“INVISIBLE BLACKNESS: One-drop rule in Orisa/Ifa practice in the Diaspora”

By Iyalemole Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi-Fabuluje

April 9th, 2020

US, Florida: Racism runs deep in the Ifa and Orisha practices. Racism comes in many forms. Google defines racism as “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.” Many cultures can exhibit prejudice and discrimination. Even when it comes to customs and religious rituals.

For centuries, the one-drop rule was a way to assign a person minority status. Davis (2014) said the “one-drop rule” declared that if a person had one drop of African blood in the diaspora (America), the person is Black (African American). It is also “known as the one black ancestor rule, [and] some courts have called it the traceable amount rule” (Davis, 2014). Today, the people this rule is applied to are called “mixed race” or “other”. The one-drop practice dates back to 1662 in the U.S. (Bradt, 2010). There are more questions than answers here when we apply it to Ifa and Orisha practices. To illustrate, the Lucumi/Santeria Orisa/Ifa odu provide prescriptions which tell a person to not marry a Black person, or a mulatto woman, or only marry a white person. Regardless, if you are a mixed or mulatto individual – you are an African descendant (Miller, 2017). We observe the non-white person is disqualified as white. My theory is that time caused the interpreters to change the Odu to fit the communities they served.

“The anomalies of personal identity resulting from the one-drop rule are apparently never ending” (Winthrop, 2014). One-drop indicated the person had African ancestry regardless, gender, age, and ethnics. Chronometric assessment of a person skin complexion, which is referring to hue-man of color (Winthrop, 2014). Yorubas use the word “Oyinbo”. Does that reflex a foreigner or a Caucasian person? What is the Black person with one-drop Caucasian blood? Or would a person be called mulatto because they are neither Black nor White. Winthrop (2014) stated that “the one-drop rule has always depended on racial physiognomic distinctions.” I am saying all this to give a brief summary and provide a conceptual view on who is the owner of Orisa/Ifa.

In the years of 2009 and 2010, there were heavy battles between various cultural groups and the Ifa Council on the initiation of P. Ricans, whites, and so-on. I received an “open letter to Ifa Council attachment June 24, 2010” that was posted in the Orishanla-yahoo group. The major concept was the views of the African American men “place in the unfolding cosmos is such that he is totally unable to comprehend the major questions on the existence of the Almighty (Olodumare).” For instance, does Olodumare, Ifa, and Orunmila belong to one race and does Orunmila and Olodumare appear for one race more over the others. Also, the open letter stated that “They [Black men] lack the comparative sense of being able to see Yoruba (ifa) religion as just, another system – superstition, belief, world view, cosmogony or whatever.” Does the “invisible blackness”, the one-drop rule, count as the right for all to be initiated into Ifa/Orisa?  In addition, Emerwo Biakolo wrote in ‘Nigerian Guardian’ of 28th November 1992: “Do men believe just because they want to or because the object of their faith is credible?” Is it credible to accept that racism, discrimination, partiality and crass ignorance of the future are part of the God-concept?” (Open letter, 2010).

One major question which keeps popping up in the orisha and Ifa practices in the diaspora is who has the right to be initiated to Orisha or Ifa. This in addition to the question of who has the right to maintain the information and rituals of the Orisha and Ifa. It has been a push and pull (Odu Ika meji) situation with the appearance of photos of various cultures dressed in Ifa initiation ceremonial attire or changing their social media names to Yoruba names. Many people of color feel betrayed, while the Lucumi/Santeria folks feel that they have been betrayed by their priests who initiated African Americans in the diaspora. Who is right? Who is wrong?

From the traditional odu Ejiogbe it says, “Ifa says that this person has a light-skinned woman at home… He should offer a sacrifice so that Death doesn’t take her away.” Also, in the same odu Ifa says, “Saara ga, Eji furu cast Ifa for Oyinbo the child of the one who transforms Ogun (the deity of iron) into an idol when they were going to leave Ile-Ifẹ.” Further in the odu Ejiogbe Ifa says, “the Oyinbo [white people] in the time of the ancestors when they left Ile-Ifẹ. This was because at that time, their parents, the ones who gave birth to them, Ọrunmila told them that the children would be strange and peculiar, the children that they would have.” KTravule (2013) defined the word ‘Oyinbo’ as being “Igbo words that produced ‘Oyi – ibo’ instead of  ‘onyi igbo’ meaning ‘Igbo person’ just as he ‘the white man’ was called ‘onye ocha’ meaning ‘white person… This would later be adopted by other Southern Nigerian tribes as the standard name for the white man and coupled with dialect variance one obtains different pronunciations such as ‘Oyinbo’ in Yoruba and other western Nigerian tribes.” In time, Oyinbo was also referred when speaking about any foreigner whether they be American, Cuban, Brazilian, and so-on.

Technically, if every individual has DNA connecting to one woman originating in Africa called “Eve,” then we can be considered as one cell divided into many cells of existence. Ifa has no color line or ancestors as well as orisha because odu will state who you should be with regardless who is sitting on the mat. It is understandable that the practice belongs to a group of people because they gave birth to the practice. However, initiation to Orisa or Ifa shouldn’t be based on the color of a person’s skin or the purity of their African lineage, but on the integrity of that person’s character. I believe that Nigerians and Cubans can be selfish when it comes to initiating African Americans or any other culture, race, or gender. In reverse, African Americans too can be selfish with the orisha and Ifa along with their Olowus who taught them to be so. It is sad that each selfish culture’s interpretation of how to practice mixed with racism are dictating how Ifa and orisha practices will survive in the future. There is too much division between Orisa and Ifa initiates, devotees, Awos, and oloshas. The survival of the practice will vanish.

 

References:

Bradt, S. (2010). One-drop rules persists. Science & Technology: The Harvard Gazette. Retrieved from https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/20120/12/one-drop-rule-persists/

Davis, F. J. (2014). Who is Black?: One nation’s definition. PBS WUFT. Retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jefferson/mixed/onedrop.html/

Jordan, W. D. (2014). Historical origins of the one-drop racial rule in the United States. Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies, 1(1). Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/91g761b3

Miller, Y. (2017). U.S. still clings to one-drop rule. The Bay State Banner. Retrieved from https://www.baystatebanner.com/2017/12/27/U-S-still-cling-to-one-drop-rule/

n.d. (2009). Chapter 14: Racial inequality. Retrieved from https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/

n.d. (2020). “Yoruba Culture faces extinction. Araba Ifayemi Elebuibon” Retrieved from https://youtu.be/8WK7Paawwns

 

 

 

“EGALITARIAN SPIRITUALITY IN ORISA-IFA DIASPORA PRACTICES”

By Iyalemole Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi-Fabuluje

March 5th, 2020

 

US, Florida: Prejudice and discriminatory activities take on many forms (Klocker & deRaaf, 2013). “Prejudice means an unjustified or incorrect attitude towards an individual or group” (McLeod, 2008).  Discrimination is when someone acts unjustifiably against an individual due to their gender, age, and group (Odu Ogunda Iwori). In Orisa and Ifa practice within the diaspora, discrimination and prejudiced behavior (Odu Ose Iwori) against women never ceases. It is “hostile ill-treatment, especially, because of …patriarchy religious beliefs [about women]” (Google, n.d.). I believe egalitarian values would decrease the negative behaviors and treatment directed against women.

Gradually over time, women have been treated as slaves and servants during Orisa and Ifa practices in the diaspora. Women have been spending lots of money travelling for initiations only be placed in the kitchen or degraded as pointless individuals. On social media, there are several pages created by men in the Orisa and Ifa religion in the diaspora both degrading and fraudulently accusing women over various things including being worthless Iyanifas or orisa priestesses. It is even worst when women attack other women like the misogynistic males. At the end of the day, spirituality has no gender division or authoritarian approach. Inequality is the lack of egalitarian values which creates a gap – and should be avoided – so, what should be done (Zack, 2018)? The “approach needed is strikingly egalitarian spirituality” (Leigh, 2018).

