Thirteen Original Clan Mothers: Your Sacred Path to Discovering the Gifts, Talents, and Abilities of the Feminin


Jamie Sams, a member of the Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge, brings us a powerful new method for honoring and incorporating native feminine wisdom into our daily lives. Combining a rich oral tradition—passed on to her by two Kiowa Grandmothers, Cisi Laughing Crow and Berta Broken Bow—with the personal healing and guidance she has experienced through her female Elders, Sams created The 13 Original Clan Mothers. Each of the Clan Mothers reflects a particular teaching, relates to a cycle of the moon, and possesses special ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$13.16 price
(Save 30%)$19.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (65) from $2.81   
  • New (12) from $10.08   
  • Used (53) from $2.81   
Sending request ...


Jamie Sams, a member of the Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge, brings us a powerful new method for honoring and incorporating native feminine wisdom into our daily lives. Combining a rich oral tradition—passed on to her by two Kiowa Grandmothers, Cisi Laughing Crow and Berta Broken Bow—with the personal healing and guidance she has experienced through her female Elders, Sams created The 13 Original Clan Mothers. Each of the Clan Mothers reflects a particular teaching, relates to a cycle of the moon, and possesses special totems, talents, and gifts that can help each of us cultivate our own personal gifts and talents.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Ken Carey
I consider The 13 Original Clan Mothers to be among the most important books of our times.
Whole Life Times
Contains the wisdom we needed to be told when there was no language . . . Ancient though [the stories] may be, our need for nurturing the spirit remains the same.
Brooke Medicine Eagle
Will bless your life, and the full Circle of Life, with wholeness and holiness.
Library Journal
Sams, a Native American medicine teacher, is probably best known for developing ``medicine cards'' and ``sacred path cards'' as tools for self-discovery. In this book, she draws on her own 18-year search for spiritual truth. Sams's spiritual understanding comes from Native American traditions but is not derived solely from the teachings of any one tribe. The primary focus of her spiritual quest involves the wisdom of 13 ``original clan mothers''--described as the 13 aspects of the feminine principle of life. Each clan mother represents a lesson in the development of feminine wisdom. Symbolic stories demonstrate the path to self-knowledge taken by each clan mother. Sams's book can serve as a useful guide for those interested in pursuing self-transformation. It should be of value to libraries with collections on Native American and women's spirituality.-- Elizabeth Salt, Otterben Coll. Lib., Westerville, Ohio
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062507563
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/1994
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 470,765
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Jamie Sams is a member of the Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge. She is the coauthor of Medicine Cards™:The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals, author of The Sacred Paths Workbook, and (with Twylah Nitsch) Other Council Fires Were Here Before Ours.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

My Healing Quest Vision
of the Thirteen
Clan Mothers' Shields

The Medicine Shields of the Thirteen Original Clan Mothers are a part of the ancient legend that surrounds the life lessons and the gifts each Clan Mother gives to humankind. In the Americas, the lodges, palaces, and temples that carry emblems of Turtle are reminders to our modern world that the legacy of the Sisterhood is still alive. Whether carved in stone like the Turtle Temples of the Mayans in the Yucatan, or painted on frescoes in the Toltec and Inca places of worship, or carved in petroglyphs across North America, these emblems of Turtle represent our connections to the Earth Mother and her thirteen different aspects, the Original Clan Mothers.

Oral history tells us that each Clan Mother made a Medicine Shield that represented her talents, strengths, and abilities. These traits could be called on by anyone who chose to develop those same gifts within the Orenda of the Self. Orenda, in the Seneca language, is the Spiritual Essence that contains the Eternal Flame of Love where the Great Mystery lives inside all things. The Orenda houses the guiding light and the inner voice that teaches us our potential and our greatest capacity to love and to be loving.

In ancient times, to call on the spirit of one of the Thirteen Wisdom Keepers, a person needed to focus on the identity and abilities of that particular Clan Mother. To connect to the spiritual identity of a Clan Mother's Medicine, we need to Enter Tiyoweh. This discipline is the Indian way of calming the mind and sitting in the Stillness, to listen or receive. The ceremony of Entering Tiyoweh isalways done alone, away from the bustle of daily activity. Then, the person uses focus to invite a particular Clan Mother into the fertile silence of her or his Sacred Space, allowing the purity of her or his heart to send the unspoken invitation. Since the Clan Mothers were never physically described, their Medicine Shields were often used as the focal point, held gently in the mind's eye. The person seeking the wisdom held by a Clan Mother was then able to allow the receptive side of her or his nature to be visited. This visitation was not from the Spirit World as with an Ancestor's Spirit but rather was an inward journey that rekindled the flame of the thirteen aspects of feminine transformation from within the female side of human nature.

Grandmothers Cisi and Berta were fine teachers and always told me that the Thirteen Clan Mothers never appear in the same manner or form to anyone seeking their counsel. By using the ability to appear as all of the faces of womankind, the Clan Mothers can touch and teach each individual in a unique way. This flexibility of form is important since equality is one of the foundations of their teachings. If they appeared in the same form to everyone, it would be too easy for us, as human beings with human limitations, to brag that some of the Clan Mothers' talents belonged only to a particular race or genetic line.

The Thirteen Original Clan Mothers came to walk the Earth in adult human bodies that did not age. I was never told why the Earth Mother chose to have her spiritual aspects embody the forms of fully grown women, but I suppose that the fragility and mortality rate of children' during the Ice Age could have had some bearing on the decision. The ability of the Clan Mothers to possess bodies that did not become ill or age could be legend or could be fact—it is not for me to say. I was taught that when the Clan Mothers' missions were completed and they disappeared from the face of the Mother Planet, the Thirteen Crystal Skulls were left in their places. I have sought to understand their Medicines with my heart, not with my mind. I have been in the presence of a few of the Crystal Skulls and I know in the deepest part of my being that they hold the mind-set of the Earth Mother and the feminine principle on our planet.

In my personal eighteen-year process of living with the Clan Mothers' Medicines, I focused on developing my own abilities as I related to each one individually. For me, the culmination of this learning process has been in sharing these teachings through this book and in using my own intuition and creativity to make the Medicine Shields of the Thirteen Clan Mothers.

These Medicine Shields are actually tiny drums that represent the heartbeat of the Earth Mother. Coming out of each drum/shield is the mask each Clan Mother wears for me to see. Each Medicine Shield has three feathers at the bottom, representing the way I see the Spirit World and the Red Road of the Natural World come together in the heart of each living thing. Three feathers also represent the balance of our male and female sides with the center feather holding the Great Mystery's love.

In September of 1991 on the Autumn Equinox, I went on my seventeenth Vision Quest with the purpose of completing some personal healing. Since 17 is my personal sacred number, I knew that my intent to reclaim the love would be honored. I had worked hard, prepared well, and earned the right to move forward. The rust that had gathered on my spirit from too much work and overextending myself had left me depleted and the magic of life had faded a bit. I had committed my love, time, and energy to helping everyone else and letting myself always be last. Consequently, I contracted cholera in April of 1991 and then double pneumonia in May. My body screamed, "No more!" I knew then that it was time to start reclaiming the love by committing to taking my Moontimes and days of silence that had been forgotten in my flurry of activity.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2009


    This is a great read for getting deep into yourself

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2002

    native american bible for the women

    this book has been a spiritual doctor for me i have healed alot of my inner self from reading this book. thumbs up to the author

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)