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Shamanic Witch: Spiritual Practice Rooted in the Earth and Other Realms Paperback – November 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gail Wood, a witch and Wiccan priestess who has been practicing a shamanic path celebrating the Dark Moon for more than twenty years, has written for numerous articles in a variety of Pagan publications, and is the author of Dark Moon: Thirteen Lunar Rites for Magical Path. Visit her on the web at witchesinprint.com or read her blog at rowdygoddess.blogspot.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Weiser Books (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157863430X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578634309
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #727,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By a person who reads on October 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I wish that I could give this book 5 stars. It's opening poem "In All the Empty Places" is beautiful and moving. When I read it, I had really high hopes for this book. The first half of the book addresses core shamanism, or neo-shamanistic practice--I found it to be a little shallow in its explorations and I don't think it went beyond most introductory books on the topic. The gem I found in this section of the book was the author's discussion of the various ways people experience trance journeys. She talks about how some people are very visual, some auditory while others are sensual and makes the point that no one way is better than the others and we shouldn't feel inferior if our way is different from those around us. The thing that touched me personally was when she wrote about how experiencing a journey in a way we don't expect can be spirit's way of letting us experience through a different sense. I am an visual artist, and I have always been disappointed that I don't "see" well during journeys. The wisdom of Gail Wood has made me realize that this is a blessing, not a curse, and opportunity to experience things differently.

The second half of the book is where the author really shines. It describes ways that a Witch can blend core shamanism with Witchcraft to become a shamanic witch. Wood makes the assumption that the reader is already a practicing witch and doesn't bore us with the basics. My problem with this half of the book is that there is too much repetitious filler. Ms. Wood gives a ritual script that includes directions and words for creating sacred space, altar devotion, cleansing and purifying the circle, casting the circle, centering and grounding, calling the quarters, Calling the deities, Farewell to the deities and dismissing the Quarters.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mary Kate Frank on October 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
I loved this book, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to deepen their spirituality as a witch/pagan practitioner. The author is clear, inspirational and allows for different experience, which can be sorely lacking with other writers and teachers. I had a basic feeling about the differences between shamanic and witchy practices, but I now feel that I have a better understanding of each, and am motivated to blend shamanic work into my own.
My favorite parts involved reading about the author's personal experiences, and it was easy to enjoy her friendly and encouraging style.

While I understand the previous review's criticism about repetition, I have no problem with that, since I usually just skip it. If it doesn't apply, I don't need it, but there are many who *do* need that type of structure, so I also understand the author creating it that way.

Might I also recommend the author's two other books: "The Wild God" and "Rituals of the Dark Moon."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Josh Williams on November 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There were some amazing pieces of feedback written for this text, so I was pretty excited to order it. The book is filled with information and it's a really great read, but it offers the same philosophical and praxis-based pitfalls that so many books in this genre offer these days.

Two things that made this text the wrong choice for me...

1) Most of the information is basic Shamanic work re-tooled to fit into a Wiccan practice. For people who can't figure this out for themselves, I can see how this manual would be valuable. For the rest of us, describing how to merge circle working with Shamanic journeying just kind of seems, well, obvious. I get that not everyone can think in terms of blending already-linked traditions and I think it's great that there's a book to show the way... I just think it took up too much room. I feel that the author could have spent one chapter teaching people how to fish instead of many chapters doing the fishing for them.

2)Here's the biggie. This is so subtle that many readers will not pick up on it. Those with a deeper philosophical bent will see it blazing out. There are some serious loopholes and contradictions between this book presenting qualified Advaitan-style VERY 'Indian' monism, pure duotheism, and random sprinklings of polytheism that make this text a knotwork of cosmology and philosophy that simply cannot be unwound. In one section the author boasts that we should affirm 'I am the God, I am the Goddess' with typical new-age monist views she explains how we are Them / non-different. To undo the work she had done in this regard, in other sections she explains how to invoke the Goddess and God, how to ask for their presence in a circle, etc.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Oxley on March 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author does a good job to show how shamanism, abite perhaps the more modern style, is part of what the spiritual path of the witch can be.

she gives examples as to how you can find your power animal and to know if it is a spirit guide or a power animal as well.

If you are just beginning to study shaminism, she has examples as to guided meditations that can be used to help you get ready to cross over or to become more comfortable of doing this in the future. But she does impress on the reader that meditation is not the only way of faring forth. She also does give examples as to how this can be used by a solitary witch or just for personal or coven experiences as well as giving examples as to how soul retrieval and healing can be done for others if that is your call.

If you are looking for a traditional practice brought up from early witchcraft days, this may not be it. But it is a good example of a modern day life being combined with an older practice that has been updated.
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