The Impact of Social Networking on ATRs

What will the impact of social networks be on ATRs?

I am watching with concern and alarm the growing trend to offer consultations, initiations, seminars and introductory workshops on African Traditional Religion (ATRs) on Social Networking sites dedicated to lure newcomers into the ‘mysterious and fascinating’ world of Santería, Voodoo, Kimbisa, Palo, Macumba, Umbanda, Candomble or whichever other ATR you can list.

In my times, if you were interested in becoming part of an ATR, it was your spirits that guide you to the right place. Now, the new ‘spirit messengers’ are social networking channels such as Facebook, Websites and even Twitter that gather the spiritually curious.

On one hand I do understand the need to make a living; on the other hand, it sits like a rock on my stomach to see folks plunder the sacredness of African Traditions Religions to make a buck from every spiritually hungry person they can get their hands on.

My mother says that a fool is born every minute. So I guess the planet with its ever-growing social networks are filled with potential new business for elders and newly initiated priests and priestesses alike who are out there fishing for godchildren.

The worse part of it all is that a lot of the people that do show up to these events and that meet their godparents on-line are honestly seeking spirituality. But in the end a good deal of them become no more than a number in the initiation mill, are abandoned and even worse conned. Others will join a house but continue to be clueless, emulate their initiators and go about replicating like spiritual viruses on the Internet after receiving a couple titles. Perhaps some blessed ones will strike gold and truly find their way in this social network ATR maze.

What will be the impact for ATRs in a generation or two? That is to be seen. However, partial glimpses of the future are clearly laid out on the tendency for mixing neo-pagan practices with fragmented and commercialized houses of ATR worship, the results are simply catastrophic.

By the way, not all is bad in Social Networking-land and the blogosphere, these vehicles do present a great way to open people’s eyes, applaud what is good and expose what is wrong.

May the Orisha protect those who are out there stumbling in the dark looking for their path.

Omimelli
Oní Yemayá Achagbá

About Omimelli

I am a Olosha or Santera and for years I have been at the service of the Orisha and the community. I am initiated to Yemayá and my father in osha is Aganjú. I am also an initiate of Palo Mayombe and hold the title of Yaya Nkisi. As part of my daily devotional I spend time at my bóveda and work with my spirits on regular basis.
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2 Responses to The Impact of Social Networking on ATRs

  1. Renae Cofer says:

    Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

  2. Helene says:

    Los Telpamrios son una de las órdenes militares más conocidas. Su origen, tesoros, reglas o costumbres están llenas de misterio lo que ha convertido al Temple en un tema de gran

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