About Ama McKinley


I am an initiated priestess in the Ifa/Orisha/Yoruba spiritual practice. In this role, I serve as a diviner, medium, healer, spiritual consultant, writer and professional speaker. 

I was baptized in the the Southern Baptist church as a child, and struggled through adolescence to find a grounding for my natural spiritual gifts — often ignored, or shunned as “unclean”. I began to develop an intimate relationship with Spirit in college, but after graduation I received a chance 3-month fellowship to work in Mozambique with CARE International. It was during this voyage that “God got bigger”.

I continued on into advanced academic study, but admittedly never quite fit in with the rigorous culture. I was always the yellow sundress lost in a sea of black suits, but whoever says that non-traditional spiritual work is a viable career?! So by day, I prepared for the office job of my dreams (oxymoron, right?). But in my spare time, I dove deeper into my newly awakened passion for African culture. I also became a scholar of indigenous & tribal world religions, specifically powered by the desire to find the divine feminine acknowledged and exalted — a desire that went unmet in the Church. 

That search was answered in 2010, when I was introduced to the Ifa/Orisha spiritual tradition. I received ilekes the same year, and was initiated into the mysteries of Obatala in 2012 by Chief Moremi Iyanifa Oshun Monife Balewa. Iya Monife, also an elder diviner, taught me the art form of cowrie shell divination; she and the orisha gave their blessings for me to divine for the general public in 2014. 

As a storyteller, my memoirs, lectures and workshops focus on celebrating the vulnerable and lifelong process of personal development, everyday spirituality, sexuality, diversity and divine femininity. My work has been featured on Medium, For Harriet, The HuffPost, and my personal blog, YouAreTheTruth. I have also spoken publicly at Sex Down South (Atlanta), PechaKucha (Atlanta & Orlando), and Nerd Nite (Orlando).

Academically, I an alumnus of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and an inaugural Rachael Robinson International Fellow. I received my MBA in 2010 from Florida A&M University. I am a former adjunct lecturer for Georgia State University.

I continue to study divergent spiritual practices. This ongoing exploration of spirituality, along with my diverse and practical life experiences, has become a foundation of my spiritual ministry, offering support that is professional, accessible, and down-to-earth.