There is no line between Right and wrong Good and bad Love and hate Everything lives somewhere on a Spectrum Actions that seem clear Often fade and change Like a well worn rug Only time it seems Can cast true judgement On events of the day Even then Truth can lie In the eye of the beholder
One of Eshu's favorite offerings and a part of almost all Lucumi ceremonies is Pescado Ahumado, smoked fish (Catfish to be specific). It's incredibly easy to make, and sooooo much better than what you get at a botanica, which is usually some dried out old crumbly garbage. Here are some links to better understand and perhaps make Eshu extra happy!
I saw it That light in your eyes I saw it flash so brightly The whole room was Blinded It’s quite magnificent Like a midsummer rain Washing over everyone Drenched in you I could not help myself I had to paint a picture Of your night sky A voyager enchanted with Stars so clear I could Reach out and touch them I hope to see them again But even if I don’t I still have this painting Of you
I posted this in response to question on facebook, but realized it should really be stand alone. In the lucumi/santeria community, aleyos always greet Santeros/as with the greeting "Benedicion" (blessings in spanish) and if an informal setting, they cross their arms and touch each shoulder to the priest's opposite shoulder. In a formal setting, you would dobale (or prostrate yourself on the ground). If you have a male Orisa as your guardian Orisa, you lie face down in front of them, if a female, you first lie on your right side, then on your left (arm supporting head) as they touch your shoulders and say their blessing. If you don't know who "owns" your head, it's assumed to be Obatala and you do the male prostration.
Younger priests usually greet elder priests with that same "Bendicion". Aleyos and santeros/as greet babalawos by saying "Iboru Iboya Iboshishe" or the Yoruba language version "aboru aboye aboshishe" and touch the floor with their left fingers. Iboru Iboye Iboshishe and Aboru Aboye Aboshishe are the same (different pronounciations), and the mean "May ebo (offerings) reach heaven, may ebo be accepted, may what ebo was made for come to pass"
The response made by santeros/as or babalawos who are greeted is "A wa wato" or in Yoruba "Ogbo ato". Awa wato and Ogbo ato are really the same thing and mean essentially "may you have long life". Babalawos who are from a Nigerian (not afro-cuban) lineage may go a bit longer and say "Ogbo ato isuri iwori wofun", which means many you have long life with the blessing of the odu Iwori Wofun" That particular Odu is Iwori Ofun and is famous for turning war into peace.
I hope that is helpful for the beginners in this tradition.
It's come to my attention that my blog has been reposted to other places on the internet, this is fine under the following conditions. 1. My work is copyrighted (except Odu Ifa, which no one owns) and rights always remain with me.
2. Please clearly site me as the author of the piece so people do not think it's your own.
3. A link must always be included to this blog so people know where it came from. http://ifalola.blogspot.com
In the spirit of sharing and respect for my time and energy, please do not violate these terms. Ifa will also be unhappy.
Who is Ifalola
I realized that people might not know much about me, so I decided to add a short profile of who I am. I was born in '69 into a latino family in the US. My dad's family practiced the Orisa tradition, but I didn't find my way to the tradition until I was about 18. After finding a lucumi Ile and worshiping for several years, I was "rayado" in Palo Mayombe, later passing to Padre then Bakonfula. After some time I eventually fulfilled my obligation to initiate (kariosha/dosu) as a priest of Yemoja. After receiving my Awofakan and being told I had to pass to Ifa, no matter, I began studying Ifa and thinking about what that meant to me. My search began, when Henry Drewal, a friend, brought his Oluwo to lecture at his classes at University of Wisconsin, Madison, I realized I had found my Oluwo, Kolawole Oshitola, Ejiirosun. And so after two years of email and calls with Baba, consulting Yemoja and Ifa, I went and did my Itelodu (Itefa) in the Challenge area of Ibadan, Nigeria. I went with a good friend, a lucumi Awo Ifa, who became my Ojugbona (Ifajoko, Osa Ogunda) and my Wife, Ifatolu.
It's been a wonderful ride with ups and downs, and I hope that with the support of my family and community I can continue writing, whatever doubts or hardships might come my way. May Ifa always guide us all to achieve long life, filled with Owo, Omo ati Ire gbogbo! Ase o! Ifalola omo Iwori Aweda