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The Shamanic Way of the Bee: Ancient Wisdom and Healing Practices of the Bee Masters Paperback – 6 Jan 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Destiny Books; 2 edition (6 Jan. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594771197
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594771194
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"Simon Buxton’s unusually wondrous tale combined with his exquisite use of words brings radiant life to an ancient shamanic path: the Way of the Bee. Delve into the mystery with Buxton--the story and teachings are brilliant!” (Sandra Ingerman, author of Soul Retrieval and Medicine for the Earth)

"Written from the heart and soul, this book deserves study by all serious students of spirituality. While it is shamanic in aspects of presentation, ritual and belief, the wisdoms contained therein are ancient beyond time and applicable to all traditions." (LIGHT, the journal of the College of Psychic Studies)

". . . this title offers a unique insight into the arcane knowledge of our ancestors and the hidden gifts of the honeybee." (Victoria Earle, Caduceus, Spring '06)

“In this authoritative ethnography and spiritual memoir Simon Buxton, an elder in the path of pollen, reveals for the first time the richness of this tradition, its subtle intelligence; its sights sounds and smells, and its unique ceremonies which until now have been known only to initiates. The Shamanic Way of the Bee is a rare view into the secret wisdom of this age-old tradition.” (Embody Magazine, October 2013)

“. . . brings radiant life to an ancient shamanic path.” (Sandra Ingerman, author of Soul Retrieval and Medicine for the Earth)

“We search the exotic and distant for transformative secrets, well-being and healing. But are we perceptive enough to receive the gifts from the humblest of our own gardens? No matter. Simon Buxton has walked this path, from the primordial to the present, and freely grants us the exquisite treasures contained within The Shamanic Way of the Bee.” (S. R. Harrop, chairman of the department of anthropology, University of Kent, England)

“A fascinating story of one man’s journey into the shamanic realm and ancient wisdom.” (Oriah Mountain Dreamer, author of The Invitation)

“An exquisitely written, powerful, and important book. It reveals for the first time a European form of shamanism and healing magic that arises lucidly and sweetly from the natural world immediately around us--the extraordinary details of which we so often overlook.” (Brooke Medicine Eagle, author of Buffalo Woman Comes Singing)

"Written in a beautiful, lyrical and poetic way, with personal vignettes, anecdotes, and sacred teachings which, in a way, are reminiscent of the Sufi tradition but with the hard edge of realism characteristic of the Keltic Way--the Way of the Hero. This book is an absolute must-have addition to any serious collection of shamanic wisdom.” (Sacred Hoop magazine)

"This book is like having a backstage-pass into the actual secret life of bees. Bee Master, Simon Buxton, takes us on his shaman's journey that unveils a tradition that has been held sacred for thousands of years. After reading this book, I felt I had been initiated into the ancient feminine mystery of sacred sexuality." (Tori Amos, Performing Artist)

“Every now and then there is a book that is not only well thought out but well thought of, one that dares to offer ancient wisdom for the modern spirit. Simon Buxton's The Shamanic Way of the Bee is such a book. It offers a brilliant and timeless perspective while tantalizing the reader with a splendid, eloquent, and comprehensible presentation. A leading voice in shamanism, Simon Buxton has given us a truly remarkable book, one that is destined to withstand the test of time and lead us further down an ancient path in contemporary times.” (Ken Eagle Feather, author of On the Toltec Path)

“Simon Buxton's much-awaited debut is set to revolutionize the way we see European native traditions. This is a compelling read with elegantly chosen words that convey complex spiritual truths in a beautifully simple way. The Shamanic Way of the Bee promises to become a shamanic classic.” (Prediction magazine)

"As Simon remarks in his fascinating and inspirational book, sometimes we have no choice but to lie still, so that we may become a speck in the universe and drink in the nature of the world. I call my soul to be present, to witness the power of European shamanism and my friend’s journey with the honeybee. Ometeotl." (Elena Avila, MSN, RN, Curandera/Aztec shaman healer and author of Woman Who Glows in the Dark)

"...a rare book that reminds us that we are surrounded by magic, that even the most mundane aspect of our world overflows with magic....Simon Buxton joins the ranks of my favorite shamans and my favorite writers with this groundbreaking book." (Michael Peter Langevin, Magical Blend, March 2005)

“Simon Buxton is a man with genuine miracles to impart, taking us inside a remarkable hidden world of wonders and magic. If you buy only one book this year to help you on your path toward Truth, make sure it’s this one.” (Ross Heaven, author of Vodou Shaman)

