HomePublicationsIn the Tracks of the Tracker magazineWinter-Spring 1994

In the Tracks of the Tracker magazine - Winter-Spring 1994

Book Reviews
Dale Scully

Iroquois Stories: Heroes and Heroines Monsters and Magic, as told by Joseph Bruchac.
This is a "how to" with entertainment and honor for those who did not grow up in the Native way. One can come to appreciate and have an understanding (in part) of the stories as more than just stories. They are in fact, if taken into the heart, a way of life. It is recommended for grades five and up but children of all ages can take into themselves that little "nugget" (Grandmother Twylah's word) that is just right at this time in their life. Also recommended by the authors of Through Indian Eyes.

The Indian Way - Learning to Communicate With Mother Earth, by Gary McLain. This quiet little book sits on the shelf and is often overlooked by those who are looking for something more "in depth" to share with their children. One should not be fooled by these full moon stories, most of which are only a page and a half long. Each story is closely related to the other, helping us learn how closely we are related to our environment. The real gem comes in the Experiences section, an application of the stories plus information on things brought up in the stories such as the different parts of a Sweat Lodge through Native understanding. Share this book with young children grades K through 3. "It is good."

For the adults, a teasing of the mind and senses. I recommend two books in a kind of comparison study. The first, Other Council Fires Were Here Before Ours, by Jamie Sams and Twylah Nitsch, is a story (if that's the way choose to look at it) told by Geeh Yuk, or Seven Talents, to Twylah Nitsch. Gram refuses to call it her book! This book tells of the seven worlds of which we have just left the fourth world of separation.

The other book, The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure, by James Redfield, is an adventure-story of the greatest magnitude. Once you read these and see the similarities between the seventh world and the ninth insight you'll be left wondering where the story ends and the truth begins.

Now for something for those who are tired of being shut in and look to warm weather and Powwows. Indian America: A Traveler's Companion, is loaded with information. It is divided into geographic areas and each area has listed in it the tribes, location, public ceremony or Powwow dates, art forms and visitor information. Interspersed among this information are photographs and pieces of history.
Remember to read the Introduction. If you are looking for something more to the point, Powwow - 1994 Calendar is out. This is a guide to other events of interest to Trackers with dates, places, and phone numbers. There is some vital information in the Preface for those who are just beginning their Powwow tours. Read this carefully that you may honor the Native Peoples and what they are bringing to the rest of the world.

Dreaming With The Wheel, by Sun Bear, Wabun Wind and Shawnodese.
    What does it mean if you dream of a goose, a bear, an eagle or a buffalo? Does a dream set in springtime mean something different from one set it winter? If you dream of the twilight, what does that tell you about your spiritual development?
    You'll find answers to these and many other questions in Dreaming With The Wheel.
This is the first book to explore the dreamtime from the unique perspective of the Medicine Wheel system. It will help readers both to understand the strength and power of their own dreams, and to integrate the symbols of their dream world into their everyday lives. For cultures that lived close to the earth, dreaming has always been an especially important part of life. Dreaming With The Wheel helps contemporary readers understand the importance of their own dreams by presenting a wide variety of dreamtime and visionary experiences which range from the psychological, to the shamanic, to the prophetic.
    The first section of the book evokes the atmosphere of a dreaming workshop in which the reader steps into the council circle with the coauthors and their students and guest teachers, including Brooke Medicine Eagle and Dr. Steven Foster. The discussion revolves around personal dreams and visions as well as dreaming practices throughout the world. There are practical, real-life suggestions to help remember and understand dreams, deal with nightmares, and filter out troublesome emotional elements. The reader is given a choice of many hands-on, dynamic methods for working with his/her own dreams.
The second section of the book presents "A Dream Language of the Earth," a glossary of symbols springing from the natural world and from earth cultures. The symbols are presented with informative, tricky and transcendent meanings. They will help the reader construct a whole new dream language. Finally, there is an appendix with exercises to help harness these powerful new teachings.
Dreaming With The Wheel is a down-to-earth exploration of the boundaries between the subconscious and the conscious, and the fascinating world we know as dreaming.
    This is the latest book in the Medicine Wheel series which began with a vision of the return of the Medicine Wheel that came to Sun Bear, a Native American visionary and teacher. 
    In The Medicine Wheel: Earth Astrology, the principles of Sun Bear and Wabun's Medicine Wheel system were established. The following year the Bear Tribe sponsored the first Medicine Wheel Gathering near Mt. Ranier, Washington, in which Tom Brown was a main teacher. There have been over sixty Medicine Wheel Gatherings throughout the United States and in Europe since that time, with three scheduled for 1994.
  Review by Laure Washington

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The Tracks of the Tracker magazine:   Fall 1993  •  Winter-Spring 1994

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