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Author Topic: Singing the Soul Back Home: Shamanism in Daily Life  (Read 2286 times)

RandallS

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Singing the Soul Back Home: Shamanism in Daily Life
« on: September 02, 2012, 06:46:52 pm »


Title: Singing the Soul Back Home: Shamanism in Daily Life
Author(s): Caitlin Matthews
Publisher: Element Books Ltd
Publication Date: February 1995
ISBN: 1852306165
ISBN-13: 978-1852306168
Current Price and More Info from Amazon

[size=+1]Description:[/size]
Offering advice on the application of simple shamanic principles to daily life, this book sets out to show how they can be learned by anyone, regardless of creed or religion. It describes how, through practical exercises, readers can explore their inner space, journeying between the everyday world and the spiritual realm of the shaman, and how to harness creative imagination and innate healing powers, and find one's spirit voice and true destiny.

[size=+1]Special Notes:[/size]


[size=-1]Legal Notes: Some description text and item pictures in this post may come from Amazon.com and are used by permission. The Cauldron is an Amazon Affiliate and purchases made through the Amazon links in this message help support The Cauldron.[/size]

[size=+1]Discussion and reviews of this book are welcome in this thread. If you've read the book, please tell us what you think of it and why.[/size]
Randall
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Waldhexe

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Re: Singing the Soul Back Home: Shamanism in Daily Life
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2012, 06:13:12 am »
Quote from: RandallS;72014



Thanks for opening the thread!

I'm reading it at the moment and must say I really like what I've read so far. The prelude and the first chapter weren't so much of a revelation to me, but the following chapters are very much worth making it through the first pages.

I've just read chapters
2 - The Shamanic Journey
3 - Spirit Helpers
4 - The Middleworld

and find them very well explained. There are also FAQs about journeying and power animals from beginners which I found very helpful. This book just answered some questions I've had for years. She really seems to have a lot of experience with guiding other people as well as shamanizing on her own.

I also enjoyed the Middleworld chapter very much, because I haven't read much on it before. (Of course the natural cycles and the 4 elements aren't new to me, but I didn't really connect this stuff with the concept of middleworld.)

She also seems to know quite a bit about soul-fragmentation and soul-loss which is referenced in several chapters.

I'll write more when I've read the entire book...

Finn

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Re: Singing the Soul Back Home: Shamanism in Daily Life
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2012, 02:38:09 pm »
Quote from: Waldhexe;72094

She also seems to know quite a bit about soul-fragmentation and soul-loss which is referenced in several chapters.

 
I read this a loooong time ago, and remember liking it quite a lot. (No matter how weird and silly I find some of the Matthews' Celtic-shamanic conclusions/writings, they remain incredibly inspiring to me on a poetic, practice-building level)

I do remember finding it a little heavy on the "healing" aspect of shamanic techniques; that's not all shamans do, though I guess that's the easiest bit to focus on when reframing spiritual work done on behalf of a community to being done on an individual level.
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Silverwing/Ataegina

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Re: Singing the Soul Back Home: Shamanism in Daily Life
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2012, 04:26:38 pm »
Quote from: Waldhexe;72094
Thanks for opening the thread!

I'm reading it at the moment and must say I really like what I've read so far. The prelude and the first chapter weren't so much of a revelation to me, but the following chapters are very much worth making it through the first pages.

I've just read chapters
2 - The Shamanic Journey
3 - Spirit Helpers
4 - The Middleworld

and find them very well explained. There are also FAQs about journeying and power animals from beginners which I found very helpful. This book just answered some questions I've had for years. She really seems to have a lot of experience with guiding other people as well as shamanizing on her own.

I also enjoyed the Middleworld chapter very much, because I haven't read much on it before. (Of course the natural cycles and the 4 elements aren't new to me, but I didn't really connect this stuff with the concept of middleworld.)

She also seems to know quite a bit about soul-fragmentation and soul-loss which is referenced in several chapters.

I'll write more when I've read the entire book...

 
I think I'll be reading this ASAP then. I'll be seeing Caítlin speak in a OBOD gathering next month and to have a little insight into her work before hand would be really nice. :)
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Waldhexe

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Re: Singing the Soul Back Home: Shamanism in Daily Life
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2012, 11:05:40 am »
Quote from: Silverwing/Ataegina;72187
I think I'll be reading this ASAP then. I'll be seeing Caítlin speak in a OBOD gathering next month and to have a little insight into her work before hand would be really nice. :)

It's really an interesting read, but I think there are other books which go more into an OBOD-direction than this one if that's your main interest. The book isn't very 'celtic-flavored' like her other stuff. It goes more in a general shamanic-practice-direction.

F.ex. she's also written a book called 'Celtic Devotional' and created a Tarot deck based on Celtic myths (along with a guide book). I'm sure others here could name more of her books.

Waldhexe

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Re: Singing the Soul Back Home: Shamanism in Daily Life
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2012, 11:34:15 am »
Quote from: Waldhexe;72094
I'll write more when I've read the entire book...


Just finished it...

Chapt. 5 - The Underworld

contains some really interesting suggestions about ancestor work and healing ancestral problems


Chapt. 6 - Upperworld

finally explained very well to me what the upperworld is, very coherent chapter


Chapt. 7 - Divination

isn't just about the usual sort of divination, but contains another set of very useful guidelines and FAQs on how to interpret journeys (although I must say Starhawk's/Valentine's Twelve Wild Swans) explain the problem of interpretation much better and give more suggestions on how to work with the images...


Chapt. 8 - Healing

contains some info on power-loss and soul-loss and some thought-through suggestions for beginners on how approach different kinds of healing (for oneself as for others) or rather when to look for help by an expert, there are also some philosophical musings and suggestions on ecological healing.

***


I really find it very thought-through, well structured with a lot of practical exercises and I am pondering working the exercises through step by step - which will take me a while.

I really like the fact that she draws a line between 'professional' shamanic techniques used for a trained 'shaman' and beginner-friendly shamanic techniques for the spiritual balance of 'laypeople'. The book is written for beginners looking for a shamanic-like spirituality without necessarily becoming trained shamans, but the techniques go way beyond a 101-meet-your-animal-guide-book.

***


There's one rule about the use of the book I'd like to have explained better, though:

Quote from: quoted from Caitlín Matthews, Singing the Soul Back Home, p. 17
Do not mix these practices with others you have learned in other non-shamanic disciplines. Do not treat them as psychological exercises.

The second part I get, but for the first part I would have liked to read an explanation as in what way I'm not supposed to mix practices...

I'm sure she states somewhere else in the book that shamanism can go with every kind of religious belief system and that Jesus, a deity or whatever (not still living) religious figure can also be a traveling guide or shamanic teacher in one of the worlds....

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