Presenting for your reading pleasure
The Medicine Bear
“The story of a healer, a love, and a time of transition”
...in the Enchanted Southwestern U.S.
during the closing days of the Old West
by Jesse Wolf Hardin
Illustrated with original art and period photos
Signed Copies First Shipping on July 15th
"an incredibly powerful novel of love, healing, devotion, and sense of place... a tapestry of the vital medicine that connects the people to the land, and to each other."
-Kiva Rose, New Mexico Medicine Woman
“To Omen, they were not just wondrous sunshine-eating entities, without whom humans and most of the life on Earth would die. Plants were proof of miracles, and reason for hope. The inspiration for a good and balanced life, and examples of how to live it. They were her ever growing, ever reaching truth. They were the medicine she would need.” (from the text)
Follow the wild-woman herbalist and Omen, the impassioned writer and adventurer, Eland, and archetypal Medicine Bear through a time of great cultural as well as personal transition, down plant-filled paths of discovery and healing and to the juncture of our own return to wholeness and health, rooted home and true love, meaningful mission and – ultimately – satisfaction and contentment.
Taking place primarily in the mountains and deserts of the American Southwest, we experience the confluence of Indian, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures that was and is New Mexico. Spanning from the birth of Eland in 1892 to 1964 in its closing scene, its central event is a little known retaliatory raid in 1916 by Pancho Villa’s poorly equipped Indian revolutionaries, in what was the sole invasion of the U.S. by a foreign army since the War Of 1812. At the very heart of this story is always Omen, gifted but abused as a child, resilient as a pre-teen studying with the curandera Doņa Rosa, determined as an adult to move past her wounds and further her craft, forever experiencing the beauty and complexity of the world through her awakened senses and caring heart.
Over 70 full page, 6x9” illustrations compliment the text, a combination of original drawings by the author Hardin, and antique photographs from the period adapted for this role. Character portraits and regional stills help tell a story Hardin first painted with his descriptive and evocative words, reflecting a vision that is Omen’s, Eland’s and ours to share.
“Eland grew up with two often overriding desires, one being to describe the struggle, truth and beauty of life, to deepen, awaken and inspire... through the magnifying lens of his dear and wild West. The second, contradictorily enough, being to grapple with, embrace and wholly experience a reality that no words could ever describe.”
The Medicine Bear will be appreciated by anyone who values a well told tale with colorful details and deeply developed characters, or the Southwest’s complex multicultural history, mythos and magical allure. And most especially, it may be treasured by current day herbalists and healers, by the lovers of magical realism, and the communicative natural world, by those of you who hear and respond to a calling of any sort, by readers welcoming of the inspiration and affirmation to do whatever it takes to fulfill your purpose and live your dream.
“It would be foolish to attempt a synopsis of this historical novel by Jesse Wolf Hardin. The first sentence of the second chapter gives a taste of it's complexity. "Regardless of one’s blood, being born in New Mexico was like being birthed to three mothers, one Anglo, one Hispanic, one native. The story of a healer, a love, and a time of transition (The Mexican Revolution and its peripheral effect in New Mexico circa 1916) transcends easy description. The emotional effects of race, social status, esoteric knowledge, the end of the "wild west" gives this story a sense of realism while inducing Isabel Allende’s genre of magical realism. Medicine Bear delves into the minds of each character exposing their motivations, fears, doubts and strengths.
If you have ever loved, healed or been healed, bemoaned a changing society, and felt the animal spirit within you, this tale is for you.
- Charles Garcia, Curandero and director of the California School of Traditional Hispanic Herbalism
One Book Signed by the Author:
$18 + $6 Priority Mail
or get 3 copies at a discounted price, and give 2 to friends:
$48 + $12 Priority
$18 + $12
(First Shipping on July 15th)
(be sure to include the name of the person you’d like Jesse Wolf to sign it to, with your PayPal payment)
“Jesse Wolf has a depth and breadth of insight, and a true writer's touch for bringing it to life. I hope other people will read this novel and understand the world that he sustains... and hears, in the Medicine Bear's rumble. A book of herbal teaching, healing, loss, love, and love of the land... a remarkable treasure of words... a jewel of a story!”
About The Author
Author Jesse Wolf Hardin is the cofounder of the acclaimed Plant Healer Magazine and the flagship event for the folk herbal resurgence, The Traditions In Western Herbalism Conference, as well as cofounder of the Anima School of nature awareness and plant medicine. His hundreds of published articles and over a dozen books have helped stretch as well as entertain his readers on topics as diverse as healing and herbalism, deep ecology and natural history, sense of place and indigenous traditions, American history and contemporary politics, primitive hunting and antique firearms... always with a message such as increased awareness, sentience and aesthetics, the wisdom of the land, personal responsibility and a code of honor. Recent books by Hardin include I’m A Medicine Woman Too! for budding child herbalists, Old Guns & Whispering Ghosts for history buffs and sportsmen. You can subscribe to his blog of new writings “on every conceivable topic” for free at the Anima blog
"The Medicine Bear is a powerful novel of love, healing, devotion, coming of age, and sense of place, but more than any single element, it is a tapestry of the vital medicine that connects the people to the land, and all of us to each other. The skillful hands of the curandera heal even while the soldiers endure a bloody struggle. Through it all, the medicine of this tale is found in the power of personal transformation and bone-deep passion. Readers of novels as diverse as Frazier’s Cold Mountain and Urrea’s The Hummingbird’s Daughter will be pulled into the mythic yet eerily relevant story of the Medicine Bear. The vibrant weaving of the many cultural elements that make of the American Southwest on the border are beautifully represented, transporting us to the lapiz skies, red clay, and lush canyons of New Mexico but the tale is applicable and relatable to the reader wherever they might be.
Never has a story of magic and healing, clarity and wildness been so needed as now. Hardin’s masterful approach to magical realism and history grants us a seldom seen view into the events that have shaped the borderlands and its people. So pull up a seat, and listen to a master storyteller’s tale of an mestiza healer and her true love."
-Kiva Rose, New Mexico Medicine Woman
Selected Short Excerpts
“It was hard for an Apache-raised girl to understand how some could see the planet as but a lifeless rock, upon whose surface a bounty was distributed for the good of man. Who saw animals not as spirits but as steaks, fur and wool, pet or threat. Who saw trees only as lumber to be turned into buildings or to shade the sun. Who judged plants as being decorative or itchy, weeds or crops. To Omen, they were not just wondrous sunshine-eating entities, without whom humans and most of the life on Earth would die. They were proof of miracles, and reason for hope. The inspiration for a good and balanced life, and examples of how to live it. They were her ever growing, ever reaching truth. They were the medicine she would need.”
"The special nature of New Mexico had gifted Eland with a sense that he was not only called, but surely if oddly equipped... that he was meant to be of some great help or provide some crucial service, even if he had no clue what sort of ailment or absence a potion like him might heal."
"Eland grew up with two often overriding desires, one being to describe the struggle, truth and beauty of life, to deepen, awaken and inspire... through the magnifying lens of his dear and wild West. The second, contradictorily enough, being to grapple with, embrace and wholly experience a reality that no words could ever describe."
“Healing is a magical process,” the curandera Doņa Rosa explained to Omen, giving each word its worth and weight. “We need no more proof than a bloody cut quickly healing until there is no mark, to know that our bodies are miraculous indeed. The things we use – our focused energy, skills, prayers, practices, and knowledge of nutrition and herbs – can all assist with this miracle. But the intention of the Medicine Woman is neither to help people escape all pain, or help some being to forever avoid its mortal demise. Our work is to help other people to become as consciously balanced and whole as the ever changing universe we are a part of.”