From the Back Cover

SHAMANISM / SELF-HELP ." . . brings radiant life to an ancient shamanic path." --Sandra Ingerman, author of Soul Retrieval and Medicine for the Earth Bee shamanism may well be the most ancient and enigmatic form of shamanism. It exists throughout the world--wherever in fact the honeybee is exists. Its medicinal tools--such as honey, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly--are now in common use, and even the origins of Chinese acupuncture can be traced to the ancient practice of applying bee stings to the body's meridians. In this authoritative ethnography and spiritual memoir, Simon Buxton, an elder of the Path of Pollen, reveals for the first time the richness of this tradition: its subtle intelligence; its sights, sounds, and smells; and its unique ceremonies, which until now have been known only to initiates. Buxton unknowingly took his first steps on the Path of Pollen at age nine, when a neighbor--an Austrian bee shaman--cured him of a near-fatal bout of encephalitis. This early contact prepared him for a later meeting with an elder of the tradition who took him on as an apprentice. Following an intense initiation that opened him to the mysteries of the hive mind, Buxton learned over the next thirteen years the practices, rituals, and tools of bee shamanism. He experienced the healing and spiritual powers of honey and other bee products, including a "flying ointment" used by medieval witches, as well as ritual initiations with the female members of the tradition--the Melissae--and the application of magico-sexual "nektars" that promote longevity and ecstasy. The Shamanic Way of the Bee is a rare view into the secret wisdom of this age-old tradition. SIMON BUXTON is a beekeeper, the British faculty for Dr. Michael Harner's Foundation for Shamanic Studies, and the founder/ director of The Sacred Trust, a U.K.-based educational organization dedicated to the teaching of practical shamanism for the modern world. He lives in England and teaches internationally.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It's extremely rare to witness a true initiatory rite of passage, but this book is a sustained account of just that, and in an area that has never been revealed to those outside the tradition. The erudition and anthropology supporting the account is solid, but it's more than that. It's a personal account of the author's experiences as a boy and a young man, who endures the surprises and awe of true initiation. This makes it a personable read. Simon Buxton is not only an elder of the shamanic bee cultus; he's a born storyteller with the ear of a poet. Once he grounds you in the material events of ordinary reality, he begins the cross-over through the veil into extra-ordinary events. It's important that his poetic skill is strong because those events need a strong metaphoric tongue to tell them. Indeed, the reader needs a developed sense of metaphor to perceive the truths at the heart of these mysteries. Yes, it's as much a challenge for the reader as it must have been a test of the writer to bring them out. A first reading grasps the narrative. A second reading perceives the myth. A third reading gets to the spirit. Such depth in a book, I've not seen in a long time. If you can hold all three levels in one reading, bravo!
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Format: Paperback
It `s not often that I feel compelled to write a review of either a book or a CD, unless I find them truly worthy of praise - but such was my enjoyment when reading this book, and the obvious validity of this man's story concerning his apprenticeship within a shamanic tradition that is actually still practised within Britain today, and so I felt compelled to share my thoughts, on what is a something of a 'Treasure'. Especially as it is so unusual to discover a book that is not only a very worthy read, whilst proving enlightening, but has the subject matter and writing style to inform, inspire and move the reader.
For those familiar with other books detailing apprenticeships within a shamanic tradition - such as Castenada, it is all too easy to either see them as having little to do with real life, or as something we could never have access to. Which is why I was surprised and inspired by Simon Buxton's The Shamanic Way of the Bee - because of the way he relates his story not only is it totally believable, but is written with a real sense of the beauty, poetry and a passion that I'm sure most of us aspire to have in our lives.

The author not only skillfully and gradually leads us into the hidden world and depths of what on the surface is referred to as bee keeping, but he does so in such a way, that one moment he is describing the colours and fragrances of his teachers garden, the next he is relating the means by which it is possible to stop time. And he manages to do so without being overly wordy or academic, but having a real sense of the beauty and simplicity that he discovers within this shamanic tradition.

The key events are described with great lucidity, and it is very easy to find oneself almost being present.
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The key question to ask yourself when a book comes your way is do I have an appointment with this book, what it contains and what it may hold for me? Such is the question that may arise when this book enters your life, for Simon Buxton's The Shamanic Way of the Bee is a beautifully written multi-dimensional work in the esteemed genre of esoteric spiritual autobiography that details the many layers of reality and experience that are often found on the path of initiation. The book is part of a long lineage of stories of spiritual experience from both ancient and contemporary cultures. If we allow ourselves to re-view (literally, to 'see again') Buxton's book, we re-member that the awe-infused tales of shamans are in themselves healing stories, stories that heal, and by that function they open doorways for us to find our own way toward whatever healing we too might need. They also allow us to begin to imagine how we too might be changed should we dare to believe in our true heart-desires and, using our will, step through the open doorway into our own sacred story. The Shamanic Way of the Bee is an exquisite telling of one man's sacred story.

As a female practitioner in training with teachers from the distaff or female side of the Path of Pollen, I have been taught practices that Buxton writes of in his book, such as working with the lemniscate or figure of 8; meditation upon the Hexagramma Mysticum, the divine hexagon; oneiric or dreaming work; and many others. Body practices, meditations and disciplines such as these have been taught from ancient times to the present in many spiritual traditions throughout the world.
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Buxton's book was enthusiastically recommended to me by a naive friend who seemed to think it had something to do with authentic British spiritual traditions. I should have trusted my first impulse and never opened it at all, as its sensationalising approach could not be more at odds with the subtle energies of the bees and the deep wisdom they hold for us. At least Lynn Andrews and the author of the fictional Mutant Message Down Under were eventually taken to task by outraged Native Americans and Aborigines, whose teachings they had grossly distorted. But when are the real bee-keepers going to speak out about Buxton's glamourising approach to this potentially soul-nourishing topic?!! Anyone who know a dedicated bee-keeper will realise that their typically gentle and unassuming path of service in cooperation with bees is a world away from the sexualised and narcissistic fantasy that Buxton calls the Path of Pollen(!)

The ancient wisdom associated with the bee undoubtedly deserves more attention at this time, when the creature's very survival is in question because of modern pesticides and our misguided over-exploitation of the bee's skills in pollination and honey collection. But that looming crisis doesn't seem to interest Buxton much at all. There are rumours that the book was ghost-written, and it certainly received a very sceptical review in Shaman's Drum. So try to apply a tad of discernment when approaching the Shamanic Way of the Bee. Just because it's now being exploited yet again, in this publicity-seeking fiction, doesn't mean the bee isn't the guardian of precious spiritual truths. If you are really interested in the spiritual significance of bees, I recommend 9 Lectures on Bees by Rudolf Steiner, or the excellent study of world-wide bee folklore by Hilda M Ransome.
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