Book Review – Banishing Snakes with Fire: 13 Rituals to Reclaim Your Authentic Self by James Dey Harris

Book Review

Banishing Snakes with Fire: 13 Rituals to Reclaim Your Authentic Self

by James Dey Harris


238 pages

Publication date: December 30, 2021



Banishing Snakes with Fire is a beautiful book. Author James Dey Harris takes us on a journey through the inner and outer landscapes of his life from childhood and offers us practices to make this journey in tandem with him. He explains that he wrote the book while doing the work – prospectively – inhabiting each phase of his soulful exploration as he recorded it. It’s not a retrospective look at the healing and self-revelation from the mountain top once he’s already arrived, telling us how easy the journey was. Rather, he explains how he did the work while he was in the process of doing it. Reading his words, I felt accompanied and supported on my own journey, a feeling that we are all in this together.

In each one of the 13 chapters, Harris tells part of his personal story, which involves traumatic loss as a 5-year old. He weaves this soul loss through the story of young adulthood, relationships, work – the entire rest of his life – with an insightful perspective on how soul loss impacts so much of how we hold ourselves back from full participation in life. His story unfolds as the book progresses. He invites the reader to participate in the shamanic journey which accompanies that part of the story. These journeys are highly original while being simple to follow. Harris also offers them as guided meditations on
and YouTube
These are free to access even if you have not purchased the book. As his soul work evolves with each step, Harris makes it clear, without dwelling on his “wounds”, how easy it is for words and actions to turn into unintended weapons when we don’t sense our own value. He shares the important “injuries” in his life, without blame, and then offers the reader the antidotes that helped him. We are shown how to step into power and healing and new beginnings.

I really loved this book. I was sent a review copy, and ended up buying a copy in support of this work! It broke my heart open. The clarity, compassion and humor in the writing and the pacing of the story drew me in and made it truly hard to put the book down! Harris’ journey to discovering his authentic self is so personal and relatable. I have read many self-discovery books and more books about shamanism than I care to count – this is the one I wish I had 20 years ago! It is an excellent manual for shamanic healing – the person who experienced it explains the effects of the work for each step! There is no jargon, or need for fancy tools; the journeys presented are clearly explained, easy to follow and yield startling insights. And don’t forget about the guided journeys on a related website and YouTube channel, if you prefer those
to shamanic drumming journeys. The book is also a meditation – each chapter starts with a simple line sketch, drawing you in, followed by a poem underscoring the chapter’s theme, letting you sink into a meditative place. I can envision reading this book again over 13 moons, working with one chapter a month and journaling the effects over the course of a year. I really loved reading Banishing Snakes with Fire and will read it again as its tenderness and beauty continue to work on me.

James Dey Harris is an author, lecturer and workshop presenter, teaching the rituals and techniques highlighted in his new book, “Banishing Snakes with Fire.” Jim has trained with Don Migel Ruiz, Sandra Ingerman, Alberto Villoldo and others. He also has studied sound healing with Jonathan Goldman and Vicki Dodd.

Banishing Snakes with Fire Instagram
Banishing Snakes with Fire Website
Banishing Snakes with Fire on YouTube
Banishing Snakes with Fire on Facebook


Banishing Snakes with Fire 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