Book reviews

We are really passionate about learning the old ways, and some books we have read have really helped us along our individual and joint paths. We thought we would post a short review of our favourite books here on our resource page, which we will add to over time.

Click on the image to go to a review of that book

 

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Earth Magic – Ancient Shamanic Wisdom for healing yourself, others and the planet. Steven D. Farmer

This is the book I recommend when someone asks me what they can read to understand what Shamanism is.  I always precede this by offering that the best way to learn about shamanism is to experience it, but if you do want to read something then this is a great introductory book.

Steven is a widely known author in the shamanic community, with his Animal Spirit Guide book being on the book shelf of many people who walk the shamanic path… (click here to read on)

 

 

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The Sun and the Serpent – A Journey of Discovery through the British Landscape, its mythology, ancient sites and mysteries. Paul Broadhurst and Hamish Miller

This is one of those books which I can’t understand why it took me so many years to find, as its a classic in the dowsing community. I stumbled across it in a book shop on a visit to Glastonbury and it was the first ley line/ earth energies book I have read which really pulled everything together for me. Paul and Hamish give an account of their discoveries tracking the Michael-Mary ley line which runs from… (click here to read on)

 

 

 

 

LegacyLegacy of the Gods: the origin of sacred sites and the rebirth of ancient wisdom. Freddy Silva.

If you have been trying to piece together why our ancient ancestors built temples in the way they did, where they did, this book will undoubtedly answer some of your questions. Written in two parts Freddy builds a compelling argument as to why temples we so important in the creation of civilization, and how their downfall has helped to contribute to the downfall of society in the Western World. In places where the power of the land… (click here to read on)

 

 

Screenshot 2014-08-26 13.31.11Sacred Earth Celebrations. Glennie Kindred.

Glennie has written many books on celebrating the earths cycles, and we can whole-heartedly recommend all of them. Glennie has a beautiful way of describing how to connect in with each of the Celtic Earth Festivals. She explains what energies each particular time of the year brings, and how they can be worked with to create personal, community and ultimately Earth transformation (click here to read on)

 

 

 

 

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Visual Magick – a manual of freestyle shamanism.

Written by Jan Fries, this refreshing if rather old book deserves a place on the book shelf of anyone who’s seriously interested in the inner workings of our shamanic practice.

The book is a rag-tag collection of techniques, experiments and practices that when put into action will help deepen your craft and your connection with the ‘other’.

Click here to read more…

 

 

 

 

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The Earth Path by Starhawk.

The coverline says it all really – ‘grounding your spirit in the rhythms of nature’.

Starhawk is a well respected author on earth spirituality and activism and in this work she encourages her readers to deepen their connection with Mother Earth both by being spiritually aware and by protecting her in any way possible.

It’s a hefty book, the text being quite small, and it contains a veritable bounty of meditations, healings, practical inspirations and much more. Click here to read on…

 

 

 

Boudica

Boudica: Dreaming the Eagle by Manda Scott

So many of the books I read are what some would call text books, so I love it when I find an author who has taken the facts and woven a story around them. I love the way Manda has taken the story of Boudica and interpreted what life was like back then before the Romans occupied our Islands. For me, its the ancient whisper of a time before control and domineering power structures, a glimpse into a life where people lived close to the land and understood the magic within it.

In this, the first book of the series, Manda tells the story of Boudica from when she was twelve years old. We look through a window into what tribal life might have been like in the Eceni tribe living in what is now northern East Anglia. Click here to read on…

 

 

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Follow the Shaman’s Call – Mike Williams.

It’s strapline is ‘An Ancient Path for Modern Lives’, a path which the author portrays with authenticity and a rare depth of research.

Within its pages he covers topics ranging from making your power animal feel at home to preparing for your own death.

Most subject areas are only lightly covered however the clarity and simplicity of the approach really helps to cover off the basics of the modern day shamanic practitioner. Click here to read more…

 

 

 

Active Hope

Active Hope: How to Face the mess We’re in without Going Crazy – Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone

Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone have given so much in this book of immense value to us in these challenging times. We know when we open our eyes and look around at what is happening in the world, what we are doing to the Earth, and each other, there is great cause for concern.

Active Hope tackles this head on and is packed full of really inspirational ways to look at things differently, find strength in the uncertainty of our future and develop ways to bring others along with us as we work to create a different way of living on Earth. Click here to read more…

 

 

Ceremonial CircleThe Ceremonial Circle – Shamanic Practice, Ritual and Renewal by Sedonia Cahill and Joshua Halpern

Written almost 25 years ago it is just as relevant for today as it was I imagine when it was written back in 1992. Sedonia  and Joshua  have created this easy-to-read manual for creating ceremonial circles to bring about the shift in consciousness needed at this time, and they set out that consciousness although being individual, is changed at the community level, where they say ‘consciousness is linked in with the community in which we live, so if we really want to change consciousness we have got to do it within a group’. Click here to read more…

 

Approaching Chaos

Approaching Chaos – Lucy Wyatt.

