Sobonfu Somé is a teacher and leading authority on African women's spirituality in the West. She regularly conducts workshops in North America and Europe. She is the author of three books and founder of the Ancestors Wisdom Spring, an organization dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of indigenous wisdom. She was born and raised in Dano, Burkina Faso, a West African village. There she learned that Spirit, the life force in everything, is what animates all relationships and events in our lives.
On this seven-hour audio workshop contained on 6 CDs, Somé presents the ancient wisdom that has been passed on to her. It is a rare treat to hear her speak about the universal challenges that face women as they progress through life and are called upon to sustain the world with their unique gifts. This wisdom from the heart of Africa will shake your bones, a favorite phrase of hers.
Somé begins with a prayer to invite us into the sacred space of this audio experience. She then presents the special ritual that helps the Dagara tribe discern what each child is coming into the community to share. It is the responsibility of all members of the tribe to do their best to make sure that this gift is made manifest. Somé believes that there is encoded energy in a person's name: Sobonfu means "keeper of ritual." We don't usually match our names to our purpose in life but this is a helpful concept to consider.
In African culture, women are seen as weavers of community and they are storytellers, medicine persons, and interpreters of dreams. On these sessions, Somé hopes that each listener will get in touch with the indigenous person inside and come to see that we live in deep connection with our ancestors and are very much beholden to all the wise women who have given birth to us, nurtured us, counseled us, and provided the love that has sustained us.
On disc two, "Women's Mysteries: Honoring the Female Life Cycle," Somé covers celebrating a woman's menses, initiation into womanhood, menopause as stepping into elderhood, and becoming a mentor. This last stage of life which is so important in indigenous cultures has been ignored in modern societies, and the losers are youth. In the Dagara culture, the female elder uses her energy as a bridge to the spirit world and is always on call to soothe the spirit of any soul in trouble or turmoil.
Intimacy, according to this wise African woman, is a song of spirit and community; it is the divine orchestration that sustains the melody. In a section titled "Relationship: The Breath of Life," Somé talks about the complexity of women's relationships, women as the conduit to spirit, motherhood, woman to woman, and creating a space for intimacy. In a once-a-year Dagara ritual, couples renew their marriage vows and rekindle their relationship in the presence of the entire community.
Feminine Power is reclaimed by tapping into your inner spiritual energy, and she explores eight openings to that power: the vagina, the womb, the breasts, the voice, the eyes, the ears, the heart, and the hair. One of the most fascinating dimensions of Dagara culture is the large and important role played by public and private rituals. She discusses both kinds and adds one that can be done by everyone: designing a shrine in your home, clarifying your intention and interacting with this sacred place. The last topic covered on this audio workshop is death and grief as a doorway to healing. This fine audio workshop will stir your soul with its manifold insights into spirit, becoming all you were meant to be, and savoring the support of ancestors and community.