Pagan Chieftess “Prays” With Participants at World Economic Forum

Davos Congress Center in Davos, Switzerland (WEF – CC BY SA 4.0 DEED)

Last week’s meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos created quite a controversy around the world when an Amazonian Chieftess was permitted to lead participants in a shamanic ritual, which prompted some to ask, “What spirit governs Davos?”

The Catholic News Agency (CNA) is reporting on the incident which took place during a plenary session entitled, “Climate and Nature: A Systemic Response Is Needed” at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024 when Chieftess Putanny Yawanawa of the Amazonian Yawanawa tribe performed a shamanic rite.

As CNA reports, the priestess began the rite by stating that “we can join our hands, unite our hearts, unite our thoughts in the same direction, for the healing of the planet and spiritual healing” while assuring that “when we unite in our thinking and our heart, our Mother Earth will listen to us.”

Salman Kahn of BNN Breaking describes what happened next: “Representing the voice of nature and the forest, Chieftess Putanny’s ritual was an evocative spectacle. It comprised invocations, the symbolic rubbing of hands, and the blowing on the heads of participants. Among these participants were some of the most influential figures in global economics and business, including the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, the president of the World Bank, the CEO of IKEA, and billionaire Andr Hoffmann.”

Chieftess Putanny is a well-known figure in Brazil. The daughter of a famous Yawanawa leader, Tuin Kuru, she and her sister Hushahu were the first women of the Yawanawa nation to receive the highest spiritual initiation from tribal elders. “It was a break in tradition that united the male and female universe, and brought the magic of feminine spirituality to strengthen the Yawanawá culture,” this website explains. “For this achievement, they received a commendation from the Brazilian senate as recognition of their important role in Brazilian women’s empowerment.”

Putanny concluded the rite with “a powerful gesture of joined and raised hands by the participants, symbolizing their collective commitment towards a sustainable future,” BNN reports.

News of the ritual found its way onto social media where a controversy erupted. Father Jesús Silva Castignani of the Archdiocese of Madrid, Spain, asked a series of questions on X about the appropriateness of the event.

He asked: “a) Would it have occurred to you to invite a priest to say a prayer? b) Do we know which spirits the lady is invoking? c) Christianity is obscurantist but the heart-ripping Indigenous were not? d) What spirit governs Davos?”

When questioned later, the host of the event tried to justify the ritual by stating that “to look to the future we must look back and see what the wishes of our ancestors were.”

It’s one thing to learn from our ancestors, but quite another to invoke their spirits to seek advice.

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