Redwood Forest National Park, California
Malidoma's Pen
Malidoma Folded Arms
The Healing Power of Nature

Nature is the foundation of indigenous life.  Without nature concepts of community, purpose, and healing would be meaningless.  The idea of a person born with a purpose, a purpose that needs to be supported by an active community presence, and the idea of working with subtle energies for balance and healing would be only grandiose notions in the absence of nature as the playground, as the school where the children can play and study.  Our relationship to the natural world and its natural laws determines whether or not we are healed.  Nature, therefore, is the foundation of healing, and the type of nature that surrounds a community at the time of doing a ritual determines the types of ritual that are appropriate and the content of these rituals. 

We are talking about a way of dealing with an energetic world and energetic issues that borrows from what already exists, not what has been invented, manufactured, or created by humans to satisfy some material purpose.  In other words, every tree, plant, hill, mountain, rock, and each thing that was here before us emanates or vibrates at a subtle energy that has healing power whether we know it or not.  So if something in us must change, spending time in nature provides a good beginning.  This means that within nature, within the natural world, are all of the materials and tenets needed for healing human beings.  Nature is the textbook for those who care to study it and the storehouse of remedies for human ills. 
The natural world is an integral part of an indigenous community.  Village people envision the community as including the geography and the natural world that surrounds and contains people.  The close relationship between people and place is symbolized by the bond that indigenous people recognize between a person and his or her place of birth, and also in the fact that any ritual that is performed is viewed as being tied to the geography where it takes place.  The theory behind this close connection between geography and people is that different parts of the earth are tied to specific forces in the Other World, just as different parts of the human body are linked to specific function.  People will thus have a special relationship with the forces in the Other World that correspond to their birthplace.  In other words, we are more or less the function of that part of the earth we are born into.  To interact properly with another part of the earth requires "approval" of our original earth.  Hence some people believe that we choose not only our parents but also our place of birth.
This is simply another way of emphasizing the importance of nature, for geography and nature are not really dissimilar.  Being born into this world in a particular place is like having the signature of that place stamped upon you.  The essence of your place of birth cloaks and protects your walk through this life, and whatever you do becomes registered in the ledger of that geography.  You can end up thousands of miles away from your birthplace, and if you are involved in a healing ritual that is meant to work, you have to invoke the spirits that are at the place where you were born in addition to those who are natives of the place you are in.  The spirits that witnessed your birth at that place are still there, and your calling them will awaken their attention in your direction.  If you embrace this concept, you will find that human mobility does not remove a person's original connection to the birthplace.  Your footprints still lead back to the place where you began. 
Any time there is a thought or memory of the origin, or an allusion to the origin, or more specifically a prayer that addresses your roots and the nature of your origin, then vast forces in the universe are unleashed.  It does not matter whether you feel good about your past or not.  It matters only that you feel.  The feeling is a sign that you still respond to these forces of the origin.  In fact, feeling bad about one's origin is a sign that the forces in it want a healing between you and them. 
It is useful to remember the subtle things that one was aware of as a small child.  The memory of being tucked into bed at night by your parents, who turned the light off as they left your room, followed by the appearance of a loving being who nourished your imagination just as fairy tales do cannot and should not be forgotten.  Most of us will realize that we had a relationship with the parallel reality that surrounded us in the geography where we were born, a reality that could both contradict what we observed among the adults who surrounded us, as well as attract our attention more than the one the adults were trying to instruct us to become aware of.  This remembrance of the parallel world of our childhood is the place we can go to reestablish our connection with the natural world, the connection between us and the geography of our birthplace.

The Healing Wisdom of Africa
pgs. 36-39 
In Dagara culture, your element is
NATURE if the year of your birth ends in "3" or "8".  For instance, a person born in the year 1958 or 1963 is a Nature person.

To find out your Dagara element, see the December 2010 Newsletter in the E-Village News Archives from our  website.
Ancestors & Nature

When people die, nature is the only hospitable place where their spirits can dwell.  Their spirits, living on in the Other World, remember clearly the experience of walking on the earth.  They remember the moments when they contributed to greater good and helped to make the world better. 

But they also remember with great remorse the failed adventures and the gestures that harmed others and made the world a less dignifying place.  The more they see this the more they ache, and the more they ache, the more eager they are to turn their attention to helping those still in this world.  To be active in this world, however, spirits need to enlist our cooperation and help.

