Malidoma's Pen:
2017 Fire Year
Part II


     In continuing the discourse about Fire, we acknowledge that the power of fire must be aimed toward something through focused intention, or fire becomes misaligned in the psyche and in society.  For example, a person who constantly attracts or makes trouble has his or her fire misaligned.  Correction of the person's behavior would have to be ritualistic, that is, it would take place in a ritual . . . When the tension produced by fire is not focused, it produces an extreme and often destructive tension in the world.  When the fire within a person produces only fire in the world around them, the result is most often violence or death.

     The fiery temperament of the world and particularly the West has resulted in a great deal of spilling blood, both symbolic and literal.  Indigenous people see the death that results from war or accident as sacrifices to fire, just as the animal killed in the hunt was offered to the fire as sacrifice.  But the engine of fire in the West appears, to indigenous people, to be the technological machine, which consumes nature around the world.  Villagers see the fire of technology consuming both through its speed and through the capitalist accumulation of land and rape of natural resources.

     From an indigenous point of view, Westerners are sacrificing much to fires that rage out of control.  Just as fire consumes everything in its path, so consumers in the West sacrifice the life of Spirit for an endless pursuit of material goods.  Material consumption does not provide care for the soul.  It is as if misaligned inner fire is encouraged and supported in modern culture, something necessary to boost production and consumption.  When adequately programmed through advertising and the media, people want to accumulate items because such items are regarded as an opportunity for fulfillment.  Driven by an internal fire that cannot be quenched, the modern consumer is like a greyhound racing for fulfillment.  The goal becomes not so much to reach a destination as to stay in your lane and keep running.  When this inner fire is not connected to its source, it drives people to race endlessly after things that do not matter.

     For this reason---the fact that fire can become so easily misaligned---I have hesitated before outlining for Westerners how to do fire rituals.  From the point of view of my people, the growth, expansion, and progress by which the modern world measures success is a conflagration, a fire burning out of control and consuming everything it touches.  

     It is essential that the modern world stop burning itself and the rest of the planet, and to learn to see beyond the notion of fire that can only consume, to see the aspects of fire that can lead to transformation, healing, and a renewed connection to the world of the ancestors and Spirit that holds our purpose.

     To begin making their peace with fire, Westerners must notice the common symptoms of fire in their milieu.  In the modern world, being out of alignment with fire translates into pollution of one sort or another.  It is as if to be civilized, one must infect the air, leak oil into the waters, and seek to move faster today than we did yesterday.  Once we understand this as symptomatic of a state of disconnection, then it becomes possible to seek reconnection and reconciliation with the past.  Changing our intentions from consumption, as an out-of-control fire, to connection, like a fire that warms and soothes, will bring fire in Western culture under control to a very great extent.

     It is reconciling oneself with the past---or, as the Dagara would say, with the ancestors---that brings the inner fire into alignment.  The work of grieving is an important part of reconciling with the past, and for that reason I suggest water rituals precede fire rituals in the West.  

    The work of building relationships in community also contributes to the taming of fire, for in order to have healthy relationships, one must have made peace with the past.  One must also tame the inner fire simply in order to live in community, for close relationships breed friction that would rage out of control if the friends or partners had not done a great deal of work with their psyches.

     When an individual is not in alignment with fire, there is chaos and contradiction in that person's behavior patterns.  There is a tendency to be fearful of fire, yet there is an almost irresistible attraction to fire.  This confusion comes from a lack of harmony between the fires that burn within the person and the way that this fiery energy is expressed and manifested in the outer world.  A fire ritual can allow us to experience the positive energies of fire without this chaos and fear.

     In a fire ritual, one takes a good look at the intensity of the Other World.  In the world of magic, heat opens doors.  I remember times in the course of initiation rituals when the heat alone would rise to the point where it would open a window into the Other World, and one would glimpse spirit beings.  At those times I was able to see and also to understand, what tribal wisdom means when it declares that divine or ancestral heat comes to us from below, not from above.  It was easy to see why god cannot be above the clouds; god is here underneath our feet.  The opening was of the earth, not of the sky.  The faces that appeared in the heat were ancestral faces peeking into this world.

