Wisdom from the Tree of Life
Publication Date: July 21, 2009
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From sorcery to animal totems, buzzard feathers to hawk spirits, talking trees to magical stones, sacred circles to healing rituals, the Kabbalah brings readers a rich body of ancient wisdom that has been long neglected and even longer misunderstood. The Kabbalah celebrates a quality of consciousness that enables one to experience magic in the ordinary, miracles in the natural course of events, and spirituality in the physical. Its roots are as old and rich as most aboriginal shamanic traditions, sharing in common with many of them the belief that all of creation is alive, from animals and plants to the sun and the moon.The uniqueness of this book lies in its selections from this rare tradition of Jewish mystery wisdom. Culled from ancient and medieval Hebraic and Aramaic sources, much of this material has been hidden in dusty archives or obscure translations. These short selected readings are intended as contemplative, inspirational, and even entertaining extracts. As short as a few lines or as long as a page, they are translated and paraphrased here to render them accessible to readers of all backgrounds and spiritual paths.
Gershon Winkler is a widely recognized scholar in the fields of Jewish mysticism, theology, law, and lore, and has published fourteen books since 1980. In 1997, he founded (and is now executive director of) the Walking Stick Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the recovery and preservation of aboriginal Jewish spirituality. He lives in Thousand Oaks, CA.
“There’s an old Native American saying: ‘If it doesn’t grow corn, what good is it?’ Gershon Winkler grows corn. He celebrates the wind. He is the friend of Spider, Magpie, and Lizard. He lives with storms. With the crash of lightning. With rainbows. In this masterful compendium you will have found an ally that can help you remember, realize, and see. This book has helped me to forge a deeper connection with my own indigenous ways in very much the same way Gershon has done with his.”
—David Carson, Choctaw Elder and Pipe-Carrier, author of Crossing into Medicine Country, and coauthor of Medicine Cards and 2013 Oracle
“Winkler's knowledge is a universe away from the glib superficiality of pop mysticism and mass market ‘spirituality.’”
—The Jewish Community Update, Sedona, Arizona
“Rabbi Gershon Winkler with wit and wisdom leads us to rediscover the more pagan and pantheistic mysteries underlying the ancient Hebrew tradition. He renders user-friendly the more cryptic teachings of lesser-known kabbalistic source texts and oral traditions in order to inspire and inform our lives. I highly recommend this book!”
—Andrew Weil, MD, author of Spontaneous Healing and Natural Health, Natural Medicine