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Medicine Woman

Medicine Woman

2.2 4
by Lynn V. Andrews

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A fascinating Castaneda-like spiritual journey into the wilderness of Manitoba, where Lynn Andrews meets Agnes Whistling Elk, the Native American "heyoehkah,'' or shaman, who will change her life.

Author Biography: Lynn V. Andrews has chronicled her path of self-discovery and her explorations into feminine spirituality in nine books in the "Medicine Woman"


A fascinating Castaneda-like spiritual journey into the wilderness of Manitoba, where Lynn Andrews meets Agnes Whistling Elk, the Native American "heyoehkah,'' or shaman, who will change her life.

Author Biography: Lynn V. Andrews has chronicled her path of self-discovery and her explorations into feminine spirituality in nine books in the "Medicine Woman" series, which include Jaguar Woman, The Woman of Wyrrd, and Shakkai. She is also the author of The Power Deck, a series of self-affirming meditational cards, and Teachings Around the Sacred Wheel, a workbook. Andrews leads seminars across the country and offers an annual intensive retreat. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.11(w) x 8.11(h) x 1.11(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I've seen only one marriage basket in my life. I happen to know that the basket is still in existence. Where, I don't know.

— Hyemeyohsts Storm

"Are you ready?" asked Ivan, anxious to leave.

"Not just yet," I answered. "Believe it or not, I think I've found something interesting."

I had gone to Grover Gallery for the Stieglitz opening with Dr. Ivan Demetriev, a psychiatrist friend of mine. The gallery was packed with the usual art patrons and pretenders to culture, but I had expected that. That wasn't what bothered me. It was the exhibition. It was static, flavorless.

That was before I saw the photograph.

"Wait a minute, Ivan, that can't be a Stieglitz," I said, tugging at his sleeve. We stood before a photograph of an old American Indian basket. Ivan gave it a grudging look, still bored, still anxious to leave.

"That's a fascinating design," I said, looking closer, "but not at all like Stieglitz." I kept peering at the basket, which was haunting. It had an intricate pattern resembling a dolphin with a snake, or with lightning. Even though I am a collector of American Indian art, I had never seen anything to compare with it. There was something unusual about the weave as well. I couldn't tell whether it was coiled or woven, or what. I was entranced by its perfection. No telling where it was from, but it was already on display in my subconscious. Ivan kept frowning and looking to the exits. The print, an 8 x 10, had a mystic sepia quality that I would never have associated withStieglitz. I wondered at what stage he had done it. My eyes fell on the neatly typed paper legend below the picture, and I looked for the date. It was there all right, along with the title, "The Marriage Basket," but I was in for another surprise. The photographer's name was listed as McKinnley. It was a lone island in a sea of Stieglitzes.

Ivan was looking at me impatiently.

"Are you familiar with the photographer, McKinnley?" I asked.

"No, I don't recognize him," he said, pulling my arm. "But I recognize a bunch of phonies and pseudo-intellectuals when I see them, so let's get out of here and get a drink."

"But I want that photograph," I said.

"Come back tomorrow and get it on your own time," Ivan said, brusquely heading for the door.

"At least let me write down the name," I said rustling around unsuccessfully in my purse for a pen. I looked up, saw Ivan waving me outside, and with a sigh decided I could remember "Marriage Basket" and "McKinnley." I ran to catch up with Ivan.

That night the strange dreams began. I couldn't sleep. An owl hooted ominously in the walnut tree outside my bedroom. I pulled the covers up around my face, and lay rigid and silent. As I began to drift towards sleep, images of the marriage basket, dark and mysterious, centered in my night vision. The dream imploded into a wild whirring sound in my consciousness. I awoke with a start and sat upright in bed, wide-eyed, frightened. Then I threw off the covers angrily and stomped into the bathroom. I flicked the light on and rummaged noisily around in the medicine cabinet, glancing suspiciously at the mirrors for any sign of flitting shadows. An aspirin bottle slipped to the floor and broke into a dozen pieces. As I bent to sweep up the pills and glass I banged my head. "Damn."

I took a swig of Alka-Seltzer and lurched back to bed. The room was dark except for wands of moonlight that played on my face. I thought of an Anaïs Nin story in which the heroine basked in the light of the moon, turned and trembled under that awesome glow, and slowly lost her soul. As I dropped off to sleep the owl hooted and the marriage basket loomed in front of me again, this time held out in a foreboding gesture by an old Indian woman with eyes like polished mirrors. The vision kept reappearing until I passed out from exhaustion.

The next thing I knew the phone rang. It was morning.

" Hello," I said, not fully awake.

"Lynn Andrews, please. Grover Gallery returning her call," said a maddeningly cheerful female voice.

"Yes, this is me, she. I left a message with your answering service last night regarding a photograph of a marriage basket that I saw during the Stieglitz exhibition. Will you please hold it for me?"

"A marriage basket, ma'am?"

"Yes, an American Indian marriage basket photographed by McKinnley, I believe. I'm not even sure. I think it was McKinnley."


"Yes, no. An old picture by some photographer."

"Let me check, Ms. Andrews." She put me on hold and the phone was disconnected. The dial tone buzzed.

I hung up and held my aching head. A few moments later the phone rang again.

"Ms. Andrews?"


"We have no such photograph listed by McKinnley or any other photographer."

"What do you mean you don't have the photograph?" I sat bolt upright, suddenly alert.

"There is no record of our having an American Indian marriage basket, Ms. Andrews." Her voice was impatient.

"But that's impossible. I mean, there must be an error. I'll be right down, thank you."

I was strangely obsessed, almost frantic. I wove through traffic to the gallery on La Cienega Boulevard, physically exhausted from the previous night, addled with confusion over the morning phone call, and scornful of their lack of efficiency in simple record keeping. I parked in front and stalked into the gallery. The vast expanse of white walls, the collision of photographs hanging at eye level in every direction, revolted me — as did, at that moment, the entire "in" art scene. The "in" art dealer approached me, scanning my Jaguar sedan outside and my old Gucci bag. The man was sharp-featured, wiry, and pretentious.

Medicine Woman copyright © by Lynn Andrews. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All Rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Lynn Andrews is the author of nineteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers Medicine Woman and Jaguar Woman. A preeminent teacher in the field of personal development and spirituality, she is the founder of the Lynn Andrews Center for Sacred Arts and Training.

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Medicine Woman 2.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book the first time as a good story, I read it the second time for the powerful teachings it contained and each read since has brought new meaning to each lesson. Reading this book was the beginning of a journey into me that not only changed my life, but saved it when my son was killed. The empowerment of our feminine energies is basic to our personal freedom and the growth of our own 'selves'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This clearly is fictitious, to put it kindly. I had seen this book a number of times, and just based on the author's picture, my intuition told me to pass it by. Then someone I trusted recommended it highly. My intuition was correct and my trust in general was misplaced. This book is an offense to any/every American Indian - none of whom I can imagine encouraging a student or disciple to "share" the details of true ceremony and/or ritual. It is a credit to Indian dignity that none have sued this woman for liable. Haven't whites done enough to the American Indian: must we now strip them of their spiritual integrity?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Andrews preys upon those who are searching for answers, by writing a book that dives into a made-up world of 'native' spirituality. If one is familiar with the area she is speaking about in this book, it is clearly false by her descriptions of the weather all by itself. Secondly, many things that she claims her mentors said is clearly incorrect - Katchina, Quetzcoatl, and many other things are not part of Cree. While the writing is immersing, the obvious flaws in her claims jog the reader out of her well-created reverie. This book is not 'autobiographical' it is a work of fiction.