Tag Archives: indigenous teachings

The Halfway Café

Here is a podcast of my short story, “The Halfway Café,” narrated by a dead woman and examining such questions as: Do our ancestors watch us? Why would they care if we mourn? An outtake from my mystery novel, Stone’s House, it … Continue reading

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Talisman of gratitude

According to Mayan shaman Martín Prechtel, all inspiration comes from the Other World. When we create something, we are supposed to give back to our ancestors in the Other World, using the form of “eloquent sound,” or by offering something … Continue reading

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Tarantella, an ancient Sicilian dance ritual

My Italian ancestors lived in the Dolomite Mountains, the Alps near the Austrian border. However, there’s a theory that the family name, Ciliotta, referred to a migration from Sicily (note the “cil” in both words), many centuries back. So when … Continue reading

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Ancestralization: Water your family tree

My friends and I are digging a home for our ancestors under an old church. Maybe your ancestors would like to live there too. The church has been deconsecrated, as it is no longer needed for Christian services. We find … Continue reading

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The Civil War and the hungry ghosts

In the previous post, I wrote about Mayan teachings related by Martin Prechtel in a Sun Magazine interview with Derrick Jensen in 2009. Like the West African Dagara, whose traditions I have been studying with Glenn Leisching (pictured),  the Mayans … 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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