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Author Topic: Shamanism books?  (Read 9401 times)
Aster Breo
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« Topic Start: July 24, 2007, 01:04:03 pm »

Is anyone familiar with either of these books?:

Fire in the Head:  Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit, but Tom Cowan
Shamans/Neo-Shamans:  Ecstasies, Alternative Archeologies, and Contemporary Pagans, by Robert J. Wallis

If so, any comments?

Thanks.
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Underwater Thing
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« Reply #1: July 24, 2007, 04:14:45 pm »

Is anyone familiar with either of these books?:

Fire in the Head:  Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit, but Tom Cowan
Shamans/Neo-Shamans:  Ecstasies, Alternative Archeologies, and Contemporary Pagans, by Robert J. Wallis

If so, any comments?

Thanks.

I've heard several reviews on Fire In The Head, most of them giving him good props.  I've heard complaints of not having accuracy in some areas, but I think overall, people found it pretty useful.
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« Reply #2: July 24, 2007, 08:47:24 pm »

Is anyone familiar with either of these books?:

Fire in the Head:  Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit, but Tom Cowan
Shamans/Neo-Shamans:  Ecstasies, Alternative Archeologies, and Contemporary Pagans, by Robert J. Wallis

If so, any comments?

I'm not familiar with Wallis' book, but did recently read Cowan's.  It's very heavy on Celtic myth and legend, most of which I've seen in other Celtic sources.  Honestly, I wasn't overly impressed.  If you're looking for a how-to guide on shamanism, this definitely is not the book.  If you want to see someone try to apply shamanism to historical Celtic practices, it's an okay read, but I think he streches his theories a little thin at times trying to prove them.

Still, any book on shamanism has to be better than McCoy's By Oak, Ash, and Thorn, which seems at times to be a poor rip-off of Cowan's work, with her particular bent to it.  {bangs head on desk-- I'll never get back the time I spent reading that tripe}. 
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« Reply #3: July 24, 2007, 11:52:48 pm »

Is anyone familiar with either of these books?:

Fire in the Head:  Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit, but Tom Cowan
Shamans/Neo-Shamans:  Ecstasies, Alternative Archeologies, and Contemporary Pagans, by Robert J. Wallis

If so, any comments?

Thanks.

Don't know either of those, but Ronald Hutton's Shamans:  Siberian Spirituality and the Western Imagination might be good to look at. 
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« Reply #4: July 25, 2007, 11:32:52 am »



Still, any book on shamanism has to be better than McCoy's By Oak, Ash, and Thorn, which seems at times to be a poor rip-off of Cowan's work, with her particular bent to it.  {bangs head on desk-- I'll never get back the time I spent reading that tripe}. 

Ha!
I almost picked that book up, till I saw the author.
=D

I found out something interesting a couple days ago (this is slightly not related).
They think the first shamans were from the area that is now the czech republic, and were women.
This makes me happy being that I'm half czech and of female gender. =D
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« Reply #5: July 25, 2007, 05:24:24 pm »

Don't know either of those, but Ronald Hutton's Shamans:  Siberian Spirituality and the Western Imagination might be good to look at. 

Hutton's book is very good, and points out several errors in the old standby (at least for me) by Mircea Eliade.
I still think those two together do a pretty good job of grounding one historically.
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« Reply #6: July 25, 2007, 07:26:37 pm »

Is anyone familiar with either of these books?:

Fire in the Head:  Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit, but Tom Cowan
Shamans/Neo-Shamans:  Ecstasies, Alternative Archeologies, and Contemporary Pagans, by Robert J. Wallis

I've read Cowan's, and would have to agree that much of what you can find, in terms of mythology, is probably stuff you've already seen. However, it's interesting to see him applying shamanism to Celtic story, and it made me think about things at least.

Not a bad read, in my book.
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Aster Breo
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« Reply #7: July 25, 2007, 08:56:26 pm »

Don't know either of those, but Ronald Hutton's Shamans:  Siberian Spirituality and the Western Imagination might be good to look at. 

Thanks.  Hutton is one of my favorite authors, and I'd completely forgotten about his shamanism book.

*off to amazon*
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« Reply #8: July 25, 2007, 08:57:08 pm »

I've read Cowan's, and would have to agree that much of what you can find, in terms of mythology, is probably stuff you've already seen. However, it's interesting to see him applying shamanism to Celtic story, and it made me think about things at least.

Not a bad read, in my book.

Thanks, that's helpful.  I won't rule this one out, but I'll probably put it lower on the list.
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« Reply #9: July 28, 2007, 07:59:06 pm »


By the way, I hadn't mentioned it before, but I've been reading Singing the Soul Back Home: Shamanism in Daily Life by Caitlin Matthews. I think I had another lightbulb-throwing moment when you first posted--a kind of "Oh man... Moon Ivy is looking into shamanism too?!"  Wink
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« Reply #10: July 28, 2007, 08:08:48 pm »

I think I had another lightbulb-throwing moment when you first posted--a kind of "Oh man... Moon Ivy is looking into shamanism too?!"  Wink

If there are lightbulbs, she's generally somewhere nearby Wink
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« Reply #11: July 28, 2007, 08:56:01 pm »

I think I had another lightbulb-throwing moment when you first posted--a kind of "Oh man... Moon Ivy is looking into shamanism too?!"  Wink
ROFLMAO.  There it is, again.

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Aster Breo
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« Reply #12: July 28, 2007, 09:30:54 pm »

By the way, I hadn't mentioned it before, but I've been reading Singing the Soul Back Home: Shamanism in Daily Life by Caitlin Matthews. I think I had another lightbulb-throwing moment when you first posted--a kind of "Oh man... Moon Ivy is looking into shamanism too?!"  Wink

LOL!

We need Lightbulb Lobbing Brigade t-shirts or something.   Cheesy

Maybe we could get one of the avatar creators to do us up a logo, them make them available over Cafe Press.   Grin

Oh, but wait, ours is an exclusive club, right?  Maybe we don't want just anyone to get one of our uber-special LLB t-shirts. 

Hmmmm.  More thought necessary.  Maybe a secret password or something.

Anyway, Finn, what do you think of the book?  Should I put it on my list?
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« Reply #13: July 29, 2007, 10:25:47 am »

If there are lightbulbs, she's generally somewhere nearby Wink

This is so true.  Wink


LOL!

We need Lightbulb Lobbing Brigade t-shirts or something.   Cheesy

Maybe we could get one of the avatar creators to do us up a logo, them make them available over Cafe Press.   Grin

Oh, but wait, ours is an exclusive club, right?  Maybe we don't want just anyone to get one of our uber-special LLB t-shirts. 

Hmmmm.  More thought necessary.  Maybe a secret password or something.

Anyway, Finn, what do you think of the book?  Should I put it on my list?

Secret Password is... "Ouch!"  Cheesy

Anyway, the book is actually less fluffy than I thought it would be. It kind of goes off into these tangents at certain points, but overall it seems a pretty grounded work--which is important for any book about shamanism I think. It's a good kind of primer that allows a safe jumping off point towards more advanced work.

She keeps it religiously unspecific and generalized for anyone to take the practices and discover specifics on their own, which is also another nice thing. I would recommend it, but you could probably put this one lower on your list.
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« Reply #14: July 29, 2007, 10:56:28 am »

I would recommend it, but you could probably put this one lower on your list.

Thanks.  This is really helpful.

I have VERY long reading list, but, for some reason I'm not sure of yet, shamanism has jumped to the top.

Damned lightbulbs.
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