Can we look to a long lost ancient civilisation to discover a better way to live on the earth? In Approaching Chaos Lucy Wyatt explores the magic, mystery and relevance of the old ways and interprets their path for a modern day life.

The book examines how we have the potential to save humanity if only we take a different view of things and turn away from the greedy, power hungry consumerism that is the standard for life today. Read more here.

 

 

 

Screenshot 2015-02-01 14.28.45Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit – Daniel Quinn

Daniel has a really accessible way of writing. Written in the style of an interview between a man and a gorilla, the book takes us on a joinery of understanding the real story behind mankind, and what we call ‘civilisation’. He explains how ‘civilisation’ came about, and what its fundamental flaws are. Flaws which have been re-enacted by humans for the last 10,000 years bringing us to the present day, where ultimately we can see a glimpse in the not-to-distant future of complete collapse.

He explains the story that we have been told, through the history books, through our education, through our very culture. Its a story we believe as children, and then some of us start to question as it doesn’t fit with what we feel. Read more here.

 

The 21 day total body transformation – Mark SissonScreen Shot 2015-03-26 at 15.33.14

It’s easy to spend much of our time working on the emotional self, the spiritual self or even the etheric self to the expense of working on the physical self.

Yet if we don’t manage to maintain a healthy equilibrium in the physical realm we soon begin to lose our drive, focus and inspiration.

Harking back to the lives of our much cleverer ancestors Mark Sisson hatches a plan to follow more closely in their footsteps, transforming our body from the dense, hungry and often needy being that it is, into the sharp, agile and self-regulating human that it can be.  Click here to read more…

 

wild-placesThe Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane.

This is one of my all time favourite books and comes highly recommended to anyone who wishes to dip a toe or two into the wilderness that is the British Isles.

We may think that it’s necessary to travel to foreign lands to experience true wilderness however Robert Macfarlane succeeds in sharing the wildness of our own landscape. Covering all types of landscapes, he journeys through Britain taking us with him through beechwoods, up mountains, through rivers and along wild coastlines.

One reviewer wrote: “The most luminous evocation of the importance of wilderness. Personal, profound, scientific, poetic, adventurous, contemplative…” Click here to read more.

 

Screenshot 2015-06-24 16.55.30A Branch from the Lightning Tree by Dr Martin Shaw

Martin Shaw is proclaimed to be one of the best storytellers in our country. Here brings forward the idea that storytelling is the thing that we need to bring back to our culture. He weaves between myths, his tales of rite of passage experiences in the welsh mountains of Snowdonia, and his own tales of his journey becoming a storyteller.

Not shying around the edges he talks of the descent, the work, death and grief, science, wildness, culture, and the culture of wildness, fear, speaking for the earth, climate change, shamanism and initiation. All the things we should be talking about as a society right now. Its most refreshing. Click here to read more.

 

indexSnowy Tower by Dr Martin Shaw

A story nearly a thousand years old but yet is so relevant for today.

In this book Martin tells the epic story of Parzival, the quest of one man from boyhood to knighthood. Through the narrative behind each chapter Martin tackles the enormous issues of our time… from climate change, the grief we are collectively feeling for what is happening to our world and the severance from this grief, our own individual quest from ignorance and naivety through to knowledge and wisdom. Click here to read more.

 

 

 

Screenshot 2015-09-10 15.03.42The Mind in the Cave by David Lewis-Williams

This is a fascinating book for two reasons.

Firstly it takes the reader through evidence based rational for why our ancient ancestors painted rock art, up to 40,000 years ago. Secondly its because it is written by an archaeologist. who does not practice shamanism himself, and is purely looking at this from a scientific research point of view.

David makes the argument that the rock art which drawn by these Paleolithic people was in fact drawn by shamans who were journeying to Otherworlds. Click here to read more.

 

 

Screenshot 2015-09-23 12.18.34The Quest for the Shaman- shape shifters, sorcerers and spirit healers of ancient Europe by Miranda and Stephen Aldhouse-Green

This book, written by Miranda & Stephen Aldhouse-Green, gives us another really useful window into ancient European spiritual practices.

The authors are archeologists, looking at the evidence available and analysing this to give us an evidenced based account (for all those scientists and rational brained amongst us) of earth based spirituality and the benefits it bought to our ancestors to help the survive life on Earth. Click here to read more.

 

Screenshot 2015-11-03 18.08.54The Way of Wyrd by Brian Bates

Wyrd is the ancient Anglo-Saxon spiritual teachings. They were recorded by a monk over a thousand years ago, sent over from France to England to infiltrate the workings of our spirituality back then so that the Christians could break it down.

Brian has taken the ancient recordings of that monk and written three books based on his findings. The Way of Wyrd is the first of these three books. Click here to read more.