First, egalitarianism derived from the French word égal that means equal or equality (Leigh, 2018). Egalitarian is “believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities” (Google Directory, n.d.). The opposites of egalitarianism are elitism and complementarianism. Originally, Orunmila did not see women as imbalanced or chaos. Orunmila stresses that balance is the act of a spiritual equality between genders because the universe is one and this spiritual concept is empowering when one knows they are one with the universe. In other words, every human being is one with the universe and both rise and return to it. This is an egalitarian metaphor of spiritualism and connection to the Orisa (forces of nature) and Ifa. Johnson, Carroll, and Gottschall (2008) indicated that “no one is more special or elite than anyone else – we are all part of the same universe.” In addition, egalitarianism is like a relationship, working together equally, and sharing the duties and responsibilities like the opele chain. Egalitarian spirituality is the real way forward for the future stability of worshipping and practicing Orisa and Ifa in the diaspora.

Traditional religions have become more and more misogynistic. Genders warring against genders and then calling the war one side created wrong. Women should be seen equal to men in Ifa and Orisa rituals and practices by seeking balance and or reclaiming balance. Imbalance is not empowering anyone regardless of their gender. Without a doubt, “women [should] be able to exercise the same spiritual authority [rites]” (Johnson et al., 2008) as male Awos in ceremonies and rituals do.

A spiritual egalitarianism approach is to have equilibrium between the men and the women in the Orisa and Ifa practices. For instance, the female sits and divines while the male serves coffee and water switching off equally and sharing responsibility. Nevertheless, there are many different equilibrium approaches to spiritual egalitarianism. One way is respecting and re-empowering the women (Connolly, Aldrich, O’Brien, Speight, & Poole, 2016). It is more beneficial for the Iyanifas to work closely and equally to the male Awos. The inequality gap is a learned behavior defect between men and women brought to us by ancient Greek and Christian philosophy. Both men and women can reach and maintain an egalitarian equilibrium with dual responsibilities and pay. Women have become more educated both institutionally and spiritually so there is no reason it cannot be so. In addition, egalitarianism would grant mental motivation for people, especially men, to regulate themselves when expressing negative and discriminatory behavior and encourage tolerance and equality for all. This may be why Ifa has left your building.

References

 

Connolly, S., Aldrich, M., O’Brien, M., Speight, S., & Poole, E. (2016). Britain’s slow movement to a gender egalitarian equilibrium: Parents and employment in the UK 2001-13. Work, Employment and Society, 30(5), 838-857. doi:10.1177/0950017016638009

Johnson, J., Carroll, J., & Gottschall, J. (2008). Hierarchy in the library: Egalitarian dynamics in Victorian novels. doi:10.1177/147470490800600414

Klockner, C. A. & deRaaf, S. (2013). Expression of prejudice against immigrants in a group situation: The impact of context, attitudes, and egalitarian values. SAGE Open, 1-9. doi:10.1177/2158244013504574

Leigh, A. (2018). Sir Tony Atkinson – Egalitarian. The Economic and Labour Relations Review, 29(1), 52-54. doi:10.1177/1035304618757109

Williams, Y. (n.d.). Egalitarian relationship: Definition & example. Study.com. Retrieved from https://study.com/academy/

Zack, N. (2018). Egalitarian spiritual and legal traditions. Chapter 2, in Philosophy of Race. Palgrave Philosophy Today, pp. 25-46. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-78729-9_2

 

“BARRIERS BETWEEN DEVOTEES AND NOVICE ORISA-IFA PRIESTS DIASPORA”

By Iyalemole Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi-Fabuluje

February 27th,  2020

communication-1015376US, Florida: With the old-fashioned callaloo soup and the old-fashioned macaroni-and-cheese, people took their time to pick out the right herbs and vegetables as well as to properly prepare them. As centuries have passed, new generations strived to change the old way of doing things. Different generations would remove the items from the recipe that they did not like. Each generation created their own way of making callaloo soup or macaroni-n-cheese. By the fourth or fifth generation, the soup is nothing but brown water without any flavor and the Mac-n-cheese is nothing more than orange paste squeezed out of a tube. Yet at the end of the day, they still will call it callaloo soup and macaroni-and-cheese.

Today, everything is either instant or microwaved. This is the same thing that has been going on in Orisa and Ifa initiations in the past 18 years with both traditional (Nigeria) and Lucumi when encountering African-Americans in the diaspora. There has always been a communication problem between generations of priests in the orisa and ifa initiations. This creates gaps in generational learning and bad communicational barriers between devotees, uninitiated or unbeliever (ogberi), and novice priests. Since the US President has put a Nigerian Ban in place, the communication barriers have and will continue to be widened.

Barriers developed between seekers and the novice priests as well as elder priests due to unfamiliarity, breaks in tradition, unconventionality, language barriers, gender barriers, and perception (Rani-Kumbakonam, 2016). Ifa Odu Iwori Owonrin says a priest should never initiate harm to another. Or discriminate, but instead appreciate the value or worth of others (Odu Ose Oturupon).

Communication is very important for the survival of orisa and ifa in its original form in the new modern world, where there is chaos around every corner. Rani-Kumbakonam (2016) defined communication to be when a person is sharing information. When there is no sharing; it leaves gaps of education and a lack of understanding which creates even more barriers. As an example, you don’t speak Spanish or Yoruba and you get initiated in houses that primarily speak those languages. Your ita is in the language you don’t speak… there is a communication barrier. “Communication barrier is anything that prevents [you] from receiving and understanding the messages others use to convey the information, ideas, empathy, and thoughts” (Rani-Kumbakonam, 2016). Communication barriers can be more challenging to you or the person who is representing you (Lumen Learning, n.d.).

Communication barriers are created by the initiators either they are Spanish or Nigerians. This results in a huge population in the diaspora ignorant and untrained to practice. The major spiritual substance is missing and unrecognizable. No one really knows or understands what they are supposed to feel or know, so they make up and substitute elements and doctrines institutional religions and still call it orisa and ifa. The novice priests demand devotees to participate in all of that and it harms them in the long run. It is because the novice priest doesn’t return to the initiator to either complete their initiation or the devotees receive confusing information from reading books by ogberi writers on orisa and ifa. Meanwhile, the novice priest makes up what they assume is the ritual or initiation without knowing the actual protocol on either side of the pond. At the end of the day, what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. In order to lower these barriers, it is important to ask hard questions of oneself. No matter how many years you have as a fully initiated priest, if you do not study at the foot of your elders and tell everyone how many years you have as well as titles only to pull rank, you are still a novice priest and a part of the problem.

Basically, the recommendations here is to study and study some more before running to get initiated. You can be read and do ebo without being pushed to get initiated into anything. If your life or health is in danger maybe it is wise to get a second opinion. If you went to the doctor and the doctor said you needed an operation, you would ask for a second opinion. So, why not ask for clarity before jumping into initiation with a novice priest. Don’t get it wrong in what I am saying because there are people who were initiated for years that never learn anything at all. They are like an ogberi individual. They are dangerous as well. Being initiated doesn’t make you a priest. It just makes you initiated.

References:

Lumen Learning (n.d.). Communication Barriers. SPCH 1311: Introduction to speech communication. Retrieved from https://courses.lumenlearning.com/atdcoursereview-speechcomm-1/….

Rani-Kumbakonam, U. (2016). Communicate barriers. National Conference on Communication Skills, at At Vijayawada, 3(2). Retrieved from www.researchgate.net/

“UNDERSTANDING RELIGION AND SPIRITUAL MANIPULATIONS WITH ORISA AND IFA DIASPORA”

main-qimg-40f5da8ffbd44ffcd9313aaa288c8bd9By Iyalemole Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi-Fabuluje
 
February 6th, 2020
 
US, Florida: Religion is doctrine. Religion shapes societies and builds cultures. Religion politicizes the spirituality of the land or country. Religion is the science of institutionalized established faith. The elements of religion are mythology, politics, and indoctrination. It independently doesn’t supply the human spirit with holy revelations. Religion is defined by the culture that has developed a doctrine for the population, e.g. Christianity. Religion can be viewed as repeated experiences. Religion: re means to repeat; li is lie; gion is story. If you tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth (Odu Obara Meji). The Google dictionary states that religion is “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.” Religion has become a broken glass bowl. Wright (1971) stated in her article that “religions have secular and spiritual aspects, the secular being most frequently observed and reported in connection with political and social institutions or behavior” (Odu EjiOgbe). To understand religion, we must understand what religion is and what is the relation between religion and spirituality which is used in manipulation tactics in orisa and ifa practices.
 
