Reviews & Interviews

Book Review – Journey of a Shaman by John Norseman

Book Review

Journey of a Shaman

by John Norseman

Publisher: Balboa Press

382 Pages

Publication Date: May 26, 2015


In Journey of a Shaman, John Norseman has written his autobiography, beginning with his early life in England during World War II. He takes us in detail in the first quarter of the book through his education and coming of age, his marriage and romances and his work in the insurance industry ”that lead him to become the CEO of four major companies,” and to live and travel internationally. In 1992, he met the woman who became his business partner and second wife. Their work together, subsequent retirement and journeys on their ocean-going ship Izafel occupy the remaining two-thirds of the book.

Journey of a Shaman is a good read. Norseman tells his story in the third-person, except when sharing excerpts from Izafel’s log. This was disconcerting at first, as I had to keep reminding myself that this was the narrator’s own story, and was not being told by an external observer. Norseman’s descriptions of British life during World War II and his relationship with his loving grandparents are moving and the story of his career progression, interesting. He intersperses the career narrative with stories of people he meets, including a M?ori woman who told him he was a shaman, “although he was not ready to comprehend what she had told him at the time.” (Journey of a Shaman, 101). The detailed accounts of sailing in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean and the preparations for a trans-Atlantic voyage are fascinating and held my interest for 200 pages. However, this is not a story about shamanism or its practice. Norseman describes himself early on as a natural intuitive; there is no discussion in the story of the progression to shamanic practice until his “decision” to become a shaman after his wife suffered a life-threatening illness in 2007. Both of them dedicated their lives to “follow the spiritual path of shamanism” and “their spiritual awareness increased phenomenally.” (Ibid, 178-179) The book contains brief references to several healings for individuals they perform together and to a clearing in Cape Verde: “Spirit had guided [John and his wife] to visit the Cape Verde Islands in order to spiritually heal the area and to facilitate the clearing of negative energies.” (Ibid, 292). That’s it! No further discussion! I would have liked a little more detail about the feeling of being Spirit-led and healing and clearing the islands!! Any discussion of shamanism and healing in this book are brief and seem almost incidental to the story itself. The promotional material released by the publisher touts the book as written for inspirational purposes, to demonstrate from Norseman’s life story the power of forgiveness, how to turn weaknesses into strengths, walking away from negativity and the power of love, among other messages. Norseman tells a good story and it does contain inspirational elements. I would have liked to read about his understanding of what it means to be a shaman. Read this one for the story, not for that understanding.

John Norseman is a practical intuitive and has strong leadership and communication skills. He was CEO of four major companies and has lived in many countries. He has been a shaman since retiring in 2007. He lives in Britain providing spiritual healing, guidance and teaching.


Journey of a Shaman: Life ? The Journey, Spirit ? The Destination on Amazon



About the Author:

Susan Rossi is a Practitioner and Teacher of Shamanic Arts. She is a long-time explorer of The Mysteries – the connections between mind, body, spirit and how to live in right relationship to all of the energies streaming through the cosmos. She works with clients as an astrologer, coach, ceremonialist and guide to the wisdom that each of us has the capacity to access. Her focus is on guiding clients to unblock and rediscover their inner wisdom. Art, exploration of the birth chart, ceremony, legacy writing, hypnotherapy, energetic healing practice and creation of sacred tools are integral pieces of her practice.


Susan trained in Soul Level Astrology with master astrologer Mark Borax. She delights in exploring with individuals the planetary pattern under which their soul choose to incarnate.

Susan Rossi

Open Channel Astrology

Flying to the Heart