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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Contemplation on the Odu Ofun Ogbe ( Ofun agbe)

I am adrift on an ocean of thought
Trying to find my north
In a starless sky
Nothing but horizon
In every direction
I pray the sun has not abandoned me
That she guides me out of this darkness
Towards the shores of half a century
Three thousand possibilities
Flash before my eyes
In a single moment
None more clear
Than another
There is not much I can say
Except I am still sea worthy
Despite my missteps into
Raging tempests
I will listen to the winds
Whispering the secrets of sirens
To find the tower of Pharos
That it may pierce the darkness
With a golden path
To safe harbor
Thank you for staying by my side
You are the wind in my sails
On a still day

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Contemplationon the Odu Osa Irete

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

Friday, July 5, 2019

Nigerian smoked catfish / pescado ahumado , Esu offering Lucumi and YTR

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!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-f97jvFBF8

and also a nice article

https://freshtodommot.com/blogs/life-hacks-tips/nigerian-smoked-fish


Ashe!!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Contemplation on the odu Obara Iwori

Deep within us
Lies a shared river of memories
Flowing across generations
Feeding our thoughts
Fueling our emotions
Nourishing our soul
A torrential outpouring of experiences
Sprung from a single source
Growing as it moves through time
We inhabit the tributaries
Sometimes flowing freely
Other times stagnant
We must learn to swim
Read the ebbs and flows
That make up our home
Or be left to drown
We are the river
It runs forever in our veins

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Contemplation on the Odu Oshe Ogbe

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

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

How to greet a priest in the Lucumi / Santeria tradition


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.