cover image The Four Sacred Gifts: Indigenous Wisdom for Modern Times

The Four Sacred Gifts: Indigenous Wisdom for Modern Times

Anita L. Sanchez. Enliven, $24 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5011-5070-8

Sanchez, who is of Mexican and Aztec heritage and leads spirit journeys into the Amazon rainforest with the Pachamama Alliance, shares Aztec and other indigenous wisdom for modern living. Sanchez defines the four sacred gifts of the title as forgiving the unforgivable, unity, healing, and hope, explaining that they work together to emphasize the power of oneness. In her exploration of these gifts, Sanchez guides readers toward healing and transformation so that they may overcome adversities and personal traumas, and contribute to a more deeply connected global community. To demonstrate the value of oneness, Sanchez draws upon recent events such as the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock and the efforts of large corporations such as Walmart and DuPont to change business practices. Sanchez includes many thoughtful examples of healing and transformation but tends to avoid a more critical analysis of how she or her clients arrived at these triumphs. This may leave readers seeking more practical, structured guidance. Sanchez also fails to truly explore the deeper historical, political, and folkloric underpinnings of the indigenous wisdoms and cultures she discusses. This book serves as a useful but cursory introduction to incorporating ancient wisdom into modern life. (Sept.)