How to know when you have found your Spiritual Teacher/Guru/God Mother/God Father? When the Student is ready the master will appear.
I wrote about one of my mentors, Mr. Mitchel, in the post The Spiritual Power and Uses Of Salt. I met him through my mother and he was a remarkable man. Through him I met Mr. Pierre, he was an Haitian Houngan (male priest of Voudon), and in between meeting these men, I met Padrino, an Oriete of the Cuban Lucumi religion.
I had three Spiritual mentors while growing up and into my Spirituality. All men, they were all men. They all did not know each other with the exception of Mr. Mitchel and Mr. Pierre, but they all loved me, and I loved them in return. I met Mr. Mitchel when I was a teenager. I had already been on my spiritual path, although I had no idea I was in Spiritual school. I had just thought that I was going through some rough and miserable times. By rough and miserable, I mean I began to experience anxiety and panic attacks. Trust me , these are difficult memories for me, but to help you understand better by relating my experiences which may help you on your path, I will grit my teeth and write.
This was during the time when my mother told me that I just sat in the house, with no friends reading, and she shouted to me that I was crazy, which is recounted in the post An eye Opener . After that, I was miserable. I began to wonder if she was correct. Was I crazy? No I couldn’t be, I was just a teenager! Just a teenager. Was I to be like Mad Marie? A lady we had known in Jamaica, who use to come into our yard, and remove her clothes, down to her underwear and dance all day, bearing her breast as people looked on and laughed. This brought me to depression, and I cried everyday. For days upon days I would cry and worry, why me? Little did I know that I was in school, spiritual school, and I was in for a long ride, and along the way I would meet many who would assist me, and I did.
There were times when my mother would visit Mr. Mitchel, he was a Jamaican man, a Christian Bishop and a great diviner. He read with tarot cards, and he read them very well. Anything Mr. Mitchel said, anything came from his lips during his readings was Law! After I had met the Wicked Baby Father and things were bad between us, because of his promiscuous ways and his Obeah working women, Mr. Mitchel was someone I could talk to. I would go to him in tears, crying my eyes out because of the turbulence in my life at the time. He would divine for me and talk to me, and calm me down. He told me at the time when the baby father’s woman was haunting our lives with Juju/Obeah relentlessly, that she would not stop, he said I should endure and not fight her back spiritually.
Which I had never thought to do, the only thing I wanted to do was to beat her down with my bat, but she seemed to know this and would try her best to elude me. I had taken several base ball bats to some of his other women who called and taunted and even threatened me, and they fled, but this one must have heard and made up her cowardly mind that we would never meet and we did not. I loved to read and still do, so one day I found a book, the book was about the Orisha Esu, but titled Elegua, which is how he is called by Lucumi people. I had no Idea who or what Elegua was. I went to see Mr. Mitchel with the book and asked him if he knew of this, and he told me that he had heard of Esu, the Spanish people called him Elegua.
He told me that it was a powerful thing but he had never worked with it. Although he was a staunch Christian, he never dissuaded me from reading the book, instead he encouraged me to read it, to which I was surprised, but he cautioned me not to perform any rituals the book may prescribe. I had no plans to as I only wanted to read not to do any magic what so ever. During the time with the wicked baby father, Mr. Mitchel was my go to person, to cry and vent. It was not all the time I went for divination, he comforted me with his words of wisdom and made me feel safe. He would always tell me, “This too shall pass” , I never believed him, but eventually it did.
Mr. Mitchel had introduced me to Mr. Pierre, an Haitian man, an Houngan. When I met Mr. Pierre, he was a small wisp of a man, chocolate brown complexion, soft spoken with a wizened wrinkled face. He divined with playing cards, as Haitians often do. Mr. Mitchel and he were friends, and Mr. Mitchel had felt that I needed to see another person, since he believed that this girl was going after me too hard and not only me but my children, he wanted me to see Mr. Pierre, just in case Mr. Pierre would see something that he, Mr. Mitchel missed.
