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Rejection to the “Accord” of Florida Oba Oriates

To whom it may concern:

 

Many of us are not surprised by the recent publication of the“Accord” from  the Oba Oriates of South Florida .  The underlying controversy began late last year (i.e., 2009) when Willie Ramos wrote an editorial on his website  at eleda.org entitled, “The Four Legged Dog Can Only Take One Path at a Time” denouncing the ordinations of two Lucumi Olorisas into the Yoruba tradition (which took place in Miami, Florida).  Mr. Ramos called for their expulsion from future Lukumi ceremonies because they “disrespected” the Lukumi tradition by their actions.  In addition, Mr. Ramos called for a conference where members of the YTR and Lukumi community in Miami can discuss their differences; and perhaps, find common ground so that we can co-exist peacefully.

 

A conference was organized in response to Mr. Ramos’ suggestion; and when it took place a month ago, neither Mr. Ramos nor Ernesto Pichardo were in attendance.  Not only was their absence irresponsible and an act of cowardice, this accord solidifies that Mr. Ramos’ call for mutual understanding and respect is disingenuous.

 

Willie Ramos proclaims on his website that this “[Accord] is a response to the actions of a specific group of followers of Yoruba Traditional Religion and is in no way directed at any particular group on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality or gender.  This is a religious issue–no more, no less … .” I now make the case that his claim is false–contrary to what he says, this is not just a religious issue.  It is also an issue motivated by discrimination and the self economic interest of a certain faction within the Lucumi community.

 

Article VI of the Accord bars any Lukumi ordained Olorisa, under penalty of expulsion, from receiving rituals or initiation rites from the Yoruba tradition; but on the other hand, it does not prohibit receiving rituals or initiation rites from other African based traditions. Why is this the case? If this Accord is not an instrument of discrimination, then why does it not impose a blanket prohibition against receiving rituals from all non Lukumi traditions? Why, instead, is it exclusive to the Yoruba tradition? Well, here is some food for thought:  Years ago, Willie Ramos went to Brazil to receive rituals & religious icons from the Candomble tradition–specifically  Ori and Osumare; and since then, he has profited by giving these non Lucumi Orisa icons in the U.S. Thus, this begs the question, “how is this any different from crossing traditional lines to receive Yoruba rituals and icons?” Of course, there is no difference! But in his defense, he will insist that receiving an Orisa from another tradition is not the same as being initiated; but that excuse is a distinction without a difference with the same result. By crossing the line in his case,  isn’t he guilty of questioning whether the Lucumi tradition is missing something? Aren’t his actions disrespectful of the Lucumi legacy? The answer is “yes,” if you apply the logic from his editorial.  More importantly, what this shows, more than anything, is how this Accord is influenced by the self interest of those who authored it.

 

Article VIII bars members of the Yoruba tradition from participating in Lucumi ordination ceremonies–but does not exclude members of other African based traditions. It should not surprise anyone why the Accord is drafted  in this fashion;  it is no secret that years ago, Willie Ramos presented Maria Oxala, a Candomble priestess, to the Lukumi Ocha room (“el cuarto Santo”) to bridge the gap between Candomble and Lukumi. Although that is not a violation of Art., VIII–since it only excludes Olorisas of the YTR–it does, on the other hand, violate the spirit and purpose of the Accord; which is  intended  to bar non ordained Lucumi Olorisas from the “Cuarto Santo”  to protect the “integrity” of the Lucumi ordination ceremony. Besides, shouldn’t  Lucumi Olorisas ask Willie Ramos the following question: “How can a Candomble priestess give what she doesn’t have?” I mean, that is the same question they pose to justify the rejection of Yoruba Olorisas from the Lucumi room.  But I guess it’s okay, as a gesture of good will & respect, to allow a Candomble Olorisa into the Lucumi room, but a YTR Olorisa is not accorded the same courtesy and respect?  If the purpose of Art., VIII is to preserve the integrity of the Lucumi ordination ceremony, then why does it not bar members of all non Lucumi traditions?  Needless to say, not only is this Accord discriminatory, but also hypocritical. Perhaps the Oriates who drafted this Accord didn’t give this much thought–or did they?

 

Now, to clarify for the record, I am not bringing this up to demand that YTR Olorisas must have access to the Lukumi room–frankly, most of us, including myself, don’t care to go there–instead, I bring this up to show that there is a bias against the YTR; and as much as I hate to pull out the “race” card, the bias is racially motivated to a certain extent; which for the life of me, I cannot understand because we all worship African divinities–and they are neither white nor Hispanic. Go figure.

 

Given the threat of ex-communication as a consequence for violating this Accord, it begs the question who gave Ernesto Pichardo, Willie Ramos & Co., the authority to impose and enforce this as a sanction? This is not the Catholic Church! God bless them if this is the course of action they wish to take; it will hurt their cause in the long run.

 

I submit that the Yoruba tradition is singled out in this Accord because of fear and the insecurities of a handful of Oriates. These self proclaimed leaders of the Lucumi tradition seek to maintain the status quo for their own self interest.  If you doubt such is the case, ask yourself “why is it that no Babalawos within the Lucumi tradition were invited to the meeting to establish this Accord?” “Why was this meeting inclusive of Oriates only, and no one else; and closed to the public?”

