When Many Realities Converge

Shamanic Awakening is the author’s story of a tragic loss that ultimately opened her awareness to the vast energies of the cosmos. She shares her adventurous tale of healing, learning, and eventual teaching and counseling. Her story is both inspiring and intriguing.

My favorite parts of the book were those about the author’s Native American teachers, especially the women. Seneca elder Grandmother Twylah Nitsch comes alive in the pages, guiding Corcoran and her fellow students through her tradition’s Medicine Wheel teachings. As Corcoran learns through her studies, “people have gathered together for thousands of years to connect with Spirit, receive guidance, and heal using this sacred structure.”

Corcoran weaves her story skillfully in among her summaries of the various Native teachings. She is sensitive to the issue of cultural appropriation, and describes her initial meetings with the elders and how they offered their teachings to her. She is able to get to the roots of the various practices, and show the common threads.

She writes, “to walk the Wheel is to view life from many wisdom perspectives, gaining freedom and clarity for life choices.” The author shares how she uses the teachings throughout her life, in many different situations and life challenges. Rather than simply tell, she also shows us how shamanism helps uplift her (and others) and enables her to follow her life’s callings. Through the teachings, Corcoran learns about claiming your own personal power and “respecting and utilizing our personal gifts and honoring others for their gifts.”

One of the author’s talents is her dreamwork. She learns from Gram Twylah that “the feeling of the dream is ultimately where its guidance lies. If we neglect our dreams and ignore the feelings they elicit, we will miss an important link between our inner and outer worlds.” Corcoran also explores soul retrieval, using a blend of traditional practices and newer inspirations. Other shamanic lessons include facing your shadow self, balancing the inner male and female, and the importance of using your imagination.

The skeptical reader might be doubtful about some of the alien encounters Corcoran describes later in the book. Suspend your disbelief - whether or not the stories can be proven as literal truth, there is much wisdom to be found here. I think reality is much more fluid than we often give it credit for.

Corcoran infuses her shamanic work with a continued connection with galactic beings, ones who have been in contact with humans for millennia. It’s not as far-fetched as it might seem. Otherworldly beings appear in the mythology of tribes the world over, there to help and to challenge us on our paths. Multiple realities converge in this tale, and if you open your mind, you can glean a lot of wisdom here. As Corcoran notes, “bringing all of these paths together in one book has not been easy, but neither was the journey at times.”

The world will be a more vibrant place when more of us live as in tune with our intuition and inner worlds as Corcoran.

~review by Nikki Starcat Shields
Author: Sandra Corcoran
Bear & Company, 2014
pp.257, $18.00