European Shamanism

4 Books to Explore Your Lineage

Lola Medicine Keeper, Ancestral Detective

Interested in exploring European Shamanism?

These four books will help you learn more about the indigenous (pre-colonial) Celtic, Saxon, Germanic, and Norse spiritual traditions. As we’ve unraveled our own ancestral shame and begun to heal our lineage, these books have become important guides.

Unfortunately, the spread of Catholicism and Christianity as well as Colonial/Empire interests led to much loss of Indigenous European Knowledge (IEK). Many (but certainly not all) of the traditional ceremonies in these regions were eradicated leading up to and during the Inquisition/Burning times.

But, you don’t have to lose hope! If you have European ancestry and desire to reconnect with your genetic Spiritual/Shamanic lineage, there are resources for you.

These fabulous books are great starting points so you can begin to craft your own authentic ceremonies and rituals.

Ancient Spirit Rising

by Pegi Eyers

This book kickstarted me to address the shame I’ve felt at coming from a lineage of colonizers, and embrace my personal Indigenous European roots. It can be a jarring read, especially in the beginning as the author outlines the problems of cultural appropriation and oppression in Shamanic/Spiritual communities. This book will ask you to take a hard look at the rituals, teachings, and ceremonies you facilitate; AND it will inspire you to find authentic-to-you practices.

This books’ impact:

Through exploring this material, I discovered ways to bridge my current location/ecosystem (Southern California) with my genetic heritage (Saxon, Germanic, Celtic, and Norse) and my initiations into Peruvian shamanism. My ceremonies now feel more aligned and potent than ever, and I feel more solidly rooted in my practices and local herbal studies.

===> Get it on Amazon HERE.

A Handbook of Saxon Sorcery & Magic

by Alaric Albertsson

This book provides wonderful context to practices that occur in many shamanic traditions, such as working with herbs, space cleanring, journeying, etc., but through a decidedly Saxon lens. Wonderful for those who would like a more grounded context for practices you may already be doing but don’t have language for… For example, “smudging” is known as “recaning” in Saxon (pronounced ray-cunning); and there are specific herbs the Saxons used for that purpose, including Rosemary and Mugwort; both widely available in a variety of ecosystems.

This books’ impact:

I have loved learning the Saxon words and rituals for practices that are already long familiar to me in my Shamanic work. In addition, this has been an excellent adjunct to my clinical herbalism studies; as I can incorporate Saxon lore and healing techniques for herbs that I’m studying – giving them even more potency since I hail from primarily Saxon people.

===> Get it on Amazon HERE.

The Norse Shaman

by Evelyn C. Rysdyk

This book teaches specific ritual techniques, as well as speaks to the basis for The Northern Tradition; an interpretation of Shamanism that combines Norse, Germanic, and Saxon pathways. Because the Northernmost regions of Europe held out against Christianity longer than other areas, these traditions are somewhat more intact as preserved through myths, stories, poems, and songs.

This books’ impact:

I have better language to weave through my rituals, and ways of journeying and entering trance state that are aligned with my Northern European roots. I am still exploring the rich teachings available in this book and weaving them into my practices as I go through it. This work has affirmed my innate shamanic skills and helped me develop them further; a lifelong passion project for me.

===> Get it on Amazon HERE.

Taking Up The Runes

by Diana Paxson

If you are looking to create a deeper relationship with the Runes, this book is a tremendous ally. In it, the author goes through the Elder Futhark (the original 24 Germanic alphabet/Runes) in more depth than I’ve found elsewhere. She offers a variety of interpretations of each Rune; compiled from numerous well-known sources. In other words, instead of getting 5 books on the Runes, this one book synthesizes several perspectives and deeply explores modern meanings for these ancient concepts. In addition, each Rune has an in-depth initiation-style ritual that you can do to help you embody the wisdom and energy of that Rune.

This books’ impact:

I received a set of Runes as a gift many years ago, but they sat gathering dust until I recently decided to work with them as my primary divination tool. With the aid of this book, I have much more material to work with when interpreting a Rune reading for myself or others, as well as historical and mythological context for each Rune.

===> Get it on Amazon HERE.

Lola - Creator of Wildly Amazing Things at WildPlayground.com

Through her courses and programs, Lola Pickett empowers empaths  to rewire their brains, behavior, and bodies so they can create sustainable success & happiness. She is the published author of the Wild Messengers Alchemical Tarot and founder of EMPATH*ology™—her outrageously popular 10-week online course.

Her offerings blend cutting-edge neuroscience with trauma healing AND playful adventure to create powerful and lasting results. When not facilitating transformational work, you’ll find Lola on a hike, wildcrafting medicines, and loving up on her husband and kids in the mountains north of San Diego, California.

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2 Comments

  1. This is great, thank you! I’ve been wanting to learn more about my ancestral roots but have been having a hard time finding info. Sadly, none of these are at my library, but I’ll be searching for them at used bookstores!

    • Yes indeed! You may even be able to find them used on Amazon; sometimes I’ve gotten REALLY good deals in the used book section =) So glad you enjoyed this list – more resources to come for those of us with European ancestry!

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