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The Shamanic Wisdom of the Huichol


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Roger Walsh, M.D., Ph.D.

Preface to the New Edition

Note to the Reader


1 Moving Backward into the Future

Identity and Purpose

Becoming Powerful

Healing the Sacred Circle

Befriending the Darkness

Responsible Ecstasy

Shamanic Pathways to Healing and Fulfillment

Resanctifying Daily Life

Today's Hunter: The Spiritual Warrior

The Sacred Marriage

Coyote Teachings: The Universe as Trickster

Blossoming the Flowers


Appendix 1. Medicine Wheel of the Four Niericas

Appendix 2. Resanctifying Daily Life through Ritual and Ceremony

Appendix 3. Wakan Community Philosophy

About the Author

About the Author

Tom Soloway Pinkson is a psychologist, ceremonial retreat leader, sacred storyteller and shaman. The founder of WAKAN, a nonprofit organisation committed to restoring the sacred in daily life, he lives in northern California.


"I am happy to learn that your work with entheogens continues. It is and will be an important contribution to the aims to convince the health authorities to loosen the ban that inhibits the legal use of entheogens. Entheogens must become available legally for meaningful use in psychiatry and for healing." * Albert Hofmann, Swiss scientist and discoverer of LSD-25 *
"In this absorbing account of his initiations with the Huichol, Tom Pinkson helps us to reconnect with the teachings of our indigenous American ancestors. This is healing Earth-wisdom for our fractured civilization, and inspiration to honor the creative forces inherent in the land, the plants, the animals, and the people." * Ralph Metzner, Ph.D., author of Green Psychology and Sacred Mushroom of Visions *
"Tom Pinkson's fascinating journey into Huichol shamanism and how he applies this ancient tradition to healing others as well as the crises that our modern world now faces is a must read for anyone searching to raise consciousness for the betterment of both humanity and our Mother Earth." * James Endredy, author of Beyond 2012: A Shaman's Call to Personal Change and The Transformatio *
"Indigenous wisdoms offer ways we can learn from both the seen and unseen worlds. Thomas Pinkson shares more than 20 years of experience and wisdom he has garnered from the Huichol Indians of Central America. This book is very relevant to fostering interdependence and re-visioning healing possibilities for restoring environment, communities, and humanity." * Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., cultural anthropologist and author of The Four-Fold Way *
"Tom's book is well written, like creating a finely woven basket, the kind our ancestors in northern California tribes used to receive the gifts of Nature. Thus it is that Tom has provided modern people in search of a soul with a basket full of ancient flowers. I really enjoyed reading the book; it is, indeed, a good teaching and gift to the people." * Bobby "Medicine Grizzly Bear" Lake-Thom, traditional Native healer and spiritual teacher *
"Seeing beyond the constrictions of our present ways is critical for our survival. Tom Pinkson's story sheds light on the potential in each one of us to change the current channels of our perceptions in order to live a more expansive, sacred, and compassionate life. His encouragement for us to walk our path with ceremonial gratitude grew from his apprenticeship with Huichol shamans and is medicine for our times." * Marion Weber, founder of the Arts and Healing Network and the Flow Fund Circle *
"Pinkson is one of those rare individuals who walks his talk, whose life is built on helping others, loving and forgiving, and a determination to trust and listen to the inner voice within him." * Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D., author of Love Is Letting Go of Fear *
"The Shamanic Wisdom of the Huichol is a good read and a powerful memoir. Pinkson's many adventures serve as a catalyst to get on with one's own spiritual awakenings." * Stephen Kiesling, editor in chief, Spirituality & Health *
"The Huichol tradition teaches how to reweave our connections with the web of life inspiring us to move from alienation to cooperative partnerships. These teachings are essential for creating harmony in the world. Tom Pinkson not only studied the spiritual practices of the Huichol--he lives them and their beauty. He is a living example of how we can sculpt a new world through the power of love. His story is brilliant and engaging, deep, and filled with rich wisdom, love, and inspiration. This is such an important book for our times." * Sandra Ingerman, author of Soul Retrieval and Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner's Guide, May 2010 *
"I found Pinkson's account of his experience very fascinating. I felt I was right there with him going through his trials and tribulations as well as his awakenings and transitions. The writing is deep, poignant and encouraging. The Shamanic Wisdom of the Huichol gives the reader courage to delve into their own inner source for direction toward self healing. . ." * Irene Watson, Reader Views, August 2010 *
". . . it [Shamanic Wisdom of the Huichol] slowly grows into a part of one's inner life, the way a daily walk in a new-found meadow can become familiar because of its timeless beauty and tranquility." * Curtis McCosco, Circles of Light, November 2010 *

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