The Huna tradition of Hawaii has been the centre of attention for spiritual seekers for quite some time. The leading proponent of this ancient art is the prolific writer, teacher and extraordinary individual Serge Kahili King who was actually “reared and trained” in this tradition.

The traditions of the shaman, which is a universal spiritual practice, has been closely examined for centuries, however in the last twenty to thirty years we have seen a rise in the number of people claiming to be shamans.

Of course, traditionally a shaman was a man or woman who worked as a healer of both the physical and the spiritual in his or her own village or community. These days the word has been hijacked by some psychics who include it as yet another description of their psychic or clairvoyant abilities. This definition is hardly accurate, but probably a sign of the times.

Shamanism has always been a mysterious activity conducted in dark and quiet corners of the world and surrounded by secrets and traditions. The abilities, rituals and knowledge were only passed on to fully-fledged apprentices who had dedicated themselves to serving an elder teacher or shaman for a set period of time. Today you can become an ‘accredited’ shaman in a weekend intensive workshop.

Of course, there are those who say a shaman is born not created, and it is a person’s inner talents or abilities that shine under the “spit and polish” of a teacher rather than being taught in a conventional manner. While this subject could be debated from now until forever, author Serge Kahili King takes another pathway, that of sharing shamanic wisdom to enrich and empower the lives of ordinary people.

It begins, writes the author, with a deeper understanding of the Hawaiian shamanic viewpoint. Shamans do not see the world the way most people do; instead they have a whole and multi-dimensional viewpoint, or worldview.

“There are four worlds, or worldviews (levels or classes of experience) that everyone moves in and out of spontaneously and usually unconsciously, but that shamans consciously cultivate,” he writes. In the Hawaiian language these are: Ike papakahi, ike papalua, ike papakolu and ike papaha. These represent the ordinary world, the telepathic world, the dream world and the world of being. The author then goes on to examine in great detail these particular worldview points and how they impact on our own lives.

Changing Reality is at heart a practical book written for practical application. It is not simply a dry discourse on the variances of shamanic reality. Mr King also offers some insightful chapters on how to employ shamanic abilities in our daily lives.

In Chapter 7, for example, he examines the human aura and offers suggestions on how to put it to work for you in your life. The aura, as the reader undoubtedly knows, is an energy field that surrounds the physical body. The author examines the history and the myths surrounding the aura but then supplies some very practical exercises to employ, including how to expand and strengthen your aura.

As a diligent book reviewer, I put Mr King’s advice to the test and expanded my aura just prior to traversing an overly congested shopping mall during the height of the Christmas shopping frenzy. Much to my amusement I found people nimbly stepping aside for me making my excursion much more pleasant than usual.

The book also covers telekinesis, visiting the land of dreams, astral travel and much more, all in very practical ways with simple exercises to try out for yourself. Most importantly, he dedicates a long chapter to the ability to grok, which means understanding something intuitively or by empathy in a very rapid way. That, of course, in essence sums up this book for me, and I am sure for any reader.

All shamans agree that we in fact live in a world that is malleable, even though for the vast majority of us this is not our experience. The key to truly understanding the shamanic vision is to recognise that shifting the mind from the consensus view of reality to the fluid shamanic view takes time, practice and determination. It is much easier to stay with the herd than to dedicate oneself to learning to traverse the world of the shaman. However, if the reader feels a calling to explore and embrace the shaman’s world, this book will prove to be a valuable asset. The shaman’s door leads to the many realms and this book is a wonderful and practical introduction.

I highly recommend this well written and insightful book, thoughtfully compiled by Serge Kahlili King. The author has studied intensively with Hawaiian, African and Mongolian shamans. He has travelled to more than fifty countries and runs his own centre in Hawaii. The interested reader will find this book replete with information, practical tips and well researched background materials.

The path of the shaman is not an easy one, but if you or someone close to you feels this calling they could not go wrong with this book.

– Reviewed by Lesley Crossingham in New Dawn 143