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Orogbo = Bitter Kola Spiritual Benefits…

Orogbo = Bitter Kola…Garcinia kola is a species of flowering plant in the Clusiaceae or Guttiferae family. It is found in Cameroon,  Congo, Danxome, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. Bitter Kola also known as Garcinia kola is a tropical flowering plant found in western and central Africa and it produces brown, nut-like seeds. A brown to deep brown peel covers it. This peel is removed before it is eaten. It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth when it is eaten. It is this bitterness that its name is derived.

It has been used in African culture for centuries for both traditional and medicinal purposes.In Yoruba land it is called Orogbo. The Hausas call it Miji-goro, while it is called Akiilu by the Igbos. Amazing health benefits of bitter leaf Bitter Kola was eaten mostly by the elderly people because of their belief that it could prolong life. Bitter kola can act as a serious healing tool because of its strong spiritual properties. Used for rituals and spiritual cleansing; Act as tonic, stimulant, astringent, decongestant, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory tool.  Used in special protective rituals for suppressing enemies.

The legend concerning the appearance of Bitter Kola states that Kola nut was the original food of the Gods. One day, while visiting earth, one of the Gods left a piece of this nut and people consequently found it.  Since then, the tree stake and the fruits of this plant for their stimulant effects have gained popularity of having some spiritual benefits of bitter kola; they began to be used in the sphere of magic or as a kind of an aphrodisiac. Benefits of bitter cola: wide range of effects The fruits of Kola tree have varied medicinal uses, especially in Nigeria. Bitter kola is primarily used as a tonic and stimulant, for the treatment of dysentery, fever, vomiting, and exhaustion. Bitter kola can act as a serious healing tool because of its strong spiritual properties.

Used for rituals and spiritual cleansing; Act as tonic, stimulant, astringent, decongestant, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory tool. Used in special protective rituals for suppressing enemies. Bitter cola can ease the flow of asthma, it can act as an antioxidant and diuretic. Its use enhances alertness and improves physical performance. It improves mood, suppresses appetite and stimulates libido – because of the caffeine as one of its components.

Negative Energies affect people and cause distress to them through their subtle energy. Negative energy can create a variety of problems such as depression, unclear thinking or malfunction of an organ which lead to even further difficulties such as addiction , financial problems or chest pain respectively. Negative Energy : The primary weapon used by negative energies is a spiritual energy capable of manipulating any process on the Earth plane. The extent of this manipulation depends on the strength of the attacking negative energy.

 Bitter Kola Benefit for Food Poisoning: In many rural areas of West Africa, when food is suspected to be contaminated by bacteria or someone accidentally eats food poison, traditional healers often recommend the mastication of bitter kola immediately after eating. This usually prevent the development of any infection or poisoning. Herbalists even recommend the seed and the bark of bitter kola should be eaten together in cases where food poisoning is suspected, it helps to detoxify the system. Bitter kola is not only anti-poison, it also has the ability to repel evil spirits according to traditional beliefs. Though it sound superstitious, many believe it works and do have spiritual benefits.

*** Do you know that bitter kola is one of the easiest ways to increase your Sperm without going through any medical means. The examination has shown that individuals that have the practice of chewing two slices in a day hardly suffer little sperm court. Both Men and Women can gain a lot of benefits of bitter kola when they chew it.  People drench the cola for 2 days, mix the cola with heated water to take out the extract, after which it is filtered so the unmixed and plain solution is obtained. Some people like better to take off the back that is the outer layer but it is more effective when you mix it together, by doing this you grow the level of the vigorous effect of bitter kola on sperm. It is believed to cure Male impotence.

Ify Asia Chiemeziem Museum…

*** Unlimited Sexual performance: Bitter kola is the number one Sexual performance medicine for weak Men. No other product can match the Sexual benefits of bitter kola as its give you unlimited performance in bed! This is a new discovery that has made this product a hot cake! Those who have tasted it are living happily now with their couples. And their Women has no reason to look outside. Get like 6-7 pieces of the bitter cola and mix until you get a smooth structure, add water to the blended mix, stir it up and drink. But it is passable when this blended mix is connected with honey, it tends to grow the potency and it is perfect for the individuals who cannot tolerate the bitter taste of the kola.

Bitter kola and honey Healing properties of honey are known for centuries. Bitter kola and honey are two brothers, which heal body, spirit, and soul. Honey and bitter kola are two natural antibiotics, so combining them you double-strengthen their effect. Honey and bitter kola are used both for the treatment of a sore throat and coarse voice, stimulating mucus, they soften the dry throat. The mixture of these two useful products is also used for the treatment of acne due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Now you know about healing properties of bitter kola and honey, these two medicines are given by nature and help in the treatment of many health problems. Why not to use what nature has given us. Chewing bitter kola relieves coughs, hoarseness, bronchial and throat troubles. Several studies discovered bitter kola to be a remedy for dysentery, osteoarthritis, antidote against poisoning and considered an aphrodisiac.

Bitter Kola Health Benefit for Malaria:  That aside, traditional healers have for many years prescribed bitter kola for the treatment of malaria infections.The side effects reported from the Garcinia kola use in this study were “weight loss”, “increase in sex drive” and “extended sleep” which many considered helpful to meet their individual and marital demands

*** Another importance of bitter kola is that it  repels snakes. It can be used to chase snakes away. For snake prevention, spread it around the building. ***  

Opele = Ifa Divination Chain

The Ancient Name of Opele = Irere…

An Opele (Irere) is a divination chain used in traditional West-African Religions, notably in Ifá and West-African traditions. A Babalawo = Bokono (Diviner) uses the Opele in order to communicate with the spirits who are able to identify the causes and solutions to personal and collective problems and restore harmony with the spirits.

The Opele (Irere) consists of eight half-nuts of the Opele tree with convex/concave sides linked at regular intervals by short strands of chain at the ends of which the priest may attach small beads, coins, and cowries. More recent Opele (Irere) have substituted small, oval brass plates for the half-nuts. The Diviner holds the Chain at the center and then swings the Chain gently, lying it on the cloth or mat on which he is seated. In a single motion he creates a pattern, which refers to an Odu of Ifa, the verses of which he then chants. The pattern, consisting of the concave and convex sides of the brass plates or nuts, is equivalent to the pattern of parallel marks made by the Ifa priest in the Iyerosun dust on an opon ifa when using Ikin Ifa (Sixteen Sacred Kola Nuts).

 The Divining Chain is said to “talk more” than the Palm Nuts, but it is regarded as in inferior instrument, less reliable than Palm Nuts for deciding important questions. It is also spoken of as Ifa’s servant. Nevertheless it is more commonly used in Divination, and a number of Diviners employ only the Chain, because they dislike using the Palm Nuts. The reason for this is that the Divining Chain arrives at the same interpretation through the same set of figures and verses more rapidly, and answers more questions than are usually asked when the slower method with Palm Nuts is employed.

Olatona Oyegbade Oyekunle = Ojugbonna Awo Osogbo

The Divining Chains are made by the Diviners for themselves and for their students. The Divining Chain, which is about one foot to two feet long, usually consist of eight halves of Seed shells or Pods joined together by sections of Chain. The middle section of the Chain, by which it is held, is somewhat shorter. The Seed sections are of equal length, so that when the Chain is held in the middle, the four Shells on the right and the four on the left hang down side by side.