Spirituality is a fragment of life, political system, and society. The Google dictionary states that spiritual is the “relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul (character) as opposed to material or physical things.” Spiritual emphasizes on the transition, transcendent, metaphysical, intangible, and time (Wright, 1971). Africa has not been able to change the negative and be fruitful. Africa is rich and full of life even after slaves’ blood fell and painted the land on both sides of the pond red (Odu Osa meji). Taylor and Chatters (2010) believe that spirituality is important to African Americans in the diaspora more than religion. For clarity, spirituality has nothing to do with religion. There is systematical corruption and manipulation that affect the Orisa and Ifa spiritual faith. The Orisa and Ifa spiritual faith in the diaspora has become sterile as it is in West Africa. Today, everything is being manipulated and fabricated. Therefore, the Orisa and Ifa system is broken in both West Africa and the diaspora (Odu Oyeku Meji).
 
Manipulation can be a state of being and a state of action. Google dictionary stated that manipulation is “the action of [influence of] something in a skillful manner.” For example, when there was a conspiracy to embarrass Orunmila and manipulate Olokun (Odu OgbeAlara). It is people who manipulate people and not religion or spirituality that manipulate people. Manipulation is found in many cults, religions, cultures, and political communities. Regardless, spiritual manipulation is very popular in various religions.
 
Spiritual manipulation is a very strong technique used in institutionalized religions by high monarchs with cult like rules. The institutionalized religions teach and influence those cultures because it is the same people who attend both forms of religion, institutionalized religions and cults. Spiritual manipulation practices falsely and dishonestly control and negotiate for personal gain under the guise of spiritually teaching. The spiritual manipulation is rooted in the syncretism of the West African orisa and ifa spiritual faith in the diaspora. As time passes, people themselves manipulate the mythology and ideology of the Orisa and Ifa spiritual faith by applying systematic corruption and a fabrication of lies (Odu Odi’Wori).
 
Today, the Orisa and Ifa spiritual faith is like a broken glass bowl. There are one too many lies and fabrication against various groups of people simply due to their race, gender, and age. Through centuries, Odus have changed to benefit certain people and empower the scammers and cons. It is the curse that follows Yoruba slave descendants in the American-diaspora (Awole’s curse). American-diaspora slaves are not only dislocated, but slightly spiritually broken in fragment pieces because of continuous spiritual and religious manipulation. There are illusions that those spirits are non-wakening spirits that are floating and wandering from zero to zero levels in life not understanding their destiny. Over and over the spirits are like a broken bowl. The broken glass bowl is the bowl full of poison, fabrication of initiations, spiritual limitations, and curses of Nigerians on the lost fragmented pieces for money. There is no love, care, or authenticity in the diaspora in orisa and Ifa systems.
 
The broken glass bowl mythology is found in all religions. The broken glass bowl represents anger, instability, loneliness, and being lost, dislocated, spiritually broken, and spiritually manipulated by the privileged. Spiritual manipulation affects an individual’s destiny. For instance, Yoruba slaves were cursed by their own relatives who placed them into slavery for wealth. The manipulation re-shaped the diasporan’s destiny spiritually. When a diasporan looks back to West Africa, there is no real substance to build on. The broken bowl can be mended with gold by having clarity, learning, and accepting the truth of the orisa and Ifa system without misogyny, narcissism, political dogma, and biased behavior.
 
References
Strenski, I. (2015). Understanding theories of religion: An introduction. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Son
 
Taylor, R., & Chatters, L. (2010). Importance of Religion and Spirituality in the Lives of African Americans, Caribbean Blacks and Non-Hispanic Whites. The Journal of Negro Education, 79(3), 280-294. Retrieved from www.jstor.org/
 
Wiebe, D. (1999). The insider/outside problem in the study if religion. A&C Black Publisher
 
Wright, M. (1971). African history in the 1960’s: Religion. African Studies Review, 14(3), 439-445. doi:10.2307/523775

“Theory Of The Mythology Of The Spiritual Womb Who Is God”

Book written by Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi-Fabuluje  IyaNifa Iyalemole:

This book was written after many years of dealing with the challenges of verbal, spiritual, and physical abuse by men who used the bible and other mythologies to suggest reasons why a woman is less than and man is superior. Additionally, the discussion against misogynistic behavior is important to have in order to bring awareness and provide ideas to empower women’s existence.

The book is about the various views on the mythology of the womb, universe, and God in theory as well as to examine and analyze the different myths. The book also recalls the different female names for God from various cultures, their images, and symbols.

This topic is important to my life, my children’s lives, my godchildren’s lives and to others’ lives because it provides the idea that the womb is to be respected and why. I realize that this is not an easy topic to discuss because of an individual’s religious conditioning, but it is necessary to point out the domination of one gender over the other causes an unbalanced environment. An environment that is hostile, full of chaos, and violent where life becomes meaningless and unworthy of existence.  I wish respect for God the womb, the universe, and spiritual beings.

This book assist in debunking the idea of women and Orisa Odu tales.

The link:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/dr-queenchiku-ngozi/theory-of-mythology-of-the-spiritual-womb-who-is-god/paperback/product-24390799.html

picture wombBOOK COVER DESCRIPTION

“BAD CHARACTERISTICS & POWER OF THE YORUBA’S TITLES IN THE DIASPORA”

By Iyalemole Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi-Fabuluje

January 9th, 2020tis 1 4 jan 9 2020 article

US, Florida: Centuries ago William Shakespeare made a statement, “A rose by any other name …is still a rose.” The rose is characterized as being sweet with thorns and can be described as beautiful, gentle, meaningful, bitter and demonized. The rose, like a title, can be attributed power and character. Significant titles such as Dr., DPhil, MD, DO, PhD, DCN, DBA, DrBA, EdD, PharmD, and so on are true achievements and accomplishments for an individual (Wikipedia, 2019). These titles are earned through studies, research, and long-term education or training. At the same time, hundreds of “titles” are being given out by religious organizations established in West Africa to those within the Diaspora. These titles include chieftaincy, Apena, Oba, and so on. Today, many of these titles (e.g. chieftaincy, Apena, Oba, and so -on) are not earned from studies, research, and long-term education or training. Most are simply bought. No matter the title, it has characteristics, restrictions, and responsibilities.

Traditionally and historically, titles are earned by the individuals who receive and hold those titles (Financial Yahoo, 2019). Titles can identify an individual’s status, position, and expertise (ASAP, 2019).  Some titles are inherited while others are bought and not earned through any effort on the part of the individual receiving them. Titles are a formal communication and achievement. Even so, individuals who have these titles can display bad characteristics. Google Dictionary (2019) described characteristics as “being a feature that helps to distinguish a person or thing; distinctive…and qualities.” In addition, Borgatta (1964) stated that the characteristics of titles “derive from wide-spread faith in education as a means of social advancement as well as from commitments to equality of opportunity and to civic unity.” With titles come a certain level of trustworthiness and an ability to influence or guide human behavior at various levels. In contrast and given the rise of “titles” such as Apena, Chiefs, and Agba, etc. to unworthy individuals, the respect and value of these “titles” have lost their significance within the Diaspora.

There are many titles given to individuals from West Africa which do not hold value in the Diaspora. Part of the reason why includes the fact that many of those title holders display bad character in addition to using these “titles” to dogmatically degrade people in the Diaspora. Ifa says that [a person] should practice good character. They should do so regardless what title an individual may hold. Individuals who hold title are supposed to be role models and they should exhibit good character for the ones who may seek their guidance (Odu Ogbe Otura & Odu Irete Otura). It takes moral principles and values to govern one’s behavior and daily obligations. In Odu EjiOgbe, Ifa speaks about having good character. However, many individuals go to West Africa only to return without good character and a bunch of bought titles that are not respected in the Diaspora. Canada Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada and Nigeria (2012) stated that “most Yoruba chieftaincy titles are hereditary, and others are bestowed upon individuals.” In the early 2000s, Nigerians began selling non-hereditary titles, that is, titles given to the community of strangers also known as members of the Diaspora. This created economic competition among the different regions of Nigeria to sell the most “legitimate” titles to individuals from the Diaspora. These titles are not recognized nor valuable in the Diaspora (Canada Immigration and refugee Board of Canada & Nigeria, 2012).

