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The Way of the Shaman --Michael Harner. Harner went to South America as a grad student in anthropology and went native, studied under Jivaro shamans, and becae in the process, arguably the world's number one authority on the subject now that Mircea Eliade is no longer on this plane). Although his own practice is somewhat culture-bound, he teaches what he calls "core shamanism,"--that is, shamanic practice stripped of cultural overlay and superstition. His foundation produces some of the best CDs and tapes for inducing altared states available.
Soul Loss and Retrieval -- Sandra Ingerman. Okay, the title is a tad misleading--in this context, "soul" does not to refer to our immortal soul, but more to something that might be called "vital essence." It can be lost and regained. I know this, having done soul retrievals many times in my practice--seeing the light come back into someone's eyes after doing the work is, well, difficult to describe.
Plant Spirit Medicine --Eliot Cowan. Great book, but not for the beginner, on invoking and working with not only plant spirits, but also Tlaloc, the Aztec rain god. All I can say is, it works for me.
- Helen W
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My personal favourites on Shamanism include the Kenneth Meadows stuff, and some of the more theoretical Castanada books (the drugs ones turn me right off..but the Active Side of Infinity. Wow). Oh, and the Theun Mares Toltec books, which are not so different if you look through deeply.
Mainly I enjoy the 'experience' based Shamanic books, since I find that my own methods are similar enough for them to uploft me, but often the purely techqniue based books just dont quite set right in my own heart..so what I know of Shamanism has mainly been taught to me directly by my guides and teachers.
I really must get round to writing a proper list of good books I've discovered recently.