Dr. G. Love
SoulShifting Guide and Spaceholder
You hold many cards-- Diviner, Naprapath, Shamanic Practitioner, Reiki Master…and that’s just to name a few. How did you get started on your path? What called you into this work as a healer?
My journey as a healer began in the times before my incarnation in this lifetime. I am very clear that I have a Soul contract to walk the path of the wounded healer in this lifetime and act as a guide for those awakening souls that resonate with the energetic medicines I carry from many lifetimes and ancestral connections. As a young child I always said I would be a doctor when I grew up. I initially attended my beloved alma mater Smith College for a course in pre-med and shortly thereafter was clearly guided to switch to a major in theater. As disappointing and confusing as this was to my primarily working class family at the time, I knew that my soul's path needed to move through the portal of the performing arts because the ancestral roots of all performance lie in the rituals and ceremonies of our ancestors. My spirit understood on an intrinsic level that I needed to follow the path of ritual in order to enter the path of the healer.
My work in performance guided me into ritual and ceremony. I was blessed with professors who grounded their teachings in the hystory of ritual and ceremony and the technologies of our ancestors. I am most grateful to Professors Andrea Hairston who first introduced me to the power of Orisha, Deborah Lubar who taught me to channel and embody the spirit of character, and the groundbreaking queer feminist Theater hystorian Katherine Kendall for their visionary insight and transmission of ancestral medicines.
After a lovely period of time working as an actor, writer, and performance artist (Notably: The Chicago NeoFuturists cast member 1997-1999, co-creator of the black womyn's performance group Black Sphota Cocoon 1999-2000, and an inspiring archetypal ensemble role in Mary Zimmerman's production of The Odyssey at the Goodman Theatre, 1999) I eventually enrolled as a student in the National College of Naprapathy and simultaneously began my apprenticeship in Peruvian Shamanism, Reiki, and Yoruba traditions. By simultaneously engaging my left and right brain healing capacities I quickly began to realize my gifts as a healer and channel of ancestral wisdom. From there I was led by the ancestors to open my healing practice in the rich soil and culture of New Orleans in 2003. After 13 years of profound lessons as a New Orleans based healer and ceremonialist, I am now called to do the work of Earth honoring healing ritual in power centers around the globe. I am eternally grateful to all those who have assisted and enriched me on this journey.
You are definitely a trail blazer in terms of creating safe spaces for Black witches to create, connect, and heal ourselves and our communities. Thank you! For you, what is the importance of having such spaces for black people in particular?
You are welcome! The pleasure is mine. While I have always been blessed with opportunities to cocreate in Black Femme Prizmatic spaces, I nonetheless often found myself apprenticing in primarily white and/or binary dominated healing and artistic circles. There was always a sense for me of being an outsider and therefore not fully free to explore my magical fullness in these environments. I've been motivated by an ongoing desire to see myself reflected in the bodies and spirits of my co-creators and so I have dedicated myself to creating spaces for like spirited Prizmatic people of the diaspora (and our select allies) to flourish, share, and grow in our power together.
You’ve been practicing as a healer for some time now. Have you all seen an increase in black people who are identifying as witches and/or embracing more ancestral/ indigenous spiritualities and healing modalities? If so, what do you think has motivated this "trend?”
Whew, that's a big one! It's been a long time but the shift towards decolonizing our spirits and reawakening our ancestral magic is finally upon us! Christianity has had a stronghold on the African American collective spirit for many generations. And while I embrace all of our spiritual roots, I also believe that reconnecting to our ancestral roots and indigenous technologies is critical for the flourishing of our collective health and well-being. Many of the people that I have worked with in the past have struggled with the colonial teachings that tell us that our ancestral practices are dangerous, heretical, or evil. These teachings do not belong to the foundation of Christianity. They are imperialist teachings imposed by those who sought to have power over the spirit of the world. At this time of the great Shift, many people are feeling and hearing the call of their ancestral magic and are doing the necessary work of personal expansion and evolution. For that I am grateful and ready to assist in whatever ways I can. The global spirit is finally capable of shining through the dissociative patterns of erasure, trauma, and shame created by the colonizer frequency. We are realizing that our power lies in a multidimensional inter-generational truth that has the capacity to hold many teachings and paths in service to our collective evolution. And to that I say, Asé amen Aho Namaste Hotep!
In your perspective, what is a“witch”?