 

Although the Oriates will not admit this, they perceive the spread of the Yoruba tradition as a threat because of it’s potential impact on the role of the Oriate–which  truth be told, is a Cuban innovation. For instance, we now know, as a result of studying the roots of Orisa tradition in West Africa , no bar exists against Babalawos from participating or officiating Orisa ordinations. It is a common practice in Yorubaland for Ifa priests to participate and in some cases, officiate such ordinations–but the caveat is that the Awo must have the proper training and knowledge. This of course, begs the question why Awos in the Lucumi tradition no longer officiate such ceremonies? The Yoruba tradition, moreover, teaches that there is no separation between Ifa and Orisa; and that a Babalawo/Iyanifa is an Olorisa just like a priest of Obatala and etc. Hence, it begs the question why a rift exists within the Lukumi tradition between Awos and Olorisas? Since the Yoruba philosophy is remarkably different on this issue than that of the Lucumi, the perception is that it poses a threat to ending the isolation that exists between Babalawos and Olorisas within the Lukumi tradition; which for many years has assured the economic security and position of the Oriate–this is so because the Yoruba philosophy brings into question in the minds of many whether this separation should continue. Hence, if a shift within the Lukumi tradition takes place where Babalawos begin to officiate or take a bigger role in Orisa ordinations, who do you think will object to this? The answer is obvious. To put the final nail in the coffin on this point, after the Oriates met, Willie Ramos advised Ifatokun Awolola (Charles Stewart) that “they have no issue with us–i.e., the traditionalists–except for Radames.” For those of you who do not know, Radames Villega is a Babalawo who did his Ifa in Cuba and is a former Lukumi Oriate. What is their problem with Radames? Well, the problem is twofold.  First, there is a photograph on Ifatokun’s webpage on Myspace where Radames estaraspando cabeza” (shaving a head) in the ordination ceremony of an Iyawo–and mind you, it was a Yoruba ceremony, not Lucumi. But despite that distinction, that picture, from from their point of view, is a sign of what may come in the future–hence, why the Oriates met in secret to manufacture this Accord in order to stop the “cancer” from spreading before its too late. The second problem is that Radames participated, without objecting, in the ordination of two Lucumi Olorisas into the Yoruba tradition–but Radames is a believer in the Yoruba tradition, and in his and our view, the ordination does not invalidate the prior initiation because the traditions are different–and how the idosu is prepared and Osun is painted are different.  The orikis and incantations for the ceremony are different.  Simply put, the “ashe” is different.  Of course, how can those who feel otherwise understand our point of view when they lack the necessary education and understanding of the Yoruba tradition? Further, the Oriates, and those who agree with them, appear like hypocrites by complaining about the re-ordinations in this case when historically, re-ordinations occurred in Cuba . See e.g., Obadimeji; and Oshabi.  Too add more salt to their wounds, we are aware of that one of the Iyawos initiated in Ifatokun’s Ile intends to ordain herself in the Lukumi tradition; and frankly, that is a non issue for us because we are secure with the validity and legitimacy of our rituals and tradition.  One Iyawo’s decision to flip sides does not bring into the question the validity of a tradition that is the parent of all Orisa traditions in the diaspora.

Perhaps a solution to the perceived threat is that some Oriates should initiate to Ifa in the West African tradition; but this suggestion, in many cases opens another can of worms. Because of the resentment associated with exclusion of homosexuals from the Lucumi Ifa cult, many Oriates who are gay will not consider this to avoid the appearance of being a hypocrite due to years of expressing anti-Ifa rhetoric. There are other Oriates who believe they cannot initiate to Ifa because they have been indoctrinated with the belief that they cannot mount Orisa or spirits if they pass to Ifa. This too is a myth (i.e., a subject for another occasion).  Hence, some feel they are in a “Catch 22” with no alternative but to go along with program.

 

More importantly, this Accord must be rejected because it is a catalyst for discord and resentment; which is what the Oriates want because by creating discord, it will ensure a state of isolation between the traditions which only benefits them–it ensures their survival. But their selfishness, on the other hand, will fracture the Lukumi community because many Lukumi ordained priests have embraced the indigenous Yoruba tradition and more will continue to do so in the future–which begs the question why have they embraced the Yoruba tradition? If you haven’t figured out why, then ask Willie Ramos what motivated him to travel to Brazil to receive Ori & Osumare and you’ll have your answer–assuming he is honest.

 

Unfortunately, the Oriates are far too near sighted to realize that they are fighting and hurting themselves. The branch of the tree is smacking the trunk from which it came–where is the wisdom in this? Although they insist that they are doing this to maintain the legacy of their ancestors, the assertion is absurd because the ancestors they speak of are African or direct descendants of West Africans. Latuan, Oba Tero. Efunshe, Adeshina, the pioneers who cemented the Lucumi tradition in Cuba , were Yoruba–they were born and ordained in Yorubaland; and they are rolling in their graves as we speak because of what is going on. They also insist that the purpose of this Accord is to maintain the integrity of the Lucumi tradition and that changes will not be accepted (even though no one from the Yoruba tradition is insisting on changes). But in doing so, they overlook that the Lucumi tradition is a product of change and adaptations that took place in Cuba . The Kari Ocha Ceremony is a prime example of that; but yet, Oriates who have never been to West Africa , insist the ceremony came from Oyo royalty; which we now know is a myth because this has been thoroughly investigated by those of us who have been to Yorubaland. What is most absurd is that they point to Oyo to validate the legitimacy of their ordination ceremony, but yet they reject and insult their West African roots. How is this logical?

 

Now the real question is why is there such hostility? Willie Ramos, and others who side with him, submit that the ordination of the Lucumi Olorisas into the Yoruba tradition cast doubt on validity and legitimacy of their prior initiation in Lucumi–and therefore, it is disrespectful.  Although we disagree, the ordinations in my opinion are not the source of the hostility.  The problem, as I see it, is that there is a rift within the Lucumi community.  Many within the Lucumi tradition accept the obvious fact that the Yoruba language has been lost in Cuba–no one understands what they are saying when praying creolized Yoruba; and because of this and many other examples, they are open to learning from the Yoruba to retrieve what was lost, dispel myths or “undue” the manipulations that have occurred in Cuba over the past two centuries.  If this is not the truth, then again–why did Willie Ramos go to Brazil in the first place? Now, in contrast, there are those who refuse to accept this reality, and insist on maintaining their tradition as they were taught.  But in doing so, these individuals throughout the years have maintained a vicious campaign filled with untruths and  hate against the Yoruba tradition to maintain the status quo.  Some examples of the untruth(s) and insults I speak of are as follows:

 

(1) The Yoruba don’t know what they are doing;

(2) The Yoruba are practicing “modern” Yoruba religion;

(3) The Yoruba no longer have real bata;

(4) The Lucumi language is an ancient Yoruba dialect that no longer exists in West Africa – this statement comes from Ernesto Pichardo who does not speak Yoruba, and has never been to Yorubaland.

(5)  The Orisa community in Nigeria no longer has “Ase” because it was lost in colonialism – i.e., another statement from Ernesto Pichardo.

