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March 21, 2024 42 mins

 Are you curious about different folk traditions? Would you like to learn more about the meaning of rituals? Today’s guest,  Luisah Teish, was born and raised in New Orleans and is a priestess of Oshun in the Yoruba Lucumi tradition. She teaches classes on African goddesses, shamanism, and the Tambala tradition. She experienced several initiations in Africa and is also a Chieftain.

Today she talks about intergenerational storytelling, as well as the importance of extended families and intentional communities. She shares about raising children and how they are teachers. She works with elders and has a massive body of folklore which she uses in her practice. She teaches classes and consults with spiritual seekers. As a priestess of Oshun, she shares what she represents. Luisah specializes in body image issues and sexual dysfunction and works with women to invoke the powers of the feminine.

Luisah talks about how we carry the cells of our past ancestors. She works with various multi-cultural women’s groups and aims to take time with each woman of each culture and explains how together various people comprise a beautiful bouquet. She talks about sexuality, the media, and challenges of youth today. She shares her thoughts about the relationship between sex and death and how we need to consider the threat of AIDS and other risks. It can happen to anyone. She shares ways to solve these problems by raising awareness first. You do not target people; you address the situation.

She talks about the “Pouring Money Ritual” which can be conducted on the New Moon. She explains about the particular chants used which are based on a ritual from Cameroon. The idea is about how the flow of wealth moves around the circle. It’s not selfish, as it’s based on the energy of moving wealth around to others. It can help with mind shifts and building community. In certain African villages, they work together to help each other. For example, everyone pitches in so a particular student can go to school to learn a certain skill, then come back and help the community with that skill. It's about giving and receiving. Luisah teaches the elements of ritual at various schools and one of her students does rituals in maximum security prisons.

Through her work as an actress, storyteller, and priestess, Luisah dramatically re-creates centuries-old African American traditions with music, memoir, and folk wisdom and tells us how we can adopt and adapt traditions and make them personal to each of us. Today she talks about her book,  “Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals.” Info: yeyeluisahteish.com.

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