Our ancestors sat beneath the full moon around a fire and explained the sacredness of life, nature, and spirit through the art of storytelling. Their stories provide the guidelines for inner peace, spiritual education, and communal action. The Aztecs told their stories through poetry that was born from a flowering need to express their soul. In the African Diaspora, myths and stories are housed in the body of cowrie shells, stones, seeds, and bones. When these are cast, the voice of the Divine is heard, and the community contemplates the mysteries of creation, applying to contemporary life the wisdom that emerges.
Elena Avila, RN, MSN, Curandera is a first-generation Chicana, born in the barrios of El Paso, Texas. After graduating from the University of Texas with a bachelor of science in nursing, Elena obtained her masters degree from UT in 1981 and specialized in mental health. She began her research into Curanderismo in 1974, gradually incorporating native folk healing into her work as a nurse.
Luisah Teish is a storyteller, performer, ritual priestess, and author of several books and articles on African and African American Spiritual Culture and Feminist Myth. She has been awarded a PhD in spiritual therapeutics. Teish is an initiated elder (Iyanifa) in the Ifa/Orisha tradition of the West African Diaspora, and holds a chieftaincy title (Yeye'woro) from the Fatunmise Compound in Ile Ife, Nigeria.