By Oak, Ash, & Thorn: Modern Celtic Shamanism
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By Oak, Ash, & Thorn: Modern Celtic Shamanism

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  604 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Many seekers are interested in shamanism because it is a spiritual path that can be followed in conjunction with any religion or other spiritual belief without conflict. But the Native American and African peoples were not the only cultures to traditionally practice shamanism. For centuries, shamanism was practiced by the Europeans, as well - including the Celts.
Paperback, 246 pages
Published January 8th 1994 by Llewellyn Publications
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My main problem with this book, and most books about Celtic spirituality in general, is that it's all on speculation. Very little is known about how the Celts practiced their religion, and it varied between regions and tribes. Modern people love to try and lump things into catagories, and so to them, all of the Celts had all the same gods and terminology - or so this and other books would have you believe. True, Irish gods and goddesses like Lugh and Morrighan did have their counterparts in Fran...more
There were a lot of things in this book that are just plain wrong! Some rather vital information, actually.
Also, I have a problem with authors who pretend to impart historical or culturaly based knowledge. "They used to do it this way, but we're not going to do it that way because it's hard," and, "This is the proper term for this, but I'm going to use something else, because it's easier," just doesn't fly with me.

It's got nice meditations and visualizations, and can be a totally legitimate life...more
If I could give it negative stars, I would have. It is a load of hogwash peppered with just enough facts to make a beginner wonder. YUCK!
I am really regretting the $1 I spent on this book. I picked it up and thought to myself, "What the hell is celtic shamanism? Let's find out." And while I did find out the basic ins and outs of this practice, what I also got was a lot of pompous, self righteous bullshit. The crack about how atheists, like me, would never read anything spritual was hurtful and alienating and the repeated tearing down of Christianity was a complete turn off. I'm not big on organized religion either, but why would...more
As many pointed out it may not be historically correct but its a great book to pull from for self awareness. I do like the meditations and planning on using the self empowerment exercise on the full moon. It's a good book to have when trying to work on becoming a better you.
May 14, 2013 Onyx rated it 2 of 5 stars Recommends it for: no one.
Recommended to Onyx by: Someone long time ago that I lost track of. It was origionally his book.
I don't know exactly what to think of this book. It's great in the area of personal development, which is totally important when you're practicing any spiritual, magical, or even philosophical path. So the first third of the book I really liked. On the on other hand, the rest of the book has this mix of research in the Way of the Shaman by Michael J. Harner, along with Celtic history, mythology, and language, plus Wicca and New Age creative visualization practices. I'm not sure if all that put t...more
Andrea Paterson
Some really interesting information about what it means to practice shamanism in the modern world. The book, however, had a very angry and confrontational tone in places as if the author expects to be criticized and persecuted at every turn. I was turned off by this underlying frustration and annoyance.
Emily Crow
I am currently re-reading this is better than I remembered. It may not be authentically "Celtic" or "shaman,"--as some critics maintain-- but it is still useful and interesting. I especially like the author's stance about taking responsibility for your life, good or bad... Even if something unpleasant happened, find one good thing and move on. The meditations are also quite nice.
He just took his own cosmic world view and called it Celtic Shamanism. This is based on his own imaginary BS. Don't be misled, find a real book on shamanism like Singing the Soul Back Home and Ireland like Celtic Heritage. Then let it happen naturally. His detailed dogma hopefully does not fit anyone else's; the Otherworlds need to be creatively mined for our own gems.
A lot of the typical fluff, but some really good meditation exercises using the senses. Extreme overuse of the word "shaman" and words like "shamanism" and "shamanizing" (not kidding). The word will stop making sense if you read too much at once. Still, a few things I took notes on for further use.
Anna Silver
Excellent take on the traditional Celtic mythology. Gave me a whole new perspective on ancient Celtic practices and stories. A well-rounded read for anyone pursuing alternative spiritual practices. Some very good journeys/meditations/visualizations as well. Enjoy!
I love stuff that opens my shriveling mind...this book on modern shamanism does that and more taking on improving one's self as well as the natural world.

I now know where Mark Chadbourn got the ideas for his apocalyptic novels...from Celtic mythology.
Good running explanation of Celtic Shamanism. It explains well enough for a person to decide whether they're interested in this art form or not. If you're interested in Celtic folklore this is a wonderful read for you.
Spider Goddess
This is a great book for a beginner. It is a fabulous introduction to Shamanism as it is on a Celtic Path. I recommend it to anyone looking for an introduction. If you are new to Shamanism, this is a good first read....
Derek Healey
D.J. Conway is marvelous in this beautifully written shamanic adventure, helping, guiding, teaching. With meditations and journeys to the Otherworlds, this is a must read for any aspiring shaman.
Conway is an amazing author, and this book is no different. As a practicing Witch, I've always been interested in Shamanism and Druidism, and this work gives a gateway to both. Truly incredible.
This is probably rated higher than it deserves, but I think of it fondly as it got me back to a path I'd left. Conway is otherwise a horrible writer.
A great book to learn about your self with. Lots of soul searching and growing comes out of reading this book.
May 09, 2013 Eva rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
Challenging read. Excellent resource information on celtic symbolism, symbols, stones and guided meditation.
A nice introduction to this topic. Includes some visualizations and exercises.
I like the author but this book just didn't do it for me.
A good jumping off point but shaky on the details.
Amanda Dressel
Got a lot out of this. :)
may pick up again one day.
Nov 05, 2009 Holly rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Celtic Practioners & shamans
Enjoyed it.
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Apr 13, 2014
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A native of the Pacific Northwest, author D.J. Conway has studied the occult fields for over 35 years. Her quest for knowledge has covered every aspect of Paganism and Wicca to New Age and Eastern philosophies; plus history, the magical arts, philosophy, customs, mythologies and folklore. In 1998, she was voted Best Wiccan and New Age author by Silver Chalice, a Pagan magazine.

She lives a rather...more
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