Many titled individuals in the Diaspora have engaged in negative behaviors towards others and as they do, they tarnish their own reputations (Odu Ika Iwori). This may be occurring because the titles have given a false sense of power to the individual’s ego. The title does not matter what does matter is the spiritual development, leadership, and the relationship between the title holder’s personality traits and their interactions with the people they serve (Khoynezhad, Rajaei, & Sarvarazemy, 2012). When a title is not earned, it is usually setting the individual up for failure. Titles such as Apena and chieftaincy have been the main two titles offered to Diasporians like candy. Dennett (1916) stated that the title Apena is a chief to the Ogboni as well as one of the main positions of the Ogboni cult. Lateju and Oladosu (2012) stated that chieftaincy titles are for chiefs to address any issue in their community and better the “welfare of their communities, monitoring soci-economics and promoting religious tenet.” I am sure there are probably more responsibilities, however they are not documented to explain those titles’ existence in the Diaspora. We live under a different government with different laws and those titles are not needed here. Communities that do recognize them have a small population of believers and followers. In 2015, Ajala posted in Ifa-Orisa-Egun talk Facebook group stressing that the American Araba issued an official memo stating “[some] practitioners of Ifa-orisa are parading with fake title such as Apena, Agbaya, Araba, and chieftaincy…given in West Africa are no longer valid and can no longer be honored [in both Africa and the Diaspora].” In the meantime, several titles have been given and those individuals are displaying terrible behaviors on social media. The major question is where is the “Iwa” character that is “rere” good. A person with Iwa Rere and or Pele is referred to as “Omoluwabi” (Hallen, 2000; Labeodan, 2009). Labeodan (2009) says character (iwa) “is a person’s essential nature and psychic self, as well as the origin and totality of what a person is as an individual.”

Ultimately, the American Diaspora communities have a hard time respecting and reserving honor for the West African titles as mentioned above, especially when the individuals display poor character, misogyny, and narcissistic characteristics. These individuals are called “iwa buruku” (Abimbola, 1975; Labeodan, 2009). Money for titles have become West Africa’s religious cash cow. However, the bought titles don’t change the individual. It only amplifies the individuals’ characteristics to be more of who they are.

 

References

Abimbola, A. (1975). Pp 393

Ajala, O. A. (2015). From the office: American Araba – chieftaincy invalid. Retrieved from Ifa-Orisa-Egun Talk facebook private group

American Ifa Fa Afa (2015). Odu Ogbe Iwori. Retrieved from facebook: American Ifa Fa Afa page

ASAP (2019) https://www.asaporg.com

Borgatta, E. F. (1964). The structure of personality characteristics. Behavior Science, 9(1), 8-19. doi:10.1002/bs.3830090103

Canada: Immigration and refugee Board of Canada, Nigeria: Consequences for Yoruba individual who refuses a cheftaincy title, protection available to those who refuse, 13Nov2012, NGA103996. Retrieved from https://www.refworld.org/docid/50bf31512.htm1

Dennett, R. E. (1916). The Ogboni and other secret societies in Nigeria. Journal of the Royal African Society, 16(61), 16-29. Retrieved from www.jstor.org/

Financial Yahoo (2019). https://finance.yahoo.com

Hallen, B. (2000). To good, the bad, and the beautiful: Discourse about values in Yoruba culture. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press

Khoynezhad, G., Rajaei, A. R., & Sarvarazemy, A. (2012). Basic religious beliefs and personality traits. Iran Journal Psychiatry, 7(2), 82-86. Retrieved from https://www.nbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3428642

Labeodan, K. (2009). Iwa Pele. In M.K. Asante & A. Mazama (Eds). Encyclopedia of African religion (pp.348-348). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. doi:10.4135/978141296423.n222

Lateju, F. T. & Oladosu, O. (2012). Chieftaincy titles in Yorubaland and their implication for growth and tolerance among christians and muslims. Lumina, 23(2). Retrieved from www.journaldatabase.info/

Tonnesvang, J. & Bertelsen, P. (2009). Human characteristics: Evolutionary perspectives on human mind and kind. Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

“CALLING DOWN IFA ON 12/21st AND NOT DECEMBER 31st- WINTER SOLSTICE”

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Picture retrieved from http://www.drclaudia.net/blog/winter-solstice

By Iyalemole Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi-Fabuluje

January 2nd, 2020

US, Florida: Firstly, the History Channel (2010) indicated that New Year’s around the world does not fall on the same day nor occurs at the same time due to time zone differences. Booth (2017) stated that December 21st is the 355th day which makes one year and on a leap year it is the 356th day. The other ten days towards the end of the Gregorian calendar remain for transitioning. Many babas and iyas in the Orisa- Ifa religion are stressing that people are obligated to follow a tradition upon seeing the 5th annual American Ifa reading which came out on December 21st in America. It is a tradition, simply one they do not share.

Let’s begin by defining traditions and discuss why these broken traditions in Orisa and Ifa-Afa practices in the United States or Diaspora are the norms and religious customs. Many Lucumi/Santeria and kitchen top spiritual practices battle with others who are following the original traditions before slavery or before Christ. Google dictionary describes “tradition as a belief or behavior [that is] passed down within group[s] or societ[ies]” with similar ideas, social norms, and practices. Oderinde (2018) article stated that traditions such as religious practices, ceremonies, or festivals were the vital parts of cultural heritages. It is understood that different groups believe these activities are part of the essential fabric to their culture’s survival and circulation. These events provide perspective and help to see the differences in various regions and their traditions (Oderinde, 2018). According to some, if a person leaves their adopted communities; they have severed themselves from either their roots or kinships. It is possible the person severed the ties that chained them to roots that were not theirs in the beginning. Those roots may have been the closest roots they could adopt due to slavery displacement and it was time for them to grow and follow their own roots.

On December 21st, the world has both the shortest day and longest day on the first day of the winter solstice (Booth, 2017). It depends on what hemisphere you live in. The winter solstice has long hours of darkness, the birth of the sun, and is considered regenerating, renewing and self-reflecting (Booth, 2017; Explore Deeply, 2019: National Weather Service, 2019). To illustrate, the “Ifa letter for the coming year.” Technically, there is no odu that states the letter for the coming year is set to be pulled down officially on December 31st. All the same, December 21st is the most powerful day of the year. National Weather Service (2019) stated that this is the time that the world at the same time is affected at once.

In 2010, the History Channel stated that civilizations around the world have celebrated New Year’s as far back as 4 millennia ago. Over time, civilizations have developed their own calendar to establish their first day of the year in coordination to their agricultural or astronomical activities. Not all cultures celebrate December 31st as the New Year’s and or January as the 1st of the New Year. In the 8th century B.C. Januarius and Februarius were added by King Numa Popilius (History Channel, 2010). This caused the calendar to not be in alignment with the winter solstice – sun (e.g. Olorun). Julian Caesar decided to add 90 extra days to the calendar to introduce the new Julian calendar which is very similar to the Gregorian calendar (History Channel, 2010). Caesar established January 1st as the first day of the year to honor that month as Janus. Christians leaders rejected this and replaced the January 1st to December 25th to have more spiritual and religious appeal and religious significance (History Channel, 2010). This idea didn’t last long. Christians used the winter solstice to declare that the moon (Orisa Osupa) gave birth to the sun and the birth of the sun or son was Jesus (Booth, 2017: National Weather Service, 2019).

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII revisited the idea of January 1st as New Year’s Day. Since 1907, the US celebrated New Year’s traditions by dropping a giant ball in Times Square at the stroke of midnight in accordance with the Gregorian calendar (History Channel, 2010). This was started for a few reasons centered around the economy, unification, and remembrance. The Farmers’ Almanac (2019) stated that the Druidic tradition believed that on the winter solstice, December 21st, the death and rebirth of nature power occurs as well as the renewal of the human soul. The Newgrange, also known as Stonehenge in Ireland, was built around 3200 B.C. and is a large circle of stones baring a semblance to the opon of Ifa. This was associated to the “light of winter” (Farmers Almanac, 2019). The Chinese see the winter solstice as the Yang (positive) which is the opposite of Yin. For many centuries, different indigenous cultures and religions have celebrated December 21st and its unique energy by applying rituals and festivals on that day (Booth, 2017; Explore Deeply, 2019: Farmers Almanac, 2019). The winter solstice has a large spiritual effect (Booth, 2017). It signals a milestone and the change of power on December 21st.

