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Comment: Publisher: HarperOne
Date of Publication: 1990
Binding: soft cover
Condition: Near Fine
Description: 8vo - over 7Ÿ" - 9Ÿ" tall 0062503731 pp.170 with index. clean tight copy with tanning to text pages
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The Way of the Shaman Paperback – Oct 12 1990

4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 3rd Revised edition edition (Oct. 12 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062503731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062503732
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Wonderful, fascinating...Harner really knows what he’s talking about.” (Carlos Castaneda)

“An intimate and practical guide to the art of shamanic healing and the technology of the sacred. Michael Harner is not just an anthropologist who has studied shamanism; he is an authentic white shaman.” (Stanislav Grof, author of The Adventure of Self-Discovery)

“Harner has impeccable credentials, both as an academic and as a practicing shaman. Without doubt (since the death of Mircea Eliade) the world’s leading authority on shamanism.” (Nevill Drury, author of The Elements of Shamanism)

What Yogananda did for Hinduism and D.T. Suzuki did for Zen, Michael harner has done for shamanism. (Roger Walsh and Charles S. Grob, authors of Higher Wisdom)

About the Author

Michael Harner, Ph.D., has taught anthropology at various institutions, including the University of California at Berkeley, Columbia University, Yale University, and the New School in New York, and has practiced shamanism and shamanic healing since 1961 when he was initiated into Upper Amazonian shamanism. He is the founder of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies in Mill Valley, California.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
My first prolonged fieldwork as an anthropologist took place in 1956 and 1957 on the forested eastern slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes among the Jivaro [HEE-varo] Indians, or Untsuri Shuar. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As far as I can tell, Michael Harner is responsible for creating the new age phenomenon of Neo-Shamanism. This book was the first of its kind, and although many books on the subject litter the bookstore shelves these days, Harner's is by far the best of the ones I've read and perused.
Most of the complaints by reviewers here are concerned with Harner "stealing" the traditions from other cultures and/or "corrupting" these traditions. Ignoring the obvious flaw in thinking regarding "theft" of cultural or spiritual traditions, I think this is exactly where Harner excels over the others. Rather than turning out some new-age fluff that pretends to adhere painstakingly to any particular tradition, Harner cuts to the viscera of the real phenomenon of Shamanism.
Although there are specific exercises and methods in this book, the fact that they don't rigidly conform to any one tradition is what makes it great. It is rather like the approach of Chaos Magick, which doesn't rely on precise traditional incantations, sigils, etc, to perform magick. Instead, the idea is that this power is latent within us, and is basically archetypal within the framework of the psyche.
In cultures with Shamanism, every once in a while a shaman is born; they are discovered to be "special" (in a way specific to that culture) and/or predisposed to this sort of thing. Even though the modern Western world doesn't have any significant "place" for these sorts of individuals, they are still are born into our society. I like to call them (us) the weirdoes. These are latent shamans or mystics. Books like Harner's just might be a key to helping us "weirdoes" find our "place".
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I first read this book I thought that it was the greatest thing I had ever found. Not only did it describe experiences that I thought were unique to myself, but I found that there was actually a name for such things- shamanism. I had never even heard the name before. Yet, I knew exactly what was being described.

That's just it, though, this book's importance to me was in its validation of the path that I had already traveled- alone. When I see people claiming that they are shamans, or "neo-shamans", based on reading a few books or attending a workshop or two, I can only shake my head. I mean, I see nothing wrong with such things, no more than I see anything wrong with dabblers in Wicca, it is just that I don't personally believe that it is shamanism. I don't say this out of arrogance, self-righteousness, or a sense of superiority- it is just that I have found that the transition involved in crossing over to the spirit world is absolutely life shattering and soul transforming. There is a good chance that it may kill you. Actually, in a sense, it does kill you, for to be a shaman means to die and be reborn. It is not the sort of thing that a bored yuppy can do on a weekend to demonstrate his "spiritual sensitivity."
Personally, I think shamans are either born, or they result from a certain type of near death experience. As much as I respect Native American medicine people, I do not think that they have any sort of inside track or "secret knowlege." Their advantage lies in being outside of the artificial hell of the modern world- and perhaps in having more of an "opportunity" to hit bottom and reflect on it. They also have open minds- they KNOW the realities of spirits and of a world beyond. These are the advantages of any outsider....
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Format: Paperback
It really would be more fair of me to give this book three and a half stars, but it doesn't work that way so I'll leave it at four. Anyway, I must admit that I am of two different mind concerning this book. Harner, who has indeed studied Shamanism amongst various indigenous peoples such as the Jivaro of Ecuador, certainly does know his stuff. I will grant him that. However, in this book he strips it down to it's core, removing many of the cultural trappings, in order to take the reader into the world of the Shaman. This is not a book about Siberian, Native American, Aboriginal, African, Voudon or any other form of Shamanism. Instead, it focuses on Harner's "Core Shamanism" and even attempts to instruct the reader on how to become a Shaman. This presents some serious questions for us. First of all, is this cultural piracy? Shamanism is an old tradition, and can be found among many traditions. No one people, however, have a monopoly on Shamanism. After all, the Shamanic traditions of, say, the Yakuts, Chuckchi and Buryat are just as ancient and valid of those of the Pygmies, Bushmen or Yanomami. Harner seems to be very aware of this and tries not to attach his Shamanic tradition to that of any one particular culture. And certainly more recent traditions do draw from Shamanic background. Voudon and Santeria, as well as certain movements amongst the Native Americans and Australian Aborigines illustrate this. Why shouldn't westerners find a tradition that is acceptable to them? In the end, the reader needs to come to his own conclusions on these issues before he reads through this book. After all, it is a book instructing the reader in Harner's Core Shamanism. I certainly would recommend it to people with an interest in Shamanism and/or Neo-Shamanism, whether from an anthropologic perspective or from a "New Age" perspective. Others, however, might be disappointed or even offended in this book. It all depends on your views I suppose. The best I can say is buyer beware.
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