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The Water of Life: Initiation and the Tempering of the Soul Paperback – October 1, 2006

5.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Meade writes quite brilliantly about initiation, ordeal and the importance of scars and wounds...He is a master of the mode. ---New York Times Book Review

Magical and profound, unlike anyone else one is likely to encounter, Michael Meade is one of the greatest living teachers of our time. ---Alice Walker

An Astonishing book. Michael Meade has a genius for metaphorical thinking. - --Robert Bly

Magical and profound, unlike anyone else one is likely to encounter, Michael Meade is one of the greatest living teachers of our time. ---Alice Walker

An Astonishing book. Michael Meade has a genius for metaphorical thinking. ---Robert Bly

About the Author

Michael Meade, born and raised in New York City, is a renowned storyteller, author, and scholar of mythology, anthropology, and psychology. He combines hypnotic and fiery storytelling, street savvy perceptiveness, and spellbinding interpretations of ancient myths with a deep knowledge of cross-cultural rituals. His ability to tap into ancestral sources of wisdom to help people of today heal their communities inspires thousands of men and women throughout the United States, Canada, and the British Isles. His unique translations of age-old myths and symbols into culturally relevant, everyday language earned him an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Michael is also the founder of Mosaic Multicultural Foundation, author of The Water of Life, co-editor of The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, and editor of the cross-cultural anthology on rites of passage: Crossroads: A Quest for Contemporary Rites of Passage.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 396 pages
  • Publisher: GreenFire Press; 2nd edition (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976645041
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976645047
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Philip Mcgrade on December 12, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have just finished this book and I found it deeply moving and wise. The writer takes myths and uses them as a springboard to talk about the wounds that we all receive and how they can be healed.

It is not a light read or a glib self help book that gives you all you need in the title, but a thoughtful, measured and poetic way of re-framing our lives in a mythical context.

Along with the myths and his experience of working with ritual and various groups the author tells his own story of what he faced when drafted for the Vietnam war.

This book has great depth and honesty and clarity and I wholeheartedly recommend it for the thoughtful seeker. I found it powerful, engaging and a much needed antidote to both shallow self help and drab fundamentalism.
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Did you ever listen or read a myth or fairytale and wonder "how does this apply to my life?" well here's a book from a master storyteller that opens a door to this question. By revealing the stories that shaped his life, Michael Meade lays out the territory of story and gives a new/old way of seeing the world for an individual and for a community as a whole. A must read for anyone to navigate this chaotic world.
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This a deeply personal review, and reflects the joy I felt as I read Meade's work in the early '90's, in the midst of the Men's Movement. I was very involved what was called the Mytho-Poetic wing of that movement, and Meade's work was so deep and rich and resonated so thoroughly. I went back to graduate school during that time and achieved a graduate degree, and began a counseling practice. I have used his work many times to illustrate myth and metaphor with men struggling to make sense of their lives. Some love it, and some hate it, but all are touched. I will be teaching it to my son, and my wife and I based our wedding ceremony on one on Meade's stories. Yes, I picked up the feather. Michael S. Logan, MS
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There are only a handful of people on this planet I'd wholeheartedly recommend. Michael Meade is top of the list. This book has changed the way I am when life gets tough. Stories like these and the unpacking of what they mean to me has been brilliant, revealing and liberating. When something jumps out at me in a story it has such power, such insight that bypasses my thinking, like a backdoor into my psyche. I now use these tools with any movie, book, poem etc.. as a precious tool for self awareness and my own evolution. Many thanks and much gratitude to you Michael...
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This is an important book for anyone who is challenged with personal transformation in these times as well as for those culture - change activists who want a deeply considered perspective on Initiation as a practice and a practical orientation to social well being.
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This is a must read for spiritually mindful people. While it leans toward being written for a male audience certainly women would benefit from the deep insights Meade shares with the reader. I'm amazed how skillfully Meade peels away at the ancient stories he provides, layer by layer,
to reveal a wealth of insights into our need to embrace initiatory rites in our lives. As much of our western culture is lacking in initiation rites, The Water of Life may help fill this void.
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