(6) Osoosi was lost and brought back to Nigeria from the diaspora;

(7) Erinle worship and priests are extinct in West Africa ;

(8) Women initiating to Ifa in West Africa is a recent invention;

(9) The elders in Oyo do not initiate women to Ifa;

(10) Now, I save the best for last–i.e., the recent comments of Hendry Caveda, a Lucumi Olorisa, which can be found on the facebook page of Oloye Ifatokun Awolola, where Mr. Caveda states the following:

 

“SI ALLA EN NIGERIA ES DONDE DE VERDAD ESTA EL FUNDAMENTO DONDE DE VERDAD ESTA TODO DONDE DE VERDAD SABEN HACER LOS … See MoreREZO BIEN DONDE ESTAN TODO LOS SABIO DE ESTA RELIGION PORQUE SE ESTAN MURIENDO DE HAMBRE Y LLEVAN AÑOS DE AÑOS Y LOS QUE LE FALTAN VIVIENDO EN CHOSAS EN CASA DE GUANO VIVIENDO COMO QUIERA, SI HAY TANTA GUERRA PORQUE ESOS SABIOS NO HACEN UN EBBO PA VER SI SE ARREGLA ESO ALLA NO JODA ESA TIERRA ESTA OFO, LOS MUSULMANES SON LOS QUE MANDA ALLA
Y es la realidad.

 

Translation:

“If Nigeria is the place where the true foundation lies; where they know how to pray/chant well; and is the place where the wise and knowledgeable of this religion lies, then why is it that in Nigeria, they are dying of hunger, living in houses made of bird shit; why is there so much war there–why don’t they (i.e., the Yoruba) make sacrifice to see if it will fix the state of their country! Quit messing around! That land (i.e., Nigeria ) is a total “loss”; the Muslims are the ones who rule over there (i.e., Nigeria ). That is the reality.”’

 

Mind you, these are the words of a Lucumi Olorisa (i.e. Hendry Cavada) who has never been to Nigeria .

 

So in conclusion, the core of the problem lies within Lucumi community; there are those who accept the reality of the situation and are open to learning from the Yoruba; but on the other hand, there are those who are not, and insist on keeping their tradition as they were taught—but are doing so by waging a campaign of falsehoods, insults and isolationism. This Accord is an instrument of that on-going campaign; and it does not fix the problem; but instead, it exacerbates it.

 

For all the reasons set forth herein,  I encourage all Orisa worshippers, regardless of whether you are traditional Yoruba, Lucumi, Candomble, Vodoun, to deliberate upon this matter; and join together to reject this Accord as an instrument of discrimination and hate.  Most of all, I sincerely hope that for the next up coming conference in Miami(and there will be one soon)  that Ernesto Pichardo, Willie Ramos, and especially all who agree with them, have the courage to attend so we can sit down as adults and discuss our differences so that we can find a way to peacefully co-exist with one another.

 

Ifakolade

June 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Lucumi Attempt to Bury African Origins of IFA & Orisa Worship

SANTIAGO DE CUBA - DECEMBER 4:   A cuban with ...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Recently we have been rocked and sadden to read about certain group of Oriates in Miami who held a secret conference in order to attempt and pass law towards Traditional  Yoruba Religion and all there followers ! Yes i know sounds very crazy , some people in the Lucumi community state that although Lucumi /Santeria religion does come from Africa that lucumi is now to be recognized as its own independent religion . They have the nerve to say that Africans no longer have ASE in what they originally created because of colonialism.This is a disturbing power struggle that has been launched by Ernesto Pichardo and Miguel “Willie” Ramos in order to bury there African roots of IFA Orisa worship. Their meeting was held with the purpose of creating a ” ACCORD ”  that will seperate Lucumi / Santeria religion from its original roots and teachings. It is a attemp to discreted its origins and all those who practice YTR. I post this here not in support of the Accord but to shedding light to the topic but to raise awareness of how far a group of power-hungry so called religious indivisuals are willing to go. Please note that this group of anti-Babalawo and anti -African as a whole tends to talk alot about how there is no ASE in Africa(  because they belive it all moved to Cuba ) while yet they never have traveled to the motherland. Yes very silly

Here is the ” Accord ” and law that Oba Oriate Ernesto Pichardo ( which by they way has self titled imself  “King of All Lands” or something  ) is trying to create. (Oriates secret meeting creating Accord Agreement)

In the city of Miami, on the 2nd day of June, 2010, came together the majority of the Lukumi religion’s Oba Oriatés – directors and masters of ceremonies, consecrations and worship– as well as their respective apprentices, which reside, officiate and perform their religious duties as such in the South Florida region.

The council convened to analyze and debate the recent incidents that have occurred with practitioners of the so-called Traditional Yoruba Religion residing in the South Florida region, and the conflicts and discrepancies in theology and ritual practice that have arisen between both religious systems.

As such, this council came to order as an independent entity that is not affiliated to any institution, and the following resolutions were ratified. These resolves explicitly convey the individual and unanimous sentiment of the religious body of priests and devotees that represent and preserve the religious heritage and legacy of the Lukumí religion in its traditional Cuban form. The Oba Oriatés convened and ratified the following

ACCORDS:

I. The Constitution of the United States of America guarantees the inalienable and unalterable rights of every person that it receives in its bosom. Among these, each and every citizen is guaranteed freedom of religion, a right and privilege that we value and recognize as patrimony of the human race and a fundamental catalyst of this society and all human civilization. All human beings, no matter where they reside, have the right to practice the religion of their choosing, free from the fear of persecution and any unjust measures that violate this fundamental right.

II. As Lukumí priests, we maintain and uphold a religious legacy that for more than two centuries has responded and continues to answer to the fundamental religious needs of its devotees. We do not need to modify, rectify, justify, modernize, nor abandon the theological principles and religious wisdom bequeathed to us by our Lukumí ancestors and the founders of our religious tradition in Cuba, a devotion that we have since disseminated throughout the Diaspora. We emphasize that our rituals, ceremonies and protocols are executed according to the teachings of our ancestors, wisdom that we do not have the need, nor the intention, to abandon or alter to adopt or accommodate the criteria, exigencies or impositions upon our Lukumí traditions, nor the coercive mechanisms of reformative traditions foreign to our Lukumí customs and ignorant of our history, values, principles and heritage in the Americas and the Lukumí Diaspora.

