The Dream Down Under
with Aboriginal Traditional Stories
as told by Lorraine Mafi-Williams
Interior artwork by Anne R. Williams
Ebook September 2005
Original trade paperback │236 pages | $18.95 | ISBN 9781597190015 | LCCN:
2004097679 | June 2005 | Adobe PDF, EPUB & Mobipocket eBook | $9.99 ISBN
Shattered by family tragedy in the early
1960s, an upper-middle-class Southern teenager finds solace in art and literature. Decades later, she is
called to the continent whose literature comforted her, and to a magical connection with an Aboriginal woman
transcending race and half a world.
A true story of a deep journey, Unconventional Means: The Dream
Down Under contains Aboriginal traditional stories as told by Lorraine Mafi-Williams and original
artwork by Anne Richardson Williams.
The Pearlsong Press edition of
Unconventional Means is revised & updated from the 2000 In Circle
Press edition. The ebook edition contains the complete text of the Pearlsong
Press trade paperback, with color versions of the illustrations substituted for the black & white
illustrations of the paperback. The ebook also contains a bonus section featuring color
snapshots related to the author's spiritual travelogue.
Click on a link to buy Unconventional Means from the
Pearlsong Press store:
| PDF ebook |
All retail copies of Unconventional Means purchased from the Pearlsong
will be autographed by the author.
Buy from your favorite retailer:
Kindle) | Powells.com (trade paperback
& PDF ebook)
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Nook) | The
Book Depository (free shipping worldwide) | Apple's
iTunes bookstore |
More info │Reviews | Read excerpts online | Anne R. Williams website |About the Author | Story Circle Network review of Unconventional
Means | Library Request
In her authentic voice, Anne Williams takes us on a personal and yet universal
journey to Australian sacred sites and into ancient sacred
stories that still contain powerful medicine. Move across a world and a continent as two women,
one American and one Australian, describe their reality in language that stirs your heart. Travel becomes
adventure and life becomes the journey.
Anne Williams captures the art of the quest, showing how even perplexing or painful
experiences can be ultimately understood as a necessary part of the soul's journey.
Unconventional Means: The Dream Down
Under is a tapestry of stories woven together with reverence
for the more subtle, intuitive realms of our nature. The author's connection with Lorraine
Mafi-Williams, an Aboriginal elder, awakens the reader to honor our shared humanity. We are reminded
of the vast inner world that connects each of us and is often forgotten or dismissed in our modern
Anne's journey speaks to our universal need for healing the rift between the masculine and
feminine in order to realize divine union within our own hearts. With vivid images that capture your
imagination and take you there, she has painted a story within a story about opening up and trusting the
essence of who we truly are.
A spiritual travelogue &
The essence of Unconventional Means is captured by its front cover.
Ayers Rock, Australia's most famous natural landmark, is superimposed on a middle Tennessee
landscape like a portal from Music City to the Land Down Under.
It's a surrealistic image, befitting the true story of a woman whose dreams, visions,
meditation and intuition drew her halfway around the world and across a continent to find the Aboriginal
woman whose ancient stories of a land and its people would help heal her.
Artist Anne Richardson Williams originally published Unconventional
Means in 2000 through her own In Circle Press. Nashville's Pearlsong Press is published a
revised and updated second edition in June 2005. The new edition contains additional illustrations, a
glossary, and an update on events occurring since the first edition was released.
At the encouragement of Pearlsong Press editor and publisher Peggy Elam,
Ph.D., Williams also added to the second edition text bridging the first section's account of her
teenage attempts to cope with family tragedy through art and reading, eventually finding solace in a novel
set in Australia, and her call to Australia decades later as she approached her 50th
Midwest Book Review called the first edition "a unique and
moving work....a singularly unforgettable read." The second edition magnifies that promise.
"Anne Williams has written an intelligent, lyrical and inspirational tale about her excursion
into the outbacks of Australia and of her soul," Steven McFadden, author of
Legend of the Rainbow Warriors, said of the second edition. "The true story of her
pilgrimage is beautifully and directly told, creating a literary roadmap of trust that readers might learn
how one soul navigated unconventional—but vital—pathways forward."
More info │Reviews | Read excerpts online | Anne R. Williams
website | About the Author |
Story Circle Network review of Unconventional
PRAISE for Unconventional
"The author paints with her words a fascinating country, one most will never see. Her vision is
interwoven with metaphysical beliefs and tales of ancient people, and she is more open than most to the
'coincidences' of life. Animals, dreams, people, images all have meaning and messages that apply to her quest."
from the Story Circle
Network review by
Linda C. Wisniewski
Off Kilter: A Woman's Journey to Peace with Scoliosis, Her Mother, & Her Polish
Steven McFadden, author of Legend of the Rainbow Warriors (a revised
edition of which was published in 2005), read the galley of Anne Richardson
Williams' Unconventional Means: The Dream Down Under, the second edition of
which was published by Pearlsong Press in June 2005.
It was a photo of aboriginal elder Lorraine Mafi-Williams, also known as
"Alinta, Woman of Fire," in McFadden's 1992 book Ancient Voices, Current
Affairs: Legend of the Rainbow Warriors that called to Anne so strongly that she ended up
traveling halfway around the world to find her.
