"This book, if you let it, will take you on a journey… you will experience first-hand the healing power of shamanism, and your eyes will be opened to a world of mystery and potential that has been there all along. You don’t need any special talents or powers, just an open mind. And you will trust this new way of being, because you will personally experience it. To say that this will change your life for the better is a remarkable understatement.” – from 'The Shamanic Journey'.
Many people feel a growing disenchantment with modern life; that something fundamental is missing or ‘wrong’. Our increased material wealth is making us less happy, not more. Mental health issues are on the rise, and we face an environmental crisis. Somehow, we have lost our way. People long for a deeper sense of connection, a greater purpose, and a more sustainable and natural way of living. Yet people are often unsure as to what they can do to find this.
If you are ready, the practice of shamanism holds the answers. As the oldest healing and spiritual practice known to humankind, it can help us to retrieve that which feels lost. In shamanism, we find a journey that can lead us to true fulfilment and purpose, and to a right way of living and being in the world.
In The Shamanic Journey, shamanic practitioner, teacher and psychotherapist, Paul Francis, offers an apprenticeship for our times. By building upon the work of Michael Harner, author of 1980’s classic ‘The Way of the Shaman’, Francis has created a practical, ethical and experiential guide; from what shamanism is, right through to giving a shamanic healing to another person. It includes: a full introduction to the lower, middle and upper shamanic realms; an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to doing your first shamanic journey; guidance on how to connect and nurture a life-long relationship with your Power Animal; instruction on how do a basic shamanic healing; practical know-how for interpreting the meaning and symbolism contained within your journeys.
Moreover, this book looks at how to place the ancient art of shamanism at the centre of our modern lives, in order to be able to experience that longed-for connection with our true selves and with Spirit. For we are no longer the same kind of people as our hunter-gatherer ancestors were, and we live in very different times and face many different challenges. So the book explores how to bring shamanism up-to-date, to make it fully and directly relevant to modern-day life. This includes exploring how modern 'civilisation' has changed us mentally, emotionally and spiritually; how it has domesticated us and tamed us, and how this has led to many of the problems that we now face. In understanding these changes in us, and what has caused them, the book explores the vital and central role that shamanism can play in our recovery. The book also explores the ways though in which shamanism will need to be adapt and changed in order to do this. This includes examining the connections between ancient shamanism and modern psychotherapy, understanding the differences between them, but also by understanding what they can (and need to) learn from each other.
To help with your journeying, contained within this book is a code that gives you access to free shamanic drumming audios from the author’s own website.
The Shamanic Journey is the first in a series of books that will cover the full spectrum of Therapeutic Shamanism, including: The Medicine Wheel; Soul Loss and Soul Retrieval; Healing the Mother and Father Wounds; Healing Ancestral and Family Wounds; The Inner Totem Pole; Plant-Spirit Shamanism; Shamanic Activism; Shamanic Counselling and Psychotherapy.
About the Author
I had several intense shamanic experiences in my early life, although at the time I did not know what to call them. At university, I was drawn to studying shamanic cultures, although at the time the word 'shamanism' was still not used that often in academic circles (at the time they were generally still referred to as 'primitive cultures').
I first consciously come across shamanism in my 20s, attending workshops that various teachers were running at the time. Although I found it interesting, I was also training as a psychotherapist at the same time, and I found the lack of ethics and abuse of power that I saw going on in the shamanic workshops to be disturbing. So, I gave up actively pursuing it (although with hindsight it never actually left me). In my 30s, a series of events completely took me apart mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and literally nearly killed me. It was during the slow process of emerging from that crisis that shamanism burst back into my awareness. Over the next few years of healing, shamanism felt like a very private part of my life; an intensely private practice just between me and my guides, and something I discussed with very few people. Although I was a teacher, the idea of teaching shamanism felt out of the question at that time, as shamanism felt like something that I would always only be a beginner at. Again, with hindsight, I certainly would have been nowhere near capable of teaching it, really teaching it, at the time. It was not until my early-forties that my guides started to nag me about teaching it. I resisted for years. My guides persisted, and quite reluctantly I began to weave bits of shamanic work into the other teaching that I was comfortable with. What astonished me was the way some people took to it and thirsted for more of it. It did though, take another near-death experience for me to finally give in, and stop being the reluctant teacher. These days I am filled daily with a deep gratitude (and still with some astonishment) that I can devote my life to practising and teaching shamanism, and that people want to learn with me.
Otherwise, I lead a quiet life. A couple of years ago my partner and I were fortunate enough to be able to move to North Wales, to live a life more in contact with nature. I am an introvert, and after teaching I need a lot of solitude and quiet to re-charge. I spend most of my days writing, walking on the beach or in the hills, watching clouds and sunsets, gardening, cooking for my partner, holding her hand, reading, researching on the internet (there is so much I still want to learn and study!), thinking, feeling, occasionally wrestling inner demons, doing nothing in particular, talking to my guides, and gazing adoringly at my cat.
Paul Francis, 2017.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents.
Introduction. A practical and experiential guide.
Chapter 1. Getting clear: understanding what shamanism is (and what it isn’t!).
Chapter 2. The shamanic worldview: basic principles and practice.
Chapter 3. Getting ready: knowing the lay of the land - the shamanic realms and ‘hollowing-out’.
Chapter 4. Getting down to it: how to do your first shamanic journey.
Chapter 5. What did the journey mean (and what do I do next)? .
Chapter 6. The myth of ‘civilisation’: how we lost our way.
Chapter 7. How we can recover: and shamanism's vital role in this.
Chapter 8. How to give a simple shamanic healing: basic principles and practice.
Chapter 9. We are not what we used to be: how domestication and the Fall have changed us.
Chapter 10. Therapeutic Shamanism: a shamanism for the times we live in.
Chapter 11. Exploring further: Okay, I have a Power Animal - now what?
About the Author.
Next Books in the Series.
Courses, Training and Online Resources.
Finding a good Shamanic Practitioner.
Glossary of Shamanic Terminology.