     The heat of the fire ritual also reminds us that heat is the circulation of energy.  Life is manifested only when energy can circulate.  The Dagara language uses the same word di (pronounced "dee") to mean "burn," "consume" and "eat."  The connection is not, however, about destruction, but about transformation.  Any person who goes through a fire ritual involves himself with transformation and change.

    Fire must be redefined to become an instrument that offers the possibility of connection, and fire rituals must be seen within this context, where they help renew and strengthen one's relationship with the past, present and future. One cannot maintain this focus without discovering in it the active role of the ancestors in one's life and becoming as clear as possible about their own purpose. Ashe.

-Malidoma Somé

                     -artwork by Craig Tracy

Medicine from the Fire

"Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, 
man will have discovered fire." 

-Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

2017 Upcoming Events

Malidoma Folded Arms

Contact: for more information

Upcoming Opportunities for a 
Private Divination with Elder Malidoma
Divination Spread

Experiencing a personal divination with Elder Malidoma is a beautiful, empowering and healing manifestation of Spirit.  It is an opportunity to hear direction from the realm of the Ancestors and to connect, more deeply, with what you know "in your bones".  

Elder Malidoma utilizes cowry shell divination for his sessions.  You will be asked to spread a pile of shells, bones, stones, and other implements on a special "divination cloth".  This spread is what Malidoma will read and interpret to bring a message about your life and purpose for being on the planet at this time.  The message will also be about finding balance with the Elemental Spirits of Earth, Water, Fire, Nature and Mineral.

Upcoming Private Divinations
Unless otherwise indicated, please contact for additional details~ or to  Schedule your Private Divination

Orlando, Florida
March 13-17

Minneapolis, MN
April 7, 8 & 9
with a Public Talk~ Saturday, April 8th: 7pm-10pm

Albany, New York
April 13, 14 &15

Seattle, WA
April 21, 22 & 23
with a Public Talk~ Thursday, April 20th: 7pm-9pm

Bay Area, California
May 2, 3 & 4

Asheville, NC
May 8 & 9
Philadelphia, PA
May 20 & 21
with a Public Talk~ Friday, May 19th 7pm-9m

Port Stanley, Ontario, Canada
June 30 and July 1 & 2

July 24, 25 & 26

Upcoming Programs with Elder Malidoma

WATERSHED: March 22nd, 2017, World Water Day. 1:30pm - 7:00pm
Vatican City, Rome, Italy 
(Immediately following Papal Address)

WATERSHED is co-hosted with the Vatican and the renowned think-tank, Club of Rome, in collaboration with Circle of Blue, with the participation of the joint UN/World High Level Panel on Water, The World Economic Forum Global Future Council on the Environment, and The Value Web. It will be the first in a series of programmes and activities slated for the next five years.

Following the General Audience with Pope Francis, an exceptional amalgam of people from every walk of life and every corner of the globe will initiate an extraordinary exchange of ideas around the global water crises. Experiences will be shared, opinions formed, and solutions presented. The objective is to align global perception with the immediate reality of water being the trigger for unrest and instability, as well as an opportunity for resolution and collaboration.

WATERSHED's line-up of inspirational speakers, scientists, youth, and business leaders will be live-streamed from the Vatican, with the globally connected audience invited to digitally share stories of their struggles, their hopes, and their fears about the world's water supplies, and bring new voices, content, stories, art, media, and workable solutions to light.

Elder Malidoma will be a Speaker at this Conference~
which will be live streamed.
For Additional Details, please see LINK

Movies and Meaning Festival 
 with Malidoma Somé & Alice Walker
Albequerque, New Mexico
April 27-30

3-Day Intensive: Community Grief Ritual

Ontario, Canada
July 3-5, 2017

For Details
about this powerful community ritual please

5-Day Intensive: Annual Community Grief Ritual

Orlando, Florida
November 1-5, 2017

For Details
about this powerful community ritual please  | 407-574-5350 |