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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
9
4.7 out of 5 stars
The Spirits Are Always With Me: True Stories and Guidance From A Modern Shaman
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on 8 May 2017
My first book on Shamanism and I found it very informative and fascinating. Great book and I highly recommend it!
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VINE VOICEon 24 August 2003
Shamanism is a much over-used and under-valued word in our spirit-grazing society but Jane Shutt's grounded, coherent description of life lived under the guidance of her shamanic spirit guides does much to strip away the fluff, the mystique and the overlay of cultural dross that is beginning to cloud the field in this country. This is not a 'how to' book but more a, 'this is how it is for me' and as such, she makes an excellent job of describing the practical requirements for a life lived under spirit guidance, the dangers of sloppy practise and the need to find a teacher of integrity who can guide the first few steps before the spirit guides takes over. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the practical realities of the shamanic life.
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VINE VOICEon 24 August 2003
In a field rather packed with men and women who have met mysterious 'native' teachers and become shamans over-night, it's refreshing to find someone grounded, of impeccably integrity who has found ways to connect with the spirits that are accessible to all and don't require that an ancestral teacher materialise from the desert to help.
This is a thought-provoking, inspiring read for anyone interested in shamanic journeying and the possible applications in the outer world.
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on 6 September 2007
Before reading this book I had done a few guided meditations etc that I was told were shamanic. Well, they weren't. Jane makes it very clear that shamanism is no pick-and-mix fluffy new agey activity but a profoundly real,important, powerful and therefore potentially dangerous practice that requires commitment and courage. I was very scared just reading the book in places.I guess a lot of my fear is just having my certainties about the Judaeo-Christian and Scientistic world that I thought I knew swept away. Still I would not be messing with this stuff without a seasoned guide (someone like Jane)and suitable preparations.
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on 29 January 2011
It is refreshing to see a book about what Shamanism is rather than a 'how to'. Many 'how to' books tell you step by step what to do without any real explanation about what to expect or what can happen after you complete this last step. (Rather like a book telling you how to get to Spain, but once you are there.. you are on your own!)

My main question I am left with after reading these (and I should think many others) is 'when you are there.. then what?' 'What IS there to do there?'

The Author tells her own stories, as a long term practicing Shaman, as well as stories of her students just beginning on their own path.

These stories give a real insight into what can happen along the road and does a great job of showing the fun, excitement and knowledge that can be experienced. However, it also does an even greater job of showing the more serious side to Shamanism that I think many other books lack. It is not all abought fun and games and personal growth. There is an underlaying foundation of responsibility as a Shaman to the spirits and world around you. Both in the 'Ordinary Reality' (here in the physical) and 'Non-orindary Reality' (the spirit world).

This book opened my eyes to the fact that Shamanism needs to be approached and handled with respect, love and a sense of dedication and understanding of what you are trying to obtain.
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on 21 July 2013
This is not a "how to" book, and doesn't pretend to be. It's basically a series of encounters by the author with...well... spirits, if you care to believe that, helped by her Teacher (named simply Teacher).

According to the blurb Shutt visits the "spine-tingling Land of the Dead" and "other mysterious layers of existence" and reveals how shamans "use incredible yet effective techniques such as power retrieval" and that we all have our own "spirit guide and totem animals." Whether you accept these accounts as "amazing true stories" or not depends on how you want to see reality. Whether this is shamanistic practice or not depends on your definition of shamanism.

To me it all sounds far too new-agey and not much different from the kind of thing psychics have been doing a long time before westerners became enamoured with (their definition of) shamanism : blocking and unblocking energy, healing people, persuading lost and bewildered or just plain awkward spirits to get a move on into the next world, all perfomed with with the help of a Guide -- often an Ameri-Indian, a wise old Yogi or some entity from Outer Space.

Using a new vobabulary -- Upper and Lower worlds, soul retrival, power animals, etc. -- and rattling and drumming doesn't really alter things than much. I don't doubt the author's sincerity, but I do doubt if this kind of thing really deserves the description of shamanism. Whether you enjoy the book or not will depend on your definition too.
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on 1 May 2012
Jane gives here a very readable and fascinating account of her shamanic practice in the North of England which explains how shamanism can be of benefit to us in our daily lives here in the 21st Century. Very entertaining and a refreshing change from all the traditional shamanic accounts which can sometimes seem rather remote from the lives we live as typical Westerners in the UK. Highly recommended.
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on 20 March 2013
This is the most grounded, authentic, insightful introduction to shamanism on the market - I recommend it to all my students when they begin to journey as a down to earth look at what shamanism can be like day to day, and the scope of it's applications.
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on 10 December 2013
Jane Shutt's The Spirits are always with me" is an important read for anyone interested in shamanic healing work. It is (luckily) not a "how to do book, but it gives the reader a clear insight in the depth and the challenges that shamanic healing work entails in a much deeper way than any other book I have read on the subject.

In this book Jane shares some of her most profound experiences as a shamanic practitioner and teacher. Her stories may serve both as inspiration as well as a reminder that shamanic work requires knowledge and should never be taken on lightly. It also gives examples on how shamanic healing may be helpful in situations where conventional medicine or ordinary psychotherapy fails to address the "core" issue. Highly recommended for any healing practitioner, especially those with some experience of their own.
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