Food *Gift from the Gods*

                        ***Ritual Uses of Foods…

All ritual starts with an intention and the way magic works is that through certain steps you are able to manifest your intention. Try to always prepare and cook foods that you enjoy, as you are preparing food not only is it necessary to cook with intention, it is also necessary to visualize what magical outcome  that you are working towards, by doing this you are igniting the energies within the food and within yourself. As you eat your magic food be fully present and make sure you are thinking about that which you wish to conjure, make sure you are visualizing your ultimate magic outcome. Imagine the energy of the food not only sustaining you, but with enchantment bringing about the changes that you want, be at one with the food you eat and the magic you are creating.

 *** When using food for Ritual work always have the reason for cooking certain foods, such as cooking for love, cooking for prosperity, for health or for protection. As you handle and prepare the food have a particular goal in mind, when stirring food always stir clockwise with two stirs anti-clockwise as you finish stirring. Sharing a meal with friends or those you love is a ritual in itself, there is a certain energy associated with this simple pleasure, and with the Ritual of food our life is sustained. 

 ***Agbado Corn-MaizeMagical Ways=Seed of Seeds!!!                                     Of all the grains eaten in the world, Corn Maize probably is surrounded by more legends and folklore than any other. Corn has been planted, tended, harvested and consumed for millennia, and so it’s no wonder that there are myths about the magical properties of this grain.

=== Ceres was the Roman Goddess of grain, specifically corn, and of the harvest season. According to legends, she was the one who taught mankind how to farm. She is associated with agricultural fertility and a bountiful harvest. Make her an offering, and she may well protect your crops from natural disasters such as flooding or blight. 

***Sprinkle corn around your ritual area to delineate sacred space. Make a corn doll to honor the deity of your tradition Corn = Maize, is the seed of seeds. Key words associated with corn are: Sacred Mother, Protection, Luck, Divination… Corn represents fertility and is used to invoke Mother Earth. Used in ritual, it teaches the mystery of life, death, and rebirth. Many cultures gave corn, which is regarded as a food of prosperity, protection, and spirituality, a special God or Goddess of its own.

The Magical Aspects of Corn:  It is a symbol of fertility and is often used to invoke Mother Earth. Whether it is used as a centerpiece, a wreath for your front door, or as a delicious side dish at your next meal, corn pops up in a variety of ways from mid-late summer through fall. Corn teaches us the mysteries of life, death, and rebirth. The spiritual representation of the corn and is closely related to the higher self or third eye of sacred sight, this symbol represents the saints and often depicted with a lily, and most prominently in association with royalty. Many cultures revered corn as a spiritual element, which is regarded as a symbol of longevity, prosperity, protection, and spirituality.

Hundreds of years ago food was worshiped and seen as a gift from the Gods, the energies contained within the food we eat are vital to our survival. You will find food all the more enjoyable as you approach it from a magical perspective, and every meal can be a wonderful act of alchemy that magically changes the food you prepare into a beautiful meal for you and yours to enjoy and energized by. When eating be conscious of the higher power existing in the foods, this way each meal can be a celebration, and cooking will take on an entirely new tone.  

The Ancient Egyptians used food as a means of exchange and food was stocked in the tombs as a gift to the Gods. Corn has been used by various tribes over the centuries and used in rituals, it is a symbol of fertility, life, eternity and resurrection. Corn was also used for divination purposes, it was practiced by the Ancient Aztecs, it was often used in elaborate healing ceremonies. Corn is still considered sacred by many tribes and is treated with great reverence, it is thought to bring blessing and heightened spiritual enlightenment.

 *** It’s believed that burying a sheaf of corn while uttering a curse will cause your enemies to die–they will rot from the inside as the corn decays in the soil. Use corn in rituals involving growth and transformation. After all, a single kernel brings you a tall stalk full of more kernels! You can also associate it with self-sustainability and fertility, both of people and of the land.

                      ***Epo Pupa = Red Palm Oil Offerings…

***Ritual Uses of Palms in Traditional Medicine…

Palms are prominent elements in African traditional medicines. In some rituals, Palms play a central role as sacred objects, for example the seeds accompany oracles and Palm leaves are used in offerings. In other cases, Palms are added as a support to other powerful ingredients,  Palm oil used as a medium to blend and make coherent the healing mixture. 

