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Singing the Soul Back Home: Shamanism in Daily Life (Earth Quest) Paperback – 2 Feb 1995

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thorsons (2 Feb. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852306165
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852306168
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 474,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hello! I'm Caitlin Matthews. I live in Oxford, England with my partner, John Matthews. If you want to know more about our courses, events and forthcoming books, you are cordially invited to visit us at

Here I am in a stone-built farmhouse on Orkney that uses a similar construction for beds and cupboards as the Stone Age village of Skara Brae. The peat fire is smoking and the saithe herring are curing nicely. Time for a little dusting of the dresser. Why don't you come over for a cup of tea?

I'm primarily known for being the author of many books including Singing the Soul Back Home, Mabon and the Guardians of Celtic Britain, Psychic Shield, and Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom. I write in the fields of metaphysical non-fiction, poetry, fiction, folkstory and myth, as well as writing books for children. I'm known for my research into the Celtic and ancestral traditions, and the ways in which I provoke exploration of the creative metaphysical field, and how we can apply it to our spiritual path.

With John Matthews, I've written the Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom, the Arthurian Tarot and Walkers Between the Worlds. Our latest collaboration is the StoryWorld series of cards and books for storytellers of all ages, which now has seven packs - two more titles to come in Autumn 2010.

Although I'm the author of over sixty books, most of my work is oral rather than written. As a teacher of ancestral, shamanic and metaphysical traditions, I go all over the world, working with communities and spiritual institutions. With John Matthews, and my dear colleague Felicity Wombwell, I co-founded The Foundation for Inspirational and Oracular Studies, which is dedicated to the mythic, oracular and sacred arts. Our FiOS shamanic training programme teaches students the ancestral wisdom and healing arts as living sacred traditions in which we still engage.

As a singer, I play Celtic & medieval harps, sruti and psaltery. My CDs include Deep Well in the Wild Wood: Songs from the Place Beyond and the latest, Earth's Own Heart: Songs from the Faery Hills appears soon. I was the Pictish language originator and song-writer of Song of the Exile for the 2004 Jerry Bruckheimer film King Arthur and I appear frequently on international radio and television.

For the last 20 years, I've had a shamanic practice in Oxford dedicated to healing soul sickness and ancestral fragmentation. I use my voice to help open the way between the worlds, to sing the soul's essential nature, tracking it through the client's story and bringing it homeward, with the help of spirit allies who have chosen to work with me.

I'm currently working on Rekindling Ancestral Hearths: a book to help us come into good relationship with our ancestors. I believe that being in communion with our ancestors and gifting spirits is essential for the wellbeing of our world, and lies at the root of war and peace. I'm also completing the Celtic Ancestor Oracle and going on to a book on Celtic Seership and Vision.

For new readers of my work, there is no 'one book' that conveys all that I teach, but the following practical books may be a helpful guide for you to begin somewhere:

Walkers Between Worlds - for a grounding in where our spiritual traditions arose.
Singing the Soul Back Home - for a guide on how we come into come relationship with our gifting spirits
Celtic Devotional - for a post-denominational way of spiritually acknowledging each day and season
Psychic Shield - for those who need a friendly guide to how the universe and ourselves rub off each other and how we can do it more harmoniously with attention to the care of the soul.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Caitlin is a true Shaman, in all ways and a brilliant teacher and mentor.
'Singing the soul back home' changed my life and set me free.
I love her and shall until the end of time. John C
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By Sarah on 19 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent introduction to what is a whole way of being and looking at life & the Universe. Caitlin has such integrity, and truly "Walks her talk", thoroughly reccommended.
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By Bernie Rowen on 29 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
Caitlin Mathews has described shamanism in an intelligently and she draws the reader into the 'otherworlds' with ease of description and great imagination.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A Practical Reanimation of Animistic Practice 21 Aug. 2001
By Frank MacEowen - Published on
Format: Paperback
Singing The Soul Back Home is a refreshing and approachable introduction to shamanism for people who have not encountered the practices and cosmologies of 'walking between the worlds.' What is perfected in this work from cover to cover is the blend of personal account (Caitlin's own childhood), with a thorough yet heartful introduction to shamanic cosmology. Fleshed out with plenty of practices and "permissions" for people to approach a revisioning of how they perceive the world around them, Singing the Soul Back Home does exactly what its title suggests. It deserves to sit alongside other works in shamanism, such as Harner's The Way of the Shaman and Tom Cowan's Shamanism As A Spiritual Practice for Daily Life.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
An excellent primer on Shamanism 22 May 2000
By Irma K. Sawyer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. I also recommend it to my Shamanic Healing students. Though the Matthews' have a background in Celtic Shamanism, practitioners of all paths will find this book useful. This book covers all the important aspects of Shamanism from spirit helpers to soul retreival and divination. I highly recommend it!
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
grounded-in-groundlessness compassionate reliable authentic 8 Oct. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
and though she warmly mentiones harner and ingerman, i think she does a better job at helping the reader...why? because she DOES come from a "tradition" or trajectory (albeit, celt-britain) and not from a clinic. she successfully balances the practices as a hybrid-"core" shamanism...true, for some this book may still seem "light" but then shamanism isn't about tripping out and hanging in a drum circle with didgeridoos etc. such is cool...but we are talking about life (cosmic and comic) and she brings in compassion...that we are not just collecting allies etc...journeying isn't for everyday...(though perhaps yes if you allot a time, are in rehab?!) etc...but in general, this book provides a balance to the--hopefully--complexly balanced person...this goes right along with pema chodron's own focus on the deep wisdom of the sad heart. from there, you can journey/sit and do what you must for yourself and thus do ALOT more for others, earth and back to yourself. 4 stars because nothing is perfect. but yes, i can keep myself open to the neo-shamanic movement...but with respectful suspicion. let "them" help "those" who may need it...perhaps harner and co. are unknowing tricksters...i don't know!! namaste ah HO!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
excellent book - best read with a buddy or in a group 20 Jan. 2013
By Doug Velez - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been a spiritual seeker for all my life. Now in my 50's I got into a group of 6 people with a teacher and we read this book. My spiritual journey has been absolutely revolutionized - having a spirit guide (or two or three or more!!!) can teach you things that are SO perfect for you, that you could never hire a counselor who would have the wisdom to know. I gave it 4 stars only because I don't know how I would have gotten through it without a group of people. This book will introduce you to the three spiritual realms: the underworld, middle world and upper world, and your personal spirit guides and power animals that will guide you through each and protect you. It's like taking a brief tour of a whole new continent - that you know you need to come back and explore endlessly.
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