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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. November Theme: "Unique Perspective"
Volume 2 Issue 1 ISSN# 1708-3265

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Call of the Great Spirit;
The Shamanic Life and Teachings of Medicine Grizzly Bear

By Bobby Lake-Thom
Published by Bear & Company
ISBN #: 1-879181-66-5

The story opens with the author, in intense physical and emotional pain, preparing to commit suicide. Although he was raised with, but taught little of his people's traditional ways, he first performs a ceremony, asking the Great Creator for forgiveness and assistance. Instead of dying from the drugs and whiskey he tries to kill himself with, Eagle comes and sends him on his way to a medicine man, a teacher.

This wounded healer's words paint pictures in a way that make you feel as though you are along on his journey of redemption and healing. Redemption and healing that come through his (re) connecting with spirit. Through his book, we enter his very real world of spirits, demons, sorcerers and life-altering visions.

Medicine Grizzly Bear shares his autobiography with honesty and from the heart.

I was touched by his openness in this book. He exposes his humanness and writes about painful personal lessons with humility.

He teaches us "that there is a supreme or ultimate reality we, as spiritual beings, can turn to when all else fails us in life." He goes on to say that this can only be discovered in a (super) natural or spiritual way.

He teaches us to live with reverence for nature, and that nature is both healer and teacher. He explains the law of reciprocity; never take for nothing. By making a prayer, asking permission, making an offering and giving thanks, we complete a sacred circle.

In the preface of the book, we are asked to keep an open mind - to please understand that while some things may appear to be sexist or offensive, to understand they are portrayed from a Native tribal-cultural context.

I was already well familiar with many of these beliefs about a woman's menstruation. I refrain from attending pow-wows or other ceremonies during my moon time, out of respect for those who share these beliefs. Still, as a feminist, I found it difficult to remain culturally detached while reading some of Thom's teachings. While he says that menstruation is a special time of renewal and birth, he also teaches that it is against natural law for a woman to prepare and share certain foods while menstruating; it is an offence to visit sacred sites while on her period; and that a woman can cause herself and others to become ill by doing so.

However, to dismiss the entire book because of these beliefs would be a big mistake.

This 244-page book also includes twenty case studies and examples of Indian doctoring, and an appendix on a Shamanic system of knowledge and cosmology.

I recommend this book as a fascinating read. This is not "McShamanism", where one can shell out a bunch of money, attend a couple of weekend classes and receive a piece of paper certifying them as a shaman; Medicine Grizzly Bear is the genuine article!

Reviewed by,
Toria Betson

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