Traditional medicines in rural sub-Saharan communities recognize that the occurrence of disease can result from the intrusion of negative supernatural forces. These forces are often defined as  sorcerers, broken taboos, displeased Ancestor spirits or deities… Afflictions which are mostly related to the action of the malevolent forces are either serious and chronic or emerging suddenly and unexpectedly.  Thus, traditional healers often apply divination and various rituals in order to understand the overall significance of a healing process and counteract its cause. Since palms are part of the everyday life of nearly all rural people in Africa, it may be expected that they are also important in the spiritual framework of rural life in Africa.   

 The Palm fruit is made up of three carpels that fuse to form a drupe with one or a few seeds, covered by a thin seed coat.  Palm seeds are often called Palm kernels or Palm nuts. Perhaps palms bring justice because they are associated with understanding, peace, and harmony, or with indwelling tree spirits themselves. Palm leaves also served in various ceremonies, rituals and religious festivities. In Benin, the Palm has been recently reported as sacred and protected where ever it grows because it is seen as the realization on earth of the God Fa. Nobody is allowed to cut it down or to use its fruits for making oil…  

All parts of the palms were used in rituals, but the most commonly used part was the leaf, followed by the fruit and oil extracted from the fruit, seed, entire Palm tree, sap in the form of Palm wine, root and inflorescence. In some treatments, the Palm is the actual sacred object or the central element of ritual practices, for example entire Palm trees determine sacred places, Palm seeds accompany oracles and Palm leaves serve in offerings. Continuous interactions with the spiritual world are axiomatically absorbed in childhood, and subsequently reinforced in every phase of life.  

***Palm Oil is called various things all over the world. The Yoruba  call it Epo Pupa–Red Oil whereas it is called “Manteca Corojo” in Spanish. Traditionally, it is a common cooking ingredient dating back centuries, but to the Orishas… it is the food of choice…

                        Eja Gbigbe = Dried Fish…

Fresh fish rapidly deteriorates unless some way can be found to preserve it. Drying is a method of food preservation that works by removing water from the food, which inhibits the growth of microorganisms. Open air drying using sun and wind has been practiced since Ancient times to preserve food.  Fish are preserved through such traditional methods as drying, smoking and salting. Drying food is the world’s oldest known preservation method, and dried fish has a storage life of several years. 

 Eja Gbigbe = Dried Fish  the curled up brown thing you see in the above Photograph is a different breed. You see it all over the markets hung up on long poles or stacked high in buckets. If you don’t see it first, you will definitely smell it. The fish, usually either catfish or small eel, is dried with all the bones and guts inside. It tastes a bit salty and mostly takes on the flavor of whatever soup/stew you eat it with. The fish is treated with salt, either in form of strong brine or a surface coating of dry salt. This combination of reduced moisture and salt inhibit the growth of spoilage bacteria, a basic principle of all cure meats.

The Significance of Yams…

Yam Festival:  It marks the first harvest of Yams during the autumn season, after the monsoon season. The Yam is the staple food crop in West Africa. The first harvest of Yams during the autumnal season, subsequent to the monsoon season. Yam festival has both religious and economic significance. Religiously, the festival is used to thank the God and the Ancestors for the new harvest and to traditionally outdoor the new yam.

The first offering of the crop is made to the Ancestral Gods by the chief priests; the religious rites includes taking the Yams on the second day of the festival in a procession to the Ancestral ground. Music and dance are part of the festivities, the festival is also popular because the Priests supervise  the performance of the ablution ceremony by cleaning all the Ancestral shrines. The Yam is carried by the Priests in a colorful procession for offering to the Ancestors buried in the burial chambers. Only after this offering is completed are people allowed to consume the new crop of yam. A day is observed as a mourning day for the Ancestors and also to keep a fast… 

   Reference Sources: Wikipedia = 

Iyerosun = Opon-Ifa…

                     The Divining Powder (Iyerosun)  

Iyerosun is a powder used in the Yoruba Ifa tradition mainly by Diviners in Ifa divination practices to mark Odu Ifa. It is termite dust from the Irosun tree, the Irosun tree is a special tree that is said to have a connection to the spirit realm. Iyerosun is sprinkled on the Opon- Ifa  (Divination tray) and scattered on its face to imprint the Odu Ifa. This powder is very important to Ifa and a competent Awo can use it to perform wonders. This powder has blessed by God  and whatever a Diviner wishes to do with it shall come to pass as long as it is properly done. The position of Iyerosun in Ifa is such that Ikin cannot be used for consultation in the absence of this powder.

