Shamanism is a long-standing and powerful spiritual practice that has been used around the world. "At the experiential center of shamanism lies the potent path of direct revelation, revealing that in this spiritual discipline, there are no intermediaries standing between the helping spirits and ourselves. We can all have access to the wisdom, guidance, and healing that the helping spirits and Nature have to share with us," write Sandra Ingerman and Hank Wesselman. She is a licensed therapist and shamanic practitioner who teaches workshops on shamanism and how to reverse environmental pollution around the world. Her books include Medicine for the Earth. Wesselman is a paleoanthropologist and shamanic teacher who has worked with anthropologists investigating human origins in Africa; his books include Spiritwalker. The two authors believe that shamanism is an ancient form of meditation that can be taught and experienced by the contemporary spiritual seeker who wants to connect with the transpersonal spirit world. In ancient cultures, the shaman was seen as "the one who sees in the dark" or "the one who knows."
Before exploring the shamanic journey, Ingerman and Wesselman share the three main tools of the shaman: gratitude, seeing, and blessing. They move on to step-by-step instructions on preparing for a shamanic journey and setting an intention; traveling to the Lower World, Middle World, or Upper World; and returning from and interpreting your journeys. The authors then present authoritative overviews in chapters on reconnecting with nature, visionary work with weather and environmental changes, the power of ceremony and ritual, dreams, creative art as a bridge, working with sound and light, death as a rite of passage, experiential work with death and dying, all change involves a death, our children are our future, working in community, the transformational community, and the return of the shaman.
Reading this impressive array of material is the equivalent of sitting in the presence of two skilled shamans with great wisdom and healing powers. Ingerman and Wesslman expand this circle of sharing with contributions by four other practitioners: Tom Cowan, a historian; Carol Proudfoot-Edgar, a psychotherapist; Jose Stevens, a psychologist; and Alberto Villado, a medical anthropologist. Bound into the back of the book is an audio designed to help you achieve the shamanic trance state.