Best books about shamanism according to redditors

We found 136 Reddit comments discussing the best books about shamanism. We ranked the 63 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Shamanism:

u/deadaluspark · 200 pointsr/AbandonedPorn

It's a bit garbled from the original, but it's from a book about Indian Native American Shamanism called The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda. They are talking about the use of mescaline (Mescalito being the spiritual being associated with its use). As someone who has used hallucinogens but has not really explored Shamanism, I rather think the guy had a lot of issues before he was forced to leave. Anyway, it's not so much "angry" as, well, you get the idea.

The passage in question (sorry about the length):

> Sunday, 20 August 1961

>Last night don Juan proceeded to usher me into the realm of his knowledge. We sat in front of his house in the dark. Suddenly, after a long silence, he began to talk. He said he was going to advise me with the same words his own benefactor had used the first day he took him as his apprentice. Don Juan had apparently memorized the words, for he repeated them several times, to make sure I did not miss any:

>“A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide-awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. Going to knowledge or going to war in any other manner is a mistake, and whoever makes it will live to regret his steps.”

>I asked him why was it so and he said that when a man has fulfilled those four requisites there are no mistakes for which he will have to account; under such conditions his acts lose the blundering quality of a fool’s acts. If such a man fails, or suffers a defeat, he will have lost only a battle, and there will be no pitiful regrets over that.

>Then he said he intended to teach me about an “ally” in the very same way his own benefactor had taught him. He put strong emphasis on the words “very same way”, repeating the phrase several times.

>An “ally”, he said, is a power a man can bring into his life to help him, advise him, and give him the strength necessary to perform acts, whether big or small, right or wrong. This ally is necessary to enhance a man’s life, guide his acts, and further his knowledge. In fact, an ally is the indispensable aid to knowing.

>Don Juan said this with great conviction and force. He seemed to choose his words carefully. He repeated the following sentence four times:

>“An ally will make you see and understand things about which no human being could possibly enlighten you.”

>“Is an ally something like a guardian spirit?”

>“It is neither a guardian nor a spirit. It is an aid.”

>“Is Mescalito your ally?”

>“No! Mescalito is another kind of power. A unique power! A protector, a teacher.”

>“What makes Mescalito different from an ally?”

>“He can’t be tamed and used as an ally is tamed and used. Mescalito is outside oneself. He chooses to show himself in many forms to whoever stands in front of him, regardless of whether that person is a brujo or a farm boy.”

>Don Juan spoke with deep fervour about Mescalito’s being the teacher of the proper way to live. I asked him how Mescalito taught the “proper way of life”, and don Juan replied that Mescalito showed how to live.

>“How does he show it?” I asked.

>“He has many ways of showing it. Sometimes he shows it on his hand, or on the rocks, or the trees, or just in front of you.”

>“Is it like a picture in front of you?”

>“No. It is a teaching in front of you.”

>“Does Mescalito talk to the person?”

>“Yes. But not in words.”

>“How does he talk, then?”

>“He talks differently to every man.”

>I felt my questions were annoying him. I did not ask any more. He went on explaining that there were no exact steps to knowing Mescalito; therefore no one could teach about him except Mescalito himself. This quality made him a unique power; he was not the same for every man.

>On the other hand, the acquiring of an ally required, don Juan said, the most precise teaching and the following of stages or steps without a single deviation. There are many such ally powers in the world, he said, but he was familiar with only two of them.

>And he was going to lead me to them and their secrets, but it was up to me to choose one of them, for I could have only one.

>His benefactor’s ally was in la yerba del diablo (devil’s weed), he said, but he personally did not like it, even though his benefactor had taught him its secrets. His own ally was in the humito (the little smoke), he said, but he did not elaborate on the nature of the smoke.

>I asked him about it. He remained quiet. After a long pause I asked him:

>“What kind of a power is an ally?”

>“It is an aid. I have already told you.”

>“How does it aid?”

>“An ally is a power capable of carrying a man beyond the boundaries of himself. This is how an ally can reveal matters no human being could.”

>“But Mescalito also takes you out of the boundaries of yourself. Doesn’t that make him an ally?”

>“No. Mescalito takes you out of yourself to teach you. An ally takes you out to give you power.”

>I asked him to explain this point to me in more detail, or to describe the difference in effect between the two. He looked at me for a long time and laughed.

>He said that learning through conversation was not only a waste, but stupidity, because learning was the most difficult task a man could undertake. He asked me to remember the time I had tried to find my spot, and how I wanted to find it without doing any work because I had expected him to hand out all the information. If he had done so, he said, I would never have learned. But, knowing how difficult it was to find my spot, and, above all, knowing that it existed, would give me a unique sense of confidence. He said that while I remained rooted to my “good spot” nothing could cause me bodily harm, because I had the assurance that at that particular spot I was at my very best. I had the power to shove off anything that might be harmful to me. If, however, he had told me where it was, I would never have had the confidence needed to claim it as true knowledge. Thus, knowledge was indeed power.

>Don Juan said then that every time a man sets himself to learn he has to labour as hard as I did to find that spot, and the limits of his learning are determined by his own nature. Thus he saw no point in talking about knowledge. He said that certain kinds of knowledge were too powerful for the strength I had, and to talk about them would only bring harm to me. He apparently felt there was nothing else he wanted to say. He got up and walked towards his house. I told him the situation overwhelmed me. It was not what I had conceived or wanted it to be.

>He said that fears are natural; that all of us experience them and there is nothing we can do about it. But on the other hand, no matter how frightening learning is, it is more terrible to think of a man without an ally, or without knowledge.

u/FredFnord · 69 pointsr/WTF

Happy to oblige.

