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The first comprehensive guide to the shamans and tantrikas of Nepal
• 605 color and black-and-white illustrations, including 135 color thangkas.
• Includes more than 20 psychoactives never before documented.
• The result of 18 years of field research.
The Himalayan kingdom of Nepal may be the only culture in the world where both shamanic and tantric techniques are still alive and in full practice today. The result of eighteen years of field research, Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas presents for the first time a comprehensive overview of shamanism that is based on the knowledge and experience of the different tribes from that region. Included are original statements from the various ethnic groups and 135 color thangkas, which act as visual guides to the specific practices of the tantric tradition. In addition to the thangkas, the book is lavishly illustrated with numerous photos of different shamanic healing ceremonies, ritual objects, and culturally significant plants that have never been published before. The book also contains a wealth of original recipes, smoking mixtures, scientific tables, charts, and descriptions of more than 20 plants whose psychoactive properties and uses by shamans have never before been researched or documented.
About the Author
Claudia Müller-Ebeling, Ph.D., is an art historian and anthropologist and coauthor, with Christian Rätsch, of Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas, Witchcraft Medicine, and Pagan Christmas. She lives in Hamburg, Germany.
Christian Rätsch, Ph.D., is a world-renowned anthropologist and ethnopharmacologist who specializes in the shamanic uses of plants. He is the author of Marijuana Medicine and coauthor of Plants of the Gods, Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas,Witchcraft Medicine, and The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants. He lives in Hamburg, Germany, and lectures around the world.
Surendra Bahadur Shahi was born in Kathmandu into a Newari family of the Shahi caste and is an accomplished thangka painter. He speaks 10 different languages and has a thorough knowledge of the Buddhist and Hindu religion and mythology and the cultural customs of the Newari people.
"Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas provides well-documented research and insight regarding the contribution of pre-Buddhist cultures to our current understanding of Tantrism and Vajrayana. The depth of detailed knowledge regarding the symbolism, rituals, and the indigenous wisdom of the Nepali shamans can be attributed to the authors’ combined expertise in the fields of anthropology, ethnobotany, art history, and ethnography. A visionary masterpiece!" — Alex Grey, artist and author of Sacred Mirrors and Transfigurations
"Shamanic and yogic traditions of the Indian subcontinent are closely linked together in many ways. Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas carefully examines the shamanic teachings of the region, along with their Hindu and Buddhist background. The book is well researched and well referenced, not merely from an academic perspective but in light of the living tradition. Anyone interested in yoga or shamanism will find a wealth of information in this fascinating book." — David Frawley , author of Yoga for Your Type and founder of the American Institute of Vedic Studies
"An exhaustive, comprehensive, no-nonsense 300 page volume--complete with photographs of shamans in action." — Lolita Lark, RALPH , January 2003
"Beautifully illustrated, very well written, and deeply insightful." — J.J. Preston, CHOICE, November 2003, Vol.41 No.3
"Readers are sure to get an introduction to both ancient and modern practices that are often invisible to Western eyes." — The Institute of Noetic Sciences, December-February 2004
"This book is big, broad, bold, and very very beautiful, literally and metaphorically, my favorite and most functional book." — John Yost, Pan Gaia, Spring 2003