The Divining Chain is thrown with the Right Hand only, which is said to be used consistently in Ifa Divination, even by left-handed Diviners. It is tossed away from the Diviner in such a way that the two open ends fall nearest to the Diviner and the two sides fall parallel. Each half Seed shell can fall with either the Concave inner surface (I) or the Convex outer surface (O) facing up. It is essential that the two surfaces of the Shells, or of other materials used in place of them, can be distinguished.

Various objects – including beads, cowries, shells, coins, buttons, rings, small bells, and bits of metal – are attached to the bottom of the pods at either end of the Chain. Their purpose is to enable the Diviner to distinguish the Right half (even) and the Left half (odd) of the Chain, so that the same half is always cast on the same side, and so that the figure will not be misread. Often an even number of cowries (two or four) marks the Right half and an odd number (one or three) mark the Left.

The Type of Divination Chain most highly prized consist of circular brass links set (Swivels) at right angles to each other, permitting the Seeds to fall freely in either the concave or the convex position. With a good Divination Chain the probability of each of the figures appearing is equal (1 in 256). The fall of the Seeds is not left to chance but is controlled by Ifa, the Deity of Divination, and any interference with the free fall of the Seeds, by the instrument or by the Diviner, garbles the message which Ifa wishes the client to receive.

Yagbe Awolowo Onilu Opele Egbere Seeds

The Shells of a dark-colored Seed (Egbere), said to come from a large tree (Igi-Epu), is most commonly used and most highly regarded. These Seeds resemble almond shells in their general shape and markings but are darker, smaller, and much harder. They are sold in the markets, but they have become increasingly rare and expensive since the early trade in ivory. When Split open, they show a smooth, slight convex, outer surface. A small hole is burned through each end of a half of a Seed Shell with a hot iron, so that the section Chain may be attached.

Most common is the Seed pod known as  “Opele – Irere” from which the Divining Chain takes its name. It comes from the Opele tree, this pod is referred to as Ewe’s foot  (Ese Agutan) these are the only Seeds found in elephant dung, and that they are obtained either from hunters or directly from the tree. This Seed pod has a distinctive pear shape and naturally split open at the base, with the two halves splaying out from the top where they are joined until broken apart.

” According to Ife Diviners, when Ogunda Meji died at the town of Oko, a tree called Opele Oga Oko sprang up on his grave, and from it fell a fruit that split open, revealing the figure Ogbe Meji written inside.”

As Orunmila told us in Ejiogbe: The basis for understanding the beginning and end of all things. Through Ifa is revealed the Great Mysteries of life. Only Ifa explains the reasons for the existence of life, living, death, sickness, success, failure, poverty, wealth, life before birth and life after death. 

 

ABIKU = Born To Die Prematurely…

*** The Concept of Abiku and Emere In Yoruba Culture *** 

 The knowledge we used to build a house is incomparable to the wisdom we will apply to live in it. The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you; they are unique manifestations of the human spirit.

Abiku = The One Who Is Destined To Die…

Some children over time are reborn to the same mother with the previous look, sex, complexion and structure. Owing to ephemeral nature of Abiku’s life. Abiku completes several consecutive life-cycles with one mother. In some cases, the Yoruba in one of their traditional ways of deterring Abiku from reoccurring deaths after reborn deface them either by cutting their finger, ear or a deep mark in the face or back. To a great astonishment and in most cases, the Abiku on reborn would have those marks whether on the face or back

Emere and Abiku are the kind of children who make a certain pledge concerning their life duration with their mates in the Spiritual Sphere. At the expiration of their time, they die and re-unite with their mates. Some oral tradition also confirm that some Emere among them are readily married in their realm and probably bore children over there. A spirit that is referred to as Spiritual Husband – Oko Orun  will have sexual intercourse with her in her dream and this will result to miscarriage. 

The Emere and Abiku if eventually cannot return to their mates, perhaps because of some spiritual appeasement made by their parents, believed to be having problems because their mates will be crossed with them for breaking the re-unification accord. The problems such person usually confronts is the misplacing or total loss of any items in their possession often, money. The solution to that may include offering sacrifice inform of food to stop such occurrence.

Abiku = The One Who Is Destined To Die…

The Abiku and Emere are very attractive because of their beauty and they love to live very close to water or coastal areas. The Emere and Abiku spirit usually roams around some areas like the side of the road, corner in the cities and villages, footpath in suburban area, jungle, inside trees like Iroko tree etc. That is why often, pregnant women are advised to desert these areas in order not to attract the spirit. 

In preventing such incidence, pregnant women are advised to attach either a needle or a small white stone to the edge of their clothes. The Emere and Abiku would not be able to follow the woman because those are elements that work against them. Aside this, pregnant women are not advised to stay alone in a hidden and dark place. They should also desist from going to T junction at noon. They are also forbidden to go out at the late hours in the night and they should desist from going to coastal areas and dumping sites.

Abiku is someone, who does not care about their own suffering, they suffer with a smile. Sweetness and bitterness are two extremes that are present at all times. This is the energy of Abiku’s Ori: When we talk about Abiku we can see that a lot of people like to suffer and they do not care that they are suffering. Their feelings and their activities are always connected with suffering.

 Abiku Connection With Ori – If we look at the lives of people critically, we can easily see this. This is a trend for everyone that has Abiku energy. The reality of Abiku is connected to their Ori. One of the toughest challenges is how to treat (heal) someone who is born with the energy of Abiku

 Ifa considers the individual top priority, using all the knowledge and instruments it deals with making the individuals life good here and now, in this life. Everyone is born with some sort of predestination. It is not fate because if something is fated, then the individual has no way of affecting that. But when something is predestinated, someone can realize that or not because everyone is responsible for his own life.  In life we have all that which we can call good luck: progress, longevity, health, luck… But good goes hand-in-hand with destructive energy, and if we wish to achieve the good, we have to neutralize the bad.

 We can classify destructive energy into four basic destructive elements:                Death –  Sickness – Failure –  Confusion

 When we consider a person who has the Abiku syndrome, it means that these destructive energies are constantly stalking him and that he is under heavy influence in at least one area by some of these elements. When everything seems to go well and suddenly it seems as if one of these energies got activated and it gives out the impression of being out of the person’s control.

The energy of a spiritual society, with which it is necessary to stop excessive embroidery, pacts and similar connections, so that someone could live a good life. A person with this energy is not treated as problematical but is understood and treated to maintain the positive elements of this energy. In fact, almost everyone who has this energy present, probably has an exceptional talent and capabilities which he could, with the right treatment, develop better than other people.

This preserved knowledge can contribute a lot in the process of education, as well as treating people. People with this syndrome often go to doctors but that kind of treatment does not help and in a different extreme situation someone with that energy can live through and recover when it is no longer expected. In order to understand at least a little about this energy, we must first look into the concept of a human being and how he is understood by Ifa as well as other spiritual practices.

