2024 Dates Coming Soon
Day-Long Grief Ritual in the Foothills of Boulder, CO
April 29, 2023
an offering by
Wendy Kaas and
Join us for a day-long deep dive into
Dagara-style ritual, as taught to Wendy and Beth by
beloved Dagara elders-now-ancestors, Malidoma and Sobonfu Somé.
Ritual is a balm for the grief we carry.
This form of ritual offers connection to community, to the land, to rhythm and song, to the ancestors, to our personal and collective grief. Grief can manifest in many ways--rage, numbness, distractibility, irritability, depression--the list goes on. Without regular practices to help unburden ourselves, we can easily to become bogged down, overwhelmed, and isolated. Join us for a short-but-profound day-long experience of the Dagara-style ritual, guided by Wendy Kaas and Beth Erlander.
A core part of Malidoma's and Sobonfu's soul's missions were to expose the Western world to the ancestral wisdom of the Dagara--a people who understand deeply how to ritualize emotion and connect to the animate world. Their teachings aimed to alleviate many of the ills caused by modernity. Therefore, this ritual offering is not only in service to healing our own grief, but to honor the tireless hours Malidoma and Sobonfu dedicated to helping heal the Western psyche. Offering this ritual is not something we take lightly as white women. The racial and cultural complexities are vast, and we step into leadership with humility, openness, and solidarity with BIPOC people from all walks of life.
Wendy Kaas, MDiv, is a ritual leader, teacher, drummer, singer, griever, and listener. A queer Ashkenazi Jew, Wendy was a student of Malidoma's from 2009-2020, receiving his blessing to be a carrier of Dagara-style ritual. She has been on the path to support people in their grief through ritual for over a decade. She is dedicated to the healing alchemy that occurs in the emotional and energetic realms, and honors the profound healing gifts of her teachers, the ancestors, and the elements. More about Wendy here.
Beth Erlander, MA, LPC, comes from Swedish and German ancestors. She's a therapist and is currently pursuing a healing path through deep connections with the ancestors, the land, living ritual and the creative arts. She's a grief worker that knows that the best way to access more life energy is through an active grief practice. She is trained as a transpersonal art therapist from Naropa University. But her main training comes from being pulled into an apprenticeship with grief when her life partner became a quadriplegic. That's how she found Sobonfu and the Dagara grief ritual. She did three grief rituals with Sobonfu and then began leading these herself and later with Wendy. In 2019 she was honored to train with Elder Malidoma in his cowry shell divination program. She now proudly offers these divinations for others to connect to their own ancestors and find more clarity to live their lives.
In Sobonfu's words, “We see that in life it is necessary to grieve those things that no longer serve us and let them go. We experience conflicts, loved ones die or suffer, dreams never manifest, illnesses occur, relationships break up, and there are unexpected natural disasters. It is so important to have ways to release those pains to keep clearing ourselves. Hanging on to old pain just makes it grow until it smothers our creativity, our joy, and our ability to connect with others. It may even kill us. Often my community uses grief rituals to heal wounds and open us to spirit’s call, because there is a price in not expressing one’s grief. Unexpressed hurt and pain injure our souls. Imagine if you never washed your clothes or showered. The toxins that your body produces just from everyday living would build up and get really stinky. That is how it is with emotional and spiritual toxins too. What we must remember is that the more these toxins rise the more we have a tendency to blame or hurt others around us. People never harm others out of joy, they give pain to others because they too are hurt or in pain.”
April 29, 2023, 11-7pm
The Mother's Center, Boulder, CO
Step One: Either Venmo @nordicbabe or PayPal firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost is $100
sliding scale $75-$150 (extra funds raised going directly to Sobonfu's village in Burkina Faso)
Step Two: Email email@example.com to receive a welcome email and instructions.
Step Three: Pay attention to your dreams! The ritual begins upon registration. See you on April 29.