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books about 'Shamanism', its 'Rituals' & 'Ritual Sacraments'
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Below are a selection of books about 'Shamanism, its Rituals & Ritual Sacraments', which reflect the wide range of cultures around the world in which Shamanism has played, and in many cases still does play, an important part of everyday life.

The role of the Shaman in ancient societies was little understood by the christian missionaries who accompanied the conquistadors of the various European nations in their 'bloodthirsty reconnaissance' around the world. And it is only in recent years that appreciation is beginning to appear for the now long-gone peoples who have left us a rich legacy of colorful folklore and mythologies involving strange otherworld creatures, super-human heroes and unimaginable terrors.

In almost all these ancient cultures, and amongst the various peoples who still today live tribally, close to nature, and with profound respect for a 'spirit world' modern peoples cannot comprehend, 'ritual sacraments' prepared and ingested for the purpose of contacting this 'spirit world' have played an important role.

There have been many studies of Shamanism over the past 100 years or so, and these have been undertaken by a large number of diverse persons for an equally large number of diverse reasons. Increasingly in recent years, many of those involved in these studies have gone to live with the tribal peoples they've studied, partaken of their 'ritual sacraments', and begun to experience the archaic world where the Shaman once ruled the tribe and guided their perceptions of reality.

The selection of books below, and over the next few pages, will never be a complete list of everything published about Shamanism. But those we have chosen will hopefully appeal to the novice and the scholar alike ...

 

Simply click on the book covers to order those titles directly from Amazon.com, or click on the
EU English Edition link to order them directly from Amazon.co.uk. Some titles may not be
available in both editions, but are usually avialable to customers worldwide ...

all comments are editorial and customer reviews posted on the
Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk websites
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"The World Is As You Dream It: Shamanic Teachings from the Amazon and Andes" by John Perkins


UK Edition

"Perkins is an eco-activist who aims to save not only the rain forest but also the ancient native cultures that make their homes within it. His book offers a thrilling view of those cultures as experienced by American travelers, especially Perkins himself. Inspired by childhood visions, Perkins sought and studied with South American shamanic teachers who introduced him to their rituals and, more important, their religious conceptions. He shares their beliefs about healing and dreaming, about psychotropic drugs and magic. Vividly written, his effort will surely appeal to those interested in shamanic traditions."

 

"Way of the Shaman" by M. Harner

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UK Edition

"This study examines the life and culture of the Shuar tribe of Ecuador and, in particular, their healing shamans. The Shuar believe that the perceptions of a people, their "dream" creates individual and communal reality. Through their music, myth, herbal medicine and the sacred ceremony of the hallucinogenic plant ayahuasca, the Shaur invite readers into their dream that they have made reality. Through examining the ways of the Shuar, readers come to realize that it is the mind and souls of the Western "developed" cultures that needs help and healing, and that people's role should not be as being at the top of nature's pyramid, but rather as caretakers of Mother Earth."

 

"Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy" by Mircea Eliade

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UK Edition

"First published in 1951, Shamanism soon became the standard work in the study of this mysterious and fascinating phenomenon. Writing as the founder of the modern study of the history of religion, Romanian émigré--scholar Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) surveys the practice of Shamanism over two and a half millennia of human history, moving from the Shamanic traditions of Siberia and Central Asia--where Shamanism was first observed--to North and South America, Indonesia, Tibet, China, and beyond. In this authoritative survey, Eliade illuminates the magico-religious life of societies that give primacy of place to the figure of the Shaman--at once magician and medicine man, healer and miracle-doer, priest, mystic, and poet. Synthesizing the approaches of psychology, sociology, and ethnology, Shamanism will remain for years to come the reference book of choice for those intrigued by this practice."

 

"Shamanism: A Reader" by Graham Harvey

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UK Edition

"Shamanism: A Reader unites perspectives from disciplines including anthropology, psychology, musicology, botany to provide a unique overview of modern writing on shamanism. From grassroots political writing to classical ethnographies, and imaginative narratives to detailed case studies, the 25 articles and short extracts presented here cover topics including gender, initiation, hallucinogenic consciousness and political protest. Juxtaposing the traditional practices of indigenous peoples with their new and often radically urban reinterpretations, experts including Michael Harner, Milhŕly Hoppŕl, Majorie M Balzer and Piers Vitebsky raise questions about constructions of shamanism, its efficacy, its use and misuse as a cultural symbol, and its real nature."