I sat in the room with Mr. Pierre as he consulted the cards for me. I was nervous because I believed at that time, with all that had been going on, things would only get worse. This woman and her Juju was so bad, that she was even coming after my children. Mr. Pierre, sat on the floor and I before him, and he quietly shuffled his card, while I nervously looked on. He opened his cards and studied them for a while before addressing me.
What he told me that day I have never forgotten it. He said, in is french accented voice, “What is your name”, I told him. “Well miss Obara, I need to let you understand, that you and your children’s father will separate very soon. Even though I knew this and wanted it, my children came to mind, and I wondered how was I to do it alone with four children, my heart began to race as I anticipated what he was to say.
“Your life, is not yours alone”, to which I nodded, because I thought he meant my children, “You are here for a special purpose and it is for the healing and service of your fellow human beings’….What!!…wha rahh??..I could hear myself thinking,…”is what this man talking about”?…, but I kept quiet and continued to listen, “Obara, you were born to do this work , spiritual work,and you have all the tools to do so, in order for you to settle in your work, you cannot be with this man, you have to prepare your mind for him to go, so that you can push forward and do the work you came here for”, and with that he closed his cards, but continued to talk to me. He said, “you have to choose where to settle in your spirituality, what I mean is you cannot manage all what you have without being apart of a Spiritual house or a Spiritual Religion or Tradition”. “I need someone to give all that I have here, I will give t to you, you just have to spend three days here for your initiation into Voudon“.
I did not choose to become initiated into Voudon, but Mr. Pierre became one of my mentors, from that day on.
Padrino,I met in between knowing these two men, Mr. Mitchel and Mr. Pierre. I met Padrino, through one of his God children, an African American woman named Connie. She was an initiate of Osun in the Lucumi tradition, and also a very good reader. She introduced me to her Padrino after meeting me. I had a situation that was going on which I did not understand, and was caused by Connie and the woman she worked for in their Botanica. I had received an Elegua for my business from this botanica (this was where I met Connie), but it was not prepared correctly and my guides came to me in my visions and told me to get rid of it.
I called the Botanica to tell them what my vision showed me and through fear of being apart of the wrong doing Connie invited me to her home and introduced me to her Padrino. He was seventy nine years old when I met him. A tall, fair skinned, handsome Cuban man who dressed in all white and who referred to himself as an African, and I loved him for that. He divined with cowrie shells, and what a diviner was he! A remarkable man, with a heavy Spanish accent and a gifted Santero.
I loved him, and I knew he loved me. Although I had Mr. Mitchel and Mr. Pierre in my life, both of whom I loved and respected very much, there was something about Padrino which tugged at my heart strings. I divided my time between these three elders, just being around them, even in silence was enough. My times with these men taught me about life, how they viewed it in their eyes, the wisdom they imparted onto me are priceless. I would visit and sit with them, and we would reason about everything. None of them taught me spiritual work or how to divine or heal or make charms, but they all, including Padrino, pointed me and confirmed to me the direction of my life’s path.
Although I had rejected Mr. Pierre’s offer to give me all he had, which were the Loas (Haitian spirits he worked with) he worked with (I did so out of fear, and because, I was still locked in Christianity and was so much in love with Jesus), I made it a point of duty to visit him two to three times per week, I had no Idea that he was dying.
My time with him was about one year, and then one day I visited, only to be met by his wife at the door, who informed me that he had died. I saw him once since then , in my dreams, where he wet me with water, I know now that he was confirming that I would find my Osun, I didn’t know it then. May you find peace wherever your are My wonderful Mr.Pierre, I will always remember you, you helped me find my way, though it was dark and slippery.
Padrino re-introduced me to the Yoruba tradition, (remember the book I had read, years ago about Elegua, and Padrino was also an initiate of Elegua), he would often tell me, that I would do his work one day. He also told me the same thing Mr. Pierre told me, that I was here to do this work and I could not run away from it. Padrino would come for me early mornings and take me to the Ocean to pray and offer offerings to Yemoja and to Olokun, deities of the Ocean. He would take me to the river and do the same for Osun, and In the woods to Pray to Ogun.
