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… 

                             ***Snails as human food…   

When the word “snail” is used in this most general sense, it includes not just land snails but also numerous species of sea snails and freshwater snails. Snails have considerable human relevance, including as food items, as pests, as vectors of disease, and their shells are used as decorative objects and are incorporated into jewelry. The snail has also had some cultural significance, and has been used as a metaphor. Both snails that have lungs and snails that have gills have diversified so widely over geological time that a few species with gills can be found on land and numerous species with lungs can be found in freshwater.  

Snails can be found in a very wide range of environments, including ditches, deserts, and the abyssal depths of the sea. Although land snails may be more familiar to laymen, marine snails constitute the majority of snail species, and have much greater diversity and a greater biomass. Numerous kinds of snail can also be found in fresh water.

In parts of West Africa, specifically Ghana, snails are served as a delicacy. Ghana tiger snails, are also known as some of the largest snails in the world. In Cameroon, snails, usually called ‘nyamangoro’ and ‘slow boys’ are a delicacy especially to natives of the South West region of Cameroon. The snails are either eaten cooked and spiced or with a favorite dish called ‘eru’.

The Yoruba religion uses snails in different ways: to offer them to the Orishas, to cook them and eat them after an offering, to appease certain religious entities,  to drink the dribble of the snail, for preparation of medicine, for preparation of very powerful religious powders, for preparation of consecrating baths for religious icons and religious initiations, for preparation of medicinal and religious soaps, creams.

***Orisha Foods***
Ogun: roasted yam, palm wine, rooster, Dog.
Sango: Amala and Gbegiri, Agbo(Ram), Rooster.
Òsun: Adiye agada, Sekete drink, Corn meal and Vegetable, Yam porridge.
Egbe: Fruits, Ekuru, he goat, corn meal and vegetable.
Egungun: Moinmoin, Akara, Eko, Rooster.
Òrìsà Oko: Pounded yam, Mellon soup.
Osu: Rooster
Obatala: Snail, Guinee Pepper, Egusi Ito, Dry Catfish.
Aje: Ekuru, Honey, Ripe Banana, Boiled egg, Pigeon.
Esu: Rooster, He goat, Akara, Pigeon.
Orí: Coconut, Catfish, Pig, Akara.
Yemoja: Vegetable with Onions
Orisa Ibeji: Beans and Stew.

===== Orisha Taboos (Eewo)=====

OBATALA: Hates Palm wine (emu), Dog (aja), Palm oil (epo pupa). OGUN: Dislike Cricket (ire). Snake (ejo), and Deer (Agbonrin) OSUN: Abhors Guinea corn (oka baba), Solanum nigrum (efo odu) Solanum macrocarpum(efo osun),Tears, and Sheep(Aguntan) EGUNGUN: Disgust Red monkey (ijimere), Making of fire in the grove, Weeding with hoe in the grove, and Obo (Monkeys) SANGO: Loathe Roebuck (Eran esuro), Yam beans (Ewa Sise) ESU: Black palm kernel Oil (Adin), Hot liquid, Obi gbanja (two eye kola nuts), Dog and tortoise IYAMI: Resent Bitter leaf (ewuro), cow bones (eegun eran), Coconut oil, palm kernel Oil Adin), and Offensive Odor. OYA: Feel hostile towards Pigeon (eyele), Squirrel (Okere), Native African Mango (Oro) Irvingia gabonensis. ORO: Is angered by Red monkey (ijimere), Making of fire in the grove, Weeding with hoe in the grove, and Obo (Monkeys)

   Reference Sources: Wikipedia = Ogunda Bede = Google Search/Photo

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.

Tray set up for sacrifice (Ebo) where Iyerosun is applied
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 Iyerosun 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.

Diviners in the process of consulting Ifa

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.  

Tray of Ifa where Iyerosun is applied
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”.

Tray with Iyerosun powder

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…

Unique Tray of Ifa where Iyerosun is applied

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.   