 A child that is not a “radical” Abiku is born normally after 9 months of pregnancy. If it belongs to the “real” Abiku which do not want to be born, it will be born before time, before the end of normal pregnancy (after 6-8 months). After the birth of the child many things start happening; the forming of its character, its personality. In this period of growth the child recognizes the people who love it and reject it. But it begins to understand the definition of its life. It begins to distance itself from people and begins to fear the life. When we look at a person within our family or among our friends we sometimes fear for him.

All this is what creates the universe of Abiku. If we go back to pregnancy and birth: some experiences of spontaneous abortion, premature death, constant illnesses or mothers decision to make an abortion – these are all actions that only Abiku can afford.

 There are Abiku actions that are called Emere. Emere is a child with a hidden behavior – at times very stubborn, rebellious, disobedient, with a passion for accidents, bold, constantly provocative, takes risks, a child who loves revenge, often gets ill, often cries without reason, always talks with itself, plays alone or simply does not want to play with other children. Sometimes Emere creates a stage for himself and also plays all the roles himself. Those who have this sort of energy often talk to their imaginary friends, complain to them and fight with them. They stand out of the traditional system. That is why we say they are stubborn, rebellious. It is not true, however, that they are rebellious only out of malice because Abiku loves to be different than his peers.

 Positive Characteristics Of Abiku:  We need to understand the following – What counts is not what we have, but what we make with what we have. That is the problem of Abiku. Those who have this energy, which we consider supernatural, need a spiritual grip so that they could turn this energy to their own advantage.

 There exists a society of Abiku, the universe of Abiku actually. One of the most dangerous Abiku aspects is the one that Abikus are always highly connected with the spiritual world. They are in the visible and invisible world at the same time. They live in both these worlds at the same time. They have nightmares, some always sleep with their eyes open, they can sleepwalk, can go to the kitchen in the middle of the night to drink water… etc.

At night Abiku can manifest itself in a way similar to a dream but in their being they do not dream anymore, they actually travel into another world where they meet their friends.  Sometimes they have many confused information about what happens to them at night. But that actually are not dreams but rather Abiku transformations because Abiku always lives a parallel life. Sometimes they wake up on the other side of the bed, sometimes they even keep falling off the bed. Abiku is in both worlds at all times. Just like children, adult Abiku can also wet their bed.

*** Abiku = The One Who Is Destined To Die… The name refers to children under twelve that died, as well as to the spirits that killed them. The general belief is, that some spirits wonder in the uninhabited wild land. These spirits, the Abiku, are sad, but mostly hungry. They try to improve their life by entering into children body. When the Abiku spirit is settled in the child body, it consumes the child food, and slowly, the child will get sick and die.

 

The Speaking Power of Altars…

An Altar In A House Of Worship To Honor Our Ancestors…

The word Altar comes from the Latin Altārium, meaning – high  and also to the Latin Adolere, which means – to ritually burn or sacrifice. Nowadays, the Altar is the place for non-sacrificial religious rites such as communion or weddings, and is a metaphor for offerings. They do not have to be big and fancy; they can be so subtle that even the people you live with can be unaware of their existence. The purpose of an Altar is an area of focus. Here is a small area within your home which serves as your outward spiritual focus. It reminds us that there is far more to life than the everyday striving for survival and success. It is a place where the small objects that are sacred and meaningful to us can be gathered together and treated with respect.

ALTARS = An elevated place or structure, as a mound or platform, at which religious rites are performed or on which sacrifices are offered to Ancestors. A usually raised structure or place on which sacrifices are offered or incense is burned in worship —often used figuratively to describe a thing given great or undue precedence or value especially at the cost of something else sacrificed his family life on the Altar of career advancement.

Altars could be natural objects or man-made constructs. Four materials are recorded as being used in Altars: Stone – Earth – Metal & Brick. An Altar could stand alone, or it was located in the courtyard of a shrine. Altars were places where the divine and human worlds interacted. Altars were places of exchange, communication, and influence. Sacrifices were the primary medium of exchange in altar interactions & the essential act of external worship. The act of sacrifice moved the offering from the profane to the sacred, from the visible to the invisible world.

Altars can be placed anywhere, on top of a dresser, a window sill or small table. Simply create an empty space and slowly, carefully, place upon it the items which are special to you. Maybe a crystal, a cloth of inspiring color, flowers, a candle, or whatever feels appropriate. Now you have created your own personal sacred space. When you light your candle and gaze upon your Altar, it will help you to remember who you are and why we are here. Altars serve us as a great source of strength and focus for the Light.

In the fast pace of today’s world there is a growing need to reconnect to the sacred elements of life. An Altar can fulfill this need through being a powerful visible representation of the spiritual energy that surrounds and sustains us. It serves as a kind of reminder of our connection to spiritual realms.

Creating and using an Altar can be an effective means of forging a connection to higher powers. This can help infuse the most ordinary aspects of life with a divine sense of meaning. An Altar dedicated to increasing your spiritual awareness can become an energetic point of convergence for symbols that propel the human spirit forward. It can be used as a place to pray and ask for divine guidance, a place to listen to messages from the spiritual realm and a place to give thanks for blessings received.

Creating an Altar is a sacred way to call spiritual energies into your home. It reinforces your intention to invite more peace, serenity, and love into your space. It can be used for prayer, meditation, chanting, or just a place of sheer beauty and connection to the Divine. Once you create your Altar, make a daily ritual to meditate or pray near it. Use the sacred energy you’ve created to remind you of your highest spiritual intentions as you honor Mother NatureConnect with the energy of Air – Fire – Earth –  Water. Sometimes the theme for your Altar will come to you in an unexpected way.

Building Altars For Personal Transformation = Creating an Altar with the intention for transformation is a powerful way to keep your focus on your intentions. We make altars all of the time. Some we create on purpose, some out of routine habit. The photos of your family on your hearth is an altar as such as the extensive altars inside of a place of worship. “An Altar can simply reflect your spiritual truth back to you or it can be a working altar which holds your intention and prayers”. An Altar for transformation might address losing weight, healing a breakup or divorce, calling in more financial prosperity, a new relationship, a new project, or even the archetypal energy you want to invite into your life.

The very foundation of these spiritual teachings is the Law of Personal Responsibility, which states in part that we are responsible for all our experiences. By the laws that we establish with our thoughts, acts, and words, we are the creators of all our experiences. In other words, our experiences in life are reflecting back to us where we are in consciousness. In addition, great emphasis is placed upon understanding how our minds work and how we may more effectively use our minds in a way that it has been designed to be used. The teachings of this philosophy help us discern between the thoughts of our mind and the gentle promptings of our soul.

These spiritual teachings are filled with inspirational quotes, affirmations, spiritual sayings, and spiritual exercises. The spiritual light of the Living Light Philosophy illumines a path to a conscious awareness of our own soul, our own divinity, but it is up to us to make the effort to walk upon that path.

THE SPEAKING POWER OF AN ALTAR: Life and death lie in the tongue.  There are people who have the authority to speak over others. An instance is the authority of parents to either speak blessing or curse over their children. There are two ways of speaking over someone: Benediction and Malediction. The first means Blessing and the second means Curse. There is undoubtedly, power in speaking. Speaking does invoke or incite what is said, but there is something that gives spiritual essence to what is being spoken, and that is an Altar.

