Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Reviewing The 13 Original Clan Mothers

The Feminine Legacy From Ancient Teachings

As the Folklore contributor, I have chosen to review The 13 Original Clan Mothers , a book that literally changed my life when I discovered it several years ago. It is a book that I refer to often throughout the year, one that was written with teachings from our ancestors for the Sisterhood of humankind.


The lessons of these Spirit teachers might have been lost forever if not for the courage of families who refused to give up their traditional ways and left their homelands. These men and women rejected the notion that they should be enrolled and moved to the reservations being set up by the U.S. government and instead moved to Mexico where they could continue to live their lives as they had been taught to by their ancestors. Fortunately, two Kiowa Grandmothers lived long enough to teach Jamie Sams the lessons of women's medicine in the early 1970's. Jamie wrote this book to pass on to the Sisters of our time, teaching us to embrace our legacy of feminine wisdom with lessons to live by.

Women Do Not Have To Follow The Warrior Way 

One of the messages in this book that resonated with me almost immediately was that women have a different spiritual legacy from men. We are the nurturers, the healers, and the teachers for the generations that come after us. We, as women, do not need to be hostile or angry; we just need to embrace our feminine energy and be good role models for both male and female children. The Spirit Teachers known as the Original Clan Mothers are aspects of Mother Earth and Grandmother Moon because all things are born of the female. 

Each Clan Mother represents the moons of the year. As I write this post, we are in the 6th moon of the year (June). Storyteller is the grandmother spirit to learn from during June. She teaches us that we should tell the truth to all around us but not in a hurtful or prideful way. We can often times teach the lessons of life through stories from the past. Pointing out the proper way to solve a problem in the form of a story allows teaching without scolding or pointing fingers. The students, whether young or old, don't feel put on the defensive but can learn from the story what someone else did in the same circumstance. In a fun and sometimes humorous way, we can teach through the stories of the past in a loving and gentle way. She is only one of the 13 Ancient Mothers to learn from in the book.

How Did This Book Change My Life?

Growing up in the generation whose anthem became "I Am Woman" (hear me roar), I was torn as to how to be a proponent of women's rights and not give up my femininity. Yes, I believe we are equal to men, yes I believe women can do anything they set their minds to do and yes we have been discriminated against. What I struggled with for a long time was that I didn't feel comfortable being a "warrior" of the cause because that is just not in my soul to be that way. I am not a man, I am a woman and I needed desperately a form of women's medicine. That is what this book gave me! A way to grow spiritually by embracing my feminine soul and to progress through life in a way that was not foreign to me or confusing. After reading and studying the teachings of The 13 Original Clan Mothers, I suddenly felt more liberated than I ever had. I could see that my role as a woman did not have to give up on the principles of equality but could be obtained by embracing the teachings of the ancient ones in a way that I felt comfortable with. I could walk my walk, talk my talk and still honor my beliefs not pretending to be a warrior but living as the teacher, nurturer and lover of all mankind that I am. Living this way does not make me less than a man, it helps me to be his equal with the talents and wisdom of my womanhood. 

I recommend this book for all women to read. It really does not matter what ethnicity you come from or your spiritual beliefs, I think it will speak to you. The teachings come from Native American traditions but the messages resonate for all women of the world.  



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

5 comments:

  1. It sounds like a wonderful book Bev and one we should all read. My grandmother was part American Indian and she definitely believed in teaching through stories about the past. I have often commented that it is the wise individual indeed who could learn from hearing the truth told in story form without having to experience everything personally. I also agree with you about it not mattering what your spiritual beliefs are. Both my grandmother and myself are Christians, but we both embrace(d) many of the American Indian beliefs. Some of the strongest influences in our lives often come from the gentlest people.

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  2. I have heard of the 13 Original Clan Mothers, but not read it, yet. I am a fan of Jamie Sams and have worked with her animal cards for years. So now you have me itching to read the book. Thanks for sharing your journey with the Clan Mothers.

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  3. As women, it's true, we struggle at times with the balance between being heard, being effective, and representing ourselves and our voice in a way that's constructive. This sounds like a book for me as well, and is certainly in-line with what I believe about teaching and discipling. Raising 4 sons caused me to be careful that they had the opportunity to see and understand another way, the female way, of handling situations. (We'll call it 'the right way' lol). Being the only woman around 5 males in my home, and 2 brothers...well this is certainly an issue that's been a part of my own life. Thanks for a great review and the introduction to the book. Pinning to keep track of this one!

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  4. I have never heard of this book and am glad for your wonderful review. There are many Native American beliefs that resonate with me. I am definitely adding this to my "to read" list!

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  5. I, too, feel that many Native American beliefs have a wonderful background for life in general. I can really relate to the story-telling way of getting your point across, as I've done that for years. Definitely going to look for this book, as I have several books already on Native American beliefs and ways and this will be a good addition to my library. Thanks so much for this interesting review.

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