Monday 25 January 2016

Review: Kindling the Native Spirit by Denise Linn

I was drawn to a new book called Kindling the Native Spirit, by Cherokee tribe member Denise Linn, largely because Native American spiritual traditions were not something I knew a great deal about and I wanted to learn more. I got her Native Spirit Oracle Cards at the same time.

I reviewed the oracle deck last month and then started reading the book. I'm glad I didn't rush it because, when I finally had a free day, I enjoyed spending my time with it. Kindling the Native Spirit is actually not only about Native American spirituality - it is about the traditions of indigenous cultures all over the world, including Africa, New Zealand and Australia as well as North America.

Denise shows where there are similarities as well as explaining that all of us, whoever we are and wherever we live, are descendants of tribal people. We can find out about the traditions of the ancient people of our culture and our land, and we can also develop new practices to revere nature, our ancestors and beings of spirit.

Kinding the Native Spirit is very practical. It first teaches how to commune with spirit and live in harmony with the world around us through things like creating a sacred circle of life and calling to the directions. That is something most pagans would be familiar with and Denise explains how this relates to the Native American Medicine Wheel. Later chapters give instructions for making smudge sticks, medicine bags, spirit sticks, rattles, dream catchers and sacred baskets, among other things. I do like books that show me how to make things.

Denise describes how these items can be used in ceremony or to call on the help of spirits in times of need. Other exercises show how to develop skills such as getting messages from the natural world and communicating with plants, trees, stones and animals. Later in the book Denise covers more advanced practices, including how to go on a vision quest, astral travel and even techniques for invisibility and shape-shifting.

Publisher Hay House says about on its website:
World-acclaimed expert on wisdom traditions and space clearing, Denise Linn, shares ancient and modern methods to deepen our connection to the natural world. Kindling the Native Spirit reveals secrets to enhance your connection to the mysterious forces around you. It's a mystic map that guides the way for you to follow in the footsteps of the wise ones who have gone before you.
And in a deeper way, it ignites the majestic native soul that dwells within you, which in turn re-establishes your relationship to the sacred whole.
I'm not qualified to say how accurately Kindling the Native Spirit represents Native American traditions - or those of New Zealand or Australia - but I can say it is a delightfully written book and has inspired me to try out a few things within its pages.

Kindling the Native Spirit: Sacred Practices for Everyday Life can be ordered via Amazon.

Links and previous related posts
Kindling the Native Spirit: Sacred Practices for Everyday Life

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