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By Oak, Ash, & Thorn: Modern Celtic Shamanism

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2005

    Major Disappointment!

    D.J. Conway may know something about Core Shamanism--the guided meditations are actually pretty good--and she may have read Celtic literature, but she appears to know nothing about Celtic history and culture. Her disparaging remarks about St. Patrick and early Christianity are gratuitous and frequently wrong. Just 19 pages into the book, she writes, 'Although ancient Roman writers told of the Druidic passion for memorizing vast amounts of genealogy, history, and spiritual knowledge, it seems at some time the Celts did record some of their beliefs and history in writing. We are extremely fortunate that some of these manuscripts survived the burning purges of the Christians. Although it is said that that the Celts kept no written records, St. Patrick personally burned almost 180 Irish books written in the Celtic language.' In fact, every creditable historian I've read agrees that the Celts were pre-literate. We have a few memorial inscriptions in Ogham which seems to have been invented shortly before the Christian era, and some merchants's trade records--which might have written in Greek. We have not only Celtic myths and legends but works of the Greek philosophers because Irish monks collected, copied, and preserved them. Many books, however, were burned by Pagan Vikings between 800-1000 CE. NOWHERE could I find a reference to St. Patrick burning books--not even heretical Christian books, a possibility I would have accepted. This tidbit of information comes from Lewis Spence of Altantis fame. In the early 20th Century he also wrote a couple of books on Celtic mythology. Under no circumstances would I consider him a reliable source... I have no respect for Conway's shabby research. There are better books on shamanism available. I won't waste money on another Conway book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2003

    Good Primer

    I won't pretend to be an expert on the subject (shamanism) but the book did seem a bit too 'mechanical'. In other words, gave too many lists of precise actions to follow and presented a type of cookbook approach which I felt was a bit too constrained for such a dynamic and individualized practice. For me, the 'how to' discussion style: 1) do this 2) turn to your left 3) talk to this being 4) if the being says this, then do this....did not invite one to experience the otherworlds in a free-flowing manner which I find more appropriate. Also I think the author could have done a much better job of explaining what exactly 'celtic' means. In the book it is clear that the author is focusing on the extreme western part of Europe (namely the british isles) - while celtic tribes were found as far east as helvetia (modern day Switzerland). I dislike this aspect of the book because it feeds the 'celtic frenzy' wherein anything with 'irish' or 'celtic' in its name/title sells like hotcakes...whether or not it is historically correct. All in all, a good primer for learning more about shamanism in general.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2001

    By Oak, Ash, and Thorn

    I enjoy the way she writes her books, they have almost like a hidden meaning. But anyway, you should check it out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2001

    Worth the Read

    Although I could've done without the unnecessary Christian-bashing in the introduction, and although Llewellyn desperately needs better editors, this book is definately worth the read. The author presents some very useful info on basic shamanic techniques, as well as several helpful exercises - but be forewarned, that much of the cultural information provided on Celts and Celtic culture is up to speculation and debate, as the Celts were not a monolithic people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2000

    Love or hate

    I must agree with some reviews that i have read. This book is either love or hate. I happened to of loved the book. Not only does the authour help the reader start off their path of shamanism. She gives a background and several reverances to her reasons for her writings. She gives bits and pieces of celtic lore and legend. At first I didn't like it but towards the end it helped alot. This book is very good for those of us looking for celtic shamanism or just plain old shamanism. I must say though this is not a read and become book it is a read learn trial and error then become book. As an aspiring shaman take my advice the best teacher is yourself and nature.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 1999

    good read

    Although I am an Odinist I do study both the celtic and teutonic folklore and history, and I found this to be a very good book, because the reality that the Northern Europeans used more symbol using (runes/ogham) and shamanic (the teutons called it 'seithr) techniques and not the popular 'Ceromonial Magic' (used by Wiccans and Hermetics)has come into play. For those of you looking for a good book on a genuine system of shamanism, this is a good book to get.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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