Tag Archives: Dagara

A loss talisman

Loss is awful. Loss keeps coming up in my life this month, not as in new losses but as in memories of past losses, perhaps insufficiently grieved. In the West, we use therapy to uncover and discharge past griefs. Indigenous … Continue reading

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Ancestral flood relief

I’m not saying I totally believe in this stuff, but it does seem to work. I’ve been excessively anxious since the hurricane. I’m grateful the water didn’t enter my house, but cleaning up the flooded garage and crawlspace has been … Continue reading

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Grounding through a mineral ritual

While participating in a ritual is often a transformational experience, I’m finding that even helping out at a ritual can be nourishing. Last night Glenn led a group of five people through a mineral ritual at Sky Lake Lodge in … Continue reading

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God and the people, after the flood

Horses are escaping through a broken fence. I cut through the neighbor’s yard, and his dogs nip at me. I protect myself with a couch cushion from the horse owner’s house. I’m slogging through the mud on the road back … Continue reading

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A West African water ritual of anointing

Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. – Psalm 23 The woman dips three fingers into her bowl of water. She traces her fingertips along my temple and down the line of my jaw while looking directly … Continue reading

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Feeding the ancestors with eloquence

Quoting Martin Prechtel (see two previous posts) on the Mayan view of the ancestors: You feed your ancestors with words and eloquence. We all have old, forgotten languages that our languages are descended from, and many of these languages are … Continue reading

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What is a shaman?

In a 2001 interview for the The Sun Magazine, Mayan elder Martín Prechtel sets out a world view that is similar to that embodied in the West African spiritual practices I have been studying with Glenn Leisching, an initiated elder … Continue reading

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