#040: Creating Harmony: Tyger Blair on African, Irish and Indigenous Ancestors and Cosmologies

podcast Aug 25, 2023

 "I am a manifestation of the larger divine feminine…part of her masculine presentation... So much of the plant medicine comes from the great mother through the great mother. So the voice of everything in me is how everything in my mind comes from the feminine."


Tune in to this thought-provoking episode to discover the power of voice, ancestral healing, and harmonizing our racially diverse ancestors within ourselves.


Tyger Blair is an actor and singer who now works in restorative justice and plant medicine healing.  In our conversation he shares his personal journey of self-discovery, starting in Ashland.Oregon and delving into the arts community, where they developed his voice and acting skills. 


As Tyger reflects on his experiences growing up as one of the few black individuals in Ashland, he highlights the healing embrace he received from the all-white community, setting him on a path of curiosity about his African heritage. 


His quest for knowledge led him to Africa and the teachings of Malidoma Some, igniting his passion for indigenous African Shamanic Technologies and gatekeeping to uplift the community. 


But the journey doesn't stop there. Tyger's exploration of indigenous practices expands beyond Africa, encompassing the Maria Sabina sacred mushroom tradition of Mesoamerica. 


Through this voyage, Tyger discusses the multifaceted nature of his identity, weaving together Native American, African, and Irish ancestors and cosmologies. 


You can find more about Tyger Blair on LinkedIn.


📚 Timestamped overview


[00:01:07] Summary: Tyger  enjoys being in the mountains and canyons of Colorado. They also feel proud of what they said in a documentary.

[00:06:17] Tyger’s artistic background and upbringing in theater influenced his career path and ability to shape-shift in the world. Their mother was a classical singer and his cousin an actor, both of whom became parental figures. Moving to Ashland, Oregon exposed them to theater and taught them how to perform, speak, and influence. Despite initially considering a career in diplomacy, Tyger found his calling in music and has been singing since college.

[00:09:17] The voice is a powerful transmitter, emphasizing oral transmission.

[00:13:01] The voice is a vital part of communication and cultural connection, demonstrated through personal experiences and ancestral influences. Tonal expressions convey deeper meanings and guide behavior.

[00:15:46] Moving from a racially tense environment in Chicago to an all-white town in Ashland, Oregon brought healing and acceptance forTyger and his brother, as they were embraced by the community.

[00:19:58] I became a diplomat by immersing in different cultures and embracing indigenous wisdom.

[00:22:46] Tyger discusses the concept of harmony and balance, and how it relates to diplomacy and his personal experiences. They also mention a series of books they love.

[00:26:31] Tyger shares his journey of learning about African cosmologies and indigenous practices, including studying African shamanic technologies and working with plant medicines. Tyger embraces his role as a gatekeeper and express interest in Mesoamerican traditions.

[00:34:49] Recognizing and embracing diverse ancestral backgrounds and cosmologies to find harmony and growth.



Amanda Aminata [00:00:00]:

Welcome, everyone, to the Mother Tree Network. I am your host, Amanda Aminata Soul, Plant Walker, Fire Woman. And I have with me today my friend, my brother, fellow plant walker, tree man leader, healer, Tyger Blair. Hey, Tyger.

Tyger Blair [00:00:20]:

Hello, doctor. How are you?

Amanda Aminata [00:00:23]:

I am good.

Tyger Blair [00:00:25]:

I if you I guess I'm gonna go with tree woman today. That's what I wanna go with. Tree woman. Yes.

Amanda Aminata [00:00:30]:

Yes. You told me tree woman. Yes. And for y'all who can't see me, I have a big smile on my face because ever since I've known about Tyger and come to know him and love him appreciate him and trust him. Yeah. I just really like him, so I'm so happy to see you. See that you are well I am well, and and happy to be here. Yeah. So we start off every show with a question, what's good? So what's good in your body? What's good today? What's what's good in the world? Anyway, you wanna answer it. What's good today, Tyger?

