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Shamans of the World:
Extraordinary First-Person Accounts of Healings, Mysteries, and Miracles

by Nancy Connor, editor, with Bradford Keeney, Ph.D.

      In Shamans of the World: Extraordinary First-Person Accounts of Healings, Mysteries, and Miracles, Nancy Connor and Bradford Keeney, Ph.D. have gleaned selections from Keeney's Profiles of Healing series. A dozen books form that series, and each is the distillation of Keeney's encounters with healers from all over the world. Keeney spent seven years in the field, living with healers and gaining their trust. Sometimes, he had to endure rigorous testing before these indigenous healers would share their knowledge. When they did, that information was recorded and then carefully transcribed and edited to form each of these books.

For Shamans of the World, Keeney and Conner carefully chose excerpts from those books to introduce the healing practices and cultures in which those practices were nurtured. The editors arranged the reader's acquaintance with each healer in a specific order. The first one, Walking Thunder, a Dine medicine woman from New Mexico, uses traditional herbal medicines and sandpaintings to help her patients. Then, the reader comes to know two Brazilian healers who combine Christianity, prayer, touch, and herbal remedies. As other healers are introduced, the reader learns about altered states of consciousness, shamanic trance states, and trance dancing. This choice is deliberate because it takes the reader from concrete, observable energies to states of non-ordinary reality that some readers might find hard to accept without an understanding of the more ordinary healing realities.

I found Shamans of the World to be a good introduction to indigenous healing practices from around the world. Reading what each healer said about his or her life was eye-opening. More so was the amount of information these healers shared with an outsider. Though not all of their culture's spiritual secrets were revealed, enough was given so those who had an understanding of healing energies and non-ordinary reality could grasp the extent of the wisdom being imparted. These revelations showed the wide diversity of healing practices that human beings have developed through the centuries. They further reveal that spirituality and healing is infinitely bound by culture, and sometimes by environment.

Shamans of the World is an excellent text for students of indigenous healing, as well as a great beginning place for others seeking greater knowledge of spirituality from diverse perspectives. Highly recommended.

The Book

Sounds True
June 2008
1591799570 / 978-1591799573
New Age biography
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The Reviewer

Janie Franz
Reviewed 2008
NOTE: Reviewer Janie Franz is the author of Freelance Writing: Itís a Business, Stupid!and co-author of The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book and The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book.
© 2008