In order to crack open something in yourself to allow you to be aware of the presence of ancestors' spirits you have to walk into nature with your emotional self, not with your intellectual self.  You need to open wide your heart so that you can become moist and drink deeply from the emotional echoes that you receive from the frown of a gnarled tree or the twist of a branch.  Seen in this way, nature, the dwelling place of the ancestral spirits, is a vast field of grief.  I say this because every harmful thing done to the earth is registered in nature. 

Nature is the place where the real work of healing takes place slowly and gradually.  This is because nature cannot ignore the wounds that humans inflict on one another and on her.  If nature is the only hospitable place that can hold the spirits that leave the cities and towns, then it is beyond thought what will happen if nature, already so endangered, is destroyed.  As part of the healing that we all deserve and all need, the natural world calls us to enter in and allow our grieving self to commune with what already exists there.  When there is a grief ritual in my village, it happens in nature, in the open air, not in a church or

in some clean, well-lit building.  Grieving takes place among the trees, because grief is exactly the sort of thing that the trees will echo and the earth will absorb most naturally.  The expression of grief in the presence of nature brings not only healing, but in the end a much stronger connection with nature and the spirits in nature that witness us.

Rituals, such as grieving, are activities that evoke our emotional self.  And ritual itself is one of the roads to experiencing the other dimensions of nature through the recognition that one carries within oneself an emotional heritage, an emotional gift.  When there is a place for people to listen to the voice of their own emotions, it leads to the opening of a wider door that can allow people to start communing.  Communion happens when the emotional body is involved, when we enlist the kind of energy that is expressed in emotional intensity.  Imagine the climate of emotional intensity that surrounds a stadium during the Super Bowl; then imagine what it would be like to carry this same intensity of emotion on an individual level into an interaction with a natural place that is untouched by modern technology. 

You begin to see how you might alter your perception of that natural place.  An approach to nature that is accompanied by emotion begins to open the door that will allow communion, for emotion is the key that can open a person to seeing what is present in the natural world.

The Healing Wisdom of Africa
pgs. 54-55
Nature & Home, Language, & the Hierarchy of Consciousness

The profoundness of my experience with...the green lady, along with many other transforming experiences of nature, have helped me understand the deep reverence with which indigenous people view nature.  They view it as their first home, the home that holds the wisdom of the cosmos.  To many Westerners, indigenous people's reluctance to disturb the balance of nature has looked like failure to use the raw materials that are just waiting to be harvested and developed.  For indigenous people, by contrast, nature is profoundly intelligent
as it stands, and human beings would do well to learn from its wisdom.  An example from Dagara philosophy illustrates my point.
The Source of all, the Dagara believe, has no word.  It has no word because meaning is produced instantly, like a cosmic and timeless awareness.  So to the Dagara, there is an understood hierarchy of consciousness.  The elements of nature especially trees and plants, are the most intelligent beings because they do not need words to communicate.  They live closer to the meaning behind language.  The next most intelligent species are the animals, because they use only a minimum of uttered