Basically, the entire thing started with an article in a book entitled Hallucinogens and Shamanism (see here) which is a so-so treatment of the subject, by a mixture of scholars and journalists (although there are a couple of good articles.) The specific article that made the claims was called "The Role of Hallucinogenic Plants in European Witchcraft", and was written by one Michael Harner, whom you can read about here, but, to save you the trouble, he is the 'founder of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and the formulator of "core shamanism."' He is well known for his mystic healing practices, wherein he and his disciples use some herbal remedies (many of dubious effectiveness, some actually quite toxic) and some of 'the powers of their minds' to miraculously heal people, or enable them to miraculously heal themselves. (Incidentally, I hesitate to link to the Wikipedia article, because basically none of his detractors have any say on it whatever, all criticism of any kind having been successfully purged from it, although the edit history is quite illuminating. However, Wikipedia's what the people seem to want these days, so have at it.)

Yes, he has a degree in anthropology. But honestly, he has basically appropriated a whole bunch of shamanic/druidic traditions from a hundred different places, cobbled them together into a synthetic religion, and then spent his life converting people. He uses the witches as another example of a mystic visionary tradition to feed his pet religion.

This article is the first suggestion that anyone made that witches brooms were drugged dildos that I know of, and it was done by cherry picking (so to speak) the facts in a pretty ridiculous way, and parsing things very carefully indeed. Since then, the claim has been made repeatedly, but if you look at the articles and books making it, they all pretty much use Harner as their primary source. If they don't admit it directly, you can tell because they cite the same evidence that he does in his article.

I'm sure he believes what he says, but everything he sees is shamanism, and if there's not enough evidence for it, he's happy to go find some more on one of his mystic spiritual quests to find some.

There's your primary source.

u/seagoonie · 11 pointsr/spirituality

Here's a list of books I've read that have had a big impact on my journey.

First and foremost tho, you should learn to meditate. That's the most instrumental part of any spiritual path.

 Ram Dass – “Be Here Now” - - Possibly the most important book in the list – was the biggest impact in my life.  Fuses Western and Eastern religions/ideas. Kinda whacky to read, but definitely #1

Ram Dass - “Journey Of Awakening” - - Another Ram Dass book - once I got more into Transcendental Meditation and wanted to learn other ways/types of meditation, this helped out.

 Clifford Pickover – “Sex, Drugs, Einstein & Elves…” - - Somewhat random, frantic book – explores lots of ideas – planted a lot of seeds in my head that I followed up on in most of the books below

 Daniel Pinchbeck – “Breaking Open the Head” - - First book I read to explore impact of psychedelics on our brains

 Jeremy Narby – “Cosmic Serpent” - - Got into this book from the above, explores Ayahuasca deeper and relevancy of serpent symbolism in our society and DNA

 Robert Forte – “Entheogens and the Future of Religion” - - Collection of essays and speeches from scientists, religious leaders, etc., about the use of psychedelics (referred to as Entheogens) as the catalyst for religion/spirituality

 Clark Strand – “Waking up to the Dark” - - Explores human’s addiction to artificial light, also gets into femininity of religion as balance to masculine ideas in our society

 Lee Bolman – “Leading with Soul” - - Discusses using spirituality to foster a better, more supportive and creative workplace – pivotal in my honesty/openness approach when chatting about life with coworkers

 Eben Alexander – “Proof of Heaven” - - A neurophysicist discusses his near death experience and his transformation from non-believer to believer (title is a little click-baity, but very insightful book.  His descriptions of his experience align very similarly to deep meditations I’ve had)

 Indries Shah – “Thinkers of the East” - - A collection of parables and stories from Islamic scholars.  Got turned onto Islamic writings after my trip through Pakistan, this book is great for structure around our whole spiritual “journey”

 Whitley Strieber – “The Key: A True Encounter” - - A man’s recollection of a conversation with a spiritual creature visiting him in a hotel room.  Sort of out there, easy to dismiss, but the topics are pretty solid

 Mary Scott – “Kundalini in the Physical World” - - Very dense, very difficult scientific book exploring Hinduism and metaphysics (wouldn’t recommend this for light reading, definitely something you’d want to save for later in your “journey”)

 Hermann Hesse – “Siddartha” - – Short novel about a spiritual journey, coming of age type book.  Beautifully written, very enjoyable.

Reza Aslan - “Zealot” - - Talks about the historical Jesus - helped me reconnect with Christianity in a way I didn’t have before

Reza Aslan - “No god but God” - - Same as above, but in terms of Mohammad and Islam.  I’m starting to try to integrate the “truths” of our religions to try and form my own understanding

Thich Nhat Hanh - “Silence” - - Hanh’s a Vietnamese Buddhist monk - in this book he writes a lot about finding the beauty in silence, turning off the voice in our heads and lives, and living in peace.

Paulo Coelho - “The Alchemist” - - Sort of a modern day exploration of “the path” similar to “Siddhartha.”  Very easy and a joy to read, good concepts of what it means to be on a “path”

Carlos Castaneda - "The Teachings of Don Juan" - The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge - Started exploring more into shamanism and indigenous spiritual work; this book was a great intro and written in an entertaining and accessible way. 

Jean-Yves Leloup - “The Gospel of Mary” - - The book that finally opened my eyes to the potentiality of the teachings of Christ.  This book, combined with the one below, have been truly transformative in my belief system and accepting humanity and the power of love beyond what I’ve found so far in my journey.

Jean-Yves Leloup - “The Gospel of Philip” - - Really begins to dissect and dive into the metaphysical teachings of Christ, exploring the concept of marriage, human union and sexuality, and the power contained within.  This book, combined with the one above, have radically changed my perception of The Church as dissimilar and antithetical to what Christ actually taught.

Ram Dass - “Be Love Now” - - A follow-up to “Be Here Now” - gets more into the esoteric side of things, his relationship with his Guru, enlightenment, enlightened beings, etc.

