Author: 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. It was in Steven’s Earth Magic book that I first came across the concept of what he calls ‘gourmet spirituality’ and I have renamed ’spirituality pick-n-mix’, where you select from a buffet of belief systems and integrate those that feel the most compatible. It has come about as over the past few decades we have been able to more easily access other religious and spiritual traditions, giving us the advantage of being exposed to a wide variety of approaches and practices from which we can pick and choose. Another insight which has been taking placed is the viewing of the Divine, or Source, as something external to oneself to one where an individual can connect to Source directly though experience.
In Stevens book he weaves these two ideas together covering the breadth of spiritual connections, including ancestral spirit guides, animal spirit guides, nature spirits, plant spirits, spirit guides, angels and crystals. He gives an insight into shamanic tools and techniques including journeying, ceremony, drumming, chanting and singing, dancing and storytelling. There is a whole section focused on healing the individual and healing the earth, including soul loss and soul recovery, shamanic extraction, curse removal and psychic attack. In respect to earth healing he touches on the impact our current western lifestyle is having on the earth and how shamanic practice can help reverse this, from changing what you eat through to creating ceremony to bless the land.
If you enjoy using divination cards then I can also recommend Steven’s Earth Magic cards which accompany the book. They are beautifully illustrated and reflect elements of nature and her cycles. Click here to buy the book on Amazon.
Review written by Nicola Smalley