Altars give spiritual voice to every speaking. Through blood offered on an altar, spiritual entities affect physical beings. It speaks life for us over and above every malediction that any other Altar speaks against us. But we connect this altar through sacrifice. Altar is a place of sacrifice. Not all sacrifices are of blood but every sacrifice whether bloody or not, has a life! Quality time spent with Ancestors can be the Altar through which you connect the everlasting Altar. The underline is that you need to sacrifice on an altar that will connect you to Ancestor’s Altar.

The Power of a Personal Altar: Men who build and oil their Altars, never get deterred by, nor become victims of, the frictions of life. An Altar is a place not necessarily physical set apart for interaction with the spiritual. It is a place where our lives are powered. Our speed in life depends on the power of our Altar. If we don’t raise our own Altar, we’ll become a victim of another man’s altar. In a typical traditional African setting, each child has an Altar built for him by his parents. It is on this Altar that prayers, incantations, and most importantly, sacrifices are made for him until he gets to a reasonable age, when he’s left with the responsibility of running his Altar.

Quite evidently, those families that take their Altars seriously, lead more notable lives and stand out in the community. This Altar concept is also seen in most other religions. This therefore, lends credence to the fact that one’s personal Altar is the taproot of his spiritual life. The deeper this taproot, the taller your life grows; the more resilient you get, the more you boom and flourish, and the more relevant you are to your world – just like the palm tree. Little wonder the bible says “the righteous shall flourish like the palm tree.” The palm tree has an extremely deep tap root.

Finally, we learnt that it is sacrifice that makes an Altar. Without sacrifices, an Altar is powerless. There’s no access to the spiritual that costs nothing!  Our Altar is the place we first dedicate our offerings, and our seeds to Ancestors. May the holy spirit of Ifa opens our eyes to this spiritual truth.

 

Video Posts…Zangbeto-Bells

***   Zangbeto Bells – Togo/Benin West Africa  Video: Hounon Simeon Densoussi

Agogo/Gankogui Of Zangbeto: Tones have a healing effect on our bodies, calm our minds and awaken our spirits. The resonance and vibration of sound releases stress and emotional blockages in the body and calms the mind. The calming of mind expands conscious awareness and connection with spirit.

 

AGANJU= Òrìshà Of Antiquity

Deity is an offspring of Obatala and Odudua. Aganju, a male Deity (Orisha) representing the land. The word Aganju means ” a desert ,” the worship of the Deity has fallen into disuse. He is syncretized with Saint Christopher. Aganju is strongly associated with Shango, both Deities (Orishas) being members of the deified royal family of Oyo. In the Yoruba areas of Nigeria and Danxome, Aganju is known as a deified warrior king from the town of Shaki in the present-day Oyo State of Nigeria. He was said to walk with a sword. Shaki is in the northern part of Yorubaland that is hilly and rocky. Aganjú is a Deity (Orisha) of great antiquity.

Lukumi followers of this religion believe that Aganjú is a force that, like the sun that is his symbol, is essential for growth, as well as a cultivator of civilizations. Like the volcano with which he is also associated, he forms the foundation upon which societies are built and is the catalyst for the production of vast amounts of wealth and commerce needed for advanced development. He is most highly regarded by Lukumi practitioners for his role in assisting humans in overcoming great physical as well as psychological barriers. Like the volcano, Aganjú is noted for his legendary strength and his ability to bring about drastic change. His significance in Cuba in the past is most probably due in part to the fact that he was said to have delivered people out of bondage and helped one to carry the heaviest of burdens.

As Lord of Caves, he owns all the mineral wealth of the earth and can be appealed to part with some. He also acts as the god of untamed lands, from deserts to mountains and is the navigator, knowing the safe passages and fords across rivers.

His patterns consists of nine beads: two brown, one red, one yellow, one blue, one yellow, one red, two brown is one pattern. He likes offerings of beer and beef. He may try to eat the beer bottles however. It’s one of his favorite tricks. Mediums carrying Aganju may well try and eat glass as well.  The name Aganju means uninhabited tract of country, wilderness, plain, or forest.

Aganju is the bearer of burdens, the defender of the helpless, down trodden and enslaved. Aganju is a force of life that overcomes obstacles and does the impossible. Because of this, he was a major symbol of African resistance against the enslaving European culture. In the future, may people everywhere who are persecuted and marginalized be inspired by Aganju and overcome oppression.

Aganju is credited with assisting humans overcome physical as well as psychological barriers, Argayu is regarded as the healer. Agayu is depicted as this great rough giant, that has no rhythm when dancing, when in fact he is one of the most docile, humble and generous Orishas in the Yoruba Pantheon.

Creator of civilization – Defender of the helpless & the oppressed

Aganju the third sitting king of Oyo empire a very brave king. He is a lover of nature and animal. History have it that Aganju domestic a Leopard and keep it in his Palace . He hate oppression, he likes to visit the wilderness and rivers. He normally walk to anywhere with his double edge sword. He loves beads majorly with color red, yellow, light blue, dark blue, green, deep brown,, milky white. Aganjú’s role as a mediator is further developed in his capacity as the ferryman who takes souls from the material to the spiritual plane after they experience death. A ferryman has to know the river he travels very well; he must chart the safest course and keep his passengers out of harm’s way. Aganjú personifies the wise guide who takes people to new places.

*** Aganju is the Orisha of Volcano & Wilderness ***

In Cuba, Aganju is a volcano deity for the practitioners of Santeria-Lukumi religion. But there are no volcanoes in Yorubaland, nor is Aganju associated with volcanoes among the Yoruba people.

In the Afro-Brazilian tradition of Candomblé, Aganjú is worshiped as a manifestation or quality of the Orisha Shango, often called Xango Aganjú. Aganjú represents all that is explosive and lacking control. He is the embodiment of the Volcanoes.

 

 

 

Osanyin = Metaphysical Powers…

*** The leaf is his knife and his wand. Osanyin represents the two sides of herbal power. The same thing that can cure you, if used improperly can kill you.

Deity Osanyin Staff…

*** No Leaf Can Fall From The Tree Without The Authority, Power and Knowledge of God…

  Herbalists and Priests enlist the aid of Osanyin, the spirit of herbal medicines, in their work against mental and physical illness caused by malevolent forces and individuals. The Yoruba believe the power of Osanyin is vested in a wrought iron staff, called an Osanyin staff, that is placed on altars to this Deity (Orisha).

Deity Osanyin Staff…

The staff is composed of a circle of small birds and a shaft in the middle that elevates a large bird above smaller ones. The reason for this division could be to suggest the relaying of Metaphysical powers from the celestial to the Terrestrial realm. The Yoruba reference to Osanyin as “The one who sees everything, like God (Olodumare)” allowing him a vantage point from which he can protect all of humanity below.

The birds, emissaries of Ogun, refer to the Herbalist’s understanding of and power over these malevolent people. There are typically sixteen birds, invoking the most sacred number of divination, surrounding and confronting the central bird, which represents the smallpox God.

