This one isn't even close. Her books are widely held up as some of the worst and most stereotypical. Her main character is "No Eyes," an old medicine woman that, conveniently, no one else has ever met and who talks like Tonto:
"No-Eyes gonna be speakin' 'bout spirits who be stupid-dumb."
Many of her followers seem to come from militia types or survivalists, probably because of all those predictions which sound an awful lot like Christian End-of-the-World stuff, or the claims made about (not by) Nostradamus.
Review of one of her books:http://www.amazon.ca/Ancient-Echoes-Anasazi-Book-Chants/dp/1878901877
Ancient Echoes is not about anything ancient, Mar 7 2000
By Joseph Weixelman (Wayne State College) - See all my reviews
Claiming to contain the wisdom of the Anasazi, Ancient Echoes, is a disappointment. There is nothing ancient in the ideas expressed. Indeed, most of the ideas expressed are New Age ideas with no connection to the Anasazis, who were the ancestors of today's Pueblos. I found this book insulting to anyone who cares about the heritage of the Pueblos or about prejudices European-Americans maintain against Native Americans. The Pueblos hold that they are the descendents of the Anasazi and that the "Ancient Ones" never vanished. Scholars have long recognized the same. The National Park Service that maintains Anasazi archaeological sites at places like Mesa Verde, has also long recognized the link between Anasazis and contemporary Pueblos. Yet, this book ignores this knowledge in favor of the author's whim. Mary Summer Rain claims to have received the chants and prayers of the Anasazi through "spirit memory recall." However, the information this technique brought her does not square with the information Pueblos themselves give or with the information archaeologists can verify. Her chants bear no relation to Pueblo religious practice and her description of Anasazi society contradicts what is known for certain about the Anasazi. The "Anasazi" ceremonies suggested, like the Phoenix Dance, have never been known among the Pueblos. Indeed the very suggestion that this dance was held "twice a year" (p. 125) goes against Puebloan practice (see Alfonso Ortiz, The Tewa World, 1969). Similarly, there is absolutely no evidence that the Anasazi were enamoured with crystals, (pp. 98, 134, 144) that women were "welcomed into the Hunter Society" (p. 22) or that they traveled about in Star Vehicles (pp.118, 188). This book should be classified as fiction, or as a treatise on New Age thought. In no way should this book be taking as a serious portrayal of Anasazi life. Indeed, it perpetuates many stereotypes Europeans have long held regarding Native Americans disregarding the appeals of Native American scholars that non-Indians stop using Indians to legitimize their own beliefs.
Found this site that says her real name is Mary Leigh and she is Polish.http://www.everything2.net/index.pl?node_id=1307379
Mary Summer Rain created by gleeme
(person) by gleeme (3.5 mon) (print) ? 1 C! Fri May 24 2002 at 17:05:23
Full Name: originally Mary Leigh (Polish surname unknown), legally changed to Mary Summer Rain
Born: December 12, 1945 at 3:05 a.m.
Died: N/A, still living
Chosen Genre: 'Native American spirituality' (read: New Age)
Mary Summer Rain is to Native Americans as Silver RavenWolf is to Wiccans. Of course, this comparison falls short in that Wiccans are not a racial/ethnic group, but rather follow a certain ideology by choice... still the comparison is a useful one. Both RavenWolf and Summer Rain have managed to garner some name recognition and a decent number of avid readers who use their texts as reference guides for spiritual practices. Both speak from positions of authority; Summer Rain, who has a measure of Shoshone blood, informs her reader that she is the final recipient of the wisdom of the Chippewa visionary No-Eyes. There's just one problem: even though they wrote with the best of intentions, both RavenWolf and Summer Rain have produced texts that are extremely watered down and overly-simple. The stereotype of the New Ager as a flaky culture vulture looking for easy answers and quick fixes, unwilling to engage in the sort of serious research and deep study that is necessary to truly embrace a pre-existing religion that one has not been raised to follow, is a direct result of readers relying too heavily on these sorts of books for spiritual guidance (some people would argue that serious research and deep study is necessary to truly embrace any religion, even if one has been raised to follow it. I would be one such person). Owning up as a fan of Mary Summer Rain when you're at a powwow is a surefire way to keep yourself from being invited to the 49-- it's like wearing a nametag that says "Hello, My Name Is Twinkie".
