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Thread: Recommended Shamanism Resources Thread

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    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Recommended Shamanism Resources Thread

    So I thought that it might be a good idea for us to have a thread in here to share recommended books, websites and other resources. Because lets face it... there's a lot out there, and not all of it is overly useful. So please post up your favourite resources, with or without an explanation...

    I'll start with some of my favourites...

    Academia:

    'Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy' by Micea Eliade
    This is the first book on everyone's recommended reading list, but I have to warn everyone that it's tough to get through. 500 pages of pure academia, though the writing style is not too dry (an easier read than say, Ronald Hutton or HR Ellis Davidson). Packed full of useful historical information. There is a reason it's on the top of everyone's list... if you can afford it (or borrow it), give it a try.

    'Shamanism' by Piers Vitebsky

    A lot more accessible than Eliade, wonderfully illustrated, well laid out and still packed with well rounded historical info. Also much more affordable than Eliade. If you only attempt one academic book on shamanism, this is a good entry. He has several other works, but I like this one as a starting point.

    'The World of Shamanism: New Views of Ancient Traditions' by Roger Walsh.

    I believe this one has gone through several name changes, but this is the copy that I bought many years ago. A well balanced and readable look at historical and modern shamanism from a psychological view rather than purely anthropological.

    General Non Academic:

    'Soul Retrieval' by Sandra Ingerman.
    Core-shamanist look at soul retrieval via some case studies of Ingerman's clients. Beautifully written, emotive and sensitive.

    'Trance-portation' by Diana Paxson
    Core-shamanist work on trance and 'journeying'. Ironically, Paxson is a seidhrkona and Heathen and in other works is not core-shamanist, but this one is distinctly core-shamanism. The Otherworlds are treated as an internal landscape where nothing can harm you, which is true for the exercises she presents and for the target audience, but is not true for the external Otherworlds and hence a little frustrating for an experienced shamanist. In general an excellent beginners book for altered states of consciousness and working in what I call the Innerworlds.

    'Wightridden: Paths of Northern Tradition Shamanism' by Raven Kaldera
    He has a number of books out about Northern Tradition Shamanism but this is most useful one from a general shamanism perspective. A detailed look at different methods of attaining altered states of consciousness, included some lessons, songs and words directly from the spirits and deities he works with. A good look at ASC techniques beyond drumming.

    'Thisworld' Shamanism

    I chose that heading because these sources are excellent for working with landspirits and from a more bioregionalist animism context. It's considered shamanism, but I feel that it's a more specialised form that deals directly with the spirits of Thisworld, almost to the exclusion of the Otherworlds. Bioregional shamanism is a growing movement, and has some exciting things to show us.

    'Ecoshamanism' by James Endredy
    A look at Endredy's personal bioregional practice, written before 'bioregional shamanism' was a recognised subset of the shamanic community. I don't think he actually uses the term 'bioregional' at all (he calls his practice 'ecoshamanism') but when bioregional animism and shamanism hit the community, we'd seen much of it already in Endredy's work.

    'Neolithic Shamanism' by Raven Kaldera and Galina Krasskova
    The name says 'Neolithic' but the reality is that this is a book about working directly with your local landspirits and the spirits of your waterways, forests, mountains, wells and other natural places. It's not a complete system, but a set of exercises and practices that can be adopted by anyone seeking to flesh out a path with a bioregional or local context.

    Bioregional Animism blog. It's a blog, and they are generally harder to use as resources, but this one has some very insightful comments and philosophies about the path.

    A Sense of Natural Wonder blog by Lupa. All her old stuff is archived at Therioshamanism, but she's recently moved away from what she called therioshamanism (which was essentially a mixture of totemism and shamanism) into what is more aligned with bioregional animism (and has lost many of the shamanic elements). The new blog is less useful than the old one, unfortunately, but she still has some interesting things to say.



    So... what resources do everyone else recommend? Favourites, not favourites, comments, discussion... have at it...

