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4.6 out of 5 stars43
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 20 July 2006
This is the single most important book on shamanism written by the man who knows the most. Michael Harner is an anthropologist working in this area for 50 years. A slim book with a concise exposition of "core shamanism" the basic common methods developed by peoples throughout the world. The techniques work and the basic journeying method to lower and upper worlds can be learned in a weekend workshop. If you want one book on shamanism - this is the one.
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on 10 November 2003
The original and, along with Castaneda's books, to be thanked for the resurgence of interest in shamanism. This has only recently been added to my bookshelf, and to be honest, I found it to be a bit dated.
An excellent "beginners guide", although you can't beat experiential practice, for core shamanic process. The global similarities between differing cultural practices have been laid bare by Harner et al. and form the basis of this "new" shamanism.
If you are unable to find a teacher to teach you, then this is THE best way to explore the processes of journeying and seeing. It would be sensible, however, to tread carefully and follow to the letter what Harner writes. There is good reason why he is considered an authority, and his advice is to be respected.
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on 19 August 2010
I first read this book a couple of years ago. I am not quite sure why I bought it but I had a sudden desire to learn more about Shamanism.

The beauty of the book is that it is immediately accessible for someone with no-prior knowledge of Shamanism (although an open mind helps). It follows a logical path, each step and chapter explains new topics clearly and with a perfect amount of information for a beginner; enough so that you are learning but not too much that you could get confused.

I have just finished reading the book again, and remembered how much I had enjoyed it the first time. I didn't want it to end and it has inspired me to take further steps in to shamanic practices.

I thoroughly recommend this to anyone who has an interest in Shamanism and wants to learn the basics principles.

I would advise to buy a cd or mp3 of shamanic drumming to go alongside the book so that you are able to make full use of the techniques described as you read the book. If you were as captivated by me as the book you will read it in a couple of days and want to start making steps immediately.
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on 14 September 2009
To My Friends, Students, and Colleagues,

I wish to alert you to the fact that a new edition of my book has just gone on sale by my publisher (HarperCollins) without my awareness or permission. The title of this new edition is The Way of the Shaman: The Definitive Handbook, please do not be misled into buying it. This unauthorized book is simply a smaller-size version of the 1990 HarperCollins edition of The Way of the Shaman (which has no subtitle) with a new (unapproved) subtitle and new cover (see cover image, right) that contains errors and an outdated Appendix A. As Obama said about the Wall Street crisis, perhaps this is what happens without adult supervision. In any case, I had nothing to do with this misleading publication and am in the process of seeing what can be done to halt further distribution.

This OR (ordinary reality) stuff is really weird! Back to NOR.

All the best,

Michael Harner
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on 14 March 2001
A comprehensive, compelling insight into Shamenism and it's ways, teachings and the lessons to be learned from their simple and yet strangely structured lives. Beautifully written, Harner shows true empathy for the subject and makes every situation and occasion seem as though happening before your very eyes. This is a book for those either following-up a previous interest yet simple enough to follow for the uninitiated. A riveting read from start to end. *****
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on 26 September 2010
I liked the calm down to earth approach to a practice that can seem scary and dramatic to a novice.
Michael explains several methods of experiencing aspects of reality which one might otherwise never consciously encounter,and shows how these other dimensions might be beneficial.
He is clear and forthright about the dangers of such techniques and how to avoid them.
It gave me the confidence to try a journey with a drumming tape.. it was very enjoyable.
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on 16 January 2003
I thought I would write a review of this book basicly because the methods described in this book work. Harner explains how he has adapted South American Indian shamanic methods for just about anyone to use. If your interested in this subject then buy this book.
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on 14 March 2001
A comprehensive, compelling insight into Shamenism and it's ways, teachings and the lessons to be learned from their simple and yet strangely structured lives. Beautifully written, Harner shows true empathy for the subject and makes every situation and occasion seem as though happening before your very eyes. This is a book for those either following-up a previous interest yet simple enough to follow for the uninitiated. A riveting read from start to end. *****
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on 1 March 2016
I have long respected Shamanism and the wisdom of the ancient tribes most of which we ignore in the Western world today. I was interested to learn more and purchased this book thinking it would throw some light on this ancient Practice. However sadly this was not the case. The book focuses on the complex and sometimes rather self-indulgent rituals that that seem to have little relevance to making the connection with nature and our precious Mother Earth, a connection now totally lost by so many of us living a Western way of life. Half way through a thought struck me: rather than continue to struggle reading this book close the pages and walk out into nature: feel the sun on your face, listen to the birds, hug a tree and lovingly embrace all that lives on this Earth as kindred living spirit. Simple! No ritual needed, a true connection is made and my respect for those ancient tribes that did the same is maintained......
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on 19 February 2008
This subject can appear mysterious and 'dark' to the layperson. I found this book straightforward and clear in information concerning the rituals and their meanings. A really good book for the beginner!
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