Malidoma, an initiated elder in his village of Dano in Burkina Faso, West Africa, is also a medicine man and diviner in the Dagara culture. As a representative of his culture, he has come to the West to share the ancient wisdom and practices that have supported his people for thousands of years. He has authored Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic, and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman; Ritual: Power, Healing, and Community; and Healing Wisdom of Africa. For more information, visit


Yet this oath of secrecy I have taken is perhaps another one of my burdens, because this ancient wisdom comes with a sort of built-in self-destruct should the information be improperly disclosed. Think of it as a burglar alarm that would be set off the minute that something is said or done that leads to an exposure of that which can only stay alive if it remains hidden. If exposed, it starts to lose its life; and as it starts to lose its life, the carrier of that information who broke the rule is also in a state of grave danger, not only of being exposed to emotional trauma but to physical trauma as well.

Author and speaker MALIDOMA PATRICE SOMÉ’s initiation into elderhood imbues him with the wisdom that can transform human consciousness—if only he were free to share it.

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Malidoma Patrice Somé’s BOOKS

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Malidoma Patrice Somé’s AUDIOBOOKS