*** By implication, the most sacred aspect of Ifa cannot be carried out without the use of Iyerosun. Ifa tells us what led to the situation where Iyerosun choose never to part with Ifa forever…

Ogbegbarada Adebayo Ebo-Riru

*** The figure of Ifa are marked on the tray in a powder which is scattered on its surface. There are problems in botanical classification and apparently regional variations in the name of the tree, but Iyereosun as the name for the powder is widely recognized. Divining powder Iyerosun is often kept in a bottle or other container. Ifa Diviners bring home a piece of the trunk of the Irosun tree during the dry season and leave it on the ground so that termites can eat it. The termites, they explain eat only the whitish outer parts of the wood.

Initial Invocations: Before the first divination of the day, prayers and invocations are offered to Ifa and other Deities while the apparatus is being arranged. The Diviner sits on a mat with his tray in front of him. He spreads wood dust (Iyerosun) on the tray, and places the divining cup in the center of it. He draws a line clockwise with his finger in the wood dust (Iyerosun) around the base of the divining cup, saying, “I build a house around you, so you can build a house around me, so you can let children and money surround me.” He erases the line with his cow-tail switch, saying, “I pay homage oh..(3x) Homage come to pass…(3x) He takes a little wood dust (Iyerosun) from the tray and places it on the ground, saying “Ground I pay homage; homage come to pass.”

                    ***Opon = Ifa Divination Board…

***Ifa is not merely a Collection of Verses, Proverbs, Parables and Anecdotes. Ifa is God’s Sacred Message to Mankind. It is the embodiment of the totality of human existence. It is also clear that Religion, Worship and Sacrifice are but few aspects of what constitutes the Divine Message known as Ifa. It constitutes what is also known as the Great Mystery System.  

Yoruba Traditional Wood Carving

God gave the holy spirit Orunmila a flawless method of communication between himself and the Orishas. Sixteen is the number of Cosmos; it represents the primal order that issued from the unity of God. Sixteen is also a significant number in the world of computers. When the world was first created, it spread out from an original palm tree that stood at the center of the world at Ile-Ife. The palm tree had sixteen branches, which formed the four cardinal points and the sixteen original quarters of Ile-Ife. The number sixteen represents the variables of the human condition, the sixteen possible situations of human life. The sixteen principle signs are called Odu or Olodu, from each of which are drawn sixteen subordinate signs Omo-Odu, “Children of Odu”.

These are the universal energies that give birth to all given circumstances and situations, all the blessings and misfortunes of the universe are contained within them. It is through the knowledge of these energies, called Odù Ifá, that a Diviner is able to work with individuals to achieve the greatest potential of their destiny. The Odù Ifá are the blueprints to all the energies possible in the Universe. Each has verses of esoteric knowledge associated with it along with Medicines, Rituals, and Sacrifices…

A Diviner uses the Opon Ifá 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. Opon Ifá are flat and usually circular, with a raised outer edge carved with figures, objects, or geometric designs. Opon Ifá  may also be rectangular, semi-circular, or an approximate square. The top of the tray is called the head, and the bottom, the foot – the latter is typically placed closest to the diviner. The diviner, uses several art objects in communicating with the spirit world during divination.   

At the beginning of a divination session, the Ifa diviner will draw a cross-roads pattern on the surface of the Opon Ifa as a sign that this is the place of meeting between human concerns – sickness, barrenness, fear of witchcraft and spiritual powers. It is the place of communication between humans and Orisha Orunmila, the God of wisdom who knows the prenatal destiny (Ori) chosen by each person. The diviner will then use his Iroke Ifa, Ifa tapper to invoke the presence of the Ancient Diviners. Tapping rhythmically, he will call upon Orunmila and Orisha Eshu, to be attentive to what he is doing. Eshu is the guardian of the ritual way, the messenger of the Gods and other spiritual powers, as well as the conveyor of the sacrifices of humans to such powers. Eshu’s face always appears at the top of an Opon Ifa.  

