Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy

shamanism archaic techniques of ecstacy

* Translated from the French by Willard R. Trask

First published in 1951, Shamanism soon became the standard work in the study of this mysterious and fascinating phenomenon. Writing as the founder of the modern study of the history of religion, Romanian émigré–scholar Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) surveys the practice of Shamanism over two and a half millennia of human history, moving from the Shamanic traditions of Siberia and Central Asia–where Shamanism was first observed–to North and South America, Indonesia, Tibet, China, and beyond. In this authoritative survey, Eliade illuminates the magico-religious life of societies that give primacy of place to the figure of the Shaman–at once magician and medicine man, healer and miracle-doer, priest, mystic, and poet. Synthesizing the approaches of psychology, sociology, and ethnology, Shamanism will remain for years to come the reference book of choice for those intrigued by this practice.


“Eliade writes of the shamans with that masterly combination of sympathy and detachment. . . . . [His] findings will almost certainly be echoed by great voices of the future.”New York Times Book Review

“Eliade is the most informative guide to the modern mythologies.”–Frank Kermode, New Statesman

“[A] close and detailed yet comparative study of shamanism. . . . [It] has become the standard work on the subject and justifies its claim to be the first book to study the phenomenon over a wide field and in a properly religious context.”Times Literary Supplement

“Clearly the best work on Shamanism published so far.”The Review of Religion

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The Four Insights Book Review

the four insights

The Four Insights – Book Review by Jeff Kitmer

The Four Insights, Wisdom, Power, and Grace of the Earth Keepers is a book that cannot be truly appreciated by reading and thereby expecting to receive its gifts through the words.  The Four Insights must be experienced through the practice of its exercises in order to receive its gifts and insights.  Alberto takes you on a journey through the depths of your body, mind, and spirit accompanied by the archetypes of the Serpent (Body), Jaguar (Mind), and Condor (Spirit).
I found the book to be a very addictive read.  I was eager to push ahead and consume more of the information before fully immersing myself in his prescribed exercises.  I have returned to The Four Insights time and time again to practice the exercises.  Each time, I gain new “insights” into the stories that I have created about myself and my life.  The Four Insights is a place to find perspective, to become grounded, and to ignite your passion to discover the Healer within you.
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