Shamans/Neo-Shamans: Ecstasies, Alternative Archaeologies and Contemporary Pagans, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


Ecstasies, Alternative Archaeologies and Contemporary Pagans, 1st Edition

By Robert J. Wallis


320 pages

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In popular culture, such diverse characters as occultist Aleister Crowley, Doors musician Jim Morrison, and performance artist Joseph Beuys have been called shamans. In anthropology, on the other hand, shamanism has associations with sorcery, witchcraft and healing, and archaeologists have suggested the meaning of prehistoric cave art lies with shamans and altered consciousness. Robert J. Wallis explores the interface between 'new' and prehistoric shamans. The book draws on interviews with a variety of practitioners, particularly contemporary pagans in Britain and north America. Wallis looks at historical and archaeological sources to explore contemporary pagan engagements with prehistoric sacred sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury, and discusses the controversial use by neo-Shamans of indigenous (particularly native American) shamanism.


'Wallis has some intersting and insightful things to say about the pagan movement today,' - The Cauldron

'Wallis's book is a well-documented addition to … [accounts of contemporary spiritualities] … demonstrating scholarly sensitivity to some complex issues, avoiding the pitfalls of both the overly rational approach as well as the defensive insider.' - Journal of Contemporary Religion, Vol 19, No. 2, 2004

' … Wallis' book does a wonderful job of systematically reviewing the complexity of issues and interests surrounding the topic.' - Journal for the Academic Study of Magic

Table of Contents

List of illustrations Preface Acknowledgements Introduction A Native at Home: Producing Ethnographic Fragments of Neo-Shamanisms 1. 'White-Shamans': Sources for Neo-Shamans 2. Plastic Medicine Men? Appraising the 'Great Pretenders' 3. Taliesin's Trip, Wyrd Woden: Druid and Heathen Neo-Shamans 4. 'Celtic' and 'Northern' Shamanisms? Contesting the Past 5. 'Sacred' Sites? Neo-Shamans and Prehistoric Heritage 6. Waking Neolithic Ancestors: Further Controversies and 'Reburial' 7. Invading Anthros, Thieving Archos, Wannabe Indians: Academics, Neo-Shamans and Indigenous Communities Conclusion: Neo-Shamans in Post-modernity Appendix Resolution of the 5th Annual Meeting of the Tradition Elders Circle & AIM Resolution References Index

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology