Hank Wesselman Trilogy: Spiritwalker, Medicinemaker & Visionseeker

Hank Wesselman’s incredible spiritual experiences led to this fascinating trilogy. One night when he was almost asleep, he felt a peculiar sensation, his bedroom disappeared, and he found himself in a dark forest. He soon realized he was having a vivid out-of-body experience, at least out of his body. Instead, he found himself to be in someone else’s body. If that’s not strange enough, the person he found himself sharing a body with, Nainoa, lives 5000 years in the future, on a dramatically changed coast of California. Through the course of these books, Wesselman and Nainoa each repeatedly experience life in the other’s body. They get to know each other very well, and they both learn a great deal about each other’s time periods, the spirit world, and shamanism. They also conclude that Nainoa must be a reincarnation of Wesselman and may also be a descendant.

Chapters alternate between Wesselman’s life in modern Hawaii and California, followed by Nainoa’s life that takes place nearly 5000 years after the collapse of civilization. I especially enjoyed Nainoa’s adventures as he set off on a mission to explore the interior of what was the United States and has become very wild and desolate. His adventures are not just in the physical plane but also in the spiritual plane, as he becomes acquainted with spiritual helpers that guide him on his way.

As Nainoa is learning about the spirit world, Hank Wesselman also starts to explore shamanism and communicating with the spirit world. At the start of the series, Wesselman describes himself as a scientist, one who “would have scoffed at the very idea of such a connection” for most of his life. He holds a doctorate in anthropology from UC Berkeley, has done fieldwork throughout the world, and has taught anthropology at a variety of colleges. Now, roughly 30 years after the start of his spiritual adventures, Wesselman teaches shamanism and is also the author of Awakening to the Spirit World.

Brief Summary of Each Book:


The first book of the series introduces us to Nainoa and his people, which are living a life like native Polynesians or Hawaiians, on the California coast. Nainoa travels east, searching for horses and other people.

In the meantime, Hank Wesselman provides insight, from an anthropologist’s point of view, while sharing details of his life on a small farm in Hawaii. He also travels to Ethiopia, on an anthropologic expedition, seeking the origins of mankind.


Nainoa returns to his village, shares the knowledge he’s gained, and becomes a kahuna chief.
Hank Wesselman moves from Hawaii to California to teach anthropology and develop his shamanism skills.


During much of this book, Nainoa is a spiritual retreat center learning more about the spirit world, while Hank learns through their shared spiritual experiences.

I found all three books to be hard to put down. They are well written, with captivating stories, fascinating information on shamanism and the spirit world, and they all contain an important message. We need to wake up and shift our values, treating nature, each other, and our planet with more respect. If we don’t, our civilization won’t continue.