Explore Deeply (2019) indicated that the winter solstice changes the energy and redirects our daily life. The changes can affect the cycle and nature. For instance, the ideas of the end and beginning of life and preparation of a new year, changes in the weather, changes in the oceans, agriculture, and human reflection and rest (Explore Deeply, 2019).

History Channel (2010) said that in “many parts of the world, [the] traditional New Year’s is death [and is] featured with the legumes, which are thought to resemble coins and herald future financial success; ex: lentils in Italy and Black-eyes peas in Southern U.S., because pigs represents progress and prosperity in some cultures, pork appears on the New Year’s Eve table in Cuba, Austria, Hungary, Portugal, and other countries. In Spain, people would eat a dozen grapes to symbolize 12 months of their hopes for each month ahead of them.”

Meanwhile, it becomes more and more amazing when people are trying to do the right thing in Ifa practices. Several male only babalawo council societies are developing corporations all over the America-Diaspora in order to push and pull their misogyny, domination, and controlling (Ika meji) masculinity to the mass of practitioners and devotees online. Some babalawos have ordered and demanded to know who gave American Ifa- Ile Ikoko Ata the rights to break from the Cuban traditions by pulling an odu for the coming year on December 21st and not on December 31st. In Yorubaland tradition, annual ifa reading for the year is not done on December 21st or December 31st. Generally, Yorubaland Ifa is celebrated in June (Edimomi, 2017). This is the time of harvest of Yam, which is very important to Ifa and the people. The Yoruba people have been practicing this custom since after the arrival of the Christian missionaries during the 17th century (Edimomi, 2017). The Cuban babalawos societies letra del ano (the letter of the year) is an annual proclamation of predictions that falls on December 31st (Meyers, 1999). The Spanish babalawos in the Lucumi/Santeria culture give advice for the coming year and they follow the Gregorian calendar. As a matter of fact, letra del ano practice was started by Adeshina (Remigio Herrena) on December 31st, 1899 in Cuba (Meyers,1999). There were only six of his godchildren present at that time. The tradition was invented in the early 19th century (Meyers,1999). Adeshina was recorded as the first Cuban babalawo to do a ritual to get the odu for the New Year. Adeshina died in 1906 and Bernardine Rojo continue organizing the tradition – letra del ano. In addition, some recorders show that Tata Gaytan was an assistant to Rojo behind the scenes (Meyers,1999). Until his death in 1986, the Comisión Organizadora de la Letra del Año by Miguel Febles Padrón performed the tradition for Cuba and the world. It is no different than the Yorubaland Ifa festival. There the odu pulled in June in the Yorubaland is also for the world. Lele (2012) declared “on the eve of the Cuban Revolution, we must turn to this custom…December 31st, 1958 babalawos gather together to call down the odu” (ch. 4).

At the end of the day, different regions have different governments, social problems, and economic issues. Ngozi (2019) stated in the article “Practicing Ifa Afa in America”: “in the 1860 United States Census, there were 3,953,761 African slaves that represented 12.6% of the total American population” (Johnson, 2012). The concept of diversity creates assimilation for American/Diaspora cultures and beliefs which brings a special type of unity, ideas for harmony, a unique mechanical design for spiritual growth and plasmatic substance for long life and the spread of Ifa. In 2010, a creed for a divorce was publicly posted. Lukumi babas stated:

“…….devotees (lucumi vs traditional) are incompatible with each other (Lele, 2010). Lukumi says that they are a separate entity from their Mother (Yoruba West Africa) by their actions. Reminding what Oluwo Fayemi Fatunde Fakayode (2015) wrote in the Facebook Ifa-Orisa-Egun Talk group that “many stories we hear today about most of our Orisa are mere fabrications… it is high time we wiped out the fallacies that have overthrown the real history … Let us do away with stories that are not firmly rooted in Ifa…… what is sure is that the destiny of our `religion is in our hands. It is high time we started rewriting the stories of our Orisa for the coming generation to have documents to lay hands on. Let us encourage ourselves to write books of our religions by ourselves.” In Odu Ejiogbe says that the basis for understanding the beginning is knowing the end of all things towards the essence of life… within the Lucumí Religious system (Lele, 2010) has forced their now orphans to develop a new way of life – American Ifa.”

Therefore, it is wise and practical for each region to have an approach that is equal to or in harmony with the people’s government, spirituality, economics, and health. To my fellow male challenging Babas and supporting Iyas who are in need of an explanation of why American Ifa calls down odu on December 21st and not December 31st, it is simple. We are living in a country where an individual has the freedom of religion and has the freedom to pick and or choose their religious practices and ways to worship. Let’s find a commonality in the ways we can share the same water fountain to lower the barriers of criticism and narcissistic anti-socialization. American Ifa is interested in how we view our government, spirituality, economics, communities, families, and health and finding solutions through ifa and orisa to struggles that affect us in the American-Diaspora.

References

Abimbola, W. (1976). Ifa, An exposition of Ifa literary corpus. London, UK: Oxford University Press

Booth, J. (2017). What does the winter solstice mean spiritually? It’s celebrated in tons of religions and cultures (356th leap years). Retrieved from www.bustle.com/

Meyers, S. (1999). A timeline of lucuma history. Retrieved from https:/sitrs.google.com/site/bstartmeyers/atimelineoflucumihistory

Edimomi, V. (2017). Nigeria: Ifa festival-celebrity age-old Yoruba deity. Retrieved from https://allafica.com/stories/201007280462

Explore Deeply (2019). The spiritual significance of the winter solstice. Retrieved from https://exploredeeply.com/

Farmers’ Almanac (2019). Winter solstice 2019: when is it, and what is it?. Retrieved from https://www.farmeralmanac.com/winter-solstice-first-day-win…

History Channel (2010). New Years History. https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/new-years.

Idowu, E. B. (1970). Olodumare: God in Yoruba belief. London, UK: Longman

Lele, O. (2012). Sacrificial ceremonies of Santeria: A complete guide to the rituals and practices. USA

National Weather Service (2019). The winter solstice. Retrieved from https://www.weather.gov/

Oderinde, O. (2018). The lore of religious festivals among the Yoruba and its social relevance. Lumia, 22(2), 2094-1188. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/

Picture retrieved from http://www.drclaudia.net/blog/winter-solstice

PRACTICING IFA AFA IN AMERICA

By I80355715_133875368068525_3556363359244779520_oyalemole Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi-Fabuluje

December 26th, 2019

US, Florida: In 2019, an 100th old age African in America woman said, “Living in America as the descent of slaves the rituals and rights of West Africa have not left my soul. Where do I belong? Where?” According to the 1860 United States Census, there were 3,953,761 African slaves that represented 12.6% of the total American population (Johnson, 2012). Some scholars suggested that the statue of Liberty and the Statue of Freedom were both created from an African slave woman model, which recognized the African presence in The United States of America.

Sambol-Tosco (n.d.) indicated that the “enslaved [African] men and women whom kept their rites, rituals, and cosmologies of Africa alive in America through stories, healing arts, song, and other forms of cultural expression, creating a spiritual space apart from the white European world.” Emerson Biakolo in the ‘Nigerian Guardian’ of 28th November 1992 asked: “Do men believe just because they want to or because the object of their faith is credible?” According to Edmund Burke (1790), “People will never look forward to posterity, who never looks backwards to their ancestors. The concept of diversity creates assimilation for American/Diaspora cultures and beliefs which brings a special type of unity, ideas for harmony, a unique mechanical design for spiritual growth and plasmatic substance for long life and the spread of Ifa. The American slaves where no different than the slaves in Cuba. They saw Christianity (church) a beacon of hope for freedom. The African slaves didn’t let go their religious orientation but combined with the church philosophy.

In 2008, Wilford reported that 300 pieces of metal, wood, and other items was found as archaeologists explored the old houses in Maryland of United States. The bundle was dated by the 17th century. This indicated that African Americans practice traditional African orisa-ifa-afa religions before the earliest phases of the 18th century. One of the anthropologist professors described the found bundle was West African artifacts (Wilford, 2008). In other words, the bundle was artifacts that pre-dated before Afro-Cuban lucumi/santeria spiritual practices in America. The Orisa and Ifa – Afa practice was here in America long before P. Neimark-Ifa Foundation of North America, Inc., Lucumi, Santeria, hoodoo, voodoo, Kwanzaa, or any other ideology of West African Yoruba spirituality and or Fon religious practices as claimed. National Historical Park Louisiana (2019) stated the end of 1700s the average African person in America were either free African or African slaved descents from various tribes. The African slaves brought their dance, music, stories and faith to a foreign land and after more than 400 years of struggle, they were finally recognized as AFRICANS IN AMERICA or as known African Americans. This recognition came with the rights and privileges afforded to ALL people of the land to be called Americans.