When the holy spirit of Orunmila wants to communicate with you, chances are he’s got what it takes to bypass all the human trappings that people say must be done. Orunmila has so many ways to at his disposal to make an appearance to an individual’s consciousness that it boggles the mind. Conversely, simply because we’ve gone through all the hoops that the community of Ifa worshipers says are necessary in order to become a Diviner doesn’t automatically make us a Diviner. A person can study Odu verses and spiritual text from now until the end of time. However, if the individual s not right in his or her relationship with Orunmila, if they do not embrace social consciousness, if the person does not practice personal integrity, Orunmila would not trust that individual to be his manifestation of spiritual instruction. Only people with the fortitude to maintain their good Character will have his trust to guide others…

*** No Leaf can fall from the Tree without the Authority, Power and Knowledge of God… 

Reference Sources: Wikipedia = William Bascom = 

 

Atare = Agbon = Odidere…

 The Magic of Ataré..”Grains of Paradise = Alligator Pepper”

Guinea Pepper is so called because it is a native plant from the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa. Other common names for this spice are Guinea grains, melegueta pepper, and grains of paradise.  Alligator pepper is a West African spice which corresponds to the seeds and seed pods of Aframomum Danielli. It is a close relative of grains of paradise, obtained from the closely related species, Aframomum Melegueta. However, unlike grains of paradise which are generally sold as only the seeds of the plant, alligator pepper is sold as the entire pod containing the seeds.

The plants which provide alligator pepper are herbaceous perennials of the ginger (Zingiberaceae) family of flowering plants, native to swampy habitats along the West African coast. Once the pod is open and the seeds are revealed, the reason for this spice’s common English name becomes apparent as the seeds have a papery skin enclosing them and the bumps of the seeds within this skin is reminiscent of an alligator’s back. It is a common ingredient in West African cuisine, where it imparts both pungency and a spicy aroma to classic West African soups (stews). Often, a single whole pod is pounded in a pestle and mortar before half of it is added as a flavoring to West African soups. The spice can also be substituted in any recipe using grains of paradise or black cardamom to provide a hotter and more pungent flavor.

It can open the way to communicate with the Orisha and Ancestors, it is the key ingredient in countless Sacrifices and literally there is no major initiation that can proceed without having a bit of its Ashé. It can also be used for protection and even to set wrong doings.In the Orisha community Ataré is also known as Pimienta de Guinea. 

When babies are born in Yoruba culture, they are given a small taste of Alligator Pepper (Atare) shortly after birth as part of the routine baby-welcoming process, and it is also used as an ingredient at traditional meet-and-greets. Alligator Peppers and kola Nuts are presented to guests at the top of the agenda and prior to any other food or entertainment. Prayers and libations are made together with kola Nuts and Alligator Pepper.

Ataré is important because its energy awakes our bodies & spirit, it increases our Ashé, it makes our words carry the heat of creation and it opens doors to the realm of the Ancestors and Orisha. However, the value of Ataré goes beyond the spiritual reasons our bright Ancestors recognized centuries ago.

                         *** Agbon = The Coconut Oracle ***

 Coconut Palm Tree = “Tree of Life from heaven” 

There is no doubt that the ritual of breaking the Coconut has its origins in Hindu practice. There is no doubt that it is performed by people of all religions today in India. It is even performed in enterprises conducted by the state, which are supposed to be truly secular.

Smashing the coconut is symbolic of annihilating the Ego and Humbling oneself before God. Whenever a work of magnitude is undertaken it is natural for the persons involved to feel a sense of pride at what they are setting out to achieve or what they have achieved. This ritual indicates that the actual “doer” is God and humans are merely instruments in his hands. Coconuts are also broken before the deities in temples during normal worship. Again, the philosophy is the same – complete submission to God.

