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The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer, and Visionary

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  698 ratings  ·  48 reviews
A leading expert on native spirituality and shamanism reveals the four archetypal principles of the Native American medicine wheel and how they can lead us to a higher spirituality and a better world.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 26th 1993 by HarperOne
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It doesn't matter that the scholarship is suspect at best; Angeles Arrien's take on shamanic paths is a great filter to add to your collection. I use it all the time in my work.

Arrien is best-known for her work on tarot and astrology. Her interpretations in those areas are a) always geared toward generative change rather than remediation and b) always well-structured in an overarching system. Her take on Native American shamanism is as well. Unlike her tarot system, however, her shamanic paths f
Karen Jett
Aug 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'm read this book as preparation to work with a client using the leadership compass.

This is an easy to read book that divides the personality into 4 different abilities: Warrior (being present), Healer (heart), Visionary (truth), and Teacher (non-attachment). Unlike many other books, it's about becoming an effective leader by balancing your abilities in each area.

I especially liked the way the author not only described each area but also connected each back to nature and indigenous people's bel
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shamanism
Wonderful, it gets your mind rolling and forces you to think outside the box, about so many things in our lives, many of us just take as that's the way it has always been. One of the many things that has kept me on this path for so long. I read the books and learn and find out things that make connections to so much in this world and the other side. I read this one a few years back do not even remember when I got it. but it sits on my shelve in good company. ...more
Michón Neal
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Vital and Integrated Resource

As a Native who's physically cut off from my culture, reading such a thorough and clear tome of the roots all indigenous cultures share unfurled me to the core. It affirmed current practices and values while providing even deeper reasons and ways to do even better. It actually guides you through what the shadow aspects are and how to repurpose and heal them. It doesn't teach sacrifice, but Wholeness.

My only complaint is in the reference to several historical figure
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was ok
Cute, nice, but didn't bring anything new to the table.

I think...That the book offers four different viewing styles of/to life. I think it would be best to find them all in oneself, not just pick one and consider yourself a warrior or a dreamer, for example.

The first chapter made me raise my eyebrow. Shake the rattle and perform a soul retrieval? Uh...

The author has done a massive research, which is good. One can get advice for further research, wherever the path leads her. But that leads me bac
Akira Sasabe
Jul 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful self-reflection tool for someone who is interested in the native American traditions. Four archetypes described here provide a road map to understand your own personality, tendencies, shadows, and coping mechanisms. When I read this book, I felt so drawn to the images and ritualistic feelings anchoring different components in the book.
I read this book as part of my graduate study in organizational psychology. It really helped me to weave out my own theory of leadership person
Roxanne Claire
Apr 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
From my notes:
Four Principles: Show up; Pay attn to what has heart and meaning;tell the truth w/o blame or judgment; be open to outcome, not attached to outcome.

healing is a journey to wholeness. life-negating patterns: addictions such as intensity, perfection,need to know.

learning how to reclaim projections.

This book is dense with helpful information and suggestions. Told me a little more than I wanted to know about where I create problems for myself.
Feb 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. She focuses in on the four paths with wonderful rituals and meditations and reading this really helped me understand those four parts of myself more deeply. I also realized that we do not have to choose JUST one path, but can walk them all at various times. I also really loved the cave paintings and drawings included in the book. They are really powerful and went straight into my dreams.
Cresanda Allen
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Amazing description of each archetype. Arrien gives tools to use to awaken each one. I enjoyed the ability to further define myself because of the books anecdotes and explanations.
She included a lot of principles that resonated with me.
Sep 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I read "The Four-Fold Way" in preparation for a workshop that I will be co-facilitating on the process of transition.

Author Angeles Arrien explores four archetypes of shamanic (and other indigenous peoples) teachings: the Warrior, the Healer, the Visionary, and the Teacher. For each archetype, she covers the direction, element, creature, human resource, kind of meditation, way of living, four-fold way, healing salve, instrument, and season that it is associated with in many cultures.

