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The Shamanic Way of the Bee: Ancient Wisdom and Healing Practices of the Bee Masters Hardcover – July 9, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An exquisitely written, powerful, and important book. Reveals for the first time a European form of shamanism and healing magic that arises lucidly and sweetly from the natural world immediately around us--the extraordinary details of which we so often overlook.” (Brooke Medicine Eagle, author of Buffalo Woman Comes Singing and The Last Ghost Dance)

". . . engaging and revealing, and exposes a secret tradition few outsiders have heretofore been privy to." (Patrick Brennan, Fate, Nov, 2004)

"...a rare book that reminds us that we are surrounded by magic, that even the most mundane aspect of our world overflows with magic....Simon Buxton joins the ranks of my favorite shamans and my favorite writers with this groundbreaking book." (Michael Peter Langevin, Magical Blend, March, 2005)

". . . superbly written and powerfully engaging. Buxton is a gifted storyteller, a discerning writer and exceedingly sensitive to the synchronous patterns that link inner and outer worlds." (Dawn Brunke, Alaska Wellness, Jan 2006)

"In this extraordinary epic, Simon Buxton takes us through the various ordeals through which he passed. . . . This book is at one level an important contribution to the reinstatement of sacred sexuality, as well as an ethic of initiation leading to a deeper understanding of the dynamics of life and death." (David Lorimer, The Scientific and Medical Network, March 2010)

“In this authoritative ethnography and spiritual memoir Simon Buxton, an elder in the path of pollen, reveals for the first time the richness of this tradition, its subtle intelligence; its sights sounds and smells, and its unique ceremonies which until now have been known only to initiates. The Shamanic Way of the Bee is a rare view into the secret wisdom of this age-old tradition.” (Embody Magazine, October 2013)

“A fascinating story of one man's journey into the shamanic realm and ancient wisdom.” (Oriah Mountain Dreamer, author of The Invitation)

“Simon Buxton's much-awaited debut is set to revolutionize the way we see European native traditions. This is a compelling read with elegantly chosen words that convey complex spiritual truths in a beautifully simple way. The Shamanic Way of the Bee promises to become a shamanic classic.” (Prediction magazine)

"Simon Buxton’s unusually wondrous tale combined with his exquisite use of words brings radiant life to an ancient shamanic path: the Way of the Bee. Delve into the mystery with Buxton--the story and teachings are brilliant!” (Sandra Ingerman, author of Soul Retrieval and Medicine for the Earth)

“. . . offers ancient wisdom for the modern spirit. A truly remarkable book.” (Ken Eagle Feather, author of A Toltec Path)

“Simon Buxton is a man with genuine miracles to impart, taking us inside a remarkable hidden world of wonders and magic. If you buy only one book this year to help you on your path toward Truth, make sure it’s this one.” (Ross Heaven, author of Vodou Shaman)

"This book is like having a backstage-pass into the actual secret life of bees. Bee Master, Simon Buxton, takes us on his shaman's journey that unveils a tradition that has been held sacred for thousands of years. After reading this book, I felt I had been initiated into the ancient feminine mystery of sacred sexuality. (Tori Amos, Performing Artist)

“Every now and then there is a book that is not only well thought out but well thought of, one that dares to offer ancient wisdom for the modern spirit. Simon Buxton's The Shamanic Way of the Bee is such a book. It offers a brilliant and timeless perspective while tantalizing the reader with a splendid, eloquent, and comprehensible presentation. A leading voice in shamanism, Simon Buxton has given us a truly remarkable book, one that is destined to withstand the test of time and lead us further down an ancient path in contemporary times.” (Ken Eagle Feather, author of A Toltec Path)

"As Simon remarks in his fascinating and inspirational book, sometimes we have no choice but to lie still, so that we may become a speck in the universe and drink in the nature of the world. I call my soul to be present, to witness the power of European shamanism and my friend’s journey with the honeybee. Ometeotl." (Elena Avila, MSN, RN, Curandera/Aztec shaman healer and author of Woman Who Glows in the Dark)

“Written in a beautiful, lyrical and poetic way, with personal vignettes, anecdote and sacred teachings which, in a way, are reminiscent of the Sufi tradition but with the hard edge of realism characteristic of the Keltic Way--the Way of the Hero--this book is an absolute must-have addition to any serious collection of shamanic wisdom.” (Sacred Hoop magazine)

“We search the exotic and distant for transformative secrets, well-being and healing. But are we perceptive enough to receive the gifts from the humblest of our own gardens? No matter. Simon Buxton has walked this path, from the primordial to the present, and freely grants us the exquisite treasures contained within The Shamanic Way of the Bee.” (Professor S. R. Harrop, Chairman of the Anthropology Department, University of Kent, England)