Tyger Blair [00:01:07]:

What's good today? I mean, it's it's something that's lingering. I I arrived here in Colorado on Sunday, late morning. And a friend whisked me off to the Boulder area into a place called Colorado Springs. And because it had been I got up so early to get on the flight, I just 06:00 in the morning. I was just tired, and I fell asleep. And when I woke up, I was in Colorado Springs, and I was in the canyons. We were driving to the to a lake that is there, and I really just felt, wow, how beautiful. This is. And I didn't know that I was was a mountainous person. I should not be Capricorn. So the goat is my my animal as as that Capricorn. But I I loved those mountains, and that has just really sat with me through this conference I'm in this week that those mountains that was surrounding me that were just so incredibly beautiful. So that's what I'm good with. I forget sometimes that nature is so important to me because I'm dwelling in this in these cities, these metropolitan areas. But I really, really loved being in in those canyons, in those mountains, and out of those springs except Colorado. So That's what that's what's good. And I'm gonna say this too. I you we just before we started recording, I was speaking about the documentary that was aired. Well, premiered yesterday called a table of our own. And I'm always unsure how I'm going when I'm being filmed, like, and I'm not I don't remember what I've said. I wonder, what did you say? What what happened? And yesterday, I saw the film, and I heard what I said. And I'm rarely comfortable and happy with what I've said, but what's good for me is I said something and some things that I am really proud that I said out loud. So I'm really good with that. Mhmm.

Amanda Aminata [00:03:16]:

Mhmm. Wow. That is huge. You know, when we can hear ourselves play back to ourselves, play back to ourselves, play back to ourselves. And what we say is yes. I'm out of that. Yes. That is me. Mhmm. Wow. Okay. I've been wondering if you were at this conference that I've been hearing about. I am. You are hit you are there. And Is it it's called the science of psychedelics, or what is it called?

Tyger Blair [00:03:42]:

It's called maps Psychadelic Science Conference 2023, and MAPS is the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Study. That's the home organization in in California, and they do this big conference every year and this year is in Denver. Mhmm.

Amanda Aminata [00:04:02]:

And and the film that you are being featured in, you can set a table of our own.

Tyger Blair [00:04:09]:

A table of our own, which is about black people across the country that have been doing psychedelic work and developing his our own ways, our own pathway to it since we don't many of us don't feel that we have found an enroad. In the majority white spaces that psychedelic work is happening and more recently burgeoning in again. So a table of our own is the way that black people do it. And how we've been doing some sort of roots since we've been on this land and and long before that, but how that's incorporated into now what is being called psychedelics and plant medicine.

Amanda Aminata [00:04:53]:

Right. Right. I love you. I love that you took a step back from this current incarnation as what it's called, psychedelic plant medicine. And say, hey. But we've had access to this. This has been part of what we've done on this planet before it had a there was this term for it. Right. And 1 of the reasons I like that is because I think I've heard Tony Moss speak to the Sue, who's another leader in in the space black man. And he's in the film. And he's in the film. Okay. Great. And he's a fabulous musician.

Tyger Blair [00:05:25]:


Amanda Aminata [00:05:26]:

Oh my gosh. Anybody who has not heard the album Bird Tribe? It's an album called Birds of Paradise, I believe, in the group called bird tribe, but it's led by him. Mhmm. I listen to it all the time. I listen to it all the time. And there's a song that he has by himself that's called grateful. Have you heard that from Tyger? I have heard it. Yeah. It's like, you know, when I need to shift, when I wake up with it on my mind, you know, I play that song. So Tony Moss shout out to you, and thank you, thank you, thank you for your medicine. We are here with my friend, Tyger, and I wanted to ask you, Tyger, because you have such a resonant beautiful voice. Thank you. You do. Yeah. And I I feel like you have a an arts background. Could you speak to that a little bit before we get more into a place a table of our own?

Tyger Blair [00:06:17]:

When your feeling is absolutely correct, there is an artist background and I as I even do the work that I do today, I I say that a lot of the trainings that I'm doing today are modeled after the theater training that I got from a young person. So my mother was a a singer. She did that. She was a classical singer. And then her first cousin, his name is Keith. He was an actor and a musical theater performer. And those 2, at some point in my life, have been parents. My mother, according to the time I was 14 or 15, and then Keith took over parenting at 16. And at that time, he was an actor at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Ashland, Oregon. Wow. And my brother and I moved to Ashland, and that's when we really got steeped in. The whole world of theater. He would come and take us to theatrical productions when we were younger, the gangs, and when we were in Chicago, But then we moved to Ashland, Oregon. Theater became a big part. And and, really, my way of understanding how I was gonna be a shape shifter in this world those fader artists showed me how to do that. So even though I was going on thinking I was gonna be some sort of diplomat, because I had I went I became an exchange student right after I moved to Ashland and to Japan, and I thought diplomacy was gonna be the way that gonna go, but what has turned out is it's really been this way that those theater artists taught me how to be in the world, how to perform, how to speak, how to influence, I guess, with this voice. And then because my mother had, in such a singer, and a bit of a ham at it, I wouldn't sing for the longest time. And then I got to college, and I I went to a audition for getting a singing coach, and they somehow conveyed to me that I had some ability. And so from that point on, I said it studied his voice as a how I would sing with it, and I've been singing since then.

