Ancestral Medicine                                                         October 2013




Last week my family and I walked the land in Gettysburg, PA, site of one of the greatest single blood-lettings in the history of the Americas (over 50,000 casualties July 1st-3rd, 1863).

Walking the line at Pickett's charge (epicenter of the final day of battle), my mind returned to the importance of "right view", of seeing ourselves and those around us through the eyes of wisdom, love, and conscious relationship. Without objectification of human beings based on a radical distortion of the concept of race (itself largely a social construct), there would have been no basis to support the evil that was slavery in the Americas. And no slavery means no U.S. Civil War and no massacre at Gettysburg. Amidst the smoke and roar of cannons and butchery is the primary confusion; objectification of others is there pulling the trigger again and again.

Earth-honoring traditions at their best reinforce in 1,001 ways that not only are all other humans our relatives, but so are the plants, rivers, animals, mountains, ancestors, and stars. The single greatest function of ritual may be to counter the tendency of the mind toward "I am" superiority by repeatedly hammering home inter-connectedness with all the implied accountability. Relatives may be obnoxious or deadly but they are still family, not objects.

In what ways are you proactively working to embody inter-relatedness in your everyday life and in the larger world? How are you preventing future wars and misery by choosing love and relationship? I suspect the dead of Gettysburg would agree; working to replace fear and ignorance with love and "right view" is no small matter.  

And yeah, events and all that below. Hope you can join us in circle this Autumn!

With heart,

S.F. Bay Area Ancestors Weekend Training   
Sat-Sun, October 12th-13th, 10am-5pm each day  
Taoist Healing Energetics Center 
Berkeley, CA 
Egungun Masquerade

Our blood and family ancestors help us to remember our location in the matrix, our life purpose, and our higher self and destiny. They're also great supporters for transforming family pain and dysfunction into good medicine and healthy pride. This is also true for those who deeply dislike (or don't even know) their biological family and recent dead. In short, we all stand to benefit from facing and transforming past pain so that future generations can breathe more easily. 

I've been offering this weekend since 2005 as a way to guide others through the method I've found effective for making repairs with blood/family ancestors. If you work with others in a healing/helping capacity, the skills you'll learn in the training for relating with ancestors can complement your existing practice.

Be in touch ASAP if you're interested as the training is almost here. Cost is $200, 10am-5pm each day, spaces limited.  For more info on ancestor work see:  
Sacred Mountains of the San Francisco Bay Area: 
Inhabiting Home through Science and Spirit  
Sat-Sun, October 26th-27th, 2013
San Francisco, CA 

Prayer Walk
Living in earth-honoring ways calls for an integrated approach to ecology, human culture, and relationship with the Sacred.

If you live in the Bay Area, chances are you (like eight million others) live between the waters of the Estuary and a ring of mountains: Mt Tamalpais and Mt St Helena in the North, Mt Diablo in the East, Mt Hamilton and Mt Umunhum in the South Bay, and San Bruno Mountain just south of San Francisco.

How can relating in conscious ways with these mountains increase your sense of home and place and also nourish your human relationships and inner life?

On Sat, Oct 26th (Day One) over 15 distinguished presenters will guide our approach to the mountains from five disciplines:

Umunhum summit * Natural science (including local geology, flora, and fauna)
* Indigenous Bay Area cultures past, present, and future
* Storytelling and creative expression
* Public policy and advocacy (inc. local sacred sites)
* Spiritual practice focused on relating with mountains.

On Day Two breakout groups will gather on/near three local mountains. Cost for both days is $75 (work trade available). To register: This is the fourth and final annual Bay Area conference of the Earth Medicine Alliance, and it's going be a really sweet event.  Hope you can be with us!

The Earth Medicine Alliance, is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 non-profit founded in 2009.
Mt Umunhum Honoring Ritual
Saturday, Nov 2nd, 10am-5pm
San Jose, CA

At the southern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mt Umunhum is the source of the Guadalupe River and a sacred mountain for Ohlone and some other local people. The summit of this mountain, now under the stewardship of Mid-Peninsula Open Space Trust is in an exciting process of restoration after years of desecration.  


This day of earth-honoring ritual will complete the six 2013 mountain honoring circles. Our time will include the usual blend of teachings, heart-centered dialogue, direct visioning with the land, and a ritual feasting and celebration of the ancestors and other spirits of place. If you haven't spend time on and around this mountain it's a truly magical place; highly recommended.    


Cost is $80 (let me know if you need flexibility). Location will be shared upon registration. We'll walk up to three miles; decent physical condition and on-time arrival required. All are welcome, even if you haven't been a part of the other mountain gatherings in 2013. 

Ifa/Orisha Path: Teaching on Destiny & Personal Divinations   
Guest Teacher: Baba Ifagbemi Faseye 
Sat-Wed, November 16th-20th   
San Francisco Bay Area  

From Oshun grove in Oshogbo
Ifa/Orisha tradition is the traditional way of life of the Yoruba people of Southwest Nigeria as well as the most widely practiced traditional African religion in the world with well-established lineages in Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, and increasingly in Europe and the United States.

Intro to Ifa, Destiny, and Divination. Within the larger way of life that is Ifa/Orisha tradition, the Ifa diviners and priests often emphasize living in close alignment with one's personal destiny. This includes regular consultation with Ifa (Ifa dida), offerings/sacrifice (ebo), observation of relevant taboos and guidelines on conduct (eewo), and constantly seeking to elevate one's life and family into a state of love, wisdom, and grounded service. This training will explore teachings on destiny, sacrifice, and taboos from an Ifa perspective and provide an intro to the practice of Ifa divination Cost $80 (flexibility if needed). Sat, Nov 16th. 10am-4:30pm. Location TBD.

Baba Ifagbemi Personal Ifa Divinations. For those seeking life guidance and who are willing to actively embrace change and transformation, Ifa divination is a powerful tool for getting clear and moving forward. Sessions last about an hour and cost is $100. Spaces and times are limited; be in touch in advance if interested.

Baba Ifagbemi is a priest of Ifa, Obatala, and Oshun. In addition to working closely with teachers in the U.S. he has been made four trips to Nigeria for in-depth training. He is my (Daniel's) teacher and this will be my fourth time hosting him in the Bay Area. For more info on his background and offerings see:

With questions or to register for any of these offerings, be in contact with Daniel at: or (650) 248-8917.  
Dreaming, Ancestors, and the Winter Earth:
A Weekend Retreat to Welcome the Solstice
Sat, Dec 14, 12noon - Sun, Dec 15, 4pm 
Private Residence in Franklinville, NC 

As nights grow long in the Northern Hemisphere, the cool dark of winter invites stronger dreaming, renewal of relationship with the ancestors, and recharge through the restorative qualities of Earth.

This weekend retreat at a beautiful private residence in rural North Carolina will include teachings to support sustained work with dreams, ceremony to enliven ancestral support, and consecration of a Mongolian-style peace tree (barisaa) to honor the local ancestors and other spirits of place.

We'll circle in a beautiful cabin/ceremonial space, enjoy evening fire ceremony, and spend quality time out on the land. The weekend will be held as nurturing heart-space and spirit-guided community. Participants are encouraged to attend the full weekend and register in advance as spaces are limited. Cost is $175 total (includes three healthy meals and overnight camping or indoor floor space for sleeping; either available). Work trade available as needed.

No prior experience with earth-honoring ceremony/ritual required. Be in touch directly with questions or to register at: Feel welcome to connect on Facebook here: NC Solstice event page. Hope you can join us!