Luisah Teish is a writer, performance artist and ritual events consultant. Her writing credits include several plays (“Rice and Revolution”, ”The Division of the Cowries”, “The Rise and Fall of Sam DeClaws Or How DeClaws Got Clipped” and “ The Deer Woman of Owo), She is also the author of several books on African and African American Spiritual Culture. They include “Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals” a women’s spirituality classic. “ Carnival of the Spirit: Seasonal Celebrations and Rites of Passage “, Jump Up: Good Times Throughout the Seasons with Celebrations from Around the World”, and “What Don’t Kill Is Fattening Revisited: Twenty Years of Poetry, Prose, and Myth. She has contributions to thirteen anthologies and has written numerous movie, play and book reviews. She has published articles and interviews in magazines such as Essence, Ms., Shaman’s Drum, and the Yoga Journal.
In the late 60’s through early 70’s Ms. Teish was a member of the Katherine Dunham Dance Company at The Performing Arts Training Center in E. St. Louis Illinois; and was the choreographer for The Black Artist Group in St. Louis, Missouri.Presently she is the Artistic Director of Ase Theater and “The Women in White Peace Performance Group” in Oakland (2002- to the present). She has served as a consultant and a performer on scripts with cultural, racial, gender, and spiritual themes. They include ”The Sanctified Church: The Works of Zora Neale Hurston” at Life on the Water Theatre in San Francisco. (1989) Club Termina: A Play on Women and Breast Cancer with Indecent Exposure Theater in Hollywood, California. (1991) Nzinga the King-Queen, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York (1993). From Whores to Matriarchs: Black Women Survivors on the Edge, at the Lorraine Hansberry Theater, and in the American Conservatory Theater’s award-winning production of PECONG in San Francisco (1995-98).She has also served as Storytelling Director, and an Artist-in Residence of Stagebridge Intergenerational Theater (2001-2003) and as a cultural consultant to the Prescott Circus Theater (1989-2006).
Film and Television:
Her film and television performance credits include, the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Rob Nelson Show, the Roseanne Barr show (with Eartha Kitt), the Other Side, ”Not A Love Story” and the Goddess Remembered film series (Canadian film board).
Conference Speaker/ Weaver:
Teish has delivered keynote addresses and/or served as a conference weaver for School of Conscious Evolution, the Body and Soul Conference, Bioneers: Collective Heritage Conference, the Wisdom and Action conference
The Business and Consciousness Conference and Mishka Productions to name a few.
She is the Olori (director) of Ile Orunmila Oshun (The House of Destiny and Love www.ileorunmilaoshun.org) and the School of Ancient Mysteries/Sacred Arts Center in Oakland, Ca. She teaches Spirituality and Culture at the California Institute of Integral Studies, John F. Kennedy University, and the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology and New College of California, in the San Francisco Bay Area
Teish designs and conducts weddings, naming ceremonies, memorials, and a host of seasonal celebrations. Teish designed Rites of Passage program for the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and is the director of the Full Faze Passage Council, a multi-racial, multi-cultural network of artists, consultants, and spiritual advisors experienced in event design and production.
A resident of the Bay Area for thirty years, Ms. Teish has been actively involved in teaching transformation, working to insure justice and peacekeeping. She is the past Vice-president of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology, a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, founder of the Spirit Women’s Art Network.
Sacred Sites Tour Guide:
She conducts research in cultural history and Eco-spiritual sacred sites tours in Nigeria, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Teish is internationally known for her rituals, writings, and performances of traditional folklore and re-imagined mythology. She has lectured and performed in South America, New Zealand, Australia and Europe.
Spiritual Guidance Counselor:
She is an initiated elder and Womanchief in the Ifa/Orisha tradition of Southwest Nigeria and the chair of the International Committee on Women’s Issues. She is an initiated elder (Iyanifa) in the Ifa/Orisha tradition of the West African Diaspora, and she hold a chieftancy title (Yeye’woro) from the Fatunmise Compound in Ile Ife, Nigeria. Teish is an initiated elder (Iyanifa) in the Ifa/Orisha tradition of the West African Diaspora, and she hold a chieftancy title (Yeye’woro) from the Fatunmise Compound in Ile Ife, Nigeria. Presently she is the Chair of the World Orisha Congress Committee on Women’s Issues. She is a devotee of Damballah Hwedo, the Haitian Rainbow Serpent, under the guidance of Moma Lola. She was awarded a Ph.D. in Spiritual Therapeutics from Open International University’s School of Complementary Medicine in Colombo Sri Lanka in 1993. She holds an Inter-Faith minister’s license from the International Institute of Integral Human Sciences. In 1969 she received initiation into to 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). And La Casa de la Poesia in Caracas Venezuela uses her book, Jump Up, as a text on the mythology of the Goddess Maria Lionza. Teish has conducted tours with the School of Conscious Evolution, to sacred sites in several countries, including Egypt, Nigeria, and Jamaica.