Writing To Change The World
by Weam Namou
Writing Spirit called for me to pick it up like a child off the store’s bookshelves. It was an odd-looking book about writing. On the cover large palms came halfway out of the water, and in the table of contents, the chapter headings had words like power animals, shamanism, alchemy and baptism. None of it made sense to me, and the last thing I wanted was a book on writing. I had been writing for over twenty years, and the journey had proven so futile, I wanted to bury the pits of this desire into someone else’s backyard and start a new garden, one that resembled those in One Thousand and One Nights stories, where the hero ends up with breathtaking trees bearing pears, apples, figs, pomegranates, and apricots made of real gold, diamonds and rubies.
Yet the book stuck to my hands like glue. I bought it, even though I barely had any time to eat a meal sitting down let alone read a book. I was raising two young children and doing a lot of freelance work, as well as trying to write a book. The moment I read Writing Spirit, however, the fragrance of that Arabian treasure garden raced out of the pages, and I remembered all the reasons I’d become a writer in the first place – the calling, the sacredness of storytelling, the freedom this profession provides, in my case allowing me to raise my children without having to abandon my career. Shortly afterwards, I enrolled in Lynn’s school, The Mystery School.
The Mystery School is a spiritual school that has, for over 25 years, passed down Native American shamanic teachings of 44 women known as the Sisterhood of the Shields. These women are healers from various cultures such as Panama, Guatemala, Australia, Nepal, North American and the Yucatan. Their teachings have been passed from one generation to the next for over 5,000 years. They initiated Lynn as a member of The Sisterhood and appointed her as their public messenger. Lynn’s study began with Agnes Whistling Elk and Ruby Plenty Chiefs, Native American healers in northern Canada. Lynn wrote about her own experience in Medicine Woman, and later, as she met with more of the women of the Sisterhood, wrote over a dozen more books. Her website describes her “as a major link between the ancient world of shamanism and modern societies’ thirst for profound personal healing and a deeper understanding of the pathway to enlightenment.”
I recently met Lynn in person and I discovered that the majority of her apprentices and graduates, who are from all over the world, were first introduced to the Sisterhood teachings by reading one of her books. Something in her books resonates within people the ancient healing and magic of long ago, thus bringing to life, through experiential learning, a connection to spirit and the earth.
“You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can’t, but also knowing that literature is indispensable to the world… The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it.” — James Baldwin
Wow, you have been writing for 20 years!…I will check the book. Thanks for the blog!
Excellent post, Weam! I expect miracles from you!
So sweet, Elisabeth!
Two thumbs up from me! Having read all of her books years ago, EXCEPT that one, I feel the need to read it, more then ever before. I have had the pleasure of meeting her once in person as well. Thanks for writing about this and getting me “sparked” once again.
The wonderful things about these books is that they have a universal message. Writing Spirit is about much more than writing. It’s about living a meaningful life no matter what your profession may be.
Beautiful short story…or the cover lead in for your new book. Hmmmmm
Yes, I am one of those individuals that started reading Lynn’s books because it fell on my head at the bookstore. The teachings of the Sisterhood are more than Native American they are ancient wisdom from women all around this beautiful blue planet handed down from mother to daughter in all communities and societies as you stated for the last 5000 years except the past 500 or so in somewhat modern western cultures. Why the gap? Look to the inquisition and the patriarchy. The sacredness of being a woman and the wisdom they held was drown or burned with the wise women who were accused of being in league with the devil.
Since that pivotal period the sacred wisdom stopped being passed down from mother to daughter in western culture. Thank goodness for the 20th century when the sacred knowledge was being reborn and beginning to be shared again. The teachings of the Sisterhood of the shields shared to Lynn and to her apprentices in the Mystery School are a blessing and have helped many transform their lives and those of their families on many levels. Blessings to Lynn. Blessings to you Weam. It is an honor and a privilege to have shared with you what was shared with me. You are a good writer. I look forward to reading your new book.
The mentors in this school share what they learned to tens and hundreds of others. It’s a most beautiful ripple effect.
A journey is a journey is a journey – happy you shared a special moment with us
I wonder if you have visited these websites or the many others that are like it. I also wonder if there has been any research in to who Lynn Andrews is and how her teachings are effecting others in the American Indian Movement. Has there been research in to plastic shamans and the hurt this brings to native peoples? We need to be careful in what one chooses to endorse. http://www.suppressedhistories.net/articles/respect.html
While I respect your opinion, I don’t think it’s necessary to call women names based on their looks. As for research, I don’t need scientific research to prove the positive changes that I and thousands of other people experienced as a result as Lynn’s teachings. My research is my heart and my Creator.
Also, my former Native American teacher taught Reiki and Seichim. Should he not have done so because he’s not Japanese or Egyptian? Should math not be taught by non-Arabs? What about writing? It was invented in ancient Iraq – should you not be writing your comments because the teaching belongs to Iraqis? Everything belongs to the Creator and is given to us to enjoy and share, in gratitude, with his world.
Weam, I would refer you to my Plastic Shaman WP Blog post.,.search my site for it. A concept that has many implications for those calling out plastic shamans and how non native teachers respond to being called out.