III. Although the rituals and consecrations practiced in Lukumí Religion and in the so-called Traditional Yoruba Religion share ethnic, cultural, and geographical origins, our practices differ considerably. Therefore, we consider both religious systems to have specific, intrinsic and particular rites, protocols, and consecrations that respond to the specific needs of their devotees but are incompatible with each other. As such, each tradition should be considered an autonomous tradition and should remain within the parameters of its own cult and doctrine, thus maintaining a level of mutual respect, and ensuring that our rituals are not confused and/or mixed.

IV. We emphatically reiterate that the practices of the Lukumi Religion and those of the Traditional Yoruba Religion are completely and unequivocally different, and as such, there are no commonalities in the ritual practices observed at the present time that can bring them together. We consider both religious systems to be totally and unequivocally separate and independent of each other.

V. We establish and reiterate that representatives of the Lukumi Religion and representatives of the Traditional Yoruba Religion follow and are bound by separate and distinct principles and procedures as to their rituals and religious rites and protocols. Therefore, each group will have to perform such within the confines and margins of its own consecrations and ritual shrines.

VI. Those priests ordained in the Lukumi 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 Lukumí Religious system. We will not recognize nor validate the consecration or the privileges of those priests that abandon Lukumí worship to adopt those of the Yoruba Traditionalists. If they decide to abandon Lukumí Religion and are ordained in the Traditionalist rites, they will lose the religious status they acquired through their Lukumí ordination.

a. Let it be clearly established that any and all persons that convert to the Traditional Yoruba practices will lose any and all rights in our tradition. These persons cannot participate in any of our rites or ceremonies, regardless of the ceremony and/or hierarchical level of the individual or ritual.

b. Any person ordained in the practice of the Traditional Yoruba Religion that was not previously ordained in Lukumí Religion and wants to join our religious community, will have to adhere and submit to our different levels of consecrations and ordination rituals as necessary to acquire the desired status in the Lukumí community.

VII. Lukumí Religion recognizes two types of rituals: private and public. The rites considered to be “private” are those rituals and ceremonies that limit participation to persons properly and ritualistically ordained and/or consecrated in the priesthood, following those patterns bequeathed to us by our Lukumí ancestors. The rituals that are understood to be “public” are those socio-religious events that are celebrated openly and publicly, in which members of the secular and lay community may be present, no matter their religious affiliation, inasmuch as their presence is in the spirit of respectful sharing and learning.

VIII. The Oriatés that freely and voluntarily accept these accords will not accept inside our Igbodús – ritual rooms and spaces in which rites and rituals considered to be of a private nature are performed – those persons ordained to the Traditional Yoruba Religion. In the event that one or more of these persons are present in any Lukumi rite, the Oriaté has the right to cease officiating as long as these persons continue to be present. If the situation is not corrected, the Oriaté has the right to refuse to officiate and abandon the premises where the ceremony is taking place.
a. The Oriaté that refuses to perform a ritual is obligated to return the ashedi – honorarium – before departing. Additionally, the Oriaté must communicate with the Oriatés that have ratified this accord, inform them about the occurrence, and communicate all pertinent and relevant details.
b. All Oriatés are obligated to support the decision of the Oriaté that decided to abandon a ceremony and to express their solidarity with the initial Oriaté’s decision by not officiating in stead, in defense to our religious legacy.
c. In the event that another Oriaté is called to replace the one that left, the new Oriaté has the following ethical obligations:

i. Investigate the reasons that provoked the incident.
ii. Communicate with the previous Oriaté in order to ascertain the details of the incident.
iii. After hearing both sides, determine the best way to proceed. If the circumstances that occasioned the conflict persist, all persons that adhere to these accords are morally and ethically obligated to refuse to perform their services.

The dissemination and diffusion of this accord and its stipulations to inform our priesthood and religious community will be of extreme importance.

IX. All priests and devotees of the Traditional Yoruba Religion may attend our public events and ceremonies as long as they act and carry themselves in a cordial, civil, and ethical manner. They shall not proselytize or employ coercive or pejorative methods or propaganda that would be considered offensive to our religious legacy, inasmuch as that would give motive to request that they cease and discontinue such behavior or communication. If the behavior persists, they shall be asked to leave the premises at once. Albeit, the person sponsoring the event or ceremony has the right to admit or deny entrance to any person or persons to their public ceremonies.

The Oba Oriatés and their apprentices that hereby ratify and sign these accords, are beholden to the task of convening meetings and to communicate to their followers, other Olorishas and Babalawos of the Lukumi Religion in the United States and the Lukumi Diaspora, by whatever means at their disposal, the particulars of these accords. Furthermore, this council emphasizes the need to communicate the particulars of these accords to all other priests and followers of the different Orisha traditions of the Americas and the Diaspora.

X. These accords will admit the signatures of the Olorishas and Babalawos that would like to add their names and support to this council and accords, either by proxy, in person or by electronic means.

XI. It is understood that these accords are public domain, and as such are permitted and authorized to be broadcast by any and all means of communication.

Please your comments and thoughts on this matter are welcomed , I ask all YTR what is your opinion on this ? I trust you will not remain quiet.

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June 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Ifa of the Year for all Ifa/Orisa practitioners all over the world revealed at Oke Itase, Ile-Ife on the 5th of June, 2010.

Aboru Aboye.

Solagbade Popoola

Chairman, Ethics and Scripture Committee

Ifa of the Year for all Ifa/Orisa practitioners all over the world revealed at Oke Itase, Ile-Ife on the 5th of June, 2010.

Ifa says that it foresees ayewo of arun (Affliction). For the first time in so many years, Ifa of the year fails to foresee ire. The significance of this is that extra caution needs to be taken in handling our day to day affairs this year. Ifa however recommends for every devotee to propitiate his/her Ori with one guinea fowl and palm oil. Instead of using water, palm oil is to be used. Water is not to be used at all. There is also the need for every one of us to propitiate our ancestors as appropriate.

