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Published by Open Court

This courageous book is deeply moving, thought provoking, and funny, as it reveals the extraordinary power of story to guide us through turmoil and change. Through the genre of fictionalized case studies, therapist-storyteller Erica Helm Meade takes us into the regions where biography and myth overlap. Here we get a first-hand taste of the mythic process as it unfolds uniquely for a variety of women. Among them seven-year-old Geena draws solace from a fairy tale to help her cope with a murder she's witnessed. An African tale of initiation heals an African-American teen's bruised identity. The myths of two Pacific Goddesses help a mother and daughter resolve the wounds of incest. A group of artists delve into a creation myth to access their muses. Rarely does instruction rise unobtrusively out of narrative, yet Meade's masterful knack for quietly imbedding the lesson in the tale has made this book popular in book clubs and seminars alike.

"Crisp clean startling, intelligent and fun, these fictional case studies show that life imitates art and that art tells the stronger truth."
-James Hillman author of Healing Fiction and bestselling The Soul's Code

“A marvelous melding of personal narrative, myth and psychology...
as compelling as short stories, these case histories
are moving testimonials to the power of story.”

-Booklist, American Library Association

“Erica Helm Meade shows us how our life is filled with stories and mythic figures who provoke growth and reveal hidden truths...
an excellent resource to illustrate how story can be used
in personal,
professional and therapeutic contexts.”
-Angeles Arrien author of THE SECOND HALF OF LIFE:
Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom


With foreword by David Abram
Published by Open Court

Contains an accompanying CD

“The human soul, in its quest for things that endure, longs for the old stories and the wisdom called forth by old stories,” writes Erica Helm Meade in the preface of this collection. Erica has been sharing wisdom tales with groups and individuals in community settings for over 30 years. She selected the 63 in this book for their lasting poignancy and applicability to present-day concerns of social, ecological, psychological and spiritual import. Her insightful commentary shows useful applications for the tales, and her lyrical retellings make them all the more delightful and accessible. Some appear in print here for the first time. An extensive theme index helps readers find stories that go to the heart of their interests. Her introduction gives steps for learning wisdom tales by heart and compelling reasons to use them in the classroom, boardroom, clinic and in grassroots groups. David Abram’s lively foreword speaks of the need for primal ancestral wisdom in the digital age.

“Erica Helm Meade has given us a valuable collection of teaching stories and many wise ways to use them. A blessing for discovering the modern power of these ancient inspirations.”
-Jack Kornfield, author of THE WISE HEART:
A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology

“This lodestar of a book can help us find our way through the borderlands our civilization is crossing through now. It gives us stories that are truer than true, reminding us of our deepest human wisdom so we can laugh, listen to each other and find the compassion to create new solutions for our time. I intend to give this wise compass to everyone on my giftlist.”
-Sherry Ruth Anderson, co-author of THE CULTURAL CREATIVES:
How 50 Million People Are Changing the World

“Meade shows how we can spark inner healing and better everyday dialogue by rekindling myths and folk tales that teach universal truths.
Her keen reflections from life experience and her clever
suggested uses for the tales set this work apart.”
-Library Journal




The Moon in the Well:
Wisdom Tales to Transform Your Life, Family, and Community

Tell It by Heart
Women and the Healing Power of Story


© 2009-2017 Erica Helm Meade

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