The shaman's doorway : opening imagination to power and myth

by Stephen Larsen

Book, 1988



Call number


Call number



Barrytown, N.Y. : Station Hill Press, 1988.

Physical description

xii, 258 p.; 23 cm

Local notes

The Shaman’s Doorway is one of the most significant and inspiring works on the relationship of shamanism to both the psyche and society. Drawing on his experience as a psychotherapist and his understanding of primordial shamanic traditions, Stephen Larsen shows the relevance of this path to the modern world and how it can lead to a creative and affirmative relationship with life. “Life dismembers us,” Larsen says, and a new grasp of these ancient techniques for altering consciousness is required to escape from the alienation and confusion caused by our demythologized and industrialized environment. Defining the task of the shaman as one of bringing meaning and healing into life, Larsen clearly shows how the shaman, all too often perceived as belonging to the world’s past, holds the key to our future.

User reviews

LibraryThing member earthlistener
I just happened across this book at random in a used book store and I was actually rather surprised by its content after reading it. I originally didn’t have high hopes for this book, and while it isn’t by far the best, its still a rather decent work. This book does not go over the practices often found in shamanism, but instead goes over the impact mysticism and shamanic insight has on the society in which it occurs. The book also goes into the general mechanics of overall belief systems and mythology and how the relate to personal experiences, the imagination, and society as a whole. One thing I particularly like about this book is the author often affirms that people in the modern world should not simply jump and take from the cultures of the past, abandoning their own cultures , but instead learn a new way in their own culture to bring that part of vision and understanding into their own culture and in their own way.… (more)
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