Book Review: Natural Born Shamans by Imelda Almqvist


I love getting books from authors I have not read before, as I have no expectations and can approach with a totally open mind. I was particularly looking forward to reading Imelda’s volume, as it deals with supporting the spirituality of younger people and children. Having children myself (and another on the way!) and remembering how my own spiritual journey stems back to when I was very, very young, I was intrigued to read the thoughts of someone who deals with this every day of their life.

From the start, Imelda’s book is very accessible. Although there are some parts which deal with practical shamanic work which will be of most use to experienced practitioners, Imelda is clear to point out which sections these are, and even so, as a ‘shamanic lay person’, I found these sections fascinating and enlightening.

I don’t want to hyper-analyse the contents of each chapter, as this will leave no beautiful surprises for you as you read the book. And believe me, there is surprise and delight throughout this volume. Imelda uses the phrase ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ very early on in the book, and I immediately grinned, as we use this saying (and its follow up statement!) amongst our own tribe, as we allow our children to (within reason and safety) roam from homestead to homestead when we gather. I also resonated with Imelda exploring the idea that sometimes we strive for perfection as parents, without giving in to being ‘good enough’. I certainly struggle with this. Sometimes I feel like I am only just good enough. I need to realise that being good enough for my little ones is special, and not something to be criticised.

Imelda’s style is positive and direct, and she covers challenging subjects with a compassion and thoroughness which is so often missing today. Topics such as losing a child, either before or after birth, are often tip-toed around, but Imelda faces them head on and shows how the experiences can be understood at a deeper, spiritual level to help families heal. Imelda also writes at length and with authority on children with special needs.

One of my favourite sections was the examination of brainwashing and radicalisation. The sense that the separation from Divine Unity is occurring over and over made total sense to me.

I won’t say too much more as you really need to read this book. If you have children yourself, it is invaluable. If you know children, or are interested in shamanic practice, or simply have a keen interest in human nature and spirituality, you will appreciate the level of experience, knowledge, skill and compassion which shines from every page.

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