"This book, if you let it, will take you on a journey… you will experience first-hand the healing power of shamanism, and your eyes will be opened to a world of mystery and potential that has been there all along. You don’t need any special talents or powers, just an open mind. And you will trust this new way of being because you will personally experience it. To say that this will change your life for the better is a remarkable understatement.” – from The Shamanic Journey.
A ground-breaking and stand-out book on shamanism, written for both complete beginners and for anyone already with experience. At once both practical and deeply thought-provoking, this book examines how to make shamanic practice relevant and central to our modern-day lives.
For those new to the subject, the book is a grounded, easy-to-read and yet comprehensive introduction to the ancient knowledge, wisdom and practices of shamanism. In addition, it provides an easy-to-follow guide, with clearly-explained, practical exercises and suggestions about how to get started on the shamanic path.
Far more than just a beginner’s guide though, the book can be eye-opening to any open-minded shamanic practitioner. As a highly practical form of spirituality, our ancestors always adapted shamanism to the times and environment in which they lived. The book explores how, as we turned away from hunter-gathering, and with the rise of agriculture, domestication and ‘civilisation’, we largely lost our connection with shamanism. This profoundly changed us, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually, and radically altered the environment around us. Facing the challenges of our times, the book discusses how we can reclaim shamanism and, most importantly, how to make it relevant to the changed times in which we now live, and how doing this may be crucial to our very survival and return to sanity.
In ‘The Shamanic Journey’ Paul Francis draws on his wealth of knowledge and experience in shamanism, anthropology and psychotherapy. Well researched, and yet written in an accessible and conversational style, he combines these three elements into a shamanic practice that is spirit-led, down-to-earth, psychologically-aware, ethical and compassionate. What emerges is a spiritual practice that is both deeply rooted in ancient wisdom, and one that we can use to heal not only ourselves, but society, and the planet. If you let them, the knowledge and practices in this book can positively change your life, and the way in which you see and experience the world around you.
To help with your journeying, contained within this book is a password that gives you access to free shamanic drumming audios from the author’s own website.
The book is the first in the ‘Therapeutic Shamanism’ series. The series is a thorough, step-by-step guide to shamanic practice, the first of its kind to go into such detail and depth. An apprenticeship for modern times. The series will consist of around 30 guides covering the full spectrum of Therapeutic Shamanism, including: Rewilding Your Soul; The Medicine Wheel; Soul Loss and Soul Retrieval; Healing the Mother and Father Wounds; Healing Ancestral and Family Wounds; The Inner Totem Pole; Plant-Spirit Shamanism; Shamanic Counselling and Psychotherapy.
About the Author
I was born and grew up in the north of England. At the age of eighteen I went to Lancaster University where I studied philosophy and anthropology, primarily studying tribal (shamanic) cultures. After graduating I found there were not many jobs in that field! So, I worked for a few years in a hospital, teaching sign language, and in my spare time studied complementary medicine, various spiritual traditions, and psychotherapy. I set up in private practice as a complementary medical practitioner and psychotherapist in the early 1980s. Apart from a few years heading up a counselling department at a Further Education college, I have been self-employed as a therapist ever since. As well as one-to-one client work, I have also been a teacher, trainer, and supervisor for nearly thirty years. I had several intense shamanic experiences in my early life, although at the time I did not know what to call them. At university, I was drawn to studying shamanic cultures, although at the time the word 'shamanism' was still not used that often in academic circles (at the time they were generally still referred to as 'primitive cultures'). I first consciously come across shamanism in my 20s, attending workshops that various teachers were running at the time. Although I found it interesting, I was also training as a psychotherapist at the same time, and I found the lack of ethics and abuse of power that I saw going on in the shamanic workshops to be disturbing. So, I gave up actively pursuing it (although with hindsight it never actually left me). In my 30s, a series of events completely took me apart mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and literally nearly killed me. It was during the slow process of emerging from that crisis that shamanism burst back into my awareness. Over the next few years of healing, shamanism felt like a very private part of my life; an intensely private practice just between me and my guides, and something I discussed with very few people. Although I was a teacher, the idea of teaching shamanism felt out of the question at that time, as shamanism felt like something that I would always only be a beginner at. Again, with hindsight, I certainly would have been nowhere near capable of teaching it, really teaching it, at the time. It was not until my early-forties that my guides started to nag me about teaching it. I resisted for years. My guides persisted, and quite reluctantly I began to weave bits of shamanic work into the other teaching that I was comfortable with. What astonished me was the way some people took to it and thirsted for more of it. It did though, take another near-death experience for me to finally give in, and stop being the reluctant teacher. These days I am filled daily with a deep gratitude (and still with some astonishment) that I can devote my life to practising and teaching shamanism, and that people want to learn with me. Otherwise, I lead a quiet life. A couple of years ago my partner and I were fortunate enough to be able to move to North Wales, to live a life more in contact with nature. I am an introvert, and after teaching I need a lot of solitude and quiet to re-charge. I spend most of my days writing, walking on the beach or in the hills, watching clouds and sunsets, gardening, cooking for my partner, holding her hand, reading, researching on the internet (there is so much I still want to learn and study!), thinking, feeling, occasionally wrestling inner demons, doing nothing in particular, talking to my guides, and gazing adoringly at my cat. Paul Francis, 2017.