Omi-Ero Orisha Oba…

Osanyin the Deity of healing credited with all knowledge of Herbs, Leaves and Roots for Medicinal purposes. The myths of origin, history and religious beliefs of West-Africa were carried by the slaves across to the Americas and the Caribbean. This factor has maintained a continuity in space and time with the original cult. To the Yoruba, health is a state in which there is a blending of physical, mental, emotional social moral and spiritual well-being. To achieve this harmony they resort to divination to find out the cause of and remedy for their illness.

The traditional Healers fall into four groups and of these the Diviner/Herbalist meet the needs of anyone who is ill by providing both diagnosis and medication. Among this group are the Herbalists (Onishegun) who diagnose and provide the remedy through dialogue with the deity and the Osanyin who acquire the knowledge of herbs and the associated incantations through a system of apprenticeship. The herbs are collected by the Herbalists (Onishegun) under whose watchful eyes the medications are prepared. 

*** There Are No Òrìshás Without Leaves ***

Òsányìn is a deity or divinity of the medical herbage, his importance is primordial and no ceremony within the Ifá philosophy is made without his involvement. He is the one who finds the force, the vitality and the power of performance, no divinity can pass trough, without him. This power lives in several leaves and herbs, the name of these leaves and herbs and their use, is the most secret of the Deity (Òrìshà) cult.

Every divinity has its particular leaves and plants, the use of one contraindicated leave could have harmful effects and harvesting is done with extreme care. In wild places, brush or forest where plants grow freely, the plants that grow in gardens should be discarded, because the forest is the home of Òsányìn.

The priests of this Deity (Òrìshà) wakes up very early without having any sexual activity from the day before and goes to the forest without greeting anyone on their way. The priest offers incantations to strip the leaves, roots, bark and fruits and deposits his offering to the deity before leaving the forest.

These priests are aware of the leaves used interchangeably, among them we note that there are leaves with virtues such as sheet of fortune, happiness, joy, fertility, fame, longevity, courage.. . But there are also leaves of misery, fever and other even more fearsome illness. The leaves come in form of decoctions, baths of purification which are intended to form a magic lake between the divinity and certain objects that are enshrined including the blood of a specific animal. The employment of the leaves is fundamental, because these leaves are used to elaborate the divine powder of the deities and receive a growing force that creates a strong bond of interdependence between the worshipers.

Omi Ero- Amashi = Medicinal Water

Òsányìn is the doctor, by a divine mandate and haves a deep knowledge of botany and diseases that afflict humans, he is in charge of preparing the medicine for children and infants. He’s the only divinity that is able to use the corn meal oil to prepare medicinal ointments. All the plants are attributed to this deity, because of the principal basis of his role in the planetary system.

It exist and persists a judgment that Òsányìn is the divinity of Sorcery and Witchcraft and his followers seek his support against their enemies, in times of disputes, disagreements and fights. This contributes in a double misconception, because the key to the way of living is to live without being attacked and without attacking, however no matter which plan is initiated to any individual, looses the effect if the power of justice is on the individuals side, this because Òsányìn is neither an aggressive deity nor a warrior, he is only a medical deity in the planetary system and he is used to cure and remedy those painful diseases that science has not been able to defeat.

Omi Ero- Amashi = Medicinal Water

It is a belief that Òsányìn was born with knowledge about the plants and trees, because he did not learn from anybody. There are many different kinds of Òsányìn and the one that is one legged and known as – Òsányìn elésè-kan, is the fiercest and has great medicine knowledge.

Osanyin’s magic is so powerful that no one can unravel his spells. Consequently he is petitioned for any purpose where unconquerable magic is required. Osanyin is often depicted as an extremely disfigured, impish man. He has one eye, one hand, one foot, one tiny ear that can hear even a pin drop, and one ear larger than his head that hears nothing. He keeps all of his magic in a calabash that he hangs high in a tree, out of reach.

Ori Apere = Akinwale Faseyi Awo Rere

*** Ifa staffs usually have one bird and of course the inverted Agogo Bells. However, they are in effect the same thing. The sixteen birds surrounding the one bird is obviously a reference to the Itan of when Orunmila entered the town of the Aje (witches).There is a strong connection between Osanyin and Orunmila and also to Ogun, for the Opa Osun is made out of iron. Ogun lives in the forest, hence his connection to Osanyin.

 *** Osanyin herbs have the power to neutralize the Ajogun – negative forces. Both staffs represent the triumph of consciousness -Ori over the forces of illness and destruction. Osun is the male aspect of Oshun, the spirit of the river. The Osun is a staff that is traditionally only given to Awo who have Odu pot. The staff represents Oso – the ability to astral travel. The bird on the Osun is  a vulture, representing the Ashe of Oshun. Odu Ifa says that Oso comes to women via their menstrual cycle as a birth right passed from mother to daughter.

*** Being possessed by a female Orisha gives a man the ability to astral travel. When a man is in the astral realm he is in the land of the Mothers and to go to the land of the Mothers is challenging as a man, so Ifa teaches that a male Awo goes to the land of the Mothers disguised as a female bird. That is the reason why when a male Awo enters Igbodu  wearing a Mariwo Ede and Beads dangling from his knee. This is the disguise of being a bird. After that, the Ifa Iyawo places his left foot on the Osun staff connection him to the Ancestors. 

*** Ifa says that men can develop the ability of Oso as a consequence of receiving Ifa initiation- Tefa. Men are presented to Odu during Tefa. Being presented to Odu during Tefa gives men the ability to be mediums for female Orisha – among other things…

Omi Ero- Amashi = Medicinal Water

*** Praise to the owner of herbal Medicines & Leaves:  The supernatural one, one-who-turns-all-leaves-into-medicine. One who is versed in the use of roots, one who has a sharp, pointed tail like that of a chick. One who has a liver as crystal clear as a fly’s. One who is as powerful as an iron rod. Aroni, the custodian of secrets who fastens medicine on his chest. One who forcibly takes the clothes from a sick man and staggers. He who fights without being guilty. A big masquerade for whom the mortar is rolled. Leaves in the hand – Leaves in the mouth – There is nothing you can’t do – One whose body is full of medicine . He who can revive and can kill – He who uses medicine to fight death. A leopard that prepares medicine to remove  assaults. He drinks some water and uses some to anoint his head. He turns 200 leaves into one – One whose body is full of medicine. The mighty man who preserves the forest for medicinal purposes – The man who uses leaves to do all he wants. 

Herbs have enormous Magical Power, as they hold the Earth’s energy within them. Each herb has unique properties that can enhance one’s magical goals. Herbs also may have medicinal properties. The magical practitioner can draw upon either aspect when performing a spell. Harvest herbs in the morning after the sun has dried the dew but before the heat of the day sets in. Use a sharp magical knife to cut herbs; the knife should be consecrated specifically for this purpose. Thank the plant for its gift, and offer it something in return, perhaps some water. Harvest only the amount of herbs needed, except when pruning the plants, to ensure healthy growth for the following season.

Roots on the other hand – often the most magically potent part of the plant – once chopped or powdered are fairly indistinguishable one from the other. Familiarize yourself with herbs and other botanical. Know what they should look like, and what they should smell like…

SACRED PLANTS = In the world of plants, some are used for sacred and ceremonial purposes, to explore the spirit world. The use of these plants derives from native cultures, whose members have traditionally sought access to the supernormal through the ingestion of the plants and their preparations. The use of these plants differs from contemporary religious practices in a key way. For while religious prayer, ritual and communion are engaged to propitiate god or gods, the use of sacred plants is intended to give the participant direct access to the divine experience. The difference is not slight but radical.