Coconut Palm Tree is called the ‘Tree of Life’, ‘The tree from heaven which gives all that you desire’ by those living in coastal areas. As a thanksgiving to God and a symbolic gesture, for the path to Self Realization which you tend to forget in the midst of the stress and strain of day to day living.

*** Coconut is a symbol of selfless service to the almighty. Each and every part of the coconut is of use to mankind. Nurturing a Coconut tree does not require much effort. It can grow all on its own and serves the mankind in many ways.

The Evolution of Obi Abata to Coconut: Divination is performed using four pieces of Coconut meat in Santería Lukumí.  When the Lukumí people were abducted to Cuba, they found themselves in a different climate where many of their native plants did not grow. Kola Nuts do not grow on the island of Cuba, and yet the Lukumí people needed to perform Obí Abata divination to begin restoring their religious practices. They decided to innovate and used Coconut meat instead of kola Nut (Obí Abata). By cracking open a Coconut and extracting its meat then dividing it into four pieces, they developed a suitable alternative for Obí Abata divination. Over the years, and with the loss of fluency in the Lukumí dialect, Santeria adherents fell into the habit of referring to Coconuts as Obí since they were being used in the Obí Abata system of divination. But in the strictest sense, the Lukumí word obí actually refers to Obi Abata, and Agbon is the proper word for Coconut.

*** Coconut water is an essential spiritual item which stand for mystery and parity. We are require to apply Coconut water to this great bath ritual rites to purify ourselves. What we are suffering from is unknown to us, our enemy is known to us, items they used for the evil spells are unknown to us: mystery. For our deliverance to reach 100% purity, Coconut water must be involved. Remember, literary, coconut is been used to reduce or dilute the effectiveness of drug. The amount of injury, harm, pains, and suffer our enemies leveled against must be fight using mystic force of Coconut water.

*** The Coconut is an independent object of worship… A coconut  The fruit of God, alone is also used to symbolize ‘God’ While worshiping any deity. The three eyes of the coconut represent the three eyes of unknowns. In India one of the most common offerings in a temple is a Coconut. It is also offered occasions like weddings, festivals, the use of a new vehicle, bridge, house etc. In traditional ritual done in all temples and many homes, several materials are poured over the deity like milk, curd, honey, tender coconut water, sandal paste, holy ash etc. Each material has a specific significance of bestowing certain benefits on worshipers. The Coconut also symbolizes selfless service. Every part of the tree -the trunk, leaves, fruit, coir etc, is used in innumerable ways like thatches, mats, tasty dishes, oil, soap etc.

Parrot =  Odidere = Ayekooto :  The World Reject Truth

The Magic in a Feather: A Feather Found***A Gift From SpiritThe Birds are sacred and special in various ways and thus make them to be different from other Birds. One of these Birds is a Bird named Parrot =  Odidere = Ayekooto which means = The World Reject Truth… because they believe the Bird is strictly a Bird that say nothing but the truth. This Bird is a special bird with many beautiful features and brilliant characteristics that makes it different from just any other Bird. Legend has it that during the Ancient times of myth, animals including Birds speaks and understand the human language. And it is believed till this day that Odidere = Ayekooto still retain this special mystical power to speak, hear, and understand the language of human.

Parrot spirit animal is the wise teacher of the power of your words, spoken or not spoken, for even the silent. Words in your mind are driving you forward, having dominion over your choices and the paths you take. Parrot reflects to us the immense power of our inner mind. Parrot spirit animal shares his wisdom; to take care in the words you speak and the secrets thoughts you carry.

In forest one can easily see other Birds like pigeon, sparrow, dove and even hawk. But to see this Bird named Parrot = Odidere you will have to go deep into the thick deep forest because it is not a common Bird, and even the nest of this sacred Bird is hardly seen by people. It is even the belief that the egg of Odidere is a sacred object that cannot be seen by a mortal, and thus make it so rare to be seen in open places. The feather of Odidere is used by royalty and it is a symbol of the elite. A symbolic special Bird that combines its beauty together with its mystical attributes… (Obatala Odidere-Crown Ogbe Ose)

Parrot is symbolic of truth telling = Speaking from the center of the heart. As Parrot speaks back to you the words you have spoken, you hear your own words with no filter. This is a powerful reflection of self, as you able to recognize the truth of your own words and what you are communicating or you will be reminded of the secrets that you are keeping, or the untruths that are being told. Parrot is a great teacher of communication and brings guidance and assistance in your ability to communicate that which you really feel.