Amanda Aminata [00:08:21]:

Yeah. Tyger, I did not know that.

Tyger Blair [00:08:24]:

I think I do -- Please.

Amanda Aminata [00:08:26]:

No. You know what I mean? Especially singing. I mean, because I know you you my feel from you is that, yeah, this man is definitely has an actor back to back to back. Background. Mhmm. But,

Tyger Blair [00:08:36]:

wow. Yeah. That's mostly musical theater I did when I was acting. So I I did become a professional. Actor with actor's equity, and it was through musical theater. Did that happen?

Amanda Aminata [00:08:48]:


Tyger Blair [00:08:48]:

in the Bay Area, in Cali to the Bay Area. Yeah. So when I moved to the Bay Area is when I started to really sing. And and then because the theater was also there, it was just natural that I started doing musical theater. And I started doing musical theater out here, and became a member of actors' equity, and now I'm I haven't been doing that for a while, but it is definitely a part of who I am.

Amanda Aminata [00:09:17]:

Yeah. And, you know, the voice is so powerful as a as a transmitter And as a you know, had a teacher once, and she was she was getting mad at me. Nana Sarkar made she rest in peace. She also, by the way, was a student of Maladoma Somme. Mhmm. But but more like a contemporary. They're more like a similar age group. And it was she was she used to get mad at me sometimes because I was like, well, something about paper. I don't know. I was like, well, you said on the paper, you know, when I was in 1 of her classes. She said, stop talking to me about paper. She said, don't you know the power is an oral transmission? And I was like, okay. Yes. There's a right. Remember remember the the oral the power of the voice.

Tyger Blair [00:10:10]:

Right. The power of the voice. Yeah. I think

Speaker C [00:10:15]:

the biggest gift that I'm most appreciative of is this voice that I have because it's it's also the 1 that is mentioned most often. Sometimes I when I hear myself, so if I had to hear this back, I'm I'm horrified to hear my voice. But, really, the thing that has mentioned the most in my life of what someone acknowledges something about me is the voice. They're like, that I know your voice. I hear your voice. And so my sense of that is that this is what I was given

Tyger Blair [00:10:42]:

by the goddess to use as 1 of my key abilities is how I use the voice. And what I'm learning more now lately is how I use the voice in a way that is. Loving, nurturing, holding as opposed to what I think we learn in Western system education, which is to more use it like a in some sort of authoritative fashion. And it's not that I don't have that, but I do know the distinction of using it as a as a healer as opposed to using it as some sort of general.

Amanda Aminata [00:11:19]:


Tyger Blair [00:11:21]:


Amanda Aminata [00:11:22]:

I love what you said about using the voice as a holder.

Tyger Blair [00:11:26]:


Amanda Aminata [00:11:26]:

Yeah. I think 1 of the things that she was communicating to me was your voice, you know, your voice is vibration. Mhmm. So it's it's not just what you say. It's the vibration of it as it is, you know, moving through your particular vessel.

Tyger Blair [00:11:44]:


Amanda Aminata [00:11:45]:

And and you mentioned the divine mother, divine goddess, And and you have such a rich masculine voice. Mhmm. You know? So it's such a beautiful container, I feel, for for the divine feminine to feel safe -- Yeah. -- when there's this, like, rich voice that's holding so gently.

Tyger Blair [00:12:10]:

Mhmm. Absolutely. And interesting and that's how I hold this voice in me even is that I am I am a manifestation of the the larger divine feminine, and this is this is a part of her masculine presentation. Yeah. So we're we're all here doing something in her honor in her and and and divine emissary work. And so that's how I'm holding it now, particularly since the plant medicine, because so much of the plant medicine comes for me comes with from the great mother through the great mother. So the voice of everything of me is how Well, everything in my mind comes from the feminine. So is there anything that does not come from the mother? So we I am a manifestation of the mother.

