BOOK REVIEWS

 

 

CHEROKEE ASTROLOGY
Animal Medicine in the Stars
By Raven Hail

This short book explains the Cherokee Sacred Calendar, how to find and interpret your Natal Day, then goes on to detail twenty-one “signs” such as the turtle, the whirlwind and the hearth, so we can better understand an ancient astrological system not well known in the modern world. It is basically a “how to” for utilizing the Cherokee system in today’s world.

One belief of the Cherokee was that the moon was the father of all children. The name of every child was determined with respect to its position within the universe at the time of his or her birth. Another ancient myth is that all people came to earth from the brightest star in the cluster.

Other ideas are that death is equated with the setting of the sun in the west. It also provides an ephemeris through 2015 so that you can determine what numbers and signs rule the date of your birth as well as their influence on your destiny.

The author, Raven Hail, is an elder of the Cherokee nation and provides not only an explanation of the system, but also how it can determine a significance that is larger than life and is a strong basis for understanding the Cherokee system as well as how to apply it in your daily life.

Published by Bear & Company, this book is available at your local bookstore or at www.innertraditions.com .

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard


WEATHER SHAMANISM
Harmonizing Our Connection with the Elements
By Nan Moss with David Corbin

This book taps into the legacy of ancestral knowledge and will introduce you to the ceremonial and therapeutic aspects of “weather dancing,” a practice used to communicate with weather spirits. The book also includes examples of events, like honoring a hurricane and weather working along with special instruction and ceremonies to achieve these practices.

The authors have been faculty members of Michael Harner’s Foundation for Shamanic Studies and also teach courses at the Esalen Institute. They have researched and taught about the spiritual aspects of weather since 1997.

They believe, that as Shamanic practitioners, they can communicate directly with weather spirits and can help heal some of today’s and tomorrow’s weather events. It is about making us aware of and bringing forth ancient wisdom and practices to relieve some of the earth’s immediate suffering, such as the increased intensity of damage in recent weather events.

Weather affects every aspect of our lives, even our internal organs. Weather working was practiced in ancient days and the authors point out that if we communicate with the weather, we can use this knowledge and practice to not only increase our overall spirituality and relationship with nature, but we can modify it for the better, without the use of contemporary, mechanical means.

Published by Bear & Company, this book is available at your local bookstore or at www.innertraditions.com .

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard


THE PROMISE
Revealing the Purpose of Your Soul
By Therèse Tappouni

Despite the inherent uncertainty of the world, we can find guidance, comfort and individual personal truth by uncovering our deepest purpose. Our life’s occurrences reveal our soul’s purpose, which can only be discovered through telling your truth and recognizing when you are out of step with your real purpose.

Tappouni has combined wisdom and insight to create a spiritual path for her life and work. She is a Time Dimension Therapist, Somatic Intuitive Practitioner, and hypnotherapist. However, she creates her life’s work most typically through writings and workshops.

The author reminds us that despite changes in our lives, the one thing that is consistent is love. Our soul never changes but when we seek our individual truth, our understanding of our soul changes. The first three sections deal with background information on the author’s own journey as well as experiences with others who have been successful in this process.

The following parts deal with finding your path of truth and using energy work through exercises and practices. Also included here are essentials for beginning, such as visualization and chakra work. A later section also addresses grief and forgiveness.

Finally, there is information to use with the accompanying CD so your spiritual path is a positive experience. Along with recommended resources, there are a few appendices that are specific to women and quite enlightening with historical information and ancient myths.

Published by Synergy Books, this book is available at your local bookstore or at the website: www.isisinstitute.org.

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard


THE PROMISE ­ CD
Walking Your Path of Truth
Meditations Written and Read by Therèse Tappouni

This 72-minute CD is meant to support and augment this book by guiding the listener through beginning techniques in breathing, relaxation and meditation, then moving on to some more advanced visualization and imagery. The author helps us become aware of our higher self and energy from within and move on to showing us how to achieve guidance from the outside by opening our hearts and accessing our higher selves.

Some of the traditional misconceptions on how we meditate are also broken. For example, the author encourages us to not only breathe and relax but also to find a place and position that is most comfortable. She tells us that we can even meditate while lying in bed. And, she includes some tips on acupressure and acupuncture points we can utilize while using these guided exercises.

The CD includes a section on personal healing and how to reach our healing guides and invite them into our “meditation garden” as well as how to work through the grieving process. The musical piece is specifically included to be used in conjunction with the meditation exercises in the book.

Finally, through a meditation that is best described as a sacred feminine journey, she invites us to connect our two paths, the ones of past and present, and unite them in acknowledging and honoring our female self.

Awards for the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards were presented in Los Angeles on May 30th at a banquet honoring the winners. Therèse Tappouni of the Tampa Bay area was the bronze medalist in the category of Women’s Issues for her book “The Promise: Revealing the Purpose of Your Soul,” selected from more than 3,000 entries.

Produced by Darlene Koldenhoven and Therèse Tappouni, this CD is available at www.isisinstitute.org.

