456 pages, 6 x 9
1 b&w illustration, 11 color illustrations
Paperback
Release Date:08 Oct 2019
ISBN:9780816539567
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Voices from the Ancestors

Xicanx and Latinx Spiritual Expressions and Healing Practices

The University of Arizona Press
Voices from the Ancestors brings together the reflective writings and spiritual practices of Xicanx, Latinx, and Afro-Latinx womxn and male allies in the United States who seek to heal from the historical traumas of colonization by returning to ancestral traditions and knowledge.

This wisdom is based on the authors’ oral traditions, research, intuitions, and lived experiences—wisdom inspired by, and created from, personal trajectories on the path to spiritual conocimiento, or inner spiritual inquiry. This conocimiento has reemerged over the last fifty years as efforts to decolonize lives, minds, spirits, and bodies have advanced. Yet this knowledge goes back many generations to the time when the ancestors understood their interconnectedness with each other, with nature, and with the sacred cosmic ­forces—a time when the human body was a microcosm of the universe.

Reclaiming and reconstructing spirituality based on non-Western epistemologies is central to the process of decolonization, particularly in these fraught times. The wisdom offered here appears in a variety of forms—in reflective essays, poetry, prayers, specific guidelines for healing practices, communal rituals, and visual art, all meant to address life transitions and how to live holistically and with a spiritual consciousness for the challenges of the twenty-first century.
This is an innovative and powerful collection that crosses the border between ­academic and artistic styles. Each contribution works to decolonize the mind and the soul. It is necessary reading for all who are interested in the anti-imperial project.”—Luis D. León, author of The Political Spirituality of Cesar Chavez: Crossing Religious Borders

“One of the many strengths of this book is the intergenerational dialogue that takes place; this is fertile ground for great discussions inside and outside the classroom. A must-read!”—María Del Socorro Castañeda-Liles, author of Our Lady of Everyday Life: La Virgen de Guadalupe and the Catholic Imagination of Mexican Women in America
Lara Medina (Xicanx) was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, earned an MA in theology from Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and a PhD in history from Claremont Graduate University. She is a professor in the Chicana/o Studies Department at California State University, Northridge.

Martha R. Gonzales (Xicanx) was raised in East Los Angeles, earned her bachelor’s degree in philosophy and literature from University of California, ­Santa Cruz, and her doctorate in literature from University of California, San Diego. She lectures in the Ethnic Studies Department at Glendale Community College, Glendale, California.
Acknowledgments
Introduction

Lara Medina and Martha R. Gonzales

1. MORNING PRAYERS
2. HONORING THE SACRED DIRECTIONS
3. CREATING SACRED SPACE
4. BLESSINGS FOR BABIES AND YOUNG CHILDREN
5. CREATING ART AS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
6. CREATING ART THROUGH PROSE AND POETRY
7. CREATING ART THROUGH DANZA
8. COMMUNING WITH OUR DYING AND BELOVED DECEASED
9. DREAMING
10. HOLISTIC HEALTH C ARE
11. LIFE CHANGES
12. MEDITATION
13. MEDICINAL FOODS
14. MOTHER-CHILD BONDING
15. MOON MEDITATIONS
16. SACRED SEXUALITIES
17. PRAYER AND SONG
18. RELATIONSHIP WITH LAND AND PLANTS
19. SPIRITUAL ACTIVISM
20. SPIRITUAL PEDAGOGY
21. TALKING CIRCLES
22. EVENING PRAYERS

References
Contributors
Index
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