I feel that we are right now redefining the term "witch" as a contemporary collective of visionaries. The era of the witch hunts is blessedly coming to a close and we are remembering that those who were labeled witches were our healers, spiritual guides, doulas, midwives, herbalists, and ceremonialists. Those of us who are called to do this work are the modern witches of the new paradigm. While all of us do not choose to self-identify as witches, I feel that we are nonetheless in solidarity as earth honoring practitioners of global indigenous technologies.
I absolutely loved your Black Moon Magic Transmission, which you offered to us for the fall magazine. I told you about the experience I had that was a testimony to the realness of psychic attacks and spiritual warfare. Your Black Moon Magic offering was right on time because you offer some tools and rituals for clearing and protection. I was talking to someone about how the “New Age” Spirituality focuses so heavily, perhaps to our detriment, on the “light” and the “good”, and you know, “you attract what you believe in so just don’t focus on the bad and you’re good to go!” What is your take on this imbalance? Can you talk about the importance of reconciling and honoring/acknowledging the light and the dark.
Thank you, I'm very passionate about collective harnessing of the portal of personal and planetary transformation that we find ourselves in at this time. I feel that the practice of investigating and embracing our so-called dark side is a critical detail in our collective evolution. We are carrying a huge legacy of trauma in our collective spirit and it must be addressed with honesty and capable care. So many of us are suffering from bouts of rage, depression, despair, anxiety, dissociation, and grief. We then often isolate ourselves in a shroud of shame and fear to avoid the judgement and retribution of our family members and community. These dissonant energies are actually calling cards or symptomatic guides urging us to look at and excavate the roots of these feelings. We have been living in a global war zone for many generations and the only way out of this is to move bravely through the darkness. This is something that is best done in a community of like spirited sympathetic souls. It is our duty as gatekeepers to an emerging paradigm to transmute and clear the traumatic wounds of our past.
We currently live in a society that barely knows how to properly honor and address the grieving process. We are being asked to suppress and avoid all grief or trauma related feelings when these feelings are a natural part of the humyn condition. This then causes us to pathologize ourselves and others rather than move towards a society of truth and reconciliation. So many of us are carrying lifetimes of grief as a burden that interferes with our ability to see ourselves fully and ground in the seat of our power. Actively participating in a culture that honors grief and the dissonant symptoms that accompany it is crucial to our collective wholeness and well being.
Let’s talk about the Solstice SoulShift Retreats that you started with your Soul Sister, Zoe Flowers! We are undeniably in the midst of some heavy stuff, a global awakening/shift is upon us. I understand the importance of getting the masses together to assist the planet in this shift, which was one of my motivations to start Black Femme Witches Brew! And there are many other collectives and collective spaces popping up. I know Black Witch Chronicles is an original, and then there is the Black Witch Convention being hosted in Baltimore MD, to name a few. It’s all very exciting. So can you speak on the vision and intention behind the SoulShift Retreats?
SoulShifting Retreats is a large scale global healing project of personal and planetary transformation that will take place on at least 6 different continents over an expanse of years. We are calling forth a community of like-spirited souls to apprentice in a variety of cross-cultural Indigenous Technologies and hold sacred healing ritual at specifically divined energetic portals on the planet in service to the health and balanced well-being of PachaMama and all her inhabitants. This project is the fruition of a global healing vision I have been cultivating since early 2000. As soon as I (finally) got the message to begin the healing work at the balancing energies of the Equator during the solstices of 2016, my co-maestra Zoë Flowers immediately stepped forward and offered her support and personal genius to this visionary project. With the technical guidance and design of our lovely assistant Rose Wonderfabulous, we got the word out and a passionate community of souls responded and showed up to the work.The result is flourishing into something that a lifetime of dreams are made of!
Our inaugural Solstice SoulShifting Retreat was held on June 17-21 in Ecuador. The community of visionary co-creators that showed up to the work was an awesome collective of pure brilliance. We held shamanic ceremony every morning in our ocean side Pachakuti Mesa lodge, performed grief rituals, water and fire rituals, transmuted sexual and domestic violence, practiced energetic healing modalities, danced, sang, prayed, cried, and created a community of support that will last a lifetime! For me, absolutely nothing has been the same since. My soul is truly Shifting with the support and wisdom of this amazing hoop of loving co-creators.
