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Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Way of the Shaman by Michael Harner. Ten years after it was first published, this is still the leading resource and reference for all those interested in cross-cultural and current forms of shamanism: now with a new introduction and a list of current shamanic resources.
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Be the first to ask a question about The Way of the Shaman. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Way of the Shaman. Mar 17, Christine rated it did not like it Shelves: neo-shamanism , , at-jsu-library , cultural-appropriation.
Like Daniel C. Noel and Robert J. Wallis, I believe Harner's teachings are based on cultural appropriation and Western fantasies.
The Way of the Shaman is his beliefs UPG regarding shamanism, and indeed are not how things really are. If you really want to learn about shamanism, skip this New Age drivel and go to the history books. View all 5 comments. Jun 23, Heidi The Reader rated it liked it Shelves: out-of-body-experiences , non-fiction , shamanism.
The Way of the Shaman teaches readers that the practice of shamanism isn't a cultural thing, it's a "human" thing. Harner gives a brief biography of his own beginning experiences, then a very short history of shamanism, what it is, and how the experiences during the shaman vision walks compare to ordinary reality. Then, he goes on to give a few practices for beginners to experience those states of consciousness for themselves.
He gives methods for contacting your "power animal" and some basic he The Way of the Shaman teaches readers that the practice of shamanism isn't a cultural thing, it's a "human" thing. He gives methods for contacting your "power animal" and some basic healing techniques.
I valued this book most for its discussions of shamanistic consciousness rather than the practices, but I could see both being of value for the proper audience. On shamanism across cultural boundaries: Shamanism represents the most widespread and ancient methodological system of mind-body healing known to humanity. Archaeological and ethnological evidence suggests that shamanic methods are at least twenty or thirty thousand years old One of the remarkable things about shamanic assumptions and methods is that they are very similar in widely separated and remote parts of the planet, including such regions as aboriginal Australia, native North and South American, Siberia and central Asia, eastern and northernmost Europe, and southern Africa.
Even in the historical literature from the Classical Mediterranean, or from medieval and Renaissance western Europe, one finds evidence that the same basic shamanic knowledge once existed there until it was largely eradicated by the Inquisition. One of Harner's reasons for writing this book is to encourage everyone to deeper self knowledge: " Shamanism is, after all, basically a strategy for personal learning and acting on that learning.
I offer you a portion of that strategy and welcome you to the ancient shamanic adventure. A noble goal How Harner has experienced the ineffable nature of shamanic consciousness: "His experiences are like dreams, but waking ones that feel real and in which he can control his actions and direct his adventures.
While in the shaman state of consciousness, he is often amazed by the reality of that which is presented. He gains access to a whole new, and yet familiarly ancient universe that provides him with profound information about the meaning of his own life and death and his place within the totality of all existence. Or perhaps, at their base, they're all just the same thing- various ways of experiencing the non-ordinary consciousness from which all humanity springs.
I read a book by practicing shaman, James Endredy, called The Flying Witches of Veracruz back in December of and it seemed to be a total pipe dream. It was filled with amazing creatures and impossible actions, like flying, shape shifting, and jumping higher than humanly possible.
James talked about the magical in the same breath that he talked about what he ate for breakfast. Harner explains in this book why it reads like that: "The emphasis I make here on drawing a distinction between the experiences one has in ordinary consciousness and the shaman consciousness Thus, if you were to listen to a Jivaro shaman talk, you might hear in his everyday conversation accounts of experiences and deeds which could seem to you, as a Westerner, to be patently absurd or impossible.
For his fellow tribes people, the Jivaro does not need to specify which state of consciousness he was in to have a particular experience. They immediately know That whole book makes so much more sense to me now that Harner has explained that. In the afterword, Harner closes with thoughts about why shamanism works: "Albert Schweitzer reportedly once observed, "The witch doctor succeeds for the same reason all of the rest of us doctors succeed.
Each patient carries his own doctor inside him. They come to us not knowing this truth. We are at our best when we give the doctor who resides within each patient a chance to go to work.
Be a healer by reminding people that they have the power to heal themselves. View 2 comments. When I picked this book I expected to get a bit more research on the subject, not the author's interpretation of what shamanism is to him.
I didn't really buy how he kept preaching that hallucinogens weren't needed for successful shamanic practices yet he said over and over again that he does use them on himself. I was shaking my head every time the author went and implied that shamanic procedures were better than psychoanalysis. There's a moment when he explains a kind of divination technique t When I picked this book I expected to get a bit more research on the subject, not the author's interpretation of what shamanism is to him.
There's a moment when he explains a kind of divination technique that's basically staring into a rock and finding images in it.
The Rorschach test immediately popped into my head. The author did go and say it was kind of the same procedure but not the same. I would stick to Rorschach anyway, of course, but I guess it's way cheaper staring into some random rock instead of paying an expert to have you tested. One other thing I didn't agree with was the subject of dreams. The author states they should be taken literally.
How crazy is that? He completely disregards symbolism, which doesn't sound much in tune with the nature of "non-ordinary reality". To me it sounds like the whole thin is a crazy collage of beliefs whose components were handpicked to suit the author's needs so he could set up his new-age shaman workshop and make some easy bucks. View all 4 comments. Dec 01, S. While I truly appreciate the information and insight Harner has brought to the west, his writing is amazingly academic and cerebral.
It's the opposite of experiential or immersive. While it warrants a mention alongside other academic publications on shamanism, for me it falls on the list of what not to do. I don't recommend this book because Harner stepped on a lot of cultural toes to present something he calls "cultureless," something that's not even possible. Despite that assertion, the cosmol While I truly appreciate the information and insight Harner has brought to the west, his writing is amazingly academic and cerebral.
Despite that assertion, the cosmology presented in his core shamanism is very Abrahamic and most definitely culturally influenced. For an academic understanding of shamanism, this is a good primer.
If you are seeking an experiential glimpse of shamanism or a more instructional text, this book is not it. If you want insight into the many cultures of shamanism, how to tread respectfully on your broken path, or the understanding of how we are all hardwired to experience awe, read the work of Karen Vogel, Roma Morris, and Robert Wallis.
Apr 16, GaryandRuth rated it it was amazing Shelves: celtic-history , magic , shamanism. The book is both eminently practical and very thought-provoking,. The cross-cultural similarities between shamanic experiences seem to undeniably imply that these techniques of archaic ecstasy are enabling the practitioner to enter the racial subconscious mind. Jul 03, Steve Woods rated it really liked it Shelves: spirituality , shamanism.
The Way of the Shaman
Michael James Harner April 27, — February 3, was an anthropologist, educator and author. Harner was born in Washington in In he experimented with the Amazonian plant medicine ayahuasca , which he wrote about in the articles "The Sound of Rushing Water"  and "The Role of Hallucinogenic Plants in European Witchcraft" In , he did fieldwork among a neighboring Jivaroan-speaking tribe, the Achuara , and the following year joined the graduate faculty of The New School for Social Research in New York City. In Harner left academia to devote himself full-time to his new project, The Foundation for Shamanic Studies.