In 2010, a creed for a divorce was publicly post. Lukumi babas stated “…….devotees (lucumi vs traditional) are incompatible with each other (Lele, 2010).” The Lucumists draw the race card to explain the incompatibility. Nevertheless, “…. the worst part of it is that they spoke about false consciousness……[which] are all totally preconditioned (Odeyemi).” It like “two brothers become enemies” (odu Oyeku meji), one odu properly reminds humanity that two brothers (Lukumi and Traditionalist systems) who are born from the same womb (Yoruba), become enemies, due to envy, greed, ego, and political dogma. This has brought division and rapture among friends, families, and communities (Odu Otura meji). Today, the two brothers (lucumi vs traditionalist) still fight over childish principles, titles, women in ifa, watered-down rituals, fragmented and created ceremonies (Odu Ogunda fun). Lukumi says that they are a separate entity from their Mother (Yoruba West Africa) by their actions. Traditionalist say something very different in thought and actions. Many of the elderly lucumi priests agreed that many ceremonies and rituals are invented by Miguel Febles Pardon out of Cuba between 1919 – 1986. In 1920, he was consecrated as a priest of Ifa Babalawo by Eulogio Rodriguez, known as Tata Gaitán Many of the other oloshas in Lucumi followed. Despite the fact that the two to four subgroups of the Yoruba religion and culture disagree over who is right and who is wrong; they both share a deep concern over the spread of the Orisa and Ifa religious development in the world, as well as reserve their practices. Nevertheless, both have failed to bring a spiritual wholeness, ethnicity, evolution, and quantum leap for the growing pains of the culture and its practices among the African Americans in America. The Lucumi refuse to accept the brotherly love, evolution and ideology, while the Traditionalist perform racial cat calls with his new titles against various populations in the world who didn’t have the money for a weekend trip to Africa, just to suck the dribbling milk that still drips from the mother’s breast (Africa). The only thing that both systems can agree on is everyone is fraud if they personally didn’t initiate the person.

In Odu Ejiogbe says that the basis for understanding the beginning is knowing the end of all things towards the essence of life. It simply means that Lucumi and Traditionalist have either forgotten the laws of creation or they have never learned it (for say). “Although[t] the rituals and consecration practiced in Lucumi religion and in the so-called Traditional Yoruba religion share ethnic, cultural, and geographical origins, [our] practices differ considerably” (Lele, 2010). However, Lucumi states “Those priests ordained in the Lucumi Religion that for whatever reason wish or are desirous to be ordained by and/or convert to the practices of the Traditional Yoruba Religion will abandon and renounce any and all rights – hierarchical and practical – within the Lucumí Religious system” (Lele, 2010) has forced their now orphans to develop a new way of life – American Ifa (Movement of Odu). To illustrate, when a plant or animal is bred with a plant or animal from different stock, the process is known as hybridization. There are numerous reasons to create hybrids, including increasing genetic diversity and breeding for specific traits. It is frequently practiced in agriculture, to make stronger, healthier plants with desirable characteristics. Slaves and their combining culture and faith is hybrid to what is known today in America/diaspora. Sambol-Tosco (n.d.) stated that the African religions and practices to America were “numerous and varied.” The West African religion morals, values, and practices have reached a high level of challenges, especially for women. Many scholars who has written on the birth of lucumi, Santeria in America have a history of invention and misogynistic over tones. To illustrate, the traditional ifa stated in Odu Oyeku Pose ifa described only four priests is needed to initiate someone to ifa, while some Lucumi priest proclaimed its take 16 plus priests. But the ancestors were the major custom throughout the slavery displacement within the world.

Today, the most widely practiced of African faiths in the diaspora are Orisa, Ifa, vodou, obeah, and so on. The most prevalent one is IFA and is called by many other names, since IFA is the system that sets the guidelines for our way of life in so many ways. Ifa is the binary numerical system of odus (proverbs) of which determines our individual destinies. Ifa is the oracle of wisdom, knowledge and messages from Olodumare for an individual’s destiny in life which is governed by the Orisa Orunmila. Ifa have many names that have assimilated into many cultures as follows: “Ifá among the Edos of Nigeria, Fá among the Fon of Republic of Benin. Eva by Nupes, Ifa in Cuba, USA, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Surinarm and Haiti, Afá by the Ewe of Togo Ephod by Jews, Geomancy by Europeans and Malagasy as well as Ramal or Hati by Arabs. Ifá is widespread in Africa… it is practiced among the Igbos of Eastern Nigeria, the Kamuku and Gwari of Northern Nigeria, the Igbirra in South Central Nigeria, the Jukun of Eastern Nigeria, and all the tribes in the region around the Cross Rivers. Among the Siwah people in the Sahara, Ifá is known as “Derb el raml” or “Derb el fu” It is also widely practiced in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Sierra Leone as well as in Liberia” (Professor Idowu Odeyemi, 2007). In other words, Vince (2010) stated that the “United States is unique and NOT only is it a country, but it’s also an idea [where] people around the world don’t just dream of coming to America, they dream of becoming Americans.”

In 2015, Oluwo Fayemi Fatunde Fakayode wrote in the Facebook Ifa-Orisa-Egun Talk group that “many stories we hear today about most of our Orisa are mere fabrications. The fabrications started from non-practitioners. Most of them intentionally fabricated stories to gain popularity or to denigrate our faith, while some of them (especially the historians and anthropologists) gathered the fallacious stories from people who either were not conversant with our religion or who had aversion for this faith…It is high time we wiped out the fallacies that have overthrown the real history … Let us do away with stories that are not firmly rooted in Ifa, the scripture of our religion. Let us not depend on the history[ical]…of any Orisa which was/is written by christian fanatics or muslim jihadists who call themselves historians or anthropologists… What is sure is that the destiny of our religion is in our hands. It is high time we started rewriting the stories of our Orisa for the coming generation to have documents to lay hands on. Let us encourage ourselves to write books of our religions by ourselves. Let no muslim or Christian write the stories of our Orisa for us. Let those who have useful information about each Orisa document such information for the posterity.”

The question then became, how can we practice our African Roots in the places we live and still maintain the common tenants of our faith to the best of our ability? In essence, we recognized that we can be devoted to and practice our African roots in a foreign land just as our ancestors did which resulted in the survival of our African Faiths in a foreign land, the land in which we live, called America. In so doing, we found that we can express our commonality in the ways we express our spirituality in the places in which we live.

By watching the people of the diaspora over a period of countless years becoming closer to their spiritual roots in Africa through the yearning to connect with their ancestors. However, despite the yearning there was and is still a barrier. One barrier is distance. During the growth spurt of connecting to our African Roots, a large percentage of the growing numbers of IFA and Orisa devotees and practitioners were and still are financially unable to make the journey home to Africa. We then asked ourselves, “does that mean that we are not African or that we can’t devote ourselves to, or practice our African faiths? Even those numerous of people who were able to go back home, could not do so for an extended period of time, which is needed to become fully involved in Traditional African culture in the way it is done at home.

In 400 years, the Yoruba (African roots) spiritual ways of life have become a hybrid in America and the diaspora proper. America is the land of diversity that assimilates into one movement with individual arms. People of Color have looked to the Brazilians, Cubans, and the hill tops of the Caribbean for spiritual evolution and connection to their African roots. A good analogy of how this is being done can be taken from the example of what he Jewish did with their holy book, he TORAH. The Jews didn’t change the foundation of the Torah; they only adapted MODERN WAYS OF LIVING AND INCORPORATING THE STANDARDS OF THE TORAH (National Geographic, n.d). Even though there are your extremists in all forms, time does bring on a change that lessons the extremes but does not take away from the core essence of a thing. Another example is the Lucumi/Santeria religion is a hybrid which combined all the slave’s subgroups together along with Christianity.

