The Power of Ceremony: Restoring the Sacred in Our Selves, Our Families, Our Communities


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 The Power of Ceremony: Restoring the Sacred in Our Selves, Our Families, Our Communities is a fascinating exploration of the knowledge and connections available to each of us by participating in existing ceremonies and establishing new ones.  Family Therapist Linda Neale describes seven essential principles of ceremony and illustrates them with stories from her own life.  These provide reminders of what we have lost and what we can regain in our lives and in our culture.  The Power of Ceremony invites us all, no matter what our religious or cultural background, to develop greater meaning and deeper spiritual relationships through personal, family, and community ceremonies.

Linda Neale is a fourth generation Oregonian of English/Norwegian/Polish descent raised with the Pacific Ocean, the Cascade Mountains, and the High Desert in her backyard.  As a child, she asked her parents hard questions about religion and spirituality.
 
Trained as a concert violinist and tennis player, Linda graduated from Stanford University in psychology, and spent  three years living and teaching on the Navajo Indian Reservation. There she rode horses, learned to speak Navajo and make fry bread, and participated in her first native ceremonies. 
 
After her reservation experience, Linda returned to Oregon, married, and obtained her MA in psychology and began a career as a school psychologist. In 1986 she had an experience with a scorpion, beginning a process that would dramatically change her life's direction. Soon thereafter she met Rod, a Native American elder who later became her husband and became involved in a ceremonial life. Linda's work in ceremony overlaps the circles of deep ecology, Native American spiritual traditions, women's spirituality, and depth psychology.  
 
She is the founder of the nonprofit Earth & Spirit Council which has as its mission "to help people re-establish their spiritual connection to the Earth and to engage ourselves and others in Earth-conscious living".  Linda has learned from many elders, including Lillian Mitchell, Matthew Fox, Martin High Bear, Buck Ghosthorse, Eagle Stone Woman, Grandma Chipps, and Helmina Makes Him First.

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