Amanda Aminata [00:12:58]:


Tyger Blair [00:13:01]:

Mhmm. So yeah. And this voice is, I think, a big part of it because It's communication, and it's how you we keep things going. We we we communicate with each other. We cool to each other. I I was in a ceremony recently, an Ayahuasca ceremony in Costa Rica. And when I when the medicine took, the first sound that my friend who was there 1 of my friends who was there was remarky to me that I did. Well, something my great grandmother always would do, and we we all understand it. At least I know black people understand it, but she did. And so the first thing I did was and the other people that that knew that just laughed. But to me, it's It's not just words. It's also that, mhmm, mhmm, what are you doing, boy? You know? And so I I realized I have those tones and sounds as well that I think how we're guided, how we are you know, when I heard that, mm-mm, mm-mm, I knew stuff that I wasn't do I wasn't supposed to be doing. And so there's so many things like that that that tones. You know, all of those things those tonal things, which I hear in African women, throughout the diaspora, and and many women who are not African. I hear those tones, and so apparently, when the medicine hit, I came out with 1 of those tones feeling, what what is going on here in this world? I'm moving in, and I just said, And that to me also is the communication, the voice. It's all coming through this apparatus that is our communication device.

Amanda Aminata [00:14:53]:

Yes. And, you know, you mentioned Capricorn and the goat earlier. 1 of the things that I have been told is that I have frog medicine as part of my totem. And the magic the medicine of frog is partly the voice is that it transforms with the voice. Mhmm. So if that's, you know, if that's part of your medicine, it's just so important to use it. Right. It's so important to know what you have. You know what I mean? The riches that you have been given -- Absolutely. -- you know, and to accept them.

Tyger Blair [00:15:31]:

Mhmm. Absolutely.

Amanda Aminata [00:15:34]:

Yeah. Fraudless.

Tyger Blair [00:15:35]:


Amanda Aminata [00:15:36]:

Yes. And and, you know, when you've talked about your life and being moving to Oregon for Chicago. I mean, how many black kids make that transition? I don't know. Maybe not many.

Tyger Blair [00:15:46]:

11? It was only my brother and I in that high school. So that there were certainly no other black people in or in Ashland, Oregon at that time except for me, my brother, and my cousin. So, yeah, it was quite a Quite a jump, but I, you know, I I wanna say so healing for me because I and wanna make sure that I communicate that that It had been quite a tumultuous time. My post Jim Crowed parents and coming to redlining Chicago and what they had gone through and what they were going through and a lot of it, they were self medicating and trying to find his way to survive something that was very difficult. I didn't realize all that at the time, but his his strife with 1 another. Their his strife in the world, the the jobs that were off. That was all being manifested in his weekend behavior, which was largely alcohol induced and usually escalating to some sort of tumult. And so by the time I was a teenager, I was just I couldn't do that anymore. But I there had been so many traumatizing things and things had occurred at that point. And Chicago being so segregated, the world was just I I was afraid of whiteness. And going into white neighborhoods, and there was all kinds of thoughts and feelings and communications to me that I could not go to those neighborhoods. Otherwise, I would be killed. So Ashland was really healing because it's an all white towel, and I get there and those people are hugging and kissing me. And so for me to go from Chicago where it was so the fear. There was so much fear there to this place where I mean, they they didn't have any black people to cultivate racism with, so they just didn't have it. Not that I didn't get they didn't say that I didn't hear things that were horrible. You know, the word nigger or something like that happened I think once or twice. But They also were they didn't know not to hug and kiss me and to embrace me and to celebrate my artistic expression. So it was really a big healing shift for me to move to those people at Ashland, Oregon. And decompress from that world of post gen Jim Crow Black Chicago. To this world of natural food and actors and dancers and arts and loving, you know, hugging and loving. So it was a it was a wonderful thing that I will always be grateful for, that those Ashland knights embraced to my brother and I in such loving. Beautiful ways. Mhmm. Mhmm. They began they began the healing -- Mhmm. -- for me. This healing path that I've been on since then.

Amanda Aminata [00:18:57]:

Mhmm. Mhmm. So interesting that it's an Oregon that that happened. You know? And then here you are today, you know, part of doing the part of the work that you do, use the the the tools of psychedelics and theogenics and, you know, Oregon is the I don't know what it is. Well, it's the first state that has decriminalized those states. There you go. We call it cat. We call it theater too, though. It's not just decriminalized. It's like a lot of Right. Stuff is happening to break down prejudices and misconceptions about anthemogenic, psychedelics, and medicines in Oregon. So there you so you went there. You went to Ashland. Blended in an arts community, got to develop this beautiful voice, and the skills of an actor, and to become an exchange student to Japan, Mhmm. You know, thought you're gonna become a diplomat.

