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The Woman in the Shaman's Body: Reclaiming the Feminine in Religion and Medicineby Ph.D. Barbara Tedlock
Synopses & Reviews
A distinguished anthropologist–who is also an initiated shaman–reveals the long-hidden female roots of the world’s oldest form of religion and medicine. Here is a fascinating expedition into this ancient tradition, from its prehistoric beginnings to the work of women shamans across the globe today.
Shamanism was not only humankind’s first spiritual and healing practice, it was originally the domain of women. This is the claim of Barbara Tedlock’s provocative and myth-shattering book. Reinterpreting generations of scholarship, Tedlock–herself an expert in dreamwork, divination, and healing–explains how and why the role of women in shamanism was misinterpreted and suppressed, and offers a dazzling array of evidence, from prehistoric African rock art to modern Mongolian ceremonies, for women’s shamanic powers.
Tedlock combines firsthand accounts of her own training among the Maya of Guatemala with the rich record of women warriors and hunters, spiritual guides, and prophets from many cultures and times. Probing the practices that distinguish female shamanism from the much better known male traditions, she reveals:
• The key role of body wisdom and women’s eroticism in shamanic trance and ecstasy
• The female forms of dream witnessing, vision questing, and use of hallucinogenic drugs
• Shamanic midwifery and the spiritual powers released in childbirth and monthly female cycles
• Shamanic symbolism in weaving and other feminine arts
• Gender shifting and male-female partnership in shamanic practice
Filled with illuminating stories and illustrations, The Woman in the Shaman’s Body restores women to their essential place in the history of spirituality and celebrates their continuing role in the worldwide resurgence of shamanism today.
From the Hardcover edition.
An intriguing study of shamanic traditions shatters long-held myths as she looks at the role of women in the history and practice of the world's oldest system of religion and healing, examining shamanic practices, past and present, as well as the shamanic mystical experience, healing rituals, symbolism, and revitalization. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.
About the Author
Barbara Tedlock, Ph.D., is the granddaughter of an Ojibwe midwife and herbalist and was trained and initiated as a shaman by the K’iche’ Maya of highland Guatemala. She is currently Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at SUNY Buffalo and Research Associate at the School of American Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For many years she co-edited The American Anthropologist with her husband, Dennis Tedlock. The author of four previous books and numerous essays, she divides her time between Buffalo, New York, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
From the Hardcover edition.
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