It doesn’t take away the 400 years of struggles from the African Americans; it is incorporated, adopted and assimilated into the pores of the Americans and other peoples of the Diasporas who live according to Odu Ifa/Orisa and ancestral practices and rituals. The Odus are the roots and foundation of this way of life. In America, African Americans who embrace this form of living can move easily into spiritual elevation by adapting and incorporating the availability of what were presented within the 400 years on this side of the world. Basically, we need to look at the various ways which one Odus are being interpreted. Then, analyze how the concept of hybridization fit our modern environment and socialization to the world (National Historical, 2019).

Conclusively, THE SYSTEM is odu based, has becomes the people who in their expressions of life, live the embodiments of the Odus. Keeping in mind that all Orisas speaks through ODUS as well as to our diverse ancestors (not only of African origins but from other places in the world) as well as other entities. In the diaspora/America our passport says “American” and not African American, Cuban American, and White American, etc. It says “American” for ethnicity. Regardless, where you got initiated and you live and practice in the Americas/Diaspora you are practicing in America our West African roots. AMERICAN IFA-FA-AFA does not see to change or rewriting the context of the Odus of Ifa as some may imply but instead, we seek to celebrate the diversity of those Odus that are expressed by diverse groups people who live in various places around the world and collaboration between the various groups and individuals.

References

Johnson, S. A. (2012). African slave religions, 1400–1790. he Cambridge History of Religions in America Volume I: Pre-Columbian Times to 1790, 369-391. doi:10.1017/CHOL9780521871105.01.

National Historical (2019). Jazz origins in New Orleans’. Retrieved from https://www.nps,gov/

National Geographic (n.d.). 1917 original Dixieland jass band released the world first jazz record. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.org/

Wilford, J. N. (2008). Under Maryland street, ties to Africa past. The New York Times, Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/21/science/21arch.html

Sambol-Tosco, K. (n.d.). The slave experience: religion: Slavery and the making of America. Retrieved from https://www.thirteen.org/wnet/slavery/experience/religion/history.html

 

2020 America Ifa USA Annual Ifa Afa Reading

American Ifa Fa Afa (501c3) –

Annual Ifa in America/USA reading for 2020 was done on Saturday,

December 21st, 2019 @ 10 a.m. in the State of Florida at Ile Akoko Ata;

for the total USA states, regions, and territories.

 

INTRODUCTION:

In 2020, there will be chaos between the sexes, problems between race and political parties, small and huge wars across the world, tragedy, accidents, serious sicknesses, uncontrollable food poisoning, and a lot of governmental interference in our daily lives. Every year many of us wish for riches and good health. Never do we imagine the struggles and or the injustice that will counter our ideologies of a good economy and perfect healthcare. As the currents detract and expand in 2020, people have to prepare for a rough ride and rejoice when it is time to celebrate.

Dysfunctional environments are almost guaranteed in the workplace, at the doctor offices, in the schools, and in the home. Therefore, the best gifts for the New Year are the gifts of love and peace. The best gift is the gift of empathy. The best gift to society is the gift of consideration.

THE ODU FOR 2020 BY THE IKINS DE IFA

“There no peace for a liar”

“Heaven didn’t want to do ebo”

“Eguns of the Babalawo speaks”

OBI:

Esu Baralayiki – Alaafia (everything is in alignment)

Ancestors = Alaafia ire with personal spirits with ejife

ODU:

Odu Ogunda’Fun, Odu in Osogbo (Ibi) wars continuous

“Ogunda” is expanding and life giving or life taking; while “Ofun” is detracting and rebirthing

1st odu Odi (hole)

2nd odu Ejiogbe (respect)

PRAYER:  Oggunda fun wewe yeye, wewe, yeye oni rewo omo ozain kueleses kan kuelese meji obaye orunmila wewe yeni orunmila onibara niregun

Leading Orisha: Ogun

Accompanying Orisha: OrishaNla with Oshun

Supporting the Orisa(s): Iyamiis

Maferefun: Obatala, Ogun, Oshun, Iyamiis, Oya, Sango, Eguns,

Keywords: Ori, cursing, justice, gossiping, darkness, weapons, operation, dead, gambling, cheating, love and hate relationships

FLAG: The base is green with white and gold (yellow) borders 2020 flag

NOTE: ONLY use palm oil for the witches and give peanut oil for the orisha and ikins

Received: Olokun and Ori; need to be initiated to Congo religion

Closing Odu: Irosun Otura (Irosu’etura; Irosu’Ajala)

  • Receive Olokun
  • Clean house with waters of olokun water on New Year Eve
  • Take a bath with Olokun water on New Year eve
  • Go to the beach if you don’t have Olokun or a godparent with Olokun to bathe. Just don’t make your own.
  • Open your eyes and look at the hidden agenda.
  • Merge things in our lines to bring things together.
  • Lots of divorces, separation within family, children, partnerships, etc.
  • Look at one’s blood. Check for diseases.
  • Receive and get the right Olokun

 BORN:

  • Eugenics
  • Wars and civil wars
  • Weapons
  • Embarrassment
  • Entrapment
  • Betrayal
  • Blackmail
  • Changing heads
  • Cursing
  • Hypocrisy
  • Male against women
  • Third eye

EWE IN THIS SIGN: Prodigiosa, Tamanindo, Ewe Anton, Ewe Ikoko, Ewe Shewerekuakue

ESU BORN IN THIS SIGN: Esu Ashikuelu

Proverbs:

  • The general goes to war but the hunchback doesn’t lose sight of him
  • Pride and concede are the loss of the persons
  • Violence loses the person
  • The snake doesn’t measure it’s shadow like that the rainbow
  • What the earth is given, the earth returns
  • You have to know how to love and then hate
  • In the town was a king who was blind in one eye

 EBO:

  • 2 Guinea hens to Oshun
  • Ochinchin to Oshun and Ogun
  • 1 turtle, 2 rooster and 1 pigeon to Ogun
  • 8 Yami balls with efun (cascarilla) to Obatala (OrishaNla)
  • Give ten metal knives to Ogun.
  • Do the prayer of “Ogunda’fun” every day.

Money: Ebo to Ogun

 Health: Ebo to Ogun and Obatala

PROHIBITION:

  • No threesomes.
  • One mate, no cheating.
  • Don’t blow dust; be careful of people blow dust at you
  • Don’t hold or open other people’s mail.
  • Don’t abandon orisha (guardian angel)
  • Don’t curse others or using bad words
  • No pork or a lot of shellfish and bottom fish
  • No sleeping in the nude
  • Don’t disrespect your elders
  • Don’t be vain
  • Don’t tell little white lies
  • Don’t carry weapons
  • Don’t live in filth
  • Don’t wear dark color clothes
  • Don’t lift heavy things from the floor – back injury
  • Don’t speed or drive under the influent
  • Don’t disrespect women with violence
  • Don’t drink alcohol or illegal substance
  • No sleeping in the nude.
  • Be careful of gambling. No gambling.
  • No gossiping.
  • Be careful of being a workaholic.
  • Be able to separate night and day.
  • Don’t be vain. Stay away from excessive spending on things you don’t need.
  • If you don’t have Palo, you need to seek.
  • Don’t eat leftover food. You go to sleep, you wake up. Don’t eat it. It’s leftover.
  • Starting business – do ebo to Ogun.

Patakin:

Heaven and earth began to dispute on who had the absolute power on the world; upon hearing this Orunmila told them that both them have to make ebo in order for the power to be divided. Heaven did not hear the words of Orunmila and did not do ebo, as it was also to give nothing to the earth. And since then, every time there are clouds form over the earth, the rain falls on the earth which did ebbo. Where Orunmila replied, “Everything that the earth has to return.”

