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The Way of the Shaman [Paperback]

Michael Harner
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1, 1990 0062503731 978-0062503732 10 Anv

This classic on shamanism pioneered the modern shamanic renaissance. It is the foremost resource and reference on shamanism. Now, with a new introduction and a guide to current resources, anthropologist Michael Harner provides the definitive handbook on practical shamanism – what it is, where it came from, how you can participate.

"Wonderful, fascinating… Harner really knows what he's talking about."
CARLOS CASTANEDA

"An intimate and practical guide to the art of shamanic healing and the technology of the sacred. Michael Harner is not just an anthropologist who has studied shamanism; he is an authentic white shaman."
STANILAV GROF, author of 'The Adventure Of Self Discovery'

"Harner has impeccable credentials, both as an academic and as a practising shaman. Without doubt (since the recent death of Mircea Eliade) the world's leading authority on shamanism."
NEVILL DRURY, author of 'The Elements of Shamanism'

Michael Harner, Ph.D., has practised shamanism and shamanic healing for more than a quarter of a century. He is the founder and director of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies in Norwalk, Connecticut.


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The Way of the Shaman + Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner's Guide + Shamanism As a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Wonderful, fascinating...Harner really knows what he’s talking about.” (Carlos Castaneda)

“An intimate and practical guide to the art of shamanic healing and the technology of the sacred. Michael Harner is not just an anthropologist who has studied shamanism; he is an authentic white shaman.” (Stanislav Grof, author of The Adventure of Self-Discovery)

“Harner has impeccable credentials, both as an academic and as a practicing shaman. Without doubt (since the death of Mircea Eliade) the world’s leading authority on shamanism.” (Nevill Drury, author of The Elements of Shamanism)

What Yogananda did for Hinduism and D.T. Suzuki did for Zen, Michael harner has done for shamanism. (Roger Walsh and Charles S. Grob, authors of Higher Wisdom)

About the Author

Michael Harner, Ph.D., has taught anthropology at various institutions, including the University of California at Berkeley, Columbia University, Yale University, and the New School in New York, and has practiced shamanism and shamanic healing since 1961 when he was initiated into Upper Amazonian shamanism. He is the founder of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies in Mill Valley, California.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 10 Anv edition (January 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062503731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062503732
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
165 of 175 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shamanism defined in an understandable way March 29, 2000
Format:Paperback
Mr. Harner has taken a misunderstood and often misinterpreted subject and has written a very good book for those who have little to no experience with cultural shamanism. He has extensive experience with native shamen and tells of his adventures in a way that allows the reader to grasp the ecstatic methods of these priests. His is not the sum of all knowledge on shamanism and it can be seen as a condensed version, but this is still a very good book to begin with. His techniques are good enough to allow one to develop a shamanic connection from within themselves and their own culture. This book is NOT a rip-off of native practices. No one culture can claim to be the first shamen, everyone's ancestors practiced it at some point. For those who wish to journey, this book will guide you to your path and from there, you can fly.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Harner, the most un-guru of gurus I've ever met. September 12, 2009
By LC1
Format:Paperback
The Way of the Shaman is a good introduction to the teachings of Michael Harner, and a good introduction to shamanism in general.

I'm posting a review of this book, years after he inscribed a copy of this book to me, because of some of the ridiculous, negative comments some reviewers have written. Please be aware that, "Michael Harner received his anthropology Ph.D. in 1963 from the University of California, Berkeley, and has taught at various institutions, including UC Berkeley, Columbia University, Yale University, and the Graduate Faculty of the New School in New York, where he was chair of the anthropology department. He also served as co-chair of the anthropology section of the New York Academy of Sciences." Do people who trash his work think these credentials were made up? Do those critics think Harner made up the bases of those credentials?

Michael Harner is the most unguru of gurus I've ever met. To questions of, "How do I . . . What does this mean . . . Can I . . . I am I any good at this" or anything else you might ask, his only response, every time is "Go ask your power animal!!!" If you want to lean on him, or put him on a pedestal, he's not the guy for you.

In the "Way of the Shaman" (or in one of his workshops) he tells of how he started out life as an altar boy and almost immediately became an atheist. As an anthropologist studying shamanism in the jungles of South America, he pestered the shamans so much about what journeying was like, they told him to do a journey himself. Not only did he remember the journey, unusual it itself, he told his story to the nearest Americans he could find, a pair of fundamentalist Christians, "a cut above the average" missionary.
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488 of 561 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I have been teaching Shamanic workshops, and practicing Shamanic healing for many years ( never charging a penny for my services).

I have been enraged by Harner"s book, and his money making workshops since I 1st read his book. I am an indigeneous person to the US but that is not how or why, I became a Shaman. All cultures, from all over the planet have had Shaman, who unfortunately dissapeared

for a reason I don't know. Shamans do not need outside stimuli to journey into Spirit World. It is used as an aid to help people relax so they can achieve a trance like state and let go of their fear of the unknown. ( One does not have to be A SHAMAN journey ).

The definition of a Shaman is " One who walks between the worlds

( or realities), an experienced Shaman can do this while doing something else. Harner, in this book makes a lot of statements concerning evil you might meet on a journey, such as beware of spiders

and insects. I have journeyed many hundreds of times and have never been harmed by any being I encountered, how could I be? I am in Spirit World, Spirit is not going to harm you no matter what form you see. I have NEVER used a mind altering substance to journey, some, especially the South American Shaman do, and again not all. Not all Shaman are alike, we do different tasks

assigned to us by Spirit. I do hands on healing, others do soul retrieval and so on. I know I'm jumping around I feel like I have so much to tell you. Here are my last 3 comments: after I had read this book by Harner I asked the Shaman I had apprenticed with for 4 years about the spider and insect and fanged being warnings he gives and her reply was simply: " Who is Michael Harner to limit Spirit". # 2, Shamanism never was, and is not now a Religion. Thirdly, don't believe something because it's in a book, research it to find what is real.
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99 of 116 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars aseptic January 10, 2002
Format:Paperback
In this book one gets a series of exercises which guide one to accomplish such tasks as "finding one's power animal", "spirit extraction" and so on. TWS has a lot to recommend it and since the good stuff has been pointed out in other reviews, i myself will ignore it here. Harner has, almost single handedly, ushered in the era of "neo-shamanism". As i understand it, the basic idea behind neoshamism is to find a way to enter the "altered state of consciousness (ASC)" without having to use medicine plants. These plants are illegal, may be diffult to prepare correctly and are altogether too unpleasant to deal with. So, in comes the drum. And the rattle. The premise is that, somehow, using the same utensils as, say, Siberian shamans, one is going to enter the same ASC. Nothing could be further from truth. In the absence of the mythological and spiritual context, the neoshamanic drums and rattles are toys for children.
The "shamanic" methods described in TWS were developed by Harner 30 years ago and have not changed one iota since then. All his imagination, creativity and inspiration seems to have vanished into thin air once he left UC Berkeley and now this guy keeps selling the same old stuff decade after decade. Academically! Seriously! Businesslike! TWS is Harner's Nicean Council - it has frozen his tracks.
The Way of Shaman gives us an aseptic, soul-less and (for me) ultimately boring way into the spirit world. Well, what *is* a shaman anyway? Is the mestizo in Iquitous peddling his ayahuasca a shaman? Is someone who finished her coursework at "The Foundation for Shamanic Studies" a shaman?
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