communication, so their language is closer to the Source, the world of intrinsic meaning.  The last in the hierarchy is the human species, who must rely on words to communicate---and words are but a remote reflection of meaning, like the shadows on the wall of Plato's cave.  Wise men and women in the indigenous world argue that humans are cursed by the language they possess, or that possess them.  Language, they insist, is an instrument of distance from meaning, an unfortunate necessity that we can't live without but that is so hard to live with. 
For indigenous people, to utter means two things:  first, it signifies nostalgia for our true home, because language tempts us with the possibility of returning home to meaning.  And where does meaning reside in its fullness?  In nature.  So language implies nostalgia for our true home, which is nature.  The word nostalgia here should not be taken lightly.  It implies that language as we have it is a vehicle toward the Source but should never be mistaken for the Source itself.
Second, to utter means to be in exile.  Indeed, to the Dagara, every time we speak, it is as though we are confessing our own exile, our distance from the Source.  The ability to utter testifies to the fact that we are far removed from the vast array of meaning that is our home.  For if we were home, we would not feel the need to journey there.  At the Source, words would not be necessary, for meaning would be produced instantly.  We could see, feel, and touch the results of someone's thought instead of relying on words to give us a picture of it;  thought would instantly produce the thing.  This is perhaps the indigenous version of the biblical "et verbum carum factum est," "and the word was made flesh."
Burkinabé girl holding a baobab tree seedling
But the good news is that using language also means that we are on our way back home, journeying to the source of meaning.  Those who can't stand being trapped in a place where language tends to distort move into poetry, chant, rhythm, and ritual to speed up their journey home.  Poetry and ritual evoke the world behind words, the world of meaning that resides, in its fullness, in nature.
When I connect these last ideas with the experience I my initiation with the green lady, I become aware of some important questions.  Namely, does the comfort we seem to desire in the West, to live in a clean, well-lit place, built with wood and the products of nature, match what we would have had if these pieces of wood had been left in place?  Are we perhaps also trying to merge with nature, but by way of a different route?  Perhaps there is more than one way to come home to Mother Nature.
But in order to surround ourselves with the products of nature, we have had to remove those products from their original, living form.  What is the value in creating another route to nature if by creating it we have effaced an already existing one?  If our destiny as human beings---as Spirit experiencing physical form---is to become conscious, to become aware of our place and role in the cosmos, why should we rebuild the road that we are going to travel if such a road already exists?  To the pain of defacing nature we would be adding the pain of building a different road back to it.
My experiences with...the green lady held for me one fundamental lesson, namely that nature indeed is the doorway to a home.  It is the knowledge of this home in nature that has led indigenous people not to strive to make their dwellings comfortable.  It is as if once you are aware of the comfort that awaits you out there in the natural world, you have very little interest in creating some other better home.  When you are aware of the home you have in nature, then you have a sense of home wherever you are, and that sense of comfort follows you to whatever hut or mud home you have built.  Having a real sense of home within you tends to make it unnecessary to upgrade your hut into a carpeted, well-lit place.
The Healing Wisdom of Africa
pgs. 49-51  
E-Village News
Responding to the Call of the Ancestors
January/February 2013

is a Nature Year in Dagara Cosmology!


Greetings Village!  2013 marks the beginning of a Nature year in Dagara cosmology.  We hope you'll enjoy the writings and inspirations concerning the element Nature in this issue of E-Village News!

Peace & Blessings!
The element of nature signifies the principle of change.  It is transformation, mutation, adjustment, flexibility, cyclicality, life, death, and magic.  Nature is vegetative, therefore it is all plants and landscapes; and it is all animals as well.  In the cosmological wheel nature is situated in the east, opposite mineral, and its color is
green.   Nature invites us to change consciously and to welcome change.  Just as mineral stores information for our benefit, nature's complex paradigm is a library to those who pay attention.  The magic we crave and our attraction to the supernatural are nature in their essence.  This is because the tree, plant, the landscape, and the serpentine river zigzagging downhill on its way to the ocean are all golden hieroglyphs capable of bringing a deep understanding to those willing to pay attention.  Indeed, to the indigenous it seems that the tree is the essence of consciousness.

Landscapes and physical geography to indigenous people are a language, a writing that can be read.  Elevated areas function very much like antennae, relaying or downloading information from faraway places, from the outer world to the inner world.  Waterways take this information down to the underworld and carry messengers to the underworld.
Barren and flat landscapes emit a fast-moving energy that is dangerous to isolated individuals.  The Dagara see a desert as a place where faraway beings meet day and night.  During the day they are not busy and the light hides them, but at night they are active and much more visible.  Since one can get caught in their world and never find one's way back, only medicine men and women venture into wide open places at night.
In heavily forested areas the moisture of nature and the trees protects and shields human beings from the Other World.  But at the same time, because the tall trees are engaged in some mysterious activities, especially at night, normal people should not be exposed to them, for they emit an energy that could affect their psyches as well as their bodies.  This leaves the ideal living place, for the Dagara, as the savanna, with its sparse trees and tall grass.  Because such a place is sandwiched between two highly charged geographies, it is a refuge for human beings.
Every life form is touched by this galactic communications systems located in geography.  This is why unlike in the West, where nature and magic are often opposed, the indigenous see the two as inseparable.

The nature person is seen as a person with great power to adjust, to change shape and shift.  He or she is a witch, a magician.  I have often wondered if the Puritans did not destroy witches because of their fear of the great power of nature within them.  Western history is full of persecution of the natural and nature.  Today, even if witches are no longer burned alive, it remains that nature itself is being destroyed.  Every time a place is cleared by a developer, a magical gift from the earth is crushed.  Progress seems to point to nature as its main enemy.  Justified by economics, it acts in disgust toward nature, as if nature were standing in its way.

