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Miami Ifa Orisa Conference 2010 will be on “LiveStream”

For those that don’t know Livestream.com is a service that allows us to air and transmit this conference LIVE via internet. This is a great tool for all those who are not able to make it. The purpose  of the conference is to educate and unite all Yoruba practitioners.So if you cannot attend please log on where u can watch it live.

Please log on to http://www.LIVESTREAM.COM/MIAMIIFAORISACONFERENCE

Sat. 9am to 1pm and you can watch the conference live on this channel

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Para aquellos que no saben Livestream.com es un servicio que permite a transmitir esta conferencia en vivo a través de Internet. Esta es una gran herramienta para todos aquellos que no podran  estar en en Miami para participar en la conferencia . Si tiene internet pueden ir y visitar a WWW.LIVESTREAM.COM/MIAMIIFAORISACONFERENCE

Estaremos transmitiendo en vivo el sabado May 22, 2010  de 9am -1pm

Para ir al evento Miami Dade Collage north campus

11380 NW 27 Ave, Miami FL

Room # 2158 Building # 2

time:  9am to 1pm

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May 20, 2010 Posted by | RELIGION | Leave a comment

Oba Ernesto Pichardo & Willie Ramos attack IFA Tradition

Miguel “Willie” Ramos,

Recently, I had a oppportunity to read your editorial entitled

“The Four Legged Dog Can Only Take One Path at a Time”

That was posted by you at the following link:

http://eleda.org/blog/2009/11/19/an-editorial-the-four-legged-dog-can-only-take-one-path-at-a-time/

After reading your editorial and the comments in support of your opinion, I feel, as do others, that much of what has been said is based on fear and misunderstanding.

To the extent that you believe that the initiations that took place Ifatokun’s Ile in Miami will ‘destabilize’ the Lukumi tradition, is a conclusion without any support in fact. If you equate ‘change’ synonymously with the term ‘destabilize,’ in this context, then let’s not overlook that the Lukumi tradition went through ‘radical’ changes during the 20th century in Cuba–hence, the idea of ‘change’ is not a foreign concept to the Lukumi.

Your second assertion — i.e., that the initiations in question will also bring ‘instability’ to the West African practice of Orisa worship — is a fallacy.  practitioners of the Yoruba Ifa/Orisa tradition in Miami, West Africa and throughout the diaspora are not denouncing the initiations; instead,  only  certain members of the Lukumi community are objecting to what transpired—and are doing so, in my opinion, because of fear and insecurity. But if what you assert is in fact the case, then it begs the question ‘Why practitioners of YTR are not denouncing the initiations, but a few Lukumi priests are?’
Although you assert that the individuals’ actions “constitutes a deplorable transgression against [the Lukumi] legacy because they question and cast doubt on [the] validity and orthodoxy [of Lukumi] as a growing world religion,” there is a contrary point of view.  From my standpoint, and others agree, the individual who re-initiated to Sango did not eradicate, invalidate or cast doubt on the validity of his prior Lukumi initiation to Sango; instead, the individual received more “ase” of Sango that compliments what he received from his prior initiation. His original orisa was never thrown away just reinforced .I say this because the adosu of Sango prepared by the Yoruba is unlike the one prepared in Lukumi; and how the osun is prepared and painted is also different. As for the second individual, she was initiated to Yemoja.  This initiation, however, did not eradicate, invalidate or cast doubt on the validity of her prior initiation to Obatala in Lukumi; instead, this person now has both Obatala and Yemoja on her head. From a Yoruba standpoint, this is acceptable. In YTR, it is common practice for an individual to have more than one Orisa on one’s head. Speaking for myself, I have more than one Orisa on my head as do others that I personally know who practice the West African Tradition of Ifa/Orisa.  I understand, however, that the idea of having more than one Orisa on one’s head is a foreign concept in the Lukumi tradition.

Ernesto Pichardo

What is most unfortunate regarding the rhetoric in your editorial and comments in support thereof is that the Yoruba priestess, Oloye Ifafunke Olagbaju, who officiated the ceremony in Ifatokun’s Ile, allowed a number of Lukumi priests to participate and observe in order to ‘bridge the gap’ between Lukumi and West Africa.  It was a sign of respect and a gesture of good will on her part to put aside our differences because regardless of system, we all worship the same deities. The motive behind her gesture, moreover, is for the greater good and education of Orisa practitioners in the Diaspora; and now in return for this gesture, the validity of these initiations are now unjustifiably attacked by a few individuals within the Lukumi community such as Oba Ernesto Pichardo, who were neither present for the initiation nor qualified to opine whether the initiation is valid from Yoruba standpoint. Mr. Pichardo’s comments in response to your editorial speaks for itself.  I and many others find it absurd and comical that Pichardo has the audacity to question the validity of the initiations when he himself is not even initiated in the West African tradition of Ifa/Orisa; and has never set foot on Nigerian soil. Who is Ernesto Pichardo to make such a claim? His expertise starts and ends within the boundaries of the lucumi tradition; and does not extend beyond that.

