Special to The Post
The Council for Global Ancestral Reverence, a group of elders who practice African Traditional Religion, will lead a nine-day offering of prayer appealing to their blessed ancestors from Oct. 31-Nov. 8, 2023.
Now in its fourth year, the ritual responds to the multi-layered crises inflicting the world – Middle East conflict and war in Sudan — inner-city crime and violence, homelessness and ongoing pervasive threats to human and civil rights, particularly the right to vote.
Called ‘Ancestral Souls Rising,’ the prayers will be led by the council members and 21 priests in many parts of the African diaspora: Brazil, Nigeria, France, Haiti and the U.S.
Through the ritual, modeled on one created by the elder priests of Oyotunji Village in South Carolina who composed a view of the of the Nine Layers of the Soul, the trauma and grief experienced by people of African descent can be identified and healed.
Held virtually, the first day of the ritual, practitioners will share images from their altars, pour libations and pray in the languages of their forbears – Yoruba, Edo, Fon and Haitian Kryole– as well as English. On the remaining days of the ritual, prayers will address various themes.
“Our elders have, for many generations, known the power of prayer, ritual and breath.”
In 2020, as thousands gasped for air and died of the ravaging effects of COVID-19, and martyr George Floyd died under the knee of a Minnesota police, the elders saw the painful parallel between current and historic restraint on even the freedom to breathe.
It was and is their intention, then, to use the cultural wisdom, the gift of prayer “and the most sacred thing we have, our breath, to send energy into the world that invokes and honors our Ancestors,” the council said in a statement.
“Doing this creates a vibration that protects us and employs Their ancient wisdom for the well-being of our communities,” the elders.
The council members, all over the age of 60, recognize that what is now history for so many was once their lived experience. And that history, those joys, and sorrows, are now in their bodies.
To them, the uttered prayer and the sacred breath are oaths to an unfolding future that people still have some ability to shape.
The members of the council are: Dr. Iyabeji Cathy Royal (Maryland), Yeye Luisah Teish, Ohen Nedra T. William and Iyalocha Wanda Ravernell-Stewart (Oakland), Chief Barbara Eaton and Chief Elizabeth Coleman, (South Carolina).
This year, they also encourage everyone within their reach to vote because it is not only a secular and political act, but a sacred one because our ancestors who were denied and died for that right.
For more information, see brochure at
To register, go to https://www.eventcreate.com/e/c4gar-asr
The post Practitioners of African Traditional Religion Offer 4th Annual Ancestral Reverence Ritual Oct. 31 first appeared on Post News Group. This article originally appeared in Post News Group.