 

"Shamans and Religion: An Anthropological Exploration in Critical Thinking"
by Alice Beck Kehoe

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UK Edition

"The word "shaman" has been used throughout the history of anthropology to describe indigenous healers around the world. In this outstanding text, Kehoe argues compellingly that the term is misused when applied to practitioners other than those from Siberia, where the term originated. Applying critical thinking techniques as a way of examining assumptions presented as fact, she deconstructs many commonly held notions of what shamanism is and isn't, closely critiquing widely-cited articles and books on the subject. The problems discussed bring up important anthropological questions not limited to the anthropology of religion. "

 

"Shamanism: An Encyclopedia of World Beliefs, Practices and Culture"
by Mariko Walter & Eva Fridman (Editor)

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UK Edition

"A comprehensive guide to worldwide shamanism, emphasizing historical and current cultural adaptations. Shamanism has its origins in early human history and is as ubiquitous as the human desire to penetrate the mysteries of the supernatural. For millennia shamans have traveled into the realm of the spirits on our behalf to hunt lost souls, heal the sick, interpret dreams, and provide guidance in human endeavors. In the wake of a rapidly transforming world, new forms of shamanism are developing and thriving. This two-volume reference is the first comprehensive exploration of shamanic beliefs from the Stone Age to the present day. In 230 detailed, readable essays, leading ethnographers and historians explain the general principles of shamanism as well as the details of widely varied practices. What is it like to be a shaman? Entries describe region by region the traits, such as sicknesses and dreams, which mark a person as a shaman, as well as the training undertaken by initiates."

 

"Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind"
by Graham Hancock


UK Edition

"'Supernatural: of or relating to things that cannot be explained according to natural laws.' Less than 50,000 years ago mankind had no art, no religion, no sophisticated symbolism, no innovative thinking. Then, in a dramatic and electrifying change, described by scientists as 'the greatest riddle in human history', all the skills and qualities that we value most highly in ourselves appeared already fully formed, as though bestowed on us by hidden powers. Hancock uncovers clues that lead him to travel to the depths of the Amazon rainforest to drink the powerful plant hallucinogen Ayahuasca with Indian shamans, whose paintings contain images of 'supernatural beings' identical to the animal-human hybrids depicted in prehistoric caves and rock shelters. And hallucinogens such as mescaline, also produce visionary encounters with exactly the same beings. "

 

"Shamanism in North America" by Norman Bancroft Hunt

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UK Edition

"This is one of the best books on NA shamanic cultures I know. The book is divided into 7 chapters, devoted to semi- geographic groups with similar social organizations and spiritual practices, including the Eskimo, Subarctic, Northwest Coast, Southwest, Californian and Plains Indians. There is a lot of information in each chapter yet the info is condensed in an interesting manner for the lay reader, there are a number of cool stories and anecdotes. Moreover,iIn my opinion, Hunt achieves the ideal balance between the illustrations and the text... the depicted photos of ritual paraphernalia, shamans, landscape tell the story almost by themselves."

 

"Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit" by Tom Cowan

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UK Edition

"In this exploration, Tom Cowan employs literary history to discover the shamanic roots of the Celtic spirit. It explores the shamanic roots of druidism, witchcraft and Celtic Christianity. Cowan draws together the shamans and the bards of old Europe and tells their spellbinding stories of shapeshifting and vision work. He cites the celtic myths and poems that evoke a strong connection to the ways of the shaman, and the spiritual importance that the words, story-telling and drumming can have in contemporary society."

 

"Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas"
by Christian Ratsch, Claudia Muller-Ebeling & Surendra Bahadur Shahi

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UK Edition

"The Himalayan kingdom of Nepal may be the only culture in the world where both shamanic and tantric techniques are still alive and in full practice today. The result of eighteen years of field research, SHAMANISM AND TANTRA IN THE HIMALAYAS presents for the first time a comprehensive overview of shamanism that is based on the knowledge and experience of the different tribes from that region. Included are original statements from the various ethnic groups and 135 colour thangkas, which act as visual guides to the specific practices of the tantric tradition. In addition to the thangkas, the book is lavishly illustrated with numerous photos of different shamanic healing ceremonies, ritual objects and culturally significant plants that have never been published before."

"Shaman of the Andes"
Region 1 DVD
USA & Canada Only
Run Time: 56 minutes

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"America's Ancient Forests: From the Ice Age to the Age of Discovery"
Thomas M. Bonnicksen

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UK Edition

 

 

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