I wish to honor and thank Elder Malidoma Somé, the man who brought stick divination to the west and shared the wisdom of the cosmology of the Dagara people of West Africa. Elder Malidoma passed away today December 9, 2021. He was born in 1956.
Though I never met him, I am a direct recipient of the gifts he brought. I worked with and was initiated by a man who was mentored by Elder Malidoma and his sister. They went their separate ways and my mentor kept working with Malidoma’s sister. He and Malidoma were not on good terms however so I inherited that division as well when I was initiated into the Dagara lineage.
But it was Malidoma who brought the medicine to the U.S. and eventually began initiating diviners who would then go on to initiate more diviners and find a way to make the medicine work here. He succeeded in a most profound way. There are pockets of westerners doing Dagara voice and stick divination as well as a new form of divination that Malidoma created, called Cloth or Cowrie Shell Divination, everywhere.
You don’t have to search far to find someone working within the context of this cosmology. Elder Malidoma’s work helped restore relationships with elemental beings to many people. It is a huge part of his legacy as well as how to have a healthy relationship with the earth and the ancestors.
It’s really quite amazing when you look at how far this medicine has come and so wide spread since he came here in the 90s. With it he brought so much healing. Others who came to know him and study with him carried on the ritual practices he had introduced them to including grief rituals and ancestralizations.
It is all here now and only gaining more ground. Quite a success story. Malidoma is also the author of three books which are definitely well worth reading. The Healing Wisdom of Africa, Of Water and the Spirit, and Ritual: Power, Healing and Community.
The letter that went out this morning offers these words if you feel moved to do something to honor him:
Cards for the family can be mailed to Ancestral Events, 45 Wells Valley Drive, Leicester, NC 28748
In lieu of flowers, the family is open to receiving monetary support to assist with the expenses to transport their Dad, Elder Malidoma to his Homeland ~ Mother Africa – where he will be honored as the Elder that he is- in his village.
Donations will also support his two daughters in paying the medical and other expenses that have been created during this time of their caring for
Donations can be made via PayPal www.PayPal.com “friends and family” at info@Malidoma.com Thank you for any prayers, rituals and ceremonies that you feel inclined to offer for Elder Malidoma & his family at this time.
I am forever indebted and in gratitude. I wish him well on his journey back to the ancestors and look forward to seeing the medicine he brought and shared continue to blossom and grow.
Theresa C. Dintino