“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