Call of the Forbidden Way by Robert Owings
When Carson Reynolds gets hired to produce a documentary film at a gathering of Native American medicine men, he never suspects it will be a portal into a world that will radically change his life. Despite his resistance to the Call, he is ineluctably drawn into a realm of shamans, priestesses, deities, and plant-medicine work, where he becomes engaged in a searing struggle with extra-dimensional forces that threaten the future of humanity as we know it.
Charlie Singing Wolf, a Blackfoot from Saskatchewan, finally broke the silence. “Brothers, we have made the prayers and sung the songs. We have shared much of our ways here; the medicine has been strong. Now it is time to speak of the great struggle.”
His words took on an ominous edge. “The battle for the Great Mother is soon to come. More and more of those who wish to do harm are gathering; some even now walk upon Her bosom’s surface. Others are hiding in Her belly while the rest continue to gather, hovering above. She is calling Her children to come together and defend Her life. It is by Her breath and blood that life flows to all Her creatures, to all plants and trees, to the rocks and mountains, to the rivers and oceans. She is in great danger. Those who wish to abduct Her are powerful beings. We must join with Her allies in this great battle. Is it not so?”
The hairs on the back of Carson’s neck stood up. Without really understanding what Charlie Singing Wolf meant, he intuitively sensed the graveness of the man’s prophecy. His hands began to tremble, causing the handheld camera to shake. He had to force himself to keep steady.
Charlie went on. “As you all must know, it is for this purpose that we have gathered here. Many of us have been receiving messages that speak of such things. And it is not just Indian people. We have heard it is the same for others from many parts of the world. Those of you who have met with the traveling ones from Tibet, those they call lamas, have privately spoken of these things. My own granddaughter has recently returned from a conference in Nepal. She tells me that there the Hindu medicine women, the yoginis, are preparing for this time. And my friend Ralph Wetspoon, a university professor from Vancouver, a member of the Gitksan tribe who went to Siberia last summer, tells me that even there the Tungus people, our old relatives, are talking this way.”
The elder nodded, indicating he was finished.
An old Crow medicine man Carson had learned was from Montana began to speak. “I, too, have heard these things, Charlie Singing Wolf,” he said. “This past fall, I was invited to go with some of the Christian people from my tribe to a gathering outside New York City. It was one of those events they call an ecumenical council, which is supposed to welcome many other ways of knowing spirit. You all know about those gatherings?”
Snickers emanated from the circle.
“One evening, after the regular program, I spoke with a woman from Haiti who practices the voodoo medicine, and also with a medicine man from the west coast of Africa. Our conversation turned to this matter. They, too, prepare for this crisis; they know of it in those lands. Of course, I only spoke of this among such medicine people, not with any of the others attending, and certainly not with those Christians from my own tribe.”
“But there are some Christian whites who know of these things,” interrupted the young Zuni, Luther Redbone, whom Jimmy had interviewed the day before. “I know a couple; they’re Episcopal missionaries who work in South America. They visit my pueblo on occasion, and on their last visit they spoke with me about these things. They are the ones who told me that the curanderos in the Amazon are doing medicine work to defend our world from this danger.”
“Enough, we agree that this threat is real,” said Owl Eyes, the old Nez Percé medicine man with the commanding presence whom Jimmy had introduced Carson to that morning. Carson had somehow suspected it was Owl Eyes who had been silently in charge of the proceedings throughout the entire three days. While filming, Carson had observed the other medicine men watching this man, as if getting instructions from him. And on the breaks, Owl Eyes had been often sought after by other medicine men, always appearing to be in deep conversation with his peers. Carson clearly sensed that whoever the man was, he was a person of high authority among the group.
Call of the Forbidden Way is an enthralling adventure taking the reader through one man’s shamanic initiation … and much more. June Kent, Editor, Indie Shaman Magazine
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