Book Review: Walking Between the Worlds
“Walking Between The Worlds: Techniques of Modern Shamanism” is a book I ran across when I was doing some eBook searches just the other day. It was written by Phil Hine, whom is an established occult/spiritual author. I can’t say I’ve actually read any of his other pieces, but this was a free release book and only 46 pages. However, when reading it through I came to really enjoy the book. Perhaps this was from my minimal knowledge of the subject matter, or the plain speak language it was written in.
The author touched on some very real points that I could really relate to. Coincidentally they were things I had been pondering a lot lately so its significance was probably slightly amplified by that. The book did have some spelling and grammar errors, but I’m not entirely sure if this is just a rewrite done by someone else, or it was just never properly edited. Either way it’s content out-weighted the small errors here and there.
The book to me, just basically screams Initiation into Hermetics. Simply because it’s written in a format whereby it gives you information but stresses activity and exercises more so than historic content or vocabulary. To me this was both a good thing and a bad thing. It was good because it got straight into the point and didn’t leave you guessing and lingering for endless hours. It was bad because the information presented was very similar to what I already knew so I didn’t actually learn much in the area of “how-to’s.” Though, that really couldn’t have been helped, considering I didn’t KNOW that I KNEW that information prior to reading the book.
The book is also geared towards getting someone started down the spiritual path of the shaman, but it isn’t written in the context of shamanism being some end all be all spiritual path. Which is refreshing because so many other books based on select spiritual topics speak in a language that is just completely condescending to any other pursuit the reader might have.
In the beginning of the book he stresses that during practice there is a certain “hump” you have to get over. This was an important piece and I’m glad he mentioned something, because even though I am not all that well versed in shamanism, the general principals of practice are the same. Many people quit early on before furthering there practice because they aren’t seeing the result they did in the beginning. Even in physical fitness there are major results early on followed by a “dry” spell where people quit or try to change regiments. This is never the best route, sticking it out seems to be better overall, and in shamanism from what I have seen, it’s almost even more vital to not quit and stick it out.
He goes on to touch on some key points and hits a few bits of history here and there, but he then gets to a topic that really intrigued me. He discusses lucid dreaming, or more specifically dreaming, and how it plays an important roll in shamanism. Apparently, through lucid dreaming you are able to enter into the “inner worlds,” among other things. This was extra intriguing for me because lucid dreaming has been such a significant part of my practice for so long. It’s funny how so many things are interrelated, and reading this also kind of pieced together some curiosities I had about what I was doing and some different things I’d experienced while dreaming. this wasn’t the only way to enter into these “inner worlds” by the way, he was just making note of dreamings significance.
He also ties shamanism in with our current spiritual understandings and even makes a reference to how the Kabbalistic Tree of Life could potentially be derived from a shamanistic “World Tree,” which I found interesting. There was another key point in the book I wanted to discuss but can’t remember exactly what it was since reading it yesterday. Either way it doesn’t matter, the book is only 46 pages and a review of equal length would somewhat defeat the purpose. The book was good, touched on some very good points and plowed a way for a firm foundation of knowledge. The exercises presented are invaluable and I suggest everyone to read over it whether you are interested in widening your spiritual understandings or not. I would definitely suggest this book. You can find more of the authors works on his website.