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The Medicine Wheel Garden: Creating Sacred Space for Healing, Celebration, and Tranquillity Paperback – June 25, 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The transcendental nature of gardening is the focus of this pair of books. Both discuss humans' innate need to cultivate and nurture the earth. Ethnobotanist and herbalist Kavasch (American Indian Healing Arts) delves into Native American mystical symbolism to describe how to put together a garden that heals body and soul. He clearly explains the basic layout of a "medicine wheel" garden a circular arrangement built along axes running north/south, east/west, and even into the air and into the ground and how to adapt it to every zone. Also covered are traditional plants and why certain colored plants belong in the different quadrants of the circle. He also offers an illustrated encyclopedia of 50 healing herbs, as well as recipes that incorporate those herbs. Norfolk, a retired English osteopath, uses a much less structured approach in his lovely meditation on the importance of gardening in today's hustle-and-bustle society. During his 40 years of practice, he observed that his happiest and healthiest patients were green thumbs. Here, he introduces his concept of the "soul garden." He draws from literature and scientific studies, among other sources, to back up his claim that, like Voltaire's Candide, people would be happier and less stressed out if they would just sit back and watch their gardens grow. Kavasch's book is recommended for public libraries whose patrons appreciate Native American mysticism and gardening; Norfolk's is recommended for all public libraries. Pam Matthews, M.L.S., Olmsted Falls, OH
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

In the wake of September 11, there seems to be a natural tendency to seek solace in comforting, "cocooning" activities. Fortuitously, the idea of "garden as sanctuary" is one whose time has come full circle, literally and figuratively. For Kavasch, this means harkening back to ancient times when Native American cultures revered "medicine wheel gardens," stone circles interplanted with healing herbs and other indigenous plants, creating sacred spaces whose mystical and mythical powers soothed the soul and calmed the spirit. An herbalist and ethnobotanist, Kavasch presents a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to how primitive traditions can have modern applications. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1st edition (June 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553380893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553380897
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Creating Sacred Space means more to us today than every before. I feel that this suthor has really offered us bold new perspectives along with numerous alternatives for coming to balance in these trying times. This book is a valuable, in-depth gardening guide with far more sensitivities than are usual!
1. I find the resource guide in the back most valuable.
2. The herbal lexicon that is the central third of the book is amazingly detailed; here is the info I need to propagate native herbs & wildflowers.
3. Research on the medicine wheels as ancient landscape features is the best I've yet encountered, & offered with great respect & reverence for sacred space.
4. Part III in this book is filled with imaginative new ideas, recipes, & suggestions for gifts & projects to make from one's gardening success.
What a fine book!
The most unique book on this subject, likely to make other gardening books out dated...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I built a Medicine Wheel in a garden area I wanted to re-do recently and then saw this book. I have experience in different herbs and plants and thought I could make a good one. In fact, I did. However, I bought this book thinking I could get more ideas. I was right. This is a book I refer to often. Daily, when I first received it. Very informative. I could not put it down and the book traveled with me everywhere for at the first 2 weeks. I remains a prominent part of my reference material.
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Format: Paperback
Based primarily on Amerindian healing and spiritual practices, The Medicine Wheel Garden details using a circular garden design as a personal, sacred, reflective space for pleasure, renewal, and as a home for wildlife. While much of the book is given over to explanations of symbolism and ceremonies including the use of spiritual and ceremonial items in the garden and details for performing seasonal healing rituals, chapters are included on choosing a garden site, style and plants. 50 herbs are profiled with short sections on history, modern and traditional uses, cautions to use, growing tips, and a sketch. Additional chapters provide culinary recipes and craft ideas as well as many recipes for beauty aids such as skin scrubs, shampoos, lotions, and soaking teas. While mainly a guide to creating a sacred space, gardening information is sound and conservative and includes the importance of compost and mulch as well as the importance of selecting the right plant for the right site. The Medicine Wheel Garden takes the rejuvenating and healing properties of gardening a step beyond.
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Format: Paperback
Very thorough and informative. Lists many plants, uses of the plants, terrain differences - in consideration with reference to locating and designing your garden - I thoroughly enjoyed this book - and - like most other selfhelp books - do not have to buy more titles to get the full picture.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This booked helped us to create a medicine wheel in Lebanon CT at our community garden in town. I liked how detailed plants are listed in book and all the ideas for ground covers author provides. We created a 30 foot diameter wheel with a fire pit in center made of pavers and stone dust. we are in process of raising funds to add medicinal plants arranged by color to the wheel.
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Format: Paperback
I think the paper in this book is beautiful and love the gardens it lays out. This is one of my most enlightening garden books, combining native american herbalism and spirituality with one of my favorite pasttimes. I really appreciate the author's writing style and obvious knowledge of her subject, and find it a very pleasurable book to read again and again.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm taking my time reading this book so I don't really have anything detailed to say about it's content. I meant to read it as I do many of my books, but there are always those that make one stop and ponder and this is one of them.

I actually bought the book for the herbal information, with an eye to maybe creating a garden in our small patch of a yard and found that, as written, it is a meditation in itself. So I'm treating it as such because the information is provided in this quiet, serene approach that draws ones total attention and focus.

A lovely, well-written book; worth taking my time to read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
well done book, I got some good ideas. I have a small city lot and also have some physical limitations, so some things in the book are not possible for me, but I am just going to use basic ideas and build miniature size medicine wheels that still provide me with the sacred space and sacred energy that meet my needs.
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