Nature people challenge us to be real, to be ourselves.  They challenge us to drop the mask that the world expects us to wear, and they challenge us to see what is around us as it truly is.  That challenge comes in the form of humor, play, and joy, which has tremendous subversive power.  Nature people trick us through humor and jokes into being real.  A nature person is like a child who loves to play and sees life as a challenging play.  In such a person, pretense is hard to come by.  The power of nature is not just in its magical abilities, but also in the kind of change it pushes us to make.
For this reason, a culture dominated by nature will be extremely sensitive to the cycles of life.  Its spirituality will be dominated by seasonal rituals to keep time with the changing rhythm of nature.  The mythology and stories of such a culture will be crowded with trees and animals that speak, with beings that live underneath the waterways and inside mountains and hills.  The people will tend to see living spirits behind birds, trees, and other animals, and will have complicated protocols for interacting with them.  In the indigenous world, this is so true that an outsider may wonder how people manage to live with this consciousness.  The shadow side of nature is black magic, the kind that is believed to harm other people.  This is why even though a witch is not a black magician, he or she is feared because of knowing how such magic works.
It is my sense that if incorporating any of these five elements poses a challenge to modernity, then the challenge posed by nature is the most difficult of all.  Indigenous people think that to be modern requires a move away from nature.  They can't see how nature can be combined with modernity, for modern technology sets itself up in opposition to nature.  But indigenous people also know that nature does not make compromises.  It does not flinch when confronted, because its own destruction means our destruction.  For this reason, indigenous people embrace the wisdom of living close to nature and respecting its wishes.

The Healing Wisdom of Africa
pgs. 179-181  
Communion With Nature
 In this excerpt, Malidoma expounds on Nature, drawing from his profound  experience with "The Green Lady"---the extraordinary interaction with a Yila tree that resulted from a "seeing" exercise facilitated by the elders during one of his initiation rituals.  The story of "The Green Lady" appears in Malidoma's autobiographical book, Of Water and the Spirit as part of the larger story of his traditional initiation.

My experience with the green lady raises an important issue, namely, the true identity of the elements of nature.  What if they are not inanimate objects, as people in the West have been taught to believe, but rather living presences?  How would we need to change if we granted to a tree the kind of life that we usually reserve for so-called intelligent beings?  If you peek long enough into the natural world---the trees, the hills, the rivers, and all natural things---you start to realize that their spirit is much bigger than what can be seen, that the visible part of nature is only a small portion of what nature is.  The elders say that there is much, much more to seeing than simple sight.  To me at least, the green lady is a being who took that form to convince me of the vitality inside that tree.
Nature shows itself in some unique way to every individual during his or her initiation, and I know of the stories of many other people who have been touched in this way by nature.  The deepest dimension of my own transformation came about through being touched in this way.  My jumpy, doubting mind began to be quenched by the waters of accepting love.  I no longer felt like a proud, wounded outsider.  The experience with the green lady resolved that, for all of a sudden I belonged.  I could feel it, I could sense it, I was in it.  The isolation brought about by becoming alienated from my own native language and able to speak only in the language of the colonizer was wiped out in one shot with the experience with the green lady.  She changed me from deep inside.  She allowed me to break through the wall of perception that my Western education had erected in me, and she connected me intimately with nature, the way my fellow villagers experienced it.  She had brought me back home.

My intellect cannot logically explain or justify it, but my heart, every time I am brought to remember that experience again leaps out of me with such force that the objections of my mind are put to rest.  I relive the intensity and cannot deny the reality that I experienced.  My own experience and the similar experiences of others are undeniable examples of the healing power of nature, not only as deeply transformative but as an experience that can radically widen the horizon of one's perception.

This radical connection to nature that I am speaking of is difficult in the West, where any emotionally powerful experience can be dissected and explained away by the intellect as some example of a personal psychological aberration.  I have watched such diminishing in my work with ritual in the West.  I have seen situations where people experience something so radical that they are almost frantic in telling about it.  Because the others present did not participate in this person's experience, they tell the person to calm down, offering alternative, usually more logical and rational, explanations for the person's experience.  I notice that my heart hurts whenever someone begins to dissect in psychological or political terms such a powerful and intimate experience.  Such behavior only serves to reinforce the notion, common to the Western mind, that there is a division between the real and the supernatural.  And all I can say is that at best this dilemma illustrates the line dividing the modern mind from the indigenous mind, not the line between truth and falsehood.


