I think that I am wary about books relating to shamanism being part Native American. Too often these books purport to be able to make you a shaman in 10 easy steps and so it was with hope for a difference that I picked up the copy of Path of the Shaman and began to read right from the beginning what I knew would be a different book. Dispelling the modern myths about shamans, Anna Franklin teaches from the first words on the first page that what has gone before is a twisting, a changing of the truth about shamans. She then delves in to some very personal stories about people called to this path and each of their personal numinous experiences. Having disabused us of our preconceived notions, this helps us understand more deeply just what she has been explaining though example. Her section on changing consciousness is precise. It may not sit well with modern neo-pagans to be confronted with such un-PC methods of altering the mind but she only scored bonus points with me for doing the right thing in not sitting in the 'bunnies and light' camp. She goes on to explain more about ways of beginning your journey of travelling the cosmos before introducing us to the world of spirits. Breaking down and explaining the world of spirits, she makes this section accessible to most readers but be aware - to someone brand new to all this you may get slightly left behind. She progresses to an excellent chapter on animal powers and thankfully follows it with a section on their often ignored counterparts - plant allies. She pulls no punches in this section and all plants are investigated. With recipes for flying ointment, trance incense and shamans tea among others, this book does not pull any punches. After the preparation of the knowledge for the journey, she leads us in to the final chapter on shamanic practice. I was moved beyond words by the beginning of this book. It reminded me of my traumatic numinous experiences which I have studiously tried to forget. It woke in me those vestiges of that path which I did not wish to traverse. I learned more, understood more and recognized more than I had before. This is a serious book and does not seem intended for the lighter, politically-correct (PC), fluffy, crystal-weenie pagan that so many of today's books are aimed at. Franklin assumes the reader has a brain and is able to do side reading and is not reliant on the book as the oracle of all knowledge. --http://www.newmoon.uk.com
About the Author
Anna Franklin is the High Priestess of the Hearth of Arianrhod, which runs teaching circles and postal courses, as well as a working coven, a company of archers and the annual Mercian Gathering, a Pagan camp which raises money for charity. She regularly speaks at conferences, moots and workshops around the country. She lives in a village in the heart of England, where she grows her own herbs and food, and tries to live in harmony with the earth. Now a full time writer, Anna is the author of many books on witchcraft and Paganism, including the best selling Sacred Circle Tarot and The Fairy Ring Oracle [Llewellyn], Midsummer, Lammas, Fairy Lore, Herb Craft, Magical Incenses and Oils, The Celtic Animal Oracle, Personal Power, The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Fairies [Anova], A Romantic Guide to Handfasting, Familiars, The Oracle of the Goddess, Hearth Witch and The Path of the Shaman. Anna s books have been translated into nine languages.