Though I understand that you, Ernesto Pichardo and a few others wish to preserve the Lukumi tradition as ‘is,’ there is, however, a growing perception that this controversy is rooted in economics, not theology or form of ritual practice.  However, if this is really about theology and practice, not economics, then I submit that we all must be honest with ourselves regarding what is happening in the diaspora today as a result of the growing influence of YTR.  The majority of us in the diaspora came to the Orisa tradition because of the Lukumi religion.  But what cannot be ignored is the undeniable fact that this religion, whether you wish to call it Lucumi, Candomblé, etc, is rooted from West Africa, not Cuba or any where else in the diaspora.  There is no disputing the fact that over the past few centuries, much has been lost in the diaspora for a number of reasons (and we all know what those reasons are). Today, however, we are fortunate to live in a different and better world where we no longer live in the oppressive conditions of yesterday; and because of technology, we are fortunate to have access to the source where Ifa/Orisa tradition comes from– i.e., Yorubaland.  It is not surprising that many Lukumi practioners are curious; and are openly embracing the opportunity to further their knowledge about Ifa/Orisa through West Africa. This has been the growing trend over the past decade; and it will continue.   As one Lukumi priestess said to me recently, “People want the truth; they want to separate ‘fact’ from ‘fiction.'” I agree; and  the changes we are beginning to see in Cuba and in South America are a testament to this. Although no one is asking the Lukumi system to change, it is happening nonetheless from within for reasons that are obvious. It is no secret why this happening.  We all realize that the growth and education of Yoruba theological concepts in the diaspora is causing many to question certain theological beliefs that developed in the diaspora where in years past, few people had the courage to openly question in the first place.             

Though we do not agree on everything, I do, however, respect your desire to preserve the Lukumi legacy.  There is nothing wrong with that. As a Cuban American, I believe it is a necessary and just cause because most of us in the diaspora, myself included, came to this tradition by way of the Afro-Cuban Lukumi tradition; and needless to say, the Lukumi tradition is what ultimately led some of us to West Africa.  Where we disagree, however, is the manner in which you seek to reach that ‘end’ in this particular instance by calling for the banishment of these individuals from Lukumi rituals.  Frankly, the “ends” don’t always justify the “means.”  The approach that you are advocating, in my opinion, will only add more ‘fuel’ to the fire so to speak; and will spurn more division and separation between practitioners on both sides of the fence; and ironically, it will exacerbate the current rift within the Lukumi tradition between those who are open to YTR theological concepts and practices, and those who are not.  The conservative wing of the Lukumi tradition should not be criticized for seeking to maintain the Lukumi tradition as “is”; but on the other hand, nor should more liberal  Lukumi adherents be subject to criticism and being ostracized for expanding their horizons beyond the Lukumi system such as the individuals in the present case.  In Yorubaland, there is diversity in Ifa/Orisa practice; but the Yoruba people co-exist with one another and work in harmony despite their regional differences.  Why can’t we do the same here?  If this is truly about theological differences, not economics, then I don’t see why we cannot follow the example of the Yoruba people.  But on the other hand, if this really about economics, then I’m pessimistic about our chances in finding common ground. Money is the root of all evil so to speak.

Perhaps a meeting of both Lukumi and YTR practitioners is necessary so we can discuss our differences and find common ground.  But unlike the type of meeting you are calling for in your editorial, a meeting of practitioners of both traditions in the local Miami area is a more practical approach because the problem is a local one; which does not affect the religious practices taking place in West Africa or abroad. If you are sincere about such a meeting, it can be arranged.

Please contact Ifatokun via email or  telephone to arrange a meeting; or you can knock on his door like the last time when you went to his Ile to inquire about the Yoruba concept of Egbe in which you knew nothing about.

Aboru Aboye ….  written by Ifakolade

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April 8, 2010 Posted by | babalawo, lukumi, Oloye, RELIGION, santeria | , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Man possessed puts knife through his neck but no blood !