OVERVIEW IFA SAYS:

Ifa says:

  • In this odu, to make money you must do ebo to bring that money home
  • Be careful with the law
  • Be careful things which caused explosions
  • Take care of court cases, child support anything pending with the government
  • Person should not smoke illegally in the car, riding dirty etc. Law riding high in 2020.
  • Don’t get into arguments. Petty arguments. All money not good money. Butter knife going to a gun fight, the butter knife doesn’t win. Who did the ebo, who did not? We are on the losing end of the deal. So, don’t dig a hole for yourself.
  • Learn to save money. Don’t splurge. Don’t be in vain or conceded.
  • Lots of stomach viruses, salmonella, change how you eat. Parasites in the food. Intestinal, colon diseases, blindness.
  • Lots of Ori cleanings. Every month clean with white of the egg, cotton and coconut, or fruit. Special cleaning, head feedings w/fish or blood feeding with help of Awo.
  • No black, red or dark color clothes. Must wear white mostly all year around. If you are not initiated, you need to get initiated.
  • Glass half-filled not half empty.
  • 2020 civil wars. Men against women and women against men.
  • Take care of your health. This odu marks surgery.
  • Car accidents. Be careful. Look out for others.
  • Be careful w/ your eyes. Grease don’t pop in your eyes. Losing your vision. Protect your eyes.
  • People going to keep bringing you problems. Clean yourself constantly. People blowing dust on you. It is prohibited for you to blow dust.
  • Don’t brag about what you have.
  • If you do the ebos, prosperity, new associations, and new birth in things.
  • Lots of arguments. Don’t be ungrateful.
  • Men – Be careful of getting into a relationship w/ a young person. They must be mature.
  • Men and women love each other but also hate each other. Compromise is necessary.
  • Men will try to control women in the religion.
  • Be careful of exchanging heads. You can not initiate and put elekes on everybody. Switching heads between priest and godchild. Pork to be used for ebo.
  • Be careful of seafood.
  • Do a lot for you eguns, ancestors, and spiritual for guide.
  • Head cleaning with Awo to overcome various diagnoses.
  • Women can’t cut their hair this year.
  • Don’t eat coconut. Use it to clean and you can drink the water.
  • Don’t carry weapons. Same weapons can be used against you.
  • Take care of pregnant women. Stay close to Ifa so the woman does not lose the baby.
  • Do not quarrel with women. When men sleep, women do not. Man can lose his life.
  • Be careful with cysts and cancer.
  • Don’t wear clothes with rips and holes.
  • Guns, violence, and weapons.
  • Be careful how you hate. You may need that same person.
  • Misas need to be done.
  • Impotence as a result of abusing illegal substances. Can be laced with extra ingredients.
  • Wars and hypocrites that causes disturbances in the daily life
  • Women having problems with childbirth and menstrual periods
  • Be careful of doctors sterilizing young women-of-color (eugenics)
  • Nothing can take hold due to these wars.
  • Spiritual debt in Orun. Not doing what we need to do to appease our twin in heaven. Ebo to Egbe. Food given to them.
  • Men married to daughters of Oshun. Don’t argue or raise our hand to women period.
  • In the town of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

FROM TOGO, WEST AFRICA BY OBA AGBE KOUMAH
Ogundafunfunlolo (Ogunda Fulugbe Ma de ahun la deji)

– It says to feed Ogun and everything and negativity will go away.
– It says to remove blood from the mouth
– Is a very big and good sign

May Olodumare and our ancestors guide us towards happiness and internal peace to have both mentally and spiritually growth and stability in our daily lives.

PRESENT & WITNESSED:

  • Iyalemole Oloye IyaNifa Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi (Ayaba OchaBi Fabuluje-IkaMeji)
  • Afai (IyaNifa) Oloye Ayaba Melba Farrell, IkaFun of Ile Orun
  • Babaolorisha/Oriate Turbado EsuDina Faseye
  • Awotunde Ifaseye, Osa’Wori
  • Apetibi Olaifa Faseye
  • Apetibi EfunYale – Terri Bailey
  • Antwan Jefferson, Tata
  • Lamonteria Johnson
  • Kerkland Kerr, Jr.
  • Orunmila and Ela
  • Orisa Odu and IyaNla
  • Ogbogbo Ancestors
  • Ogbogbo Orisha
  • Iyamiis

Ase ire o

 

 

“West African Religious Practitioners & Devotees Being Inveigling On Social Media”

By Iyalemole Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi-Fabuluje

December 12th, 2019Inkedbabak-mehraban-012345_LI23 (5)8

American Ifa: US, Florida: Google’s dictionary states that inveigling is “to entice, lure, or snare by flattery or artful talk or inducements.” Inveiglement is also a form of entrapment, deception, lying, and or coercion by flattery. Billow (2013) stated that inveiglement is a snare set to trap someone by convincing them of something. Solicitation and flirtation online play a great role as well in inveiglement on social media. Famous John Ruskin says, “the essence of lying is in deception, not in words.” Ifa says in Ika’fun that people should not be deceptive. Yet, deception, lying, and inveigling has been going on for centuries. It has intensified and worsened over time due to globalization of technology and increased use of social media.

In 2019, many individuals, religious faiths, countries, and corporations agree that technology has both globally benefited and hurt in some ways a variety of areas. Technology has provided opportunities to buy and sell goods and services such as dating, modelling, divinations, advertisement, socialization, donating, publishing, and so on. With the birth of social media, an infinite amount of personal information including religious stories, history, events, pictures, birth or death announcements, products, and so-forth have been collected and shared online.

In 2018, American Ifa’s annual reading stated that people will try to portray Ifa as bad when individuals attempt to coerce others into traps and defame Orisa-Ifa practitioners. Billow (2013) agree with Ettinger and Jehiel (2009) that inveigling is an emotional game of rooster and chicken in which the participants are bargaining and soliciting only to end up into a trap (Ofun meji). Another instance, Ofun meji speaks about the pigeon who saw a party happening in town on social media. The pigeon was curious and went to look to see who was at the party. When the pigeon got there, he found it was a trap. The pigeon was the target. The pigeon was lured into a situation on social media where the pigeon lost his life. Inveigling can lead the target to be defamed as a fake or fraud (Walter, 2000). Social media has allowed the development of many negative inveigling groups. At the end of the day, a person’s reputation is tarnished. Ifa says that this type of behavior is condemned (Ogunda obara; Ika Ofun; Ogbe Iwori; Owonrin Irosu; Irete Irosun).

Walter (2000) described the individuals who have the tendency to engage in these entrapment behaviors as emotional, attention seekers and manipulators. The individuals will then see themselves as victims from their own vindictive victimization. Ifa recognizes this character in Odus ogbe’iwori, owonrin’irosun, irete’irosun, and irete’bara as self-deception. By practicing this behavior, they believe they gain power and control over the people who are the real victims. Many police stings utilize entrapment methods to bust online prostitution. More and more, several Traditional Yoruba babalawos have been the target of entrapment. The motivation is usually a person who wants to mislead for a mental award or to accomplish a hidden agenda.

The West African religious practitioners and devotees inveigling on social media have not been focused on preservation, but instead the destruction and dilution of spiritual stability in the diaspora. Odu Ogunda Bede, Odu Ogbe Ale, Odu Eji-Ogbe, and Odu Obara Meji warn people against lying, deception, stealing, entrapment, and other behaviors that will cause a breakdown of social equilibrium (Laleye, 2014). These people draw up an alternate version of reality that only they have witnessed to support their victimhood and gaslight the real victims who know the truth. It’s a form of lying intended to deliberately mislead people. Behind the computer screen an individual can be as handsome or as much the beauty queen as they want. As an example, a person who is out to entrap Babalawos might go to such lengths as to share nude pictures to entice them to their web.

In conclusion, social media has become the breeding ground for the diminishing credibility of Orisa and Ifa practices in the diaspora as well as West Africa. It is easy to inveigle and entrap people because they have desires, needs, and wants which the attention seekers manipulate to their advantage. Entrapment is like a cancer that spreads throughout the body when it is not detected early and the proper Ifa medicines are not administered. Technology will continue to grow to have a wide reach and social media administrators will also continue to like and encourage the dysfunction to draw reality tv show mental illness and madness. In ogbe’yeku, Ifa says there is a space where there is a moment of silence and stillness, where an Awo should seek balance and endurance. One needs to consult Ifa to protect against these individuals who enjoy bringing an ajogun to destroy the legacy of the ancestors (Oturupon’rete).

 

References

Billow, R. M. (2013). On inveiglement. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 274-300. doi:10.152/ijgp.2013.63.2.274

Carson, T. L. (2010). Lying and deception: Theory and practice. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc.

Ettinger, D. & Jehiel, P. (2009). A theory of deception. New York, NY.

Laleye, S. A. (2014). Punishment and forgiveness in the administration of justice in traditional African thought: The Yoruba example. International Journal of Philosophy and Theology, 2(4), 165-176. doi:10.15640/ijpt.v2n4a10

Mele, A. R. (2001). Self-deception unmasked. New York; Princeton University Press

Walters, S. B. (2000). The truth about lying, Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, Inc.