How can modern society accept that the power and vitality in something so apparently inanimate as a tree could touch us deeply and bring about a transformation so profound as to be healing?  How do you open people to the possibility that nature has this sort of power and vitality to offer to them?  In order to realize the power in nature we must bring a willingness to consider that something has had its hand in the design of the natural world.  What if the appearance of the natural world is the result of something more than the historical accumulation of random geological and natural phenomena?  From my own experience I have found that appreciation of the power of nature is increased by inviting people into a ritual space that is directly linked to nature. 

After the experience with the green lady, I couldn't get myself to cut a live tree, because I never knew what I was cutting, what sort of spirit might live in the tree that I would be cutting.  Every time I walk in nature, especially among trees, I have this feeling of the presence of spirits watching me...It is almost as though the trees have eyes that follow me in what I am doing and where I am going, and so I have to humble myself.  I cannot but wonder about what is the real nature of trees, if they are not simply a source of lumber.  What kind of window to the Other World do they represent?  Are they really as immobile as they seem to be?  Do they have some vitality aside from the physical form that we need to grapple with?  What is it that they are conscious of that we need to connect with?

The Healing Wisdom of Africa
pgs. 47-49 
Nature Makes Us More Caring, Study Says
September 30, 2009

Want to be a better person?  Commune with nature.

Paying attention to the natural world not only makes you feel better, it makes you behave better, finds a new study...published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

"Stopping to experience our natural surroundings can have social as well as personal benefits," says Richard Ryan, coauthor and professor of psychology, psychiatry and education at the University of Rochester. While the salubrious effects of nature are well documented, from increasing happiness and physical health to lowering stress, this study shows that the benefits extend to a person's values and actions.  Exposure to natural as opposed to man-made environments leads people to value community and close relationships and to be more generous with money, find Ryan and his team of researchers at the University of Rochester.

The paper includes four experiments in which 370 participants were exposed to either natural or man-made settings.  Participants were encouraged to attend to their environments by noticing colors and textures and imagining sounds and smells. In three of the studies, participants were shown a selection of four images on a 19 inch computer screen for two minutes each. Half of the subjects viewed buildings, roads, and other cityscapes; the other half observed landscapes, lakes, and deserts.  The urban and nature images were matched for color, complexity, layout, and lighting.  In a fourth study, participants were simply assigned at random to work in a lab with or without plants. Participants then answered a questionnaire assessing the importance of four life aspirations: wealth and fame ("to be financially successful" and "to be admired by many people") and connectedness and community ("to have deep enduring relationships" and "to work toward the betterment of society").
Summer River
Photo similar to one used in the study.

Across all four studies, people exposed to natural elements rated close relationships and community higher than they had previously.  The questionnaire also measured how immersed viewers were in their environments and found that the more deeply engaged subjects were with natural settings, the more they valued community and closeness. By contrast, the more intensely participants focused on artificial elements, the higher they rated wealth and fame.

Photo similar to one used in the study.

To test generosity, two of the studies gave participants a $5 prize with the instructions that the money could be kept or given to a second anonymous participant, who would then be given an additional $5.  The second participant could choose to return the prize money or keep it.  Thus, subjects had nothing to gain if they chose to trust the other participant, and risked losing their money.


The result?  People who were in contact with nature were more willing to open their wallets and share.  As with aspirations, the higher the immersion in nature, the more likely subjects were to be generous with their winnings.


Why should nature make us more charitable and concerned about others?  One answer, says coauthor Andrew Przybylski, is that nature helps to connect people to their authentic selves.  For example, study participants who focused on landscapes and plants reported a greater sense of personal autonomy ("Right now, I feel like I can be myself").  For humans, says Przybylski, our authentic selves are inherently communal because humans evolved in hunter and gatherer societies that depended on mutuality for survival.


In addition, write the authors, the richness and complexity of natural environments may encourage introspection and the lack of man-made structures provide a safe haven from the man-made pressures of society. "Nature in a way strips away the artifices of society that alienate us from one another," says Przybylski.


Lead author Netta Weinstein says that the findings highlight the importance of creating green spaces in cities and have implication for planners and architects. Incorporating parks and other representations of nature into urban environments may help build a stronger sense of community among residents, she explains.  By contrast, "to the extent that our links with nature are disrupted, we may also lose some connection with each other," the authors warn.  This alienation may help explain other research showing that urban as compared to rural dwellers show more reservation, indifference, and estrangement from others.


