E-Village News
Responding to the Call of the Ancestors
December 2011
Photo by Ulli Bonnekamp

Malidoma Patrice Som´┐Ż
Dagara Wisdom in Action
By Donna Strong
Awareness Magazine, July/August 2011, Volume 18, No. 4
Email: [email protected]

Greetings Village!

The following is the conclusion of the interview which was featured last month in E-Village News (November 2011 issue).  We hope you enjoy the inspiration and wisdom presented here, as we say goodbye to 2011, a Water year, and get ready to move into 2012---a Fire year in Dagara culture!

Peace, Blessings & HAPPY HOLIDAYS!


Donna:  May I mention---I read a piece in which you were talking about how in your culture, that instead of just thinking of a dream as an interesting kind of phenomenon that's separate, you should interact with spirit about it.  I thought that was remarkable because so many people in the West are into writing down their dreams and analyzing them, but you were suggesting much more, because again, it's about relationship.

Malidoma:  Well, it is relationship, as with everything else.  Information that comes to us through the dream channel is part of the natural interaction that every living  being has with the Other World.  Those who don't dream are people who don't have a relationship.  But I don't know anybody who doesn't dream.

     The point about it is, well, in the West, yes; people have an insufficient initiative in reaction to dreaming.  By recording a dream, we don't satisfy the intention of the dream or the purpose of it.  It is important that we understand that a dream is a message from the Other World that was lodged into our consciousness while we were resting.

     It is an indigenous belief that we are more cooperative when we're sleeping because we let our defenses go.  And that's when spirit takes that moment to come to us and talk to us convincingly through dreams.

     So instead of waking up and recording it, which is not a bad idea, it is important to voice to spirits how you have received the dream.  There might be a difference between the transmission of the dream and the receiver's awareness of the content at the other end of the line.

     If there is something programmatic about the dream, it means that somehow our intention is being directed toward something that is urgent, and if we happen to not have a clear idea as to what we're supposed to do, then this is a good time to ask the sender to give us more detail.  Some dreams may appear incomplete, and in this case it is a good idea to tell the senders, look, there seems to be missing pieces in the information, at least from where I am as a receiver.  What happens then is that the Other World takes it into consideration and eventually corrects or elaborates more on what has been transmitted.

Donna:  Okay, and this might be expressed in events you notice in daily life as some kind of further transmission, not just in a dream?

Malidoma:  Absolutely.  Because a dream doesn't just happen when we're asleep.  What we call a dream is assisting a person's instinct, a person's intuition, and the kind of awareness of sudden insight that we have about something.  You may be walking somewhere and then all of a sudden you make a u-turn and can't explain why you made the turn but you were really sure that this was the right thing to do.

     You may never find out what was ahead of you that prompted the loving spirits to find a way to get you to make that u-turn.  So it is important to stretch the concept of dream to include phenomena that happens while we're wide awake.

Donna:  I see.  When you were talking about talismanic medicine and understanding more about the causality of nature, I wanted to relate the nudges we are getting from spirit to develop more relationships with other members of creation and the healing involved with that, by working with nature.

Malidoma:  Very well noted, yes indeed.  There seems to be an increasing call that we pay attention, not just to the immediate geography of our existence, but to make an effort to see the degree to which the immediate geography is connected to other other geographies  that eventually stretch out and beyond this planet to other unknown areas that know nature, the places that are hosting us down here.

     The issue is this, the intelligence of nature is of such sophistication that it keeps an open channel to subspace consciousness, wherein all kinds of sustainable energies are offered, on our behalf and on behalf of the other species.

     Consequently, we're being urged to quit being local and to begin to see the way that anything we do or don't do affects the cosmic plane.  When we start thinking that way, we are not only honoring our own cosmic relationship, but we're showing the kind of awareness that is really a contribution to human wellness.  It is the kind of awareness that we try to get into by creating sacred space and inviting spirits to join us in an effort to take care of something that is of prime importance to us.

Donna:  Speaking of healing, I've never known so many people in what I would call healing crisis.  Having been involved as a healing practitioner, I don't see healing crisis as inherently a negative thing, even though it's doing a lot to get your attention.  But I'm wondering what you would say about this.  Is it a big call from spirit?

Malidoma:  Well, there are many ways of looking at it.  And your way is pretty good.  I like to look at it that way.  A crisis is not necessarily something bad.  It could be a fairly profound blessing, disguised like that.  At least in Dagara culture, what is clear is that ancestors always get our attention in a way that feels like they're grabbing a stick and hitting our head with it.  It hurts.  But also, it gets our attention.

     And so in a way, this is a good thing, to be hit in the head like this because we tend to be so easily distracted by other preoccupations.  And in the same manner, the deepest crisis can also carry inside of it the biggest blessings ever.

     It is perhaps one of the things that we demand, through various behavioral patterns.  One thing we may call the self-destructive pattern can be a way for us to call on change from the Other World in that particular way.  Catastrophe, whether it is man-made or not, oftentimes comes simply because the sum total of human energies combined tend to send a signal that feels like a statement, inviting awakening.

     Therefore, we can see that every step we take is a message we send to the Other World.  Our demeanor is a language.  And more than not, it's a language directed to the Other World, and the Other World responds.  More often than not, the way it gets our attention is quite radical.

     This is why crisis cannot be labeled in this definitive fashion as something evil or something unfortunate or anything.  Maybe fortune is lodged inside, and in that case, every time we feel ourselves stuck somewhere we may wonder what kind of blessings is hiding behind this darkness.