Riane Eisler - “The Chalice and the Blade” - - An anthropoligical book analyzing the dominative vs cooperative models in the history and pre-history of society and how our roots have been co-opted and rewritten by the dominative model to entrap society into accepting a false truth of violence and dominance as “the way it is”

u/amoris313 · 9 pointsr/occult

There are a few parallels here to what I refer to as astral parasites, and Robert Bruce calls Negs, Castaneda referred to as Flyers, and the Gnostics termed Archons. While I recognize that the universe does indeed have a 'circle of life' pattern to it with everything feeding on everything else at lower levels of reality (at higher levels, one thing becomes every other thing and it's all Oneness anyway), I don't believe that I SHOULD be contributing to particular entities which have become (or have chosen to become) disconnected from the Light/Source etc. (This guy has an interesting take on the nature and motives of such entities. Just found it tonight while looking for a link discussing Castaneda's Flyers.)

Personally, I would not invite such beings into your area or have further dealings with them. In any shamanic studies I've undertaken, insects that feed on me have always been bad things to avoid or stamp out (often being the astral form of a physical disease/virus). The part of your description that sent off 'alarm bells' for me was how you described it as a "robot with no mind, just a job to feed". That's EXACTLY how all astral parasites I've encountered have been. They're like insects - they feel nothing, care nothing, only feed. If they do communicate, they'll say whatever it takes to get you to feel bad and submit so they can feed off your guilt, depression, anger, fear etc. They will laugh and tell you how weak and pathetic you are in an attempt to dominate and cause submission. You have to ignore that, remain calm, and continue to fight back without allowing emotions to distract or sabotage your efforts. It may be a shark's nature to feed on meat, but I will NOT be on the menu today, thanks.

Prior to engaging in hallucinogenic activities, you should probably be using a banishing ritual/ceremony or similar to ensure that unwanted outside influences are cleared away and kept out, and your preferred focus and direction for the trip are maintained. Because I began my training in a ceremonial style, I use the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram as my default method for beginning and ending every working unless the symbolism/energies raised by it aren't as compatible with the working at hand, in which case I'll switch to a different symbol set and use a variation of the Hammer Rite (Runes) or similar (this is basically just a modified LBRP anyway - same format).

I encourage you to read Robert Bruce's material regarding how Negs operate and how to get rid of them. Then compare with Castaneda's works (which are very entertaining reads and provide food for thought, even if they aren't 'authentic Mexican sorcery' as advertised - many of the methods still work pretty well).

Edit: This excerpt from Mike Harner's The Way of the Shaman might also interest you.

u/sacca7 · 8 pointsr/Meditation

Thoreau: Walden, although non-fiction, may be the closest.

Ram Dass: How Can I Help, also non-fiction, has stories that are perhaps what you are looking for.

Ken Wilber One Taste. Wilber's meditative "journal" for a year. It's one of my 5 top books ever.

Ken Wilber: Grace and Grit. "Here is a deeply moving account of a couple's struggle with cancer and their journey to spiritual healing."

In another area are Carlos Castenedas books, which came out as non-fiction but there have been arguments they are fiction, and I don't know or mind either way. They are based on shamanistic drug use, but I believe it all is possible without drugs.

The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge

I have not read (Lila) Kate Wheeler's works, but I have heard of them. I've not read them mostly because if I can't get them at the library, I am too cheap to buy them.

Not Where I Started From

Nixon Under the Bodhi Tree is a collection of works and the authors there might lead you to more of their works.

I did read Bangkok Tatoo which has some Buddhist meditation themes in it, but it wasn't really to my liking.

The Four Agreements is said to be like Carlos Casteneda's books, but I have not read it.

Bottom line, I've read a lot, and I can't find any matches in my memory for Herman Hesse's Siddhartha. If I think of any I'll add it as an edit.

If you find anything interesting, please pm me, no matter how far in the future it is!


Edit: as per the reply below, I've added here if anyone has "saved" this post:

I thought of two more, these actually should be higher on my earlier list:

The Life of Milarepa : "The Life of Milarepa is the most beloved story of the Tibetan people amd one of the greatest source books for the contemplative life in all world literature. This biography, a true folk tale from a culture now in crisis, can be read on several levels.... "

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which was the start of all books titled, "Zen and the Art of ____." "One of the most important and influential books written in the past half-century, Robert M. Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a powerful, moving, and penetrating examination of how we live . . . and a breathtaking meditation on how to live better."

u/oorraannggeess · 7 pointsr/Psychonaut

Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics

Secret Drugs of Buddhism

Entheogens, Myth, and Human Consciousness

The Effluents of Deity: Alchemy and Psychoactive Sacraments in Medieval and Renaissance Art

Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy

The Apples of Apollo: Pagan and Christian Mysteries of the Eucharist

Krishna in the Sky with Diamonds: The Bhagavad Gita as Psychedelic Guide

u/PandaBerry_ · 7 pointsr/witchcraft

Try this one.

The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils, and More

u/no_more_drug_war · 6 pointsr/DMT

There's some very good academic scholarship on this. The early religions were indeed shamanic/psychedelic. That's the root of our spirituality, or our authentic spirituality, at least. If you ever have the time, read Carl Ruck:

There are some pretty good Youtube videos on the subject too, e.g.

u/AllanfromWales1 · 5 pointsr/witchcraft

Craft such as Santeria and Voodoo (and many others) have a strong spiritist leaning, with much of the work done involving putting people into a trance state where they can be 'ridden' by spirits and/or Gods. If that sort of thing interests you, I'd recommend reading this book to get a feel for the field.

