Shiva: The Wild God of Power and Ecstasy

Excerpts & Samples

By Wolf-Dieter Storl

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Wolf-Dieter Storl

Wolf-Dieter Storl
Wolf-Dieter Storl, Ph.D., is a cultural anthropologist and ethnobotanist who has taught at Kent State University as well as in Vienna, Berne, and Benares. He is coauthor of Witchcraft Medicine and has written a number of books on indigenous culture and ethnobotany. He lives in Allgäu, Germany.



An extensive look at all the aspects of multi-natured Shiva

• Explores the shamanic roots of world spirituality as exemplified by this Hindu god who shares many of the attributes of the Norse Odin and the Celtic Cernunnos

• Looks at Shiva’s relation to contemporary culture, Tantra, and the dualistic religions of the West

To his devotees Shiva is the entire universe and the core of all beings. Hindu myth shows him appearing at the beginning of creation as a giant pillar of fire from which this world sprang forth. Yet he is also the most approachable of gods, for he is the lover of lovers and the devotee of his devotees. Of the 1,008 names of Shiva, Pashupati, Lord of Animals, is one of the most common. His special relation to animals along with his trickster nature reveal the deep connection of Shiva to shamanism and other gods such as the Norse Odin and the Celtic Cernunnos that came out of the Paleolithic traditions.

Ethnologist Wolf-Dieter Storl was first captivated by Shiva when he was in India as a visiting scholar at Benares Hindu University. In this book he invites readers to join in the lively and mythical world of Shiva, or Mahadev, God of All Gods. Shiva is a study in contrasts: As the lord of dance he looses himself in ecstatic abandon; with his consort Parvati he can make love for 10,000 years. Both men and women worship him for his ability to unite and balance masculine and feminine energies. But as the ascetic Shankar he sits in deep meditation, shunning women, and none dare disturb him lest he open his third eye and immolate the entire universe. Lord of intoxicants and poisons, he is the keeper of secret occult knowledge and powers, for which he is worshipped by yogis and demons alike. Shiva dances both the joy of being and the dance of doom--but in every aspect he breaks through the false ego to reveal the true self lying within. This is his true power.
“An intimate portrait of Shiva, that most complex of Hindu Gods. Reading this book is like finding an oasis in the desert of monotheism.”
Claudia Mueller-Ebeling, Ph.D., and Christian Rätsch, Ph.D., coauthors of Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas and Witchcraft Medicine

“Discusses the roots and the manifestations of Shiva, the original mystic, and his relevance to modern life in both the East and the West. This book will amuse, shock, and, most important, provoke readers to think about their own cherished conceptions of the world.”
John R. Baker, professor of anthropology and translator of The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants, Marijuana Medicine, and Plants of Love

“An encyclopedic and highly inspiring account of Shiva.”
Franz-Theo Gottwald, Ph.D., philosopher and Indologist

"This thorough, academic book will interest students of comparative religions, Eastern philosophies."
Kathy Heckler, New Age Retailer, Trends 2005 Vol. 19, No. 3

“Wolf-Dieter Storl expertly traces the history of the lore of Shiva through the influences of invading cultures and religions, and relates a wide variety of seemingly diverse influences to Shiva’s story such as the Celtic Christian legend of the Holy Grail. As engaging and entertaining as he is informational, Storl opens the reader’s eyes to Hindu culture and religion as though one is a tourist traveling the land for the first time.”
Spirit of Change, July/August 2005

“In Shiva, Storl creates a vibrant and comprehensive portrait of this omnipresent wild god.”
Spirit of Change, July/August 2005