Perhaps it is this reluctance on the part of her readers to engage in research and scholarship that has resulted in the dearth of information available on Summer Rain via the 'Net. Despite the fact that Summer Rain has published two explicitly autobiographical works (Soul Sounds and Bittersweet), and most of her other books contain autobiographical information and are not meant to be read as fiction, I was not able to find one fan page devoted to Summer Rain that actually gave biographical information on her instead of ranting about her books. Fortunately, the website of her publishing company, Hampton Roads, has some excerpts from Soul Sounds that provide a few details about Summer Rain's background.
Summer Rain "can clearly remember [her] life before entering this earthly realm." In this state of pre-life, she was part of "the Great White Brotherhood"-- angels, "united in the way of being completed ones who carried out God's will", but divided into groupings such as messengers, light warriors, spiritual advisors, and those on physical missions. "Some were protectors (these usually were the Archangels Gabriel, Raphael, Ariel and Michael), some were direct intermediaries between The Brotherhood division heads and God". Summer Rain's established position in the Great White Brotherhood was Record Keeper, but the day came that she was selected for the great honor of a physical mission to Earth:
When the head of special projects approached me, I knew what was on his mind.
"We need you again," he'd said.
"Yes. The Master sees a great need there. He wishes you to rekindle the ember again."
"But the others (the Starborn) will do that. It was foreseen and so deemed within the Plan."
"This is so, but humankind has strayed too far too fast. They will nearly destroy their planet before the Others' time is right. Humankind has fallen into the confusion and chaos Belial has brought upon them with a silken tongue, coated with honey, and the people are believing his words."
"Surely they can tell."
"It seems not, for Belial has cloaked his minions in spiritual robes, and they do magic and speak golden words while giving out concepts contrary to the Precepts. The fervent Christians have become arrogant, religious sects are killing one another, and the self is becoming paramount in their minds."
"Who do you see is required this time?"
"As who? What role?"
"As a white one who is not white, as a native one who is not native."
"Then what will I be?"
Summer Rain goes on to explain that her mixed status is required in order to fulfill two prophecies, one Anasazi and one Hopi; the head of special projects informs her that "you will experience non-acceptance from both races. This is because your genealogy will have been tampered with for the sake of white propriety. You will have a fullblood relative who was given a fictitious French name. All evidence of native blood will have been eradicated from your family's historical records -- this you will have to deal with. It will not be easy." This placed Summer Rain in what she refers to as the Shadowland, the Way Between Races.
Summer Rain also explains that her husband and co-author, William Joseph, is a light warrior that has accompanied her on several missions in the past and that the head of special projects laid things out in advance so that they would meet when they were both 16 years of age. Summer Rain learns that she will not only have William Joseph's aid in this mission-- she will also have Archangel Raphael to serve as her protector, to keep the Sons of Belial at bay.
Mary Leigh has nothing to do with Natives, except very brief mentions of Shoshones and Chippewas to try to make her end of the world ideas seem legit, and to make money.
The two tribes are hundreds of miles apart, so why would one be given the alleged traditions of another? BTW, the second tribe generally prefers to call themselves Anishnnabe or Ojibwe. Chippewa is a label mostly used by outsiders.
Archangels? That's Christian.
Belial? That's a Christian name for a demon, or the Devil himself, isn't it?
And the writing style itself and the way characters speak, don't they remind you of Conan the Barbarian comic books? It does to me, except when it tries to sound like a Hollywood version of the Bible.
I suppose the deeper question for you to ask yourself is, why do her books appeal to you? That will involved a lot of soul searching which I hope you are open enough to do. There are many far better sources out there to learn from.