Shamanic Wisdom II : The Way of the Animal Spirits – Dolfyn and Swimming Wolf

Shamanic Wisdom II : The Way of the Animal Spirits
Dolfyn and Swimming Wolf
Earthspirit Inc., 1996
131 pages

This is one of a number of basic totemism 101 dictionaries out there. While there’s nothing that really makes it stand out, it’s nowhere near the worst I’ve seen. The authors offer the basics of totemism, including what totems are, how to find them, and how to work with them. It also includes a basic dictionary, which while it includes the usual suspects (Wolf, Bear, Buffalo) it also has a few lesser-known totems (Camel, for example). It’s well-written, brings up some really good points about how animal behavior affects totemic qualities, and adequately covers the introductory information one needs for working with animal totems.

I suppose my biggest complaint (other than it being a rather unremarkable book compared to similar ones of its genre) is that the authors do indulge in some suspected plastic shamanism. They don’t really give any evidence for being part of any authentic indigenous tradition, yet they throw around “medicine” and “shamanic peoples” left and right. Given some of the other titles that Dolfyn has published (more neoshamanic work, crystals, etc.) I’d wager that they’re coming from primarily a New Age background.

This is a good book if you want the basics of neopagan/New Age totemism; take the plastic parts with a grain of salt, and make sure you read more than just this book, but you could definitely have worse introductions to the topic.

Three and three quarters pawprints.

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