Tyger Blair [00:19:53]:

And Oh, that was

Amanda Aminata [00:19:55]:

I feel like you probably are a diplomat.

Tyger Blair [00:19:58]:

I do think I am. I I just what I realized I would be doing American foreign policy and not just this unifying United Nations things that I really wanted to do, I thought I'm not going to become a diplomat. I don't want to exert American foreign policy in the world. But I have. I mean and I think it was really interesting enough the actors that showed me how to shape shift into different places to listen and be with the culture I was with, they are the ones that showed me how to do that, how to be in reaction, interaction relationship. And bring my heart, my spirit, my soul to it. So, yeah, I did go on to be a diplomat. But not just as I had it has had it as it had been said to me and diplomat was when I was 17 years old, but now it was it's this broader thing that I have been doing and the worth and largely through this this plant medicine world. This world of bringing people back to indigeneity, being bringing people back to village. That is what has been happening for years now, certainly when I met Malaguma. That is what he brought, that we are reconnecting everyone with the healing wisdom of Africa. And that is an indigenous wisdom.

Amanda Aminata [00:21:19]:

So -- Yes. Yes.

Tyger Blair [00:21:22]:

That's what I've been an ambassador of at least for the past decade.

Amanda Aminata [00:21:26]:

Yes. And I wanna get there. Let me just ask you 1 question first. Have you ever heard of Binti, the novel Binti?

Tyger Blair [00:21:34]:

I have heard of it, but I haven't read it. Yes.

Amanda Aminata [00:21:38]:

Mhmm. Please read it because the main character is a young, you know, 17 ish young girl who becomes, like, this diplomat between world

Tyger Blair [00:21:51]:

Oh, let me let me stop. I have read it. I have read that, though. You remember? And and she's a and she's a harmonizer? Yes. Yes. She's a harmonizer. Yeah. I did read it, and I loved it. Yes. It was it was a yeah. It was a trilogy, and I love you guys. Yes. Mhmm. S, and the author's name is escaping me now. It's like, Namedi Niki. Yeah. Neddy Okurofo.

Amanda Aminata [00:22:14]:

Oh, is it oh, so I'm thinking it was somebody Okay. Yes. So CUDA 4. Okay. Uh-huh. I will make sure to put it in the show notes. -- is MNEDI.

Tyger Blair [00:22:20]:

That's the first name. MediaQDA 4. Uh-huh. Yes. I I love those books. Yes. I feel like

Amanda Aminata [00:22:27]:

I feel like that resonates with your story and the whole thing about the voice and, you know, she was a harmonizer. And, you know, what diplomats do is harmonize, and you use your voice. You know? You're vibrationally harmonizing people. And medicines, what are they doing? They're altering our vibrations.

Tyger Blair [00:22:46]:

Mhmm. Yes. Absolutely. It is about it is about harmony. It is about Well, it's about how many is it about balance? It's about, you know, making bringing dissonance into something that is balanced and harmonious. That and to me, that is what diplomacy should be. That's not what how we've been using it. In this world these world cultures. But, yes, that's exactly what it is, and I'm so glad you associated me with that. I I love her series of books. Actually, the first month, the first set of books were about AAA kata witch, which is a a young adult series. And it's also about West African indigenous practice and how these young people, Harry Potter like people, are coming into his witchdom. And yeah. So Nidiya Koota 4 has really been big. I'm so glad you I had not even remembered Binti and how. Yeah. I think that 1 of the reasons it resonated for me so is that, yes, that is the way. That harmony, that harmonizing, figuring out what the harmonizing is is key. And Did I not hear my mother doing that from the time I came out of probably before I came out of it. That's what she was doing. Right? And so I am a product for this being who was using her voice to to have magic in the world and somehow that got passed to me in some way. So you've made a connection that I hadn't even made until this conversation. Thank you for your time. You're so welcome. You're so welcome.

Amanda Aminata [00:24:28]:

That trilogy was so important to me. I think I got introduced to it in 20 19. Might have been 20 18, but -- Mhmm. -- I just came back to it again and again. Mhmm. 1 of the things that happens with the main character, Bean Tea, is that she changes. As she encounters different cultures, she changes herself. She does. So she's still who she is, but you know, all of a sudden now, she's got tentacles that are blue. I mean, it's so for everybody who doesn't know, it's, like, speculative fiction. You can call it science fiction. Mhmm. But she and she's still have complex feelings of loving and hating simultaneously, someone who calls great loss, but who also she knew was operating from the the the constraints of his own culture. I mean, these things I love it.

