An in-depth look at the role of plant spirits in shamanic rituals from around the world
• Shows how shamans heal using their knowledge of plant spirits as well as the plant’s “medical properties”
• Explores the core methods of plant shamanism--soul retrieval, spirit extraction, and sin eating--and includes techniques for connecting with plant spirits
• Includes extensive field interviews with master shamans of all traditions
“Plant Spirit Shamanism takes readers into realms that defy rational logic and scientific theory, showing graphically that we humans are not the only intelligent life on this planet. From their extensive travels to indigenous cultures that understand life very differently from those in the ‘developed’ world, the authors reveal a wealth of plant knowledge that has been lost to Western civilization. This book is both a fascinating read and a considerable challenge to the orthodox mind.” -Leo Rutherford, author of The Way of Shamanism and Your Shamanic Path
In Plant Spirit Shamanism, Ross Heaven and Howard G. Charing explore the use of one of the major allies of shamans for healing, seeing, dreaming, and empowerment--plant spirits. After observing great similarities in the use of plants among shamans throughout the world, they discovered the reason behind these similarities: Rather than dealing with the “medical properties” of the plants or specific healing techniques, shamans are communing with the spirits of the plants themselves.
From their years of in-depth shamanic work in the Amazon, Haiti, and Europe, including extensive field interviews with master shamans, Heaven and Charing present the core methods of plant shamanism used in healing rituals the world over: soul retrieval, spirit extraction, sin eating, and the Amazonian tradition of pusanga (love medicine). They explain the techniques shamans use to establish connections to plant spirits and provide practical exercises as well as a directory of traditional Amazonian and Caribbean healing plants and their common North American equivalents so readers can explore the world of plant spirits and make them allies of their own.
ROSS HEAVEN is a therapist and workshop leader specializing in personal development, healing, and shamanism. He offers indigenous medicine retreats and workshops worldwide. His books include The Spiritual Practices of the Ninja, Darkness Visible, and Vodou Shaman. HOWARD G. CHARING is a director of the Eagle Wing’s Centre for Contemporary Shamanism, has taught at Dr. Michael Harner’s Foundation for Shamanic Studies, and leads workshops and medicine retreats in the United Kingdom, the Peruvian Amazon basin, and the Andes. Both authors live in England.