In the Dagara tradition, one becomes a diviner by merging consciousness with an elemental being (Wedeme or Kontomble).
Through a process of consecutive divinations conducted over a number of years, a prospective diviner is led by his or her mentor through a process where they learn how to interact with, feed and become intimate with the specific elemental being or beings who wish to work with them.
During this time the prospective diviner builds shrines, carries out rituals, cleans up ancestral lines and explores their own personal lineage. When the prospective diviner is ready to merge, an initiation is carried out, after which they are able to offer divination together with their elemental friend/s.
When we divine, we are interfacing with the elemental beings who are telling us what the client needs to know about their own spiritual landscape. The elemental beings are the mediators with all the other dimensional realms. Through them we have access. They do not discriminate between traditions or belief systems.
All traditions, beliefs and entities are welcome. This is a relationship that grows stronger and more potent through time with continued interfacing through divination, work on the land and work with the ancestors. All Strega Tree diviners have developed this intimate connection and continue to nurture it through tending of the shrines, continued listening and learning.
The elemental beings we work with are called the Wedeme and Kontomble.
The Kontomble are the water spirits.
The Wedeme are the spirits of the land and wild.
The Wedeme and the Kontomble
In the Dagara tradition, the elemental beings are called the Kontomble (the little people, or more literally, the one who comes to the bell). In the Italian tradition they are called le fate. Essentially, these elemental beings are the same except for their geographic location. Like humans from different cultures, the elemental beings of a place and culture also have their own personalities shaped by the land and ecosystem itself.
To be clear, what we mean by elemental beings is the fairies, the elves, the gnomes, the dwarves, the wee folk, the fae, the wild ones, the plant spirits, the water sprites and spirits and the mermaids. These spirits do not only exist in etheric form, they have an embodied form on Earth as well. They exist in a different dimension than we do, and have access to other dimensions, but they are Earth beings, just like us.
In the Dagara tradition, the broad term for the little people(elemental beings) is Kontomble. That gets further delineated into Kontomble—elemental beings of the water; and Wedeme—elemental beings of the wild.
Those called the elemental beings have a very special devotion to the Earth and to humans. One of their main roles is in facilitating a relationship between Earth and humans. In the past, the elemental beings had a strong kinship with the humans. This kinship kept the Earth healthy and balanced.
In our experience, the elemental beings are the most loving beings in the cosmos. They have an unsurpassable commitment and dedication to the humans and the Earth. They have enormous compassion for human suffering in spite of our neglect of them and the Earth. If we truly want to get out of our heads and back into our hearts, as many of us say we do, the elemental beings can teach us how.
The ancestors are a major part of this work. This can be perplexing for some. An ancestor is anything that has given birth to us in some way and therefore continues to be an evolving part of us.
Ancestors can be actual people in your family line or ancestors of the place you live. Many of us also have our own chosen ancestors or ancestresses.
The importance of ancestral work stems from the belief that, in general, it is good and wise to remember and honor those who came before us. Given their perspective, the ancestors know things we do not. They can help us if we are willing to listen. In fact, they want to help us.
There may be events in your ancestral line that need remediation. You may be called on to lend a hand with this. Facilitating this will help you and your descendents. You may feel that your ancestors are lost to you. This can be very unsettling. But they have never lost you. Getting back in touch with them can help you live a more fulfilling life.
There are 5 elements that we work with in this tradition that may have a special message for you: fire, water, earth, mineral and nature.
Fire was first. Fire is the realm of the ancestors. Fire is the origin of the universe. Fire is creation itself. Fire burns and purifies. Fire is transformation and transmutation.
Fire produces ash. Ash is representative of fire, therefore, ash is considered very protective. Often, you will want to make a ring of ash within which to make offerings so that the offering is sure to go to the intended recipient. You will know when to do this. Ash is used in doorways for protection. During ritual, create a ring of ash or place ash in the four directions for protection. Ash itself is also a requested offering. In time you will begin to know instinctively when ash is called for.
Hydrogen was the first element created after the big bang. Water was created after fire. Together fire and water created the rest. Water is in everything – hydrogen particles are found in all areas of the cosmos. Water is that which heals and changes all. Water flows. When water cannot flow it becomes sick. Water is used and offered for cleansing and clearing. It is an opener. Water is the “life carrying” element. It is widely accepted that there must be the presence of water for higher forms of life to evolve. Offer water for clearing, healing, opening.
Earth is the actively alive being we live on and within whose intelligence we are embedded. Earth is the mother of all biological life. She holds life, nurtures it, and takes it back after death. Earth retains a delicate balance in all her systems in order to sustain and maintain life. Maintaining balance is a very big part of Earth medicine. We learn this from observing Earth.
Earth rituals are often prescribed to increase one’s connection to her, receive messages and nourishment and rejuvenation from her. Burials rituals of all kinds are an important part of Earth medicine.
Each of us has a “home mountain,” a mountain we “grew up under.” If you are in touch with your deeper ancestral lineage you may find you have a connection to a mountain there as well. Mountains are strong and lasting while at the same time slowly becoming the sea and the Earth, the soil. Ecosystems are intimately connected to their local mountains. Mountains serve a holding, sustaining and retaining function, like a boundary, fence or a barrier. We want to have a strong mountain at our backs. Mountains and their fractal forms—rocks, bones, shells—hold all the memories. Have a mountain to reach toward, pray toward. Hike it often and leave offerings there to the mineral beings.
Nature and the Wild
Nature is created by the meeting of all the above. Nature is the fruition and the potentiality of life, all the lifeforms, therefore it encompasses all the many forms of life already manifested. We honor all forms of biological life: bacteria, cellular, reptilian, mammalian, insect, birds, amphibians, plants, trees, soil, plankton, amoeba, fungi, flowers and more. Nature is creativity itself that is able to flourish once all the previous four elements are in place, held intact and respected.
Nature is also the wild. There are some beings that can never be domesticated. Wildness is needed for the continuation of life. Life is change and change cannot happen without the wild. There is the wild within us and the wild around us. Though the wild can be challenging, it must be honored and revered. The wildness, what is unmanageable and unexpected, is absolutely necessary.