Queen Afua on 20th Anniversary of ‘Sacred Woman’: ‘I feel such a state of gratitude’

'I’ve always been thinking about global healing, global connecting, and how we can spread wellness,' Queen Afua said

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While reflecting on her life’s work, best-selling author and holistic health healer Queen Afua expressed gratitude for the ripple effect she continues to create in the lives of Black women. 

With the release of the 20th-anniversary edition of Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit,” which features new materials including the addition of two new chapters, Queen Afua’s mission is to continuously inspire emotional, physical, and spiritual healing can continue. 

“I feel such a state of gratitude. I’m so happy that I’m able to work with daughters my daughter’s age that come to me and I have something to share with them,” Queen Afua, 67, told theGrio. “So, to have survived all those years, the Creator has a master plan and I’m glad to be a part of the divine plan.”

Queen Afua has cultivated a loyal following for more than 40 years and she has “devoted her life to fighting diseases by teaching people how to understand and utilize the power of food, self-care, and holistic healthy choices as an empowering lifestyle,” according to her biography.

“I’ve always been thinking about global healing, global connecting, and how we can spread wellness,” she said.  

Lauren London publicly heralded the holistic healer as her “spiritual mother” who helped her find healing after the death of her partner, Grammy award-winning rapper Nipsey Hussle in 2019. Queen Afua accompanied London last year to speak to a group of women affected by gun violence and has spoken with her openly about grief and motherhood

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“With following her program I learned what real food does to my body temple, how I can heal myself and create a peaceful life after grief and loss. Queen has assisted me in healing and connecting deeper into my soul. I will forever be grateful for one of my master teachers, my spiritual mother. She is a gift from the most high,” London said in her review of Sacred Woman.

As a single mother of three children, she acknowledged the balance required to be a healer, entrepreneur, and mother. She maintained that her children have been involved since the beginning.

“I apologize to my children because my work’s mission has burdened you. I didn’t mean for that to happen but it’s been hard for them having a mother as a healer and having to share me. Well, they all have war stories about me – my children,” she said with a laugh. “It was like they were always helping me when they were folding a brochure or helping me with formulas and putting labels on the jars or walking with me down the street as I’m giving out fliers in Brooklyn. My children were always involved but that comes from the African cultural mindset of the ’60s that’s rooted in me that we have to work as a family.”

Queen Afua beamed with pride for her son Supernova Slom and the work he has done to bring healing to the world. He recently collaborated with his mother for his new book, Man Heal Thyself: The Wellness Warrior’s Journey To Self Mastery, saying, “I’m watching families heal. I’m watching generational healing take place. I’m grateful for my adult children who have really taken it on.”

theGrio spoke to Queen Afua in honor of Women’s History Month about the impact of Sacred Woman and her mission of global healing.

Wellness practitioner Queen Afua attends the 9th Annual Peace Week Town Hall on January 21, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

theGrio: In honor of the anniversary of Sacred Woman, you’ve added two chapters: “Sacred Time” and “Sacred Work.” What moved you to add to the lessons of your book?

Queen Afua: When the book was completed 20 years ago, the writer keeps writing! The publication at the time said, “We have to take away some of the gateways” and one of those gateways was “Sacred Work” because the book was almost 400 pages. I said, “but we need Sacred Work” and they said, “We can’t.” It was a back and forth with the publishing house. 

Women want freedom. Women want to be able to do their 9-to-5 and 5-to-10 on their purpose and when they don’t they’re feeling trapped. They feel imprisoned. In order to grow, you have to love your purpose and you’ve got to live your purpose. I look at all of those stages where we have the birthing blues. Let’s conceive our vision through meditation, prayer, affirmation, activation to tap into their treasure chest. We all have a treasure chest and we can go in there to pull it from the inside out. Her life: her purpose is inside of her. 

theGrio: How do you define the meaning and beauty of femininity and womanhood? 

Queen Afua: It’s literally made out through the 12 gateways in ‘Sacred Woman’ but through femininity she’s multi-faceted, she’s balanced in her values of intuition, creativity, of art, and at the same time she’s balanced and she’s able to attract prosperity, able to build her purpose and her vision. That’s who we are as women and when I think of healers, I think of “woman” because we are the nurturers of family. We are the nurturers of the community. We are the ones who will embrace one another and rock each other through the trying and the hard times ‘cause that is the pathway and the way of the healer.

