Friday, June 30, 2017

Book Review: Practical Shamanism: A Guide for Walking in Both Worlds by Katie Weatherup

Book Review: Practical Shamanism: A Guide for Walking in Both Worlds by Katie Weatherup

Prior to going to Washington DC last week (yes, I took another trip!) I finished Practical Shamanism: A Guide for Walking in Both Worlds by Katie Weatherup. This book discusses shamanic journeying, including how to access the Otherworld, the foundations of journeying, and briefly introduces soul retrieval and shadow work. It takes a very "love and light" perspective on shamanic journeying, combining traditions from around the world into one modern, practical form.

The book is broken up into four parts: background and instruction, shamanic worldview, advanced practices, and personal stories and experiences. The first part of the book is by far the most helpful in my opinion. It discusses, step-by-step, how to access the Otherworld, what you will find in each realm, how to enter an altered state of consciousness using drumming, and how to meet your animal, spirit, and ancestral guides. If you are looking at how to shamanic journey or even hedge ride (please note these are two different things), the first part is where you should focus. I found her instructions helpful and easy to follow, whether you are just learning or have been journeying or hedge riding for years. I always like to read about how others enter the Otherworld, and her version of accessing the different realms actually made it easier for me to hedge ride. Part IV, Weatherup's personal experiences, was also a beneficial read. As I mentioned, I enjoy reading about other people's experiences in the Otherworld, and I found her stories to be inspiring. It also provides the reader with a better guide on how some things may occur when you travel. Unfortunately, this is all I can really say in favor of the book. I ended up being disappointed after it started out so strong.

Book Review: Practical Shamanism: A Guide for Walking in Both Worlds by Katie Weatherup


Parts II and III were love and light fluff. Part II, shamanic worldview, reminded me a lot of Wicca. Weatherup comes off as a wee bit preachy in regards to being in "right" with the universe, meaning you basically embrace the love and light philosophy. However, the section on shadow work in part III was somewhat redeeming in that Weatherup encourages the reader to embrace ALL aspects of themselves, including the pieces we think are "bad." However, she spends the rest of the book basically reciting the harm none mantra found in Wicca. I am doubting ancient shamanic rituals involved such a custom. Furthermore, after her wonderful step-by-step instructions in Part I, Weatherup gives up trying to walk you through how to do things like soul retrieval and shadow work and instead tells the reader to ask their guides for directions. She uses a quick little story to explain how she does soul retrieval for other people, but not how one would go about doing it for themselves. I understand that everyone has different experiences while journeying or hedge riding, and that you should ask your guides for assistance when doing such work, but this is supposed to be an introductory guide to shamanic journeying, and soul retrieval and shadow work are foundations in that practice. She also mentions helping souls move on, but doesn't explain how the process works. There is very little explanation of how and why things occur, and the constant love and light attitude followed by "ask your guides" really turned me off to the majority of the book.

Overall I give the book 3 stars. If you are looking into shamanic journeying or even hedge riding, the first part is worth the couple of bucks you'll pay for a used copy on Amazon. If you are looking for a book on shadow work and soul retrieval, go else where. If you are into the love and light movement, then you will also benefit from this book. In fact, you'll likely love it.

So what have you guys been reading lately? I am open to suggestions! Please leave them in the comments below!


6 comments:

  1. Thanks for your review, Willow. The book sounds interesting but I would find it frustrating with the lack of "how to" instructions!

    In the past couple of months I've been reading a few of Tess Whitehurst's books, Magical Housekeeping, Holistic Energy Magic and The Good Energy Book. I've found them interesting and useful. :)

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    1. I've read her book Magical Housekeeping. I enjoyed it. I have not read any of her other works. She has one on flower languages that sounds interesting. I'll have to look I to her others. Thanks for the suggestions!

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    2. Magical Housekeeping was the first one I read. :) I haven't read her one about flowers but it looks good. You're welcome. Hope you enjoy the others if you read them!

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  2. I've been reading "Practical Protection Magic" by Ellen Dugan. I'll share what I think once I've finished it :)

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    1. I like Dugan. She has a conversation with her readers instead of lecturing them.

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    2. I like Dugan. She has a conversation with her readers instead of lecturing them.

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