Michael Harner

In Memoriam - Michael Harner

Michael Harner was an anthropologist, educator and author. He is well-known for his 1980 book, The Way of the Shaman: A Guide to Power and Healing, which has been foundational in the development and popularization of Core Shamanism (as opposed to traditional Indigenous Shamanism) as a path of personal development.

After doing field research in the Ecuadorian Amazon, in 1960-61 he experimented with the Amazonian plant medicine, ayahuasca, and then with monotonous drumming.  In the early 1970s he started giving workshops to small groups in Connecticut, and in 1979 he founded the Center for Shamanic Studies in Norwalk, CT.  He eventually left academia in 1987 to devote himself full-time to this work.

While Shuar and Shipibo shamans told him that the only way to access the “really real” was to take psychedelic substances, Harner and his foundation knew and taught shamanic methods of drumming, visualisation and other non-psychedelic techniques.

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