READING & RESEARCH
BOOKS -- FILMS -- WEBSITES
There are many exciting books about shamanism. Here is a selection we feel are enlightening, respectful and solid, including a few you may not find at the neighbourhood bookshop.
When reading about shamanism and shamanic practice, it is good to be aware of the perspective it is told from. Is it written by an anthropologist who studies ceremonies mainly as an outside observer? Some anthropologists also become deeply involved and participate. Sometimes descriptions of rituals are not fully understood and so meaning is imposed on them or they are interpreted as something they are not. Sometimes anthropologists see mainly the visible physical parts of a ceremony rather than the invisible Spirit aspects.
As well as reading anthropological texts, we encourage you to enjoy books that come direct from the source – from indigenous writers or practitioners. Be aware that there are many different shamanic traditions in the world and many different meanings of the word shaman
Though it is great to learn from others, please remember not to give your power away to a book. Your own experience is very valuable even if it does not fit with what you read. In our work we try to be inspired by other cultures’ traditions but take care not to imitate or appropriate knowledge that has not been openly shared. Be respectful and grateful for the wisdom that is available and remember to also go to the real teachers – the Spirits and the Living World.
** If you want to make us happy, please try to buy books from local independent bookstores and avoid Amazon as much as is possible **
ANIMISM & INDIGENOUS NATURE TEACHINGS
The Sacred: Ways of Knowledge, Sources of Life by Peggy V. Beck, Anna Lee Walters, Nia Francisco (Navajo Community College Press).
A rich collection of Native North American worldviews, exploring the meaning, role and function of sacred traditional practices.
Braiding Sweetgrass – Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Milkweed)
Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. The awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world https://www.robinwallkimmerer.com/books
Original Instructions – Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future by Melissa K. Nelson (editor) (Bear & Co)
A collection of Indigenous leaders and voices offering solutions to the global crisis by reconnecting to ancient ways of living from the heart of humanity within the heart of nature https://www.sapience.earth/voices-around-the-fire/original-instructions-melissa-nelson
Our Stories Remember: American Indian History, Culture and Values through Storytelling by Joseph Bruchac (Fulcrum). Prolific Nulhegan Abenaki writer sharing how stories carry wisdom, from a variety of perspectives such as Tlingit, Navajo, Cree, Abenaki, Yupik, Seminole, Sioux, Cherokee. https://www.josephbruchac.com/
Original Wisdom by Robert Wolff (Inner Traditions)
Meeting the Sng'oi people in Malaysia, psychologist Robert Wolff discovers a model of a society built on trust, patience, and harmony with the natural world
Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice by Mark J. Plotkin (Penguin)
An ethnobotanist’s search for medicinal plants in South American rainforests, and learning from the vast knowledge held by indigenous shamans.
Love Letter to the Earth by Thich Nhat Hahn (Parallax Press)
A practical animate path where change becomes possible through the recognition that people and the planet are ultimately one and the same https://plumvillage.org/book/love-letter-to-the-earth/
Animate Earth by Dr Stephan Harding (Green Books)
How Gaian science can help develop a sense of connectedness with the 'more-than-human' world https://www.greenbooks.co.uk/animate-earth
Soil, Soul, Society by Satish Kumar (2013, Leaping Hare Press)
Caring for the earth and soul is interrelated - what we do to nature, we also do to ourselves https://shop.resurgence.org/product/view/REBK043/soil,-soul,-society-(paperback)
Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence by Gregory Cajete (Clear Light Books)
Indigenous science as a way of understanding, experiencing, and feeling the natural world https://livingjusticepress.org/gregory-a-cajete-phd/
Rune Hjarnø Rasmussen’s project on a new animist understanding of old, long lasting traditions and practices in Northwestern Europe. Most videos and texts are in both English and Danish
Nordic Animism YouYube channel with a wealth of English language videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/Runehr
For source texts of old Norse mythology, the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda, this website has a wealth of texts in original Norse as well as English translations.