Additionally, the sacred plants are used for healing purposes. True healing puts into order the body, mind and spirit with the past, present and future. Such integration is possible by various means, including by the ceremonial use of the sacred plants. Throughout history these plants have been employed to heal disorders of body, mind and spirit, and today a whole new emerging body of study is currently examining the healing properties of some of these plants.

In the world of plants, some are used for sacred and ceremonial purposes, to explore the spirit world. The use of these plants derives from native cultures, whose members have traditionally sought access to the unknowns through the ingestion of the plants and their preparations. The use of these plants differs from contemporary religious practices in a key way. For while religious prayer, ritual and communion are engaged to propitiate god or gods, the use of sacred plants is intended to give the participant direct access to the divine experience. 

 

 

Ancient Carvings & Sculptures…

 Discover extraordinary Carvings & Sculptures designs by talented Artisans worldwide. Throughout history, civilizations have documented life experiences through Carving – Sculpting physical items, Crafting fantastic wood Carvings as well as Stone, Metal & Bronze Sculptures.

Wood Carving is a form of woodworking by means of a cutting tool  in one hand or a chisel by two hands or with one hand on a chisel and one hand on a mallet, resulting in a wooden figure or figurine, or in the Sculptural ornamentation of a wooden object.

The making of Sculpture in wood has been extremely widely practiced, but survives much less well than the other main materials such as stone and bronze, as it is vulnerable to decay, insect damage, and fire. It therefore forms an important hidden element in the art history of many cultures. Outdoor wood sculptures do not last long in most parts of the world, so it is still unknown how the totem pole tradition developed. Many of the most important sculptures of China and Japan in particular are in wood, and so are the great majority of African Sculptures and that of Oceania and other regions. Wood is light and can take very fine detail so it is highly suitable for masks and other Sculptures intended to be worn or carried. It is also much easier to work on than stone.

Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. Durable Sculptural processes originally used Carving and Molding, in stone, metal, ceramics, wood and other materials.  

Sculpture in stone survives far better than works of art in perishable materials, and often represents the majority of the surviving works from Ancient Cultures, though conversely traditions of Sculpture in wood may have vanished almost entirely.  

Sculpture has been central in Religious devotion in many Cultures, and until recent centuries large Sculptures, too expensive for private individuals to create, were usually an expression of Religion. Those Cultures whose Sculptures have survived in quantities include the Cultures of the Ancient Mediterranean, India and China, as well as many in South America and Africa.

Most African Sculpture was historically in wood and other organic materials that have not survived from earlier than at most a few centuries ago. Masks are important elements in the art of many peoples, along with human figures, often highly stylized. Direct images of deities are relatively infrequent, but masks in particular are or were often made for Religious Ceremonies.

West African Cultures developed bronze casting for reliefs to decorate palaces like the famous Benin Bronzes, and very fine naturalistic royal heads from around the Yoruba town of Ife in terracotta and metal. Akan gold weights are a form of small metal Sculptures representing proverbs and so with a narrative element rare in African Sculpture, and royal regalia included impressive gold Sculptured elements.

Between the Ivory Coast and the Congo lie Ife, in the Yoruba country, and Benin, in Southern Nigeria, where African Sculpture has reached its highest level. The bronzes are of two kinds. There are figures – either life-size human heads or models of animals or human beings – and there are relief sculptures of complete scenes, animals, human beings and mythological or magical symbols. The principal ivory products are large elephant tusks carved in relief, goblets and tankards decorated either in relief or open-work, and armlets and other ornaments in the same style. The headdress and the rings round the neck of bronze heads, represent the traditional coral decoration still worn by the kings of Benin. Coral beads were an important part of the crown treasures, and when a ruler ceased to wear them it was a sign of bad financial policy.

History of Bronze Sculpture in Benin: According to Bini tradition, brass-casting was introduced into Benin by medieval artists from Ife. The bronzes are produced by what is known as the lost-wax process. A model is made – usually of clay – and covered with a layer of wax. It is the method used in all West African Bronze and Brass industries.  

Yoruba Sculpture: There is a vast difference between the Ancient Art of the Yorubas and their present-day work. Modern Yoruba art consists chiefly of wooden figures and masks. With its striking polychrome paintings, it is certainly very decorative, but it is on a lower artistic plane than the old classic Sculpture in Stone, Terracotta and Bronze. The old Carvings in hard stone such as quartz and the old bronze castings are distinguished by an astonishing fidelity to nature, absolutely correct proportions and a lack of conventional features. The technique was excellent and the figures show a marked sense of beauty.

Yoruba Traditional Wood Carving

It is probably centuries since work of this kind was produced at Ife, but the antique masterpieces have never been forgotten. Dozens of beautiful terracotta heads were kept in a shrine outside the town until only a few years ago, when they were all stolen or broken. But it is the Terracotta Sculpture & Bronze which show the Art of Ancient Ife at its best. The age of the Ife heads has not yet been conclusively ascertained, but since it is practically certain that the Bronze art of Benin was derived from Ife.

African Stone Sculpture: There are other examples of Ancient African Art in harder and more durable materials than wood. In some parts stone Sculpture has been found which is entirely different from Ife Sculpture. Many West African figures are used in Religious Rituals and are often coated with materials placed on them for Ceremonial offerings.  

History of Traditional African Masks: One of the main characteristics of culture of African peoples is use of masks in rituals and ceremonies. They represent spirits of animals or ancestors, mythological heroes, moral values or a form of honoring of a person in a symbolic way. They are made from wood, pottery, textiles, copper and bronze. Details could be made from animal teeth, hair, bones and horns as well as feathers, seashells and even straw and egg shells. Maker of the masks has a high rank in the village because it is believed that he has a contact with a spirit world.

One more theme for African masks is female face made by ideal of feminine beauty. While masks of some tribes have breasts and ornamental scars some other have almond shaped eyes, curved eyelashes, thin chin and ornaments. All this is considered as attributes of beauty in females for their respective tribes. Wearing of these female masks is reserved for men in most cases.

 

Ori = Destiny & Designator…

Head (Ori) = Inu “Inner Head – Destiny” *** Head (Ori) = Akoko “First Head – Designator” 

Distinction between Heaven (Orun) & World (Aiye) * Heaven contains: Owner – Deities – Ancestors…  * World contains: Human – Animals – Sorcerers…

The Heaven/World distinction is important in understanding Yoruba concepts of Life, Death, Destiny, Reincarnation & Soul. Firstly, Yoruba thought makes a distinction between the physical body & the spiritual elements which inhabit it and give it life & individuality. The characteristics of these two spiritual elements appear as the most important are Breath (Emi) & Head (Ori)

Breath (Emi) is generally thought of as the vital force, without which the body dies. In some accounts it is also thought of as the conscious self. It not only provides locomotion for the body, but can think independently of it, and can travel abroad on its own in dreams. Head (Ori) is more complex it rather than Breath is the seat of the intellect. It is also related to a person’s destiny, as the element which predetermines his success or failure in the world.

