Where are the diasporic en indigenus perspectives that honour Nana Buruku?

Kuna story najua, it’s about de earth en how it floats in space on de back of a kobe…en everytime someone tells de hadithi it changes, leo ni ya healing rituals kama ya kijiji yangu na ya Baba Malidoma Some na vijiji yake.

Hii hadithi imetoka The Healing Wisdom ya Africa…..

…One of de most striking tings that I have observed in conducting en participating in rituals with people in de West is de overwhelming baggage of assumptions that stand in de way of their involvement with ritual. Among these problems are de need for predictability en control en a fear of wot is actually going to happen. Reverence and trust that there is protecshun in de sacred space en an open mind willing to embrace all possibilities for healing are necessary before any ritual begins.

Almost everyone who has been involved in ritual with me agrees that ritual is like a journey. Before you begin, you own de journey; once de ritual begins, de journey owns you. My sense is that at de core of de problem for many Westerners is de desire to be in control, which is antithetical to ritual. To surrender de sense of control can be, for some, terrifying.


…..Ever since Christianity unearthed de gods en goddesses’ en sent them far away above de clouds, many people in de West have been left standing on de ground feeling abandoned, staring longingly at de sky wondering when God will come. In contrast, indigenus people see de divine as arising from below. Indeed, de wahenga, who dwell under de earth en form a vast pool of energy, allow us to walk upon them. Thus de divine is right under our feet en directly connected to us through earth.

This perception calls for a significantly different attitude that encourages spontaneity en trust of one’s instincts, because it sees redemption en healing as rising like heat from de divine below. Ritual kwa hivyo follows an ascending principle, presuming that healing rises from under de earth en overtakes us.

In this context, spontaneity, improvisation, en even eccentricity are recognized as symptomatic of divine presence. No one can predict how an individual in whom Spirit has entered would behave, because no one really knows de behavioural psychology of Spirit. Kwa hivyo to expect attitudes en behaviour patterns similar to that which we are familiar is misleading….

Put simply, rituals are not, and cannot be, done mechanically. They require a level of involvement that is conscious en dynamic. It is de active participation of de people gathered that makes a ritual work. In part this means that one can’t approach ritual in an experimental or exploratory manner, for it may backfiya on you. It also means that it is betta not to do ritual at all than to do it badly. A bad ritual is one that resists the arrival of Spirit. It is one in which participants allow their own desires en preconceptions to compete with Spirit, particularly after inviting Spirits to come.


Participants need to understand that success in a ritual is proportional to de level of surrender that one can achieve. Because ritual is about change,  its success depends on how much change, en what change, if any, we are willing to invite. Modern culture is a culture of control. You are expected to be on top of tings, to take control en to show your command of IT. De result is often disastrous to de psyche. On de one hand, people show admirable dexterity in appearing cool. On de other hand, behind de sturdy look of a person perfectly in charge is often a soul adrift in a jungle of confusion en despair. A soul in despair is a soul denying access to de Spirit. A soul that dances with Spirit is a soul that has displaced ego en, in de interest of healing, has surrendered consciousness to Spirit.

Surrender is a difficult ting to achieve; it’s almost impossible to do it with words en discourse. The more de discussion about how to do ritual emphasizes surrender en letting go, de more conscious en unconscious resistance one generates. I have seen cases in which it took three days of painful en frustrating work to prepare people to truly attempt a ritual. This preparatory stage is most challenging because it opens potent issues of self-identity, integrity, protectiveness, en control.

As people begin to understand what ritual is, they realise their own ego has no place in it, that sacred space contains a tremendous amount of vulnerability. Then they begin to fear becoming lost in something that does not guarantee safety and security.

De latent mistrust of one another that exists among people does not help. In fact it makes people become more acutely aware of what de other may do to them if they lower their shield in de interest of healing en de other does not. In many ritual situations in de West, people have just met en have only had a few hours or days to get acquainted. De connecshun that develops in a few hours or a few days often does not go as deep as required to warrant de kind of trust that can carry people into a ritual space en promote healing.

But once inside a ritual, de ego is so vehemently challenged that it eventually collapses, leaving a person momentarily free to respond to Spirit spontaneously……Ase.