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Ok i had to put this video up which shows the power and ability of the Orisa , many people claim to pass a spirit or be possessed as its technically called here we can see the true wonders of what a REAL possession by a Orisha (Head Deity /Guardian Angel) can be like. Ogun is a very powerful Orisa who is the owner of all metals. When Ogun himself  is on earth and manifest himself through real possession there is nothing that will harm is host. As the owner of all metals it is impossible for him to be harmed by one, here we see a machete pass through the neck of this person and  yet he is still alive, yet there is no blood. We can also see how deep his blade goes into his arm and again no blood ! This is exactly what you call a true passing / possession of Orisa

But not all possessions are real , even for some that look to be very authentic so please beware of the phony ! This video below we see a drumming dedicated to Yemaya where the person claims to be possessed by the Orisa . Now im not discrediting him completely, he may or may not be possessed by a spirit or something but it is def not the powerful Orisa Yemaya. We can see at 2:38 sec into the clip as he squats down and then quickly pops up when he notices a wave coming in order to avoid getting wet  ,..LOL Sorry but its just that avoiding getting wet is just not what i expect from the Goddess of the sea !!!  Let us compare the difference.

Leave me your comments and thoughts

April 4, 2010 Posted by | RELIGION | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Oluwo Ceremony in Nigeria

Oluwo is not just a title that you can give your self and think that its a translation or another way to say “Padrino”  There is a actual chieftaincy ceremony that one must first be nominated / selected to receive . Once you are selected or nominated for the title then you must be initiated in the proper way. Here we can get a glimpse of the Oluwo initiation ceremony that took place in Nigeria . Enjoy Ogbo Ato

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Oluwo Ceremony Lagos,Nigeria #3 March…“, posted with vodpod

April 2, 2010 Posted by | RELIGION | , , , , | 1 Comment

RELIGIOUS SNAIL DRINKING ????

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My contact to you today may come by surprise however very humble, it is regarding character reference towards a a high priest of IFA named Charles Stewart  “Oloye Ifatokun Awolola” recently in Miami Florida a investigation and campaign of disgrace has been launched against him simply because of his practice and extensive knowledge on TRADITIONAL IFA
Oloye Ifatokun Awolola has been initiated into IFA in the motherland and practices under one of the most acknowledged Babalawos that pertains to the oldest and most renown IFA lineages ” The Agboola Family ” His temple has brought to our community important representatives of the Yoruba religion, and all of them have shared information, delivered workshops, led initiations, consecrated religious icons, etc., enriching the knowledge, the blessings, and the growth of our religious community. Ifatokun Awolola received a chieftancy title, and that is the reason why we should address him as Oloye (chief), and has also been initiated as Oluwo in the Ogboni society. All of this in the motherland of this religion by prestigious members of their respective religious societies. Oloye Ifatokun Awolola has always been a person of good character, friendly, and positively disposed to his followers, clients, friends, and religious brothers and sisters.
With that said it is hard to understand why other might have hate towards him and all who practice in his Inle, but the issue is much bigger than one man. It is a worldly issue towards all those who practice traditional IFA teachings.  There currently is a despicable campaign led by questionable leaders of the Santeria community who are pursuing as their ultimate goal to stop the spreading of the Traditional IFA Religion in the U.S.A. These detractors of their own religion act this way because they are afraid of continue losing clients and adepts who are, in a daily basis, discovering the truth and the roots of the religion that they have been practicing for so many years. Once that followers of IFA and Santeria religion in the diaspora get in contact with the true traditional IFA religion, immediately realize that they have been handling a near to 70% authentically inherited knowledge from their religion forefathers, and a close to 30% wrong information due to either ignorance, distortions, Comissions, egoism, misunderstandings, bad intentions, religious mix, inventions, personal ambition, personal experiences, etc. Most of the true religious people that make this discovery immediately take provisions to change for the better worship, practice, protocol, and way of living that the traditional IFA offers to its followers. They actually want to continue practicing in the same way that their ancestral predecessors did in the motherland of the Yoruba religion, Africa.
The detractors of the traditional IFA, which generally are in a leading position in the Santeria and Diasporal IFA religion, prefer to try to stop the truth from coming into their communities than actually admit their mistakes and change whatever they have done wrong until now for the traditional, true, and most of the times, much simpler way of doing things. They are cowards that just use their influence and contacts in the media to try to damage the reputation, the honor, and the image of the leaders of the traditional IFA worldwide and most specifically in the U.S.A., which is the country where these detractors live from their religion as a business. In this particular case, they are taking advantage of the fact that Oloye Ifatokun Awolola was using certain snails in religious rituals to try to destroy him, his temple, and his family.These evil people full of jealousy, envy, power ambition, and evil machinations, have received the biggest amount of money in their lives, as dirty money. They have done this by consulting, doing all kinds of ceremonies, initiating, and advising delinquents, drug dealers, and criminals, and many times supporting their illegal activities, Other times by forcing their clients to be initiated or receive certain religious icons, or undergo certain ceremonies when those were not the advises of IFA. In other occasions they have used the innocence, the credulity, and the ignorance of their clients to convert them into victims of their abuses, which include: rubbery, swindle,and even sexual abuse, As IFA states: “When the truth arrives, the lies bow their heads”.
The Yoruba religion uses snails in different ways: to offer them to the Orisas, to cook them and eat them after an offering, to appease certain religious entities, for head rogations, to drink the dribble of the snail, for preparation of medicine, for preparation of very powerful religious powders, for preparation of consecrating baths for religious icons and religious initiations, for preparation of medicinal and religious soaps, creams, etc. This should not surprise anyone. In three of the best gastronomies of the world, the Chinese, the French, and the Italian, snails are cooked and eaten as a delicacy. We can eat these delicious plates in hundreds of restaurants in our nation. In almost any pharmacy or natural food store in the U.S.A. we can buy commercial cosmetic and medicinal products using the dribble of the snails to heal from skin problems like scars, spots, rosaceas, psoriasis, etc. In the Yoruba land, the snail that has been traditionally used for religious, medicinal, and gastronomic purposes is the Giant African Snail that the media claims that Oloye Ifatokun Awolola was in possession of at his house.