I'll not go into full detail of my involvement with The Cult of Maria Lionza in Venezuela. I've tried writing it up and got 30 000 (poorly edited) words which is probably too much for this thread. At present what it means in practice is that I perform a ritualised form of worship a couple of times a week when I'm home, which involves getting myself in a suitable state of mind to talk with Her, then doing so. In return, she keeps me safe when travelling and gives me inspiration to write stories and poetry. Almost all of my writing is done either directly after one of my rituals or the following morning.

That is, though, very much an anglicisation of the religion as it is practiced in Venezuela. Which bothers me not a lot.

Meanwhile, and separately, I work Wicca in a coven. Easy to keep separate because one is group work and the other is solitary. I used to be HP, but have stepped down because of all the time abroad.

One strange thing that happened is the Yara (the real name of Maria Lionza) made clear to me the need to build a number of shrines on public land on the hill behind my house in Wales, in honour of the local deity of the land, who I (arbitrarily) refer to as Our Lady of Craiglais, where Craiglais is the old name of the hill. I would never have even thought of doing such a thing before her instruction, but they've been there for almost a decade now, and they empower me considerably.


u/erl_queen · 5 pointsr/pagan

First of all, I think it's important to ask yourself why you want to practice a religion you know nothing about? Tengerism is an indigenous religion of a specific area of the world - which doesn't necessarily mean that only inhabitants of that region can practice it, but it's going to be much harder and I would think there should be a "call" of sorts from those spirits. Also remember that Tengerism, like most "shamanic" religions, is really essentially animism, with a subset of religious specialists (the shamans). You can be an animist anywhere, and as an animist you are going to be working with the spirits of the place you live, not a distant land. And even if you want to eventually train as a shaman, you will have to understand the workings of your local spirit landscape more than those of another.

Anyway, not sure how you could scour the internet without finding but I'd start there. Also, there are great resources OFF the internet in the form of books, I'd recommend anything by Sarangerel, as well as this fantastic book.

u/_rose-colored_ · 5 pointsr/taoism

Indeed, Taoism has shamanic roots. But keep in mind that Taoism is much broader and more complicated than most people realize. I recommend reading Taoism: An Essential Guide by Eva Wong for a better understanding of how it evolved from shamanism.

As for books on shamanism, Michael Harner’s “The Way of the Shaman” is considered classic.

Edited: grammar, additional book link

u/EllisAmdur · 4 pointsr/aikido
  1. I just answered that one below - but really, I do martial arts because I like to do martial arts. Sort of like sex - my motivation has changed over the years, but I've no intention of stopping. And don't particularly want to get into talking about motivations and why I do it.
  2. IP (internal power) or IS (internal strength). Mobility, yes, because IS requires relaxation, moving with open joints, spiraling extension, etc. Fitness? No. I train otherwise to enhance fitness. I remember reading once that Cheng Man Ching, the famous taijiquan teacher, in his later years, decided to take up bowling, but quit because the ball was too heavy.
  3. There is no book that I know of that attempts to address the character of these guys, in general - though people have written about one or another specifically. They are quite different guys - Sugino sensei was the only one I ever met. I found him to be a very nice man. He was a brilliant professional martial artist, but something was missing for me. I never felt scared - hard to explain, but imagine a loaded gun on a table. It won't go off by itself, but it has a potential of lethality. I never felt that with Sugino sensei. I never met Ueshiba - but he was different from the other people on your list and, I think, most other martial arts instructors. He set himself up as a guru - this was a deliberate act. Most people point out that his martial art practice, derived from Daito-ryu, was really not all that unique technically, and even the remarkable abilities (internal strength) were merely one variant that his contemporary/rivals such as Horikawa and Sagawa knew. However, one thing I believe may have been different is that Ueshiba may have also had the ability to tap into what I refer to in Hidden in Plain Sight, (HIPS) as 'berserker' strength, something we see in people in extreme life-threatening states (consider the book Bone Games). This is apart from 'internal strength,' rather, it is tapping into that primordial instinctive power that resides in us. I record an example of this in HIPS - one of my Araki-ryu students inadvertantly injected a full syringe of insulin directly into his circulatory system, and he described what happened within when he was instantly in insulin shock, potentially dying, and in total adrenaline dump, and what he did to survive. From what I read of Ueshiba, he had the ability to tap into that kind of power at will, something related to shamanistic practices, passed down within Shugendo. [NOTE, however, that one has to take this with a huge grain of salt. Ueshiba fictionalized his own abilities - dodging bullets, for example, and others did as well. And people unconsciously make myths - they can physically react based on their belief that they must react, for example, something I call 'aiki accomodation syndrome,' - or as a judoka would say, "putting kuzushi on yourself.']
u/GyroscopicSpin · 4 pointsr/books

The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Casteneda. It was a very intriguing read and I'd suggest it to anyone with a somewhat mature mindset.

u/[deleted] · 4 pointsr/Psychonaut

Only the shamans go through long initiation. People take it much like they would any medicine (for similar reasons too), except they remain with the shaman during the trip. This is an awesome book on the practices of Amazonian shamans and the diversity among them.

u/adamthestranger · 4 pointsr/magick

Jan Fries is like my favorite author on these subjects. Check out Seidways

He really does his homework and stays true to the roots of what he's writing about. Doesn't really do fluff or make stuff up, and he at least tells you when he does.


Raven Kaldera also deserves a mention. While he doesn't have anything specifically about Seidr, his books about Northern-Tradition Shamanism are like no others. He may not stay as true to the historical practices but he treats it more as a living-breathing religion and goes deeeep into his practices.

So much of the history behind these practices is completely unknown so its hard to find good, accurate sources. SO many people just make something up and sell it as ancient knowledge. So keep as discerning eye as possible.