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theGrio: What is your origin as a holistic health expert? How do the foods we consume impact us?

Queen Afua: That is of the utmost importance. Just as you wanna get your car moving you have to have the right oil. You can’t put olive oil in a car. [Laughs] And if we don’t put the right foods that are made for us for consumption we’re not functioning optimally. We’re broken, our immune systems are shattered, our emotions are on the edge, we’re stressed out because don’t know how to eat from the garden. Eat from the garden. If you have seven days of garden eating, foods from nature, the herbs, the plant-based beans, the lentils, the whole grains, the fruits, the vegetables, non-GMO, organic as much as you can. And with those whole foods you get to heal yourself.

theGrio: How old were you when you were introduced clean eating?

Queen Afua: I got into this when I was 16-years-old. I was invited to a healing retreat and when I came I had chronic asthma, allergies, hay fever, I had arthritis, I had chronic PMS every month – I thought I could die every time I was on my menstrual with eight days of bleeding and constipation. All of that was happening when I went on that healing retreat and [it] turned my whole life around. And that one day I did a fast and the next day I woke up I was detoxing all this mucus – I learned that was asthma. All of that poison backed up in my system. Now all this is happening and I’m going from heavy meat-eating, junk, processed, all of that to now a plant-based lifestyle overnight.

When I left that retreat and I studied…everything I learned I’m doing now and sharing with everyone else. I went home and became a total vegetarian immediately. I stopped eating sugar that was eating away at my nervous system and my bones, I stopped having fried foods that were poisoning my body and making it sluggish with poor circulation, dairy that was causing constipation, and respiratory/asthma. I let go of the flesh that was aging me prematurely. I learned that everything that we’re eating is toxic and has a disease connected to it.

theGrio: If someone wants to improve their quality of eating, what would you recommend?

Queen Afua:  If it’s the kidneys you’re trying to save, get with your cucumbers and watercress and parsley. If you’re trying to build up your blood get with your blueberries, your raspberries, cranberries, blackberries. If you’re constipated, get with your apples and pears freshly prepared. If you have no energy, get your dark greens, get a green juice every single day. In other words, for every sickness that we have on the planet, there is a nature cure: there is food. The most high provided everything for us in the garden. If we could learn what’s in the garden and apply it to our lives, and detoxify ourselves as a way of life: the thoughts, the words, the blood, everything. You will intend to have a whole life. I want everyone to have a whole life. An empowered life. It starts at the food.

theGrio: Through your work you’ve been connected with many notable women such as Lauren London, Mya, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Erykah Badu. What does it mean that your message has moved them to follow you in holistic healing?

Queen Afua: I feel so honored. When I look at all of us I look at us as starlight. An affirmation from our ancients: “I am that I am.” A shining being glowing, a light. So, they’re a part of that circle and what happens with those influencers and artists of that high-end level is that they have followers. So, that means when they speak, many, the multitudes will follow them. So the magic, and the power and the beauty of them taking this work on in a way that they’re taking it. So, I feel really honored that they are seeing it.

[Willow Smith] was raised reading the book and then Willow said, “I’m just so happy that a Black woman wrote a book on this level for us by us.” That did something to my soul and heart. So, when they were doing the interview [Red Table Talk], I was like, “Ok, I’m about ready to roll around here and start crying, and jumping.” [Laughs]

theGrio: You have such a mothering spirit about you that has gravitated so many women to you for your wisdom. What do you always try to impart to them?

Queen Afua: Other children have adopted me as their mother. They share their mom and they do pretty good with that. Everyone needs help and I’m helping them so they can be close to their mothers – my spiritual daughters. I say, no, you’re going to come to me and lock in, you have a mother. How can we heal that relationship? You can heal it by healing yourself with compassion in your mercy, and your forgiveness kicks in and that heals your heart and the heart of your mother and the whole family begins to elevate because of that! So, I turn them back into the family so that we can have healthy families.    

theGrio: If you could leave a word of encouragement for the women who are on the path in seeking growth in their journey, what would it be?

Queen Afua: No matter the challenge in your life, whether it be body, mind, spirit, relationship, or economic, that the power to heal all of that is within you. You do, innately, have the mighty power to heal yourself and affirm that affirmation every day as you call on what your wellness goals are and watch you manifest. That’s your greatness. That’s my prayer to all the women. This is our time and we’re about to shift.  

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