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Book reviews for "Medicine-Eagle,_Brooke" sorted by average review score:

Welcoming Spirit Home: Ancient African Teachings to Celebrate Children and Community
Published in Hardcover by New World Library (1999)
Authors: Sobonfu E. Some and Eagle Brooke Medicine
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Reading this book will make life better, more meaningful
The people of the Dagara culture relate to us that children have themselves recently re-emerged (via being born) from the world of the spirit, of the ancestors. They are fresh and full of wonder at being here, still very expressive of the spirit of the other world in all its truthfulness and spontaneity.

Sobonfu's husband [Malidoma Patrice Some] has covered very incisively the funeral and male initiation ceremonies in his three books; Sobonfu, by contrast, goes much more than he (given the stated topic) into such things as the pre-conception naming ritual. Then there is the ritual asking the child [before birth] what he/she is coming to life to be, to accomplish within the community. Then everyone in the community will be able to help the child in every way possible to grow into the person that he/she would be.

And there is the welcoming ceremony done for every child, each who has come on this long journey from the land of the ancestors to the land of the living. One beautiful feature of this is that the other village children (standing together in the next room) imitate the newborn child's first cry as accurately as possible to let the newborn know he/she has come to the right place.

Sobonfu goes into exquisite detail describing the bounteous relationship between children and their grandparents. The old ones are all getting closer to the world of the ancestral spirits, as they are approaching closer to the time they leave this world, whereas the young ones are most familiar with that world, having recently returned from there.

In another chapter she discusses how and why miscarriages occur, how strongly they affect the community (especially the mother and other close relatives), and what this has to do with the world of the ancestors. Then she articulates, once again, the rituals which attend the phenomena to help the grieving process that occurs as a result of this emotionally and spiritually traumatic breach [in the thin, permeable barrier between village life and that of the world beyond].

And there is the bonding ritual [re-commitment between husband and wife], the fertility ritual, and the bonding ritual between the child and its grandparents, as well as other ancillary activities.

Through all these examples she effortlessly and courageously articulates the vision the Dagara have of their life and community, so seamlessly it astounds you - the dawning of this worldview almost sneaks up on one as it gradually takes shape, almost from within the reader's subconscious. Her writing is the equal of that of her husband, as she dynamically melds all aspects together into an interpenetrating, wondrous whole.

"Children are the life-givers, the healers, the messengers of the ancestors. They bring out the spirit of the community - they bring spirit home. Children are embraced, celebrated and supported, for without them there would be emptiness in the hearts of all villagers." [p. 85]

In her last chapter, she recapitulates and outlines in detail how to perform all of the rituals previously mentioned, for the benefit of those here in the West who would like to transit to this most humanizing and spiritual form of community in their own lives. She first gives a summary of how to set up a ritual in general (and how it usually should flow), after which she tells about how dreams and/or storytelling can have a role, as well as how and why healing and integration can take place. For healing of hearts and souls in the community is, if not the primary focus for a given ceremony, always [at the very least] a significant by-product.

For more on the subject of African childrearing and educational practices (as well as how this affects an economy in which women do all the farming), this time from a Kongolese (central African) point of you, be sure to check out the slim volume by Fu-Kiau and Lukondo-Wamba, titled 'Kindezi - the Kongo Art of Babysitting', available at a number of fine university libraries around the world.

Highly Recommended!
This book is infused with wonderful stories and lessons and the beauty and power of ritual from the West African culture. The writer heightens the readers awareness of the importance of each member of community and their roles and contributions and rituals to strengthen each individual thereby the overall village. She presents rituals in such a way that they can be done in America and by you, the reader.

This is a beautiful book.

The gift of children truly appreciated!
I loved reading this book! It helped me to understand so much about my life. The since of community and love that is transfused into the children that are cared for by the methods in this book is a story that needs to be told.The rituals sound wonderful and I only wish that I had this knowledge prior to the birth of my children.This is a book about healing as well as love and honor for all of nature.This book gives wonderful information to instill pride in my African heritage. Prayer and intent are also stressed in this book and I find both to be very powerful forces in my life.