"This book is an absolute must-have addition to any serious collection of shamanic wisdom." (Sacred Hoop magazine, May 2004)

"This book will become the starting point for future generations of people interested in practically exploring bee shamanism." (Prediction, September 2004)

From the Back Cover

SHAMANISM / PERSONAL GROWTH

“A fascinating story of one man’s journey into the shamanic realm and ancient wisdom.”
Oriah Mountain Dreamer, author of The Invitation

“An exquisitely written, powerful, and important book. It reveals for the first time a European form of shamanism and healing magic that arises lucidly and sweetly from the natural world immediately around us--the extraordinary details of which we so often overlook.”
Brooke Medicine Eagle, author of Buffalo Woman Comes Singing

“We search the exotic and distant for transformative secrets, well-being and healing. But are we perceptive enough to receive the gifts from the humblest of our own gardens? No matter. Simon Buxton has walked this path, from the primordial to the present, and freely grants us the exquisite treasures contained within The Shamanic Way of the Bee.”
S. R. Harrop, chairman of the department of anthropology, University of Kent, England

“Written in a beautiful, lyrical and poetic way, with personal vignettes, anecdotes, and sacred teachings which, in a way, are reminiscent of the Sufi tradition but with the hard edge of realism characteristic of the Keltic Way--the Way of the Hero. This book is an absolute must-have addition to any serious collection of shamanic wisdom.”
Sacred Hoop magazine

Bee shamanism may well be the most ancient and enigmatic form of shamanism, existing throughout the world wherever the honeybee is found. Its medicinal tools--such as honey, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly--are now in common use, and even the origins of Chinese acupuncture may be traced to the ancient practice of applying bee stings to the body’s meridians.

In this authoritative account, Simon Buxton, an elder of the Path of Pollen, reveals for the first time the richness of this tradition: its subtle intelligence; its sights, sounds, and smells; and its unique ceremonies, which until now have been known only to initiates. Buxton unknowingly took his first steps on the Path of Pollen at age nine, when an Austrian bee shaman cured him of a near-fatal bout of encephalitis. This early contact prepared him for a later meeting with an elder of the tradition who took him on as an apprentice. Following an intense initiation that opened him to the mysteries of the hive mind, the author learned the practices, rituals, and tools of bee shamanism. He experienced the healing and spiritual powers of honey, pollen, and other bee products, including a “flying ointment” used by medieval witches, as well as ritual initiations with the female members of the tradition--the Melissae--and the application of psycho-sexual “nektars” that promote longevity and ecstasy. The Shamanic Way of the Bee is a rare view into the secret wisdom of this age-old tradition.

SIMON BUXTON is a beekeeper, the British faculty for Dr. Michael Harner’s Foundation for Shamanic Studies, and the founder/ director of The Sacred Trust, a U.K.-based educational organization dedicated to the teaching of practical shamanism for the modern world. He lives in England and teaches internationally

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Destiny Books (July 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 089281148X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892811489
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #811,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Simon Buxton is the Founder/Director of The Sacred Trust and British faculty for The Foundation For Shamanic Studies, the foremost core-shamanic training organisation in the world, directed by Dr Michael Harner. Simon has worked and trained within shamanic traditions for nearly three decades, including a thirteen year apprenticeship to a European Bee Master, as detailed within his book The Shamanic Way of the Bee, which was the recipient of the 2005 Canizares Book Award for non-fiction. He is also the co-author of Darkness Visible, and his third book, The Serpent Flight of the Honeybee is in preparation.

Simon is a Fellow of The Royal Anthropological Institute, the world's longest-established scholarly association dedicated to the furtherance of anthropology and his work has been profiled within several books including Travelling Between the Worlds by Hillary S. Webb and Soul Companions by Karen Sawyer as well as being featured in the documentary film Vanishing of the Bees. In 2007, together with Naomi Lewis, Simon opened The Sacred Trust Center in Dorset, England where he conducts his writing, research and teaching work.

www.sacredtrust.org

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Ross Heaven on February 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
Hmmmm. The, er, 'buzz' on the street is that the 'path of pollen' (aka 'bee shamanism') may not bee, shall we say, entirely kosher? A 'bee maiden' (i.e. a woman who has spent a considerable amount of time and money on Buzzton's 'path of pollen' "initiation" courses) writes to me just today that...

"I'll be as brief as possible. I was drawn to undertake Path of Pollen workshops and trainings having read The Shamanic Way of the Bee and taken it on trust that the book is, as it claims, an authentic account of the author's initiation into the Path of Pollen. What I have recently discovered has shaken that trust considerably and left me wondering if I have been a) duped and b) exploited.