Head (Ori) is given to, or chosen by, an individual before his/her birth, creating limits within which success in the world can be expected and within which the Breath is able to act. In contrast to this rather fatalistic model, Head is also to be the Ancestral Guardian Soul – A spiritual entity which can be influenced by humans in efforts to improve life on earth. Each individual has two Ancestral guardians, one on the Head, and one in Heaven which is doing exactly the same things as the individual is doing on Earth. With the support of the Ancestral guardian in Heaven, an individual will live the allotted span of life.

Head (Ori) is believed to be the first and the most important Deity in Heaven. The spiritual and personal Head (Ori) or Divinity possessed by each and every individual. Each person and deity before coming to earth, must visit Ajala – maker of Heads in heaven. If one has the bad luck to choose a less than perfect Head, his/her life on earth will be severely affected. Head (Ori) refers to one’s spiritual intuition and destiny. It is the reflective spark of human consciousness embedded into the human essence, and therefore is often personified as an Orisha in its own right. It is believed that human beings are able to heal themselves both Spiritually and Physically by working with the Orishas to achieve a balanced character, Oriwa-Pele. When one has a balanced character, one obtains an alignment with one’s Head (Ori) or divine self. It is also believed that Head (Ori) be worshiped like Orisha. This is because whatever one becomes or whatever happens in one’s life is as destined by Head (Ori)

A person’s Head (Ori) is so crucial to a successful life that it is propitiated frequently, and its support and guidance is sought before undertaking any new task. Personal Head (Ori) shrines are indispensable and are present in most homes, irrespective of sex, religious belief, or cult affiliation. And in the performance of virtually all sacrifices, Ancestral worship, since it determines their favorable outcome.

As above, so below. Ifa offers the term Head (Ori) to explain the exact path from our “Origin” to us and between us and others. It is our portion of the divine spark that is encoded with our destiny. Its components are seated in certain chakra points within and above us. Above -Below or better yet, simply Without – Within” to describe the path by which the two are connected: Our original form of pure energy or true spirit body that manifested first, from our original energy source. Our Head (Ori) also resides in one of the first realms created by that source. 

Physical Head: This may even refer to our brain. It houses the next three Ori portals.  It is located at the crown of our head. This is the point where our silver cord or chain connects us to our original and true spirit self in Heaven (Orun). The Head (Ori) is vested with great importance in Yoruba art and thought. When portrayed in sculpture, the size of the head if often represented as four or five times its normal size in relation to the body in order to convey that it is the site of a person’s Power (Ashe) as well as his or her essential nature, or Character (Iwa). The Yoruba distinguish between the Exterior Head (Ori-Akoko) and Inner  Head (Ori-Inu). Exterior Head (Ori-Akoko) is the physical appearance of a person, which may either mask or reveal one’s Inner Head (Ori-Inu) aspects. Inner qualities, such as patience and self-control, should dominate outer ones.

The head also links the person with the other-world. The Imori ceremony – Head (Ori) is the first rite that is performed after a Yoruba child is born. During Imori, a diviner determines whether the child comes from his or her mother’s or father’s lineages or from a particular Deity (Orisha). If the latter is the case, then the child will undergo Deity (Orisha) initiation during adulthood, during which the person’s Head (Ori) becomes the spiritual vessel for that Deity (Orisha). To prepare for these ceremonies, the person’s head is shaved, bathed and anointed.

Yoruba do not consider the Head (Ori) symbol really complete without an accompanying container to house, honour and beauty it. This is the most costly acts of honour an individual can do to any Deity. It is hard to imagine a more fitting residence for Head, the cause and essence of one’s being. During consultation or Propitiation, the devotee will place Ibori – House Of Head (Ori) on a well-swept & polished floor which has been covered with a white cloth. Devotee offers standard items of sacrifice to Head like water, kolanut, and is free to add other items of choice. Depending on the nature of the request, a corresponding symbolic sacrifice is made.

Coconut Water – Omi Agbon as Head softener (Ero), makes it work more in favour of the owner where that Head is found to be hard. Snails (Igbin) are offered to ask Head (Ori)to avert an impending disaster. Sugarcane – Ground Roasted Corn & Honey are offered to attract good fortune – happiness or joy…

Consequently the Yoruba Concept of Head (Ori), is always conscious of the duality of his being, namely the material mortal self, and the spiritual one. In actual life experience, the spiritual Head’s qualities such as immortality, ever-presence and insuperable power are employed where human efforts fail or appear inadequate. Thus, in extreme conditions of bad or good health, fortune or misfortune, the Yoruba resort to Head (Ori) for rectification or gratification.

***Because of the circumstances of their creation, all Deities have to pay homage to Head (Ori). Similarly, all cult heads & devotees have to touch the Earth with their forehead as an act of symbolic respect for the first Ori-Akoko in heaven who in turn will roll side to side in reverence to Owner of Heaven on behalf of the appellant on Earth.  (Ofun-Irete)

Ori is the essence of a human being, Ori is the guide and guardian of our life with one specialty – Ori has been with us since before we were even born, he follows us through our whole lives until death and beyond. Consequently, all our accidents, mishaps we encounter, are all reflections of our Ori. We can consider Ori as the source of everything, the foundation of everything we experience in life. It is the energy that motivates us at everything; it is responsible for our dynamic energy, for our achievements, our mistakes, our consistency. 

There are two types of Ori, namely – Ori Ire – good fate, good Ori  Ori Buruku – bad fate, bad Ori. This is all very visible in our life. We can recognize the people who have good luck and certain people with a bad luck or negative fate.

 Ori is an individual choice of a human life. Everybody has the right to own choice, be it bad or good, from experience or without, with risk or without it. Sadly, that same Ori can turn against us. In fact, our most vital energy is what can let us down when we need it the most. When we work for ourselves, it is actually our intelligence that can fail us. Our life resources are also our experiences, our personal security and self-confidence – all the resources we need in order to survive. All this can collapse. That leads us to destruction, to negative experiences. Accidents happen because of this; we make wrong decisions, we get angry for no reason or we fall into a deep depression. We can regard this as failure of our Ori in a certain cycle of life.

 This is beyond the concept of any religion. This is the concept of a human being. Ori is the nature of a human being, the power of fate. Ori is the personal guardian responsible for all our noble deeds, our vitality, our achievements and for our failures. It is our essence. Ori is the principle that serves the basic human needs in order to have a worthy life. The basic needs are: common sense, knowing our own restrictions, responsibility and fear. Fear is also needed because if we did not have it, we would go beyond our restrictions. Every time we go beyond our limitations, we expose ourselves to greater risks.

When people with this kind of energy expose themselves to extreme risks, it often leaves them with irreversible damage. That is when we tend to say: “This was his destiny“. However, fate is actually only an aftermath of irresponsibility towards oneself. Experiences that follow usually are not satisfying. Our Ori is responsible for all the energies that are needed in order for us to protect our lives, to ensure our survival and the possibility of another life. But our Ori is also responsible for all the energies that lead us to our deaths. If we do not use all our natural resources with adding positive things into our lives, we can encounter a large number of negative experiences. The paradox of life is that a lot of people actually do not even care whether they take risks, they do not care if they are protected or not, and that they are actually digging their own graves.

