When I attended the revival churches, I enjoyed it. To be honest most of the people there made me laugh. Yes, I laughed at them, not in a bad way, I laughed in a funny way, if that makes any sense to you, but it was in no way bad, no, not at all. Sister Simit, it’s actually Smith, but Jamaicans (not me ooo!) especially the ones from the country says Simit, instead of Smith, I always thought that was funny, it’s a patois thing! Sister Simit was married to Brother Simit who everyone suspected was gay, probably because of his love for everything pink. Pastor Green wore dentures, and whenever she preached they would clip, clop like horse hooves walking very loudly through the mic. I loved when the spirit possessed them and the whole church was all in a frenzy, anyone wearing dentures had to take them out when the spirits arrived, because it wasn’t a sure thing that they would find them after the spirits had left. The holy Ghost would pass through with fire and set the whole place a blaze. There was brother Michael, who was about eighty-two, when the spirits came around him, he would shake and shout “Oh Glory”!..He had no teeth so nothing flew out across the church floor when he shouted, unlike Brother Bushel whose dentures, Jamaicans calls them, dentures, plate. He had top and bottom plates in and they flew across the room and landed on Sister Gwen’s bible which made her jump up and scream, then catch herself and played it off as if she was in the spirit. Zion Revival Church was funny.
I was not brought up in the Zion churches, or as we say in Jamaica, wrap head church. Wrap head, because all the members including some of the men wore turbans on their head. When I lived in Jamaica we attended Saint Stevens Presbyterian church, which was off Cross Roads in Kingston Jamaica. I had never stepped foot in any of those Revival churches. Zion churches are spiritual churches. They have an altar, they burn candles, they become possessed, and often times during service they would prophesy. Many people stayed away from “such” people, not wanting to associate with them, too afraid of the Obeah stigma. My mother was one of them. It was surprising to both her and my father when I told them that I was to be baptized into Zion. Yes I was ba, not voiceptized! My father had come to see me a week before the baptism, he wanted to talk to me. They, my parents were concerned about me joining “Poco Church”, this is what Jamaicans called Zion, see the Post Feel the Energy Of Spirits.
My father came to my business place and we went into my office. I began my life early and by that I mean having children being on my own and more. One day I will explain how THEY can speed up your life, in order for you to do the things they want you to do. You all know who THEY are! Someone saw a pitcure of me last night and told me that I didn’t look how I sounded, not my speaking voice, but my experiences.
My father sat with me that day with concern in his eyes, which was remarkable to me, because I never thought they, my parents cared, even a little about me. Please note, that when I speak like this about my parents, it is not to vilify them or make them seem evil, it is to make you the reader understand my relationship with them and how it correlates to me being who I am. He asked me if I was sure this was what I wanted to do, and I confirmed to him that it was. He sighed and began to tell me a fascinating story. My father told me that when he was a small boy growing up in Jamaica, he used to beat the drums for his Aunts who were Zion Revival people. He said his Aunts would become possessed and roll on the ground in the dirt while being possessed. He told me, that I should think carefully on what I was doing, because going into Zion, is something that I would not be able to turn away from, and he wanted to make sure I was making the right decision. This was new to me, I had no Idea that my family knew anything about theses kind of churches, as they never even referred to them, with the exception of calling Miss Will, my mother’s archenemy a Poco woman, and warning us not to go close to her. In Jamaica theses churches and their followers are stigmatized, as Juju/Obeah workers. I assured him that all was well and that I had made my decision and he and my mom should not worry about me.
Awakening to your Spirituality is a wonderful thing. We become awake at different points in our lives and many of us understand right away what is happening, while for some it is confusing for a bit. Often times we struggle with our religious views and esoteric teachings. The earnest persistence to find the truth within one’s self, unfortunately is not pursued by many. Even when the door is knocked upon to open them up to knowledge unknown, most humans turns away, content in chasing the wiles of life. Spiritual development is attained through dedication. This must have been what my father tried to convey to me. To grow and progress within your Spirituality there must be a certain discipline within you. “For many are called but few are chosen” – Matthew 22:13.
After my father had left, I realized why my guides had pointed me to these spiritual churches, it was my lineage, my heritage, my crown, it was in my blood. Imagine me, a hot girl, wrapping my head and wearing long skirts, singing and jumping in church to drums, becoming possessed, not caring that while I was doing this, the cute guys in the church was seeing me a this way. During my schooling I had no idea that I had to pass thorough the doors of my Jamaican Ancestors, Zion, I had to pass through Zion. I was on my way to Africa, but I had to pass through Zion. “SEEK YE THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND ALL HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU!!” Zion taught me a lot, and In between Zion, I would visit Padrino, My Lucumi Santero, who use to take me out to nature to do rituals and sacrifices. I still visited Mr. Pierre, and would sit with Mr. Mitchel twice per week. Seek Ye the Kingdom of God, and that is exactly what I did, even though those words came from the bible, It did not mean Christianity was my path, however Christianity helped pave the way. There are so many different possibilities in life, and we need to know this. We all cannot be the same, think the same and come up with the same solutions for all our problems, life is not set up that way. I was happy during my days in Zion, but I have since moved on.
Tí ìtàkùn kò bá já ọwọ́ ò lè ba ọ̀kẹ́rẹ́. /
If the creeping plant isn’t broken, the squirrel can’t be caught….Yoruba Proverb!
[Cause and effect; one thing ultimately leads to another]
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.