Author: J. T. Garrett and Michael Garrett
Trade Paperback, 220 pages
Publisher: Bear & Co
Publication date: 1996
List: US$14.00, C$22.95
Price & More Info: Click Here
Truth to tell, I know very little about Native American religious beliefs.
That is one of the reasons I requested this book (and the next one I will be
reviewing). The authors are members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee from
North Carolina, and thus have the advantage of speaking from traditional
teachings and knowledge, even though they have developed their own
techniques for passing that knowledge along to those who do not share the
same background and upbringing.
This book, which is divided into two separate parts, is very easy to read
and, if you read it with an open mind, full of valuable information.
Although it is not the ultimate reference on the topic, it is a good
starting point, and well worth the small cost. It is important to realize
that the authors use the term "medicine" to mean more than just healing. In
the Native American experience "medicine" is about the individual's
relationship to the world and all its inhabitants. If you want to learn
about healing techniques, this book is not for you. If you wish to learn
about your place in the world, open this book up and begin the learning
They do not share the rituals and procedures -- those are held as intensely
personal and private, so if that is what you are looking for, you won't find
it here. What you will find is a wealth of stories and experiences which
can be related to by anyone. Native peoples around the world share a common
heritage which permeates, and indeed is, the natural world we all inhabit.
The words used to describe that world and our experiences in it might be
different, but not the actuality of it.
The goal of the authors is to help their readers find the most harmonious
way of living. One of the problems they encounter is that the techniques
they describe are too easy. Many people today expect to have to "work hard"
to gain any useful knowledge. They expect to be challenged and tested.
Learning from stories is foreign to their experience, they want to be given
facts and figures. This modern way is not the way such knowledge has
traditionally been imparted in the families and villages of the past. One
learned from personal experience, and from listening to those who were older
and more experienced as they discussed their own growth and learning
Reviewed by Mike Gleason