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Home > Author > Stephanie Rose Bird
 
Stephanie Rose Bird

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Member Since: Nov, 2007

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  Stephanie Rose Bird           

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My work offers new ways of thinking for the 21st century reader interested in alternative spirituality and healing.


Background Information

Being a writer came after a long road of involvement in other art forms namingly, dancing, painting and singing (though to be honest I'm lousy at that one). The main goal of my nonfictional titles is to place African healing traditions from our entire diaspora on equal footing of respect with Native American, Chinese and European traditions. To do that I started with what I learned as a girl growing up in the country in a community of farmers and doers. My parents were perfectly capable of living off the land and we did that for a couple of years...I mean like, we didn't even have running water. We stayed healthy though. My elderly aunt who lived with us and my grandpa taught me a lot about studying hard, cooking well and making the most of what's been handed to you. Dad fished, and let me tell you, he used every part of that fish from feeding the family, to the animals to the soil. Mom canned and baked and made wine. You can see, things were rich and colorful. Animism, nature veneration and ancestor celebration seemed to come natural to me, given the environment in which I grew up. I joined a small coven when I was a teenager and was heavily involved with ancient mysticism by that time. Painting sustains me because it is a way to have direct, intense contact with diverse spirits from deva to elementals, light, nature and the universe as a whole. It is a beautiful form of communication. Words have captivated me since I can remember. I love the great poets and the dark poets as well, Edgar Allan Poe, D.H. Lawrence, T.S. Elliot, Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, e.e. cummings. I like words that move and strong voice. I'm finding that I have become more and more conversational in my writing even though it relies heavily on research and at times is densely cited. The healing and seeing is most influenced by my grandmothers. One I never met but my mother adored, was a spiritualist minister and herbal healer who by all indications used hoodoo remedies as well. The other, I adored, she was a professional cook, who always had fresh floral arrangements when we'd come to visit on a dark cherry table. I'm telling you, that woman could work dreams, read them and tea leaves with equal proficiency. Some would see these as dark arts but for me they are framed in light and I keep my personal practice, energy work and writing focused towards the light though I am well aware of the darkside.

Accomplishments

COVR 2004 Best General Interest Book for "Sticks, Stones, Roots and Bones: Hoodoo, Mojo and Conjuring with Herbs.
Presenter at 2005 BEA, Chicago
Presenter at HerbFest 2005, Aura Cacia Farms, Norway, Iowa
Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, CIES and Australian American Foundation for studying Aboriginal Australian anthropology and art
Ford Faculty Enrichment Grant
Illinois Arts Council, Special Assistance Grant
Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant
Authors Guild
Presenter, Northeastern Illinois University, "Annual Heritage Conference Series"
Guest speaker on BBC, WBEZ, Urban Gardener, Health Radio Network and ABC7 news.
Guest speaker, Ostara Festival, Milwaukee WI, 2010
Presenter and Guest Speaker, Sisterhood is Powerful Women's Retreat, Knoxville, TN

Additional Information

Recently my art forms have been coming together into single works. I wrote and illustrated "Sticks, Stones, Roots and Bones" and "A Healing Grove." The topics are hoodoo, conjuring and mojo and African tree medicine. My latest book, "The Big Book of Soul," was primarily inspired by the soul I found in African women's arts and crafts. Stay tuned for more!

Favorite Links

My new website
Gives information on my background in complimentary healing and magickal work as well as providing links to my books, excerpts and ordering information.

A Healing Grove: African Tree Remedies and Rituals for Body and Spirit
Explores my personal connection to trees as well as the relationship between African diasporic people and trees. Explores divination, music,rituals, remedies, earth-based spirituality, deity, sacred groves, beauty and holistic wellness all in relation to African, American and Caribbean trees.

Sticks, Stones, Roots and Bones: Hoodoo, Mojo and Conjuring with Herbs
My first book. Writing and illustrating this book was a journey of discovery and a labor of love. I call the book a love letter to my people and indeed it takes a look at our healing traditions in Africa, through the middle passage, into slavery and present day life. It compiles, presents and compares beliefs of the African pantheon from throughout the diaspora, crafting a practical, comprehensive guide to holistic health. This book uses hoodoo in a non-traditional form to guide readers through various passages of life including: courtship, marriage, childbirth, middle age, elder/crone years and passing on. Understanding and calling upon the goddesses and gods is central to the book's premise as I am a goddess worshiper. Herb growing, harvesting, preparing and use is described in a practical, hands-on manner. Readers learn to imbue their homes with spiritual blessings using magickal herbs to make smudging wands, loose incense, sachets, mojos, floor washes, baths, teas and much more. Contains useful information on herbal formulations for making soap and healing balms as well as providing background on aromatherapy and perfumery from ancient Egypt to the present day; all information is presented from a spiritual perspective, inspired by Hoodoo and the Motherland but accessible and welcoming to all paths.

The Big Book of Soul: the Ultimate Guide to the African American Spirit
The Big Book of Soul: the Ultimate Guide to the African American Spirit: Legend & Lore, Music & Mysticism, Recipes & Rituals," is my most recent book published in 2010. "The Big Book of Soul" examines the major features of African spiritual wisdom--a connection to nature, the power of prayer, self-determination, and respect for the past--to show how these beliefs and practices have been passed on and adapted from one generation to the next. Filled with practical advice and ancient spiritual wisdom it is the ultimate guide to African American soul traditions.





A Way With Words by Sara Russell

Four poetry books in one, each one is also available on a separate CD e-book. It contains sound and video recitals...  
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