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Native Ghosts and the Supernatural

Dennis Zitogh of The Smithsonian writes about a new book, “Living Ghosts and Mysterious Monsters,” where a Native storyteller shares ancient and contemporary scary stories.

Here is an excerpt of the article.

"Stories of the unknown come in many shapes and forms that tell of unexplainable—sometimes horrible—things. Some are about demons or evil spirits," says writer and storyteller Dan SaSuWeh Jones (Ponca). 

"Others are about inanimate objects, like glowing orbs, apparitions, or even dolls that take on the breath of life. In this book, I have divided the world of American Indian ghosts into five categories: “Ghosts,” “Spirits,” “Witches,” “Monsters,” and “The Supernatural,” to give a clearer, more defined picture of what you may encounter—from an unseen noise to a hideous face to maybe something no one else has ever experienced." 

The supernatural aspects of American Indians are not normally shared with the outside world. Superstition and tribal protocols keep many stories from becoming public domain. Recently, I read a book that picked up where my grandparent’s scary stories left off: of Native tricksters; shape shifters, skin-walkers and entities that thrive in the shadows of darkness. In Living Ghosts and Mysterious Monsters: Chilling American Indian Stories (Scholastic Press, 166 pp., $26.99 and $12.99) Dan SaSuWeh Jones (Ponca Nation) writer and storyteller, and Weshoyot Alvitre (Tongva) illustrator, weave ancient and contemporary scary stories from tribal groups from Canada, the United States and Mexico. Thirty-two short stories are told in chilling vivid detail and collected from the thriving tradition of telling Native ghost stories. Tribal definitions and their meanings are explained to help give the reader valuable information to preface each story.

Stories of the unknown come in many shapes and forms that tell of unexplainable—sometimes horrible—things.

In a time when the internet, social media and cell phones were not the principal means of communication, Native people looked forward to sharing good stories. Winter was especially chosen as the primary storytelling season as tribal communal groups were not traveling and had to remain inside for long periods during inclement weather.

In the Western Hemisphere trading stories is an integral part of Native culture, a norm that is still carried on by modern Native peoples. At the end of this book, the writer gives credit in detail of how each of his stories was obtained. As a Native writer this consideration made me feel good that these stories were obtained and are being passed on “in a good way.” With this being said … wait until nightfall, pick up the book and prepare to enter the world of Native ghosts and the supernatural.

The Washington Post Digital Access


Book Recommendation - Witchcraft, The Library of Esoterica

There are so many excellent books for those of us who are interested in New Age, Occult and all related subjects. One recent example is Witchcraft. The Library of Esoterica by Jessica Hundley

Here is a rave review:

Initiating readers in the fascinating and complex history of witchcraft, from the goddess mythologies of ancient cultures to the contemporary embrace of the craft by modern artists and activists, this expansive tome conjures up a breathtaking overview of an age-old tradition. Rooted in legend, folklore, and myth, the archetype of the witch has evolved from the tales of Odysseus and Circe, the Celtic seductress Cerridwen, and the myth of Hecate, fierce ruler of the moonlit night. In Witchcraft we survey her many incarnations since, as she shape-shifts through the centuries, alternately transforming into mother, nymph, and crone—seductress and destroyer.

Edited by Jessica Hundley, and co-edited by author, scholar, and practitioner Pam Grossman, this enthralling visual chronicle is the first of its kind, a deep dive into the complex symbologies behind witchcraft traditions, as explored through the history of art itself. The witch has played muse to great artists throughout time, from the dark seductions of Francisco José de Goya and Albrecht Dürer to the elegant paean to the magickal feminine as re-imagined by the Surrealist circle of Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington, and Leonor Fini. The witch has spellbound through folktales and dramatic literature as well, from the poison apples of The Brothers Grimm, to the Weird Sisters gathered at their black cauldron in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, to L. Frank Baum’s iconic Wicked Witch of the West, cackling over the fate of Dorothy.

Throughout this entrancing visual voyage, we’ll also bear witness to the witch as she endures persecution and evolves into empowerment, a contemporary symbol of bold defiance and potent nonconformity. Featuring enlightening essays by modern practitioners like Kristen J. Sollée and Judika Illes, as well interviews with authors and scholars such as Madeline Miller and Juliet Diaz, Witchcraft includes a vast range of cultural traditions that embrace magick as spiritual exploration and creative catharsis.


Book Recommendation - Gothic, An Illustrated History

There are so many excellent books for those of us who are interested in New Age, Occult and all related subjects. One recent example is Gothic: An Illustrated History by Roger Luckhurst.

Here is a rave review:

A richly illustrated history of the Gothic across a wide range of media, including architecture, literature, and film

The word Gothic conjures associations with the dark and melancholy, the weird and feared, and haunted places and people. In Gothic, Roger Luckhurst offers readers an unprecedented look at the ways this uncanny style has manifested itself through architecture, literature, film, art, video games, and more. From the works of Victor Hugo and E. T. A. Hoffmann to Southern Gothic, ancient folklore, and classic horror movies, Luckhurst explores how an aesthetic that began in the margins has been reinvented through the centuries to become part of mainstream global culture.

Organizing his wide-ranging history by theme, Luckhurst begins with Gothic architecture and form, including such elements as the arch, the house, and ruins. He considers how the Gothic is depicted in rural and urban settings, as well as in the wilderness and borderlands. And he delves into Gothic traditions and settings around the world, from the sublime Alps and Australian outback to the Arctic wasteland, from the dark folkloric realm of the forest to the postindustrial landscapes of abandoned hospitals and asylums, and then beyond the bounds of the planet to unknowable cosmic horror. Luckhurst investigates the monsters that mirror ourselves and society, and demonstrates that as the Gothic has traveled across the globe and through time, it has morphed according to the shape of our changing fears and anxieties.

Filled with a wealth of color illustrations, Gothic will enthrall anyone yearning to lift the veil on our fascination with the eerie, morbid, and supernatural.

 


Book Recommendation - Tarot For Change

There are so many excellent books for those of us who are interested in New Age, Occult and all related subjects. One recent example is Tarot for Change: Using the Cards for Self-Care, Acceptance, and Growth by Jessica Dore.

Here is one rave review-


Great Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season

Happy holiday

 

 

 

 

Are you stumped for a great gift idea this year? Here is my list for a range on interesting and illuminating experiences for a very special person in your life ... including yourself.

Study to be a Medium with

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Learn about Aromatherapy with

The Complete Book of Essentials Oils and Aromatherapy, Completely Revised and Expanded: Over 800 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health, Beauty, and Safe Home and Work Environments

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Get into Numerology

The Complete Idiot's Guide Numerology Workbook: Reveal Essential Truths About Yourself, Your Loved Ones, and the World Around Yo (Complete Idiot's Guides (Lifestyle Paperback))

Learn the Tarot

Guided Tarot: A Beginner's Guide to Card Meanings, Spreads, and Intuitive Exercises for Seamless Readings

Treat Yourself (Or Others) to a Reading