There is so much that has been written about shamanism now that something truly original is a rare gem, so Journeys to the Chemical Elements is a delight. Sustainable chemist turned science teacher, Dr Eleanor Johnson, began using shamanic drum journeys to communicate with the elements of the periodic table while studying to be a teacher and her collaboration with Belgian artist, Lies Van Hee, led to this wonderfully illustrated book of stories about the chemical elements.
The author and artist aim to connect people to the elements through storytelling and art, bridging the gap between science and spirituality. I would say they have succeeded perfectly!
Dr Johnson’s credentials as a scientist are without doubt, she studied at Bath University and has a Masters in Chemistry plus a doctorate in Sustainable Chemistry. As her passion for empowering a sustainable scientific industry grew so did her fascination with spiritual practices and training in shamanism gave her space to explore chemistry in a truly innovative way, ‘interviewing’ each of the chemical elements of the periodic table through shamanic journeying.
Journeys to the Chemical Elements is also physically a beautiful publication and large enough to be a ‘coffee table’ book – although that seems to do it a disservice as these are frequently believed to be only of ornamental value and that is certainly not the case here. But it certainly calls (and deserves) to be left on a table or somewhere similar, where everyone can notice it, pick it up and enjoy it – and the content is guaranteed to inspire conversation.
Book Details: Dr Eleanor Johnson. Journeys to the Chemical Elements. Deltor Communications Ltd (30 May 2020). ISBN: 9781916163805
Review Details: Journeys to the Chemical Elements was reviewed by June Kent, editor of Indie Shaman magazine and published in Issue 46.
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