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Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals Hardcover – Jul 30 1999

4.9 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (July 30 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312204914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312204914
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 4.3 x 22.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Since the publication of the Navaho novel, Seven Arrows, over twenty years ago, I haven't seen anything so adventurous or beautifully executed as Medicine Cards...this handsome and inviting package has much to teach us all.” ―Patricia Holt, San Francisco Chronicle

“A potent yet refreshingly simple divination tool that can help up reconnect to the sources of life's natural guidance...extraordinarily well crafted. This work is plentiful, overflowing with the richness of the Native American way of life.” ―Yoga Journal

About the Author

Jamie Sams is of Iroquois and Cherokee descent. She is a medicine teacher and author of numerous books, including Sacred Path Cards (HarperSanFrancisco, 1990.) David Carson is of Choctaw descent. They both live in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Inside This Book

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Eagle medicine is the power of the Great Spirit, the connection to the Divine. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
My first introduction to totemism was a group of pagans I hung around with in college. Some of them were really, really enthusiastic about this deck, but I only picked one up for myself within the last few years. I even did my senior thesis on the idea of personal, urban totemism. And even with all that, "Medicine Cards" scare the heck out of me.
Unless you believe that the only important totem animals are the ones that you can find on belt buckles (Eagle, Bear, Random Big Cat, etc.), there's no real Major Arcana/Minor Arcana distinction here. Every single card in this deck is big ju-ju. My first two readings kinda freaked me out, really. If archetypes, animal mythos and anthropomorphism are pretty much second-nature to you, just give up and get this deck. You will probably understand the cards without needing to check the book all that often.
Unless there was a slip-up at the publisher's, the standard deck does not come with a little reference pamphlet like most tarot decks do. It comes with a medium-sized hard back book (A nice treat, but not convenient for lugging around spontaneously -- this could be why they made the "Just for Today" deck) that explains each card, including an occasional story, and some spreads and an exercise to figure out which totem animals represent you in this spread. Two of three totems that I'd already figured out for myself showed up in the exercise, and the third was kinda iffy for me at that point anyway.
The cards are 5.5" by 3" and have an alarmingly boring back -- government blue with a single yellow lightening bolt. They're coated with something incredibly shiny, but aren't particularly slippery.
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By A Customer on April 2 2001
Format: Hardcover
Medicine cards are one of the best tarots that I have found. Of course it can be used to foretell what's in store for you, but even our future may change as we walk in life.
Medicine cards are great for INSIGHT. Ask them about a situation you are going through and they will explain to you what you are experiencing and/or learning about in that situation.
These cards are SO helpful, they can put you back in track, and always in very very positive way!
They can tell you, for example, to take things less seriously, or to stop lolling around and start doing what you really want to do, or to learn to put boundaries and to say no, without having to apologize!
Please give them a try! They will most definitely ease your mind, suggest the right direction, teach you about yourself, and ALWAYS in the most easy-going, funny and uplifting way!
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Format: Hardcover
The thing that initally drew me to this deck was the fact that is based on teaching for Native American tribes. Among them ar the Cherokee and Chickasaw, which I have ancestry in. I'd tried working with several different types of decks, but never found one that spoke to me until I held this one in my hand.
This deck does not function in the way that most tarot decks do. Instead of dividing the deck into minor and major arcana and using suites (pentacles, cups, ect), this deck is meant to be read a whole.
You will find nothing but animals in this deck, everything from the ant to the dolphin. Each animal has a lesson. It may be leadership, stamina, self-reflection or innocence to name a few. This lesson is referred to as that particular animal's medicine. The medicine referred to throughout this deck is anything that will strengthen the reader's connection to the Great Spirit and to all life. By incorporating these lessons into your own life you will learn about yourself as well as those around you.
There are also blank shields for you to add any animals that you feel a connection to that are left out of the deck, or if you wish to design your own personal medicine shield they can be used for that.
The book contains spread for finding your nine totem animals, and various spreads that are influenced by the teachings of the Native American tribes (the Sun Lodge spread for example is for how others see you, while the Moon Lodge spread is a mirror of you.
I have used this deck for well over a year now and find its medicine has helped me along my path. If you're interested in Shamanism I would definately suggest this deck. It would work well for those interested in animal guides, totem animals or the teaching of Native American tribes.
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Format: Hardcover
Whether Indian Medicine Cards or any of Jaime's other books, I know and have known Jaime Sams personally for decades both personally and professionally even before she was a published author and she is the real deal. It particularly bothers me to see people try to label her as a fraud but misinformation and jealousy is often a consequence of success in this world, unfortunately. Jaime is no fraud! What she is IS an amazing human being, with flaws like all of us but more important, great gifts for teaching and a huge heart.

Jaime is an amazing teacher! Her knowledge and understanding of spirituality and Native American teachings go far beyond what most minds can comprehend. If you have ever had the pleasure of actually speaking to her or hearing her teach, then you know I am right.

We are all more than the sum of our parts. Think body, mind and spirit! Jaime has an amazing spirit and is what she says she is and more. She is a giving(sometimes too much so) person who never hesitates to share her understanding of complex issues both through her writings and her own life experiences in many areas.

I think it is wise for people to be cautious, but never take a very few discordant views as fact for if you Google Jaime Sams, you will find far more positive viewpoints than negative and you can rest assured, these are from people who have benefited in some small or large way from her teachings & there are alot more of them than a few naysayers.

Reviews are helpful, but use your own judgement when reading anything and don't take one person's viewpoint for fact because we all have different tastes, likes dislikes and opinions.

I have great respect and love for Jaime Sams and if the subject of native spirituality interests you, I know Jaime is one of the best and most knowledgeable authors around.
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