If you think a shaman is someone who hangs out in Nature, drawing 'demons' from the body, and providing wise spiritual advice, Living Shamanism will be a real eye-opener for you as it is written by a middle-aged white woman in Ireland who is as authentic a Shaman as any tribal elder you might imagine.
Beginning with a history of where the term shaman comes from, Bollman argues persuasively that being a shaman is a calling, much like any priest, often taking a person from being wounded beyond the means of scientific medicine to heal to being a healer themselves.
Being a shaman first requires healing ones wounds (and we all have them). Doing so usually involves going into the abyss and emerging from it, having been tested by the spirit world and found worthy. Changed by this intense experience, the shaman then begins to put him/herself into 'right relationships' with the world around them.
This book is rich with information, exercises, and an intimate knowledge of shamanism. Bollman has done a wonderful job of 'demystifying' shamanism and making it understandable to those of us who stand on the fringes as well as those who participate fully in modern life.
~review by Lisa Mc Sherry
Author: Julie Bollman
Moon Books, 2013