Feathers come from Birds and so are thought to be magical by association. Birds have long been regarded as messengers to the Gods, as Ancient people believed they would carry messages to and from the heavens. Birds were the only animals who could defy gravity, and so they were sacred to many cultures around the world in old times. Because of this, their feathers were regarded as gifts from the Gods…and today if a feather is found it is said to be a gift from Spirit—be it a person’s spirit guide, angel, or deceased loved one. There is something special in every found feather, and feathers can be used to bring good things into one’s life. Every Bird’s feather contains the power of the Universe… Feathers are magically ruled by the element of Air. But each feather also can hold other special powers; depending on the bird it came from, its color and place of discovery and other factors.   

The feather represents the element of air, of the intellect and the realm of thought, which is the first step toward creation. Bird feathers are symbols of the wind, the mind and new opportunities. Finding a feather can also be a sign that we are connecting to the divine and the creator God. Finding Bird feathers is a reflection of change and of reaching new levels of consciousness.  

*** Orisha Worshiper practices open pathways to the sublime in all of us, and foster a deep and loving respect for all that lives through stones, crystals, trees, plants, animals and humans themselves. To the Worshiper, all is alive, all is sacred and all is connected in a cosmic web of beauty…  

  Reference Sources: Wikipedia =

Ogbo Edan *** Ogboni Society…

*** Good Character Is What Adorns A Man…  

Ooni Adesoji Aderemi Ile-Ife Yoruba

Ogboni  =  known as Osugbo in Ijèbú  is a fraternal institution indigenous to the Yoruba language-speaking polities of Nigeria, Republic of Bénin and Togo, as well as among the Edo/Benin people groups. The society performs a range of political and religious functions, including exercising a profound influence on regents and serving as high courts of jurisprudence in capital offenses. Its members are generally considered to be part of the nobility of the various Yoruba kingdoms of West Africa.

Though versions or lodges of this fraternal group are found among the various types of Yoruba polities – from highly centralized kingdoms and empires like Oyo, to the independent towns and villages of the Ègbá and the Èkiti. The Ogboni are recognizable for their veneration of the personified Earth (Ilè or Oduduwa) and their emphasis on both authority and benevolent service to the community. While membership in the Ogboni generally signified a high level of power and prestige, the society held pre-eminent political authority among decentralized groups like the Ègbá, where they were intimately involved in the selection of rulers that served as little other than figureheads in practice. In contemporary Yoruba land, Ogboni members still command great power and influence in the affairs of their societies, although this is largely due to the history of their respective chieftaincies and not to any official authority.

Ogboni lodges were one of the main commissioners of brass jewelry and sculpture in pre-colonial Yoruba land, using the metal’s rust-resistant qualities as an apt metaphor for the immortal functions and beliefs of Ogboni adepts. The most recognizable of these symbols was a pair of Ogboni initiates, one male and one female, attached by a chain and worn around the neck. The pair are thought to symbolize the attachment of the sexes in procreation and balanced society. Generally, one or both figures will hold a thumb in the grip of the opposite hand, demonstrating the paramount Ogboni handsign denoting initiation and membership.

Various fraternities in Nigeria have incorporated references and insignia from the original Ogboni, including the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity, the Indigenous Ogboni, and various others. Many of these contemporary societies combine elements of Ogboni’s historical functions with superficially similar institutions like Freemasonry and the Rotary Club.

Olori Oluwo Ogboni Ibadan

Similar traditional institutions combining political, judicial, and sacred duties exist among the various ethnic nationalities of southern Nigeria, including Nze na Ozo in Igbo-speaking southeast Nigeria and Ekpe/Ngbe/Ugbe in the Cross River region of southeastern Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon. Initiatory secret societies are a common feature of pre-colonial government across much of West Africa and Central Africa.

