The Way of the Shaman Paperback – Oct 12 1990
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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(Learn More)
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
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Top Customer Reviews
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".
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....
Most recent customer reviews
Reading most of it before taking my shaman workshop, really helped and I was able to understand what I was being taught a lot easier since I read first.Published 8 months ago by Mike B.
A very good treatment of Shamanism around the world; what is common as well as what is different. Evidently, the work of someone who is passionate about the subject, and someone... Read morePublished 15 months ago by LGL-025
This is the one book that can change your life. It changed mine.
Before I read The Way of the Shaman I was blind to the fact that there is a real spiritual reality. Read more
for anyone who would like to follow the Shamanic path or to know what Shamanism is, this is the most in-depth book I've read. Read morePublished on April 11 2010 by Amazon Customer
I just can't say enough good things about Way of the Shaman, it is simply the best book of shamanism I have read. Read morePublished on July 5 2004
This book is application and technique. It shares some of Harner's personal experiences but it's also a workbook. Read morePublished on Dec 5 2003
One of Harner's early works, "The Way of the Shaman" describes several basic shamanic techniques but is perhaps not as well suited to the beginner as Harner intended. Read morePublished on July 15 2003 by Diane Brzozowski
This is very good book for basics of shamanism. A good book and worth it!!Published on July 11 2003 by Moonbrooke
I think Harner's error is not that much in that he takes shamanic work out of native context, but that he puts people at danger by making them believe his sanitized teflon-wrapped... Read morePublished on May 29 2003 by Makula Aulanchis
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