Tyger Blair [00:25:17]:

I did too, and I love the association you're making as we get into voice and harmony and and that beautiful West African author who brought it to us in that brought it to my consciousness in that way. And how it links with the other West African cosmologies that have come into my life.

Amanda Aminata [00:25:36]:

Well and let's let's get there, please. I have been telling people, I'm so excited to talk to Tyger because he was a direct student of doctor Maladoma Somme who -- Mhmm. -- wrote the Healing Wisdom of Africa

Tyger Blair [00:25:51]:

and many other books. The Sera yeah. Ritual.

Amanda Aminata [00:25:55]:

Mhmm. Mhmm. So I would love to hear for you, Tyger, how you practice indigenizing. How do you, you know, work with bringing indigenous wisdoms, village ways into your life where you live in a modern urban center that's very multicultural, multicultural, ratio. It's not predominantly African or predominantly black people. So, you know and you're in the 20 first century. So tell us how you how do you work with those things that you learn from melanoma?

Tyger Blair [00:26:31]:

Can I give a little backstory of how it I came to it? It feels -- Yes. Yeah. So I I happen in college. I happen to live with Ghanaians, and my black family actually had quite a reaction to that asking me all kinds of narrow minded questions around lit who what what it was like to live with these Africans. And so much of the ridiculous information we get in this culture from Tarzan to the all of those things. They were asking, and I I realized there was so little that I had learned in all of my education process. I hadn't learned a lot about Africa. So when I went to Africa and because I was I went to Ghana about 12 years ago 10:12 years ago, and I wanted to know what is what is actually the religion here, the spirituality here, what is the indigeneity here? And I went there on a program called AIDS for AIDS Africa. So I started to go to wars, different hospitals and wards, and I realized that the majority of the people in the AIDS wards were female body people. And I as the medical staff, well, where are the men? Because, certainly, the way that I held HIV and AIDS of this land was it was largely a male world of people who were suffering from that particular of which and or or that disease. And there, I saw a linguine, and I thought, well, that's pretty peculiar. And I said, where are the men? And they said they all have gone back to his villages, we think. I'm like, and what are they doing in his villages? And they said, well, we don't really know what they're doing in his villages. I'm like, how could you not know what they're doing in his villages? And at that moment, I realized his shame of taking up the indigenous sways, but also I realized how little I knew it. At that point, I knew about all forms many forms of Buddhism. I I had studied the Baha'i. I had studied, oh, religious science. I had, you know, I said it's so many different things. Like, and I know nothing about African cosmologies. So I then became very curious to learn. Tell me, where where is it? How can I learn this? So I came back from West Africa with that fervor. And as we know, legatus the universe provides, melanoma so they came into my midst. And so I actually went to a family constellation conference because I had been introduced to that, and Maladoma was the keynote speaker. From there, I yet again, like, Ashland, we were of maybe the 2 black people at the Family Consultation Conference. So I asked him, will you be my mentor? And he said, you know, I had a feeling you were gonna ask me And that is how the journey sort of began. And so he had his course called indigenous African Shamanic Technologies, and I joined it. And that was about a 3 year process of going through the different rituals of that he was bringing to Burkina Faso. Said he had already separated from his first wax of bone flu at that time, but she was also here in the Bay Area where I lived, and she was working largely at Spirit Rock doing the grief ceremony. So they had split out the rituals where she was largely handling the grief bar that he was largely handling the other rudimentary elemental rituals, including an ancestral ritual. So that was how I began to learn. And I really wanted to know because I realized that so many of us were distanced from our African selves. Certainly, those of us of the new world in in the Africa diaspora, we were just so distanced. So I I needed to know. I knew about all of these other cosmologies and religious ways, but I didn't know how it was. I didn't know the 1 that was indigenous to my my ancestors. So I began to learn. And In that process, Melodoma looked at me in my configuration and referred to me as a gatekeeper, which in many ways is the the multi spirit, at least 2 spirit that I think is even, in this case, more than more than 2 spirits. And the way that the gatekeepers hold the ballot That's what we actually do for the village, for the community. And he said he came to the Bay Area, and he said there's so many gatekeepers here speaking about the the gay community. And he says, but they're they're not doing the gatekeeper work. They're doing they're doing something else. They they seem to be focused on the sexual part of his lives, not the spiritual part. And that's when I began to really hold, oh, this configuration is a spiritual configuration. And as he pointed out, so many of us were doing helped helpful in healing jobs or something always related to the healing of the community. The the fixing the uplifting of the community. He says that's what gatekeepers do in Africa. They look at what the the people in the village are doing, the struggles they're having, and they assist and elevated and our or bringing balance. And that's what I recognize that III do who I am and that I'd always been in some health and healing, wellness, profession in some way or teaching, guiding, and stuff like. And so I realized, oh, I guess I am exactly what you're telling me that I that I've configured to be because I am drawn to doing that sort of work. And then that led me to this plant medicine world. So III certainly have been continuing to be in the the daugherty traditions and working with them, and I'm actually gonna go to Burkina Faso this year to continue some of that work. Yeah. And that's isn't that a new tidbit? But I I found myself getting interested in the Masatek and this this Mesoamerican group of people where The woman Maria Sabina in the in the fifties was discovered and interested in her story and reintroduced St. This hemisphere, but not not introduced. She had it. She had it. They're introducing Americans to the mushroom. And what has happened since then, and then somehow I found myself learning for people who were. Attached to the Maria Sabina tradition and learning about that indigenous practice. So it started to and there of there's always overlap with these indigenous practices, and so I began to see, but I realized that was my next step. There were medicines through rituals, and handsets to work, which is largely what I did with the dog or people, and then there is work to help us to start to open the field. Open the way in which we can handle hold more in our consciousnesses. And that's what was coming in through the medicines. So now it's all sort of combining me and and something that I'm becoming, which is an amalgam of these

