I'm attempting to reach out to fellow readers and bloggers alike on a subject that many will overlook only to suit it to their lifestyle or belief. I won't hate on that, however, I feel that no one is owed anything without giving proper credit and thanks to those that have laid the foundation before us. This blog is dedicated to Dr. Afolabi O. Epega, my ancestors, my ori, and those that I have come in contact with that have helped me move forward in life, as well as I unto them.
One thing that Ifa has taught me is that you cannot do anything or go forward without mentioning those that stood behind you. We stand upon the shoulders of our ancestors. It's been said time and time again. I wonder if we are starting to lose touch with our teachers and trailblazers because of what Western society deems as 'self-deserving notoriety' in the technology age. One thing that is repeated in the lineage is that we know our information and continue to study life and nature. The ebb and flow of this surreal and very tangible existence before us calls us to react in a way that our spirits are not affected detrimentally by what we acquire, but what we've learned. Not by what we see, but what we feel. I was taught that you must "sacrifice the chicken within, in order to before we sacrifice outside ourselves". My mom always taught me to put a 'handle' (a proper address, such as Mister, Madame, Mademoiselle) on the greeting to an adult. Sitting down with elders unlock treasures and stories unheard of and so valued that you'd not want for the foolish reality shows. I have seen how we must consult our family and elder community, before we start anything, for their permission.
Respect comes in many forms.
In my six years of up-close Ifa experience, I have seen things that Dr. Epega and a host of African spiritualists, (or shall I say 'spiritual influences'), appear and manifest before me in astounding ways. To unlock the faith and strength within, through turmoil and through triumph, makes you wonder why do we struggle to understand others' behaviors? Ah, if only everybody understood Ifa the way that Jordan understood the game of hoops. It was one thing to comprehend Christianity, another to tolerate Islam. Both are somewhat dependant of the African lineage of the honing of oneself, spiritually. Somehow, invading became a big ordeal in order to spread the 'enlightenment'. Unloading your beliefs upon a culture to improve your cultural and political status is out. It's still being done today, but not as subtle, if it was at all. What gets me is that most Traditional African practitioners are looked upon as outcasts by the multitude, yet the ones that lead these hordes are secretly consulting the oracle (Ashe-O)! I don't want to give nor withhold too much of what I know, so I will just say this about what I believe Ifa has done for me. When I started to walk out of the boundaries of Christianity and searched for more slightly on Islam, I found out that the two don't contrast as much. In more than one instance they mention each other's prophets, guidelines, and even how they greet each other in a closely connected language. With Ifa, these differences are demolished by simply undressing the title of a person's beliefs and addressing them within their spiritual paths and taboos. I always tell the story of how I was pulled over by policemen, searched, harassed, and then arrested and taken to jail numerous times. Was it my first significant taste of discrimination, exuded upon me by the self-hatred of others? After all, a 'sista' called them on me, and they were two Hispanic officers with tazers and a glock pointed at me. I wasn't in the wrong, and yet, this was the time that I would experience why it must happen. I've been mired in the works of Ogun and Ochossi all of my life. However, in one instance, I was told to come to court for a judgment, and three days before that my life was changed in significant fashion. That will be revealed in part two.
It is believed that the only things that are certain are the days of a person's birth and death. Anything else can be manipulated to suit or help with the flow of your life's path. However, it is also said that to work against your ancestors is ruination and certain unease throughout your life. I've heard one person mention to me that it's (IFA) only significant if you believe in that type of energy. What you believe in isn't the problem. How you react and respect nature is.there are some Christians living the high life without acknowledging any Traditional African spirituality. There are some that practice Voodoo, Vodou, Voudon (sp), Lucumi, Santeria, Hoodoo, Candomble, Palo, Chango Baptiste, whatever type that is a derivative of the systems of Ghana, Congo, Egypt, and Nigeria, and they are wildin' out. However there are reasons for everything. Since I've been here, and only ONCE to Nigeria, I've come to realize that more of my blood leave the mother continent to search for God, Goods, and Glory...through CHRIST that strengthens them. My elder, Dr. Epega, mentions that they're just revering someone else's ancestor (that he is the most overused). So poetic, seeing that we don't search within the self, in order to better one's knowledge of using and misusing universal energy. After all, this shit ain't ours to keep...the energy we are given is to repair past lives, past situations, redeem, settle debts, find harmony and love, and redo this all over again. (TBC)
Feather's Reflection (an excerpt from Two's Day) - by: K. Jefferson In the gift, I am ever present... living and dying. rising and falling. victor and victim. mother and father. sage and scientist. savi...
5 years ago