Best of luck!

u/lymantriidae_ · 3 pointsr/occult

You might like to check this out - basically about the Aborigine magicians. Written by a Freemason so lots hidden for those with eyes to see.

u/DaGoodBoy · 3 pointsr/fantasywriters

A History of Warfare by John Keegan [Goodreads] Gives a clear understanding of how different cultures influence military organization and tactics. I was looking for a book to help someone who doesn't have a military background (me) understand and describe how the military and culture intersect and influence each other.

The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda [Goodreads]. Uses an interesting, anthropological POV to describe an alternative view of perception and reality. Very handy if you want to create a magic system that does not conform to clearly explainable rules of logic and order, but is still believable and self-consistent.

u/hngdman · 3 pointsr/Shamanism

Start with Neolithic Shamanism by Kaldera and Krasskova

Then start Kaldera's Northern Tradition series:


Pathwalkers's Guide



In the meantime, start searching for the Galdrbok by Johnson and Wallis and read that when you can get a copy.

That should give you about 3-5 years worth of training material. Once you have worked through it all, set it aside and focus on how the spirits you work with encourage you to practice. All of the above authors have their own practices and much of what they offer will not be completely true for your work. Learn the skills that are presented, make them your own, and then foster your relationships with the spirits from there.

u/Smedette · 3 pointsr/witchcraft

Read, read, and read some more, until you figure out what you want from witchcraft and what type of witch you are (should you choose to identify with one path). Some recent books that have helped me:

  • Weave the Liminal
  • Tending Brigid's Flame
  • The Green Witch

    I lean toward Green and Kitchen Witchcraft, with a healthy dose of Druidism. Happy to pass on more recommendations if any of that interests you.

    Mark the sabbats and festival dates on your calendar, read up on their histories and prepare your celebrations. Do you want to follow any deities, Gods, and/or Goddesses? Do you want to include Tarot, crystals, or herbalism in your practice and studies?

    There is so much information out there, it can be completely overwhelming. But I would make a list, keep adding to it, and see where your needs, wants, and ideas take you.
u/sharer_too · 3 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Not novels, but -

[The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test] ( - a very readable account of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters by Tom Wolfe

[The Teachings of Don Juan] ( - presented at the time as research/non-fiction, since questioned, but still pretty fascinating

u/Schweitziro · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

It was probably similar to this guy's experience. Very interesting book, read it in a graduate philosophy course a year or 2 back.

Edit: Anthropologist (has some serious academic credentials) goes down to South America to study Shamanism, takes some serious shit, and has a spiritual awakening. Comes back to America, and is/was one of the founders of the spiritualist movement in the U.S.

u/ThatPDXgirl · 3 pointsr/dogman

Yeah. The Viking Warriors. ALMOST (but still not, way different, still), but there are SOME similarities to the SkinWalkers.

I have a book called “Neolithic Shamanism- Spirit work in the Norse Tradition”. It’s pretty interesting. I’ll link below.

But yes- Surprise, surprise!! LOL even white people when you go back far enough, we aalllllll had the same belief-systems, rituals, legends and myths that are incredibly similar, and everything. Just different twists... Seems like white people forgot sooner or something. :-(

Time to remember. ❤️

u/catherineirkalla · 3 pointsr/occult

A good place to start I think is reading Shamanic Voices by anthropoligist Joan Halifax. It isn't a how-to guide or anything, but gives intimate accounts of Shamanic practices throughout the world. It includes records of rituals performed by Maria Sabina that you may find especially interesting.

After that, I'd recommend Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy by reliigious history professor Mircea Eliade. Its a bit thick but is very thorough in its treatment of Shamanic practices through the millennia and around the world, including descriptions of numerous techniques used for entering trance states, cosmologies, symbolism, initiations, and powers claimed by Shamans. This is an academic work, however and won't give you step by step instructions (if that is what you are looking for).

If you are looking for something a bit lighter, Supernatural by Graham Hancock is an interesting read. In it he looks at parallels between drug-induced experiences, Shamanism, fairies, and reports of extraterrestrials. If I had known that last part before I read it I probably would have skipped this book but he actually made some very interesting points that I think makes the book worth reading. Also, he relies heavily on Joan Halifax's book as a source and spends a decent amount of time discussing Maria Sabina and psilocybin usage.

The beginner how-to department is an area I'm less versed in but I've heard good things about this book and its companion. Personally I'd generally recommend getting oneself intimately familiar with current and past Shamanic practices through the academic works on the subject and then creating a personalized system - though commercial how-to guides can certainly provide some practical hints and inspiration.

u/traztx · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion

I mainly work with what we call "journeying" via a state of consciousness during drum-induced trance. If you are curious about the methodology, I recommend Harner's The Way of the Shaman. His organization has collected reports of experiences and his new book Cave and Cosmos cites many from that repository.

u/Greydonstepper · 2 pointsr/occult

I would just follow the series.

It's fiction but based on truths. It's filled with these actually. The later books aren't as powerful. Warning! these books will inspire a vision quest! Have fun and be safe if you do. (Have someone watching over you).

u/necrobane84 · 2 pointsr/occult

Here's some links to books I found to be helpful:

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3


u/EmptyFractal · 2 pointsr/LSD
u/M0NSTRUSS · 2 pointsr/occult

I wish I knew more about the subject of Aboriginal shamanism and mythology in general, honestly. The only book I've come across on the subject is Aboriginal Men of High Degree, but I found it a little light on details on a cursory reading and dumped it.

u/jnola2 · 2 pointsr/astrology

There are essentially two ways. 1) do some soul searching and journeys yourself, or 2) have a shaman do a power animal retrieval for you.

If you're interested in doing it for yourself, I recommend reading this book by Michael Harner:

The Way of the Shaman

u/Marc-le-Half-Fool · 2 pointsr/Meditation

To ease the struggle, release all expectations of hops that it be this or that animal, bird, insect, or fish. Also, no need to compare with the friend who's got the wolf.

