In many cultures across the world, it is believed that our ancestors walk with us, that they accompany us in our lives. This is the case with the Yoruba tradition. The Yoruba religion, thought to be at least as old as Christianity, reached the Americas through the slave trade. Northern Brazil and Cuba remain Yoruba strongholds today. In the U.S., the isolation of the Georgia and Carolina Sea Islands allowed the religion to flourish into the 1900s. Today, South Carolina’s Olotunji Village continues the Yoruba way of life.
This presentation may help open the way to closer communication with our ancestors for participants of any religious heritage. It may help old wounds begin to heal or open paths to guidance from the realm of family members who have died. Participants should feel free to take part only in the portions that accord with their beliefs.
The presentation will include:
- Some thoughts on ancestors- quotations from several sources on ancestors
- A cleansing ritual
- A relaxing visualization
- A brief writing exercise
Constance Garcia-Barrio, a freelance writer, teaches at the Community College of Philadelphia. She has written for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Christian Science Monitor, Pennsylvania Magazine, Persimmon Tree, Wild River Review, and other publications. Much of her writing deals with black history in the U.S. and in Hispanic countries. She has won two national writing awards, including one for magazine journalism from the National Association of Black Journalists for a story on blacks in circus history. Constance, who has a Ph.D. in Romance languages from the University of Pennsylvania and she was initiated as a Yoruba priestess in 2011.