On a personal level, Weinstein says the take home message from the research is clear:  "We are influenced by our environment in ways that we are not aware of," she says.  Because of the hidden benefits of connecting with nature, people should take advantage of opportunities to get away from built environments and, when inside, they should surround themselves with plants, natural objects, and images of the natural world.  "The more you appreciate nature, the more you can benefit," she says.  


Professor Richard Ryan
Professor Richard Ryan
Nature Rituals
In this excerpt, Malidoma writes about our relationship to nature and how to commune with it via ritual.

Healer and medicine man Eliot Cowan, in his book Plant Spirit Medicine, remarks that the most striking thing about our relationship with plants is that we need them but they don't need us.  We humans are utterly dependent on plants to cover
Eliot Cowan
all our needs:  fuel, shelter, clothing, medicine, the petro-chemical cornucopia, and, of course, food.  In contrast, plant communities do just fine without people.  We seem to offer nothing but suffering, destruction, and the threat of extinction.
Human beings are most of the time unaware of the extent and intimacy of their connection with nature, especially the world of plants and animals.  We act as if we are the proud and dominant other and thus can and should manifest our superiority in ways that are rather careless and devastating to nature.  Indeed, trees live in harmony, and we create dissonance.  Yet we want to live in a world where everyone and everything is harmoniously linked to everyone and to everything.  It is the project of nature rituals and the nature people among us to reaffirm continuously this interdependence.

It is hard to separate nature rituals from water, fire, earth, and mineral rituals.  Since every ritual is an attempt to change our relationship with the Other World, and since nature is all about change and transformation, there is some sense in which every ritual pertains to nature and aims to reveal, heal, and reinstate our own innermost nature.


My first nature ritual...consisted of looking at a tree.  The exercise led me to change my attitude toward trees.  It made me realize how much patient love and caring a tree can have.  It allowed me to grasp more fully the concept of trees as our guardians, commissioned by our Mother the earth to provide safety and comfort as we travel through life.

Let us take a group of people willing to explore nature and trees ritualistically and let us guide them through the process.  We cannot assume that these people live in nature.  Therefore, in the morning of the ritual, they should gather for an invocation in which they brief the spirit of nature on what is about to happen.  In their prayer an emphasis should be placed on homecoming, recognizing in words the long separation, which has caused so much loss.  A humble request should be made for guidance as to how to look, how to notice, how to acknowledge what is noticed.  The prayer should explain to Spirit and to the ritual participants that we are going to walk inside the bosom of nature.  While we wander silently, we will listen for a calling from a tree.  If and when we do feel called, we will go sit and be with the tree that called us long enough to experience communion with it.

After the prayer people can silently walk into the woods and wander separately until each one of them finds a tree that calls.  The idea is to sit on the earth facing the tree that called to you, and meditate with it.  This means deleting any mental activity that distracts from being present to the tree.  Meanwhile, somewhere in the woods an elder or a ritual leader will play a drum, slowly and gently sending sound waves to every station where a person is interacting with a tree.  After several hours have passed, the ritual leader begins chanting, and everyone will know that it is time to go where the voice comes from.  It may take another hour or two for everyone to return.  A closing prayer of acknowledgment and gratitude for what has happened is in order.  Then people can gather back at a designated place where they can spend some time sharing what they experienced in the woods.

The Healing Wisdom of Africa
pgs. 257-260
Upcoming Events

Malidoma at Jackie's on the Reef, Negril, Jamaica, West Indies,
January 14-18

Cost:  $1800.00 (does not include airfare)

Deposit:  $800 

(Check or Credit Card in NY) NO CREDIT CARD in Jamaica.
$1000 Bal.  Paid upon arrival in Jamaica

(Cash/Travelers Checks accepted)


For more information and to make reservations, contact:
 [email protected]  or  718-469-2785


Retreat Includes:


Breakfast, dinner and yoga (daily)
Himalayan singing bowls meditation (wear white)
Workshop w/Malidoma & Fire, Water & Ancestor Rituals
2 Spa Treatment, Airport Transfer
Fireside chats and star gazing


This retreat is for people who wish to reconnect with spirit, nature, wisdom, and increase understanding in their knowledge and power.


