An Inquiry Into the Sacredness, the Divine Feminine, and the Healing Arts of the Yoruba Culture at the Osun Oshogbo Sacred Site – UNESCO World Heritage, Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria
Collaborative International Interdisciplinary Research Project Under Development
Dr. Regina U. Hess – Ase World Forum (Cologne, Germany)
in collaboration with Deutsches Haus, NGO, (Ile Ife, Nigeria)
The research project of Dr. Regina U. Hess – Ase World Forum (Cologne, Germany) currently under development in collaboration with Deutsches Haus, NGO, (Ile-Ife, Nigeria), will be conducted at the Osun Oshogbo and Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria with the aim of investigating scientifically the Yoruba spiritual sacred rites for healing and their cultural and artistic expression at the sacred site of Osun Oshogbo. At its core, this work is based on “Ase” (Yoruba), meaning the Divine life force within. The prime focus will be on expressions of the Divine Feminine, on female spiritual leaders, and the traditional healing arts.
The research work will include the further exploration of the ground-breaking work of Austrian artist Susanne Wenger (also known as Yoruba Priestess Adunni Olurissa), founder of the archaic-modern art school “New Sacred Art” and guardian of the Sacred Grove of Osun on the banks of the Osun River in Oshogbo, which has been declared UNESCO World Heritage. The goal is to expand further understanding of the impact of sacredness, and its application through rituals and healing arts.
Sacredness is the motiv force – is root cause and seed power of life beyond and in time.’
The aim of this pioneering project is to contribute to the global knowledge of ancient sacred wisdom, the Divine Feminine, healing and wellbeing in Yoruba culture and intertwine it with 21st century global scientiific knowledge, by establishing a formal platform for this research and for future collaborative work.
This research is rooted in a philosophical framework of transpersonal psychology and the core concept of interconnectedness. Through our body we connect with others and with the world. Everything is interconnected through the principle of energy. Everything is energy based on the concept that everything is connected across the generations, the communities, and our planet. In indigenous wisdom traditions, this embodied interconnectedness is often called the web of life as a metaphorical expression: It assumes a connection of body, mind, and spirit, community, nature, and cosmos. This inclusive approach integrates an earth-based perspective of interconnectedness by drawing on and honouring the dimension of the Divine Feminine as Mother Earth. The web of life is personal, interpersonal, and transpersonal, ecological and cosmic.
It is a recognition that each part (or person) is fundamentally part of the whole (cosmos). And therefore each part impacts every other part based on interconnectedness and interdependence, a concept well captured in the African term Ubuntu: I am because of you—you are because of me. Such a transpersonal approach to psychology seeks to learn and support how people can integrate the somatic, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, creative and expressive relationship and community aspects of their lives with the goal of becoming more whole, a form of original or natural state of being, which in Yoruba is called ase. Energy is seen as the underlying and unifying principle in processes of transformation, healing, and awakening.
This collaborative international interdisciplinary research project recognizes the importance of integrating spirituality along with cultural aesthetic and artistic expressions, and the promotion of healing and wellbeing across cultures by developing and maintaining spiritual connectedness and holistic consciousness. It is an inclusive approach that draws on and honours the ancient indigenous wisdom traditions from around the world, interweaving them with modern scientific knowledge and research. This approach can also serve to bridge science with art, music, performance and film, creating new ways to disseminate scientific as well as cultural knowledge.
At present, we work on developing the research proposal further and the seeking of funding.
About the Ase World Forum and Dr. Regina U. Hess
Ase World Forum – Dr. Regina U. Hess International – Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Sciences is concerned with the conservation of ancient healing traditions and ancient knowledge, sacred medicine, integrative intervention, research, teaching, publications, art, film, shamanic expeditions, and cultural exchange.
Dr. Regina U. Hess (Cologne, Germany)
Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Transpersonal Psychotherapist, Nurse
Transcultural Energetic-Spiritual Healing Work, Research, Teaching, Publications, Art, Film, Shamanic Expeditions, and Cultural Exchange
Short Bio of Regina U. Hess, PhD (Cologne, Germany)
Dr. Regina U. Hess is a clinical psychologist who graduated from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and holds a joint PhD in transpersonal psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology/Sofia University, USA and in embodied phenomenology from the ‘Centre for Qualitative Research, Bournemouth University, UK. She is a body-centered Gestalt psychotherapist, creative therapist, and transpersonal psychotherapist. She works on the integration of ancient healing traditions with modern sciences. Regina has a broad experience in humanitarian fieldwork and research on issues of global health. Born and brought up in southern Germany, she has lived and worked extensively in different countries and different continents of the world and understands herself as a global citizen.
Having survived the 2004 Asian Tsunami, Regina specialized in her doctoral dissertation in transpersonal disaster/trauma intervention programs and transcultural field research. Central to her further work is supporting the healing of individual and collective/transgenerational transcultural trauma and the integration of different shamanic traditions from India/Nepal/Tibet, West African, North America and Siberia, together with Celtic traditions and the Divine Feminine/women’s spirituality. Regina focusses on the use of different trance techniques to access altered states of consciousness for personal and spiritual development, transformation and healing.
She is faculty at international transpersonal educational institutes and is a member of the core team of the International Institute for Consciousness Exploration and Psychotherapy, Freiburg, Germany. Regina co-organizes and co-facilitates shamanic expeditions worldwide. She has travelled the world since she was 15, living and working in many countries of the world, spezializing in the study of diverse ancient healing traditions, spiritual paths, culture, and the anthropology of consiousness.
Regina is an independent researcher. She has particulary expertise in embodied phenomenological approaches and transcultural field research, and the intertwining of arts-based methods and film to facilitate aesthetic interpretation of research findings and disseminate knowledge to a wider public. She is the head of peer-reviewing at the Integral Transpersonal Journal (ITJ) and is on the editorial board at the Forum for Qualitative Social Research (FQS). She publishes and is co-editor of books in the transpersonal field, and co-organizes and co-fascilitates conferences and the annual Transpersonal Research Colloquium (TRC).
Regina is on the Board of Directors of the European Transpersonal Association (EUROTAS) and the International Transpersonal Association (ITA). She is co-founder of the international Transpersonal Research Network (TRN), of the EUROTAS Division of Transpersonal Research (EDTR), of the EUROTAS Disaster/Trauma Task Force (EDTTF). She is co-founder of the Transpersonal Film Division, Emergent Studies Institute, U.S. and is a co-founding member of the Arts & Sciences Researcher Forum, Cambridge University, UK. She is bi-lingual German/English.