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    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    Is it worth linking discussions about any of these books to this thread (thinking of the Neolithic Shamanism thread I started, but can't link cos ForumRunner)?
    ThorSon's milkshake brings all the PF girls to the yard - Volcaniclastic

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    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: Recommended Shamanism Resources Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Heka View Post
    Is it worth linking discussions about any of these books to this thread (thinking of the Neolithic Shamanism thread I started, but can't link cos ForumRunner)?
    Yep, 'cept that I can't edit my post now... so...

    We've had a prior discussion about Neolithic Shamanism (from a Northern Tradition / Heathen view) here.

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    Re: Recommended Shamanism Resources Thread

    It won't happen tonight (because I need sleep soon) but if you collect a list of links/other additional sources and PM me then I can see about updating the OP.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
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    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

    Yoda

    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

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    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    Thanks hunnies
    ThorSon's milkshake brings all the PF girls to the yard - Volcaniclastic

    RIP

    I have never been across the way
    Seen the desert and the birds
    You cut your hair short
    Like a shush to an insult
    The world had been yelling
    Since the day you were born
    Revolting with anger
    While it smiled like it was cute
    That everything was shit.

    - J. Wylder

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    Supporter Jembru's Avatar
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    Re: Recommended Shamanism Resources Thread

    How long have these threads been unlocked? I could have sworn they were, which is why I hadn't been posting like crazy here. Well, thank you to whoever unlocked them. Now time to roll up my sleeves and get posting.

    It's that time of month again when my own private garden at the bank bears fruit, so I'm planning on finally getting myself a copy of Neolithic Shamanism that caught my eye when I first read this thread. It seems like a good place to start for me, saying as I'm currently more interested in 'this world' shamanism, as Rae'ya calls it. Coupled with the area and theology I'm working with, this book seems ideal (I've cast my eye over Heka's thread about the book too).

    That said, I know that sooner or later I will be going in deeper with inner work. I'm taking it lightly for now though, due to my mental health over the last few years. Of course it's a bit of a catch 22 because I know my issues can't be fully addressed without going in deeper, but at the same time I need to be on relatively stable ground before I go there. The conclusion I came to then, is to start on the 'this world' side, strengthening my connection to spirit here, and continuing with the mindfulness/zanshin exercises I'm doing, which really seem to be helping me. I can then use this time to do some research and inform myself before I start moving in deeper with my inner work.

    So I guess my question would be, what are your recommendations for a good over-view of the spirit worlds, and journeying?

    I should maybe mention what my previous reading has been on the subject, as that might give an indication of the quality of information I've had so far.

    My first encounter of modern shamanism was through 'Soul Rescuers' by Terry and Natallia O'Sullivan. I'm not sure the book is still in print, but this is Natallia's home page. The book itself wasn't instructional, but was about their work with assisting souls of the dead to move on.

    Then a friend gave me a copy of Awakening Spirits by Tom Brown jr. This was the first method of shamanic trance that I learnt, and was largely aimed improving your perception in this world.

    I didn't learn about inner worlds until after Rotokia appeared in my life. It grew around me without my deliberate effort, because I was meditating to a 'sounds of Africa' cassette (yeah, I said cassette.. it was a long time ago you know!), and my imagination was carried by the music/voices on the tape. I told a wiccan friend about it who told me that it's a common practice to have an inner world like that. I later saw it mentioned in various wicca 101 books and suchlike. However, it wasn't until it started to dominate my life and affect my mental health (the period where I thought I was Gollum, ah, happy days..), that I contacted Olivia Robertson of The Fellowship of Isis asking for help. She put me in touch with one of the organisation's hierophants, Jocelyn Almond, who ran a correspondence course with a heavy emphasis on these internal worlds. Olivia felt that Jocelyn was best able to teach me to safely use Rotokia. Her guidance was a lifeline, and I was able to bring Rotokia in check and use it to benefit my spirituality, rather than harm my mental health. I studied with Jocelyn through initiation, but quit before I was ordained into the FOI's priesthood. I tried to continue her training without her a few years later, but I wasn't really sure where it was going, so have no idea if what I've done is anything like what she had intended for me to do... but I won't go into that as I respect the confidentiality of the course content.