The Arun which Ifa refers to has a lot to do with man-woman relationship. The types of arun which Ifa is referring to include sexually transmitted diseases, emotional trauma resulting from disappointments, failure of relationships, deceit, infidelity and separations. There is also the need for men to take good care of their sexual potency in order not to record failure with their loved ones. The ebo for this is either a rooster or a matured he-goat.

Main messages:

1.Ifa says it foresees recognition, honor, victory and dignity for Ifa and Orisa devotees this year. Ifa says that our efforts in the communities, groups, environments, countries and even in the world at large shall not only be recognized, they shall also be rewarded. Ifa advises each and every one of us to offer ebo with two ducks, two pigeons and money. Each person also needs to feed his/her Orisa/Irunmole with plenty of black eyed peas. On this, Ifa says:

E je wele muke-muke-muke

E je wele

Dia fun Ose

Ti won o mu joye Oloba

Ebo ni won ni ko waa se

O gbebo, o rubo

A m’Ose j’Oloba lonii o

E je wele muke-muke-muke

E je wele

Translation:

E je wele muke-muke-muke

E je wele

Consume black-eyed peas to your satisfaction

This was the Ifa message for Ose

The one that would be installed as the king of Oba town

He was advised to offer ebo

He complied

We have installed Ose as Oloba (king of Oba) today

E je wele muke-muke-muke

E je wele

Consume black-eyed peas to your satisfaction

2.Ifa advises all devotees to offer ebo with four rats, four fish, two pigeons, two hens, two guinea fowls, two roosters and money. We also need to procure itoo melons to cook plenty of snails and shea butter for Obatala; use the same itoo melons to cook dried fish for Osun; use itoo melon to cook guinea fowl for Ifa; use itoo melon to cook rooster for Egungun; use itoo melon to cook beef for all the other Irunmole/Orisa. Ifa assures all Irunmole/Orisa devotees that if these can be done, there is no ire of life that any of the devotees will lack. On these, Ifa says:

Ose bara mu ta

Dia fun won ni Ibarapa

Omo afitoo bo ohun gbogbo nitori ire gbogbo

Ebo ni won ni ki won waa se

Won gbebo, won rubo

Ko pe, ko jinna

E wa ba ni ba jebutu ire gbogbo

Translation:

Ose bara mu ta (alias of an Awo)

He cast Ifa for the inhabitants of Ibarapa

Those who use itoo melon to propitiate all deities for the attainment of all ire of life

They were advised to offer ebo

They complied

Before long, not too far

Join us in the midst of all ire

3.Ifa says that all devotees shall succeed together with their friends and loved ones this year. Ifa says that the degree of success will depend entirely on their level of devotion to the cause of the Irunmole/Orisa. It goes without saying therefore that Ifa expects each and every one of us to work harder than ever before in order to improve our ratings in the sight of the divinities. Ifa advises each individual to look for his/her best friend in order to feed their Ori together. Ifa does not allow an individual to feed his/her Ori alone. Propitiation materials: one guinea fowl for each person, palm oil, kolanuts, bitterkola, gin excluding water. On this, Ifa says:

Ose bula lago

Dia fu Ina

Tii s’akogun Olodumare

Ebo ni won ni ko se

O gbebo, o rubo

Bi ipori ina ba gbepo je

Iwa a re a si goke

Translation:

Ose bula lago

He cast Ifa for Ina, fire

The head warrior of Olodumare

He was advised to offer ebo

He complied

If palm oil is added to fire

His destiny will rise up more prominently

4.Ifa says that all the weak, defenseless and helpless people shall be given the protection of Olodumare this year. Ifa warns all oppressors to desist from their nefarious acts in order not to incur the wrath of Olodumare. Ifa advises all oppressed to offer ebo with either one rooster or one he-goat and money. Each person also needs to offer ebo with two round wooden basins of about 40cm in diameter each. On this, Ifa says:

Ose babaaba

Obara babaaba

Okunrin babaaba leyin efon

A ri baba a se bi Eegun ni

Dia fun Alabahun Ajapa

Omo arinlosin, omo agbenu opon yan

Ebo ni won ni ko se

Esu lo so Alabahun di apata

Esu lo so Alabahun di oko

Translation:

Ose babaaba, the sturdy Ose

And equally powerful Obara

A strong and powerful in hot pursuit behind a buffalo

We saw an old man and mistook him for an Egungun, the ancestor

Ifa cast for Alabahun Ajapa, the tortoise

He who walks majestically and resides inside covered basis

He was advised to offer ebo

He complied

It is Esu Odara who turned Alabahun Ajapa into a solid rock

It is also Esu Odara who turned Alabahun into granite

The story: Hitherto Alabahun Ajapa, the tortoise and all his children were being picked for consumption by all the birds. There was nothing that Alabahun Ajapa could do to protect himself and his family against the activities of the bird. Tired of this type of living, Alabahun went to a Babalawo for Ifa consultation in the home of the Awo mentioned above. He was advised to offer ebo as stated above together with all the members of his family. He complied. After this, the officiating Awo placed Alabahun Ajapa in between the two wooden basins, his limbs, head and anus were given space to come out and go inside the basins. Esu Odara glued the rest together. From that day henceforth, Alabahun ajapa was given protection against all the birds. Any bird that attempted to eat Alabahun Ajapa will have its beak broken to pieces.

