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Source: BOOK REVIEW for Shamanic Journeys Through the Caucasus by Michael Berman

Product Details

Shamanic Journeys Through Daghestan

BOOK REVIEW

My first experience of this author was reading his book Shamanic Journeys Through the Caucasus and you will find a very positive review here:

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/book-review-for-shamanic-journeys-through-the-caucasus-by-michael-berman/

I really enjoyed that book because if offered interesting material about an area I could barely pinpoint on the map. That is to say I can locate the Caucasus area on a map but I certainly could not have named individual countries before reading these two books by Michael Berman! (Shame on me, I know!)

Having said that, this book, offers a lot of repetition. A lot of the same material and quotes appear all over again. I just checked which one came first but both books were published in the year 2009.

The author also uses the same lengthy Mircea Eliade quotes again and do not get me wrong, I am a great admirer of Eliade’s work – I often quote him myself to students!!

The actual content of this book boils down to a few stories you will not find anywhere else. It is probably worth reading for that reason alone, definitely so if you have ancestors from this area or if you are a scholar studying this area.

However, assuming that both books will (largely) attract the same audience, I cannot see the purpose of so much repetition. If ever there will be a reprint I would hope that both books are merged and edited sharply so this book becomes a chapter in the more comprehensive Caucasus book.

Michael Berman (sadly no longer with us) did ground breaking work. He brings us stories (and investigates evidence of shamanism) in a part of the world only few of us are likely to visit. For that alone he deserves a lot of credit and his books selling long after his death. I just wish that he’d had a talented editor working with him so the material would have condensed into something less “laboursome” (is that a word?!) for other to read.

I just checked and yes, the word exists!

BUT  you will find some brilliant insights in this book and information I have never stumbled across elsewhere.

A book I am happy to give a good home on my shelf! You can find it on amazon:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Shamanic-Journeys-Through-Daghestan-Michael/184694225X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497549969&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=Shamanic+journeys+in+Daghestan

Imelda Almqvist

 

About the author

Imelda Almqvist’s book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon Books in August 2016.  She is based in London,UK and teaches shamanism and sacred art internationally.  She is a presenter on Year of Ceremony for Sounds True.

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk

Source: BOOK REVIEW for A MODERN CELT and CELTIC WITCH CRAFT by Mabh Savage

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Reading the books of author Mabh Savage feels like visiting an old friend and having a  relaxed conversation at her kitchen table!

The thing that struck me most, as I first held Celtic Witchcraft in my hand, was the short bio on the back informing me she “was raised by two Wiccan parents who have a passion for Celtic history, both mythological and actual”. Wow! Having been raised in a Roman Catholic family (and then spending several decades “debriefing myself”), my mind started spinning, trying to imagine what it would be like to have Wiccan parents like Mabh!

In her book A Modern Celt Mabh’s parents speak for themselves. There is a whole chapter where she visits and interviews them. She gives a verbatim account of the conversation. She does the same thing with friends who have an interesting background, gift or message.

In Celtic Withcraft she describes how Celtic legend and mythology can bring magic into your life (and you do not need to be Celtic to do this!)

Once I finished both books I was left feeling that I have met her, her parents, her rescue Crow (called Crowley) and her friends. Her books are gentle, intimate, very much based in everyday occurrences. It is about magic but she also debunks magic a little, saying that for instance good planning is a form of magic (and I had not thought of it that way!)

As an international teacher of shamanism (and sacred art) I have many students who embark on long and complex (at times frustrating) quests to seek their ancestors, their roots, their bloodline. Mabh is extremely fortunate that she grew up knowing her roots, hearing the legends about the Tuatha de Danaan and  the Celtic gods, goddesses and heroes from birth.It gives her writing an ease and confidence that is enviable.

If you are looking for a gentle but grounded introduction to the Celtic Tradition, these two books make a good start. If you then want more facts or more details she recommends other authors and texts so you can continue exploring.

The two books together make a lovely introduction and reading them both in one week, as I did, works very well! I invite you to check out her work and author page!

Imelda Almqvist

 

About the author

Imelda Almqvist’s book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon Books in August 2016.  She is based in London,UK and teaches shamanism and sacred art internationally.  She is a presenter on Year of Ceremony for Sounds True.

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: THE GODS AND GODDESSES OF THE FUTURE

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Last night I had a vivid dream. It stayed with me all day: I had been invited to spend the day with a group of teenagers. They were unknown to me (meaning that they were not friends of my own three teenagers). Their intention was to show me The Ways of the Future.

They put me in a classroom (it actually had a whiteboard!) Then they started telling me how working with ancient gods and goddesses is no longer good enough. We need to actively create the gods and goddesses of the future. If we do not do this, we will continue to create a future shaped and delineated by the past.

As I have a very great love for (and intimate relationship with) many ancient gods and goddesses I felt some resistance rising. I felt I had to speak in support of  of those ancient deities. The teenagers laughed and gently pressed me down on my chair again.

It is simple! They said. The future will not resemble the past. We young people live in a time of unheard of opportunities and dangers. We need gods and goddesses that patrol the internet. Gods and Goddesses invigilating social media. Facebook needs a Face Goddess and Twitter needs a Bird Goddess. We also need a True Face God and gods in charge of the drugs that teenagers use at parties… As our concept  of reality expands (reality has never been what we think it is anway!) ever more gods and goddesses can enter and fill our consciousness. We conceive them just as they conceive us!

I am feeling dizzy. Here I thought I was progressive in the way I teach and work. The teenagers proceeded to draw faces on the white board. The face of gods and goddesses. They proceeded to name them and invoke them, welcome them.

They said: gods and goddesses are shape-shifters and Reality is the greatest shape-shifter of them all!

Imelda Almqvist

 

About the author:

Imelda Almqvist’s book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon Books on 26th August 2016.  She is based in London,UK and teaches shamanism and sacred art internationally.

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/

http://shamanismsummit.com/

Source: Book Review for Shamanic Journeys Through the Caucasus by Michael Berman