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3.1 out of 5 stars
By Oak, Ash and Thorn: Modern Celtic Shamanism (Llewellyn's Celtic Wisdom)
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2001
This book seems to be like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it. I must say that i love this book. I am an experienced shamanic practitioner and i must say that this is one of my favourite books on shamanism. I find it excellent for begginers and long time practitioners of shamanism. It would seem from reading the previous reviews, that the main people who did not enjoy the book, were people who practice Wicca, however shamanic practitioners claim to have enjoyed the book alot. Maybe if you do Wicca you would be best not buying this book, however i would warmly reccomend this book to anyone who practices shamanism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2014
There is quite a lot of interesting historical information/deductions made about shamanism in the Celtic legends, and the book gives various useful techniques which could be described as shamanic. I liked the different visualisation meditations, but these were described as the 'only' way of meditating, which is not very useful for beginners (I think when learning meditation its important to learn simple breathing methods as a foundation).

The main downside was the way the wording of the book seemed to suggest that the instructions she gave were the 'right' way of doing things or the 'only' way of doing things. Thats what I mean by being too rigid.

This wouldn't be a good book for someone who has never read about or practiced shamanism, meditation or magick, because the reader would not get a very balanced view of the topics. However, for someone more experienced or well read, who can understand that the view she puts forward is not something that must be rigidly followed to the letter as she describes it, it could be a useful source of inspiration, and another way of viewing shamanism which could be added to previous knowledge already gained.

Reading other books on shamanism alongside this is important to get a balanced view. I'd recommend 'The Way of The Shaman' by Michael Harner, and for the wiccans, 'The Shamanic Witch' by Gail Wood, or for a more academic perspective, the works of Mircea Eliade are very useful.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 1998
To check out how well-researched books actually are before you buy them. This book was historically inaccurate, with fantastical notions thinly disguised as "Magick". I should have known better than to buy a book on Celtic paganism from an author that publishes books on every other "brand" of paganism as well. She is a good writer, and the pictures are pretty, but the content belongs more in the "fiction" department than anywhere else. A better place to start: "Circle of Stones" by Erynn Laurie.
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on 24 April 2015
I bought the book because I liked the cover and the description but once I started reading it I realised a mistake had been made. It has very little "real shamanism" in it.
The meditations are nice and pleasant but that` s about it. I believe more research should have been done before the author wrote the book as she seems to know little about shamanism. There` s more Wiccan and fantastical stuff in this book than anything else. For anyone interested in shamanism, I wouldn` t recommend this book. Nothing against the author herself but it is clear she knows more about Wicca than anything else and the book has more of a fantastical flair than real Celtic shamanism (or Druidry which seems to have been ignored)
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 1999
First . . . I regret that I can give this book no fewer than a single star, as it certainly deserves worse.
While the concepts were interesting, I had one main objection: that the shaman in practice MUST believe in an all-encompassing, universal spirit god.
Conway . . . stick to writing about what you know about . . . namely Wicca.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 1998
I have a vast library of magical books, but this is my favourite. I was stunned to find I agreed with D.J. Conway's philosophies, and that is a rare thing. I have purchased copies for my close friends, and they have enjoyed it no less than me. It is the best of the two known Celtic Shamanism books available, to my knowledge, and can help one considerably. One must, however, approach this book with the desire to apply it. Even if you have not that desire, purely reading this piece should give it to you! Everything in this book can be practiced alongside any religion or tradition.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 1999
This book seemed to be unfriendly and restricting. I felt it made Shamanism seem like a one way path. If you are dedicated only to Shamanism and have tried other books this might be of interest to you. Otherwise, leave it on the shelf.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 1999
well this book is either truely hate or truely love as shown by other readers and I must say I truely love it it is well done and easy to read with beautiful drawings I will be honest I do not know how authentic it is but I do know it worked for me so to me that is all that really matters so if you like celtic magick I reccommend this book it is easy to read where so many others are quite dry and is good the second or third time aswell enjoy
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 1997
My need was for a book that gave me a sense of practical shamanism with a celtic feel and was also very approachable. I also wanted a book that presented itself in something other than stuffy scholarship, but stayed well grounded. Conway's book certainly fulfilled my needs. This one stays on the bookshelf.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 1999
This book is an incredible tool for changing the way you look at the world. The further I progressed through the book the more personal change and growth I experienced. I truly felt moved by the meditations. I would not recommend this book to those who get so wrapped up in "historical" accuracy and those things which exist only in the world of Abred. If you strive for personal growth and spiritual attainment- BUY THE BOOK!
Nicholas Fry, Druid
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