Main CategoriesShamanism and EntheogensIndigenous Shamanism and Anthropology Of Water and the Spirit

Of Water and the Spirit

Product no.: 0-14-019496-7
Of Water and the Spirit is a remarkable sharing of living African traditions, offered in compassion for those struggling with our contemporary crisis of the spirit.

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Publisher's Synopsis
Among the Dagara of Burkina Faso there is no distinction between the natural and the supernatural: The living converse with ancestral spirits, and those with the proper knowledge routinely travel to other worlds. The living converse with ancestral spirits, and those with the proper knowledge routinely travel to other worlds. Malidoma Patrice Some was born in a Dagara village, only to be abducted as a small boy and taken to a Jesuit mission school, where for fifteen years he was harshly indoctrinated in European ways of thought and worship. When he returned to his people, he had to undergo an initiation so rigorous that it might have killed him. Instead, Malidoma's passage between two worlds resulted in an assignment to convey his people's knowledge to the West, leading to this book of rare healing wisdom. 

"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."      ~Publishers Weekly

"Some, who was born about 1956 in Upper Volta, was close to his shaman grandfather. But this relationship and his tribal way of life was destroyed when, at age four, he was kidnapped by a French Jesuit missionary and raised in a seminary, from which he escaped at age 20.

Returning home to his Dagara village, he was viewed by some as too tainted by white knowledge and ways to be able to join fully in tribal life; nevertheless, he underwent an intensive and dangerous six-week shamanic initiation that thoroughly established him as a member of the tribe. Later, he was dismayed to learn his destiny as revealed in divination and decreed by tribal elders: to return to the white world as a bridge to save his tribe from complete inculturation. This fascinating autobiography illustrates the profound culture clashes between Western civilization and indigenous cultures."      ~Library Journal

"My generation finds itself gripped by a powerful irony. Suddenly it has become popular to defend tribal people - their world view and their life ways - but while the West is engaged in a great debate about what it means to preserve culture, the indigenous world is aware that it has already lost the battle."

At 22, Malidoma was asked, by his elders, to relay the Dagara culture to the West in order to bring a greater understanding and acceptance of it. This was a difficult task for him for a number of reasons. He did not know how to describe his culture to a culture that does not accept much of what is central to their beliefs. He was unsure how his story would be accepted, to say the least. Malidoma holds three master's degrees and two doctorates from the Sorbonne and Brandeis University, and has taught at the University of Michigan.

Author Some, Malidoma Patrice
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 320 pp.
Publisher Penguin Books 1995
Browse these categories as well: Indigenous Shamanism and Anthropology, Kahunas, Native Priests and Pantheism, Neoshamanism and Entheogenic Healing, Metaphysics, Mysticism and Initiation, Spiritual Biography and Autobiography, Shine On, Harvest Moon

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