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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2013
I have read a little about shamanism in the past and having walked very regularly along the deer (and other animal) pathways, this book appealed to me.

Elen Sentier has a wonderful way of communicating the history and essence of our inter-connection with nature and 'Mother Earth'. The book softly puts us in our place amongst (and certainly not above) the animals, plants and minerals etc., explaining how we all make up the cycles and flows of life-energy which our ancestors were much more closely connected to - and which much of modern life has lost touch with. There is a peace in this understanding and an important message for humanity.

The book is wise, up-lifting and written with kindness and spirit. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in reconnecting themselves with more Earthly things than the materialistic, worryingly unsustainable lifestyles that most of us find ourselves in today.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 22 October 2013
This book is a weaving, wandering tale incorporating the author's own experiences alongside historical information and background info on some specific parts/places in the North of Britain. There are gems of insight and inspiration scattered within, however I often found it difficult to reach them as the text in between could be less engaging. The ordering of the chapters and sections is a little sporadic, with the most interesting bits (in my opinion) towards the end when clearer detail is given regarding the author's path and how the reader could begin to follow in similar footsteps (or trods).

I wouldn't say this is a very clear introduction to Elen, but then again it doesn't promise to be. It felt as if there was an assumption that the reader already has an understanding of what 'Elen's Ways' are; but if you already have some experience of this Goddess or similar traditions it is possible to follow regardless.

What this book is however, is is a varied chronicle of the experiences and opinions of the author whose relationship with Elen is deep and clearly well established; inspiring for those already walking the deer trods.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2013
This book is not big but is packed full of insightfulness and wisdom. Archaeology, ancient history, spirituality and modern life are all in this little book, from the ancient Boreol Forest that covered a large proportion of the Northern hemisphere to the tribes that still follow the deer trods, be they the Sami people and their reindeer or the Native tribal people in North America or Canada. You can feel the connection with our ancient ancestors of this part of the world, when reading the book. Most enjoyable, especially if you enjoy walking in the woods and forests. I would definitely recommend this to anyone Pagan who lives in northern realms.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2013
Enjoyable and informative read for anyone wanting to understand our native traditions. I would like to read more of Elen Sentier's work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2013
A good book written using a practical approach, with the author at first offering her perspective from some historical literary sources before going on to detail her own personal experiences that formed her own personal practice. The writing style is easy to read and to relate to. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 October 2014
Exactly who were the people whose carvings of stunning beauty were crafted with such remarkable skill13,000 years ago? Elen Sentier opens her delightful exploration of shamanism, with an artefact depicting swimming reindeer, indicating a maker with the cultural understanding, time and motivation to produce a work that can only have an artistic and possibly sacred meaning. The beauty and intricacy of the carved mammoth tusk suggests a sophistication not usually associated with those scraping a living during the last ice-age. With this fragile work we start, with Elen, to walk the Ways of Elen, the silvery threads of a history not quite forgotten but generally overlooked.
Like the reindeer who walked the Boreal (northern) Forest that encircled the globe from western America to Eastern Russia, we take a journey sometimes personal and sometimes mythical following the ‘deer trod’. Elen writes with great fluency and often movingly about the hunter gatherers who – far from struggling to survive – often had more time than those whose more settled agricultural existence would later keep them working from dawn to dusk, often near poverty. She gradually evokes a world, within, behind and before our current era, a world marked by dolmens, old roads and sacred landmarks, where Elen - the Goddess Energy - leaves her traces. Like the Sami, we follow the wisdom of the grandmother deer who guided the reindeer herds, never controlled by those tribes who followed them, teaching which deer to take in the hunt and expecting gratitude in return.
This is a book to savour. We often walk with the author, and in places like the far north of Britain perceive her world and enjoy her discoveries as though we were there. It is a gift to teach to see the world with fresh eyes, a world hidden and ever present. Elen Sentier has that gift and that is why this is such a significant book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2014
Highly recommended as a corrective in a world where loss of connection with nature (and thus spirit) is so prevalent. Elen Sentier describes herself as “awenydd, a spirit weaver and tale keeper from a long family lineage”. The word is from British Celtic tradition, but it is being used to name a quality of being extending back much further in time, and of universal application. “Walking the deer trods is to learn how close we are to nature … how we are connected to anything whether or not it appears inanimate and this is what the awenydd knows”. The presiding spirit of this path is the elusive deer goddess Elen, Elen of the Ways, who the author encountered as a young adult, thereby entering a lifetime of service to her. This book is about both context and story of this service, an invitation to “open yourself to Elen’s complex, multiple and beautiful ways”.

Elen Sentier takes us back to an archaic northern world in which most people lived by following herds of reindeer on their migrations – following rather than leading or managing: the deer decided when and where to go. She evokes the culture and spirituality of this relationship, describing a hunter gatherer society that once lived well without private property or long hours of work. She talks about communities that understood reciprocity and interdependence and lived by a practice of gift-giving and receiving both in the everyday world and that of spirit – themselves seen as hardly separated from each other. She sees this as a culture of sensitivity to all life, including the interconnectedness of “what you eat and what eats you”, and alive to the energies of the land itself.

The book traces this history through iconography and myth – with the figure of the antlered female reindeer goddess standing for the Sovereignty of the land. It also describes “journeying” as a here-and-now practice for being in a natural settings, tuning in with respect, entering relationship, and with a minimal reliance on the human technologies of satnavs, compasses and maps. Here is nourishment for spirit, available if we are.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2013
Interestingly refreshing. Leads you through non- gushy journey. Elen feels as though she had true understanding of our sacred past. Excellent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2013
I love her writing she carries you away to the other worlds in a very accessible purposeful and enjoyable way
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2013
For a small book, a lot of information. A lot of it I already knew, but I gained a fresh perspective, and brought together many threads I had been following.
Sometimes stuff in modern life gets in the way of things we should be doing......
Excellent book.
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