Grandmothers Counsel the World: Women Elders Offer Their Vision for Our Planet
The year is 2007. We can still see the impressive footsteps of Betty Friedman, Margaret Sanger, and Gloria Steinem in the sands of time, yet women, as a whole, seem more concerned with which pop icon has fallen from grace, or how their Coach bag stands up against the other soccer moms' Gucci one. I don't carry a handbag, and I don't watch much TV, yet this book was a sobering and gentle call to action. "Grounding" is the best descriptive word that I can place on this book.
At the beginning of the book, I was informed that “When the grandmothers from the four directions speak, a new time is coming.” The fulfillment began in 1986 with a sacred fire outside the United Nations Building, ignited by a chief of the Iroquois Nation. From that fire, a torch was carried through 62 countries in 86 days by runners. The fire now resides in New Mexico, continuously burning. It traveled once more in 2004 to spark the meeting of thirteen grandmothers, called the “keepers of their tribe’s teachings from original times.”
Each of the grandmother's give a personal account of their lives. These wise women saw some hard times, but it was throughout these times that they received great revelations. Their biographies resonate with warmth and compassion; their photos define true beauty. Their simple lives and passion for healing their people and the Earth are a loving call to action for every woman. Their "Guidance for Our Times" (Part Two of the book) includes chapters on "Prophecies," "Women's Wisdom," "Sacred Relations," "Our Mother Earth," "Oppression," "Nature's Pharmacy" and "Prayer." "Prayer is the greatest thing I have as I walk upon this earth," Grandmother Agnes says. "I am nothing without The Creator."
Author Carol Schaefer, a well-known journalist, has done well with this compilation. Not terribly poetic, but straight to the facts. The contents more than make up for that, however.
Can Grandmothers Counsel the World actually change the world? The concepts within the book could, but probably not anytime soon. If you take the time to read this book, I guarantee that it will press you to see the world through the eyes of indigenous wisdom, and perhaps ground you like it did me.