     It is not something we should call for or invite.  It's just that at this juncture, we're still growing as a species.  I don't know; maybe we're not qualified yet for even the high school of consciousness.  The way we learn is rather sensory.  So when one of the sensors gets hit, all of a sudden we pay attention, you know?  It should not be dismissed because if it can help us move forward above and beyond the tendency for pettiness, then there's something good about that.

Donna:  I get it.  One of the things I have had a lot of personal experience with is the call and response between the human realm and the spirit realm.

Malidoma:  Wow!  This is perfect, the way you say it---the call and response.  As long as this is going on, it means that somehow we can move, and though we can take ourselves away from spirit, we can't take spirit away from us.

Donna:  (Laughter.)

Malidoma:  You know?  The dance is only happening between this world and the Other World of spirit.  So we can run, but we cannot shake the Other World off of us.  Even the most hardheaded person is constantly sending messages forward that are echoed by the Other World in a way that looks rather tough.  But in the end, it's a great melody.

Donna:  You are quite a diviner; you have quite an ability to see beyond circumstances, I want you to know that.

Malidoma:  Oh, thank you.

Donna:  In closing I'd like to ask about one of my favorite lines of many you have written:  "It's not a private planet, but a community initiative."

Malidoma:  Oh yes.  Yes.  We are part of the whole tribal village.  The global village is indeed the place where every so-called individual personal crisis is the business of everybody.  The day when nothing is personal will be the day when we will see each one of us as carriers of something that is deemed beneficial to the rest of the community.

Donna:  May I ask one little question of that?  What are you seeing emerge in people you're working with, related to 'being the carriers of the beneficial'?

Malidoma:  They call it their life's purpose.  They call it their gifts.  People all of a sudden become lit with a sense of belonging, a sense of worth in which the fire that was rather dim in their system starts to go ablaze.  It is something very beautiful and stylistically colorful to look at, and where it takes them is down the rabbit hole of creativity and imagination.

     To see someone all of a sudden burst into life, realizing that they are worth something and to begin dispensing their gift is, in itself, a blessing really.

Donna Strong is a writer and spiritual midwife, helping others to birth more authentic aspects of themselves.  For more, visit www.donnastrong.com

Malidoma in Jamaica!
January 16-19, 2012


     Malidoma will bring his workshop on Ritual and African Spirituality to Jackie's on the Reef, in Negril, Jamaica, W.I.  Jackie's on the Reef is a spa getaway for those who want to rejuvenate their mind, body and spirit through yoga, meditations, massages, and healthy meals.  This retreat is for those seeking to revitalize their connection with nature, magic, and community.


     Retreat Includes:  Breakfast & Dinner


                                            Fire, Water, & Ancestors Rituals

                                            Himalayan Singing Bowl Meditation

                                            2 Spa Treatments 

                                            Fireside chats & Stargazing

                                            Airport Transfers


     Cost:  $1,600 (does not include airfare)


     Payment Plan:  $600 by December 1st, checks, credit
                                       card, traveler's checks.  Balance to be
                                       paid in Jamaica.


     Contact:   Jackie Lewis

                          [email protected]   



Malidoma will be available for divinations at this retreat, Friday, January 20th through Saturday, January 21st!  For more info and to schedule a divination appointment, contact Yetunde at 407-574-5350, or email here

Attention:  IAST Graduates &Participants
Burkina Faso Trip, February 2012 

Processing Animals
Photo taken by Robert Walker

     Malidoma has scheduled a trip to his village in Dano and to the city of Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, West Africa from February 6 through March 2.  This trip is focused on further studies of Dagara shamanic medicine, the culmin- ation of our Indigenous African Spiritual Technologies, (IAST) two-year training sessions offered in the U.S. (and now Germany).  Therefore, this trip targets graduates and participants of the two-year training program.  

     The fee is $3,500 per person (not including airfare). 
Time is running out!!  If you plan to participate, write to
[email protected] as soon as possible!

Donations for the Dagara Cultural Youth Festival, February 20-25, 2012
(revised scheduled date)

Fashion Show1
Photo taken by David Sprague

      The Dagara Cultural Youth Festival is an attempt to interest youth in the values of the traditions of their ancestors so that they can preserve it in themselves amidst the sweeping changes of modernity. UNESCO had shown interest in it for reasons of its own and then dropped out when these interests dried up.


     The goal is to raise 15K or more for this week-long event.  Your tax-deductible contribution can be sent directly to Aviela Inc., c/o Robert Walker, P.O. Box 82, Cherry Plains, NY 12040.  You can also go to our website and donate by PayPal.


THANK YOU!!!    


Malidoma @ Jackie's on the Reef
Negril, Jamaica, W.I.
January 16-19
Cost:  $1,600 (does not include airfare)
for more info contact Jackie Lewis at 718-469-2785 or
Malidoma will also be available for divinations at Jackie's on the Reef, Jan. 20-21.  for more info:  [email protected]

IAST & Youth Festival, Burkina Faso Trip
Dano, Burkina Faso, West Africa
IAST-February 6-March 2,
Youth Festival-February 20-25

for more info write to [email protected]

IAST-3rd Session
Ojai, CA
March 21-25
for more info click here

Private Divinations
Ojai, CA
March 26-28
to schedule an appointment write to [email protected]

Private Divinations & Fire Ritual in Woodstock, NY
April 18-22
Details will be forthcoming!

Malidoma in D.C. Metro Area
April 26-May 4
Details will be forthcoming!