Iya Grace Cheptu
Cheptu, as she is affectionately called, is an independent music teacher and a Practitioner of Archetypal Dreamwork Analysis in the Atlanta area where she has lived for the past 32 years. She was born and spent her earliest years abroad, eventually settling in the remnant Gullah culture of her maternal ancestors in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Cheptu began her formal inquiry of Ifa in 2007 and studied with Atlanta-area and Oyotunji Village practitioners. She affiliated with Ile Ori for several years, becoming an official member in 2012.
Cheptu’s formal education includes: Bachelor of Music: Music Therapy/Voice, University of Georgia; Master of Music: Music Education, Georgia State University; Master of Divinity: Psychology of Religion and Pastoral Care, Interdenominational Theological Center of Atlanta; Doctoral Studies in Traditional Culture and Indigenous Mind, Wisdom University, San Francisco, California. She is also a Board-Certified Music Therapist and an ordained Spiritual Care Giver.
“I’m going to make love to the world through music,” is what Cheptu reportedly said to her father at a very young age. Although Cheptu doesn’t remember saying it, she pretty much lived that vision, having taught and led musical activities as a music educator, music therapist and church musician for over 40 years. Her interest in traditional music and spirituality has taken her to the Highlands of Ethiopia; the Bambara and Dogon cultures of Mali; the Vodoun of Benin and Togo; and Diasporic Jamaican and Yoruba communities. As a participant and leader, she has also experienced intercultural music in Hawai’i, New England, the Native American Southwest and Bermuda. An avid lover of musical theatre, Cheptu performed professionally in The Wiz, Purlie, Company, Black Nativity, and Ain’t Misbehavin’. She counts among her most memorable musical highlights: Singing as the featured soloist for the retirement ceremony of The Honorable Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia); singing in a choral premier at Carnegie Hall (New York); and singing with the late Dave Brubeck Quartet in “The Gates of Justice,” Brubeck’s cantata weaving Biblical scripture with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Athens, Georgia).
Cheptu’s “now” calling leads her to Soul Work through Archetypal Dreamwork, a form of spiritual direction guided by our dreams. Rooted in the work of Carl Jung and ancient traditions upon which he drew, Archetypal Dreamwork offers the opportunity to converse with the Soul through the experiences and feelings of our dreams. If we pay attention and have the courage to follow-through, our dreams will enlighten, challenge and guide us to the home of our Soul, the part of us most deeply connected to the Divine with all its love, power, passion and expression. For additional information about Archetypal Dreamwork, visit Cheptu at: www.nowjourneyhome.com.