You're Almost Out!
"You're almost out", said Malidoma at a Cowery Shell reading that I had with him in 2015. It was the second time that I had been to see him, the first the previous year. I returned this time because I felt that I had unfinished business. I knew that I had spiritual work to do. I knew that I was on an ancestral path and I knew that I had forgotten something.
"You're almost out", he said, "but there isn't anything else I can do for you here, you need to come to Burkina Faso and see African spiritual technology at work." "What is he talking about I thought?" Dashing the idea away into the back of my mind, I thought "hmm, maybe next year!" But come January 2016 I was on the bus taking us from Ouagadougou to Dano, his home village
Travelling with Malidoma
I was travelling with Malidoma Some the gifted African healer and diviner on a healing study trip with a party of other invited 'ancestral searchers'. It was a kind of initiation into deepening the work with my ancestors. And later that year, I attended more healing rituals and ceremonies with Malidoma, learning about Dagara Cosmology and cower shell divination.
Now as I reflect on that journey, especially the Burkina Faso part, I realise that it was in part ‘an initiation’ even though at the time I had not thought about it like that. This was an adapted form, an approach that Western minds could make sense of. We visited a traditional healer where we asked a question and received answers about our life purpose. We were involved in animal sacrifices in the traditional African way that I won’t go into here.
Listening to the Call!
We had an audience with a ‘stick diviner’ and I have to say, every step of that journey made sense to me and helped to awaken my ‘remembering’. Remembering that had been white-washed and wiped-out over hundreds of years. Lost through the journey of the ‘middle passage’ to the Caribbean and the ‘modern passage' to the UK.
It has taken over a year to start to make sense of that trip. I didn’t know what I didn’t know and as African traditions are oral, not written ones, you can’t ‘remember’ by reading, you can only ‘remember’ through living. So after the healing rituals of last year, I started a Cowery Shell divination course, a healing path with an African edge that I thought I was looking for.
And Then, a Cancer Diagnosis!
As things started to get on track with my work, I found out that I had cancer. In the whirlwind that follows a cancer diagnosis, I just stepped out and away from everything. I had to make sense of how had this happened to me, what did it mean and what was I to do and learn from this experience?
According to many shamanistic traditions, a major illness, mental or physical can be a calling to deepen your relationship with your ancestors or become a Sangoma or Diviner. For me, this illness represented a call of 'Spirit' to fulfil my life purpose in a way that I hadn't acknowledged before. It felt like I was moving through a 'transformative initiation process'.
Right now I am continuing on my journey learning about 'Spirit' and the ancestors. This journey is reconnecting me to my ancestral family line. It is challenging me to 'come out' and show my face, as a diviner and healer in a culture that has forgotten a lot of African heritage. And I am stepping-up and into whatever it is that I am called to do and be.
More next time!