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Posted May 21, 2004
I've read a couple other books about shamanism and while they were very well done, I found myself getting confused by some of the terminology the authors used. This book gets away from the terminology (and explains virtually all terms in a great glossary at the book's end) and explains topics and concepts about shamanism in a way that any layperson can understand. Topics like 'shamanic journeys,' 'power animals,' 'Upper, Middle & Lower Worlds' are all explained in great detail. She also discusses the history of shamanism and describes shamanism in different cultures. While native American shamanism may share some concepts with Siberian shamanism for example, there are also enough differences between the two to clearly set them apart. And while Ms Scott is able to 'de-mystify' a lot of shamnaistic concepts, she also raises concerns about those who are trying to 'commercialize' shamanism for their own personal gains or those who claim to be 'shamans,' without going through a lot of the training usually required to be one. I've read a couple of Ms Scott's other books on other subjects and had no idea she had also written other books on shamanism. I felt she did a wonderful job writing this one, which I felt was an excellent overall introduction to this world. While one book does not make you an 'expert' in any kind of field, Scott has a bibliography that allows the reader to find other related books that will further their education in this area. Ms Scott has done a wonderful job in introducing the topic of shamanism to the general public.
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