public programs past

Calling the Ancestors 
The Healing Power of Ritual

A workshop with Malidoma Somé

January 12-14, 2007 

“It is possible that we have been brought together at this time because we have profound truths to teach each other. Toward that end, I offer the wisdom of the African ancestors so that Westerners might find the deep healing they seek.  From an indigenous perspective, the individual psyche can be healed only by addressing one’s relationships with the visible worlds of nature and community and one’s relationships with the invisible forces of the ancestors and Spirit allies.

The spark of this ancestral flame, which I have brought to the land of the stranger, is now burning brightly. Increasingly, I have been and will be encouraging westerners to embody these traditions as a testimony to the indigenous capacity to assert itself with dignity in the face of modernity. In this way the ancestors will know that this medicine has found a true home—that it is more than an honored guest.”  —Malidoma P. Somé 

Before his birth, in 1956, the elders of Malidoma’s village knew that his purpose in coming into this world was to carry the message of indigenous technology and spirituality to the western world, a place where modernity was growing increasingly hungry for a reconnection to ancient wisdom. For more than 20 years, Malidoma Somé has shared the wisdom of his ancestors and tribal elders, awakening a deep knowing in the hearts and bones of those who have recognized in his name, his books, his voice, the spirit world inviting the renewal of a powerful and abiding relationship with all beings on earth.

Virtually every ritual work and ceremonial event Malidoma has conducted began and ended with the ancestors. This is because nothing in the ritual tradition of Dagara people can happen without involving the dead. From simple ritual practices such as sprinkling ashes to focus one’s intention, and pouring water to invoke peace, to the several-week-long initiations, the names of the dead are invoked, implored and/or simply called on.

In this workshop, participants will journey through Dagara wisdom, remembering that we are, each of us, going somewhere purposeful in life. Through the healing interaction of ritual we will open ourselves to the desires and insistence of the ancestors. Participants will learn the practice of “Calling in the Ancestors”, and experience a deepening of that connectedness with the spirit world. Such practice is appropriate for anyone who, for whatever reason, and in whatever way, calls upon spirit for intervention in their lives.

To assist participants in living more harmoniously in the natural world and in relationships with the spirit world, Malidoma Somé will be available Sunday afternoon and Monday for private and personal divination for an additional fee. More information will be included in your confirmation materials.

Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ph.D, is an initiated elder in his village in Dano, Burkina Faso in West Africa. He travels throughout the world bringing a message of hope, healing and reconciliation through the powerful tools of ritual and community building. Through his lectures and the introduction of ritual in a way that the western psyche can embrace, Malidoma offers life-altering medicine and the opportunity to explore the meaning of purpose within one’s community. He has earned two Ph.D’s, from the Sorbonne in Paris and Brandeis University in Boston. He is the author of several books, including Ritual: Power, Healing and Community, Of Water and the Spirit, and The Healing Wisdom of Africa. For more information, visit www.malidoma.com.

Back To Top

© Pacifica Graduate Institute - All rights reserved