Of Water and the Spirit : Ritual, Magic and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman, Paperback

Of Water and the Spirit : Ritual, Magic and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Maliodoma Patrice Some was born in a Dagara Village, however he was soon to be abducted to a Jesuit school, where he remained for the next fifteen years, being harshly indoctrinated into European ways of thought and worship.

The story tells of his return to his people, his hard initiation back into those people, which lead to his desire to convey their knowledge to the world. "Of Water and the Spirit" is the result of that desire; it is a sharing of living African traditions, offered in compassion for those struggling with our contemporary crisis of the spirit.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages, 1 map
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Biography: general
  • ISBN: 9780140194968



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"I still often suffered from being a man of two worlds", 9 November 2015This review is from: Of Water And Spirit (Paperback)Malidoma Some was born into a village in Burkina Faso when it was still under French rule. He describes his first four years, focussing particularly on his close relationship with his grandfather, an elder and shaman. As he recalls his grandfather's funeral - spirit voices, and the dead man walking - I thought perhaps these were the confused recollections of a small child.At four, the author was 'stolen' by the local priest, and compelled to live in a Catholic boarding school. Forced to communicate in French, he soon forgot his native tongue. And Catholic dogma replaced tribal rites. But while he was persuaded by the religion, to the extent of wanting to become a priest, he was also repelled at the sexual and physical abuse he witnessed, and at the colonial attitudes towards the African people.At twenty he ran back to his village; much of the book now tells of (parts of) the month-long initiation ceremony he underwent. And here the reader must decide for himself what to make of the author's otherworldly experiences, as he enters other dimensions, communes with spirits and much more. Was he drugged? hypnotized? Was it Satanism or is there really a way into other universes? The descriptions are very vivid and persuasive, and I never realized initiation rituals included all this.