The Top 7 Books That Helped Me The Most On My Shamanic Path
Everyone's path is different and along my journey I came across several books that hit me at the right time. They spoke in a way so I could hear a key message at that time and on the subjects that I needed to learn more about. There's many great books out there, and I've read many more than are on this list. This is NOT a list the 7 best books I've read, but the ones that caused me to shift with the learnings and lessons they brought me.
Shamanic Journeying is one of the most important lifeskills a person walking this path can learn and Ingerman's book was a great introduction for me. There are some basic journeys to get your started and descirptions of what the experience should introduce you to. 5 years later I journey regularly, often using some of the techniques I first learned in this book. From Amazon:
The shamanic journey is a practice common to all indigenous societies throughout history. By listening to a drumbeat or other rhythmic percussion, the shaman enters "non-ordinary" reality an altered state of consciousness beyond time and space to access spiritual guidance and healing, assist others and the planet, and reconnect with the cycles of nature. Shamanic Journeying offers readers an interactive learning experience to discover how to journey just as traditional shamans have for centuries.
I came across this book when I was first trying to understand the principles of protection. It gave me a great foundation on why it was important and had many practical steps and practices that I still use today. From Amazon:
In today’s hectic and uncaring society, you need skills that help you guard the boundaries of your soul. Psychic Shield shows how to defend against these damaging external forces with practical and commonsense strategies that protect your inner peace and keep you safe from harm.
I had been working with Q'ero shamans for a few years when I came across this book and it radically changed my view of them, and the work I was doing with them. By sharing her experiences in Peru, outlining the belief structures of the Q'ero, and having sections of the book serve as essays for some of the shaman, this book led me to a much deeper understanding of the sacredness the Q'ero walk with and the energies they are working with all the time. It also gave me a much deeper understanding of shamanism as a whole and the importance of working with the earth. From Amazon:
Known as the “keepers of the ancient knowledge,” the Q’ero Indians of Peru are the most respected mystics of the south-central Andes. In 1996 Joan Parisi Wilcox traveled to the Andes and was able to record the mysteries of kawsay pacha, the multidimensional world of living energy, through more than 40 hours of intensive interviews with six Q’ero paqos, masters of the ancient spiritual traditions of Peru. The Q’ero are known for having preserved the Inca spiritual tradition more purely than any other indigenous population in the Andes. The in-depth interviews presented in this book recount the direct words of these masters so readers can discover for themselves the mind and heart space of these people.
This really showed me what it meant to walk a path with integrity and honesty. It also showed me how important it is to know your way and stick with it even when things don't appear to be turning out like you want. It was a beautiful learning experience. From Amazon:
The most famous Native American book ever written, Black Elk Speaks is the acclaimed story of Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863–1950) and his people during the momentous, twilight years of the nineteenth century. Black Elk grew up in a time when white settlers were invading the Lakotas’ homeland, decimating buffalo herds and threatening to extinguish their way of life. Black Elk and other Lakotas fought back, a dogged resistance that resulted in a remarkable victory at the Little Bighorn and an unspeakable tragedy at Wounded Knee. Beautifully told through the celebrated poet and writer John G. Neihardt, Black Elk Speaks offers much more than a life story. Black Elk’s profound and arresting religious visions of the unity of humanity and the world around him have transformed his account into a venerated spiritual classic. Whether appreciated as a collaborative autobiography, a history of a Native American nation, or an enduring spiritual testament for all humankind, Black Elk Speaks is unforgettable.
Malidoma tells stories of his upbringing in West Africa that really brought home to me the importance of ritual, humility, and honoring our ancestors. I had not really understood the importance of this honoring process until this book, and the ritual section really hit home as bringing tradition and honor back to them. From Amazon:
The stories within these books have the poignancy of new discoveries as well as the unworn imagination of the ancestors. The commentary has the sharp edge of modern thought and the intricacy which results from the intellect being woven through the ritual complexities of tribal life. The purpose of constructing thresholds that bring this world together is to find the powers that can heal the rends in tribal as well as modern communities.
Until I came across Ariadne's book I did not realize how critical it was to have a framework to do my dream work with. Ariadne does a great job of laying out the basics (her 8 precepts) and then goes into great detail of what symbols come into play depending on which of the 3 worlds (lower, middle, upper) you are working in at that time. From Amazon:
No ordinary dream dictionary, Ariadne's Book of Dreams is a compendium of symbols ranging from ancient times to today. This guide to the subconscious world allows for specific application by dividing dreams into three arenas, representing relationships to the physical, emotional, and metaphysical realms of life. It incorporates contemporary objects and issues including computers, Madonna, and chow mein with traditional and mythological imagery, offering the reader a fuller more accessible scope to the meaning of dreams. Complete with an alphabetical listing of symbols and their possible meanings, as well as techniques for dream recall and evaluation this book is a comprehensive resource for dream interpretation in the new millenium.
This book was my introduction into shamanic healing. Alberto does a great job of describing Peruvian Shamanism's view of the energy body and goes over many of the healing techniques that are taught in his Light Body School. There are many different books on shamanic healing, but if you are intrigued by Alberto's work, this is a must have book. From Amazon:
Villoldo explains that central to shamanic healing is the concept of the Luminous Energy Field that is believed to surround our material bodies. His book teaches us to see and influence the imprints that disease leaves on this field and thereby to heal ourselves and others, as well as prevent illness. Villoldo weaves wonderful teaching stories throughout about the healing power of the energy medicine of the Americas. In one story, Villoldo comes down with pneumonia while in Peru. When antibiotics fail to control the infection, his mentor, the shaman Don Antonio, uses the process of Illumination to remove the toxins that had invaded Villoldo's body. These same shamanic techniques later allowed Villoldo to remove stagnant energy from a young woman whose marriage was suffering due to her past experience with abandonment. With the aid of shamanic work, the woman regained her trust in others, and her marriage was revitalized.