Thursday, 6 March 2014

Review: Shaman Pathways - The Druid Shaman

You don't have to travel to the Amazon, Siberia or the USA if you want to learn to become a shaman. There are a lot of similarities between Celtic druidry and shamanism - which is good news for those of us living in the UK. Practitioners of both shamanism and druidry look to the Otherworld for inspiration and connect with the spirits of plants and animals for such things as healing and knowledge.

Shaman Pathways - The Druid Shaman: Exploring the Celtic Otherworld is a new book that explains how close the parallels are, and also serves as a practical guide to embarking on the path of druidic shamanism.

Publisher Moon Books says on its website: "Covering the basics of Celtic shamanism, with reference to traditional lore and source materials through the lens of both ancient and modern druidry and shamanic practice, The Druid Shaman is a well rounded guide, showing the seamless cross over between druidry and shamanism in the Celtic tradition. It covers topics such as how to attain and work with guides and allies, understanding the spirit realm and interaction with spirits of all kinds, accessing powers of place, travelling the world tree and working with the seven directions and exploring and navigating within the Celtic Otherworld. With practical techniques, exercises and core skills, The Druid Shaman can be used as a practical manual as well as a valuable resource for practicing shamans and druids as well as those new to the subject."

The book is by 
Danu Forest, a Celtic shaman and druid priestess who has worked in the Celtic mysteries for more than 20 years. She starts by explaining something about the history of the druids and the Celtic bards, and also the history of shamanism. After this essential introduction, she offers practical advice and exercises, starting with how to make the tools of the trade, such as the druid's traditional "crane skin" bag. This is the cloth or leather bag "in which to store things which you use in your practice – stones, feathers, herbs, as well as other druidic or shamanic tools".

Danu goes on to explain how to develop the abilities of the seer, reach a shamanic state of consciousness and cast a circle. From there one can embark on shamanic journeying, and there are exercises in finding a spirit ally and meeting one's ancestors. These are important contacts to make before attempting further shamanic journeying to the Otherworlds.

A connection with the landscape is vital for both druids and shamans. Further exercises show how to meet the guardians of the earth and trees, as well as kindling an awareness of "Nemetona, the Celtic Goddess of the sacred grove". Finally, Danu covers methods of divination that ancient druids are likely to have used, and which can still be mastered today.

The Druid Shaman is a nicely written guide that is suitable for beginners and those with some experience of paganism. Copies can be ordered in Kindle editionand paperback.

Links and previous related posts
Kindle: Shaman Pathways - The Druid Shaman: Exploring the Celtic Otherworld
Paperback: Shaman Pathways - The Druid Shaman: Exploring the Celtic Otherworld

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