Writing as a historian of religion well acquainted with ethnological materials, John A Grim identifies four patterns in the shamanic experience: cosmology, tribal sanction, ritual reenactment, and trance experience. Relating those concepts to the Siberian and Ojibwe experiences, he draws on stories, sociology, anthropology, and psychology to paint a picture of shamanism that is both particularized and interpretative. As religious personalities, shamans are important today because of their singular ability to express symbolically the forces that animate the cosmology. Often identifying themselves with primordial earth processes, shamans develop symbol systems drawn from the archetypal earth images that are vital to their psychic healing technique. This particular ability to resonate with the natural world is felt as an important need in our time. Those readers who identify with American Indians as they confront modern technological society will value this introduction to shamanic traditions and to the religious experience itself. The author's discussion of Ojibwe practices is a comprehensive brief treatment.