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By Oak, Ash, & Thorn: Modern Celtic Shamanism

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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  932 Ratings  ·  32 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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Heather
Oct 11, 2008 rated it did not like it
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.
Jessica
Nov 07, 2007 rated it it was ok
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
Scott
Aug 05, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: spirituality
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
Andrea Paterson
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
Maya
Apr 19, 2009 rated it did not like it
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!
Sue
Sep 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Sari
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Tonya Brown
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
This was nothing of what I hoped it would be. Felt too deep and yet too shallow at the same time. Is that even a thing?
Leah Markum
Jan 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
I tried. I tried again. Then I realized sometimes it's best to let things go.

As many other reviewers have said, this book had potential. It had a good topic. I love reading pagan philosophy books for a holistic, semi-real world interest and semi-fictional world building interest. I don't even care if the statements are directly evidence based or more qualitative. I care, however, about the writer's approach to sharing information, and this approach completely overshadowed any Celtic shamanism th
...more
Yvonne
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Some people really dislike this book. I happen to like this book. Not many pagan authors discussed soul retrieval or dealing with a shattered or as Conway said a 'fragmented' soul. So I was quite pleased when this was discussed from his perspective. There's some good information in here, meditations etc. It may not be totally Celtic or totally shamanism, maybe we need to stop labeling everything and just go with flow and see how it works for us. If it resonates with our spirit, great. If not, no ...more
Danni
Aug 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
By Oak, Ash, and Thorn by DJ Conway could have been a great book introducing readers to Celtic Shamanism. Instead, it is plagued by poor writing, judgement, and terrible advice. Perhaps, this work appeals to a few. I'm sure there are Pagans who find some information from its pages to be useful, but it certainly wasn't for me.

Each chapter has information geared towards those just starting a shamanic path. It discusses how the author uses the information in his own practice. There are examples of
...more
Onyx
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Emily Crow
I am currently re-reading this book...it 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.
Kirsten
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
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.
Spider Goddess
Mar 01, 2013 rated it liked it
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....
Pat
Aug 02, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
Randy
Jun 23, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Katherine Moss
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysticism
A very interesting read on Celtic legends and old ways ... how to take ancient practices and adapt them for the modern world ... well worth it for history buffs, practitioners of modern wisdom, and nature lovers
Alexander
Aug 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Garrett
Feb 07, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: pagan
I like the author but this book just didn't do it for me.
Eva
Apr 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
Challenging read. Excellent resource information on celtic symbolism, symbols, stones and guided meditation.
Gwyndyllyn
Aug 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shamanism
A nice introduction to this topic. Includes some visualizations and exercises.
Sandy
Jul 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
A great book to learn about your self with. Lots of soul searching and growing comes out of reading this book.
Tammy
Aug 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
A good jumping off point but shaky on the details.
Derek Healey
Oct 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Joan Porte
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
Good meditations that is it.
Amanda Dressel
May 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Got a lot out of this. :)
Brian
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
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.
Rachel
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
on the top 12 list
Charles
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
the book was very informative although i never see myself being a shaman i do see me using stuff from the book to help my own well being
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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
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