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard


MODERN SHAMANS
By Nancy DeYoung

For readers seeking healing methods for self healing or to help heal others, Nancy DeYoung has written this wondrous and easy-to-read book about her journey as a healer and the methods of the “etheric clearing” process that she discovered leads to self-empowerment. She emphasizes that anyone can learn and do the exercises for themselves. Etheric clearing is simply explained as emptying the baggage of experiences we humans all carry, such as past traumas and unresolved fear.

She shares her story of healing experiences that started with a trip to Egypt and then led to her own healing. Unexpectedly, she found herself evolving into a healer for herself and others like a modern shaman.

DeYoung carefully outlines the tools that a modern shaman must utilize to obtain the desired state of self-confidence, clearer boundaries, more balanced relationships, wisdom and greater bliss that we can learn and bring to ourselves and others.

Published by Nancy DeYoung, the book is available at your local bookstore or at www.ndeyoung.com

Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis


THE AQUARIANS
An Ancient
Mayan Prophecy
A Modern Phenomenon
By Eric Rankin

Are you ready for the year 2012? This question is presented to the reader in The Aquarians, a fiction novel by Southern California author, Eric Rankin. He credits many local marine-oriented establishments and scientists as sources of his research for this riveting novel that lends intrigue and credibility to the storyline.

Rankin himself has traveled around the world studying and swimming with dolphins, both wild and tame. This novel is about how a Southern California TV celebrity is thrust into an ever-expanding mystery of coincidence and discovery.

He is about to learn how his professional involvement with a U.S. Naval officer, dolphin trainer and a marine scientist at Sea World in San Diego relates to dolphins, an ancient Mayan prophecy and the very fate of humanity. Together, they learn that the Mayan calendar — the most incredibly accurate time-keeping device ever created — predicts that time as we know it will cease to exist on December

1st, 2012 at 11:11.
What comes into question during their adventure is the literal definition of the end of time. Were the Mayans envisioning an apocalyptic nightmare, or did they foresee a hopeful new beginning for humanity? The Aquarians answers this question by incorporating scientific fact, respected theory and a true phenomenon currently sweeping the globe into an enlightening work of fiction.

Published by iUniverse, The Aquarians is available at your local bookstore. Learn more at www.myspace.com/TheAquarians

Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis


LONGINUS
Book I of The Merlin Factor
By Steven Maines

Who was the Roman Centurion that stabbed Jesus while he hung from the Cross? He is mentioned twice in the New Testament but not by name. What became of the Centurion and his legendary spear?
Longinus: Book I of The Merlin Factor tells the story of Gaius Cassius Longinus, the battle-hardened Centurion of Rome who is assigned to guard the crucified Jesus. But while guarding Jesus, Longinus stabs him in the ribs with his spear, ensuring Jesus’ death. After that fateful day Longinus flees Rome, narrowly escaping the Roman priests who want to take the spear and its supposed power for themselves.

This book follows the Centurion’s life from his love for the prostitute Irena to his mystical studies with the Druids of Gaul. But it also reveals Longinus’ profound spiritual awakening through his Druidic studies and the spear that speaks to him with the voice of Jesus.

The book shows, in fictional form, an ordinary man’s unfolding to his own inner potential, his own inner Merlin — a title and level of achievement within the ranks of Druids — which is that seemingly magical part in each of us that displays infinite potential.

This novel is targeted toward readers who are interested in historical fiction containing action/adventure, a love story and spiritual awakening. It can appeal to those who normally shy away from stories that delve into religious history and philosophy.

Published by Purple Haze Press, the book is available at your local bookstore and www.purplehazepress.com. Learn more at www.stevenmaines.com

Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis


WHITE BUFFALO WOMAN TRILOGY
By Heyoka Merrifield

As a renowned ceremonial artist making sculptural works of great beauty and power, Heyoka has brought forth more fertile work of remarkable potency in the White Buffalo Woman Trilogy. In this set of books, Heyoka offers his own creative account of White Buffalo Calf Woman, the story of the holy woman messenger and messiah, a primary mythos among the Lakota and other Plains Indians.

Heyoka’s life is informed by Creator/Creatoress as reflected through nature, whether it is in his own personal spirit questing, working as a renowned visual artist, or in this work, intended to be the grateful giveaway of his lifelong wisdom gathering.

Heyoka has entered the Sacred Void and brought back a living story showing strength that comes from living in harmony with spiritual Source and nature. Like his radiant and vibrant ceremonial art, the work in this trilogy is luminous with the power of spirit. Its message is an inspiring call to greater awareness and action; as humans, it is our work to create ways to live in sustainable community together.

Having come back from another deep quest, this visionary  medicine man has digested understanding from many strands of the world’s spiritual traditions to produce this notable work. True to the Native phrase, “All My Relations,” the White Buffalo Woman Trilogy offers a vision that addresses the universal spirit in one and all.

Regarding the Native prophecy of the White Buffalo, Heyoka has commented that “the birth of many white buffalo calves in the past few years is a sign that this archetypal peacemaking power has returned to the earth.”

Published by Beyond Words Publishing, this book is available at your local bookstore and www.heyoka-art.com

Reviewed by Donna Strong

 


Return to the July/August Index page