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In 1991, author and Jungian psychotherapist Steven Herrmann was "called" by the poet-shaman William Everson to collaborate on writing a book. It is from that event that the subtitle of this book emerged, The Shaman's Call. Its aim is to instill in readers that if one follows one's calling from the shamanic archetype with the right attitude, it could culminate in true cosmic awareness. And, it would interconnect the psyche with nature, or what C.G. Jung called the "Self." Such awareness is made clear through the transfiguring power of American poet-shamans, who transmit what they are called by nature to convey: That an experience of the Self is a life-altering experience. The calling can be transmitted by way of an animal power to a person through dreams, transformative relationships, in-depth psychotherapy, religious experiences, art, scientific endeavor, or through the hearing, reading or writing of shamanic poetry. During the conversations with Everson, emerged a vision of the way shamanism has been portrayed in American poetry, from Herman Melville's Moby Dick, to Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, to Emily Dickinson's The Complete Poetry, to what Everson achieved in his seminal poems, October Tragedy, The Encounter and Black Hills, and in his literature course at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The conversations form a link between the 80-year-old poet-shaman and the 35-year-old Jungian author Steven Herrmann, who was just beginning to find his own wings as a poet. Herrmann lives with his wife in the wooded hills of Oakland, California.
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