The Sacred Forest
The Sacred Forest is dedicated to the preservation, appreciation and understanding of indigenous spiritual practices, particularly those of Ifa, an African Spiritual Tradition. Our goals are to provide opportunities for African based spiritual healing and peacemaking, to facilitate the strengthening of the family and community through the African village model, and to develop a multi-ethnic community involved in the perpetuation of pan-African spirituality and performance arts. We ultimately seek to provide facilities for prayer, meditation, education and fellowship.
In many sub-Saharan African societies, the forest is synonymous with spirituality. There, the presence of Spirit can readily be experienced. In indigenous societies the world over, it is customary to go into the forest for ceremonies which commemorate important life transitions.
Although in the post-industrial world we do have some life passage rituals, such as graduations, weddings and funerals, we often lack deeply meaningful ways to recognize other key transitions. For example, many people never experience a genuine initiation ritual as they move from boyhood to manhood, or from girlhood to womanhood. It is this and other imbalances that The Sacred Forest seeks to address.
Many of us are drawn to the culture, music and dance of Africa, whether or not we are directly from there. Africa has much to offer the Western world: beauty, strength, wisdom, a sense of community and recognition of the presence of our ancestors. All of these can act as a balm in industrialized nations where so many have lost their sense of place. A sense of connection to one another, to our environment and to our ancestors is Africa’s gift to us all.
Photography by Margo Moritz