Michael Ortiz Hill

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Books by Michael Ortiz Hill



Twin From Another Tribe

Twin from Another Tribe
(with Mandaza Augustine Kandemwa)

This book is about peacemaking and healing by two initiates into the healing and peacemaking tradition at the headwaters of African-American culture: the ngoma of the water spirits. It is about the borderland between Western medicine and the practice of the shaman. It is about living the life of compassion and the stripping down to the elemental truth of oneself to make such a life possible. It is about all of this within the memoirs of a black man and a white man who recognize each other as twin.


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Village of the Water Spirits


The Village of the Water Spirits
(with Mandaza Augustine Kandemwa)

In researching the patterns black people's dreams about white people, Ortiz Hill had dug into the literature on the African worlds that black Americans came out of and found that those worlds were intact in their nightly dreams.  Although he couldnt grasp the implications, it was irrefutable that black Americans were dreaming about whites in exactly the same fashion that Bantu people have understood whiteness since the Portuguese first made contact with the kingdom of the Kongo in the Fifteenth Century.  This discovery led Ortiz Hill to Africa where he was initiated  into tribal medicine. Weaving
scholarship and interviews with the Shona medicine man Mandaza Kandemwa, Ortiz Hill offers the recognition:  at the most intimate level Africa has kept faith with the African-American soul.

"This book reopens the door of the spirit and illumines African philosophy at its best."

— Robert Farris Thompson,
author of Flash of the Spirit: African and Afro-American Art and Philosophy

“Our dreams speak with an eloquence which language cannot capture; in this bone-stirring collection, Michael Ortiz-Hill brings us face to face with dream stories which command our attention, while Mandaza, seeing through water-spirit eyes, invites clarity and healing to interpret the powerful messages sent from the other world.  We are reminded that the spirits of deep water can cleanse the most searing psychic wounds.”

— Malidoma P. Som´┐Ż,
author of Of Water and the Spirit

"Using material from Bantu philosophy and the dreams of black people in North America and Africa, Michael Ortiz Hill has produced one of the most profound evocations of African-American culture by showing us how the Motherland remains at the very core.  An amazing book that is at once poetry and philosophy. Personal, political and very powerful."

— Bob Blauner,
author of Black Lives, White Lives




Preface

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Gathering in the Names


Gathering In The Names

“Through the natural simplicity of parallel recollection. Augustine Kandemwa, a former African police official, and Michael Ortiz Hill, a hospice nurse, each find their way to the ancient holy practice of the nganga (a Bantu shaman) and their remarkable bond of kinship."

Tsehai Farrell, author of
Transformation of Race




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Dreaming the End of the World



Dreaming the End of the World:
Apocalypse as a Rite of Passage 

A study of apocalyptic dreams noting the pattern of death and rebirth common to tribal rites of initiation. “Very, very few people dare go near this topic. This is a profound book and I deeply hope it finds Its audience,” writes author Ram Dass.




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Blues Song cover



Blues Song at the Edge of Chaos

"My body, more naked than the day I was born, wants only to sing and dance for the spirits, for this morning I emerged into the light of day after seven long years in that underworld that lies beneath the Afro-European village.  Yes, I know that few are aware that such a village exists. Slavery and colonialism have driven all of us a little mad."



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Sacred Illness Sacred Medicine
(with Deena Metzger)

James Baldwin wrote: "To be truly alive is to make love with what you most fear."  My lover has arrived in the form of a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.  The Bantu tradition with which I practice medicine relies on sacred illness to initiate its shamans, known as ngangas.  The ancestors visit certain illnesses on those called to heal.  This book is an exploration of sacred illness and sacred medicine by a husband and wife team.




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Meeting Sacred Illness


Meeting Sacred Illness
(with Deena Metzger)

A continuation of the exploration of the healing potential found in the precarious embrace of disease and illness.  Hill reveals the humility of coming to grips with MS and the compassion and self-forgiveness that grow out of such suffering.  At bottom, Hill's is a story of love for his wife, a story of endurance in the midst of change.



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Copyright © Michael Ortiz Hill.  All rights reserved.