It’s been a long time coming…over five years researching and writing the book. The stars have aligned and my book The Tree of Visions: Visionary Traditions of the Western World- Shamanism, Magic & Myth From Prehistory to the Present is finally seeing the light of day! For those readers of this blog, many of the subjects covered here– shamanism, magic, ancient civilizations, altered states of consciousness, and more–are explored in depth in the book.
The Tree of Visions: traces the lineage of thought and practice of western esotericism winding throughout our history and within many cultures. An overview of 40,000 years of western spirituality, it begins with paleolithic and neolithic shamanism, following its development in the sacred-magical traditions of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and ancient Celtic and Germanic cultures. As well, it looks into the indigenous rural traditions of Europe: folk magic, witchcraft, cunning folk, shamanic traditions of the Sami noiade, the Hungarian taltos, the benandanti, the “dragon men” of the Balkans and others.
The book is based on the thesis that shamanism forms the deepest stratum of human culture, myths and spiritual practices worldwide. It illustrates how ancient beliefs and practices are still alive, albeit in new forms, in contemporary magic, neopaganism and neoshamanism. It concludes with scientific research into altered states of consciousness experienced by shamans: stages of trance, hypnogogic imagery, out of body experiences, near-death experiences, apparitions, etc. Multiple excerpts and references from authorities in the fields of history, archaeology, archeoastronomy, ethnology, neuropsychology, psychology, comparative mythology and other fields support this work. The book contains a number of my original illustrations and has an extensive bibliography.
Lorian Press/ Starseed Books has done a great job designing and publishing the book and I was lucky enough to get the following endorsements by stellar authors/ practitioners of western esotericism:
David Nez has shown in this wide-ranging book that a tradition that gives life has no need to reinvent itself: it has a continuity of its own. From all over the world, he brings together the visionary experiences that have been at the heart of shamanism, the ancient mysteries, magic and the spiritual technologies of many ages and peoples, revealing their essential likeness.
— Caitlín & John Matthews, authors of Walkers Between the Worlds and Lost Book of the Grail
At a time when a new human awareness of our kinship and partnership with the Earth is struggling to bloom, it’s important to see that this blossoming has ancient roots. Not simply a “New Age” or modern phenomenon, the call to embody a “Gaian consciousness,” a sense of oneness with all life seen and unseen, is part of our most ancient human heritage. In this tour de force, David Nez brilliantly traces this lineage of thought and practice which, winding throughout our history and within many cultures, illumines our desire and quest to be fully human, fully planetary, fully alive. By seeing where we’ve been, we can have hope for what we can become.
— David Spangler, author of Subtle Worlds: An Explorer’s Field Notes and Journey into Fire
If you want to support a local press, here’s the link to Lorian Books–available in paperback as well as e-book formats:
Heres the link to Amazon Books: