The Heart of Life

Shamanic Initiation & Healing in the Modern World

The Heart of Life is an exploration into the depths of what it means to be alive, when the ‘cellophane packaging we wrap around life to keep it safe and sterile has been unwrapped and discarded’. It reveals how the ancient path of shamanism and indigenous wisdom can offer us solutions to the many problems facing the modern world, both global and collective. It offers a unique cosmology that explores how these problems, from potential global ecological catastrophe to the multitude of mental and physical illnesses afflicting individuals, are intrinsically linked and how they can be treated. How the soul sickness that is affecting the modern world may well be the initiation we are going through as a species.

This is illustrated through the personal and professional experiences of contemporary shaman Jez Hughes, who cured himself successfully of convulsive fits and mental illnesses using shamanic methods and has since gone on to treat thousands of people in the same way.

Reviews & endorsements

A courageous and sincere exploration of how to travel the shamanic path in 21st century England. With our ever increasing global ecocide this book addresses the problems and associated dis-ease of our being apart from Nature rather than being a part of Nature. ~ Dr David Luke, Senior Lecturer of Psychology, University of Greenwich and author of 'Talking with the Spirits: Ethnographies from Between the Worlds'

Jez Hughes is a remarkable healer, psychic and visionary. His new book, ‘The Heart of Life – Shamanic Initiation & Healing’, recounts the need in our modern era for initiation and re-birth. He talks about ancestors, death and initiation in a fresh way; educating the reader about the importance of remembering our ancestors.

Our modern world is out of balance. The root of this could be our fear of death and disconnection with the natural world. Jez talks in a frank way drawing on personal experiences to show the importance of spiritual/ shamanic initiation as a bridge into the unseen world, thus allowing for greater spiritual transformation and acceptance of death. I recommend Jez’s book for all people searching for meaning amidst the chaos of western living. ~ John Lockley, Sangoma (Traditional South African Shaman) and author of Leopard Warrior

This is the first book by Jez Hughes, who also wrote the lead article in this issue of Sacred Hoop. The book is about living and sacred connectedness, and it’s written from a shamanic view-point, encouraging the reader to take on a more animistic life, and giving pointers and examples as to how this can be achieved. It’s also part autobiographical, as Jez talks openly about his own path, his own ‘separations’ and his own search for healing.
Thankfully, it is not another one of that plethora of ‘How to Become a Shaman’ books that fall onto my review pile far too often, but instead quietly and articulately points out the dis-ease at the core of our culture and offers thoughtful reflective answers to both its nature and its remedy. It’s plant-spirit based in some places - because that is Jez’s personal path - but if that is not your cup of [ayahuasca] tea you won’t find the book grating in those sections. A thoughtful observed and clearly reasoned book. - Nicholas Breeze Wood, Sacred Hoop Magazine

In The Heart of Life author Jez Hughes takes a thoughtful and insightful look into how the path of shamanism can bring solutions to the many current issues the human race suffers, both collectively and as individuals. 
The author includes aspects from his own personal life story and experiences – it was during his first seizure as a child he first encountered a sensation he could only describe as ‘absolute ecstasy’. This was followed by a period of ill health, self-medication, travel, exploration and the search for personal healing. His initiation lasted a long time, over 15 years, at the end of which he felt connected to a far bigger reality. Following his own healing from shamanism Hughes went on to become a healer and teacher.
As Hughes states he is ‘deeply physiological as a person, as might be blindingly obvious through reading this book!’ and The Heart of Life is an in-depth, honest and interesting read into his personal insight, experiences and discoveries as well as relating these to the wider picture/issues demonstrating how the practices of shamanism are very much needed today. - June Kent, Indie Shaman Magazine

The author engages our attention – mind, heart and soul – from the very first page, and walks us through an intense process of insight which is both deeply personal, but also has wider collective significance. Written in an accessible and honest way, this book addresses the suffering of our troubled times, dismantling false beliefs and encouraging us to align ourselves once again with the ancient ways. He offers a cosmology which supports the reality that darkness, illness and affliction may be the very portals through which we enter, individually and collectively, into an initiation, a rite of passage, a healing. A brave work, to be celebrated and savoured. - Melanie Reinhart, Psychotherapist, Astrologer and author of Chiron and the Healing Journey

And over twenty five 5 star Amazon Reviews:

‘Highly readable and very worthwhile’… ‘Incredible, must read!’… ‘It might just change your life’… ‘Highly recommended, practical, sensible and well written’… ‘A book to be grateful for’… ‘An inspiring read…’

‘AMAZING! I have read a lot of spiritual books/self development books/shamanic books and this has to be the best I've ever read there is nothing quite like it. Jez has such a profound around of wisdom. It is easy to read, beautiful, authentic, unapologetic and worth every penny! Highly highly recommend! Thank you Jez for sharing your gift with the world!’

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