African Shamanism & Ancestral Wisdom

Dr. Steven Farmer interviews Gretchen Crilly McKay about the wisdom obtained from working with a Sangoma (African Shaman) through a divination process called throwing the bones. Gretchen is reunited with her African ancestors as she begins to cultivate the healing process of her DNA for past, present and future generations.

7 Comments

  1. Ann Riley

    Oh my Gretchen how wonderful to hear your voice. This was wonderful! I remember you so fondly. I hope you do take up Steven’s idea of a follow up, or part 2. Blessings to you and all you do! Ann Riley

  2. Gwen Falcon

    Actually Voodoo came from the Congo to Haiti and from Haiti to New Orleans. It is similar in many ways to Ifa, the Yoruba tradition in Nigeria, which came by the slave trade to Cuba, Puerto Rico and Brazil. In the Caribbean Ifa is called “Santeria” and in Brazil it’s called “Candomble.” Each has changed a bit from the original Yoruban tradition because the priests were killed by the slave traders and changes happen over time, but both Western versions found parallels with Catholic saints and often use the names of saints interchangeably with the Orixas (Gods). For instance, in Santeria the Ogun, the god of iron, is correlated with Saint Michael whereas in Brazil he’s correlated with Saint George; both bear metal swords.

  3. LJane Damude-Empey

    Gretchen, I was so pleased to see that you were presenting on the African Sangoma tradition, and I enjoyed you talk very much. I am Canadian–Irish-Scottish/ Swiss German, and no African—not a spot. However, I grew up in Brazil, as my father was stationed there for the UN. There I grew to be fascinated by the African Spiritual tradition of Cadomble which is a synchetization of the Yoruba tradition, with Catholicism and Native beliefs. I have since been trying to find out as much as I can about the African traditions and there is not a whole lot that I have been able to locate. Also, I wonder if you are familiar with the book, “Lightning Bird,” which is about Adrian Boshier, a white Sangoma. I am really enjoying it. Thanks so much for your offering. It went straight to my heart. Jane

  4. Gretchen Crilly McKay

    Dearest Ann,
    Thank you so much for your blessing and I too remember our times together with great fondness. Gretchen

  5. Gretchen Crilly McKay

    Jane,
    There are many wonderful books written about the Sangoma tradition of Southern Africa. I have listed them on my website under African Shamanism (http://www.ancestralwisdom.com/books.html). The wisdom of Africa is powerful and guides all of us in reconnecting with our ancestral roots which is necessary in our journey toward healing and remembering our connection to the Ancestors. Gretchen

  6. Sihlahlasezwe Moletsane-Moletsane

    Thokoza Gogo

    I hail from South Africa and my mother was a Zulu Sangoma and I am also a practioner of this wisdom. It is great to hear someone from across the seas talk about this wisdom with such reverence.

    Sihlahlasezwe
    South Africa

  7. Gretchen Crilly McKay

    Thokoza Sihlahlasezwe!
    Thank you for your sweet comment! Yes, there are a growing number of Sangoma here in America. The African Ancestors are calling us too!
    Blessings,
    Gogo Gretchen

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