Grandmothers of the Light: A Medicine Woman's Workbook

Overview

This extraordinary collection of goddess stories from Native American civilizations across the continent, Paula Gunn Allen shares myths that have guided female shamans toward an understanding of the sacred for centuries.

In Grandmothers of the Light, a collection of goddess stories gleaned from the vast oral tradition of Native America, the author evokes a world of personal freedom and communal harmony, of free communication among people, animals, and spirits, of ...

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Overview

This extraordinary collection of goddess stories from Native American civilizations across the continent, Paula Gunn Allen shares myths that have guided female shamans toward an understanding of the sacred for centuries.

In Grandmothers of the Light, a collection of goddess stories gleaned from the vast oral tradition of Native America, the author evokes a world of personal freedom and communal harmony, of free communication among people, animals, and spirits, of magic and its discipline, of balance between the scared and the mundane.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A collection of Native American creation myths in which goddesses do all the work and even get the credit … We need more of these wonderful tales.” – Village Voice
 
Allen’s gift is for teasing out the spirit of myths whose original character was lost to the depredations of colonists and cavalry, the expectations of anthropologists and the pressure of priests and bureaucrats … She introduces each group of myths the way you’d introduce one very good friend to another – with affection, intelligence and a sense that a powerful relationship between reader and story is about to begin.” – Boston Globe
 
At a time when healing the planet has become critical, reclaiming our connection to Mother Earth and to the sacred has never been so important. This book offers us all a chance to reconnect to the power and balance of the feminine.” – Shaman’s Drum
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Whatever Allen's source of inspiration may be (she claims to channel the teachings of Native American goddesses), these 21 mythic tales constitute a well-structured feminist guidebook to spiritual realms. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Allen's first two books, The Sacred Hoop (Beacon, 1986) and Spider Woman's Granddaughter (Beacon, 1989), focused on the feminine aspect of Native American tradition. This revelation continues in her current, very personal book. Allen retells 21 goddess stories from several North American traditions (Cherokee, Dine, Aztec, Maya) and adds her perspective on the meaning and contemporary importance of these stories for Anglos and Native Americans. The recovery of respect for complementary polarity and gynecratic tribal values are central to her vision of the interrelationship of the human and supernatural worlds. Readers of Lynn V. Andrews's books will find similar material from a different perspective here. Recommended. See also Florinda Donner's Being-In-Dreaming: An Initiation into the Sorcerer's World , reviewed in this issue, p. 98.--Ed.-- Lucy Patrick, Florida State Univ. Lib., Tallahassee
Booknews
Allen (English, UCLA) is a Laguna Pueblo/Sioux Indian and an authority on Native American literature and spirituality. She retells and interprets 21 stories from civilizations spanning North America, including Chippewa, Okonagon, Iroquois, and Lakota--stories that have, for centuries, guided female shamans toward an understanding of the sacred. Distributed by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807081037
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 9/1/1992
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 268
  • Sales rank: 819,203
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Paula Gunn Allen is professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an American Indian of Laguna Pueblo and Sioux heritage. She is author of many books, including The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Tradition and editor of  Spider Woman’s Granddaughters: Traditional Tales and Contemporary Writing by Native American Women, which won an American Book Award in 1990.

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