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Author Topic: Shamanism books?  (Read 9794 times)
Waldfrau
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« Reply #30: November 14, 2007, 01:26:15 pm »

Totemism by Claude Levi Strauss (yeah, it's academic, and focuses less on 'shamanism,' but I like it as a general resource).
Good suggestion, I'll look for that in the uni library.

If anyone is interested in bear shamanism, I highly recommend Wolf-Dieter Storl, Der Bär - Krafttier der Schamanen und Heiler (if there's an English translation look for the words 'bear' 'shamans' 'healer'). This is not a how-to-do-it-book, but gives a good overview about different shamanistic cultures around the bear. The stuff about cave bears and Neanderthalians has been critisized though.

I've also read Ted Andrews, Animal Speak and wonder how others think about it. Not sure if it's recommendable as he is one of those guys who mentioned chakras and meridians in one sentence. The book gave me some interesting ideas for a start though and the animal dictionary may give a first overview though you have to critically select because he tosses the aproach of several cultures into one article without reflecting much the differences.
I'm a beginner and found some of the visualization exercises and other stuff too heavy for starters, I'm still searching for a reliable how-to-do-it books for beginners. Andrews gives disclaimers though, so he isn't irresponsible.

A nice beginner's book in German with a lot of personal experience of the author is Gerhard Buzzi, Krafttiere.

I hope the German stuff is of any use here.
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Waldfrau
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« Reply #31: February 14, 2008, 07:39:11 am »

Exploring Shamanism by Hillary S Webb
I truly enjoyed this book. It is inclusive and yet allows for specific systems of shamanic practice to be its own entity. She gives a general overview of the world (three worlds of Upper, Middle and Lower while stating that some systems have seven or nine, but that three was the most common). She has studied and interviewed with both indigenous and non-indigenous shamans and gives examples of these to explain some points. She discusses and worlds, the initiation of a shaman, spirits allies such as deities, angels, power animals and the dead, and that the concept of the world as interconnected and a part of our own perceptions. This is the best book I have found on the generalities of shamanic practice from around the world while respecting each system for its uniqueness and cultural base.

I'm currently reading Travelling between Worlds by her. It's an interview collection with contemporary neo/shamans. Don't remember who suggested this book (was it in this thread?), but it's interesting, though her eco-movement questions annoy me a bit and a few guys in there may be a bit nutty IMO. It's great to hear different opinions on the matter however. So thanks to whoever suggested that one in the first place.
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« Reply #32: February 15, 2008, 12:01:35 am »

a few guys in there may be a bit nutty IMO.
It's quite possible - no shortage of nuts in the world.  OTOH, it can be really difficult to talk effectively about shamanic stuff and not sound a bit nutty.

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« Reply #33: February 15, 2008, 12:07:30 am »

It's quite possible - no shortage of nuts in the world.  OTOH, it can be really difficult to talk effectively about shamanic stuff and not sound a bit nutty.

Sunflower

Only the anthropologists seem to have any luck with that, in my readings on the topic so far.
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Waldfrau
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« Reply #34: February 15, 2008, 01:37:54 am »

It's quite possible - no shortage of nuts in the world.  OTOH, it can be really difficult to talk effectively about shamanic stuff and not sound a bit nutty.

Sunflower
True.  Cheesy
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« Reply #35: February 15, 2008, 06:59:59 am »

Only the anthropologists seem to have any luck with that, in my readings on the topic so far.

And they do it from the outsider's perspective, which is a totally different thing.  It's much easier to not sound crazy when you're talking about what other people do and not what the experience is like from the inside.
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« Reply #36: February 15, 2008, 07:39:38 am »

And they do it from the outsider's perspective, which is a totally different thing.  It's much easier to not sound crazy when you're talking about what other people do and not what the experience is like from the inside.
Yep.  From the inside, sometimes it sounds crazy even to the person having the experience.  But when you have that experience, it sounds even crazier to pretend you didn't.

Been there, done that, got lots of t-shirts but they're all etheric so they don't prove it. Cheesy

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« Reply #37: February 15, 2008, 08:16:54 am »

Been there, done that, got lots of t-shirts but they're all etheric so they don't prove it. Cheesy

At least you can talk about it to those of us who have not only bought the etheric T-shirts but the etheric matching handbags as well.  Grin
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« Reply #38: May 19, 2008, 12:36:37 am »

I'd like to add a couple more books that I've been reading lately:

Shamans / Neo-Shamans - Ecstasy, Alternative Archaeologies and Contemporary Pagans by Robert Wallis
- it's a little bit academic, but as long as you don't mind in-text referencing when you read, it's great.

And

Shamanism: A Reader - edited by Graham Harvey. I'm in love with this book. Lol.
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Waldfrau
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« Reply #39: May 20, 2008, 07:12:58 am »

Has anyone read the one by Ronald Hutton: Shamanism - Siberian spirituality and the Western Imagination?

I heard it's good and scholarly.
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« Reply #40: May 22, 2008, 12:21:37 pm »

[quote ]
Has anyone read the one by Ronald Hutton: Shamanism - Siberian spirituality and the Western Imagination?


[/quote]

Yes, I own and read this.  I was somewhat surprised by the brevity of the book---I had expected something longer because of my experience with a couple other books of his.  This one was much more to the point, almost like a written lecture.

He simply hammered where Eliade and others got it wrong by lumping too many varieties of the shamanic experience together.  He also dealt with the idea of shamans being charlatans as an almost political part of their jobs in tribal societies. 

While I think he was straight on the point, as he usually seems to be, in some ways, the book did not answer questions I was looking for; but that is MY issue, not Hutton's.
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« Reply #41: May 22, 2008, 12:47:59 pm »


A friend sent me a book called In The Shadow Of A Shaman by Amber Wolfe the other day. Anyone familiar with this book/author? And what exactly is aquarian Shamanism?
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Waldfrau
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« Reply #42: May 22, 2008, 03:16:23 pm »

Yes, I own and read this.  I was somewhat surprised by the brevity of the book---I had expected something longer because of my experience with a couple other books of his.  This one was much more to the point, almost like a written lecture.

He simply hammered where Eliade and others got it wrong by lumping too many varieties of the shamanic experience together.  He also dealt with the idea of shamans being charlatans as an almost political part of their jobs in tribal societies. 

While I think he was straight on the point, as he usually seems to be, in some ways, the book did not answer questions I was looking for; but that is MY issue, not Hutton's.
Thanks. Smiley Good to hear it's short and straight to the point. I have so many books piling at the moment, I don't know where my brain is!
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« Reply #43: May 23, 2008, 03:57:03 pm »

Thanks. Smiley Good to hear it's short and straight to the point. I have so many books piling at the moment, I don't know where my brain is!

Shhhhhh! Don't wake the book pile here, pleeeeease!  If it falls, there will be this tremor felt from here to China....

I am not allowed to spend another dime on books until the stack is diminished away entirely.

Woe, woe...woe is me.
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