A number of the qualities of this book definitely appeal to those who are interested in ways to realize their own potential through awareness and a personal, spiritual journey. You’ll find suggestions for practices and a surprisingly open perspective on teching these ancient techniques.
The open attitude is perhaps the best reason to read this book. Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls does not buy into the older, secretive and often manipulative ways of transferring spiritual knowledge. Many teachers find that changing times mean the challenge is bridging the gap between these older methods and evolving consciousness. This book definitely moves in this direction.
Another positive in the book is the inclusive nature of the Shaman’s discussions. She highlights similar practices, beliefs and teachings from a variety of traditions. Using this perspective and connectedness makes her teachings useful to more people. The goal appears to be making these practices accessible for a variety of individuals. Many will find this an effective way to start with and from existing traditions.
The impact of this approach is similar to bridging older traditions—including more individuals who want to pursue personal development rather than excluding some for a variety of reasons. The accessible sections increase the highlight with other sections that may put some readers off the book.
Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls also describes a unique relationship between emotions, emotional control and creating the life you want. The teaching is another important high light of the book that truly makes it worth reading.
On the other hand some of the language and discussions come across with a childish tone. While addressing childhood issues may be part of any healing process to live a more conscious, powerful life, some seekers may find the simplistic language less inspiring.
Another aspect of the book that may be less intriguing to some is the repetition of concern for encountering negative energies or beings who can cause harm to spiritual students. Other modern teachers are less involved with this perspective. This is perhaps the one older shamanic system that does dominate in this book. Other teachers take a more Jungian approach: all things are an aspect of the Highest Self rather than outside Self.
Many trained in traditional Shamanic traditions will find my perspective on these teachings dangerous: the need to protect, fight and negotiate with such entities is firmly established in this consciousness. As an individual seeker I encourage you to decide what is true for you and which systems or perspective(s) can be part of your daily life. For me, these teachings actually increase the sense of unempowerment and inflexibility. The implied helplessness seems counterproductive. Knowing that most things any human would call evil are done by someone who truly believes they are pursuing the highest good, created reality has a stronger aspect for me and other seekers than a rigid classification of energies.
Most of us don’t have to go very far, to the next cubicle, down the street, or maybe a family gathering, to experience people who take rather than give. Therefore, I find the more involved scenarios less effective. Overall I enjoyed the book and now you’ve heard what I didn’t like so perhaps you are closer to making an informed decision regarding your level of interest in this specific shaman book.