Review – The Shaman Within

The Shaman Within –
Reclaiming Our Rites of Passage

Author: Barbara Meicklejohn-Free
Moon Books
2013
ISBN #978-1-78279-305-1

The Shaman Within cover

 all material things and all the change in the world rests one
which is unfathomable and unknowable yet manifests itself in
fundamental, universal principle – the way things are. The ultimate
laws of unfailing regularity. The purpose of human life, then, is to
live life according to the way things are – or the unfailing cycles of
Nature. When we achieve an understanding, acceptance and appreciation
of these cycles and ourBehind part in them, then we will be free to

choose to continue within, or to move beyond them…
Taoist teachings

Wisdom-keeper Barbara Meicklejohn-Free takes us on an incredible journey of self-discovery, through the sharing of her own (incredible!) life experiences. We are shown how we can use ancient wisdom from diverse cultures to heal ourselves, to become whole, to find our path, and to traverse myriad worlds, both physical and spiritual.

What one thing holds the web of our life together? Re-membering our long-forgotten rites of passage, and how they are meant to both heal and empower us. We are meant to be at one with ourselves, with our environment, and with the universe that created us. If you are looking to live your highest thoughts, if you are open to receiving the tools to do so, then this book is for you.

In his foreword, Ed “Eagle Man” McGaa notes that in his Sioux heritage, ceremony is a key source for the wisdom of the rites of passage. His feeling is that organized religion cannot connect to or communicate well with Spirit because its leaders lack sincere focus.

“The Shaman Within” is presented in a very straightforward sequence: The Calling (Yule & Vision Quest), The Awakening (Imbolc & Naming), The Transition (Spring Equinox & Inner Child), The Knowing (Beltane & Split-Apart), The Experience (Summer Solstice & Four Losses), The Gifting (Lammas & Giveaway), The Initiation (Autumn Equinox & Elderhood), and The Totality (Samhain & Death and Rebirth).

Shamanism is described as living in harmony with all things. It transcends all divisions, and is the oldest belief system known to humanity. It is there for everyone, and works for everyone. Meicklejohn-Free was told at a relatively early age that she needed to study, and learn, for in her 50’s she would become a Wisdom-Keeper. Her path was not an easy one, and her lessons came at a price. But a Wisdom-Keeper she is, ready to help the reader become whole, and to live their life guided by spirit.

We are taken on a journey that embraces many cultures, and many ways of experiencing life. We are given the tools to understand the seasonal cycles, and the cycles of life. One of the most important chapters in this book for me was moving into Elderhood, and how some people embrace it, while others fear it, and fight it. As with many others in my generation, I am dealing with my own issues, as well as those of an aging parent. It is all about respecting Elders, and having them respect themselves, and their place in life. Each of us will always have a place in life.

Each chapter is devoted to a specific topic. Meicklejohn-Free discusses her experiences, and relates stories that are relevant from her own life, and her work with her clients. She presents tools for the reader to use, such as instructions for journeys and initiations. The instructions are precise, easy to follow, and respectful. That is brought home again and again – respect yourself, respect your issues, and respect those around you. Remain in the present, and be aware.

At the end of each chapter there is a set of statements to ponder, or questions for the reader to ask themselves. They are meant to give the reader insight, if they are honest with themselves.

At the end of the book is a lovely sharing of poetry … words of wisdom beautifully written. Preceding each chapter is an incredible, other worldly image that makes one just want to spend some time with it.

This is a well researched, well written book taken form the life of the author. How much more profound can it get! Meicklejohn-Free references people and beliefs that we are all familiar with. It is a book that stands on its own, yet acts as a reference for further study.

© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction in any venue prohibited without the written permission of the author.

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