Rectangular tray of Ifa where Iyerosun is applied

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.  

Opon Ifa - Tray of Ifa used in divination where Iyerosun is applied

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 =  Ifasola Ogundabe Ajigbotifa = Google Search/Photo = Babalawo Obanifa =

 

 

Secrets of Water…

***I Tell You The Truth, No One Can Enter The Kingdom of God Unless He/She is Born of Water & The Spirit…

*** Water is a mystical element that can transform our lives if we are willing to open heart and mind to its gifts. No matter what the specific health or fitness goal, one cannot achieve the maximum benefit from any health program without drinking the right kind of water in the proper amount. Without sufficient water to constantly wet all parts, your body’s drought-management system kicks into action. When histamine and its subordinate “drought managers” come across pain-sensing nerves, they cause pain.

Many religions also consider particular sources or bodies of water to be sacred or at least auspicious.

A Water Deity is a deity in mythology associated with water or various bodies of water. Water deities are common in mythology and were usually more important among civilizations in which the sea or ocean, or a great river were present.  Another important focus of worship of water deities were springs or holy wells.

Experts in the scientific communities as well as homeopathy and holistic sciences have proven the “memory” of water; the carrying capacity of water for “energy,” and the ability of water to “remember”. Experts realize that water retains information, even after the most stringent purification and filtration processes. This is termed the energy signature or vibration imprint. The vibration imprint of toxins can be picked up by the water molecule and are in turn passed on to living organisms.

The true nature of water, which is the source of life – is unknown.

We still know very little about the fascinating properties of water and its secrets. Water hides a lot of power that we are able to release and shape with the help of the energy of our strong emotions, both positive and negative.

Messages from Water – Claims that human consciousness has an effect on the molecular structure of water. Water reacts to our words and depending on what we say and what emotions accompany our words, it creates either beautiful and harmonious shapes or ugly and irregular ones. Water has a memory – a memory far longer than our transient lifetimes. Water is an amazing substance capable of efficient gathering of information from all things as soon as it comes in contact with them.

In an experiment, water was exposed to different sounds and messages of hatred, anger, love, blessings, traditional music, etc, and then analyzed it in a microscope. The results were amazing: when the words or sounds were negative, the waves emitted from these sounds generated ugly and shapeless crystals in the water and, on the other hand, when the words or sounds were kind and positive the crystals had beautiful and perfectly well defined crystals.

Water Is Powerful It Can Wash Away Earth, Put Out Fire & Even destroy Iron. Water Can Carve Its Way Through Stone. And When Trapped, Water Makes A New Path… Water is “probably the most weird substance on Earth,” It behaves very differently from other materials. Water is indispensable for humanity, we use it for almost all our activities. When you dream and you see water in your dream, it can mean variety of things. Seeing water in your dreams could mean Wealth – Peace of mind- Happiness – Anger…

To See: …A flowing river in your dream it mean your journey in life is clean and running fast it mean the dreamer is progressing developing with no disturbance. If the river is running slowly it mean the dreamer is not progressing in his or her journey of life.  A violent water in your dream it mean the dreamer is likely to encounter big problem beyond his or her control. It also mean the dreamers should control his/her temper.  A muddy or unclean water in your dream  mean that the dreamer dwell his or her life in negativity, the mind of the dreamer is beclouded by negative thoughts. The dreamer is experiencing halt or stoppage in his /her spiritual, physical and economic development.

A water deity is a deity in mythology associated with water or various bodies of water. Water deities are common in mythology and were usually more important among civilizations in which the sea or ocean, or a great river was more important. Another important focus of worship of water deities were springs or holy wells.

 Nothing Is Softer or More Flexible Than Water – Yet Nothing Can Resist It…

Without Hands & Feet This Mighty Water Can Drive Mountains… 

Reference Sources: Wikipedia = Google Search/Photo =