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J. Farrer (UK)
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Post-Tribal Shamanism: A New Look at the Old Ways
Post-Tribal Shamanism: A New Look at the Old Ways
Price: £5.62

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but . . . ., 10 Mar. 2014
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The Author brings up many, many valid points about shamanic practice in contemporary western society. Indeed, the first half of the book is informative, interesting and lays some good foundations. However, when we move into the 2nd half of the book where instructions are given, it becomes clear that the journey place which the author calls 'The Lodge' is his own personal experience. This in itself, if offered as such is acceptable and I have no doubt that beginners may well find it possible to be taken on what is essentially a guided meditation but I wonder how long it will be before conflicts arise within those following this very specific journey method as their practice evolves? Although the author does mention that everyone will perceive The Lodge in their own way, still the instructions of how to act within The Lodge are very specific such as feeling the wall (what if where I journey to has no wall?) or finding the door in that wall.

It may also be problematic to define the length of time taken to journey since different people will find their own pace and timing depending on their Spirits, their heritage and what they are journeying for. In several cultures a shaman can journey for hours not just minutes and so again, being too specific about time may well work at first but could hamper people as their practice deepens.

Don't let my concerns put you off reading this book, it has a lot to recommend it and is clearly written from a place of personal authenticity and honesty of the author. Simply be aware that nobody can tell you 'how it is', they can only give you the tools to find out for yourself so if a tool starts to hold you back, make a new one.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 17, 2014 10:50 PM GMT


Balkan Traditional Witchcraft
Balkan Traditional Witchcraft
by Radomir Ristic
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and interesting, 25 Feb. 2012
There is a sizeable hole in the ethnographic literature regarding shamanic and witchcraft practices from the Balkans through to Western Europe and although there is academic quality literature available it rarely tends to be translated into English so this peek into practices in this part of the world is invaluable. This book starts to address the deficiency in pagan information from the Balkans. The author makes some clear correlations between earlier shamanic systems and traditional witchcraft in the area whilst clarifying the distinctions and progression which have naturally occurred also. The section on Initiation is most interesting in this regard covering, as it does, varied reports from rural people who had no contact with each other or education about such things as initiation yet despite this and the seeming uniqueness of their experiences, they all basically started their education in a similar way.

Although the book covers the tools of the trade, sacred trees, plants and other material aspects of their belief, it does not go into sufficient detail as to offer the entire system or tricks of the trade to the reader which thankfully leaves the deeper, working practice available only to those who already have initiation into such mysteries. However, it does allow a delightful taste of the basics which correlate so clearly with other similar practices across Eurasia.

Other than a few typos, this is a wonderful book for the bookshelf of anyone interested in witchcraft and pagan healing practices.


Fire in the Head: Shamanism And The Celtic Spirit
Fire in the Head: Shamanism And The Celtic Spirit
by Tom Cowan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched, 21 Feb. 2012
An elegant look at typical shamanic practices evident in classical Celtic liturature and surrounding documentation. For anyone seeking their Western European pagan spiritual roots, this book makes a good start and looks at the similarities between shamanic styles of understanding and practice as offered in the Celtic texts and those of existing shamanic cultures found elsewhere in the world.

I found the book engaging and a good jumping off point for further research via the extensive reference section.

If I had to find a fault it would be the inclusion of a reference to the 'Ring-a-ring of roses' children's song attributed to the black death now that scholars of Folk songs debate the link. Otherwise it is welcome to stay on my bookshelves for many years to come.


13 Moons: A Journal of a Natural Witch
13 Moons: A Journal of a Natural Witch
by Fiona Walker-Craven
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Natural and Intuitive, 16 April 2010
From the outset, the author offers us a natural and intuitive way to approach sacred work as a solitary practition of the old Witchcraft ways in the UK. A purely common sense approach which is like a breath of fresh air. Even though one reads through each month and may well feel that all this is obvious, it needed to be said.

I love the honesty, humour and straight talking which is more like a conversation with a good friend than a dry tome of old knowledge. A joy to read.

There are some books which will remain highly sought after because they truly demonstrate a clear, honest knowledge without pretence and this is one of them. Not the best quality of binding but then it is a paperback.

If you trust your own instincts, follow the trail of breadcrumbs and find yourself looking at 'native UK' magical traditions, then this book is a must. If you require the certainty and security of a system such as Wicca, then perhaps this may not be the right avenue for you.


Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic, and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman (Arkana)
Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic, and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman (Arkana)
by Malidoma Some
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unvarnished truth, 8 Nov. 2009
Marvellous, heart-rending, joyful and intensely moving, If found it hard to put this book down. This book should be compulsory reading in Western High Schools.


Riding Windhorses: A Journey into the Heart of Mongolian Shamanism
Riding Windhorses: A Journey into the Heart of Mongolian Shamanism
by Sarangerel Odigan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In depth but easily understood, 10 July 2009
Riding Windhorses gives us a unique view into the beliefs, Deities, history and methods of Mongolian Shamanism. Sarangarel, who sadly passed away in Feb 2006, was a tireless amabasador for Mongolian Shamanism, teaching and opening up this ancient healing system to de-mystify it and make it more available to all. This book shows her committment to that goal and manages, through plain English, to both retain the Mongolian names and meanings whilst offering an easy understanding of the how's and why's.

More of a reference book than bedtime reading, as a student of shamanism, indigenous cultures, spirituality or religious practice, this book offers accurate, first hand knowledge by someone who actually lived and fully understood what she wrote about.


Entering the Circle: The Secrets of Ancient Siberian Wisdom Discovered by a Russian Psychiatrist
Entering the Circle: The Secrets of Ancient Siberian Wisdom Discovered by a Russian Psychiatrist
by Olga Kharitidi
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lessons worth remembering, 10 July 2009
The author manages to sucessfully combine her contemporary medical understanding with ancient healing methods. Through the narative of the author's personal experience, the reader has the opportunity to walk alongside the author's memories and witness a personal miracle for themselves.

I found the teachings, (both obvious and hidden) within the book, both confirmed and expanded my own understanding.

There are many profound lessons in this work which have made a difference to me personally and I thank the author for sharing her experience with us.


Soul Companions: Conversations with Contemporary Wisdom Keepers - A Collection of Encounters with Spirit
Soul Companions: Conversations with Contemporary Wisdom Keepers - A Collection of Encounters with Spirit
by Karen Sawyer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre, 28 Feb. 2009
It's a real shame to say this since I know several of the people who gave their life stories for this book but to be honest, there is such a lot of flaky information and poorly researched (if researched at all) comments that it really is one to prop doors open with rather than opening any doors of perception itself.

Sorry.


The Sacred Power of Huna: Spirituality and Shamanism in Hawai'i: Spiritual Light in Hawaiian Shamanism
The Sacred Power of Huna: Spirituality and Shamanism in Hawai'i: Spiritual Light in Hawaiian Shamanism
by Rima A. Morrell Ph.D.
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Huna is really all about., 9 Nov. 2008
I borrowed this book from the local library, read it twice and have now purchased it. If you are interested in Huna - this is the book, if you are interested in Shamanism or a personal, spiritual search - this is the book.

Well written, beautifully researched and the inclusion of the author's own experiences pepper the information she offers with a deep, personal insight into how Huna has developed and where it is today.

The beauty of this book lies not so much in style of writing but in the depth of information offered through the conscious use of language which is, of course, perfectly apt given the subject.


Midwife for Souls: Spiritual Care for the Dying: A Pastoral Guide for Hospice Care Workers and All Who Live with the Terminally Ill
Midwife for Souls: Spiritual Care for the Dying: A Pastoral Guide for Hospice Care Workers and All Who Live with the Terminally Ill
by Kathy Kalina
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.23

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Knowledgeable and caring, 7 Aug. 2008
A very compassionate and caring account of how the Author has learned to develop hospice work and the care of the terminally ill beyond the obvious physical comforts.

The information in this book is clearly well rooted in personal experience and demonstrates the author's deep compassion for both the patient and learning from each experience. This makes it a valuable guide for those considering or entering into hospice care who wish to do more than simple bodily care. The spiritual experience of dying to this world and being born to the next is one which this book adequately covers though greater research into how other cultures and belief systems approach the issue would have been beneficial.

The only concern I do have regarding this book is its heavy leaning on Catholic/Christian ideology. There are whole sections of the book which I had to skip because I don't actually believe in that particular religious dogma. There are also some strong beliefs put forward regarding Euthanasia or assisted dying which although they are the strong beliefs of the author, may not have a justified place in a book of this nature.

Taken as a whole, the book is a worthwhile and valuable read but if you come from a spiritual background which is not rooted in the Christian faith, you may find areas which not only do not correspond to your views but actually detract from the overall message.


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