Oluaye Oba Ogboni Agbaye

History and Structure: With regard to how to describe the Ogboni,  members of the Ogboni “society” would likely take offence at having their organization referred to as a “cult” or a “secret society” and would probably refer to themselves as a “lodge” similar to that of the Masons. In Nigeria the Ogboni are commonly referred to as a “secret society” by Nigerians, but that Ogboni members would likely self-identify the group as a social club whose members help each other in matters such as commerce, marriage. Consequently, in this Response the Ogboni will be referred to as a Society. There has been a lot of “cross-fertilization” between the Masons and groups such as the Ogboni, since there are many Masons in Nigeria and that they have been there since the 19th century.  

  The traditional Ogboni society was part of the checks and balances system of the Yoruba kingdoms. They were kingmakers, and disposed of both a religious as well as a judicial function. They had also the power to dethrone the Oba (the king) and could order him to kill himself. They are thought to still dispose of considerable local influence, forming part of the traditional power network to regulate societies and control resources. It is assumed that through their membership they also have strong connections to official state structures.  

  First we have the Osugbo gbede which is normally referred to as being owned by the Oba. This is for the Oba’s chiefs. There is Ogboni Aborigine fraternity of Nigeria, there is Iwule Ogboni and it is believed to be for the elderly four. Firstly we have Ogboni Out Ife, there is Ogboni Arapa Nika, this came from Akoko in Ondo State, there is Ogboni Ara Ife, there is Ogboni Akala, and there is Ogboni Agamasa, Ogboni Ogenete and also the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity which came out of Ogboni Aborigine.  

 The Osugbo’s being titled chief of the Oba can however attend functions of the Aborigine because they are respected members of the society. It is therefore not expressly possible for a member of one society to gatecrash into another’s. Asked to state when the traditional Ogboni was created, the Oluwo Ogboni Aborigine, Iledi Iyadamilola I, Imota Chief Emmanuel Olatunji Akinyemi said nobody could say when Ogboni started. “What is known about Ogboni is that they existed before the advent of colonialism, they ruled with the Oba, they governed and adjudicated matters in traditional ways and they were so meticulous that even when the colonialists came, they found the system so formidable that they coudn’t tamper with it,” he explained.  

  *** Ogboni society, including its history, structure, rituals and Sources indicate that information about the Ogboni society is limited. Several sources also indicate that they are referred to as a “secret” society or as a “cult”.   

Ogboni Society…

Historical Background: Ogboni society is an “assembly of elders” that created a cult based on the cosmology of Yoruba.   The Ogboni considered themselves as the “privileged intermediaries between the Living and the Ancestors”. They venerated mother Earth or goddess Earth, Sources indicate that the Ogbonis acted as the “check and balance” against the power of the king to the point of having the authority to remove him if necessary. The Ogbonis had judicial functions, their primary role was the preservation of the “Ife oracle”.  Priests of the Obgoni society are often called on to consult the oracle to determine a number of sensitive issues, such as Ancestral support for the King. In fact, members of the Obgoni society are Guardians and Protectors of the Divine Oracle and Laws. The Ogboni society was the highest court in Yorubaland, with the power to judge powerful individuals that did not face justice in the open judicial system.  

Apena Ogboni Oranfe

The only Yoruba parts of Nigeria where they still have some real influence on the traditional administration of the cities are in the Egba, Egbado and Abeokuta parts of Nigeria.  However, the Ogboni still have “quite significant” influence and power over the affairs of the nation. Nevertheless, the political integrity of both the Ogboni Society and the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity “has been called into question given their strong links with Freemasonry, the Rotary Club, or the Rosicrucian Brotherhood”.  All Ogbonis are under the authority of the political leader, referred to as the Alafin, who has the authority to convoke the priests into “extraordinary sessions”.   However, the structure of the Ogboni society is a “secret that only an Ogboni member can answer,” risking death by poisoning.

Rituals and Ceremonies: particularities about the rituals and ceremonies of the Ogboni society are a “Secret that Only an Ogboni Member can Answer,” risking his or her own death. Membership is open to Yorubas and other ethnicities, and that men and women are eligible for initiation within the society, although the “predominance of Male Elders is undeniable”.

