An inspirational tale of new beginnings, Niamh Ni Bhroin’s book The Singing Warrior starts with looking forward to change, a moment of hope, then looks back to relate the pain in the past.
Niamh Ni Bhroin wrote The Singing Warrior following a shamanic healing weekend in 2010 where she underwent a soul retrieval that changed her life. Within a year, she was catapulted into a completely new life, career and way of looking at herself.
Niamh was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1957 to an Irish Catholic family. On her first day at the local convent school for girls a nun tears her ‘beautiful red skirt’ given to her by her much beloved seafaring father and thus began the physical and emotional abuse that continued throughout her primary school years where she was labelled a ‘Whore of Babylon’ by her nun teachers and repeatedly beaten for being left-handed. Age nine, Niamh is raped by a friend’s father and later in life, still a teenager, abducted and gang raped while on holiday in Greece. Niamh relates ‘I was the whore of Babylon after all’.
One of the strengths of the writing in The Singing Warrior is the ability of Niamh Ni Bhroin to relate her tale from the perspective of her age at the time and in a way which makes you able to read her history due to the matter of fact way she relates her story. This is also clearly a tale of hope. Although the reader wants to go back and rescue the little girl you are aware from the beginning that there is no need – Niamh has already rescued herself.
This is not a book specifically about shamanism and indeed the section on Niamh’s shamanic experiences are brief without detail of the practice itself, out of respect for the practitioners. So why review this book in a shamanic magazine? Well even without the interesting synchronicity of seeing the book cover’s portrait of a woman holding a sword just after I had the urge to buy a Neil Geddes-Ward print of a woman holding a sword, it soon became obvious this book has a message for everyone interested in shamanism as well as for all warriors everywhere. The Singing Warrior is recommended reading for all practitioners beginning their own path who may be dealing with their own development as well as facing the personal question ‘is it real’ alongside questions from others about the validity of the work. This book also brings inspiration to all in the very shamanic message that you can find healing, release yourself from ‘what has been’ and discover happiness on your own path. As Niamh ‘answers back’ to a nun towards the end of her primary school life, “The archbishop told me I was an extraordinary girl”. An inspiration, Niamh Ni Bhroin’s book lets us know we are all extraordinary.
Book Details: Niamh Ni Bhroin, The Singing Warrior, Summertime Publishing (2010). ISBN 978-1-904881-31-5.
Review Details: The Singing Warrior was reviewed by June Kent, editor of Indie Shaman magazine and published in Issue 11 (2012).
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