Amanda Aminata [00:33:50]:

indigenous wisdoms. Yeah. I quite answered your question. You did. As you -- -- it As you elevate into the role of elder and mentor. Right. You know? Right. And we talked about Binti earlier how she And that diplomatic role, harmonizing role, taking on elements she herself was changed. And you in this role, having received this training and this initiation from doctor Patrice Malinoma Somme, Mhmm. And the Daghurah traditions -- Mhmm. -- combined with the work that you've been doing with mushroom and with the elder Maria, Lineage. You know? So here you are now. And -- Here I am. -- as an elder and a mentor for us, for those of us who are ready to, you know, work with you. Do you know what I'm trying to say? Who are ready to who can hear you, who are -- Mhmm. -- resonating with you.

Tyger Blair [00:34:49]:

Absolutely. That's now I'm seeing what the voice was for. How to use the voice in a way that it bites and not lower it over. How to do all of these practices in a way that models, how we honor the ancestors, how we honor those who've come before us, how we honor those practices that practices and medicines that are here on this Earth that are here to help us to grow flourish at all. Yes. All of that is what's been coming into me of late. As well, I'm gonna you know, I have to mention something that, you know, when I was with my my ancestralization, I had my I brought all the pictures of all of my relatives. And I had them on the ancestor alter ancestor altar, and I brought some tobacco to represent my Native American ancestors, which my some of my peoples, my black black peoples, acknowledge our Native American ancestry. But I saw all of our different colors. And I said, I went to Maladoma as I felt somebody come up and I said, Maladoma. I am leaving out some ancestors here, I think. And I said that I think I'm leaving them out because I'm holding them as reprehensible. And he said, and now brother, your work is truly begun. And from that time, you know, my this last name that we were talking about before is Blair. And I came to realize that Blair wasn't just the slaveholder's name that was given to me. It was I was actually a descendant of that slaveholder. And that that's a Scotch Irish ancestry. And what just happened in the past, I think it's a year or so, is I was asking someone who was helping me a guy, who was helping me a reader about this ancestry, and still holding that sort of way in which males came and raped African women, and that's how I came to be. And I said, so are these my ancestors, and is this what I have to embrace? So part of me as well. And she says, well, yeah, that's a part of it. But curiously enough, that isn't what I'm largely seeing here. What I'm largely seeing here are the the Irish widgets that are over you, and you are following in the lie you are following in the lie of those widgets. So as they were doing herbs, using plans. That's what you're doing. I feel them more over you. And I realized I hadn't I'd never thought of the mother or of the colonizers as slave holders. I and the aunts and the grandmothers, I had only thought of those men. And she's like, no. They came from this Pavion of Witches. And so now I have been able to embrace that as a part, so I have the native. I have the African and I have now these Irish witches. So all of these cosmologies and all indigenous cosmologies are coming together within So and harmonizing, as you said, as the fatigue analogy comes again, that the harmony of all of those things together are here within.

