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Mother Earth Spirituality: Native American Paths to Healing Ourselves and Our World (Religion and Spirituality) Paperback – May 10, 1990


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Mother Earth Spirituality: Native American Paths to Healing Ourselves and Our World (Religion and Spirituality) + Spirits of the Earth: A Guide to Native American Nature Symbols, Stories, and Ceremonies + 365 Days Of Walking The Red Road: The Native American Path to Leading a Spiritual Life Every Day (Religion and Spirituality)
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Product Details

  • Series: Religion and Spirituality
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st edition (May 10, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006250963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006250968
  • ASIN: 0062505963
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ed McGaa, J.D., was born on the Oglala Sioux reservation in South Dakota and is a registered tribal member. He served in Korea as a Marine Corporal before earning an undergraduate degree at St. John's University in Minnesota. He then rejoined the Marine Corps to become a Phantom F4 fighter pilot in Vietnam, where he flew in more than a hundred combat missions. Upon his return McGaa danced in six annual Sioux Sun Dances. The Sun Dance led him to the seven Mother Earth ceremonies under the tutelage of Chief Eagle Feather and Chief Fools Crow, two Sioux holy men. Eagle Man holds a law degree from the University of South Dakota and is the author of Red Cloud: Biography of an Indian Chief; Mother Earth Spirituality: Healing Ourselves and Our World; Rainbow Tribe: Ordinary People Journeying on the Red Road; Native Wisdom: Perceptions of the Natural Way; and the novel Eagle Vision: Return of the Hoop.


More About the Author

The Author is an enrolled Oglala Sioux tribal member, OST 15287. After serving in Korea he earned an undergraduate degree (St. Johns University MN). He rejoined the Marine Corps to become a fighter pilot. Major McGaa returned from 110 combat missions to dance in six annual Sioux Sun Dances. He is a Bush Award recipient wherein he studied under two Sioux holy men, Chief Eagle Feather and Chief Fools Crow, and Ben Black Elk, the interpreter for Black Elk Speaks, by John Neihardt. Eagle Man holds a law degree from the University of South Dakota.

The Spirituality Series of books began with a trip to Spain to speak at several colleges and a University. Similar to John Cornwell's (Hitler's Pope) and James Carroll's (Constantine's Sword) who had shocked reactions upon discovering their information in Vatican archives, I was also shocked to discover the reaction of the Spanish populace's negativity regarding Organized Religion. England and Australia were no surprise, however, for I have been hearing their rejecting commentary and viewing their decaying, vacant churches over several decades.



Customer Reviews

I remember first reading this book years ago in a hotel in Boston after work.
MysticJaguar
It is a great privilege that we have access to their knowledge on how we can live in harmony with Mother Earth.
DAVID-LEONARD WILLIS
If you would like to understand more about Native American Spiritual beliefs, this is the book for you.
Caroline W. King

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

148 of 153 people found the following review helpful By DAVID-LEONARD WILLIS on February 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
After reading "Black Elk Speaks" I picked up this book because I believe that Native American ways of living have much to offer us. We neglect their wisdom at our peril. It is a great privilege that we have access to their knowledge on how we can live in harmony with Mother Earth. The author starts with the question why he should teach non-Indians about Native American spirituality and answers that it is time to share that spirituality because it does not belong to the Indians alone but to others with the right attitude; we all live in one world. If kept within the Indian community their old wisdom will not be allowed to work its environmental medicine on the world where it is desperately needed. A spiritual fire that promotes a communal commitment to a worldwide environmental undertaking is needed. Native or primal ways will fuel that fire and give it great power. Mother Earth can be revered, respected and protected.
He then quotes the letter from Chief Seathl (Seattle) to the President of the United States of America in 1854 - one of the most unusual and eloquent letters that a President can have received. "How can we buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?" The truth is that we could really stop here, go into a quiet room and reflect on those three sentences and we will surely discover the root cause of many of our ills. We put a price on everything the Indians think has no value and we place no value on everything the Indians think is valuable. Sparkling water in a stream flowing through a wood has no value to us but it is the essence of life to the Indian.
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Grant R. Schnarr on September 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
Ed McGaa has written one of the clearest explanations of Native American spirituality to date. This book speaks in simple terms and translates ancient customs into modern language for the average reader delving into a new cultural approach to spirit and mother earth religion and philosophy. If you are exploring Lakota religion for the first time, this is one of the best introductory books available.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
In Mother Earth Spirituality, Ed McGaa (Eagle Man) writes: "For Indians, four-legged and winged ones, stones, and trees are regarded as holy, in that they harmoniously live upon this earth, following exactly the plan of the Great Spirit." Reading this book was itself a spiritual experience, a revelation of the Great Spirit. I was informed, inspired, moved, and also brought to grief over what had been missing from my own life: the closeness to Mother Earth that the author so clearly and powerfully feels. By describing Oglala Sioux spirituality and philosophy from the inside, Ed McGaa has given us a great and generous gift. I owe him a debt of gratitude for reminding me of what I must recover. If humanity is to have a future, it will have to learn the lessons and absorb the wisdom of this important book.
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79 of 91 people found the following review helpful By W. Lambdin VINE VOICE on June 28, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading "Native Wisdom" by the same author I had to read this earlier work.
This book includes several ceremonies.
Peace Pipe Ceremony
The Sweat Lodge
Vision Quest (Crying for a vision)
Sun Dance
Yuwipi
and more.
Includes the legend of Buffalo Calf Woman and bringing the pipe to the Sioux.
Includes the vision of Nick Black Elk (a Sioux holyman).
Includes a Sioux-English dictionary (It can be difficult to find what you are looking for).
Includes a glossary of natural names.
Mr. McGaa describes the pipe as a portable altar. This is absolutely correct. The pipe bowl represents the feminine aspects of creation, and the stem represents the masculine forces of creation, and the smoke is offered to the seven sacred directions; N,E,S,W, Above, Below and Center.
Mr. McGaa also calls the Wotai (personal stone)as a portable altar. I disagree with this. It's true that you can present the personal stone to the directions. In my opinion; the personal stone doesn't come close to representing the level of sacredness as the pipe.
Questions or comments? E-Mail Me. Two Bears
Wah doh Ogedoda
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
I commend Eagle Man for this sensitive and indepth commentary on Native American spirituality and our responsibiity to Mother Earth. In this hustle, bustle world today, we too often lose sight of the environment that we were given. At one point, it was clean and pure and bountiful. Now, we have polluted our water, descecrated our land, and exterminated animal species. Not much of a commentary on how we take responsibility for and care of these gifts we have evolved into taking for granted. Eagle Man opens our eyes to the simple facts that his forefathers knew and that we have allowed to fall by the wayside. It is works like this that should be required reading in our schools. It is a wake up call that unless we do something to change our world, we may not leave much for our descendents. I highly recommend this book not only for its enviromental impact but also to provide knowledge of the spirituality and philosophy of the Native American people.
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