Once started and gone through some levels... (that's a part of it), ask or openly invite what animal might assist you best at this time.

Foundation for Shamanic Studies FSS offers some courses.

Pick up The Way of the Shaman by Michael Harner. It's a basic starting place.

You'll also want to deepen your understanding of whomever appears.

u/professoroblivion42 · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

This book has been sitting in my to read stack a while:, and is supposed to be an excellent book on what you mention. He also wrote another book, The Outsider, with more of a philosophical bent that I've partially that's the reason I know about him. Another one you might want to consider is:

which was undertaken originally as an anthropological study of shamanism but became more of an examination of black magic.

If you're interested in more general ideas of why people think about gods and monsters then I would definitely check out William James' Varieties of Religious Experience, which talks about the possible psychological underpinnings of mystical thinking. This lecture along similar lines is also fantastic.

My brother has read a lot more concerning this and has many more books that I could ask him about if you'd be interested. I mostly just dabble.

u/GhidrasMahout · 2 pointsr/occult

Idk about that sort of thing being exclusive to hyperborean type cultures. It has been observed in the Sami in Finland, to the Voudons of Haiti, to the nomadic San bushmen, and many others. Jan Fries has a book called Seidways which examines shake-induced trance across its implementation in a wide variety of cultures.

Given how common epileptic convulsions (whether an actual affliction or merely manifested for the purpose of altering consciousness) are among shaman-type individuals observed from every corner of the globe, my interpretation of the evidence leads me to believe that no single race or culture can make a viable claim of progenitorship to a technique of consciousness manipulation that has existed since neolithic times, if not of even greater antiquity.

>When I think of shamanism I think of trance and ecstatic dance, and I think of shudders and daemonic-dread, but I think of them as mutually exclusive

You are entitled to the validity of the belief structure surrounding your shamanic initiation, but do be aware that "the mutual exclusion" you speak of is integrated by many other shamans. For example, the Lwa possess not the musicians and priests/esses leading a ritual, but rather the drunk and dancing adherents who have given themselves fully to the magic of the moment. While some cultures would be outright alarmed by this welcomed spiritual possession, the Voudon are able to take advantage of this to make direct contact with superhuman intelligences. The lines separating ecstacy and dread are drawn faint.

u/obscure_robot · 2 pointsr/Meditation

> Is this normal?

It sounds like you have an unusual, but not unheard of, ability to get into deeply altered states. With a little more meditation practice, you may find that you can get into mushroom states without ever eating any mushrooms.

> I smoke marijuana to help me with my depression, but I chose not to smoke when I sat down to meditate.

I infrequently smoke cannabis (rarely more than once a month). When I meditate within about 48 hours of smoking, I find that my experience is vastly more psychedelic than with just cannabis or just meditation. So now I only smoke when I can turn the day into a mini meditation retreat, and spend as much time meditating as possible.

Two books that you may find interesting are:

Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha, Daniel Ingram's book that focuses very sharply on Buddhist meditation and the path(s) to enlightenment. Ingram strips meditation practice down to its bare minimum, and then talks very openly about the mind maps that people typically traverse over the course of their meditation practice. This may help you find out where you are with respect to other people and other writings. It will also help you get closer to an answer to your question about whether you are doing it 'right' or not.

The other book worth investigating is Michael Harner's Cave and Cosmos. Harner's book is all about how to get into deeply altered mental states without using any plants or chemicals. I suspect you will find some deep parallels between your experience and the shamanic experience.

u/djIsoMetric · 2 pointsr/LSD

It’s been 20 plus years since I’ve read this. The teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda.

u/0xdefec8 · 2 pointsr/WTF

according to the straight dope, a book from 1973 Hallucinogens and Shamanism also says this. Haven't read it, but looks like that book might cite primary sources

u/ManIsBornFree · 2 pointsr/history

another great place to start looking is the counter-cultural movements of the 60's-70's, the hippies, and how Carlos Castaneda and the CIA basically brought Psilocybin to the cultural forefront.

In looking into this, the CIA aspect is pretty cool, but Carlos Castandea is the man you need to look into. basically, the worst anthropoligist/cult leader of all time.

u/magdamakethetea · 2 pointsr/Drugs

It would probably be good to check out some of the literature from the guys who spent their lives trying to characterize the whole thing.

some examples: LSD ketamine Peyote

u/are_you_trolling · 2 pointsr/Shamanism

You can do it either way. Sandra Ingerman has an audio book/CD with drumming. Steven Farmer also has a power animal book with a CD/MP3 with drumming and journeying instructions (if you buy the kindle version, you'll get a link to download the MP3s).

The advantage of recordings is that you can play them without bothering others. However make sure you have headphones that don't bother you; otherwise you'll be paying attention to that ear feeling. Also if you tend to move during journeys, use headphones that will stay on...

u/DormiensVigila108 · 1 pointr/Psychonaut

I recommend giving Carlos Castaneda's "Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge" a read. Some dispute it's authenticity, but many of the teachings in it line up with indigenous Mexican brujos' and diableros' use of entheogenic substances and divination.

Don Juan, the Yaqui sorcerer the author apprenticed under, speaks in an animist language, personifying the spirit of the plant as a teacher and ally in the sorcerer's descent into the world of spirits. He refers to peyote not just as a cactus that "makes you trip balls" but as the body of Mescalito, the spirit of the cactus that has a life of its own. It is certainly an interesting way to approach to the topic, one that is shared by many indigenous cultures that live closer to the earth.

u/AbstractLogic · 1 pointr/Psychonaut

This is a book tha all psychonauts should read. It is not a fiction but it reads like one. This book is freaking awesome. It is hard to put down. Must read.

