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. In his guided, step-by-step instructions for a first journey, Harner instructs the aspiring shaman to eat:

2. What does Harner recommend that the aspiring shaman listen to?

3. How do the Conibo access the Lowerworld?

4. What similarity does Harner point out between shamanism and science?

5. After a journey that lasts several days in the jungle with his companions, Harner is taken where?

Short Essay Questions

1. In the step-by-step instructions for going on a first shamanic journey that the author supplies for the reader in Chapter 2, how does he ask the participant to prepare?

2. What is the participant of the exercise in Chapter 2 instructed regarding the end of the journey?

3. What are other names the author mentions for guardian spirits, and what cultures call them by these alternate names?

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

5. 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?

6. How does a shaman take care of his or her tsentak?

7. What are the main functions and activities of a shaman, as described in Chapter 3?

8. What does the author say shamans feel about what they see in the non-ordinary reality or shamanic state of consciousness (SSC)?

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

10. Describe the roles of drumming and rattling in a shaman's work.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The author thoroughly explains numerous details of shamanism, but two areas he doesn't cover in as much detail are how and why shamanism works. Offer your own explanations to fill in the blanks. How do you think shamanism works? Why does it work?

Essay Topic 2

Describe the journey the author takes with Akachu, the Jivaro shaman, detailed in Chapter 1. Can you tell which parts of the journey are literal and which are figurative? What clues reveal the literary portions? The figurative parts?

Essay Topic 3

Describe similarities middle-class Americans who try shamanism report regarding the portal to Lowerworld and their firsthand experiences in non-ordinary reality. Why does the author emphasize these similarities? What do they convey regarding the nature of shamanism?

(see the answer keys)

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