The Way of the Shaman Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Michael Harner
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the purpose of rapid drumming during the guided journey that Harner takes new students through?

2. On his or her first guided journey, the shaman student is asked by Harner to visualize what?

3. It is typical for one or more spirits to help guide the shaman through what?

4. Through numerous examples, the author shows the commonality of experiences by shamans regardless of what?

5. Why do individuals need the protection of a guardian spirit?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are some of the similarities Harner notes in first-hand shamanic experiences reported by middle-class Americans?

2. How old is shamanism, and what cultures have best preserved this practice?

3. Describe the tunnel a shaman utilizes to journey into the Lowerworld.

4. Describe Harner's experience of spiritually going to a cave beneath a waterfall with a Jivaro shaman.

5. Who is Akachu, and how does he help Harner?

6. Prompted by similarities he found in books and accounts about shamanic experiences, what did Harner decide to do in order to learn more about shamanism?

7. Why does the author find it encouraging for Westerners that not all tribes use drugs in their shamanic practices?

8. Discuss what Harner says about the humility of shamanism?

9. Describe an environment that's conducive to the shaman being most effective while in a shamanic state of consciousness (SSC).

10. Harner compares rock-seeing to what Western practices?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why would a Westerner with no prior experience with shamanistic practices develop an interest in them? How might he or she benefit from knowing and practicing some of these rituals? What precautions might he or she need to take?

Essay Topic 2

Explain the role of guardian spirits, spirit helpers, and power animals. Do you feel there is a significant difference between these entities? How do they differ? In what ways are they similar? Cite three separate instances showing when a shaman would call upon one particular entity over the other two.

Essay Topic 3

Harner names humility, respect for nature, and the ability to honor an experience as three traits needed by a good shaman. Explain why each is important in shamanic practices. How do the three traits work together to help the shaman? the patient?

(see the answer keys)

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