April 13, 2020
Lara Medina and Martha Gonzales, editors of Voices from the Ancestors: Xicanx and Latinx Spiritual and Healing Practices, published by the University of Arizona Press, were joined by contributors Sandra Pacheco, Marta Lopez-Garza, and Berenice Dimas in a recent online discussion on the book’s themes, wisdom, and importance during this challenging time.
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.
The editors and contributors want to share these practices from the book that relate to the online discussion on dreaming, one and two; on house blessings; on spiritual limpias; rituals and remedies; and honoring the Four Directions.
More information on Voices editors and contributors:
Berenice Dimas shared information on herbs and wellness practices. Dimas is a queer writer, community-based herbalist, health educator, wellness promotora, and full-spectrum birth doula. Find out more about Berenice’s work by visiting her website and her Instagram pages @hoodherbalism y @brujatip.
Martha R. Gonzales, whose partner is currently battling COVID-19, shared her experience caring for her partner and turning to traditional ways to help him fight the virus and heal. Gonzales 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.
Marta López-Garza, shared information on how to do a blessing for a house or sacred space. López-Garza is a professor in gender and women’s studies and Chicana/o studies departments at California State University, Northridge. She co-facilitates Revolutionary Scholars, an organization of formerly incarcerated students and is a cofounder of Civil Discourse and Social Change, a campus-wide initiative combining education, community involvement, and sustained activism. Her scholarship focuses on formerly incarcerated womxn.
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.
Sandra M. Pacheco is a professor and independent scholar. Her teaching and research focuses on Chicana/Latina/Indígena feminisms and spirituality. Sandra cofounded Curanderas sin Fronteras, a mobile clinic dedicated to serving the health and well-being of Chican@/Latin@/Indígena communities through the use of curanderismo.