The Shaman Within: Reclaiming our Rites of Passage.
A new edition of this highly accessible book about shamanism, by Barbara Meiklejohn-Free, is being released this month and I've had the chance to read it before it comes out. I liked it.
What I liked most about The Shaman Within is the way it shows that each of us can find the lessons we need for spiritual growth and personal development within our own lives. Just like our earliest ancestors, who had no one to teach them about shamanism except nature herself, the best thing we can do to learn is to let ourselves be open to the lessons of nature. If we need human mentors, we will find them as we travel on our path through life, but often the best teachers are the voices of our ancestors, the spirits of the land around us and the inner guidance of our own hearts.
Barbara's book is in the form of an autobiography, the story of her life. And what an interesting life it is too - from an unhappy childhood in Scotland, to finding like-minded people who helped her learn about her psychic and magical gifts as well as pagan traditions, and then to being welcomed into a Native American family and taking part in their sacred ceremonies. Each chapter also includes a short ritual that readers can use themselves as personal rites of passage in their own lives.
Publisher Moon Books says on its website: "The Shaman Within explains how our ancient wisdoms can now be employed to tackle the big issues that trouble our minds, ravage our bodies and quash our spirits. Through a very personal journey; the travels, experiences, rituals, highs and lows of the protagonist, an amazing tapestry of insights and answers is woven before our very eyes. And the threads of this tapestry consist of the incredible healing and empowerment that our long-forgotten ‘rites of passage’ afford us. The lessons within enable us to feel more complete, at one with ourselves, our environment and the universe that created us. This book speaks to all who seek true fulfilment and imparts the tools to achieve it."
I met Barbara at the Mind Body Spirit Festival in London earlier this year, where I took the photo of her at the top and enjoyed a guided visualisation that she ran. I also very much enjoyed reading her book and would recommend it to anyone who likes reading fascinating accounts of people's lives and is interested in following their own pagan path.
Known widely as The Highland Seer, Barbara Meiklejohn-Free was born and brought up in the Highlands of Scotland. She currently lives in Buxton, England, but has worked with many indigenous cultures around the world, including North and South America.
Links and previous related posts
The Shaman Within: Reclaiming our Rites of Passage