8. There are no secrets to be kept; all knowledge is shared and readily available on books and online.
Once upon a time, in a very distant land, there was a seeker who wanted to obtain the secrets of a mysterious and alluring spiritual tradition; they called it The Way of the Orishas…
Well, little has changed. There are hundreds of people who every day come in contact with the spiritual practices of the African Traditional Religions and thanks to the willingness of many to make some profit and position themselves as authorities, there is a proliferation of books, social networks and many other avenues to disseminate knowledge that otherwise was obtained upon entering as an initiate in any ATR. Not that everything that is printed or posted on-line is trustworthy material.
The lack of patience, and quite frankly of respect; coupled with a feeling of self-righteousness is the compass for the new seekers who stop at nothing to gorge on what we initiates consider secrets.
Secrets do not exist because there is knowledge that must be hushed, no; they exist because the intelligence that is to be shared only with initiates is a key. This key is meant to activate that which has been placed in the heads of the initiates upon their willfull surrendering to the orisha. In other words, there is Kariosha, and then, there is a process of self-awareness that is triggered by the acquisition of the rituals and techniques that were used in the initiation process.
However, because the floodgates are opened and because more young ones are initiating others before they even come to grasp in full with the energies of the orisha within, many of our traditions and secrets are being debased in the name of greed and hunger for power.
Fortunately some secrets will remain so because a great majority of initiates are destined to be followers and will never really deepen themselves into religious theosophy, while some will develop into the average practitioner with a reasonable grasp of ritual mechanics and history. There will be some with great magnetism who due to their disposition and charm become initiation mills, while others will make great strides in creating strongholds of proper practice and ilés with steadfast practitioners. Very few will be called to be tradition keepers and even fewer will have the blessing of truly achieving gnosis in the Way of the Orishas. Those will truly hold the secrets that so many covet.
When secrets are for sale, the buyer should do well to place the right value on mass merchandised secrets of faith.
Oní Yemayá Achagbá