtually no signs of firsthand fieldwork; instead, he relies on outdated ethnographic accounts and mircea eliade's work, which are both flawed in and of themselves.several bits of "information" presented along the way [a reference to the bering land bridge migration, which has very little basis in actual fact, and a short anecdote about the "berdache," a term that is frightfully offensive to native peoples, among others] made my jaw drop at the ... poor scholarship shown in preparing this text.

the only upside to this book is that it's very colorful and has lots of nice pictures.it may make for good collage material, but as a serious text on the subject, it's worthless. ... Read more

13. 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
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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

14. 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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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

15. 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$34.99
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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

16. Shamanism (Quest Book)
by Shirley J. Nicholson
Paperback: 318 Pages (1987-05-01)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$4.00
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Asin: 0835606171
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Jargon-free information about shamanism, ESP, dreams, and magical healing. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Nice Overall Read
I'm not quite sure how to categorize this book. Its really a nice little collection of brief essays concerning Shamanism in some way shape or form. I believe no few of which appeared in Shaman's Drum (a wonderful magazine in and of itself). There are alot of names you'd expect to see in such a book: Mihaly Hoppal, Joan Halifax, Mircea Eliade, Michael Harner, Serge King, etc. Overall thats a pretty broad scope there, from New Age neo-shamanism to social scientists, so you get a variety of perspectives.
Each article contributes something else to the overall books. There are articles about shamanism and madness, the ecstatic state, ESP and other paranormal phenomena as relating to shamanism, dreams, the question of whether shamanism is archaeic or modern, Native American prayer pipes, shamanism and Theosophy, the role of shaman as adventurer (filled with info on traditional African and Hawai'ian culture) and so forth. Other articles focus in on specific traditions, so that we get articles on the Tamang Shaman of Nepal, Australian aboriginal medicine men, and perhaps most unusual of all an article by Rabbi Yonassan Gersham on Jewish Shamanism, interperting Prophets from Ezekiel to the Baal Shem Tov (founder of the Hasidic movement) as shaman. There are also a couple articles on famous healers such as Rolling Thunder and Wallace Black Elk (who is actually more New Age pseudo-Shaman than anything else).
Overall, this is a very nice book to read, especially if you are interested in history, religion, archaeology, anthropology or so forth. The articles are all relatively short and easy reads, and many of them present some very unique perspectives. Overall worth getting. ... Read more

17. Journeying : Where Shamanism and Psychology Meet
by Jeannette Marie Gagan
Paperback: 192 Pages (1998-03-02)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$6.92
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Asin: 0964208806
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Journeying not only shows the commonalities shared by shamanism andpsychology, but expands on inherent healing possibilities when their forces are joined. This bookoffers informed insight as to how the practice of journeying weaves into the psychologicalperspective, as well as providing those who know little about shamanism an enlightened view.

Journeying is the term used to describe a shaman's movement into an altered state ofconsciousness to obtain healing information. Psychology, like shamanism, works to alleviatehuman suffering and makes use of altered states in a variety of ways including guided imagery andhypnosis. Shamanism, the oldest healing tradition known to humankind, springs from natural,intuitive, and spiritual sources. Psychology, a relative newcomer on the Western scene, relies onlogic and science.

In bringing these two healing disciplines together, the author illustrates how variations onthe practice of journeying strengthens the psychological process. The true heart of this book restsin the application of journeying to the healing of emotional wounds--wounds that occur whenparents are unable to sufficiently bond with their infants. In such healing journeys shamanic poweranimals and spirit helpers provide nurturing not previously experienced, softening edges ofneediness and desperation that sometimes feed adolescent and adult aggression.