All requests must be sanctioned by Head (Ori) before any other Power, Force, or Divinity can act on them, favourably or otherwise. Head (Ori) is the channel of communication between individuals on Earth and the Deities. 

 

Dogon Cults = Awa – Lebe – Binu…

Circumcision Is Seen As Necessary For The Individual To Gain Gender…

In Dogon thought, Male and Females are born with both sexual components. The clitoris is considered Male, while the foreskin is considered Female. – Originally, for the Dogon, man was endowed with a dual soul, and circumcision eliminates the superfluous one. Rites of circumcision thus allow each sex to assume its proper physical identity.

Most men, however, have only one wife, and it is rare for a man to have more than two wives. Formally, wives join their husband’s household only after the birth of their first child. After having children, divorce is a rare and serious matter, and it requires the participation of the whole village.

The religious beliefs of the Dogon are enormously complex and knowledge of them varies greatly within Dogon society. Dogon religion is defined primarily through the Worship of the Ancestors and the spirits whom they encountered as they slowly migrated from their obscure Ancestral homelands to the Bandiagara cliffs.

*** Three Principal Cults:  Awa – Lebe – Binu ***

The Awa is a Cult of the Dead – whose purpose is to reorder the spiritual forces disturbed by the death of Nommo, a  mythological Ancestor of great importance to the Dogon. Members of the Awa cult dance with ornate carved and painted masks during both funeral and death anniversary ceremonies. There are 78 different types of ritual masks among the Dogon and their iconographic messages go beyond the aesthetic, into the realm of religion and philosophy.The primary purpose of Awa dance ceremonies is to lead souls of the deceased to their final resting place in the family altars and to consecrate their passage to the ranks of the Ancestors.

The cult of Lebe – Earth God, is primarily concerned with the agricultural cycle and its chief priest is called a  Hogon. All Dogon villages have a Lebe shrine whose altars have bits of Earth incorporated into them to encourage the continued fertility of the land. According to Dogon beliefs, the God Lebe visits the Hogons every night in the form of a serpent and licks their skins in order to purify them and infuse them with life force. The Hogons are responsible for guarding the purity of the soil and therefore officiate at many agricultural ceremonies.

The cult of Binu is a totemic practice and it has complex associations with the Dogon’s sacred places used for Ancestor Worship, Spirit communication and agricultural sacrifices. Major Dogon sacred sites were related to episodes in the Dogon myth of the creation of the world, in particular to a deity named Nommo. Binu shrines house spirits of mythic ancestors who lived in the legendary era before the appearance of death among mankind. Binu spirits often make themselves known to their descendants in the form of an animal that interceded on behalf of the clan during its founding or migration, thus becoming the clan’s totem.

The priests of each Binu maintain the sanctuaries whose facades are often painted with graphic signs and mystic symbols. Sacrifices of blood and millet porridge the primary crop of the Dogon are made at the Binu shrines at sowing time and whenever the intercession of the immortal ancestor is desired. Through such rituals, the Dogon believe that the benevolent force of the ancestor is transmitted to them. Kananga masks form geometric patterns and represent the first human beings. The Dogon believe that the Dama dance creates a bridge into the supernatural world. Without the Dama dance, the dead cannot cross over into peace.

  ***The Dogon are strongly oriented toward harmony, which is reflected in many of their rituals. For instance, in one of their most important rituals, the women praise the men, the men thank the women, the young express appreciation for the old, and the old recognize the contributions of the young. Another example is the custom of elaborate greetings whenever one Dogon meets another. This custom is repeated over and over, throughout a Dogon village, all day.

The Hogon is the spiritual leader of the village. He is elected from among the oldest men of the extended families of the village. After his election, he has to follow a six-month initiation period, during which he is not allowed to shave or wash. He wears white clothes and nobody is allowed to touch him. A virgin who has not yet had her period takes care of him, cleans the house and prepares his meals. She returns to her home at night. After his initiation, he wears a red fez. He has an armband with a sacred pearl that symbolises his function. The virgin is replaced by one of his wives, and she also returns to her home at night. The Hogon has to live alone in his house. The Dogon believe the Sacred Snake Lébé comes during the night to clean him and to transfer wisdom.

There is also a secret ritual language Sigui So – language of Sigi , which is taught to dignitaries – Olubarū of the Society of the Masks during their enthronement at the Sigui ceremony.

***The Dogon people believe the fox has supernatural powers. In the morning, the diviner will read the fox prints on the sand and make interpretations. The fox is sure to come because offerings of millet, milk and peanuts are made to this sacred animal.

The Nummo were referred to as “Water Spirits.” Although the Nummo were identified as being “Dieu d’eau” (Gods of Water) identified the Nummo as hermaphrodites and they appeared on the female side of the Dogon sanctuary.” They were primarily symbolized by the sun, which was a Female symbol in the religion. In the Dogon language, the sun’s name, (nay), had the same root as “mother,” (na), and “cow,” (nā). They were symbolized by the colour red, a Female symbol.

“Most of the conversations indeed turned largely on Twins and on the need for duality and the doubling of individual lives. The Eight original Ancestors were really eight pairs… But after this generation, human beings were usually born single. Dogon religion and Dogon philosophy both expressed a haunting sense of the original loss of Twin-ness. The heavenly Powers themselves were dual, and in their Earthly manifestations they constantly intervened in pairs…” The birth of human Twins was celebrated in the Dogon culture  because it recalled the “fabulous past, when all beings came into existence in twos, symbols of the balance between humans and the divine.”

The Twin Sect: The birth of twins is a sign of good luck. The enlarged Dogon families have common rituals, during which they evoke all their Ancestors back to their origin—the ancient pair of Twins from the creation of the world.

***The Dogon use this entertainment to gain profit by charging the tourists money for what masks they want to see and the ritual itself.

Funeral Masquerade – This particular ritual incorporates the elements of the yingim and the danyim. During the Yincomoli Ceremony, a gourd is smashed over the deceased’s wooden bowl, hoe, and Bundukamba, (burial blanket), which announces the entrance of the masks used in this ceremony, while the deceased entrance to their home in the family compound is decorated with ritual elements.

Great Mask or Mother Of Masks  The  Mask represents the Women Ancestors, who are said to have discovered the purpose of the masks by guiding the spirits of the deceased into the afterlife.

The Lébé Sect worships the Ancestor Lébé Serou – the first mortal human being who in Dogon myth was transformed into a Snake. The celebration takes place once a year and lasts for three days.

Certain researchers investigating the Dogon have reported that they seem to possess advanced Astronomical knowledge, the nature and source of which have subsequently become embroiled in controversy. Puzzled by this Sudanese star system, and prefaced their analysis with the disclaimer. The problem of knowing how, with no instruments at their disposal, men could know the movements and certain characteristics of virtually invisible stars has not been settled, nor even posed.

= We have in the Dogon information a predictive mechanism which it is our duty to test, regardless of our preconceptions.

“The Dual Soul Is A Danger; A Man Should Be Male & A Woman Female. Circumcision & Excision Are Once Again The Remedy.”