Tag: The Way of the Shaman

Cave and Cosmos by Michael Harner

Cave and Cosmos by Michael Harner is his follow-up book to The Way of the Shaman.

If you are interested in shamanism and Core Shamanism these two books are foundational readings.

Cave and Cosmos by Michael Harner

Buy Cave and Cosmos on Amazon.

Cave and Cosmos is an easy read that draws on Harner’s lifetime of personal shamanic experiences:

  • he presents stories that draw on the reports of more than 2,500 Westerners’ experiences during shamanic ascension (journeying), Harner highlights the striking similarities between their discoveries, indicating that the heavens and spirits they’ve encountered do indeed exist;
  • woven through these stories and experiences Harner provides instructions on his innovative core-shamanism techniques, so that you to can ascend to heavenly realms, seek spirit teachers, and return later at will for additional healing and advice.

Cave and Cosmos Table of Contents

I am presenting the Table of Contents of Cave and Cosmos below so that you can easily see what an adventure is in store for you when you read this book.

  • Cover
  • Other Books by This Author
  • Title Page
  • Copyright
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgments
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • 1. Spirit Power and the Cave
  • 2. We Exist! The Spirits Call for Recognition
  • 3. The Search
  • 4. Our World: Shamans and Spirits
  • 5. The Journey to Other Worlds
  • 6. The Westerners’ First Journeys: The Lower World and Power Animals
  • 7. Shamanic Ascension: History, Folklore, and Knowledge
  • 8. Drumming over the Rainbow: Westerners Ascend to the Upper World
  • 9. Teachers—Compassionate Spirits Who Advise
  • 10. Teachers—Compassionate Spirits Who Heal
  • 11. Cosmic Dismemberment, Union, and Healing Power
  • 12. Spirits, Heavens, and Spiritual Freedom
  • Afterword: The Cave Again
  • Appendix A: Ascending to the Upper World to Compare Experiences
  • Appendix B: Descending to the Lower World to Compare Experiences
  • Appendix C: Resources for Training
  • Appendix D: Core Shamanism and Healing: Information for Physicians and Health Professionals (written with Sandra Harner, PhD)
  • Contributors to the Celestia Study
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • About the Author
  • Picture Insert

Before reading Cave and Cosmos it is important to read The Way of the Shaman.

Books by Michael Harner

Core Shamanism

Core Shamanism is a system of shamanic beliefs and practices synthesized by Michael Harner, the founder of The Foundation for Shamanic Studies, and beautifully presented in easy to read language in his books The Way of the Shaman and Cave and Cosmos.

Not a Fixed Belief System

Core shamanism does not hold a fixed belief system, but instead focuses on the practice of shamanic journeying. Specific practices include the use of rapid drumming (about 220 beats per minute) or rattling to attain the Shamanic State of Consciousness. In this altered state of consciousness, much like being conscious while dreaming, the shamanic practitioner goes on a shamanic journey to one of the spirit worlds in order to encounter and interact with the spirits, and effect healing and practice divination.

Interview with Michael Harner about Core Shamanism

The following is taken from an interview of Michael Harner by Bonnie Horrigan that is published on the Foundation for Shamanic Studies website.

Siberia & the Tungus Language

The word “shaman” in the original Tungus language refers to a person who makes journeys to non-ordinary reality in an altered state of consciousness. Adopting the term in the West was useful because people didn’t know what it meant. Terms like “wizard,” “witch,” “sorcerer,” and “witch doctor” have their own connotations, ambiguities, and preconceptions associated with them. Although the term is from Siberia, the practice of shamanism existed on all inhabited continents.

Mircea Eliade – Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy

After years of extensive research, Mircea Eliade, in his book, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, concluded that:

shamanism underlays all the other spiritual traditions on the planet, and that the most distinctive feature of shamanism—but by no means the only one—was the journey to other worlds in an altered state of consciousness.

“…in our culture many consider it avant-garde if a person talks about the mind-body connection, but the fact that the brain is connected to the rest of the body is not the most exciting news. It’s been known for hundreds and thousands of years. What’s really important about shamanism, in my opinion, is that the shaman knows that we are not alone. By that I mean, when one human being compassionately works to relieve the suffering of another, the helping spirits are interested and become involved.”

People Who Know

Shamans are often called “see-ers” (seers), or “people who know” in their tribal languages, because they are involved in a system of knowledge based on firsthand experience. Shamanism is not a belief system. It’s based on personal experiments conducted to heal, to get information, or do other things. In fact, if shamans don’t get results, they will no longer be used by people in their tribe. People ask me, “How do you know if somebody’s a shaman?” I say, “It’s simple. Do they journey to other worlds? And do they perform miracles?”

Shamanism & Shamanic Practice Related Pages

Michael Harner

Dr. Michael J. Harner was the the founder and president of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies.

Michael Harner pioneered the introduction of Core Shamanism and the shamanic drum journey to contemporary life and is recognized as the world leader in this movement.

Michael Harner - Shaman

His books The Way of the Shaman and Cave and Cosmos are fundamental reading to learning about Core Shamanism. The books are also guides to shamanic journeying.

Perhaps Dr. Harner’s greatest contribution has been his pivotal role in bridging the worlds of indigenous shamanism and the contemporary West through his fieldwork and research, experimentation, writings, and original development of the core methods of shamanism.

By introducing these methods to the West, he started the movement that is returning shamanism and shamanic healing to the spiritual life of peoples throughout the planet.

“What Yogananda did for Hinduism and D.T. Suzuki did for Zen, Michael Harner has done for shamanism, namely bring the tradition and its richness to Western awareness. Michael Harner is widely acknowledged as the world’s foremost authority on shamanism and has had an enormous influence on both the academic and lay worlds,” say Roger Walsh and Charles S. Grob, in their recent book, Higher Wisdom.

Core Methods of Shamanism Worldwide

In his half century of anthropological fieldwork, cross-cultural studies, experimental research, and firsthand experience, Michael Harner arrived at the core methods of shamans worldwide. The applicability of this core shamanism to contemporary Westerners has been substantiated by the experiences of his thousands of students. The experiential methods are simple, safe, and have been used successfully by them with positive life-changing results.

Honoring the oral tradition of indigenous shamans, for the last quarter of a century Dr. Harner has conveyed his shamanic knowledge first-hand through teaching and experiential work rather than through writing. Today he and his staff annually teach thousands of students internationally who, in turn, introduce thousands more to shamanism.

Authentic White Shaman

Michael Harner is not just an anthropologist who has studied shamanism; he is an authentic white shaman, observes the distinguished transpersonal psychologist Stanislav Grof.

Michael Harner began learning about shamanism in 1956-57 while studying with the Shuar (Jívaro) tribe of the Ecuadorian Amazon, and started practicing shamanism during his 1960-61 stay with the Conibo people of the Peruvian Amazon. He subsequently returned to the Shuar for additional practical training in shamanism.

Widely Recognized as a Shaman

He became recognized as a shaman by the indigenous shamans with whom he worked, including ones belonging to the following peoples: the Conibo and Shuar (formerly Jívaro) in South America; the Coast Salish, Pomo, and Northern Paiute in western North America; the Inland Inuit and the Sami (formerly Lapps) in the Arctic; and the Tuvans of central Asia.

In Russia, assembled Siberian shamans of the Buriat people publicly declared Michael Harner a great shaman upon witnessing his shamanic healings in 1998 (the word, shaman, comes from Siberia). They also said he proved that one could do both science and shamanism.

Education

Michael Harner received his anthropology Ph.D. in 1963 from the University of California, Berkeley, and has taught at various institutions, including UC Berkeley, Columbia University, Yale University, and the Graduate Faculty of the New School in New York, where he was chair of the anthropology department. He also served as co-chair of the anthropology section of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Honours

He left academia in 1987 in order to devote himself fulltime to shamanism. In 2003 he received an honorary doctorate in recognition of his achievements in shamanic studies.

In 2009, he was honored by California Pacific Medical Center’s Institute for Health & Healing with the “Pioneers in Integrative Medicine Award.”

He also received special academic recognition through the presentation of sessions dedicated to him at the 2009 annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Philadelphia. Three organizations of the AAA joined together to recognize him for his “pioneering work” in shamanism “as an academic and advocate” and for his role during the last forty years in the “exponential growth in anthropological studies of the importance and significance” of shamanism.

Foundation for Shamanic Studies Shamanic Training Workshops

He developed the FSS (Foundation for Shamanic Studies) shamanic training workshops and courses now taught worldwide.

These workshops are offered worldwide and I recommend them.

Publications

Michael Harner’s books include The Way of the Shaman (Harper & Row), Hallucinogens and Shamanism (Oxford University Press), The Jívaro (University of California Press), and a novel, Cannibal, which he co-authored.

Shamanism & Shamanic Practice

Learn more about shamanism and shamanic practice by visiting these pages:

Shamans and Shamanic Practitioners

Find other shamans and shamanic practitioners.

My Teachers, Guides, and Mentors

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My Points of Reference

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my teachers guides and mentors - richard edward ward