Amanda Aminata [00:38:06]:

So we're gonna take a break here from our sponsor, and then we're gonna come back and wrap up. We will have Tyger Valera on again. Because, you know, we got a lot to talk about. But let's take a break.


Amanda Aminata:

So, Tiger, thank you so much. And to wrap up the interview, I wonder if you could tell us how you recommend, or from your own self, how you've learned to hold your African, Irish indigenous, heritages, in a way, even though bad things came through those lines, there was trauma, there was rape, there was all kinds of things, but somehow, you seem to be holding them in a harmonious way. So give us some help for how we could do that.

Tyger Blair:

Well, I mean, it's it's it's about understanding that something happened to all of us. Something happened to everyone and their shadow manifestations for them what has happened. And the key thing that I know to do is to ask what happened before I go into my trauma response of it. And Yes. There's trauma response from the rapes of African women that have resulted in me. There's trauma response in them and me and all of us. There's trauma responses in them from having done it. 


What Malidoma said to me when when I said and I'm holding some of them as reprehensible is he said I want you to know. as when they move into the ancestor realm, they are no longer simply what they were on these embodiments of this plane. 

They are the full mess of who they are. And at this point, they are here to help us as much as we call on them and allow them to help us to move into the next place. 


So when I began to hold that in my consciousness that they were not actually the sort of racist archetypes that I was holding or violent archetypes as they were in in something other than a a white body. 


What I began to say, oh, they're more than that. And now they wanna help because they couldn't do the help when they were there when they were here. Now they were able to help. So now as I feel the Pantheon of my ancestors helping me in all of their different manifestations, That's what I'm holding, that they're not limited to these earthbound primal lives now. They are full spirits that can now assist as we move and find out how we're evolving to the next place. So as I hold all of those different ancestors from and There are some that are Chinese. There's some that are South Asian. There's some that are Irish. There's some that are they're Africans. Some some that are native of what we call native peoples of these lands. All of that's it. And so now how are they all assisting me to do the work of? healing the world of the the work of evolving us to the next space. Let that come through my voice. Let me not look at them as you are reprehensible, but look at them as, what is it that you want me to say to my voice that is now knitting us together. How do I do that? And I just have to let that impress come through.

Amanda Aminata:

Wow. So you're like rich in other words.

Tyger Blair:

That yeah. There's there's there's, you know, we look at wealth in a certain way of these Western capitalists. worlds. But, yes, what's happened for me is rich and spirit and my spiritual being and recognizing that these ancestors of all of their different types and that somehow it's all gotten into me. So all of the Asian, African native, all of it here, and me. And so European. So if all that's here, then I'm I'm modeling the coming together. I am you be the coming together, even though someone's relegating me to a particular race. What I know is I have owned those things. And so how do I honor? and show the honor of all of those things and let all of those ancestors help me when I get to a place of saying, you are reprehensible. you, Donald Trump, our reprehensive. How do I then ask the question? What happened as opposed to just standing in judgment. That isn't our role as gatekeepers as healers. It's to say what happened and then figure out where is the balance. How do I help to promote the balance?

Amanda Aminata:

Wow. Thank you so much, Tiger. Thank you, Tiger. Is there anything that, if people wanna find out more about you, where should they go? If they wanna follow you or learn more from you,

Tyger Blair:

Right. What I learned is that the way to easily more region, as I'm at this big conference, the second other conference now is most people are using their LinkedIn. And so I am in LinkedIn under my name. So you can find me there, and that's a way that you could continue to learn more work. There is a a new organization and website I'm building, which is gonna be called creative ties. And still creative ties will also link you in to some of the bigger work that I'm thinking of doing. So but in the immediate, one can go to link down to find me. And you might find me there in the tie as opposed to Tiger, but I think I'll go in as I've said this now in and change it to Tiger so that you will provide me there under Tiger Blair and LinkedIn, and that's how you can reach me.

Amanda Aminata:

Thank you, Tiger Blair. Thank you. Thank your lineages. Thank you for your wisdom and your courage and your, surrender to the goddess and to the divine mothers. Mhmm. Thank you.

Tyger Blair:

Thank you. Divine mother tree woman. Thank you for having me here. thank you, Lori, for also embracing me as I'm here. And, I guess it always it's all about love. And I what I realized 3 moment is that We developed a love bond. So that's what I'm trying to do as I interact with everyone. What is the love bond that's here and not trying to move away from that or think that that's too mushy, just be in the love bond. That's what we're to do. And so that's what I'm doing my best to keep doing wherever I at, be in the love bond.

Amanda Aminata:



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