He was also a medium, and an excellent Palero. When he would hold his medium sessions, he would look at me pointedly and say “One day, you will sit in this chair”. I managed to see his words come to pass, because for years I held medium sessions with many people in attendance at my home. I smile among brimming tears as I remember him now. After awhile I was blocked from his spiritual house by Connie herself, who was jealous of our relationship. She had begged me to initiate into Lucumi, which he, Padrino had said he would pay for. Padrina had told her that I would to become a powerful Priestess one day, this did not sit well with her.
I knew that the religion came from Africa, Nigeria in fact and so I decided that if I were to do this I would go to Africa and do it there. I was after all an African. For years I had lost contact with Padrino, and it saddened me. Whenever I called the house, Connie would tell me he was out of town.
I saw my sweet Padrino in a dream several years ago, I did not know he had made his transition. I saw him in heaven performing an initiation, I was among the crowd. He looked up and saw me and came over to me, with a lit cigar in his mouth and spoke to me telepathically, “why did you stay away from me” , to which I answered, I don’t know.
He hugged me as if I was his long lost child, both our eyes closed as we embraced, then he pulled slightly away and puffed his cigar smoke all over me, as he use to do when he was living in our world. I woke up to the realization that he had made his transition. I asked someone to call Connie and inquire about him, and sure enough he had left to join his ancestors in the world of spirits. Peace be unto you my sweet, sweet Padrino, I am who I am today because of you!.
I had lost contact with Mr. Mitchel after a while, and searched high and low for him, eventually I had gotten a phone number for him and when I called, a woman who was his nurse answered. She told me that he had Alzheimer disease and did not know or recognize anyone, (there is something of a spiritual nature connected with this disease, we will explore this here one day), and I believe he has since made his transition, because I have seen him once in my dreams, he was at a distance but I saw him and he smiled and waved to me, and I did the same. Mr. Mitchel, was a great diviner and he was also a healer, but because of his faith he rejected his messengers who where there to help him and often times cursed the very spirits who worked with him, calling the duppy/ghost.
His wrestled with his Christian beliefs and his gift from God, but never the less he was a good man and a gifted one. Be at rest and be happy in your new life Mr. Mitchel. You helped me so much when times were rough for me, and you assisted in pointing me to the path which I now walk.
In this life you will meet people along the way who will assist you in your self realization. It matters not who they are, because they may come to you in any form and from any race or culture, any age and without any degree or resume. They may even be your Mother or Father, Sister or Brother, the Dry Cleaner or the Shoe maker. You will know them, when you see them, you will!. You will recognize them. You will embrace them, because by the time they enter your life, you will have reason to need them in your life.
By this I mean, once your Spirit guide has nudged you a bit, to realize that there is something out there that you need to pay attention to, you will begin to see and understand life more clearer, and your guide, often times will create some circumstance for you to need, know and recognize these people when they appear. Always remember this…When The Student Is Ready The Teacher Will Appear…. There may be more than one. Humble yourself and be willing to learn. Listen well, be respectful, and be alert.
Life lessons can come at you in many ways. Receive them well. Do not seek out anyone who you believe will be the source of wisdom for you in this life, you already made that choice, but pray, pray that when you are in the presence of knowledge and wisdom, you will be blessed enough to recognize and understand it. Cast not your eyes down, even on who society views as “The Mad Man”, he may very well be your teacher.
Ibi tí à ńlọ là ńwò, a kì í wo ibi tí a ti ṣubú. /
We ought to focus on where we are going, not where we have fallen. Yoruba Proverb!
[Let go of past failures; Set your eyes on your goals]
Obara Meji is a spiritualist, Ifa-Orisa practitioner, and teacher of metaphysics. Since 2011 she has used her online platform to share her personal experiences to those seeking answers about spirituality. Her teachings will expand into short stories, novels, and public speaking to continue her mission of bringing enlightenment to the world.