Book Review: 11 titles on Mindfunda 2016

Welcome to this years’ list of book review’s that I put on Mindfunda.
At its core, Mindfunda is here to distribute useful information to you. Information that will make your life more fun. In three ways: we offer online courses, we offer book reviews and we offer blogs with information about dreaming, spirituality and mythology.

Do you miss a book? Had you read or written a wonderful book about mythology, spirituality or dreams you want me to review ? Let me know below!

This is the 2016 book review list, that only contains books that were published this year. It starts with the most recent Mindfunda blog post and ends with the oldest post. If you want to buy a book, be so kind to use the affiliate link from Mindfunda. In that way you will support our good work.

book review
art found on CCHunterbooks.com
Book review 2016

Call Of the Cats, What I Learned about Life and Love from a Feral Colony by Andrew Bloomfield. Cats have an uncanny bond with humans. Just as I was offered this for a book review by the publisher, a friend of mine shared a presentation about how her cats had influence her dreaming.

book review
click here to buy the book

So you can understand that I had to say yes to this request. The book reads like a psychological novel. If you like cats, be sure to buy this book, you will not be sorry.

A Day in the Life of the Brain by Susan Greenfield. Susan Greenfield describes a day of a normal guy and paints a picture of what happens in his brain.

book review
click here to buy the book

Easy to read, with fascinating chapters on dreaming, and on consciousness in animals.

Sleep Monsters and Superheroes edited by Jean Campbell and Clare Johnson, who both contributed chapters to this book.

Children and dreams… With this book every parent, every teacher, niece, nephew, uncle or aunt has a chance to introduce their children to the magic of dreaming.

book review
click here to buy the book

When I gave dream workshops for pregnant ladies in the beginning of this century, I was visited by so many parents and grandparents asking me how to handle the nightmares of their children. I prepared for the workshop by reading the information that was available on the website of Patricia Garfield. Patricia  Garfield also contributed to this book.  A wealth of information, you can add to your mother-toolkit.

Mythology of the Soul by H.G. Baynes.

A book that combines two things I love: mythology and art. Over 900 pages of information about dreams and Jungian psychology by one of the best Jungian analysts in England.

book review
click here to buy the book

If you like dreams, art and Jungian psychology, this is the book for you.

The Power of Ritual by Robbie Davis-Floyd and Charles Laughlin.

Human beings are sensitive to rituals. This book is written in a way that makes you understand the psychological, spiritual and psychical side of ritual.

book review
click here to buy the book

This book researches ritual in every aspect, leaving no stone unturned. It will be so much easier for you to create your own positive rituals after you have read this book.

Translating Myth edited by Ben PestellPietra Palazzolo and Leon Burnett.

Mythology is a cultural concept. Each culture, each century, has its own mythologies. This book has the ambitious quest to offer a translation: from century to century, from continent to continent.

book review
click here to buy the book

 

I really loved all the wisdom and stories packed in this book. It has become the theoretical backbone of my Mindfunda Movies course.

The Goddess and the Shaman by J.A. Kent.

The doors to the realm of the Elphame open through dreams. If you like shamanism as proposed by Micheal Warner, this is the book for you.

 

book review
click here to buy the book

 

It is not a work book however. If you are looking for ways to connect with the inner Goddess you might want to consider the online Mindfunda Mythology Course .

Big Dreams by Kelley Bulkeley.

This book is a plea to look at special dreams and research their characteristics. Lucid dreams, visitation dreams, mutual dreams.

book review
click here to buy the book

Only if we look at those special dreams can we come to an understanding of the phenomenon of dreaming, according to Bulkeley. What I like most about this book is the way that Bulkeley effortlessly writes about sophisticated neurological research in an understandable way.

What is Relativity by Jeffrey Bennet.

In the past I had so many time-travel dreams that I had this inner craving to understand more about its possibilities.

book reviews
click here to buy the book

This was a very interesting book review. I discovered so much reading this. Not all fun though, because time travel is not possible (my time travel dreams did cease soon thereafter). But if you are crazy about astronomy, if you are a star-gazer, or just Einstein crazy, this is the book for you.

