Those Who Know The Wyrd

Neo-Shamans in Contemporary Society

Original price was: $16.95.Current price is: $8.49.

2015 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention (Spiritual Category)

The roots of Western shamanism are said to lie in the practices of the “wise women,” the priestesses of early Anglo-Saxon times.  As spiritual leaders, they helped their people to understand, and to live within, the framework of a worldview that was called “wyrd,” and which suggested that: all things and all events are intimately interconnected on all levels of reality; objects perceptible to human senses are nothing more than local manifestations of larger energy patterns; that which is imperceptible to human senses is as important as this which is perceptible; any event, anywhere, affects everything else, everywhere; everything, everywhere, is alive — that is, consciousness is all-pervasive; body, mind, and spirit are all one; and the entire universe is sacred and has purpose and meaning.

Given the current state of the world, the survival of humanity may well depend on our adopting the shamanic worldview of wyrd.  The modern worldview — based on anthropocentrism, humanism, rationalism, mechanism, and materialism — authorizes and even encourages, aggression, exploitation, and destruction.  This has led to a situation in which the state of the world reflects the state of our minds, in which the conflict without, mirrors the conflict within, in which the external chaos echoes the internal chaos.

While few are born with the sensitivities necessary to be true shamans, many more might be willing to adopt the shamanic worldview of wyrd if they are shown the way.  Today’s neo-shamans can be their guides.  Instead of separation, conflict, alienation, and chaos, the human experience could be one of unity, harmony, cooperation, order, meaning, purpose, and value.


David Ritchey






5.5 x 8.5




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About the Author

After being educated in economics at Yale University, David Ritchey served five years as an officer in the U.S. Navy, including a year in Vietnam. Back in civilian life, he initially became a businessman as he had been trained but, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, he dropped out, got a divorce, moved to a remote old stone farmhouse and took up fine art photography as his vocation, winning over 60 awards during the next fifteen years.

During that period, he became fascinated with the psychology and neurology of both creativity and metaphysics and returned to school to train as a psychotherapist. During his fifteen years of clinical practice specializing in hypnotherapy, he undertook a twelve-year project to research and write about such subjects and his first book, The H.I.S.S. of the A.S.P., was published in 2003. Writing proved to be every bit as rewarding as photography and became his primary vocation. Being an inveterate learner, he focused on non-fiction subjects, enjoying the research as much as the writing. His more than forty published works have won over 25 literary awards. His books can be found at and online book stores.

See Books by David Ritchey Here

His avocations have included scuba diving, sailing, skiing, tennis, golf, gardening, woodworking, dogs, magic, bridge, and Scrabble. He has two adult children, Harper and Mac, and one almost-adult grandchild, Brendan. He lives in historic Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and spends most of his time either writing or engaging in stimulating conversations over restaurant meals with close friends.


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