I like books aimed at us pagans in towns and cities rather than the lucky few with homes in sleepy country villages surrounded by nature. Living in urban sprawls, we commute on crowded trains and buses to work long, stressful hours for little pay in characterless offices and have so many other chores on top that we simply don't have the time for lengthy daily rituals and meditations.
The Rush Hour Shaman: Shamanic Practices for Urban Livingis a book for people like us. It shows how we can make space for spirituality in our crowded, busy lives.
The theme, as the title suggests, is the rush hour. Chapters have titles like: "Sacred Space – or – Wow, I Found a Great Parking Space!" and, "Reconnecting With the Cycles – or – The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round". There are short meditations that you could even do while just sitting on the bus with your eyes closed and suggestions for creating a small sacred space on your office desk using a few items co-workers would think were just personal trinkets.
The Rush Hour Shaman is a beginners' book and is targeted at the Mind Body Spirit end of the market - at those who want to learn safe and simple shamanic practices rather than those whose ideal is to spend weeks in the jungle fasting and having visions. But I don't think that's a bad thing, we can't all be hardcore shamans following the path of our tribal ancestors. As publisher Moon Books says on its website, author Janet Gale presents an introduction to "Post-Tribal Shamanism, which offers a means of reclaiming many of these pieces, not by a return to the past, but by moving forward into a deeper understanding of our place in the universe."
Moon Books also says about the book: "The biggest cause of illness and disease in our lives today is that we have lost connection with the natural world, resisting the nurturing, healing and support that is offered to us. The Rush Hour Shaman is a "how to" book for living shamanically in our modern world. It offers a detailed protocol for reconnecting to ourselves, Mother Earth and all our Helping Spirits, and through that reconnection, find love, healing and meaning in one's life."
For those wanting to find peace and a deeper connection to the world and people around them in the middle of the rush-hour rat-race, The Rush Hour Shamanwould make good commuter train reading.
Janet Gale is a shamanic practitioner and teacher who studied under renowned author and core shamanism teacher Sandra Ingerman. Janet also recommends her books and CDs. I was given a copy of Shamanic Meditations by Sandra Ingerman last Yule, but haven't got around to opening it yet. The Rush Hour Shaman has spurred me on to do so.
Links and previous related posts:
The Rush Hour Shaman: Shamanic Practices for Urban Living