Of Water And The Spirit Ritual Magic And Initiation In The Life Of An African Shaman

| Thursday, February 11, 2010 | |
Of Water And The Spirit Ritual Magic And Initiation In The Life Of An African Shaman Cover

Book: Of Water And The Spirit Ritual Magic And Initiation In The Life Of An African Shaman by Malidoma Patrice Some

Born in West Africa in the early 1950s--the author is indefinite about the year--Some was kidnapped at age four by a French Jesuit missionary to be trained as a priest, for the next 15 years enduring the harsh regimen of a seminary where his native language and tribal traditions were systematically suppressed. At age 20 he escaped, but when he returned to his Dugara people in Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) they rejected him as an outsider. To reconnect with his native culture, Some underwent a month-long Initiation Into shamanism during which he reports that he journeyed to the underworld, became a bird, then a porcupine and was buried alive. A self-described "man of two worlds," Some, who holds a doctoral degree in political science from the Sorbonne and one in literature from Brandeis, is a speaker at men's movement conferences in the US. This vivid autobiography takes readers into a world of black magic, palpable spirits, Walking Dead people, force fields, transdimensional journeys--a world as strange as anything in imaginative fiction.

A wonderful book!!! Even from the introduction, Malidoma Patrice Some engages the reader with compelling Observations on the limitations of the "Western" worldview, but does not do so in a derisive way. He conveys, in a very moving life story, his role in the current world and tells how he has lived up to the mission foretold in his given name. What I especially liked, having read several other books on various spiritual traditions, was how the rituals and beliefs of the Dagara resonate with the wisdom found in traditions from Wicca to the "new age" ideas put forth in books like The Celestine Prophecy and Conversations with God. I was sad to come to the end of this book, because I wanted to learn more. I hope Some' will write a sequel that continues his story, as well as those of his father, Guisso, Nyangoli, and others he has encountered on his path through his adult life. This book reaffirms the truth of our divine nature; and powers that we in the West need to accept and "understand" without needing scientific "proof".

There are many of us in-between Africans for whom the mindless runaway train of Western living has failed. After shunning our pasts, our land, our blackness and our ancestors, no matter how hard we may have tried to lose ourselves in foreign ideaologies, there's still an emptiness inside. Thank God that Malidoma appeared. When I read this book a few years ago, whatever complexes lingered in me about my African-ness flew out the window. I have grown tired of en vogue directionless movements that exist almost only for the purpose of allowing individuals to feel good - in the guise of spiritual growth - without the necessary psychological catharsis. Thank God I'm an African woman, albeit an angry one. My anger and consternation increases everyday when I see the continuous exploitation and decimation of my people and our continent. But more than that, I am angered by the fact that so many Africans seem oblivious to the status quo and aren't interested in finding out what role we have played in the destruction of our race and home. A people will always be what they have always been. We Africans need to realise once and for all that spiritual awareness will never come from losing ourselves in another's ways. Find out who you are and where you come from. Go back to your source. Because surely, what have we gained from the West that is so much more meaningful than the knowledge of who we really are? May Malidoma keep helping us.

Buy Malidoma Patrice Some's book: Of Water And The Spirit Ritual Magic And Initiation In The Life Of An African Shaman

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