Book Review No. 22 - The Norse Shaman by Evelyn C. Rysdyk
Welcome and hello! This week I finished a well-researched book called "The Norse Shaman" by Evelyn C. Rysdyk.
Before reading this book, I knew very little--to nothing--about actual shamanic practices of the Norse tradition. I do have a strong anthropological background, so I thoroughly enjoyed the historic data snippets in this book. Rysdyk backs up the Norse shamanic traditions with archeological evidence, which is refreshing. Several books I've read in this genre sort of forgo the archaeological record and jump right into the traditions without giving perspective about the landscape these people survived in.
After a brief introduction to shamanism and its role in many cultures across the globe, Rysdyk's focus of the book is on Norse shaman practices (obvious by the name of the book). Each chapter delves into different aspects of this tradition, and Rysdyk provides a meditation prompts to explore shamanistic trances on your own. This is also called "a seiðr ceremony". Warning, this is not a beginners guide to shamanism, and if you are not familiar with meditation or trancework you may want to skip this part of the book until you are more familiar with what to expect. Since I am a novice myself, I read through the meditations but did not perform them. I am looking forward to actually picking up her other book called "Spirit Walking: A Course in Shamanic Power."
Well researched and well written, if you have interest in Norse spiritual practices or just there culture in general, I recommend adding this book to your reading list. I really enjoyed this book, and found I had a hard time putting it down. Rysdyk's book has whet my interested in shamanism and Norse culture (not that I don't already have a strong interest in this region), something I hope to further explore.