    So.. much of what I know was from Jocelyn, but I also learnt a lot from Ross Heaven's The Journey to You and Spirit in The City (the latter of which I'm gradually working through again).

    Finally, although fiction, I was very much inspired by the novel The Onion Girl, especially the way the spirit world is described. The onion girl, and perhaps more so the second in the Jilly series 'widdershins', is set between this world and the spirit world, and illustrates the process of going in deeper and facing the darker places of your psyche. It's very much shaped my own perception of what the spirit world is (although the world described in this series is all places overlapped; the gods exist there, as do egregores, faeries and animal spirits. Everyone's inner worlds also exist side by side and overlap there, and people go there to dream. So it's a little different.

    Well, there you have it. The current depth of my knowledge. Any idea where I should be looking next? Is there anything I've touched upon that could be potentially harmful information, or am I roughly travelling in the right direction?
    夕方に急なにわか雨は「夕立」と呼ばれるなら、なぜ朝ににわか雨は「朝立ち」と呼ばれないの? ^^If a sudden rain shower in the evening is referred to as an 'evening stand', then why isn't a shower in the morning called 'morning stand'?

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    Supporter Jembru's Avatar
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    Re: Recommended Shamanism Resources Thread

    Well, I finally placed my order for 'Neolithic Shamanism'. I'm hoping it's not too heavy in the Norse aspect, and has plenty that I can adapt to fit my own practices (from what I've read here and in Heka's thread, I suspect it will be easily adaptable for Celtic shamanism). I discovered that when you buy a book on Amazon, it lets you read the kindle version while you're waiting. I don't like reading from a screen as a general rule, but at least I can start getting a feel for the book before it's even in my hands. That's pretty cool!

    It's been way too long since I bought a new book that wasn't anything to do about Japanese or the 'moon runes' it's written with, so I'm quite excited. Fingers crossed I haven't wasted my money. :S
    夕方に急なにわか雨は「夕立」と呼ばれるなら、なぜ朝ににわか雨は「朝立ち」と呼ばれないの? ^^If a sudden rain shower in the evening is referred to as an 'evening stand', then why isn't a shower in the morning called 'morning stand'?

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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Recommended Shamanism Resources Thread

    I really recommend The Hollow Bone: A Field Guide to Shamanism by Colleen Deatsman as an introduction to Shamanism--not as a how-to guide, but a background information guide, and on the subject of Animism (imo, connected to Shamanism)--The Wakeful World by Emma Restall Orr and Animism: Respecting the Living World by Graham Harvey.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

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    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

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    Re: Recommended Shamanism Resources Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    I really recommend The Hollow Bone: A Field Guide to Shamanism by Colleen Deatsman as an introduction to Shamanism--not as a how-to guide, but a background information guide, and on the subject of Animism (imo, connected to Shamanism)--The Wakeful World by Emma Restall Orr and Animism: Respecting the Living World by Graham Harvey.
    I've been wondering if I should look into animism anyway. What I'm describing seems a bit different from animism, but I definitely see some similarities. I'll see how I go with this book for now, and then maybe give Emma Restall's book a try next. Even if it's not for me, it doesn't hurt to inform yourself.
    夕方に急なにわか雨は「夕立」と呼ばれるなら、なぜ朝ににわか雨は「朝立ち」と呼ばれないの? ^^If a sudden rain shower in the evening is referred to as an 'evening stand', then why isn't a shower in the morning called 'morning stand'?

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    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: Recommended Shamanism Resources Thread

    Jem... I'll get to this at some point... I'm not ignoring you!

    I can't post properly on my tablet but I've been too busy for a proper PC posting frenzy... there are a few PaganForum things on my todo list and this is one of them, I promise!

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