Ecoshamanism – James Endredy

James Endredy
Llewellyn, 2005

This book came to me at just the right time. I’d moved into a new house, and was just preparing to get settled into this novel envirinment, including my yard. This book has some wonderful and innovative ideas for reconnecting with nature in a number of ways.

His opening deals with the connection between shamanism an the environment. The entire chapter explaining the differences between traditional indigenous shamanism, neoshamanism/core shamanism (ie, buy a crystal and take this seminar and you’re a real-live shaman!) and ecoshamanism (drawin from traditional shamanism but with the community being served bein the entire Earth and all inhabitants thereof) is worth the price of the book alone.

The following chapters deal with various aspects of ecology without guilt tripping, but also over 50 exercises that are designed to help the reader be more in tune with nature. Rather than simple little things like sticking feathers in your hat band, the rituals include being buried alive overnight, and an impressive hunting ritual that can take a year or more to complete.

This book is very Earthy, and much, much grittier than the lip service a lot of “nature” based books give. Endredy takes us beyond tossing bird seed out in the yard, has us running through the mud, and getting to know Nature no matter the discomfort. It gets us truly grounded, and we learn from that experience.

I really enjoyed the exercise of mapping out special places in nature from childhood. I can clearly remember the various wild spots that were sacred to me when young, and, like Endredy, I saw most of them destroyed by development and human encroachment. This helped me to heal that connection to innocence and purity that often gets lost in the craziness of adult life.

I can’t say enough good about this book. I believe it should be read by anyone who seeks to follow a true Nature-based path, rather than abstracting Nature into symbols and seminars that separate us from the dirt and the rain and the blood. I would suggest it in tandem with The Earth Path by Starhawk.

Five pawprints out of five.

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