Reviewed by SteelWitch
Shamanism for Beginners is a new book by well-traveled shaman James Endredy which starts with a misleading title and never really gets off the ground. I picked this book up out of a desire to learn more about the practical aspects of shamanism—there is a huge amount of overlap between shamanic practices and witchcraft, after all. While it is full of interesting shamanic anecdotes from the author's own life as well as the lives of other shamans across the globe, it doesn't ever get around to the practical business of teaching. It's a hard book to review because of this. How do you score a book which, while interesting, isn't what it says it is on the cover?
Ultimately, what we have is a book that sells itself as a text on basic shamanism that is instead a combination of cultural study/memoir with broad cross-cultural trends appended to the front of each subject. Was it an interesting read? Definitely, and it was interesting enough that I have already ordered a $0.75 copy of Ecoshamanism from Half.com. Was it the book I wanted when I ordered it? Unfortunately not. The information is good and helpful but there just isn't enough of it.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
(Note: I have started reading my copy of Ecoshamanism and I am happy to report that it is a good, enjoyable read with solid advice and information so far. If you are looking for a book on shamanism I would definitely recommend Ecoshamanism first.)