The media states that those snails are poisonous and that the problem started with      the complains of clients or followers of Oloye Ifatokun Awolola who claim that they got sick after ingesting the dribble of the snails which is not true.  It is very curious that none of those complainers state that there initiation was in March of 2009 when those ceremonies happen. There is a very tricky game being played by a person who 1 year later claims to get sick. If this was true the priests like Oloye Ifatokun and all the other religious people who worked with him in those ceremonies are supposed to be very sick since they have tasted this fluid many times more than those clients/followers. If those snails would be poisonous, all Yoruba practitioners in Africa, which are more than 30 million would be dead, because they taste the fluid of those snails since their third day of age when they go under the Esentaye ceremony. If you go to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website and you make a search for the word snail, you will find out that all the snails involved as vectors of any disease are aquatic, and the type of disease transmitted is a parasite. Fishes that live in the same aquatic environment of those snails can be a vector of the parasite. So we should also call those fishes as poisonous. There is no record of those snails as transmitters of meningitis, which is the disease that an initiate of Oloye Ifatokun Awolola verbally claims to the media (yet was never hospitalized)  that she contracted when she entered in contact with the fluid of the African snail. Pork meat carries a parasite, and cooking the meat is what avoids us from contracting the disease caused by that parasite. We do not call the pork meat poisonous, and we continue selling it, even as non cooked fermented meat like pepperoni, salami, sopressata, serrano ham, prosciutto, etc. There is no guarantee that the chicken that you will eat today will not have Salmonella (a disease-causing bacteria) in it, and only good cooking reduces the chances of getting Salmonellosis. Do you call chicken a poisonous meal?

It impresses us how the media would interview sales people in a botanica stores and voodoo practitioners instead of religious leaders and practitioners of traditional IFA . It is depressing to see ignorants being interviewed to say atrocities that will be used to support the accusations against a serious priest trying to do his best according to his tradition, lineage, and religious beliefs.

We are sure that if Oloye Ifatokun Awolola would be initiated in the diaspora, or would have “religious businesses” of any kind with any of the diasporal leaders, or would be a powerful politician, millionaire, or gangster, or he would not represent any challenge to the diasporal practitioners, he would not be at this moment the objective of discredit from these detractors of IFA. Instead, he would probably be invited to all their parties and celebrations.

Today we simply ask of all of our brothers and sisters to unite and use the modern day tools of Blogs , websites , and forums to re post and open conversation’s about the media backlash towards our religion.We must respectfully with facts defend our rights and religion.

May Olodumare, Orí, Orúnmila, and all the Irunmoles/Orisas protect Oloye Ifatokun Awolola and the rest of the people in his family and Temple under these circumstances. We pray that the outcome of this situation will lead to the expansion of the minds of the people living in this great nation and yield the appropriate changes of the U.S. laws to ensure that there are no impediments for the practice of the Yoruba religion of IFA and the worshiping of the Irunmole/Orisas in America.

Thank you all for your time ,

Osun Dare’
Ile Ogunda Bede
Ogboni
Ile Idi Otito L’agba Morenike Olomowewe

March 30, 2010 Posted by | RELIGION | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments