The Soul of Shamanism: Western Fantasies, Imaginal RealitiesDaniel Noel
From the Merlin of Arthurian romances to Mircea Eliade’s academic researches, from Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan to the archetypal images of Carl Jung, the figure of the shaman has fascinated Western storytellers, scholars, and seekers.
In the first part of The Soul of Shamanism, Daniel Noel gives a thorough interpretive overview of how the West has imagined this figure of healing wisdom — starting with Eliade’s authoritative work on the topic almost fifty years ago and continuing through to the latest popular books of workshop neoshamanism.
In the second part, Noel draws more directly on the Jungian psychology of imagination informing his critical assessment of authentic shamanic imagining for those on the path of soulful spirituality. With telling anecdotes from over two decades of work with this material, Noel reveals the psychological assumptions and anxieties underlying the Western understanding and emulation of the shaman.
By radically honoring imagination in our own dreaming and waking lives, Noel concludes, we can join in recovering the lost soul of Western consciousness and culture. In doing so, Daniel Noel, like his Jungian colleagues James Hillman and Thomas Moore, argues that we are making possible a true return of the shaman from within the West’s native psychocultural resources.
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