5.Ifa says that those in helpless positions, especially financial helplessness, shall be raised up and be removed from their position of helplessness and be financially empowered. Ifa says that many devotees who find themselves in position of want shall have cause to be grateful to Olodumare because they will be moved to the position of abundance this year. Ifa advises each of such people to offer ebo with two pigeons, honey and money. On this, Ifa says:

Ose nii segi ninu igbo

Olobara ni nhokun lodan

Dia fun Moja

Tii seru Alake

Ebo ni won ni ko waa se

Ifa ma fi mi seru enikan

Eeyan to lowo kii seru enikookan

Translation:

Ose is he who cuts wood in the forest

Olobara is he who twist the rope in the savanna

Ifa’s message for Moja

Who was enslaved by Alake

He was advised to offer ebo

He complied

Ifa, please don’t make me a slave of anyone

Whoever is financially stable cannot be enslaved by anybody

6.Ifa says that all devotees, especially leaders, among them need to offer ebo against enemies and uprisings. Ifa says that this person needs to offer ebo with one matured he-goat and money. At the same time Ifa urges these leaders to propitiate their ancestors the Oro style with one matured ram. Ifa explains that the type of crises of conspiracy, opposition and uprising being faced by these devotees had earlier been faced by their ancestors until they died. These ancestors will now give them all the necessary support in order to give a resounding victory. On this, Ifa says:

Igbo nla mumo ni mu’ri

Okunkun mu ni morun eni

Dia fun Omumuyeye

Ti nbe nirangun ota

Ebo ni won ni ko se

Omumuyeye iyee

Baba wa rorun koi bo

Translation:

A thick forest consumes a child completely

And the darkness also consumes one totally

Ifa’s message for Omumuyeye

When in the midst of enemies

He was advised to offer ebo

He complied

Omumuyeye iyee!

Our father has gone to heaven and yet to return

7.Ifa says that devotees shall sparkle this year. They will hold vantage positions that will make them the envy of others. Ifa urges all devotees to be pure in their thoughts, speeches and actions. Ifa says that the purer they are, the more recognition they will get. Ifa however warns that they need to be careful with the negative designs of envious and jealous people. There is the need to offer ebo in order to prevent their white garment being soiled by those who are jealous of their achievements in life. Ifa advises each person to offer ebo with three roosters, three hens, three bar soaps and money. On this, Ifa says:

Ose bara

Awo Aso funfun lo dia fun Aso funfun

To nlo sode eye

Eyi ti yoo ba won keye bo wa ‘nu ile

E waa se tan

Ni won ni o dori aso funfun

Gbogbo isowo Ope

Eni gbebo nibe ko sebo

Gbogbo isowo Ope

Translation:

Ose bara, the Awo of Aso funfun, white garment

Cast Ifa for Aso funfun, white garment

When going on an outing of prestige and honour

And who will return with honour and prestige to his home

After this was done

They now vowed to go after the white garment

All Ifa devotees

Let those advised to offer ebo comply accordingly

8.Ifa promises that two great ire shall be awaiting all Ifa devotees this year. Ifa however warns these devotees against being avaricious in order not to miss this ire. Ifa also warns against indecision at the right time. Ifa says that avarice and indecision can make devotees to lose their opportunities. Ifa advises each devotee to offer ebo with two roosters and money. There is also the need to feed Esu Odara with one rooster. On this, Ifa says:

Gbedo gbedo kan o gbe koto

Dia fun Ose

Tii somo won lode Ilogbo

Aroleke kan o ro baba

Dia fun Obara

Tii somo won lode Ilogbo

Esinsin nii ji nii fowo rawo ibeje-ibeje

Dia fun Alabahun Ajapa

Tii sore Obara

Ebo ni won o waa se

Ose p’erin si Ilogbo

Olobara p’agbo ni Ilogbo

Nje ona s’alabahun deji

Ewo ni n ba lo

Translation:

No mortar carver can carve a calabash pot

Ifa’s message for Ose

Their offspring in Ilogbo Land

No bead maker can fashion a guinea corn

Ifa’s  message for Obara

Their offspring in Ilogbo land

The housefly is it that wakes up and rubs its hand gingerly together

Ifa’s message for Alabahun Ajapa, the tortoise

Who was the friend of Obara

He was advised to offer ebo

Ose killed an elephant in the forest in Ilogbo

And Olobara killed a big ram in Ilogbo

Indecision turned the road into two for Alabahun

Which way would I take out of the two

9.Ifa warns all devotees all against infidelity and extra-marital affairs. Ifa warns that this may lead to embarrassments, disaster and even untimely deaths. Loyalty to ones loved ones must be taken seriously this year and all times. Ifa advises each devotee to offer ebo with one mature bearded he-goat. On this, Ifa says:

Sa’yi rodorodo fe

Sa’yi rodorodo fe

Dia fun Esinsin

Ti n sale osan

Ebo ni won ni ko waa se

Iworo sope

Eni gbebo nibe ko sebo

Translation:

Make love to the beautiful dark skin ones

And make love to the pretty fair skinned ones

Ifa’s message to Esinsin, the housefly

When going to be the secret lover of a star mango

He was advised to offer ebo

All devotees of Ifa!

Whoever is advised to offer ebo should comply

10.Ifa says that there are some Irunmole/Orisa devotees who had benefited greatly from Ifa/Orisa. Unfortunately however, they are the same people complaining more than anyone else that Ifa had not favoured them the way they would have expected. Ifa says that this year, many of them will abandon Ifa/Orisa in order to go and embrace other faith.  Ifa says that nobody needs to persuade these people against taking such decision. Ifa says that all the ire that they want in life is in the hands of Ifa/Orisa. Abandoning Ifa/Orisa means moving away from all their ire in life. Ifa advises whoever is contemplating such to offer ebo with three pigeons, three hens, three roosters, and money. They also need to feed Ifa with one matured pig. On this, Ifa says:

Elegbo ni o sanwo omi

Agbalagba ni o di’yo eepe

Agba to diyo eepe ni yoo gbowo okuta

Dia fun won niluu Ede

Nibi won lawon o nii sin Ikin mo

Ebo ni won ni o waa se

Eyin ara ilu ede ti e leyin o sin ‘kin mo

Abuku araa yin lo wa

Translation:

Mashed corn seller does not dip her hand inside water

An elder does not sell sand

An elder who sells sand as salt will be paid with stone

Ifa’s message for the inhabitants of Ede land

Where they had decided not to worship Ifa anymore

They were advised to offer ebo

They refused

And everything went wrong for them

You, inhabitants of Ede land who declared that you will no longer

serve Ifa

The disgrace and embarrassment are all yours

AFFILIATED IRUNMOLE/ORISA

1.Ifa for support

2.Ori for elevation and support

3.Esu Odara for protection

4.All other known Irunmole/Orisa

5.Egungun for ancestral support

6.Oro for ancestral support

TABOOS OF OSE OBARA FOR THE YEAR

1.Must not be avaricious – to avoid unconsummated fortune

2.Must not practice infidelity or extra marital affair – to avoid disaster or untimely death

3.Must not be too loose with one’s tongue – to avoid financial problem and business failure

4.Must not consume roasted corn – to avoid unconsummated fortune

5.Must not abandon Ifa/Orisa for any other religion – to avoid disgrace and embarrassment

6.Must not cheat or enslave others – to avoid incurring the wrath of the divinities

Aboru Aboye.