 

 

 

 

Screenshot 2015-11-03 17.29.43Echoes of the Goddess: A Quest for the Sacred Feminine in the British Landscape

In pre-Christina Britain, the Great Goddess was worshipped either as an equal to the Gods, or as an individual deity. From the Paleolithic Earth Mother to the Celtic Goddesses of Boudicca and the Brigantes, this land once revered the divine feminine. As Christianity took hold, the old earth-revering religions became synonymous with evil – the sky became heaven and the earth became Hell. Simon Brighton and Terry Welbourn set out to discover what happened to the Goddess after she was evicted from her elevated position. Click here to read more.

 

Screenshot 2015-12-14 14.07.56Druid Animal Oracle Cards

Oracle Cards are another great way of accessing our inner guidance. This Druid Animal Oracle deck is a really good way to work with animal spirit medicine, and one which we use regularly.

The cards are beautifully illustrated – easily amongst the best that I have seen. The booklet is concise and in our experience contains effective and aligned interpretations of the energies of each animal. Click here to read more.

 

 

 

 

Screenshot 2015-12-14 14.59.30Elen of the Ways by Elen Sentier

This is another one of those books that, when it turns up, we ask the question ‘why on Earth haven’t I come across this book before?!’

Elen has been taught by her fore-bearers in the ancient ways of our land, passed down generation upon generation. In this beautifully written and really accessible book she teaches us about the connection our indigenous peoples would connect in with the land and all of life around them, focusing in particular on the Deer Goddess Elen. Click here to read more.

 

 

 

A19NzMmF-xLThe Sacred Tree by Glennie Kindred

The Sacred Tree is one of a set of five books Glennie has written about the Celtic wheel of the year, celebrations and tree medicine. This book looks at each of the trees which represent different points around the wheel of the year. It covers the particular qualities of each tree, and gives ideas on how to work with its energies to bring about inner healing and transformation, and how to work with the wood and its uses. Click here to read more.

 

 

 

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The Wisdom of Wyrd by Brian Bates

“The concept and energy of Wyrd has lain just beneath the surface of our consciousness in a shadow world, awaiting the time when it may again be needed i the light. Now is that time.”

What a real gem of a book this is. Brian Bates is a Psychologist at the University of Sussex, and how interesting that a Professor of Psychology is interested in the mind of our ancestors as a way of bettering humanity today. My line of thought exactly. Click here to read more.

 

 

 

 

Screenshot 2016-03-16 10.27.56Cave and Cosmos – Shamanic Encounters with Another Reality by Michael Harner

Cave and Cosmos is a brilliant book for getting inside the minds of our ancestors. Have you ever wondered what the intention was behind the art which was drawn on cave walls across Europe and the world for over 80,000 years? These are more than just pictures.

Michael Harner went and partook in a cave power quest… the ultimate way to research these things. He shares his story in the early part of this book. He draws on his experience as well as other research to explain the workings of the shaman’s mind.  Click here to read more.

 

 

Screenshot 2016-03-29 10.25.52If Women Rose Rooted – The Power of the Celtic Woman by Sharon Blackie

Stories are game changers. They have the power to change our lives, should we choose to take the time to find them and let them work on our psyche.

This brand new book by Sharon Blackie is just perfect for right now, and as Manda Scott, author of the Boudicca series writes “I sincerely hope every woman who can read is given one, and has the time and space to read it” This book has the power to change lives, I truly believe that. Click here to read more.

 

 

 

The Fall: The Insanity of the Ego in Human History and the Dawning of A New Era, by Steve Taylor

This is a great book to read if you are questioning what on Earth has become of humanity.

Why do we think the way we do? What have we lost? What do we need to rediscover if we are to survive on Earth? Is there another option to the atrocities that  civilisation brings with it, be it war, greed, suffering, crime, homelessness, depression and inequality’? The author Steve Taylor is a psychologists and in his book presents his theory that these human traits aren’t ‘normal’, and that there is another way. Read more.

 

 

Beyond Civilisation: Humanity’s Next Great Adventure by Daniel Quinn

This book is a great book to read after Daniel Quinns ‘My Ishmael’.

I love the way that Daniel writes, with just a simple point made on each page, making it really easy to read and absorb.

In this book he presents his theory that in order for us to survive on Earth we need to find a new way of living. This way is to draw on what our species, and earlier versions of our species have drawn on for 3 million years. Tribalism. Read more.

 

 

The Spiritual Awakening Guide – Kundalini, Psychic Abilities, and the Conditioned Layers of Reality by Mary Mueller Shutan

You know that feeling when you read a book and it’s like seeing your experience laid out in front of you in black and white?

Well this happened to me in the first chunk of this book, and I kept saying to myself ‘that is exactly what it was like for me and I could have done with knowing that this was my awakening at the time!’.

So this is why I am reviewing this book right now, for those of you who are going through huge changes in your life, uphill struggles, stuck in limbo numbed by a pain you can’t place where on earth it has come from, desperately trying to figure it all out. Read more.