The Way of the Oracle: Recovering the Practices of the Past to Find Answers for Today

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9781578634835: The Way of the Oracle: Recovering the Practices of the Past to Find Answers for Today
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Throughout history, the uncertainties of life have driven people to seek counsel from prophets, seers, and oracles on everything from love to livelihood: people want to talk to their lost loved ones, heal old family traumas, find out about work, and determine what the future will bring.

In The Way of the Oracle, bestselling author, scholar, and priestess Diana L. Paxson offers a broad overview of the traditions of famous oracles in history: from the pythia at Delphi, the son of Beor, the Irish druidess, and the Greenland völva, to today's modern seers who are resurrecting ancient skills to serve their communities.

Paxson identifies the core elements of prophetic practice, her belief in probability rather than predestination, and offers exercises and examples to demonstrate how anyone can be trained to do oracle work. Her methods focus on trance skills and improving communication between one's unconscious and conscious mind to encourage self-knowledge and decision making.

The Way of the Oracle introduces the practice of oracle work to a wider audience, and shows how exploring the potential of other minds can expand our own.

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About the Author:

Diana L. Paxson is the author of nearly three dozen novels, including Marion Zimmer Bradley's Ravens of Avalon and several works of spiritual nonfiction, including Taking Up the Runes. She has been a practicing priestess for nearly thirty years and is well known as a spiritual leader and teacher. She lectures and conducts workshops in North America and Europe. She lives in Berkeley, CA. Visit her at www.diana-paxson.com.

Review:

"Diana Paxson is a pioneer in recovering oracular divination. She has a remarkable ability to draw from ancient sources from around the world to describe what seers did and still make seeing accessible and viable for a modern world. Paxson also presents a vast body of experience exploring this mysterious process. I worked as a seer with Paxson's Nordic seith group, her primary cultural focus. But I am also an academic folklorist, and an objective observer, and I am impressed with how she has used original sources, a deceptively simple method (trance and guided meditation), and her own lyrical poetry to weave a portal to another world where both the seer and seeker can discover knowledge to untangle the ordinary problems which confront us all. This is a wonderful introduction for the beginner, and a wealth of information for the trained oracle or scholar." --Dana Kramer-Rolls, social historian and folklorist, author of The Way of the Cat

"Diana Paxson helps priests and priestesses give voice to the spirits with confidence. Not only does she reveal what seers do and how, she also restores the ancient and honored role of oracle to a questioning world." --Caitlín Matthews, author of Celtic Visions: Seership, Omens and Dreams of the Otherworld

"Makes a complex subject accessible. It will help readers hear the winds rustling the leaves of the sacred oak at Dodona. More importantly, it will help to keep prophesy from becoming a lost art." --Eileen Holland, author of The Wicca Handbook and The Spellcaster's Reference

"A fascinating journey into the oracular tradition: personal, profound, and enlightening." --Michelle Belanger, psychic/medium from A&E's Paranormal State; author of The Psychic Energy Codex

"Reading a new book by Diana Paxson is entertainment coupled with scholarly information, with a twist of humor on top like a cherry on a cake. This book on the way of the oracles is yet another journey to remind us what we used to have, how humans can be in touch with more than just the visible world. We live in an invisible world as well, a mystery to most, but not to Diana. She has traveled over there many times, and knows how to get out and then, most importantly, how to get back. Mixed in with many real-life stories about how the Oracles worked their healing magic we begin to trust ourselves again. And that is a huge gift! Thanks Diana!" --Z. Budapest, author of Grandmother Moon

"As ever, Diana Paxson continues to make strong contributions to the Neopagan enterprise, grounding her suggestions and methods in a broad base of research in numerous Western traditions, augmenting her approach to altered states and ancient oracular techniques with a healthy respect for current trends in depth psychology and the neurosciences. Ms. Paxson's knowledge of myths, sagas, folk magic, and history is impressive, and well matched by her considerable skills as an entertaining teacher and writer." --Erik D. Goodwyn, MD, author of ,i>The Neurobiology of the Gods: How the Brain Shapes the Recurrent Imagery of Myth and Dreams


"Gerald Gardner is considered to be the father of modern witchcraft, Michael Harner the father of modern shamanism. Diane Paxson, with the publication of this book clearly places herself as the mother of modern trance-prophecy practice. With her other books on the subject it is an essential primer for anyone interested in following the practices of Seidr, the Delphic Sibyl, or trance-prophecy in general. It is a book we will be happy to recommend to all of our students who practice this tradition." --Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone, authors of A Witches' Bible, The Witches' Goddess, and The Inner Mysteries

"Diana Paxson is a writer of historical fantasy novels as well as an experienced seeress, skilled in the oracular arts and practices of her Nordic and Celtic ancestors. In this book she gives a fascinating account of these traditional arts, covering both the Nordic and Greek realms. Her meticulous scholarship and practical experience testing and working with the methods of the ancient völvas make this book a unique guide to these practices, which have a wide range of applicability in healing, problem solving, and spiritual guidance." --Ralph Metzner, PhD, psychologist, author of The Well of Remembrance and Alchemical Divination

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