Fascinating, comprehensive, and eminently readable, this guide explores shamanism—the world's most enduring healing and religious tradition—in the light of modern medicine, psychology, neuroscience, consciousness disciplines, and religious studies.
Praise for The World of Shamanism
"As if on cue, just when I am beginning to think that shamanism is the ground from which all religions spring, along comes this book. I cannot imagine a book that would be more helpful to me in thinking through this important subject."
—Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions
"...Unquestionably the most rounded compact introduction to shamanism, particularly the inner world of shamans, available today. A door-opening book for students of consciousness and spirituality."
—Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., M.Litt, author of The Yoga Tradition
"A splendidly clear and timely survey of shamanism."
—Jean Achterberg, Ph.D., author of Imagery in Healing
"Quite simply, this book is a major step forward in understanding the vital phenomenon of shamanism. I recommend it highly."
—Charles Tart, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of California at Davis, author of States of Consciousness
"...Eminently useful and inspiring. A brilliant integrative work that pushes the frontiers of consciousness in insightful, practical, and powerful ways."
—Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., Cultural Anthropologist, author of The Four-Fold Way and The Second Half of Life
"...Unique in bringing together the full range of anthropological, psychological, and psychiatric literature on this vital subject. It does so with admirable scholarship yet still manages to be sensitive and clear."
—Christie W. Kiefer, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, University of California at San Francisco
Aside from the many cultural differences between ancient and modern shamanic communities worldwide, there are a few basic commonalities in terms of the underlying worldview shared by almost all of the people in a shamanic community. These include: An individual is both unique and indistinguishable from his environment. The entire world shares one body, one flesh. Identity is formed through...
From the steppes of the Himalaya to the jungles of Guatemala, shamanism is a ritual belief system that has been practiced for over 27,000 years. By understanding Shamanism's inherent and integral connection to the four elements--fire, earth, water, and air--we can gain a unique understanding of this enigmatic spiritual tradition. Omar Rosales, author of Elemental Shaman, describes how the shamanic journey truly begins with the four elements.
"As if on cue, just when I am beginning to think that shamanism is the ground from which all religions spring, along comes this book. I cannot imagine a book that would be more helpful to me in thinking through this important subject." --Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions New Worlds* of Shamanism An essay-review of Dr. Roger Walsh’s The World of Shamanism by Carl Llewellyn...
Throughout history, certain extraordinary individuals have lived, loved, or excelled so well that ordinary mortals have regarded them with awe and bewilderment. Ordinary mortals have wondered and puzzled about the shamans, healers, saints, and sages, even venerated or worshipped them, feeling that they must be more than merely human, even when the heroes themselves made no such claims. Who or what are these heroes? What does it take for ordinary mortals to become one?
In Irish tradition, there is a wonderful story of bile, the ancient tree. It grows by the side of a sacred well, and acorns, nuts, and apples spring from its branches.
How wonderful it would be to live in the world of folk-tradition: a magical place where the world is joined-up, the sacred is apparent in the everyday world, and every living thing... read this article