What 'Easy-to-use Shamanism' presents is a workable system of neo-Shamanism suitable for westerners in an increasingly everyday urban environment. I admit I'm not too well versed in Shamanism (in terms of only having a shallow understanding of it) but I was interested in learning more as my path incorporates certain techniques inherent in Shamanism.
Jan Morgan Wood has created a lovely piece of work that combines various cultural influences and animistic practices. The artwork in the book is absolutely beautiful, to describe it here would do it an injustice. For the shamanic art work alone this book is worth every penny! Lucky for us the information in the book itself is wonderfully expounded and set out in a clear and concise manner. The only thing I would say is that some of the ritual instructions were a little sparse, the book does assume one knows something of entering altered states and travel into the Underworld. So some would find a few of the exercises difficult because they are unaware of the linguistics of ritual and altering consciousness -- I think the book needed a little more on this, and perhaps a little more explanation as to who or what 'Sky Father' and 'Earth Mother' are. I suspect the writer referred to them as the dualistic spirit of nature.
Whilst 'Easy-to-use Shamanism' can seem a little like a 'coffee table book' on Shamanism, it possesses real spirit, indeed one can tell it was written with great love and reverence for the universe. In essence this books represents an easy liveable system of natural animism to live every day; like Earth Mother it's beautifully rich and spiritual.
The authors goes into various subjects such as spirit guides, the Medicine Wheel, how to contact tree spirits and stone people as well as how to create a relaxing haven in ones garden and how to live life in an animistic way. She also describes cleansing using herbs, the use of stones and crystals and the significance of the elements.
Another book to read in conjunction with this one would be Spiritwalking: The Definitive Guide to Living and Working with the Unseen by Poppy Palin who was very influenced by this book; Palin manages to extend the teachings of this book in a more legnthy fashion -- indeed I think if one is going to pursue this path 'Spirit Walker' is a far more politically correct label than 'Shaman' as the latter denotes something specific to various ethnic cultures. Something westerners have no claim to. Enjoy!
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This is the book written & illustrated by Faith Nolton (who changed her name from Jan Morgan Wood) It's very good indeed. Not at all contrived. Not dogmatic. Not about taking drugs (unlike so many others).. not making dubious claims, but good solid sound principles laid out in an incredibly easy to read style. I ordered this from Amazon and after 12 weeks and several emails deferring the delivery date I bought it second hand from Amazon in immaculate condition. Thoroughly recommended especially for people who find visualisation difficult as the illustrations are so stunning.
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Jan Morgan Wood has changed her name and is now called - Faith Nolton.
Her paintings are wonderful and there is another book of them called 'Gardens of the Soul'. Both books are also full of 'Medicine Wisdom' and shamanism from a deeply honest practitioner of these spiritual paths.