"As you will see, it appears that significant passages in The Shamanic Way of the Bee (TSWOTB), including whole paragraphs, appear to have been lifted virtually word-for-word from the much earlier essays of the late P.L. Travers, who is best known as the author of Mary Poppins but was also a lifelong student of and writer upon myth and fairy tales. Worse still, these key passages are variously presented as either the dialogue between Bridge and Twig in TSWOTB and also the first person narrative. There is no indication that use of the passages in question was authorised by P.L.Travers or her estate and P.L.Travers' work is not acknowledged either in footnotes or the bibliography at the back of TSWOTB.

"Some people may not care whether or not there is any truth in TSWOTB or if it is simply one man's eloquent modern fantasy, but to me at least there is something deeply unethical about passing another's words off as one's own and it raises serious questions about the authenticity of the Path of Pollen as a whole. I present some of the evidence below for you to make up your own minds.
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71 of 88 people found the following review helpful By MysticJaguar VINE VOICE on November 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book starts out very nicely. Good background on the authors life as it relates to the subject. Nice writing style overall in the beginning. Along with the meeting of the bee master and wisdom flowing like honey. The novice undergoes the 23 day hibernation/initiation transported by visions of transformation into the mind of the bee and the hive.

Then the story falls apart.

After the initiation the initiate meets the bee mistress and her enchanting apprentices. At this point the writing becomes chaotic and you end up with people smearing our heros naked body with honey so he can have some kind of ritualized sexathon with one (or more) of the bee mistresses.

This story had great promise but literally fell apart half way through. I consider it either a misguided set of sex fiction or a really weird sex cult. Too bad.

If you are looking for a book on genuine Shamanic experience then try Jungle Medicine by Connie/Constance Grauds. That is a potent, powerful, and poetic prose.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful By KELLY MARTIN on June 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is my second book on shamanism I have read and I was prodded to read this book by bees. I was in a book shop about to put it back on the shelf when a large bee sound in my ear shocked me so much I had to look around the book store looking for the bee. So I followed this nudge from the bee and bought the book. I have not been dissapointed not only has it been beatifully written it has enlightened me on some other things that have been happening in my spiritual pathway so far, so much so I was astonished at how amazing inspired reading can be. If you are interested in shamanism, interested in shamanism within the UK and interested in bee magic this book is for you. I look forward to his new book coming out this year on the serpent flight of the honey bee.

[...]
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Sophia Fairburn on January 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As both a beekeeper and a shamanic practitioner I was amazed and delighted by this book, as it confirmed so much that I had intuitively realised through my shamanic practice and my work with bees over many years.

Other than Martin Prechtel (author of Teachings of the Talking Jaguar) I can't think of any other author of shamanism who writes so eloquently on the subject, and the intelligence, poetry and wisdom of the `Path of Pollen' that Buxton writes about radiates from every page.

Whilst this book is shamanically accurate in aspects of presentation, ritual and belief it is in many ways more about the authors teacher - a Welsh `Bee Master' - than the author himself, and furthermore is the most exquisite eulogy to the honeybee I've ever come across. The book is almost scriptural in its resonance's whilst at the same time is as gripping as a thriller, to the point that I read it in a single sitting, which is unusual for me. I'm now going over it more slowly and am uncovering some of its many layers. My only criticism? It wasn't long enough!

I also notice that an earlier review comments on the use of smoke within bee-keeping, careful readers of this book will note that Simon Buxton's teacher never uses smoke with the hives.
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36 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Lb Grotte on January 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is an enjoyable exercise in fantasy, but there is no path here for would-be "shamans". Anyone who can communicate with bees, as Mr. Buxton suggests his teacher, "Bridge" can do, would not use smoke when working around hives.

Smoke disturbs the hive and forces the bees to go into emergency mode, and I don't believe that any right thinking bee would ever fail to communicate the disruptive effect of this to a beekeeper, much less a "master". I certainly figured this out early in my beekeeping experience. It is easy to work around hives without smoke, and I have never found the need to use it.

I am not a shaman (see Mircea Eliade's work if you want to know what real shamans have to go through to achieve this status), but I am pretty sure that disrupting the hive in this way is contrary to how real shamans would conduct themselves.

I have extensive experience with honey and propolis clinically, and recommend that anyone with an interest consider their value. (I have a review of the therapeutic uses of honey at my website, [...]

Honey bee venom is also of value for certain disorders, though I never used it until I could manage a method to prevent the bee's loss of its stinger, and thus her death. Those who are interested in this subject will find a wealth of resources at Mihaly Simics' [...]

I also recommend that those with an interest become beekeepers. This will provide you with a wealth of connection to nature and some small understanding of the complexity and wonder of bee behavior. An essay on this subject can also be found at my website, entitled, "Offerings to the Earth".

Where there's smoke....

Sophia suggests that I am mistaken to suggest that Bridge uses smoke with the hives.
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