The Teachings of Don Juan.

u/Erra-Epiri · 1 pointr/pagan

Nnnn . . . anna u nīpu. Krasskova and Kaldera do refer to "Northern Tradition" more broadly as a "Paganism" and describe it as a polytheistic system.

The "Northern Tradition Shamanism" abutu is mostly Kaldera's, though Krasskova has contributed here and there, if I recall correctly. Same situation with the "Neolithic Shamanism" abutu.

u/spacecadetzen · 1 pointr/Drugs

No one should ever consume a psychedelic without at least reading this book, reading errowid extensively, or sitting down and talking with a shaman.

>"Does Mescalito take any form when he shows himself?"

>"Yes, any form."

>"Then, which are the most common forms you know?"

>"There are no common forms."

>"Do you mean, don Juan, that he appears in any form, even to men who know him well?"

>"No. He appears in any form to those who know him only a little, but to those who know him well, he is always constant."

>"How is he constant?"

>"He appears to them sometimes as a man, like us, or as a light. Just a light."

mescalito is chaos, the very spirit you conjure up within when you take peyote. he's like the vengeful, old-testament god combined with the modern satanist form of satan. He wants you to have a good time, but you're gonna go through some shit first.

u/Belerion · 1 pointr/occult

Crows pop up a lot in myth and legend. It's possible that the archetypal crow could be a spirit guide for you. To find out more about that, give this book a read, it's quick and easy:

It's also possible that it's sheer coincidence.

u/IIdsandsII · 1 pointr/Documentaries

Fuckin hell, that's him. Are you him?

He didn't seem that old, but then again, this was many years ago.

Also, this was one of the books I strongly recall:

This was another:

u/m1kael · 1 pointr/AskReddit
u/wyrdh · 1 pointr/asatru

There's not much written on the subject as sources are difficult to find, but you might want to check out the book Seidways by Jan Fries.

u/r271answers · 1 pointr/religion

> Perception and reality are not, and cannot be separated.

From a subjective level this is absolutely true, however consensus reality relies on the subjective perceptions which people agree are objective. If I say I'm a tomato because I'm perceiving being a tomato its subjectively real but its only objectively real once people agree with me.

> I have been doing more and more research into all of this. And I think I more or less have it figured out, and it does fit within the given range of what I would have been willing to accept before the event.

I can understand this, I accept many things now which I never would have accepted a decade ago. I would have thought you are a loony. lol now I'm probably more loony than you are.

> Graham Hancock

Some of his stuff is ok. He is a good writer but take a lot of it with a grain of salt, too many of his readers take it as gospel when its intended to be speculation. If you read his book Supernatural I recommend you read Shamanic Voices by the antropoligist Joan Halifax which he used as a source for much of his writing in that book.

> I am now completely convinced that I understand the nature of reality, and that this is only one plain of existence,

It's not so much that its only one "plain" of existence, in my experience, but rather that its only one "timeline set". Even if you experience these things as 100% real, not everyone will. You are experiencing multiple timelines simultaneously and they overlap partially with other people you communicate with. For some people the things you are describing are as real as the computer in front of you. For some they are not real at all. Both are right.

> and that I met a Reptilian that inadvertantly enlightened me while attempting to destroy me.

I can dig it.

> I met (I am looking for a word here that means EVERYTHING. The alpha, the omega, god, satan, yahweh, whaterver).

Sure. I call it "Existence Itself", "The System" or sometimes "Zooey" (long story on those names there). One night I had a 3-some with it and Non-Existence Itself. It was pretty hot. (I'm serious lol)

> I am that person, and that person is me. I am my own god of my own universe because this universe is only a matter of my own perception and therefore my own reality.

That's partly true but only as true as you are able to control your own experience. If you can't imagine that your walls are a different color and have them instantly be and stay that color than you are not only experiencing your universe but you are also experiencing the universe of one or more other people. Also you should check out the book Conference of the Birds in which the birds seek out what is basically God and discover that they themselves are God but that understanding this at a deep level is a very hazerdous journey.

> To summarize, I met a reptilian shape-shifter. They convinced me they were god using clever tricks of manipulation and mind-control. They have a better grasp on the energy and vibrations that allow this plain of existence to be manipulated, and they use that for their own gain.

Why would they use it for their own gain? What is there to gain? If they are shape-shifters are they reptilian or is that just one shape?

> On a side note, what do you think about things like psychedelics, monatomic gold, B17, pineal gland calcification, and things of this nature?

Psychedelic drugs can be useful for some people at some points in time to get them to learn to think outside of their native reality but one should be careful about extensive use. I believe mild stimulants to be more useful in getting one's brain into a state of controllable cross-reality experience but whatever works for you. I have no reality on the other things you are talking about there. If they make sense to you go for it, but they mean nothing to me.

> What do you think of "The Illuminati"?

Such groups exist in some timeline sets but not the ones that the majority of redditers experience, and not the one I'm experiencing right now. In the ones where they do exist they are typically not as 'evil' as people assume. Most of the ideas regarding groups like this come from past-life pre-earth memories and the groups now defunct.

> Do you think there is any chance that the entire world earth is being manipulated by Reptilians posing as the human super elite (ie Rothschilds) so that humans can be used as cattle/slaves by calcifying our pineal glands and brainwashing us?

Maybe in some realities but not any I've ever encountered, and I get around. Still it may be true in your reality, I'm certainly not going to tell you its not true for you but I will say its not true for me.

