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The Spirit of Shamanism [Hardcover]

Roger N. Walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: J P Tarcher (April 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874775620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874775624
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,048,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


An account of Shamanism giving a psychological overview of this ancient religious practice. It evokes the training, techniques, expriences, states of mind and healing practices of the tribal Shaman relating them to their social context. It also describes their contemporary relevance. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic overview of the subject of shamanism 25 Feb 2013
By sjd510
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Roger Walsh surveys the subject of shamanism with deftness and insight that makes this authoritative work more readable than many recent popular works on the subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I have read on the subject to date 26 Jan 2011
The above review says it all really. I just felt it apt to say that I agree with it completly. So far, it has been the best book on shamanism I have read, partly due to the balanced yet positive view it takes on the subject without being another new age polemic.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An accessible book from a psychiatrist's perspective 1 July 2003
By Candice Bradley - Published on Amazon.com
The Spirit of Shamanism is a psychiatrist's look at the essence of shamanic practices. Robert Walsh covers such topics as the shaman's initiation, accessing the spirit world, healing, psychedelic drugs, and New Age adaptations. Although Walsh looks across the broad range of the shamanic experience, the most interesting sections of the book deal with the topic of his expertise: mental illness and psychological health. He explores such questions as 1) whether shamanic initiation and trance states are psychotic or schizophrenic; 2) the difference between trance states and mental illness; and 3) the effects of music, trickery and the placebo effect on healing.
On the negative side, Walsh has a poor opinion of anthropologists, yet he relies heavily on the work of anthropologists who are marginal in the anthropological community. Many of his resources are outdated. The book is not very deep, yet this makes it accessible to just about anyone. It doesn't "feel" like it's written by an M.D./Ph.D. -- Walsh slips easily into New Age thinking -- yet, again, it's accessible.
This quasi-scientific book is good for anyone interested in knowing more about the psychology of shamanism. It's well-written, the chapters are short, and it's easy to understand.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beware! Older edition not the same! 23 May 2009
By P. Childers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
6 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entheogens: Professional Review 1 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
"The Spirit of Shamanism" has been selected for listing in "Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments: An Entheogen Chrestomathy." [...]
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