For those who have been searching for years for a copy of Caitlin and John Matthews' "The Western Way", omnibus edition, which was the compilation of the two prior western tradition magical works "The Native Tradition" and "The Hermetic Tradition", here is their definitive work revised, rewritten, and updated. The Matthews stand as two of the premier writers and practitioners of Western Tradition magic and native "shamanic" modalities, within a Celtic framework. Along with serious Western Tradition practitioners and writers such as Gareth Knight, who wrote the forward for their original works, and R. J. Stewart, who collaborated with John Matthews on quite a number of books, the Matthews have written an intriguing manual for practitioners, leading you on a journey to the Otherworlds, and leading you back safely.
As a shamanic practitioner trained in the Harner method, as well as a Druid with the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, I can assure you that the practical principles Caitlin and John Matthews instruct in this tome are well worth the time, energy, and effort of those serious about magical and shamanic work. "A rose of the West should not seek to bloom like a lotus of the East", as the pioneers of formalizing Western Tradition have said, referring of course to Dion Fortune, Christine Hartley, William Gray, Gareth Knight, Israel Regardie, and others. This is not to disparage Eastern mysticism at all, only indicates that Eastern mysticism and practice is geared for the Eastern mind. Many people of Western cultures study Eastern practices, unaware that within their own Western cultural heritage there exists a lineage of spiritual and mystical traditions that are every bit as effective and enduring as the Eastern traditions.
Drawing from the myths, stories, poetry, ancient writings, and resources, the Matthews provide ample background to substantiate a legacy of Western magical and native traditions left to us by the giants who have gone before us. The Eastern mind and psyche is more attuned to the stillness, the still center, and simply being, while the Western mind and psyche is better engaged in activities and interactions with beings who habitate the many Otherworlds, as well as with our own Higher Self, and with our guardians and guides. These interactions can range from various divination methods, intuition, automatic writing communications, augury, scrying, inspiration, or actual verbal, aural, or thought-exchange interactions with beings. One can access otherworlds and walk therein, at will, with one foot in each world, hence the title of the book.
Considering there are organizations of medical doctors and other health care professionals who are now actively studying and practicing shamanism and shamanic techniques, in the USA and elsewhere, what was once a small and eclectic group of indigenous practitioners around the world has blossomed into thousands of people from all walks of life, called to this type of work and exploration, for whatever reasons. This book by the Matthews, whether one is drawn to Celtic shamanism, traditions, or magic, or not, can only help to enrich one's understanding and experience of shamanism and magic.
The practical exercises that were the hallmark of the earlier books remain, with enriching and updating as needed, but the structure of the prior works remains intact. I kept my omnibus edition of "The Western Way" even though most of it is incorporated within "Walkers Between the Worlds", for sentimental reasons, because it was the first book I ever read that was such a "synchonious" experience for me, one of the "Ah-ha" moments of my life, that I cannot let it go. It served me well when I was called to assist my late mother in crossing over to the Summerlands, and I took her on a journey to the Underworld so that she wouldn't be afraid of passing over, and she found it beautiful. That was prior to the "Walkers Between The Worlds" edition. All the important material and exercises from "The Western Way" were kept in the Walkers Between The Worlds" book.
Gregg Braden, author and speaker, has said that Mayan and other indigenous teachings refer to this time in the world as the time of the "Walkers Between the Worlds", and this has some significance to the year 2012, perhaps as a time of increasing and accelerating Earth vibrations.