From the Forward by Dr. Chris Forester:

This is a book whose time has come. As more people turn to shamanic practices for spiritual meaning, and for healing, the art of shamanic extraction has never been more sorely needed. Many popular books touch on it, but here you will find, I believe, the first really comprehensive treatment by an expert practitioner of the art. Any shamanic practitioner or student of shamanism should read this book.

La curacion chamanica es siempre un ejercicio humano de la libertad. Este libro detalla uno de los hallazgos chamanicos que, por ser verdadero, trasciende las limitaciones de la memoria porque siempre se redescubre y se renueva como un amoroso entendimiento de la naturaleza humana. La profunda verdad de la extraccion cham�nica se comprueba en la variedad historica de sus expresiones rituales. Por eso, su antiguedad es la seoa de su pertinente actualidad.

Ramon Lopez, Barranquitas, Puerto Rico

This is the first contemporary book about the ancient and powerful shamanic healing technique known as extraction. Composed by an internationally noted shamanic practitioner, teacher and author, Spirit Knife describes extraction techniques in current use.  Stories of extractions from several centuries and many peoples around the world provide important background for modern practices. While reading of powerful healings gained by removing toxic crystals, piercing bones, cutting blades, and--perhaps--malevolent spirits, you can judge whether extraction might aid your own healing.

In Spirit Knife, Soul Bone, sources of destructive intrusions are examined at length. The chapter "Awareness is Half of Prevention" offers detailed guidelines for avoiding intrusions. Like all the major shamanic healing techniques, extraction is not and has never been self-applied. Still, understanding how extraction works and how necessary it may be, set against the complete portrayal of shamanic healing provided by Spirit Knife, makes the choices for your own healing safer and more effective.

FROM the Author: Crow Swimsaway, PhD

I have studied and experienced shamanism since my graduate study in anthropology at the University of Chicago in the late 1950s. I am currently writing a series of books to share with a wider audience the wonders of a spirituality, mode of healing, and way of life as old and widespread as humankind.

It is my profound belief that early shamanic practice was the origin not only of spirituality but of the arts both visual and performing and of "science." That is, science in the sense of being willing to observe everything that happens to and around oneself and being able to learn from those experiences, whatever framework of understanding one may need to place this knowledge in to be able to work with and profit from it. This is relevant in that I was originally trained as a scientist by a very serious scientist father. (I learned to identify red and white blood cells through the microscope before age 5.) Since then, major and significant parts of my joy and the works of my life have been in the performing and visual arts: everything that shamanism has touched, has also touched me. I believe that almost 70 years of life's experiences along these blessed pathways have suited me to this writing and sharing.

Your comments are invited in return.

ABOUT the Illustrator: Denise Mangen

Denise Mangen is more than a photographer. As Photo Illustrator, she produced the illustrations for Spirit Knife, Soul Bone, including the color cover and author's portrait (excepting the classic drawings of the two famous cave paintings in Chapter 3). I met Denise when she was working on a portfolio of color photographs of alternative healers in Athens County, Ohio, as part of her work at Ohio University. I was very taken by her professionalism, the quality of her images and her eye for capturing the spirit and personality of Athens' healers. The choice was obvious when I came to choose who would create the images for Spirit Knife, Soul Bone.

ABOUT the Designer: Stacy Asher

I met Stacy Asher by pure happenstance: we both attended the opening of Denise Mangen's exhibition of photographs of alternative healers at Casa Nueva in Athens, Ohio. Not so much happenstance, perhaps, since as Assistant Professor of Graphic Design in the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University, Stacy worked with Denise in designing her book of healers. To my surprise and deligh, however, Stacy overheard me describe the Spirit Knife, Soul Bone project and decided she'd like to design the book.

We discovered many similarities of experiences--each of us learned a great deal in Hong Kong, for example--and taste in book design. I am very happy that she has taken on this project and responded so perfectly to the spirit of the work.