Simply Living: The Spirit of the Indigenous People
Published in Paperback by New World Library (1999)
Authors: Shirley A. Jones and Eagle Brooke Medicine
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Celebrates cultures around the world!
As the number of indiginous societies declines and technology replaces older ways of life, this book celebrates the principles shared by cultures around the world. Editor Shirley Jones has culled bits of wisdom from 240 ethnic groups on every continent, ranging from the restorative power of one's heritage - to making community. The book has a foreword by Brooke Medicine Eagle. - Publishers Weekly Magazine

This is a thought-provoking collection, serious yet fun.
This collection of thoughts from around the world emphasizes that wisdom is not limited to technologically advanced society but, in fact, is often found most profoundly in the simplest of cultures. The editor has assembled words of many people in a manner that shows clearly how related all peoples are, how our thoughts, emotions, and perceptions are not limited by the physical and cultural barriers we normally perceive, and how humor, grace, and insight light up lives in all cultures.

Buffalo Woman Comes Singing: The Spirit Song of a Rainbow Medicine Woman
Published in Paperback by Ballantine Books (Trd Pap) (1991)
Authors: Brooke Medicine Eagle and Eagle Brooke Medicine
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I am very disappointed with this "book". And I use the term "book" loosely, it is really nothing more than one big commercial for her workshops.

New Age Native American stuff
There are people who think that the only way to practice Native American (or any indigenous) spirituality is the traditional way. According to them, Creator and the spirits only listen when they are addressed via rituals established within a tribe-specific context and transmitted unchanged through time. These people will not appreciate Brooke's book (forgetting all the while that most "traditional" Native practices are actually rather recent, at most a couple of hundred yrs old).

What Medicine Eagle is trying to do here is present her experiences and conclusions about the nature of reality and the spirit world. These conclusions are often tentative and one often gets a feeling that her work is still very much in progress. In any case, one can be virtually certain that anyone who writes books about Native American spirituality is either a sincere beginner (who still harbors the illusion that talking about it can be useful) or a shameless exploiter of naive audiences, or both. This book belongs somewhere in between naivete and exploitation. The first part, which deals with her vision quests, is interesting. The second part is a plug for her workshops and is boring.

One chapter I liked was the one on Moshe Feldenkreis. The Westerner tends to be disconnected from his/her body and any spiritual work done under such circumstances can be fruitless or positively dangereous (spirits talk to us through the body and if we are not conscious of the talk, they will tweak the subconscious mind in ways we might not appreciate). Feldenkreis was a true expert in bodymind integration and a combination of his teachings with those of indigenous traditions is a great thing.

Creator has created all of us equal and what (s)he cares about is not the tribe one might belong to but the sincerity of our prayers and a dedication to "save all beings" because all of them are our relations. Spirit has many ways of seeping into our body and expanding our awareness of interconnectedness. Brooke, in this book, shows us her own path towards such awareness. It seems to work for her and maybe it will work for others, too.

Brooke Medicine Eagle is one of the few native medicine teachers that have not been forced by threats of violence to stop teaching non-native peoples. She has consistently through the years been a voice of the rainbow way - joining all peoples together in the celebration and love of Mother Earth. This remarkable book tells of her journey, her visionary call to her work, the long years of training that occurred before she began to teach, and offers many techniques she has found useful in helping promote personal balance on the Earth path. Brooke is one of the remarkable voices of our time - this book offers her voice clear and unfettered. The voice of a contemporary Earth mystic who has been trained in both traditional Native and contemporary healing paths. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

The Last Ghost Dance: A Guide for Earth Mages
Published in Paperback by Ballantine Books (Trd Pap) (31 October, 2000)
Authors: Brooke Medicine Eagle, Brook Medicine Eagle, and Brooke Medicine Eagle
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Very new-agey, not traditional Native American religion. I didn't read it all, I stopped reading when she starting espousing mormon beliefs about Jesus being Quetzecoatl and how he came to America in a conoe to spread the good word. It's like she just picked up the book of mormon, copied it, and added "native" words like "earth mother" and "sky father" to it. Very cheesy. Little too far out, even for me.

READ IT and Believe Anything is Possible
Here is a book of joy for a cynical world. The author does not deny the very real problems we face as individuals and as a global community, but offers solid practices that everyone can take to transform the planet. Full of wisdom and humor, it is also a book that speaks to the spirit in a very personal way. Her words invite you to believe that humans truly can walk in beauty and peace on the Earth instead of behaving like viruses with shoes. Join the last Ghost Dance and feel the joy!!

Partner Earth
Published in Paperback by Destiny Books (1997)
Authors: Pam Montgomery and Eagle Brooke Medicine
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