AXIS: Dark Shaman
Griffin Roark is happy enough herding cattle with his family throughout the deserts of Arizona and Mexico, living a rugged cowboy’s life. But when gang violence rips his family apart, his near death experience initiates Griffin into a secret world—the rich ancient realm of shamans and vision quests, accessible to him by the rhythms of electronic music and outrageous after-hours warehouse parties. Thrown into a ruthless urban environment and urgently struggling with his newfound shamanic abilities, Griffin must recover the source of the gang’s power to stop their virulent spread before the future of three worlds is lost.
Axis is grounded in the very real tradition of shamanism. Anthropologists consider shamanism humanity’s earliest form of religious expression. Throughout history, all over the world, people have used drums and rattles to sink into a deep trance as they shift their attention to inner journeys of the spirit. Though Griffin uses modern means, he carries out the age-old tradition of spirit travel using the “Axis Mundi,” the ladder at the center of the world.
The millions of readers who have grown up under the enchanted cloak of Harry Potter and now enjoy Meyer’s Twilight books, are ready to trade in their magic wands for fantasy with stronger undertones of realism, but they will never be ready to stop dreaming, exploring new worlds, and finding a deeper connection to the environment. Axis takes fantasy where Nancy Farmer’s House of the Scorpion takes science fiction. Since the dawn of time, this has been the role of shamans: to serve as visionaries and guide us all through the extraordinary dreamscape of the human psyche.
Ashley Nebelsieck was born in Hyannis, Massachusetts, and graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Art and Religious Studies and a MA in Counseling Psychology. Her first book, The Backdoor to Enlightenment, (Random House, 2008,) co-authored with Tibetan monk, Za Choeje Rinpoche featured in O(prah) Magazine. She currently lives and writes in Phoenix, Arizona.