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The Bear is My Father: Indigenous Wisdom of a Muscogee Creek Caretaker of Sacred Ways

By Bear Heart and Reginah WaterSpirit

The Bear Is My Father: Indigenous Wisdom of a Muscogee Creek Caretaker of Sacred Ways is considered a love story between Bear Heart and a community that stretches across the globe. This book celebrates the life, teachings and legacy of Marcellus Bear Heart Williams, a Multi-Tribe Spiritual Leader and author of the critically-acclaimed The Wind is My Mother.

Bear Heart (1918 – 2008), was a Muscogee Creek Native American Church Road Man with a talent for seeing people as individuals, and for making them feel seen and special in their own ways. The Bear Is My Father: Indigenous Wisdom of a Muscogee Creek Caretaker of Sacred Ways contains the final words Bear Heart wrote before his “going on” as well as contributions from friends and family whose lives were forever changed by Bear Heart’s presence and work. In this new book, Bear Heart uses stories of his youth and traditional medicine practices to convey lessons and knowledge about living in harmony and with respect for all.

Offering a mix of history and spiritual wisdom, The Bear is My Father is co-authored by Reginah WaterSpirit, Bear Heart’s Medicine Helper and wife of 23 years. 

When Reginah would ask Bear Heart exactly how he made his medicine, he always answered, “I don’t make the medicine, it was here before me. I’ve been entrusted to be a caretaker of certain sacred ways.”

Bear Heart

Marcellus “Bear Heart” Williams (1918 – 2008) was one of the last traditionally trained medicine persons of the Muscogee Creek Nation. His teachings wove together the knowledge of many traditions as Bear Heart was an ordained American Baptist Minister, Road Chief, and renowned spiritual counselor. Speaking in 13 Native American tribal languages, Bear Heart was considered a Multi-Tribal Spiritual Leader and was called upon internationally for his healing work. 

Bear Heart received formal education from the all-Indian Bacone College in Muscogee, Oklahoma. He later majored in Biblical Greek and earned a divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological Seminary in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Bear Heart’s wisdom, traditional medicine knowledge and spiritual compassion made him a sought-after figure. He prayed with President Truman, he spoke at the opening of the Smithsonian Native American Museum, and he was a spiritual counselor for firemen and their families after the Oklahoma City tragedy in 1995. Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, Bear Heart served on former President George W. Bush’s Faith-Based Initiative Panel for the U.S. Department of Health’s “When Terror Strikes” conference in New York, and he put down prayers with police and firemen at Ground Zero in New York City. 

Bear Heart’s first book, The Wind Is My Mother, has been translated into 14 languages. His second book, The Bear is My Father, is co-authored by Reginah WaterSpirit, who worked and traveled with Bear Heart as a medicine helper for 23 years. They eventually married in a spiritual ceremony in Oklahoma.

Reginah WaterSpirit

Reginah was born in The Bronx, New York and moved to Southern California at three years old. She owned and operated a number of garment industry-related businesses, attended UCLA, and traveled extensively in the USA and Europe as a young adult. Reginah studied the Voice Dialogue method for several years with Dr. Sidra Stone and the late Dr. Hal Stone, eventually becoming a facilitator and teacher in this field.

Her interest in psycho-spiritual paths led her to New Mexico and eventually to Marcellus Bear Heart Williams, a member of the Muskogee (Creek) Nation. At the age of 42, Reginah began a very different life with Bear Heart. She worked with him as a medicine helper while they traveled in the United States, Europe, Mexico and Canada for 23 years. They eventually married in a spiritual ceremony in Oklahoma. Together with Bear Heart, Reginah co-authored The Bear is My Father: Indigenous Wisdom of a Muscogee Creek Caretaker of Sacred Ways (Synergetic Press, 2022).

Today, Reginah uses Voice Dialogue and art therapy tools to help expand awareness of Self and our relationships. She is a member of The Earth Tribe, an Earth-based community committed to the necessary truth that humans are but one among all species.

Description

The Bear Is My Father: Indigenous Wisdom of a Muscogee Creek Caretaker of Sacred Ways is considered a love story between Bear Heart and a community that stretches across the globe. This book celebrates the life, teachings and legacy of Marcellus Bear Heart Williams, a Multi-Tribe Spiritual Leader and author of the critically-acclaimed The Wind is My Mother.

Bear Heart (1918 – 2008), was a Muscogee Creek Native American Church Road Man with a talent for seeing people as individuals, and for making them feel seen and special in their own ways. The Bear Is My Father: Indigenous Wisdom of a Muscogee Creek Caretaker of Sacred Ways contains the final words Bear Heart wrote before his “going on” as well as contributions from friends and family whose lives were forever changed by Bear Heart’s presence and work. In this new book, Bear Heart uses stories of his youth and traditional medicine practices to convey lessons and knowledge about living in harmony and with respect for all.

Offering a mix of history and spiritual wisdom, The Bear is My Father is co-authored by Reginah WaterSpirit, Bear Heart’s Medicine Helper and wife of 23 years. 

When Reginah would ask Bear Heart exactly how he made his medicine, he always answered, “I don’t make the medicine, it was here before me. I’ve been entrusted to be a caretaker of certain sacred ways.”

Additional information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 8.5 × 5.5 × 1.2 in
Format

Paperback, eBook

Pages 176

Endorsements

Even if you never had the privilege of meeting Bear Heart or hearing him speak, you will feel his warm presence when reading these stories and get a feel for the depth of the man. The pearls of wisdom found in these pages can be spiritual guideposts for a good and fruitful life. I urge you to take a few steps down the path of this book and discover how much we all have in common.”  Doug Alderson, author of Seminole Freedom and The Vision Keepers, Walking For Native Americans and the Earth

The Bear Is My Father is good medicine. Ultimately, this is not a book about a deceased man; Bear Heart is here —a living ancestor who resides in the hearts of those he touched. These pages retain the essence of his teachings, much like a drop of water taken from the ocean is still part of the ocean. This is a superb companion to the original The Wind Is My Mother, and I recommend they be read together for maximum impact.” — Glenn Aparicio Parry, author of Original Thinking: A ReVisioning of Time, Humanity, and Nature and Original Politics: Making America Sacred Again

“In The Bear Is My Father, Bear Heart has given us a path into the spiritual wisdom inherent in the Indigenous experience, by illuminating the deep Native American traditional perspective that everything is connected and related, and all is divine vibration.” — Basil Braveheart, Lakota Elder and author of The Spiritual Journey of a Brave Heart

“Bear Heart’s wisdom is profound and lasting, but more so is his love that lifts and inspires you on your own journey to learn your own ways. Bear Heart sought to help others find strength through their struggles and purpose in their lives. How lucky we are to have his words to guide us, needed now more than ever.” — Laura Baker, Author of Stargazer and Legend

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