The society is “potentially very dangerous for individuals who join them”.  Even though positions within the Ogboni society are not inherited, if one person’s parent was a member of the Ogboni Society, and that person had been exposed to their activities meetings held at his or her parents’ house while the child was present so that over the years the child grew up knowing the identities of the Ogboni; or the parent deliberately pledged that his or her child would become a member.  In most situations, individuals deliberately and voluntarily join these societies because they want power, financial rewards, and success….  

Lanre Awoyemi Oluwo Ejaloninbu

*** The Apena was the spokesman of the Ogboni society which was a central and important institution in all Yoruba states. The Ogboni has been defined as a ‘secret and ritually united corporation of political and religious leaders and its special priest. The Egba Ogboni as the ‘real leaders of the town’. The Ogboni was once the civic court, the town council and the Electoral College… In principle the Ogboni stood between the King and his subjects, preventing the one from being despotic and ensuring the proper subordination of the other.

Oluaye Oba Ogboni Agbaye & Ogboni Society of Cuba                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Reference Sources: Wikipedia =

Orogbo = Bitter Kola Spiritual Benefits…

*** I have tasted and eaten Orogbo in the physical state of existence. Let my voice and my life attract longevity and sound health in the universe. The force behind Orogbo gives us  the power to enjoy longevity in the universe. Yearly , we set our eyes on Orogbo  at the market place.  I have eaten Orogbo in the physical existence let me live long , live old and live well in the world – let me live a life dignifies of an Orisha devotee before joining my Ancestors.

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.

 The importance of Orogbo during initiation process, sacrifice, propitiation of head, prayer and other essential spiritual steps, before and after Orisha activities cannot be quantified, but it is important to know that Orogbo during divination is equally important, if just to be at the pocket of highly revered Babalawo . The presence of Orogbo depicts longevity for Babalawo and those around him, just like the presence of obi means, evil has no portion in the surroundings of a highly respected and honored Babalawo .

Just like any other Yoruba words , the word Orogbo is coined and derived from two words – oro and gbo.  Oro means very small, round, while Gbo means longevity, eternal, everlasting. when the two words are blended together, it becomes a unified and spiritually blessed word called Orogbo , which consequently means, a round fruits that attract longevity, everlasting blessing, enduring health and perpetual blessing of longevity .

During, initiations or any sacrificial steps, or ritual  or propitiation, Orogbo is used to pray for longevity, sound health, peace, harmony, and happiness. Indeed a man with the blessing of long life and sound health, so also his loved ones enjoy the same degree of health and longevity  is indeed a blessed man in the jungle of life that is filled with mishap, untimely death and sorrow. The name of the fruits Orogbo  is coined to denote Iwure (prayer), it is a spiritual seed  that establish the power of divinities with abundant  trait of long life  and sound health . However during  Initiations, Sacrifice or Ajiki , which is early morning prayer, Orisha devotees or seeker of truth through the tradition of Orisha, are required to pray and eat  part of this fruits, to serve as alignment  with the force and natural energies  embedded in the nature. Orisha is a religion or philosophy based on the use of natural materials in the nature .

While Obi Abata is perceived to be a Female fruit energy, that give birth to Male and Female alike, Orogbo is a Male fruit energy  that fail to have lobes or part like Obi. Orogbo can be cut into pieces either by teeth or knife, it has no parts, but a hard fruit that shows natural toughness and ruggedness. While obi is easily breakable with just hand and it is used also to denote the Feminine part of the universal force or energy. Orogbo represents   the dominant energy of God  with unique characteristics of solidity , strength , firmness and oneness of energy in the universe. Orogbo symbolizes  unilateral force of God  which means life, wisdom, strength, victory, longevity and sound health in abundance. Orogbo also denotes that life in any way cannot be explained or invented  except through divine  and spiritual understanding and wisdom .  

Orogbo according to above explanation is an object that represents the uniqueness and unified energy and vibration  of God in our lives. If all necessary spiritual, physical, mental, moral and emotional obligation are followed, happy lot, success,  longevity and sound health will be out lot, that is the meaning of Orogbo .

*** 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. ***  

Reference Sources: Wikipedia = 

 

 

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.

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. 

Reference Sources: Wikipedia = William Bascom

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.

Reference Sources: Wikipedia = 

 

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.

Reference Sources: Wikipedia = Awo Falokun =

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.