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Shamans Through Time

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  108 ratings  ·  7 reviews
A survey of five centuries of writings on the world's great shamans-the tricksters, sorcerers, conjurers, and healers who have fascinated observers for centuries.

This collection of essays traces Western civilization's struggle to interpret and understand the ancient knowledge of cultures that revere magic men and women-individuals with the power to summon spirits. As writt
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 9th 2004 by Tarcher (first published April 23rd 2001)
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so much knowledge has been lost due to our own indifference to things we have not understood. This book was humbling in the sense that so much of my heritage has been part of the discrimination and destruction of such valuable teachings through the ages.
1) "Devil Worship: Consuming Tobacco to Receive Messages from Nature" (1535); de Oviedo, Gonzalo Fernandez
2) "Ministers of the Devil Who Learn about the Secrets of Nature" (1557); Thevet, Andre
3) "Evoking the Devil: Fasting with Tobacco to Learn How to Cure" (1664); Biet, Antoine
4) The Shaman: "A Villain Who Calls Demons" (1672); Petrovich, Avvakum
5) "The Savages Esteem Their Jugglers" (1724); Lafitau, Joseph Francois
6) "Shamans Deserve Perpetual Labor for Their Hocus-Pocus" (1751); Gmelin, Joha
Jack Barten
This is an excellent book that one can either dip in and out of or go right through the history of how shamanic practices have been represented.

Narby is an anthropologist with extensive knowledge of Amazonian shamanism but the book takes a much broader view by going through hundreds of years of history and offering the reader clear snapshots from different people's perspectives.

These range from early missionary accounts, where the shaman is presented as doing diabolical things on behalf of the
I had to read this book for my Anthropology class, and I found it quite interesting. It amazing how Shamans have been viewed. Some view them as "actors", others view them as true healers in their societies. This compilation of essays does a nice job of showing you the various views of anthropologists, adventurers and explorers. The early essays show how shamanism is viewed as hoaxes to devil worship; whereas, the later essays show how shamanism is viewed as a "remarkable system of spiritual know ...more
My 4th favorite book about shamans.
This was an excellent book, with many accounts of what shamans have said themselves. As it is written for our culture there are, of course, some parts which have a difficult and unhelpful energy for people with psychic/shamanic gifts to read, but on the whole this is one of the best books I've found. I do recommend it highly.
Interesting insight into how the Shamans were viewed in the olden days.
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