What I enjo
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it
A decent introduction into the world of shamanism and the overlapping of different spiritual traditions around the world with a lot of inspirational quotes and motivational snippets. I found the separation of the four ways to be somewhat contrived, in the sense that key concepts kept popping up again and again throughout the book. Not that that is bad in itself - at the end it only just goes to show the centrality of said concept - but it does water down the idea of the book to develop four dist ...more
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked this book a lot and took a lot from the different paths. I didn't rate it more highly because there was so much given about each way in terms of how you might develop it, and so I was left feeling really overwhelmed and also not knowing where to start with it all. It also felt like the teacher archetype was perhaps an afterthought. Whereas the other ways had something about them that felt like it resonated, I have found it difficult to remember the fourth way and when it came to the summ ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
I read this book after hearing a podcast that referred to Arrien's work. I found the concepts of these archetypes as pillars of emotional development compelling. That being said I found Arrien's overview to be somewhat too broad and the practices she reviewed under each heading too sweeping and underdeveloped. I like the concept of the four archetypes working in counterpoint to one another as compass points, but found myself unsatisfied with the working through offered in this summation. That be ...more
Sep 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding. This book has been a foundational influence on me since the day I picked up off
my then girlfriend now wife's bookshelf 20 years ago. I can not highly recommend this book enough. I found it particularly effective for helping me develop a well rounded outlook on life and on the concept of cultivation.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my all time favorites. I've read it about 50 times. Don't just read & move on - dig deep! Use for your own growth & healing but you can also use with teams at work, executive coaching, and so on. Enjoy! ...more
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
The author describes cross-cultural roles and archetypes of 1)right use of power, 2)love, 3)creativity, and 4)wisdom and how applying them correctly helps us to live in our environment and inner nature.
Jul 26, 2021 rated it it was ok
I feel like I missed the point of this book. Maybe if I'd done training, this would help me remember the salient points? Maybe if I were writing a book, this would help me describe the strengths/weaknesses or particular characters? Maybe I'm just too cynical. ...more
Lorna Schuster
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Transformative if you work through the questions honestly.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
interesting read about traditional archetypes.
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I read this book as part of a spirituality group of which I am a member. It was interesting but not engrossing.
Jo-jean Keller
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So much to learn from The Four-fold Way. A book to treasure and reread!
Stephanie Suryana
Mar 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book. Helpful metaphors from wisdom past.
Erik Akre
Mar 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: reflective spiritual practitioners
The most I can say for this book is that I felt motivated, as I read it, to actually write on every single journal prompt presented. That's saying quite a bit, I think. For anyone who enjoys personality typing, and exploring different aspects of humanness in themselves, I think The Four-Fold Way will be a successful read.

Arrien explores four prominent archetypes, and what each means, and the reader is given to reflect on what role each archetype plays in his life. Which are the strongest? Which
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Arrien's weird conglomeration of all "native" spiritualities into one way, path and structure is bunk, but her approach to and presentation of finding a whole, balanced life is anything but. If you can ignore the former and read for the latter, Arrien has great insights, practical advice and an overall uplifting, nature-centered and self-finding message, all of which is presented in a cleanly written way. For myself* (*the not-at-all spiritual person who still finds earth-based spirituality an i ...more
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Encouraged by a friend, I recently finished this methodical book on self-reflection and inner "shadow work." I had difficulty at first reconciling my own meaning of animals, directions, and other natural world symbology. Each archetype was assigned these symbols, and they felt incomplete while also conflicting with my own prior knowledge. Once I let that minor detail go, I found this to be a straightforward tool that mixes lightly-sourced anthropology with consistent, purposeful exercises. This ...more
Aug 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
I started reading this and practicing some of the methods in 2000, when I was a teacher. I have picked it up at times throughout the years to improve my spirituality in areas of my life.

I like the differing meditation styles and the musical instruments associated with each archetype. I re-read the whole book again before loaning it to a friend who better return it! It's nice to have a spiritual book to which I can refer with all of my margin notes. I also like the references to the tribes of th
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
An excellent compilation of personality styles, working from the work you are called to do on earth. There are four sections: visionary, teacher, healer, and warrior. The book is a mystical approach to life's work. Each section includes strengths or gifts, the shadow side, the kind of meditation and body work that strengthens the soul.

I read the book as part of research on a poetry-writing class, and this book really helped me dig into the part of the experience that grows image-creation. A goo
Jan 03, 2016 rated it liked it
While the book shouldn't be read for an accurate portrayal of indigenous and Shamanic practices, Arrien does offer a useful framework to self-reflection and inspiration based on the archetypes of the warrior, teacher, healer, and visionary. Individuals - like cultures - could use these themes as a springboard to more specific (and perhaps historically informed) practices that serve to benefit all. ...more
Nov 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
My sister is a huge fan of Ms. Arrien. This is my first introduction to her work and so far, sadly, I cannot declare myself overwhelmed by her wisdom. Her writing is certainly balanced between scholarly and spiritual. Perhaps because this book is so solidly couched in western American Shamanism it is missing its mark with me.
Feb 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: occult
Angeles Arrien explicates an interesting and useful four element cosmology. Arrien provides suggested exercises and practices that, if followed, will bring change. The Cycle of Transformation workshops draw a lot from Arrien's work. ...more
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cultural anthropologist, award-winning author, educator, and consultant to many organizations and businesses. She lectures and conducts workshops worldwide, bridging cultural anthropology, psychology, and comparative religions. Her work is currently used in medical, academic, and corporate environments. She is the President of the Foundation for Cross-Cultural Education and Research. Her books hav ...more

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