The Saskatchewan Secret

27 January 2010

The Saskatchewan Secret: Folk Healers, Diviners, and Mystics of the Prairies
by Jacqueline Moore
Published by Benchmark Press
Review by Shanna Mann
$19.95 ISBN 978-0-9813243-2-6

It was inspiring to read about people with the intestinal fortitude to live unconventional lives. In our scientific, logical world that kind of nonconformity separates us from our fellow man at the same time as we learn the underlying truth– we are more inter-connected than we believe.

Jacqueline Moore wisely advises readers in the preface, “‘Reality’ is a curious word–it sounds undeniable, authoritative, scientific. But it’s a completely subjective concept… These individuals are truthfully depicting their version of reality; however, one’s personal version must not be — can not be — the whole, entire, and complete reality…I would ask that you simply accept that these are other good people’s real experiences; and that you keep an open mind.”

On one hand, many of the stories lined up with my personal beliefs, and perhaps I like the book simply because it makes me feel “right.” But on the other hand, when you read about faith healers invoking the Virgin Mary or Jesus and getting phenomenal results (an event which before reading this book I would have firmly and smugly attributed to group hysteria) and then turn the page and read about a medicine woman invoking spirit guides, boxers healing through touch, or a carpenter neutralizing earth energy, the similarities and coincidences suddenly become too numerous to ignore.

For provoking thought, this book is full of excellent material. What of the dowser who believes that cancer is caused be negative energy running under the places where we sleep? The plant-lady who speaks on behalf of those with no voices–plants. The medicine woman who sees little people– if they’re present in every culture in the world…maybe there is something to the stories. Above all the book forced me to examine the difference between faith, spirituality and religion, and what place these mysteries have in our lives. The boundaries are not where we thought they were, it seems.


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