Journeying beats a fast-paced path to the alchemy of psychological transformation inwords easily understood by practitioners and lay persons alike.Amazon.com Review
Jeannette Gagan's Journeying is a must-read for thosewho are interested in shamanism but have been turned off byfuzzy-headed mystical claims or sloppy exposition. In thiswell-written and eminently useful manual, shamanism, "perhaps theoldest form of practical spirituality in the world," is explained in astraightforward, scholarly manner by a respected licensedpsychologist. Gagan succinctly summarizes the procedures,philosophies, and purposes of modern psychology, illuminating thecommon areas occupied between the two. She builds a strong case forthe introduction of shamanistic journeying into the retinue of healingmodalities for the modern psychotherapist. For those intent on healingthe psyches of themselves or others, shamanism may well work whereother modalities have failed. For example, long-repressed anger can beprocessed while journeying without fear of upsetting the neighbors, orone day awakening to the horrible realization that you just kicked thedog. --Randall Cohan ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

2-0 out of 5 stars Nothing new to offer
Gagan has written a book from a psychologists perspective on the benefits of the shamanic journey. She gives un-necessariy historical essay-type background to basic psychological theories such as attachment, and discusses how psychology and shamanism both come from the same intention, to heal. However the book doesn't really go into depth on the shamanic journey at all, there is no methodology given, no map, no exercises. I was disappointed with this book as it claimed to "marry shamanism and psychology" yet nothing new in this area was offered, no tecnhiques, no examples of how she handled specific cases. She described what is already known as the shamanic counselling process, renamed it "Shamanic Psychotherapeutics", yet did not say how a psychotherapist could add to the shamanic counselling experience. She says that psychology has science to offer shamanism, yet she doesnt not elaborate on this idea.Overall its a book where a classically trained psychologist discovers shamanism and shares her new wisdom with the world. In her blurb on the back she says she is a student of shamanism, which in itself is telling. This book is an introduction to the concept of a shamanic journey to people who come from psychology backgrounds but unfortunatly, it does not do what it claims to do on the cover, which is to give a "daring and pioneering template for healing". You'd be better off reading Harner or Ingerman for a more practical approach.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ges's Take
Jeannette Gagan is a psychologist, who while dealing with her divorce discovered Shamanism, and over the years has come to recognize Shamanism's value as a psychological healing system. She takes an agnostic approach to the reality of Shamanic visions, at times leaning to them being internally generated and other times believing there is something at work beyond the individual, but either way, they are healing. The book starts with "This is neither a self-help nor a how-to book" and it is true, this book isn't a how-to on Shamanism with a psychological twist, and it isn't how to use Shamanism as a self-help tool to deal with your problems. What the book is though, is a serious and intellectual look at Shamanism as a tool for mental wellness, largely focusing around power animals, and soul retrieval. It helps to be familiar with psychology and the counselling process to make use of the book, but I don't believe it would be necessary. There is a lot of focus on the traumas that can arise in earlier childhood (before the age of four) and examples and theory on how Shamanic journeying can help heal the wounds of childhood, as well as any other point in your life. The book talks about Journeying as a method to safely explore, and express pain, emotions, and wounds, and how psychology and shamanism are working toward the same goal, but from different angles. An intriguing read for those interested in either or both of those fields.

4-0 out of 5 stars Apples and Oranges --Shared Slices
As a trained psychologist, Jeanette M. Gagan, writes lucidly about the her own personal spiritual journey to wholeness through shamanic practice. By comparing apples (the shaman's fruit of choice) and oranges (the psychologist's fruit of choice), Dr. Gagan succeeds in answering the following questions:

1. How does the shamanic tradition bring such potent healing power to wounds incurred in the earliest months of life? and
2. Could journeying provide a release valve for the violence so rampant in our world?

By contrasting the two traditions historically, Dr. Gagan, underscores the slices of each fruit that can be shared.Central to finding common ground are the notions of altered states of consciousness, imagery, and the Jungian alchemical processes to healing.

Throughout her story Dr. Gagan weaves in carefully chosen vignettes from her clients' journeying, and explains how these experiences transcend verbal therapy and succeed in achieving transformation.

--A very convincing and readable book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A shamanic practitioner's viewpoint
Having experienced the shamanic path directly and then going back for a degree in psychology I found this a good book for helping the psychological community understand the shamanic path of direct experience. Too many people who are facing a spiritual opening (possibly shamanic) are medicated out of the experience because of the professional's limited viewpoint of the shamanic experience and/or the fear of the unknown.

I caution that the shamanic path cannot be catagorized or analyzed, it is fluid and changing; it is chaotic in nature-if you don't know "the way". I suggest that if you are a professional go out and journey for yourself, explore the path, draw your own conclusions.