Malidoma is an initiated elder, gifted diviner, and medicine man of his tribe.  The old tradition and knowledge of the Dagara people, is known throughout West Africa for their healing abilities and spiritual practices.  It is time to embrace the wisdom of  indigenous Africa.  After centuries of silencing the powers and wisdom of the African ancestors, it is now time  to lead the world to the next level of consciousness.  Malidoma is the author of several books:  Ritual, Of Water and the Spirit and The Healing Wisdom of Africa. 


Private Divinations in Negril, Jamaica, West Indies, January 18-19

Malidoma will be available for divinations at Jackie's on the Reef, in Negril, Jamaica on Friday, January 18th and Saturday, January 19th.


For more information and to sign up, write to [email protected] 


Divinations typically last about 45 minutes, although this experience seems to unfold beyond linear time.  The time you spend in session will be the right amount of time.  Divinations have a life-span of their own; they seem to become "living entities" that move into your life, staying until their work is completed.




Private Divinations in Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 1-4 
Experiencing a personal divination with Malidoma is a beautiful, empowering and healing manifestation of Spirit.  It is an opportunity to hear direction from the realm of the Ancestors and to connect, more deeply with what you know "in your bones."

For more information and to sign up, write to [email protected]



Malidoma in Austria! 


February 14, 2013

Symposion Dürnstein: Risiko  Sicherheit
Stift Dürnstein, Prälatensaal, Österreich / Austria, Europe
14. bis 16. Februar 2013
u. a.: Herzensbildung, nicht Sicherheit, Ein Beitrag des afrikanischen Humanismus, von Malidoma P. Somé


For more information and to make reservations please contact:
Wachau Kultur Melk, +43 (0)27 52 / 540 60



February 18, 2013

Private Divinationen in Wien
Wien, Österreich / Austria, Europe
18. bis 20. February 2013


For more information and to make reservations please contact: 
Adresse siehe: 



February 21, 2013

Vortrag zum Thema "Initiation" / Lecture
Stadtkeller Neulengbach, Egon-Schiele-Platz, A-3040 Neulengbach
Österreich / Austria, Europe
21. Februar 2013
Kontakt:  Rainer Wisiak,
[email protected]



February 22, 2013     

mit Malidoma Somé
Das traditionelle Wissen und die Weisheit Afrikas - ein afrikanisches Gemeinschaftsritual
FR, 22. Februar, 19 Uhr, bis SO, 24. Februar 2013, 13 Uhr
Schrems, Seminarzentrum Waldviertler Schuhwerkstatt, Umgebung
Österreich / Austria, Europe

Jeder Mensch kommt mit einer Bestimmung und Lebensaufgabe auf die Welt, sagen die westafrikanischen Dagara. Malidoma Somé ist traditioneller Schamane und initiierter Stammesältester der Dagara. Sein Name bedeutet: "Sei Freund dem Fremden." Seine Bestimmung lässt ihn ins Waldviertel kommen, um mit uns ein Wochenende lang ein Ritual zu gestalten, nach unserer Bestimmung zu suchen und heilige Räume zu erschaffen. In diesem afrikanischen Ritual wird ein Weg aufgezeigt - von Malidoma Somé mit Weisheit und einfühlsam vermittelt - in Kontakt zu kommen mit der anderen Welt und Heilung zu erlangen.


Malidoma schreibt:

"Ich denke, der größte Segen, der uns widerfahren kann, wäre die Erschaffung von heiligen Räumen. An jenen heiligen Orten können wir dem Bedürfnis der Seele entsprechen, wieder aufgetankt, wirklich erfüllt zu werden. Es wäre immerhin ein Anfang, die Seele annähernd genauso zu nähren wie den Körper. Bis das geschieht, werden wir fortfahren, diese hungrige romantische Sehnsucht nach ursprünglichen Kulturen zu entwickeln."


For more information and to make reservations please see: 



Private Divinations in Portland, Oregon, April 5-7


Malidoma utilizes cowrie shell divination for his sessions. You will be asked to spread a pile of shells, bones, stones, and other implements on a special "divination cloth." This spread is what Malidoma will read and interpret to bring a message about your life and purpose for being on the planet at this time. The message will also be about finding balance with the elemental spirits of earth, water, fire, nature and mineral.


For more information and to make an appointment, write to [email protected] 



New Indigenous Spirit Technologies (IAST), Two-Year Training Program, near San Francisco Bay Area, May 8-13


Designed for those who want to serve the purpose of this new era, this multi-part program is being created to lay the groundwork, deeply and personally, for a leap into the magical and spiritual technological legacies of our Ancestors.  Grounded in radical exploration of the elements of Fire, Water, Earth, Nature, and Mineral, this program aims to enrich our working relationships with them in order to anchor ourselves more fully in this world and to be of greater service to all living beings.  We will create, experience and learn to provide for others, ritual involving each element and its healing properties, thus fostering healing for ourselves, others, and our communities.


