Tag Archives: Malidoma

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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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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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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Fire, water, and ancestors

Notes from Glenn Leisching’s course on Dagara spirituality: Ancestors are a reflection to us of who we are – we are the residue of what they left behind. They know what they left behind, left undone, and are desperate to … Continue reading

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How I Met My Ancestors

West African shamans of the Dagara tribe consider the West spiritually impoverished—and in danger of self-destruction—due to its failure to maintain solid relationships with our ancestors, who can guide us through life if we are attuned to them. “The ancestors … Continue reading

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