Monday, May 31, 2010

Follow the Shaman's Call: An Ancient Path for Modern Lives by Mike Williams, Ph.D

Published January, 2010.

This evocative experiential guide reveals how you can immediately begin to transform your life by following the path of the shaman. Author Mike Williams, Ph.D., presents hands-on exercises and engaging true stories from decades of shamanic practice and academic study into ancient European traditions.

Once you understand the powerful forces of the unseen world, you'll learn how to apply the knowledge to your own life in a variety of practical ways: predicting the future and understanding the past, using dreamwork to find answers to problems, and clearing your house of negativity. You'll discover how to find your power animal and meet your spirit guides, journey to the otherworlds for healing and self-empowerment, and live in harmony with the world.
(book back blurb)

I had known very little about shamanism prior to reading this book and I chose it for review expressly for the purpose of learning more. I'm glad I did because I think this could be a book that could help me fill a spiritual void I've had for years.

For as long as I can remember I've had an outsider's view of organized religion. My dad's an atheist and my mom's agnostic. When I was 11-ish I was given a choice to go to CCD (both were raised Roman Catholic in Old Vatican practices). Even at that impressionable age, when all of my friends were going to CCD, I said no because even then I knew it would be a waste of my time. I didn't care for "that type" of religion. Of course I was made fun of. I even had a few kids tell me to my face I was going to hell. It didn't bother me even then.

So ever since I've been trying to seek out some kind of spiritual path and I would find aspects of more pagan religions appealing but I never actively considered joining any of them. I wanted something organic, more natural and pre-historic than anything rumbling around currently. For a while it was mixing around those Pagan religions but nothing really called to me. I have my beliefs but they never really fit into anything specific so I've just been going on with my life as is.

Then I picked up this book to read and all of a sudden it clicked. This is it. Williams does an excellent job of describing just what Shamanism is, how to go about practicing it and just what kind of life you'll lead as a shaman. He doesn't pander, he doesn't pull punches. He just tells it like it is and I really liked that. The way he described journeying to the Otherworlds had me wanting to go buy a drumming CD and try it out for myself, despite how afraid it actually makes me.

It's a religion as natural as you can possibly get without the confines of organization or the baggage that comes along with it. There are no stringent requirements, no elevation or shunning of other people. There's just you and nature and that's pretty much it and that's what I like about it.

I plan on using this book as sort of my beginner's guide to shamanism. It's a good tool if you're just starting out and not sure where to step first. It gives you a little bit of information in a lot of areas of shamanism without being overwhelming or confusing. I found it immensely helpful and I plan on making it wholly dog-eared by the time I'm done with it.

If you're interested in delving into a new (well, really old) and natural religion, Follow the Shaman's Call is definitely a good place to start.


Emily a.k.a WilowRaven : ) said...

I love it when things just click - especially when it comes to beliefs. Glad you found book that did it for you! I've found books on paganism that have done the same thing for me. Such a great feeling!
Happy beginnings for you!

Donna said...

I am truly excited! Once I get over the fear, I can't wait to start.

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