Our individual environments are manipulated by ourselves in ways we don't understand. Time is a lot more complicated than our memories suggest and much of what you do and think in your environment reinforces your future and past thoughts and beliefs. In a sense, we enslave ourselves by believing we are enslaved.

u/AllanfromWales · 1 pointr/Wicca

The other end of the spectrum would be to offer your body for full on possession by Her Upstairs. If that sort of thing sounds interesting to you, I'd recommend you read this book first.

u/Tokndenver · 1 pointr/Psychonaut

I am thoroughly enjoying a book called Breaking Open the Head by Daniel Pinchbeck in which he discusses some of these ideas. Highly recommended for any psychonaut:

Amazon link

u/bloodwolf2685 · 1 pointr/Shamanism

Hallucinogens and Shamanism was a fun read. It covers shamanistic practices, with the use of hallucinogens, of various indigenous tribes

u/phraxos · 1 pointr/occult

This book might be what you're looking for :) It places a huge emphasis on learning to connect with the Earth, and nature. Also, she goes out of her way to explain that what she's sharing is not Wicca, which is a specific formal religion.

u/RKBA · 1 pointr/politics

Yes, I disagree totally. I never much cared for baseball, but as I recall I was concentrating on hitting the damn thing instead of trying to "will" it over the fence. You would probably enjoy the Carlos Castaneda books immensely. Seriously. Check it out,it's very enjoyable and "spooky" fiction. Or is Norman Vincent Peale more your style.

u/corknut · 1 pointr/PaleoSkills

On the other hand, Robert Schulteis writes in Bone Games that timing your runs with a stopwatch is like remembering lovers by carving notches on your bedpost.

u/FyreShaman · 1 pointr/Shamanism

Castaneda is fiction.......good, but fiction. ;)
I would seek out Sarangerel Odigon's book 'Chosen by the Spirits' and also look online for free pdf files if your budget is tight.
You may also wish to seek out 'Sacred Hoop' magazine produced by Nicholas Breeze Wood and his free articles on . He's a nice guy and may let you have access to Hoop articles for free if you ask nicely. ;)

u/Cephalophore · 1 pointr/MysteriousUniverse

The UK version of Amazon has both paperback and Kindle copies listed. Not exactly sure how it works if you're ordering from out of the country, though.

u/SummerOfSalvia · 1 pointr/Salvia

It's about Salvia. It's a blend of autobiographical material and more of a journalistic approach to its history, modern use and the philosophical implications of what people experience on it.

u/Daleth2 · 1 pointr/Shamanism

Welcome. Have you been to and/or read Michael Harner's book, Way of the Shaman? Harner is an 80-something year old anthropologist who studied with indigenous shamans in the Amazon in the 1960s and, as a result, quit academia and became a shamanic practitioner and teacher full-time. is his site (or rather the site of the nonprofit shamanic studies foundation he founded). They teach classes in shamanism, publish a magazine on indigenous and non-indigenous shamans, and periodically run fundraisers to help indigenous shamans (some hurricane in Central America wrecks a shaman's home, they raise money to help him or her build a new one). I've taken one of the classes and use their drumming CDs (or rather MP3's) for most of my journeys. Good stuff.

Here's a link to that book:

u/at-night_mostly · 1 pointr/Psychic

I understand where you're coming from. There's so much emphasis on correct posture in the techniques associated with this kind of work, it gives the impression that the disabled might as well not bother. It's just that the instructions are written for the widest possible audience and assume the capabilities of the 'average' or 'normal' person.

It's worth remembering though, that in many shamanic societies disability was seen as a sign of suitability for this work. Although traditionally passed orally from shaman to shaman, there are now some excellent books on shamanic practice. I recommend Jan Fries' Visual Magick. There's a free Pdf here. Not everything he suggests will be possible for you, but you can adapt things to suit. And that's the thing - you may have to pick and choose across traditions, taking a piece from here, a piece from there, until you have something that works for you.

Some are of the opinion that this is in some way disrespectful, or even dangerous, but if you tread carefully, follow intuition, and your intent is to work for the good of all (rather than mere self interest) you will find something that works for you. Nobody is shut out from this; the universe will find you a way if you work with it. The pain and frustration you have to deal with, can be used to your advantage; disability forces us to confront our deepest fears in ways that the able bodied can, and usually do, sidestep with ease.

You will have to accept your situation, yes. But there's real magic in that surrender; it changes your experience quite radically. Equanimity is a wonderful thing - nothing has changed, everything is different. You may even find that, blasphemous as it sounds, you eventually feel gratitude for the challenges your situation presents you with.

I have a balance disorder; dizziness, vertigo, and a truly slapstick lack of physical coordination. My skeletal structure has been warped by it, compressing nerves and blood vessels in my neck, resulting in migraines, and the loss of most of the sensation and function in my left hand; I know what it's like to be rigid and immobile.

My SO has limited sensation and movement following the removal of a spinal tumour in childhood, so I have some idea what you're dealing with. Bits of vertebrae were removed and the remaining bone fused together, but it was done as an emergency operation, at a time when spinal surgery was less advanced. He's dosed up on Tramadol right now, trying to sleep off a bout of crippling nerve pain.

Both of us have struggled with despair, and there are times when life still seems impossibly daunting. But it's never more than we can handle, we always learn something useful, and whenever things look hopeless the universe provides some small miracle. Even my SO is beginning to have a little faith that, so long as we continue to try, the universe will find a way to give us what we need.

I haven't exactly gone snooping through your comment history, but I had a quick look. Things are bad right now, but you're very strong, much stronger than you realize, and despite appearances (and possibly the odd human being), everything's on your side. You can't do things the same way as everyone else perhaps, but you can follow the gentle prompting of the world around you to something uniquely yours.

u/Bitinvestor · 0 pointsr/vegan

It may very well be pseudoscience but he was on the right track nonetheless. It's actually very easy to convince yourself that plants have spirits. All it takes is a cup of ayahuasca.

u/bolivarbum · 0 pointsr/books

You might like The Teachings of Don Juan. Not your normal anthropology book.