Solagbade Popoola

Chairman, Ethics and Scripture Committee

June 10, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

2010-2011 Odu of the Year , ( Letra Del Anio )

My draw circa: Ifa Divination Tray (Opon Ifa) ...
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The Odu of the year revealed for the whole world as it affects all and sundry in the year 2010/2011 is OSE ONIBARA

(OSE OBARA).

In this Odu, IFA foresees the ire of prosperity for all IFA devotees all over the world. IFA says that the IFA devotees, and especially those who are initiated into IFA, do not need to search too far to seek success. Their success lies within their immediate environment.

People should consult Òrúnmìlà before going on a trip looking for progress. We all should continue following the direction of IFA for anything that we intend to do. Women need to be more dedicated to IFA in terms of worship, study, and care. They will be blessed with lots of success. Women with this Odù IFA must never at anytime depart or derail from the path of IFA because all their achievements/accomplishments in life rest on IFA. IFA is their refuge and solace at anytime. They must follow the tenets, advice, and injunctions of IFA at all times. Women must marry IFA (becoming Iyanifa or Iyawo Ifa) or an Awo IFA in order to have a blissful life. They must be consistent in their dedication to IFA. Barren women should propitiate the Ibeji to be able to have children. Feeding Obatala, Òsun, IFA, and Egungun with specific items, will guarantee success in this matter.Women that are already pregnant should propitiate Egbé to avoid abiku children. Verses of ÒséBàrà are chanted to children so the might not suffer lack accomodation in the world when they grow up. The sacrifice prescribed must be performed to avert ailment or for sound health and quick recovery in case there is affliction already. This sacrifice should include an appeasement for the Iyamis (Ipese). Once finished, it will ward off all the negative forces that may be surrounding the IFA devotees. It will also put a stop to bad dreams and nightmares that could also generate illness and affliction in the community.

This Odù is recalling the need to get closer to IFA for comfort and good health. If the devotees are persistent with IFA, success, honor and prosperity will be theirs. All followers of IFA have to be careful in their associations with people, especially when it comes to go out for social engagements. All must avoid situations whereby the enemies may use certain evil means to tarnish or cause a blemish to their skin. Nobody should use dishonest ways to get money. People shall be paid back in whatever means or measure they use. Babalawos are being reminded that should not be greedy. Òrúnmìlà said that we should notice those that eat with greed. Their terminal end would never be fine. But whoever eats little by little, and refuses to take what is not his, that person would never suffer in the hands of his foes. Babalawos must be truthful and do all their things with truth.

Awos of IFA should carry their Iroke at all times and sound it anytime they advert some danger. If the IFA devotees perform the prescribed sacrifice, peace, tranquility, and recognition will be for them. Their life will improve tremendously in all senses. In addition, Awos IFA may expect a title. Everybody, but especially Awos IFA, are commanded to treat everybody well, to be gentle, and helpful. That will bring us lots of well being.

People must be careful using around the neck region articles of ostentation, such as trinkets, bangles, etc., that may cause them ailments. The ebo under Òsé Òbàrà is crucial to bounce the person back to life. All the ones that not progressing as they used to, will regain prestige and success back once they offer the prescribed ebo.

This is an Odù IFA to be honored, become famous, and well respected in the community. IFA promises that whoever follows these advices shall never be disgraced in life. Too many people are looking forward for the humiliation and disgrace of the IFA devotees, but their wishes will not progress. The IFA devotees will never be humiliated even if they have no money to attend certain events in which their financial attention is required. It is very important to propitiate Orí and the father’s Orí to impede disgraces of any kind. The influence of this Odù will generate more adepts getting initiated into IFA and more adepts getting initiated into Òsun. During this IFA year more people will get involved in the music business, in education, in the medical field, and administration. Òsé Òbàrà will ensure that all Awos, together with all respectful and dedicated IFA devotees, will win the battle against their enemies. They will be surrounded by enemies but IFA will stop them. IFA will help his true followers win all sorts of wars, including cold wars. Òsé Òbàrà is chanted in many IFA houses in the morning reverences to IFA to guarantee the coming of all sorts of good things in life.

This very powerful Odù states that all the good things that are coming will come in pairs. In most parts of Yoruba land, when an ebo riru is performed, after praying the verses of the Odù cast (and requiring ebo riru), various verses of the closest sibling Odù are chanted right after. The Awo performing the ebo riru will invoke   the presence of the closest sibling Odù in order to help the Odù by which the ebo riru is being performed. Òsé Òbàrà is the Omo Ìyá Rè (closest sibling) Odù of Òbàrà Òsé, which is the Odù of the Olorí of the Isese Onirunmole Temple, Ifagbeja Ifase. We ask Olódùmarè that this Odù Òsé Òbàrà may save, support, protect, and help him in his endeavors. We also pray Olódùmarè to allow Ifagbeja Ifase, as Omo Òbàrà Òsé, to be a vehicle of IFA to save, support, protect, and help the rest of the world always, and especially now under the influence of the sibling Odù Òsé Òbàrà.

Ase Ase Ase O

IFA A GBE WA O!

AFFLIATED ORISA/IRUNMOLE OF OSE OBARA

-Ifa

-Orí

-Egbe

  1. –  Òsun
  2. –  Yemoja
  3. –  Esu Odara

-Ibeji

-Òsù

TABOOS OF OSE OBARA

  1. -Must not be adulterous, especially with a married person
  2. -Must never leave the path of IFA
  3. -If a woman, must not marry someone who has no IFA
  4. -If a man, must not marry a —– woman
  5. -Must always comport his/herself, and must behave maturely
  6. -Must not run down another person
  7. -Must not sell guinea corn
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June 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Article on Babalawos uniting for Ifa Orisa Conference

Por DANIEL SHOER ROTH

Importantes representantes de la religión yoruba procedentes de varios países se reunirán el sábado en Miami tras una polémica suscitada por el uso de un determinado género de caracoles africanos en ceremonias de santería.