Strange Gods by Susan Jacoby. A book not only about the cruel middle ages. It is still happening, conversions. Religion is intertwined with power and privilege.

book review
click here to buy the book

 

And last but certainly not least: Mythic Worlds, Modern Words by Joseph Campbell, edited by Edmund Epstein.

book review
click here to buy the book

Using James Joyce his oeuvre as a guide to the mythological aspects of your challenges.

Send me your thoughts (not public) or use Facebook Comments:

We hate Spam as much as you do, your information is safe with us and we will not provide your data to others. To authenticate you are human, you are kindly asked to opt-in on periodic updates as the Mindfunda Monthly.

Please check the appropriate boxes below.

keep me posted on newsno mail please

 

Shaman – Magic: The Goddess and the Shaman

The Shaman is usually the Wise Man, who has the ability to travel to different realms of being to guide his tribe through difficult times. A healer, a wise man, a trickster sometimes, if that is necessary for the healing of a soul. Shamanism is the oldest religion known to men. Well, actually the first religions were animist, a religion that attributes a soul to plants and objects. But that is a shaman way of thinking.

 

shaman

 

The shaman is male

Most of us are familiar with the concept of a guy-shaman. Think of Michael Harner’s Core Shamanism as he has described it in his book “The Way of the Shaman“. Think of the Shamanism of Robert Moss, who modernized the concept in a professional manner. Think of Michael Smith, Ph.D. (aka Mikkal) with his Crow’s Nest. You know what they have in common? They are all men. Wise old man. Even though in ancient times there where many female Shamans. The word shaman derives from the word ‘Shamanka’, a female shaman.

“The Goddess and The Shaman, The Art and Science of Magical Healing” isn’t a historical document about female shamans. If you are looking for that you should try a classic like “Woman Shaman’s Body” written by Barbara Tedlock Ph.D.

The Goddess and the Shaman is a personal story of a woman, taken over by the voices of the Elphame, The Elf World.

shaman

 

Kent describes how she became “taken over” by the other realm, the Elphame and had what she calls “an Ontological Shock”. She writes: “When the path found me, I discovered that I had a surprising array of psycho-spiritual abilities that emerged fully formed. It shocked me, frightened me, and caused me to doubt to doubt my sanity”.

She goes on to describe a process of Out of Body Experiences that occurred as epileptic seizures during nap time. Because her brother had read Monroe’s “Journeys Outside of the Body” and lended his copy to her, she began to feel more  confident. She was not the only one experiencing this. She began to experiment, to travel outside her body.

Shaman Ritual

The way to get to the Elphame is to perform a ritual. Rituals are very beneficial for the human psyche, as research has shown. Rituals create a doorway to the Elphame. Going to your therapist each week is a form of ritual. Going to the doctor is a form of ritual. Each ritual has its dedications, its energy, its own sacred language. The ritual circle is discussed but there is also the warning to protect oneself for bad entities.
But most of all, the ritual of re-connecting with nature is emphasized. There is a link to ecopsychology, that I had never heard of and seems very interesting. The view on “madness” is examined through stories of her patients. She shares a lot of personal dreams visions and experiences with her third vision.

Conclusion

What I like about the book is that the Goddess speaks to J.A. Kent in dreams. Dreams are the door to what Kent calls “The Elphame”.
I also like the very personal writing style of J.A. Kent. She talks about how her experiences made her question her mind. Being that vulnerable in a book takes a lot of guts.

This is a really informative book that gives you lots of insights into shamanism and into the pagan revival of the goddess. An important revival of honoring the female energy in a predominant male oriented society.

I was a bit disappointed about the information on how to reach in for your inner goddess. Do not expect this to be a workbook. It is more a personal story, filled with information about the goddess and its manifestation forms.
The way J.A. Kent leans on the Core Shamanism principle as defined by Michael Warner is either a big complement for his ability to reach his inner goddess, or a lack of creativity in J.A. Kent. If you dedicate a book to the Goddess and the Shaman, why not take the female line of shamanism. The Chukchee shaman women, or the Chinese Wu, or the Artemis Perasia in Anatolia, ancient Turkey  for example. Maybe that will be a subject for a next book.

Do you want to learn more about the Mythology of the Goddess? Enroll in Mindfunda’s Mythology course. An online course that will help you understand the mythology in your life and in your dreams.

Twitter: @susannevandoorn
Facebook