We are now preparing for our December SoulShifting Retreat and invite those of you who resonate with this work to join us in Ecuador December 17-21, 2016 for a deepening of your soul's purpose and cultivation of your practice as an Earth honoring awakening soul.
As well, I hope those who resonate with this work will subscribe via our website at www.soulshiftingretreats.com to receive information on our upcoming retreats in North America, South America, Austrailia, and more....
Check out our testimonials video from some of our June SoulShifters....
Dr. G in her elemental healing space photo by Jeri Hilt
In addition to the SoulShift Retreats, what are some current creations you got going on?
I continue to offer private apprenticeship, consultations, and healing work via the web through my practice at www.fivedirectionswellness.com, I am honored to be holding space for the opening ritual for the MingaCuento5 Oral Tradition Festival in Calceta Ecuador in early October, and I've been blessed to be in ongoing cocreation with the visionary black whole tree GodIs witch Valencia Wombone on the Sojourners Land Movement project in Tennessee. Initially visioned and lovingly held by Valencia Wombone, Sojourners Land is an internationally grounded space for the spiritual and elemental liberation of LGBTQ people of color. This year we have secured our first acres of land for this Prizmatic eco-spiritual land guided movement. I'm thrilled to announce that allies from IDA's Work Hard Stay Hard community are working with our co-grounder Rose Wonderfabulous on some foundational building projects for the land. We invite crafty witches to join us in our ongoing building projects as we create an infrastructure to hold our community and work. Skill shares include the building of small mobile homes for independent living, composting, water security, energetic orgasmic liberation practices via such modalities as Qi Gong and Yoga, and an ever evolving spectrum of elemental earth honoring traditions.
Who are some Black Femme witches that inspire you? Is there anyone in particular that you would like to cocreate with?
I have been deeply inspired by the works of many over the years. I'm very interested in the Dagara and Dagomba Divination and Grief Ritual work being held by Aamirah Branch who is walking in the esteemed footsteps of the Dagara elders Malidoma Somé and Sobonfu Somè. Aamirah Branch is a true inspiration as she is doing the work of bringing our ancestral indigenous technologies to the diaspora of the 21st Century. I continue to be inspired and guided by the ever expansive liberatory Orisha guided work of YeYe Luisah Teish, and my heart is steadily guided by the brilliant Earth Stewardship work of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya founded by our ancestor Wangaari Matthai.
The Black Witch I have dreamt of working with for over 20 years is without a doubt the divine ancestral channel that is Alice Walker. Her books The Temple of My Familiar and Possessing the Secret Joy have been ongoing revelatory guides for my entire life's journey. I would love to co-create with Ms. Walker on an earth honoring ritual for the permanent transmutation of global curses and devastating sacrifices made in this era of rape culture and war as we continue to feed the harmonious rise of the divine feminine in service to a balanced whole.
Dr. G in her elemental healing space photo by Jeri Hilt
Dr. G. Love is an Internationally appreciated Healer and Teacher of Indigenous Technologies and Cross Cultural Shamanism. Dr. G. Love is a Doctor of Naprapathy, Shamana, Reiki Master, Poet, Playwright, a co-creator of the YouTube video series "Black Witch Chronicles", and the visionary steward of SoulShifting Retreats. She has an online and in-person Private practice at Five Directions Wellness and through this practice has been participating in the wellness, awakening, and conscious evolution of her global community since 2003.
Dr. G. Love has had the pleasure of speaking, teaching, and sharing ritual with groups in Universities and Colleges, book clubs, community gardens, elementary and high schools, Prizmatic (LGBTQAI) youth groups, Black Lives Matter actions, Indigenous Land Rights communities, EcoSpiritual Environmentalist Actions, Prison Abolition, and many a street level social and spiritual justice strategy session.
Dr. G. Love was a part of the first wave of returning New Orleans residents after the levy break of Hurricane Katrina and has been providing integrative holistic Trauma healing for thousands of people encompassing a broad spectrum of ages, genders, beliefs, and cultural identities in the Greater New Orleans Area and beyond in the more than 10 years since.
Geryll is also an Empath and ongoing personal trauma survivor of this timeline of war and oppression. Her lived experiences inform her work as she walks the Path of The Wounded Healer as gracefully and honestly as possible in the face of such profound collective shadow work and magical fright. She believes in the power of the collective to affect conscious change on a global scale.
https://cosmicroots.wordpress.com/ (Sojourners Land Movement)