La polémica surgió en abril cuando se conoció una investigación federal y estatal de un babalawo norteamericano de Hialeah, Charles Stewart, por el presunto contrabando de estos caracoles, que solamente pueden importarse a Estados Unidos con permisos especiales para investigaciones científicas.

Stewart, de 48 años y de origen inglés y dominicano, afirmó que el jugo de los caracoles se emplea en un ritual de curación de la religión Ifá Orisha. No obstante, otro sector de practicantes argumentó que ese procedimiento no forma parte de la liturgia.

José Montoya, presidente del Ministerio Shangó Eyeífe en Miami explicó que la división interna ha fomentado una mala imagen de la santería a escala internacional.

“Varios sacerdotes se han manifestado públicamente contra la práctica tradicional de donde desciende precisamente nuestra religión”, afirmó Montoya, organizador del encuentro que sesionará en el recinto norte del Miami Dade College, 11380 Northwest 27th Avenue.

Montoya enfatizó que este es un clásico ejemplo de las divergencias entre quienes siguen la religión de manera ancestral y los que la practican en la forma actual. Para ello, han traído a un alto sacerdote en Ifá de Nigeria, Jokotoye Awolade Bankole-Adifala.

“La mayoría de nuestra gente está olvidando nuestra tradición original y cultura”, dijo en yoruba Bankole-Adifala, que asegura poder trazar su linaje familiar hasta Oduduwa, el patriarca de la religión Ifá.

No obstante, el santero Ernesto Pichardo afirmó que el consumo de estos caracoles como parte de un ritual es “inaudito” en la santería.

“Nunca había visto ese tipo de caracol en mi vida en ningún lugar donde he practicado la religión”, dijo Pichardo en abril. “Nunca he oído hablar de un ritual donde se beba agua del caracol”.

Según una orden de registro presentada en la corte de Circuito de Miami-Dade, Stewart convenció a sus seguidores a tomar los jugos de estos caracoles como parte de un ritual. Las autoridades asaltaron en enero la casa de Stewart tras saber que tenía algunos de estos caracoles que crecen hasta 10 pulgadas de largo.

No se han presentado cargos en su contra.

“Yo soy tradicionalista e imparto mi religión como aprendí a hacerlo de mis mayores”, dijo Stewart a El Nuevo Herald.

Stewart será uno de los invitados al congreso del sábado, donde expondrá las razones por las cuales sostiene que sus prácticas son auténticas de Ifá Orisha.

“Nuestro objetivo es el respeto mutuo a nuestras tradiciones”, subrayó.

A la conferencia asistirán delegados de varias ciudades de Estados Unidos, así como de Venezuela, Argentina, Brasil y Nigeria.

Tony Martin, un babalawo afro-cubano en West Kendall explicó que en Cuba no existe la especie de caracoles que usan los yoruba africanos. En la isla, los practicantes tuvieron que adaptarse a la circunstancia y optar por un caracol nativo.

“No fue sólo el caracol, sino también muchos elementos de origen vegetal, animal y mineral que forman parte de las consagraciones religiosas”, señaló Martin, y agregó que los caracoles que se usan en Cuba se encuentran también en la Florida.

May 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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

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

Open Invite IFA Orisha Conference

Orisa Conference – Tradition and the Present   Location:  Miami-Dade College North Campus

May 22, 2010

11380 NW 27 Ave, Miami FL

Room # 2151 Building # 2

time:  9am to 1pm

We invite all Orisa houses and temples for an conference that will address the issues of the present state of affairs of the various Orisa communities and traditions in South Florida and beyond.  Representatives of differing african-based religious communities, especially those that are Yoruba-based (including Indigenous Yoruba Orisa Tradition, Lucumi Tradition, Candomble Tradition, and Trinidad and Tobago Orisa Traditiion) will have opportunities to make suggestions as to how we can move forward honoring each others’ right to exist as well as educating ourselves with regards to differences in ritual and theology and respecting those variations. We invite all to come listen and participate .

Specific areas to be discussed include:

– traditional ceremonies of the various communities

– rights to practice

– the inclusion of priests of differing orisa houses in each others’ ceremonies

– each religious community co-existing and respecting the others’ customs and rights to practice according to their house, lineage, community, or even as a separate branch of Orisa Tradition

– other topics and suggestions that might need to be addressed

The first speaker and moderator will be priest/babaloosa Mr. Jose A Montoya

followed by speakers representing each of the traditions and communities that will participate that day.

Only one representative of each house or temple will be able to speak for a total of 5 minutes to make their proposals or suggestions.  The allotted time in total for all proposals will be an hour and 30 minutes, for 18 speakers given 5 minutes each.  Those that will be allowed to speak will include a representative of each temple, religious body, as well as those that are not affiliated with any given temple nor organization but that are recognized as respected priests in the general community.

After all presentations of proposals have been submitted, there will be a review and discussion after which there will be a voting by all those present to determine the number of participants in agreeance with a final document that will be submitted for signing at that time.

Those media professionals that would like to attend and document the event must RSVP and register prior to the event and will not be allowed entry.  There will be a 15 minute slot of time for a media conference when questions can be made to the panel.  There will not be any statements made to the press outside of the conference.

In order to RSVP and register for the conference you must send an email to temploministros@att.net

To be a speaker at the conference

Your email must include the following:

Name of your legally registered temple or church

Name of your house if it is not registered with the government

Name of your house or temple chief priest

Address, phone number, and email

Names of those accompanying you, a total of 5 participants per temple or house

For the media and press, names of reporter, videography or cameraman, and name of body of media company being represented.  No media coverage of any body of media will be permitted without previous registration.

Those that are not in agreeance with others’ rights to religious expression and practice need not register nor attend.  We reserve the right to attendance and participation in the conference.  This is a free event and space is limited so please respond ASAP.

Registration is open

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April 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

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

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