Kathryn Edwards – A Mineral Ritual
In the cosmology of the Dagara people of West Africa there are five elements in the material world: Fire, Water, Earth, Nature and Mineral. The ‘mineral’ category – stones, bones, shells, crystals, and metals – with their relatively slow vibrations, are associated with memory, communication and storytelling. The analogues with modern models are obvious: we see that our own ancestral stories are held in our bones, and the evolution of species and the whole planet is catalogued in the bones of the earth. Other minerals – such as silicon and copper – enable our modern communications. This beautiful and revelatory Mineral ritual is an experiential opportunity to engage with the energy of stones. It was articulated by Dagara teacher, Dr Malidoma Somé of Burkina Faso, who was charged by his elders to bring the indigenous wisdom of his people to share with people living in modernity. Come and connect with the stones of Dartington’s land and river. You will lie on the ground in a small group and have stones and pebbles placed carefully on and around your body. As you sink into mineral’s slow pace, your awareness will open to the images and messages that arise in a mineral dream. Mineral, also known as ‘mountain’, can show the range and grandeur that is not always perceptible in day-to- day life. At the end of the session we will gently re-engage with ordinary reality by sitting at a fire with a hot drink.
Kathryn Edwards is an editor and communications consultant by profession, and a producer and ritualist by disposition. She has practised as a funeral celebrant for nearly 30 years. Her spontaneous childhood practice was to bury dead birds in a shoebox with pomp and flowers; later she learned from Dr Malidoma Somé, an initiated elder of the Dagara tribe of West Africa, how ritual creates and sustains community. Kathryn has been privileged to travel with Malidoma to his village in Burkina Faso to learn about the Dagara people’s indigenous worldview, and has facilitated rituals with Malidoma for people living in modernity in Europe and in North America.
Kathryn has an appreciative relationship with the mineral kingdom after holidays at pebbly beaches and awe-filled encounters with ancient stone circles. She is keen to share ritual theory and technology, believing that this will better equip us to relate to each other well, come the collapse.