If you read a Scandinavian language, this is an incredible library of source texts in Norse and translations into Nordic languages. Well worth studying
Rune Magic & Shamanism by Jörgen I Eriksson
Jörgen’s personal approach to working with Runes, their origins and meanings. The aim of this book is to be a manual to the shaman’s philosophy and practice http://www.norrshaman.net/Rune%20Magic.htm
Jörgen's advice for learning rune magic on your own: http://www.norrshaman.net/onlineenglish.htm
Spirited Medicine, Shamanism in Contemporary Healthcare ed.by Cecile Carson (Society for Shamanic Practice)
Filled with practical strategies for healthcare and shamanic practitioners, it explores the integration of shamanism into modern Western society. Most of its authors are dually trained as healthcare providers and shamanic practitioners, with a variety of clinical examples.
Shamanism without Borders by Society for Shamanic Practice
Techniques and principles used by shamans throughout time to deal with trauma and disasters, and how these practices are still applied today as a shamanic response to natural disasters, acts of terrorism, war, pollution and more https://shamanicpractice.org/our-books/shamanism-without-borders-guidebook/
Global Response Network: https://shamanicpractice.org/shamanism-without-borders/
Medicine for the Earth by Sandra Ingerman (Three Rivers Press)
Transmutation of pollution and its history and practice, both for ourselves and the environment
Soul Retrieval, Mending the Fragmented Self by Sandra Ingerman (Harper San Francisco).
The basic book on soul retrieval in modern shamanic practice, as well as in traditional cultures.
The Way of the Shaman, a Guide to Power and Healing by Michael Harner (Random House)
A classic introduction to practical shamanism by the grandfather of the shamanic revival in the western world. Although Harner tried not to cross the line into cultural appropriation, by today’s standards there are some who argue that he did not succeed. The first half of the book can be helpful if you are not able to find an introductory workshop. We do not recommend his later book The Cave and the Cosmos as we feel it is very far from the way we work with the Spirits.
The Sprits are Always with Me by Jane Shutt (Rider)
UK shamanic practitioner and teacher Jane Shutt shares her knowledge and experience. Especially good if you are interested in working with the Spirits of Land, Houses and Places.
The Dancing Healers by Carl A. Hammerschlag, MD (Harper Collins)
A moving account of a young doctor's meeting with his southwest US Indian patients, and his eventual understanding of what their spiritual and healing traditions can bring to Western medicine.
Plant Spirit Medicine by Eliot Cowan (Swan Raven& Co)
A shamanic practitioner’s sharing of his way to meet plants. Interesting and instructive.
Gardens of the Soul: Making Sacred and Shamanic Art by Faith Nolton (Divine Arts)
Welsh visionary artist shares her creative processes, both as inner journeying work and practical art techniques. https://whyshamanismnow.com/2013/07/sacred-art-art-and-shamanism-with-faith-nolton/
Voices from the Earth by Nicholas Wood (Godsfield Press Ltd)
A rich resource with an emphasis on craftmaking and ceremony, this offers a lot of practical information and spiritual invitation.
Talking Stick, Peacemaking as a Spiritual Path by Stephan V Beyer (Inner Traditions)
Practices for openhearted speaking and devout listening to restore harmony in families, relationships, schools, workplaces, and communities
Way of Council by Jack Zimmerman and Viriginia Coyle (Bramble Books)
In-depth exploration of Council as a practice of open, heartfelt expression and attentive, empathic listening. With examples of how to use it in communities, schools, business environments, therapeutic groups or family systems.
SHAMANISM IN ANTHROPOLOGICAL ACCOUNTS
Shamans, Healers, and Medicine Men by Holger Kalweit (Shambhala)
An exciting and comprehensive look at shamanic traditions practiced in many parts of the world.
Shamanic Voices by Joan Halifax (editor) (Arkana)
In this book, Joan Halifax has gathered dozens of accounts of shamanic practice as described by traditional shamans.
