Neville Drury, a longtime resident of Sydney, Australia, is the author of more than 40 books on shamanism and other subjects. In this work of visionary fiction, he explores the work of four shamans in the Arctic snows of Canada, in the central Australian desert, in the sacred mountains of Japan, and in the rain forests of South America. Each exemplifies an Earth-cherishing way of life. Their stories chart the call to be a shaman, the quest to bring healing and harmony to their people and lands, their trips into the Otherworld, and their efforts to restore order and balance to the world.

As Tom Cowan points out in a basic introduction to shamanism included in this volume, these creative midwives may live in different parts of the globe but they reside in the same landscape of spirit and power. As a shamanic practitioner and a member of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, he notes: "The core responsibilities of shamans are: to remove from someone the harmful energies that cause sickness and despair; to retrieve lost or stolen souls and restore health to the ill or dying; to interpret dreams, omens, and messages from the spirit world; to conduct rites of passage that prepare people for the next stages of their lives; to assist at births, receiving the human soul into this world; and to officiate at deaths by escorting the soul back into the Otherworld from which it came."

Cowan and Drury provide a wonderful perspective on this tradition cherished in indigenous cultures. It is no wonder that shamanism is cropping up all over the place today. Check out The Corporate Shaman: A Business Fable by Richard Whiteley.