Book Review: The Spiritual Awakening Guide by Mary Mueller Shutan

The Way of The Buzzard



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.

This book was recommended to me by one of our Born Free e-course participants and drumming circle members, and I took to it straight away. Interestingly it fast tracked itself right to the front of my ever-amassing reading pile.

Mary beautifully takes us through what a spiritual awakening might feel like. The impact we feel when we move away from the disassociated state we are in when we immerse ourselves in the distractions of modern day trappings like shopping, television, drugs, alcohol, gossip, technology and other pursuits which allow us to remain anaesthetised, disassociated and asleep. At this point we realise that deep within us there is a glimpse of who we really are and who we are meant to be and it can be devastating because it is so far from what we have become.

This is the start of the awakening process, and its a whole journey ahead of us to strip away the layers of conditioning to find our true selves.

In the first part of the book Mary takes us through these layers – she counts twelve in all, from ‘Realising the Self’, Past Lives, Immediate Family Systems, Ancestral Patterns, Societal and Collective Conditioning, Karmic Patterns, World, Global and Cosmic Patterns, Ego Death, Understanding and Releasing Thoughtforms, Archetypal Influences, Mythic Influences and the Destroyer.

In Part 2, 3 and 4 she talks about the different types of awakenings – the gradual awakening and the sudden awakening and how this is for people. She offers advice on how to cope with the effects of an awakening and seems to leave no stone unturned.

One of the aspects of the book that I particularly like is that she advocates working with our shadow side. She talks of how it is common in our Western culture when on a spiritual path to have the opinion that we can transcend our shadow without working with it, and only work with the ‘Light’. I have been told many times by people to ‘think positive, dispelling any negative thoughts and this will make us enlightened beings’. I disagree with this approach, and  I am right onside with Mary in that the work right at owning our shadow, like our Storytelling teacher Martin Shaw will say ‘wear your shadow as your cloak’. This is one of the key reasons why I like this book so much.

It’s from rich compost that the strongest seedlings grow. If we all dig deep enough I am certain that we will find plenty of compost within us!

So this book if for those of you who are undergoing a spiritual awakening right now. You might not even know you are, but if you are in to personal development, making changes in your life so you are happier and healthier, in despair at the chaos of the world and wanting to find out how you cane in service to it then the chances are you are well on awakening path.

If this sounds like you then this is a great book to read to get a bit of perspective on what is going on, and how you can reach out for support in your journey.


Reviewed by Nicola Smalley