The Wounded Healer by Joan Halifax (Thames and Hudson)
A fascinating text, exploring shamanism as practiced in many traditional cultures. Beautiful and unusual photographs.
Singing for Power by Ruth Murray Underhill (University of Arizona Press)
A classic anthropological work of rare sensitivity, power and beauty, exploring the powerful singing of the Tohono O'odham tribe in Arizona, USA.
Encyclopedia of Native American Healing by William S. Lyons (ABC-CILO)
Full of facts and inspiration, Lyons has a deep understanding and respect for the subject.
Shamanism: Archaic Techniques in Ecstasy by Mercia Eliade (Princeton)
In the 1940’s Eliade gathered information on shamanism from around the world. A fantastic reference book. The bibliography is a goldmine of classic anthropological studies of a world gone by. The reading is not that difficult and well worth it.
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C Mann (Vintage Press)
In-depth study of pre-Columbian Americas and the astonishing feats of civilization, larger and more advanced than any contemporary European city.
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (Beacon Press 2015)
Spanning more than four hundred years, this classic peoples’ history radically reframes US history and brings indigenous perspectives back into the national narrative.
Liberating Sapmi, Indigenous resistance in Europe’s far north by Gabriel Kuhn (PM Press)
In-depth interviews with Sámi artists, activists, and scholars standing up for the rights of their people. The first accessible English-language introduction to the history of the Sámi people focusing on their political resistance. https://www.pmpress.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1051
Being A Good Ally to Indigenous People:
MAGAZINES & JOURNALS
Sacred Hoop magazine – http://www.sacredhoop.org
Journal of Shamanic Practice - https://shamanicpractice.org/journal-of-shamanic-practice/
Spirit Talk - http://shamaniccircles.org/spirit_talk
Jorden Synger – naturens kraft og nordiske rødder af Annette Høst (2005, 2.udgave, Kbh, 2014)
Bogen er en indføring i hvordan vi kan rådslå med naturens ånder og kræfter gennem de nordiske metoder varseltagning og udesidning. Anvisningerne bygger dels på gammel tradition, dels på både Jonathans og Annettes mangeårige erfaring med det magiske naturarbejde. Derudover er der et væld af baggrundskundskaber fra Nordens myter og eventyr, som giver den mytiske og historiske baggrund for vores praksis. Vi anbefaler bogen som supplement til den selvoplevede viden, du henter på kurserne. Bogen kan nu igen købes på Annettes kurser og i boghandlen. Se mere på www.jordensynger.dk
Heligt Landskap af Jörgen I Eriksson & Jonas Unger (Norrshaman, 2015)
Jörgens forskning og forfatterskab har i mange år kredset om at få synliggjort den magiske tradition og naturspiritualitet, og sætte den ind i moderne shamanistisk sammenhæng. Denne bog er en guide ind i Sveriges hellige landskab og kraftstedernes historie, hvordan de fungerer, hvordan vi kan bruge og beskytte dem i dag. Se mere om Jörgens bøger på http://norrshaman.net
Kunskap och insikt i norrön tradition – mytologi, ritualer och trolldomsanklagelser av Catharina Raudvere (Nordic Academic Press). Modern forskning kring trolldom och trolldomsanklagelser i det förkristna Norden. Del av serien “Vägar till Midgård”
Kvinden i Shamanens Krop af Barbara Tedlock (Møntergården, Kbh, 2005)
Grundig redegørelse for den godt gemte kvindearv i shamanernes, helbredernes og seernes historie, samt mange vidnesbyrd fra forskellige kulturer om shaman ægtepar, der arbejder i tæt forening. Med nordisk efterord af Annette Høst.
I Begyndelsen var Skriget – vikingetidens myter om skabelsen af Henning Kure (Gyldendal 2010)
En spændende ny fremstilling af nordisk mytologi, for alle der vil forstå det spirituelle grundlag og verdenssyn under Nordens magiske og shamanistiske traditioner.
Kæmpesamling af oldnordiske kildetekster