Cost begins at $975.


For more information and to register, click here.


Malidoma will also be available for divination sessions in the San Francisco Bay Area, May 6-8.  For more information regarding divinations, write to [email protected] 




Malidoma in Germany!

May 31, 2013

Vom Geist Afrikas, Natur-Ritual - ein Ritual für Wandel und Transformation
Workshop mit Malidoma Somé, PhD

Caduceus Zentrum, Niendorfer Weg 5, 29549 Bad Bevensen, Nord-Deutschland / Germany, Europe


Frei 31.05.2013 19h bis So 02.06.2013 13h


Malidoma Patrice Somé, PhD ist ein wortgewandter Botschafter der indigenen Weisheit seines Stammes, dem Volk der Dagara aus Burkina Faso, Westafrika. Als ein eingeweihter Schamane und Stammesältester und durch seine akademische Ausbildung u.a. an der Pariser Sorbonne und der Bostoner Brandeis University formt er mit seinem Leben und seiner Lehre eine Brücke zwischen der Tradition seines Volkes und der modernen Welt. Der Name Malidoma bedeutet: "Ein Freund dem Fremden und dem Feind."  Malidoma spricht englisch und wird übersetzt.  


Das Jahr 2013 ist das Jahr der Natur, des Wandels und der Veränderung.

Es geht bei dem Element Natur um Veränderung, Transformation, Zyklus, Abstimmung, Flexibilität. Natur ist etwas Lebendiges, sie fordert uns auf, uns bewusst zu ändern und jeden Wechsel willkommen zu heißen.


Der größte Feind des Fortschritts scheint für den Westen die Natur zu sein. Jedes Mal, wenn ein Bulldozer eine Schneise durch den Wald schlägt, wird eine Zaubergabe der Erde vernichtet. Wie soll sich Natur mit Modernität in Einklang bringen lassen, wenn sich die moderne Technik doch selbst als Gegensatz zur Natur versteht. Die Stammesvölker wissen, dass die Natur keine Kompromisse macht. Sie zieht sich bei Angriffen nicht zurück. Denn ihre Vernichtung würde  

unsere Vernichtung bedeuten..." Malidoma Somé  


For more information and to make reservations please contact:
Telefon: 05821 -477 129, Fax: 05821 -477 130


June 3, 2013

Private Divinationen in Bad Bevensen
Caduceus Zentrum, Niendorfer Weg 5, 29549 Bad Bevensen, Nord-Deutschland / Germany, Europe

Mo 03.06. und Di 04.06.2013

For more information and to make reservations please contact:
Telefon: 05821 -477 129, Fax: 05821 -477 130



9-Day Nature Encampment with Malidoma at East Coast Village (ECV),
Cherry Plains, NY, June 21-30


The process of reinforcing the connection to the Spirit world, of engaging in rituals of Fire, Water, Earth, Mineral and Nature, in the heart of Nature herself, is the goal of the 9-Day Nature Encampment with Malidoma---a rite of remembering your indigenous mind---a mind that remembers the connection to Oneness.


Through radical rituals and the life-affirming ordeal of separation from the modern world, you will be guided to deepen your connection to spiritual realities long since forgotten in the throes of modernity.  This is not a "vision quest" or "wilderness camp."  During the nine days, you will be camping on the land in a temporary village-like environment and engaging in daily rituals, making sacred objects to guide you on your journey, receiving divinations to clarify your purpose, and deepening your connection with the Spirits of Nature.


No cell phones, no computers, no electricity!  Tents are a must!



Pay in full:  $1,620 + meals

Payment plan  $1,782 + meals---50% deposit and balance due on or before start of session


For more information and details, click here and contact Aamirah Branch at [email protected] or call at 518-658-0122.






Rather than close with a written quote on Nature, we end with a short film, nearly 10 minutes long that reflects stunning images in Nature and surprisingly, espouses indigenous-like commentary & wisdom that reminds us of the gift of life and the beauty that surrounds us!

Enjoy & Happy Nature Year!

TEDxSF - Louie Schwartzberg - Gratitude
TEDxSF - Louie Schwartzberg - Gratitude