Shape-Shifters & Their Stories
The Golem; Lilith; Werewolf;
The Dybbuk; Silkie; and more
Michael Berman

Featured

9781906958664b


Shape-Shifters & Their Stories
Michael Berman
Format: Softcover/192 pp, 24 fascinating Illustrations.
ISBN: 978-1-906958-66-4
£10.99/US$22
Subjects: Folklore/Shamanism/Myths & Magick/Fairy Tales.

“Long ago the trees thought they were really people
Long ago the mountains thought they were really people
Long ago the animals thought they were really people
Someday, they will say
Long ago the humans thought they were really people”

Constance O’Day-Flannery, Shifting Love

Introduction
Shape-shifting is a common theme in mythology, folklore, and fairy tales. In its broadest sense, shape-shifting occurs when a being (usually human) either (1) has the ability to change its shape into that of another person, creature, or other entity or (2) finds its shape involuntarily changed by someone else. If the shape change is voluntary, its cause may be an act of will, a magic word or magic words, a potion, or a magic object. If the change is involuntary, its cause may be a curse or spell, a wizard’s or magician’s or fairy’s help, a deity’s will, a temporal change such as a full Moon or nightfall, love, or death. The transformation may or may not be purposeful.

The desire to be different in some way so as to match some ideal promoted through advertising has become an obsession, especially for vulnerable younger members of society. Perhaps the pressure to conform to some unrealistic ideal is something that has always been with us, but surely not to the extent that now is the case. And it is this desire that helps to account for the current interest in shape-shifting as it would seem to provide a means of achieving the goal to bring about change. However, as many of the tales in this collection show, it is only by coming to terms with who we really are that peace of mind can truly be ours once again.

Cover artwork by Kala Trobe
kalatrobe.com

Shape-shifter

Sacred Mountains
Michael Berman

Featured


Sacred Mountains
Michael Berman
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 9781906958220
£10.99/US$22
Subjects: Shamanism/Spirituality/Myths & Legends.

On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

What mountains mean to me: in one word, awe-inspiring. Although we can measure them, our minds are incapable of actually grasping the very small or the very large things in nature: neither atomic particles nor astronomical distances. How big is a mountain, how much does it weigh? Our limited minds can only cope with subjective assessments such as how difficult is it to climb, how dangerous would an avalanche be? So the feelings it produces are awe, a little fear, and possibly exhilaration if and when we think that we have conquered the mountain – but in reality we never can.
~ Professor David Hunt

All the stories presented in this collection contain shamanic elements, so the obvious starting point is to explain what is meant by this. The term ‘shaman’ is a controversial one. Initially employed by early anthropologists to refer to a specific category of magical practitioners from Siberia, the term is now widely used to denote similar practitioners from a variety of cultures around the world. This application of an originally culture-specific term to a more general usage has caused problems with regard to definition, with disagreements among scholars over whether certain features, such as soul flight or possession, or certain types of altered states of consciousness, should or should not be listed among the core characteristics of shamanism.
(Wilby, 2011, p.252.)

Introduction
What are Mountains for you?
Soul Captivation on White Bone Mountain
The Magic Brush and the Golden Mountain
The Legend of Amirani
The Story of Jumping Mouse
The Children of Hamelin: A Shamanic Journey into Mount Poppenberg
The Crystal Clear Waters of Mount Elbruz
The Vision Quest, Mount Sinai, and a Dream Fulfilled
Mount Ararat
Mount Koya-san, the Hermit’s Cave, and Fujiyama
Sacred Towers
The Fool on the Hill and the Book of Mysteries
The Tobacco of Harisaboqued
The Princess of the Tower

Appendix:
The Baal Shem Tov –
Rabbi, Religious Formulator or Shaman?

***
cover photograph by Joe Page shows Rennes Le Château seen from castle of Rennes Les Bains.


Launch 17th of January 2012 at the Georgian Embassy the author will talk about this book and give a reading. Starting promptly at 7.30 pm. The event is free and Georgian wine will be served at no cost too. The address is 4 Russell Gardens, West Kensington, London W14 8EZ. The hall holds about 60 people and we are hoping for a full house.

*************************************************************************************
RESOURCES FOR THE SACRED MOUNTAINS EXPERIENCE
Arts & Culture, Folklore, Myths & Legends, Food & Drink.

*************************************************************************************

Tbilisi Opera & Ballet Theatre
www.opera.ge

*

Georgia Cradle of Wine
www.georgia.gov.ge/5225

*

TAMADA,
Authentic Georgian Restaurant,
122 Boundary Road, St John’s Wood,
London NW8 0RH, UK.
www.tamada.co.uk

*