The revised & updated Pearlsong Press edition of Unconventional Means contains new material bridging Anne's
childhood attraction to Australia, which developed after the heroine's journey in Nevil
Shute's A Town Like Alice helped Anne cope with personal
tragedy, with the adult events that precipitated her to the Land Down Under. The Pearlsong Press edition also
contains a touching update to the original narrative.
Here's what Steven McFadden had to say about the second edition of
"Yesterday I put a double CD of "Four Bach Orchestral Suites" on the stereo, pushed the
play button and sat down at my desk with the galley for Unconventional Means.
It was a pleasure and a wonder to page along, and to re-read the story. Beautifully done. The typography
and layout of the pages are a perfect compliment. I had a happy afternoon taking the journey again page
by page and scene by scene. My sincere thanks for giving me a chance to take this meaningful reading
pilgrimage with you, and to remember Alinta.
"Incidentally, I happened to catch an episode of the CBS TV series 'Survivor' earlier
this week. It seems one of the teams on the show is called 'Alinta.' Hmmmm?
"At any rate, you are welcome to use any of this e-mail for the blurb, as suits the
purpose. Here's an official attempt at blurbage:
"Anne Williams has written an intelligent, lyrical and inspirational tale about her
excursion into the outbacks of Australia and of her soul. The true story of her pilgrimage is beautifully
and directly told, creating a literary roadmap of trust that readers might learn how one soul navigated
unconventional—but vital—pathways forward."
Author, Legend of the Rainbow Warriors
Director, Chiron Communications
Review of the
2000 In Circle Press edition
of Unconventional Means
A Journey of Transformation
Michael White of Brush
In Australia there is a very famous rock known as Uluru, a monolithic red
sandstone boulder of a mountain that shoots up out of the desert plain. In the evening as the sun is
setting it glows radiant red, like an ember. It is one of the sacred sites of the Aboriginal peoples, who
still use it as a place of pilgrimage and ceremony.
Unconventional Means is the story of a pilgrimage to that stone and, with that, a pilgrimage to the aboriginal
places that lay veiled under the veneer of western, modern life in America. It is the real life adventure
of a woman who is unafraid to explore the world, both externally and internally.
Anne writes very much in the tradition of Alexandria David-Neel, who
published travel accounts of her journeys into Tibet in the 1930s. Anne, like David-Neel, is no ordinary
tourist, and her account is both poetic and prophetic. She uses the teaching of the Aborginals and what
she has gleaned from the esoteric traditions of the East and the West to lead her on her
She is moving by unconventional means, and when decisions are made about where to go she
uses the visions she sees in meditation, her dreams, and the signs that come to her in daily life to make
the decisions. These are her portals into a reality very distinct from conventional western
Anne is watching what happens in her perception of the world in a way that is focused
differently than the typical modern American. She has learned and practiced the techniques of the sacred,
she has studied meditation and yoga, and has reached deeply into the traditional ways of tribal people.
In particular, when she practices meditation, she is aware in such a way that what she sees becomes
vision and in that vision she can find the solution to situations in her life and answers about what she
But meditation is just one of the ports of entry into the aboriginal world. Dreams are
another, and just as Anne watches in her mind's eye for visions, she watches in her sleep to see what
transpires in her dreams. Finally, she also watches as the events of the day transpire to see in those
events signs that can reveal openings that show the way.
She has entered the magical universe and is giving us a report of what it looks like and
how to navigate in that terrain.
Her methods are very feminine, highly intuitive, and reflective of ways that can be used
to reach conclusions without the deductive logic of western reason.
In 1993 Anne saw a picture in a book of an Aboriginal woman in Australia, an elder and a
storyteller. Anne felt an immediate kinship that acted like a magnet to draw her halfway around the globe
to seek out the woman. In 1997 she went to Australia with no assurance that she could ever find this
person—and yet by her unconventional means she not only finds her but travels around Australia visiting
ceremonial sites, hearing traditional stories and participating in ancient ceremonies.
In the course of her journey she tape-records many of the conversations in which
Lorraine Mafi-Williams, who among her people is called Alinta, tells
stories about the sites they visit. These stories are stories of initiation and transformation, used to
hold people together and teach them who they are. Anne also gets to hear Alinta's life story, and we see
that in Australia the elders among the Aboriginals grew up in the tribal culture only slightly removed
from their ways before the invasion of the Europeans.
Alinta had grown up in an Aboriginal hut, living on the earth in a nomadic lifestyle. She
tells of being schooled by the whites and how the Aboriginals would sneak off to learn from their own
elders after the school day was done. She teaches Anne the techniques of "spirit journeys" that take
place in the dream world. She tells that her ways, her ceremonies, are not lost and are still alive in
the elders. These elders are willing to share them, not only with their own peoples, but with the white
and black cultures as well, knowing that someday we will all be one people.
Anne is a harbinger of this awareness. Her book is a travel adventure in the life of the
mind and a journey of transformation that has immense value as we move into the global consciousness that
is now possible in the world. Her book, published by In Circle Press, is beautifully
Michael White has compiled and edited
two books: Safe in Heaven Dead: INterviews with Jack
Kerouac & Light of the Three Jewels by Khenchen Palden Sherab
Rinpoche. His stories, poems, essays, interviews and reviews have been
published in the U.S., Canada, England, Italy, Japan and India.