“Unfairness is one of the things that bother me the most. However, I do recognize that life has always mysterious ways to impart lessons even to those who think themselves beyond and above teaching and reproach”.
Today has been a day in which I have thought long and hard about the concept of fairness and equality. When I think of fairness, the image of Shangó comes to mind. A king must always be fair to its people, and orisha followers should strive to follow in his steps. When I pledged my life to service of the Orisha, 12 years ago this winter, fundamental changes took place inside of me. Whereas in the past I could observe an unfair situation and remain simply an observer, after Kariosha I can’t remain impassive when I see situations that involve blatant unfairness.
Life is a continuous act of balance, the mere act of breathing brings balance to our internal environment. The life of an Orisha initiate is an act of balance between coolness and hotness. We strive to remain with orí tutu (cool heads) and to avoid acts that heat up our orí. But sometimes heat is necessary to achieve balance. Heat makes us go into motion, coolness helps us to direct the actions and make them purposeful.
Assumption #3: The entire ATR community is gay friendly.
If you are a gay man or woman or a transgender this article will present some down to earth point of views on how you will be perceived by various African Traditional Religions, which paths are open without struggle and confrontation and which will certainly create heartache and strife.
It is not our place to judge spiritual callings, but as elders in at least one of the ATRs that exclude homosexual participants, traditional Palo Mayombe, we do have some points to make to contribute to this subject. It is our role to uphold traditions while trying to help gay brothers and sisters who have a simpatico for a particular path closed to them to find alternatives where to express their devotion.
Here are 10 interesting stumbling blocks that have put a halt on many well-intended seekers of African Traditional Religions (ATRs).
1. The community is pagan and thus understands all schools of thought in modern and ancient magical systems
2. The community will accept me and understand me
3. The entire ATR community is gay friendly
4. I will be treated fairly and equally.
5. I am entitled to learn and be trained
6. I am entitled to initiation
7. Everyone in the ATR communities is well read, stable and trustworthy
8. There are no secrets to be kept, all knowledge is shared and readily available on books and online
9. Nothing really bad can happen to me when entering an ATR
10. I can get out as easily as I can go in
Two perspectives, Kal as a Westerner and mine as a Hispanic will tackle 10 common assumptions related to African Traditional Religions. Over the next few days Kal and I will share with you some of the lessons we have accumulated from the perspective of both seekers and initiates with a combined experience of over two decades into two of the most popular African Traditional Religions: Orisha and Palo Mayombe.
In the past few weeks a troubling issue emerged in the Florida orisha community. Elders took matters at hand and gathered to create a treaty or agreement. This is how issues must be addressed, with respect, civility and with the support of elders at large.
The issue was re-initiations. Since The Mystic Cup is not a place to be dogmatic but to share experiences, as blog administrators we have decided to simply provide the information and let any users visit the link enclosed, read it and draw their own conclusions. Continue reading “Are Re-initiations Healthy?” »
Orisha, Ifá, Voodoo, Umbanda, Candomble, Kimbisa, Kimbanda, 21 Divisions, Sanse, 7 Divisions, Kumina, Obeah, Hoodoo, Palo Mayombe and the list keeps growing. What is it that is making followers of Western magic and other traditional religions become the new practitioners of African Traditional religions (ATRs)?
It is certainly not because they are thrilled to have to learn in many cases a foreign language, or because the practitioners of these spiritual traditions are very open to accept people outside their communities and culture. No, as a matter of fact, there are many shifts that a newcomer to these religions would have to make to accommodate and understand fully any of these systems. So, if the path is not particularly rosy, what keeps making Jane and John Doe want to become an Houngan, a Tata, a Babalosha, an Hounsi, a Yaya, an Iyalosha and to claim in due legitimacy any of these hard earned and until rather recent times hard to get titles?
The answer is as complicated as the question itself.
Communication is the best way to start a productive romance, communications in many levels from verbal to psychic. Be clear as to what your needs are and state them gently. However, also be realistic as to what you ask with regards to what you bring into a relationship. Be willing to negotiate. There is no relationship without tradeoffs. Expectations and communications are a two way street and if you want to receive you need to be open to listen and give.
I do recommend you keep your expectations in check and based on facts, not fantasies. Likewise, do not let someone create false expectations based on dreams, eventually we all wake up from them.
How you are perceived has a great deal to do with how people react to you emotionally. Continuing with this person I was talking about in the previoius post, she was perceived as overly emotional, and she was. Mood swings, passive agressive behaviour and such is completely unnatractive to a person who is well balanced and emotionally healthy, and hopefully that is what you are wanting to attract in your life.
Once again, take time to analyze your inner mechanisms. What are your emotions telling other people? Are you wearing your heart on your sleeve? What sort of signals are you sending? The following bath should help in your path to obtaining a cool mind.
If you are looking for a binding to control and dominate someone into loving you, sorry, this is the wrong post and blog for it. However, I can certainly guide you in three steps to improve yourself inside and out as to increase your personal magnetism. But it is not all herbs, roots and potions here, you need to diligently work on aspects of yourself as well. Attraction, like magic, involves the complete being.
Attraction has greatly to do with perception. Perception can be influenced by three aspects: Knowledge, emotions and expectations. You can certainly change the way someone perceives you by impacting those three areas at different levels.
There is no perfect way to select godparents when entering any African Traditional Religion. But I am a keen observer, a student of the University of Hard Knocks, and, since the idea of this blog is to share lessons learned from all sort of spiritual practices, here are my two cents on how to select outstanding godparents.
When a religion become a commodity, the truly devoted tend to suffer. I have seen over and over again how people that come with a true calling to be part of the Orisha community are let down by unscrupulous iyaloshas and babaloshas (mothers and fathers of the orisha). Neophytes are rushed through stages, intimidated and even coerced to receive initiations that can simply wait, because everything, everything is a process.
Long time ago, I took the time to type some of this material on an e-mail for a person looking for an Ilé Orisha (House of Orisha). Ever since, when someone approaches me for information on initiation, I dust my old e-mail and press foward. Continue reading “How to Select Outstanding Godparents” »
This post contains an atypical operation in the world of traditional spiritism which is my normal practice and point of view, but spirit, as it binds and moves us all, has no boundaries. Therefore, there are times when situations dictate the use of creative application of techniques.
Nightmares are not frequent for me. But I woke up truly frightened from this one. Fear is the mind killer, but I have ways to settle fears quickly and effectively when it comes to spooky moments.
In my nightmare I was waiting to be served at a fast food place, chatting up with a friend when suddenly the attendant steps out whimpering and saying, “It hurts, it hurts.” At first I thought she had burned herself, but no. She sat on the floor and then I was shocked. I could see thin likes appearing in her arms, lines that started to swell and bleed in front of my eyes, they looked like scratches…scratches made by small hands. They continued to appear right there. Suddently I pulled out a digital camera from my purse and I started to take photos and out of anger and dispair I shouted: “Show yourself you bastard!”. That is when I lost it.