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.
About the Author
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.
"The book is a beautiful mix of knowledge from authors of oral traditions, research, intuition, visual art, poetry and lived experience, which recognizes the interconnection that past generations had with each other and nature. It also addresses new times and the recovery of non-western based spirituality and medicine to meet the challenges of this century."—Beatriz Garcia, Al Dia“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