5-0 out of 5 stars Review by Bernie P. Nelson
'Journeying' combines the oldest healing tradition with present-day psychology. The book provides a dynamic, vital model for healing and psychological growth for anyone interested in self-improvement. The information is highly understandable at the meeting point of shamanic animal symbolism, including the psychotherapeutic experience of altered states of consciousness-'journeying,' and psychology. ... Read more

18. Healing with Form, Energy, and Light: The Five Elements in Tibetan Shamanism, Tantra, and Dzogchen
by Tenzin W. Rinpoche
Paperback: 176 Pages (2002-05-25)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$10.00
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Asin: 1559391766
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In the highest teachings, the elements are understood to be the radiance of being and are accessed through pure awareness. This book offers the reader healing meditations and yogic practices on each of these levels. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Healing perspective from Bon Master
Although it's difficult to understand the nature of mind, This book worth to be read by all Vajrayana practitioner to broaden their perspective toward Bon teachings.

5-0 out of 5 stars very nice
The amount and quality of information in this book is staggering. There is something to be said for a tradition that goes back for many centuries, a tradition that has combined a sophisticated 'energetic technology' with an established ecclesiastic hierarchy that weeds out charlatans and pretenders. Although Native Americans, Lapps etc have similar 'technologies'you will be lucky to get 5% of the info described here from an NDN - first, he doesn't want to talk about the stuff ('too sacred') and second, he doesn;thave a language for it. Tibetans, on the other hand, have developed a vocabulary (much of it sourcing from Abhidarmic texts) that clearly, precisely and unambiguously delineates various types of mental/physiological/psychical etc states and can be used to navigate tricky transpersonal domains as well as to develop greater, more effective and satisfying life. In other words, the Tibetans have developed a solid, unified, empirically tested container with appropriate safeguards.

The book starts by describing the properties of the 5 elements and their relationship to the human psyche.TWR goes on to describe breathing and visualization exercises designed to embody particular elements and their relationship to energetic channels & chakras. Analysis of different types of elemental spirits. Very helpful depictions of working with natural forces, tantric deities, protectors and dzogchen practices. These blend together, seamlessly. Techniques on taking in, holding and releasing tension. Methods to release every negative experience into a more spacious, embodied experience. These techniques are not in the service of self; getting rid of personal suffering is simply an expedient way towards serving all beings, to helping with the awakening of the Universe.

It is rare to find a book on shamanism that is so concise, informative and selfless. Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars For the Shamanic at Heart
If you have a shamanistic bent this book is jam packed with the kind of useful information that usually requires an apprenticeship to acquire.It is one of the three most practical books I've encountered.If you play around with the practices and hints in this book you will experience amazing wonders in a very short time.Through two practices in particular you might even recognize the basis of your mind or be visited by deities.Don't think for one more minute, just buy the book and do the practices for the ride of your life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Learn To Think Like A Tibetan
Forgive me if I respond first to the review below that said "watch out! This isn't Buddhism!"What that person doesn't know is Tenzin Rinpoche's books are usually prefaced by the Dalai Lama--that's how accepted this is as a legitimate spiritual pathway.This isn't like western religions where diversity means you have to burn somebody at the stake.Everybody is openly accepted for what of value they can offer and Bon has a very alive dzogchen transmission that is second to none.Sorry for this digression.

Anyway, what I liked about his book--other than the fact that Tenzin Wangyal is tops in the Tibetan community in his ability to communicate clearly with westerners (you'll be amazed)is the fact that this book is kind of a lesson in how Tibetans think--which is not required certainly, but if you are studying Tibetan spirituality and are really serious it's something you will find helpful.

LIke his book on Dream Yoga it is extremely readable and is something you can digest with no forehead massaging.I have met Tenzin Wangyal and he is a really good person and nice guy and I always remember in the sleepy period after lunch him chuckling looking out at the sleepy group and saying, "It's earth-element time."

This is a painless way to fill in a gap in your attempts to understand the culture and spirituality of Tibet.

