Noel, Daniel C.

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Noel, Daniel C. (1936–2002) – A scholar of the psychology of religion and myth (particularly Celtic and Native American), religion and the arts, and Jungian studies, Noel taught and lectured widely in the United States and overseas, most recently as professor emeritus in the Mythological Studies Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, California, and visiting professor of liberal studies in religion and culture at Vermont College, Norwich University, Montpelier, Vermont. Recognized as an authority on Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, he is the author of Paths to the Power of Myth: Joseph Campbell and the Study of Religion (1990), and he wrote a critical response to Carlos Castaneda’s fictional anthropology entitled Seeing Castaneda: Reactions to the “Don Juan” Writings (1976). Noel’s neo-Jungian approach to shamanism, as exemplified in The Soul of Shamanism: Western Fantasies, Imaginal Realities (1997), proposed that neo-shamanism originates in the works of “shamanovelists” (such as Mircea Eliade and Castaneda) and “shamanthropologists” (including Michael Harner) and that, as such, shamanism is a Western construct. Noel argued that the figure of Merlin as shamanic psychopomp, activated by the power of the imagination (“imaginal”), offered a shamanism that was more suitable to Westerners than to indigenous practices or previous neo-shamanisms derived from these (e.g., the entheogen-based shamanism of Castaneda).


Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007


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