Luisah Teish, Iyanifa and Oshun chief, USA)

Yeye Luisah Teish is a teacher, dancer, storyteller, and high priestess. She also is an author, most notably of Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, her father was an African Methodist Episcopal  and her mother was a Catholic, of Haitian, French, and Choctaw heritage. Yeye Teish is an Iyanifa and Oshun chief in Yoruba tradition. Yeye Teish is one of the most well known Yoruba priestesses worldwide, who is celebrated internationally in Goddess circles as a writer and ritual-maker. She quite literally a legendary woman of great character and exceeding positive impact for this generation and all time.

Yeye Luisah Teish is a writer, an arts activist, and spiritual counselor. She is an initiated elder (Iyanifa) in the Ifa/Orisha tradition and a member of the Global Council for Ancestor Veneration.

She has authored six books*, most notably “Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals, a women’s spirituality classic.(1985 Harper & Row Publishers) She co-authored “On Holy Ground: Commitment and Devotion to Sacred Land” with Kahuna Leilani Birely.( 2015)  “Spirit Revealing, Color Healing”,  is her book of Zen Doodles.

She has contributed to 40 anthologies, and magazines such as Ms., Essence, SageWoman, and the Yoga Journal. Her books have been translated into German, Spanish, and French and her prayers and poetry have been published in seven indigenous languages.

She is a member of the Fountain and the Mother Earth Delegation of United Indigenous Nations.

Her articles and artworks appear in Coreopsis: Journal of Myth and Theater, and the Cascadia Subduction Zone Journal of Speculative Fiction.

She has a Creative Writing Specialization Certificate from Wesleyan University (2016)

She has designed, directed, and performed myth and ritual theater in Europe, Venezuela, New Zealand, and The United States.

She is the Spiritual Culture Consultant for Jubilee Justice Journey for Reparations, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, and the Center for Sacred Studies.

She has a Certificate in Food and Nutrition from  Stanford University, and is co-faculty of the Afro-botany Immersion program for Natural Choices Botanica.

Yeye teaches courses and facilitates kinship groups online.

Luisah Teish is an initiated elder (Iyanifa) in the Ifa/Orisha tradition of the West African Diaspora and she holds a chieftaincy title (Yeye’woro) from the Fatunmise Compound in Ile Ife, Nigeria.  She is an Iya Oshun with 36 years of Ocha and 17 years of Ifa. She is the former Chair of the World Orisha Congress Committee on Women’s Issues.

She is the Olori (director) of Ile Orunmila Oshun and the School of Ancient Mysteries/Sacred Arts Center in Oakland, Ca.

In 2001 she entered into a mystical marriage with  Damballah Hwedo, the Haitian Rainbow Serpent, under the guidance of Moma Lola.

In 1969 she received initiation into the Fahamme Temple of Amun-Ra in St. Louis, Missouri.

She later went on to study indigenous Native North and South American traditions (including the Caribbean). She has conducted workshops on Black and Native American culture at Medicine Wheels (under the directions of Sun Bear’s tribal elders).

She has taught at the University of Creation Spirituality- Naropa Oakland, John F. Kennedy University, The Institute for Transpersonal Psychology and New College of California. She has lectured at Harvard, UCLA, and Spelman College. She teaches online courses, provides editorial assistance, facilitates conferences and weekend workshops, and performs in theaters worldwide.

*BOOKS: She is the author of several books on African and African American Spiritual Culture.

“Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals” (1985) a women’s spirituality classic (available in German and Spanish).

“Carnival of the Spirit: Seasonal Celebrations and Rites of Passage “(1995)

Jump Up: Good Times Throughout the Seasons with Celebrations from Around the World”(2001)

“What Don’t Kill Is Fattening Revisited: Twenty Years of Poetry, Prose, and Myth. (2003)

“On Holy Ground: Commitment and Devotion to Sacred Land” (co-author Leilani Birely) 2013.

Spirit Revealing, Color Healing: A Creative and Soulful Journey. (2016)