5-0 out of 5 stars good reference book
If you have a basic understanding of other five element practices, this book is a great resource to round out understanding from the Tibetan Bon teaching.It also covers what in TCM are the Jing, Qi and Shen levels of the Bon approach.Very clearly and openly.I thoroughly enjoyed the author's writing style and felt the generousity of spirit in his writing.But remember that information does not make a practice, only a practice makes a practice. ... Read more

19. 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$1.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 002864364X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
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

20. Ecstatic Religion: A Study of Shamanism and Spirit Possession (Volume 0)
by I.M. Lewis
Paperback: 216 Pages (2003-01-30)
list price: US$35.95 -- used & new: US$31.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415301246
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
States of spirit possession, in which believers feel themselves to be 'possessed' by the deity and raised to a new plane of existence, are found in almost all known religions. From Dionysiac cults to Haitiam voodoo, Christian and Sufi mysticism to shamanic ritual, the rapture and frenzy of ecstatic experience forms an iconic expression of faith in all its devastating power and unpredictability. Ecstatic Religion has, since its first appearance in 1971, became the classic investigative study of these puzzling phenomena. Exploring the social and political significance of spiritual ecstasy and possession, it concerns the distinct types of functions of mystical experience - in particular, the differences between powerful male-dominated possession cults which reinforce established morality and power, and marginal, renegade ecstatics expressing forms of protest on behalf of the oppressed, especially women. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
Although this book is written of a higher educational level, it is still understandable, and well written. The book is very informitive, but is mainly of science minds, who don't know much about the real world where spirits do exist. What the book does point out is that it gives much knowledge of faked possession or believed possession, but it is uncertain if any of these possessions were in fact real spirit possessions at all, since we are not them so how can we know if these possessions is in fact real or not? As a psychic, I know what is real and what is not, and know full blown possession is very rare compare to the lesser possessions which are controalable.

As a wisdom seeker, I can say this is a good book. I will not say I agree 100 percent what others believe, for such has to be experienced in order to know if possession is real or not, other wise it is more of self belief that truth. In fact, possession has many levels, and the most common is in fact the ego. Which open the doors for spirit influences. I not getting into any new age belief all possession is real, for even new aga only knows of beliefs than experience, therefore I can't say all possession is, for any one can fake it, or believe to be possess, but only those who are wise and not believers, would know if one is truely possessed or not. Which only some psychics had experience, but also would know the difference of possession and emotional imbalance.

It is interesting to know how possession is used by many cutures, and how there seems to always be a blaim game to the cause of the possession and conflicts. Seems none knows about laws of karma? But this book is excellent for study.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ecstatic Religion: A Study of Shamanism and Spirit Possessio
I. M. Lewis's Ecstatic Religion is probably the most important place to begin study of the fields of spirit possession and shamanism. This book has deeply influenced the study of these fields of research since it was first published in 1971. Like most anthropologists, Lewis seeks to determine thesocial etiology and meaning of possession as well as its culturallydetermined psychological dimensions. He seriously examines trance, ecstasy,hypnosis, and shamanism, ultimately concluding that the latter shares animportant process with possession-a reciprocity between gods and humans. Hedevelops two contrasting psychosocial loci of possession which he labels"central" and "peripheral." Central possession, highlyvalued by some, supports prevailing political, moral, and religiousbeliefs, and views spirits as sympathetic to these. Peripheral possessionindicates an invasion of evil spirits, undesirable, immoral, and dangerous. Lewis's work, while much cited and admired, has also been the target ofextensive criticism. Perhaps primary among these criticisms is that hisdistinction between centrality and peripherality becomes highly ambiguousupon close contextual analysis. A second criticism is that many possessionstates do not share with shamanism the essential feature of reciprocity. Athird criticism is that although Lewis is largely free from Westerncultural biases, his characteristic terms "ecstasy" and"ecstatic" are drawn from Western theological discourse andcannot be applied unhesitatingly to many possession accounts. Lewisdescribes ecstasy as "those transports of mystical exaltation in whichman's whole being seems to fuse in a glorious communion with thedivinity" (15). This is similar to only a fraction of possessionstates observed in throughout the world. A fourth critique, and perhaps thesharpest one, is his association of possession with marginalized people,his assumption that possession provides the powerless with a means tosymbolically express social, economic, or political oppression. While manyof the contexts of possession worldwide seem to confirm this, thepreponderance of the evidence inmany countries bears this out in only themost superficial manner, possesssion, trance channeling, etc., have becomeincreasingly middle-class phenomena. Nevertheless, this a veryimportant and valuable book. ... Read more

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