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review 2018-01-03 05:42
Cute? animal sidekicks, magic & mountaineering
Even the Darkest Stars - Heather Fawcett

Loved this. From the first page, it's clearly something special. Flawless, effortless worldbuilding with unique-yet-relatable characters in high-stakes adventures with a serious twist. In Fantasy!Historic Tibet, the second daughter of a village chief in the mountain is flunking magic lessons and totally failing to hatch dragon eggs. Good thing her best friend is a genius and can cover for her. Big sister also perfect, so when the empire's most accomplished explorer (who just happens to ALSO be a hot teen) shows up in town, of course it's sis that gets invited on his next, most important-yet mission. Then sis runs off with the explorer's chronicler and things get interesting. Our magicless flunkout is about to prove her serious climbing and mountaineering skills as she saves big sis AND the empire (because evil witches are out to get them, btw) and steals the lead explorer title for herself. Until demons start hounding the camp and the party members' secrets start undermining the mission. Exciting story, fresh setting, relatable, compelling and endlessly cool characters with appealing but understated romance and serious twists. Good for mid teens and up; no language, minimal sex references, PG for the under 14s, but it's pretty clean, especially for YA these days. Some great lines and timely ideas and themes explored. Cinematic; could see this being a great film/TV series too. Can't wait for the sequel!

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review 2015-12-10 10:47
Inspiration for healing
The Heart of Life: Shamanic Initiation & Healing In The Modern World - Jez Hughes

I'm often wary of MBS books about healing because they can tend to blame the victim. Not this one. This is a warm, compassionate sort of book that acknowledges the ways life hurts us, and offers cope to move on from that. It is for the greater part spiritual memoir - with some fascinating stories and experiences. it's also very much a book of shamanic philosophy, and as such is a terrific insight into that whole world view. it's really readable, and accessible, I also found it helpful and encouraging.


If you're interested in shamanism, the philosophical aspect of this book is invaluable - I've read a number of shamanic titles now, and never seen the underlying ideas explored in such depth or to such a good effect.

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text 2014-09-04 19:18
Introducing Spirituality Into Your Life: Shamanism
Teen Spirit Guide to Modern Shamanism - S. Kelley Harrell

So what should you read when you want something meaningful, something that might change your life? No, this time it's not going to be about fiction. This time I want to encourage you to read  S. Kelley Harrell's "Teen Spirit Guide to Modern Shamanism".


You are not a teen anymore? Doesn't matter! I believe the book is good for teens (mature and intelligent, the rest might have difficulties with understanding) but also for adults who enter the world of spirituality. 


It is a good introduction for anyone interested in shamanism with instructions step-by-step how to begin this incredible journey. Written in a format of a handbook with tasks or questions at the end of each chapter (titled 'What do you think?') help to introduce all the new information into your daily practices. 


And what if you are not keen on practicing shamanism? It's still a book for you: broaden your horizons and understand lifestyle and believes other than your own. Who knows, maybe reading it will light that little spark of curiosity just a bit more?


About the book:

Teen Spirit Guide to Modern Shamanism is a light-hearted and informative handbook introducing an ancient spiritual practice to today's young adults and beginning seekers. Modern shaman and author S. Kelley Harrell, gives insight into growing from an intuitive youth into a mature facilitator of healing for others, covering the history and roles of the shaman, and their relevance in our shifting times. Complete with instructions on ecstatic journeying, this guide also presents how to incorporate shamanic insights into daily life, and how to talk with others about the modern shamanic path. (from: Amazon.com)


About the author:

Kelley is a modern shaman and author in North Carolina. A lifelong intuitive, she has been on a shamanic path since 1988, and since 2000 has served her local community and an international client base through Soul Intent Arts. Her bestselling memoir, "Gift of the Dreamtime - Awakening to the Divinity of Trauma," chronicles her pivotal step from spiritual crisis into shamanism. She writes shamanic memoir, spiritual nonfiction, and new adult magickal realism. Since 2004 she's maintained the blog, "Intentional Insights," addressing reader inquiries on animism, shamanism, and the everyday paranormal. (from: Amazon.com)


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review 2011-11-16 00:00
The Hollow Bone: A Field Guide to Shamanism
The Hollow Bone: A Field Guide to Shaman... The Hollow Bone: A Field Guide to Shamanism - Colleen Deatsman, Sandra Ingerman This was an interesting guide through an enthralling topic. Deatsman clearly knows her subject and provides the reader with a fairly broad overview of exactly what Shamanism is. A Zulu sangoma living in Swaziland even got a mention!

There were temperate reminders of the seriousness of this path, and also practical wisdom and sensible directions to introduce lay people to the history, philosophy and tasks of Shamans in today’s rapidly changing world where traditional ways are being lost and the material world is overpowering the spiritual.

What I liked least about the book was that, however gently phrased, there was too much authoritative instruction and not enough sharing of the passion which Deatsman clearly feels for her topic. Deatsman’s knowledge of shamanism is impressive and allows her to write about abstract concepts in a clear and concise manner. But, at times, I would have enjoyed less intellect and more emotional ecstasy in the way she describes the shamans journeying to the Other (non-ordinary) World.

Overall, though, this is an excellent introduction into a fascinating and powerful path to healing for one Self or as a path to assist others in healing themselves.
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