Recently I spoke to someone while I was preparing some spiritual work for a client in a far away country. The work I was preparing was work for this particular person’s newly formed business which she wanted to flourish. It was very hard work and had to be done at night. I had to begin at a certain time in the night, and there I was sitting in my office on the ground preparing this work which had four sets to it. My arms were tired from wrapping but I had to finish everything so that I could send them off. My friend asked me what was I doing as I had taken a while to respond to their text and I responded that I was doing some Juju work. I waited my breath for them to shriek “Juju work”? their shock at my candor radiating through the text message, but it never came. I sighed and smiled secretly to myself at the same time, because my friend is Jamaican and most Jamaicans becomes shocked, appalled and taken aback at the very mentioned of Juju or Obeah, most show fear, and it tickles me to see that, because I know and understand things relating to these matters differently. Big up yuh self mi brave friend!
We continued with our texting and I told my friend that I wondered at their non reaction to my telling them about the Juju work, it wasn’t a big deal according them, however they suggested that I write a post on the difference between Sacrifice which is done in the tradition of Ifa/Orisha, read this post, and Juju/Obeah/witchcraft. I thought it to be a good idea for a post, so I have decided to tackle this subject today. There is a difference between all these and although it is challenging somewhat to break it down, I have never backed down from a challenge, so here I go! Sacrifice, is an offering given of food, objects, animals or other things for a higher purpose, it is almost like swapping something for another In the tradition of Ifa Orisha, Sacrifice is always recommended after consultation with an high priest called a Babalawo or with and Iyanifa (eyah-nee-fah) such as I or an Oloorisha (olo-orisha)
Ususally the Babalawo uses what is called an Iroke which is held in his hand, and knocks it on the opon Ifa tray (his divining tray) while chanting to Orunmila when doing divination. The Iroke which the Babalawo uses here is Key. It is Orunmila’s power which he lends to his earthly representatives which are his Babalawo’s, and while a Babalawo holds it in hand, he has the trained right and exclusive power given to him by Orunmila through initiation and over twenty years of intense training under a Master Babalawo (Oluwo, Chief) to invoke the holy Odu’s from within time and space, which are the binary coded language of the entire Universe, where it will appear, come down and open its chapters for the Babalawo to interpret to the client of his life and all within whether negative or positive and how to align it with the solutions given which are always sacrifice.
With each Odu comes the solution for all problems and when the sacrifices are meted out Babalawo’s are told which Orisha will accept the sacrifice.
This is how sacrifice works; Say there is a problem, someone is fighting the client, either in the physical realm, or through witchcraft, like an enemy or a Boss, or an ex-wife, ex husband or current wife and husband (while married or together people are wicked, cyaa buy no ticket offa nuh baddie, you cannot trust people) or anyone who has attacked the client or planning to, Orunmila sees tomorrow. It can stem from anything such as setting the client up for a crime, planning for them to lose their jobs, making them get ill, anything, you name it, when the solution is given after consultation, Orunmila will instruct the Babalawo to give a particular Orisha the prescribed sacrifice, it maybe a Dog to Ogun, Divinity of Iron. This maybe a case of prison or court house appearances, or someone being hunted to be killed, or even someone undergoing surgery or someone in danger of a fatal car accident, remember Ogun rules over Iron and steel and he is the divinity of war, de real warlord!, When sacrifice is given to Ogun and he accepts, it is Ogun who will now face all these things for the client. Once Ogun is appeased in the name of that person, then he can relax about the accident, he will not see prison, he will answer to no Judge, the Surgeon with his scalpel will be precise, Ogun will face the gunman coming after him and he will run or become afraid because now the client has the backing of the great Orisha Ogun! The client will not see death, Ogun now has his back so to speak and he will make everything alright, for now. Ogun Yay!!!!
The Iroke (E-roe-keh), is Orunmila’s Power. With this Iroke Bablawo’s are able to Invoke that which is within time and space to come out and give solution so that our lives can be better. Always know that Orunmila’s doctrine teaches the right way, Ifa, Orunmila is often times called Ifa teaches righteousness. Ifa will not support criminals or anyone which wants to use him to get away with crimes against humanity or otherwise. Orunmila teaches us that we must strive to develop Iwa Pele, (good character, gentle character), when you seek counsel from Ifa, it is to bring us back into alignment with our destiny, and this is done through Sacrifice. When you are harmonious with nature, when your life is balanced, then your way or path is clear for you to find your way in this life, we know that Obstacles will cross our path and Esu, (Youruba divinity of Justice) will toss them our way, but we appease him first as to not disturb us, even though he does so to keep up alert and on our toes and also to remind us to keep up with our consultations, sacrifice and prayers.
Juju is an African terminology, it is work done by practitioners of a certain craft. Knowledge based upon what has been passed down to a person from within family or taught to others by knowledgeable people who have found favor in them enough to teach them. Juju can do good and also bad, it depends on the character of the holder of the knowledge. I know Juju well well, and I am proud of it. I love it, and it has helped me plenty in life. Here is where I make that creepy laugh and deepen my voice in a sultry kind of wanton way, while wearing my Elvira get up, black wig and all with my eyeliner drawn cat eyes and my lips painted ruby red with my crystal ball in my right hand and my wand in my left! Are you scared yet? Simmer down, simmer down, let me explain. Juju can be described as a tablet, medicine, medication taken for an illness, to cure a problem and Juju when done bad can be very harmful, it can even kill...
Disclaimer, I would like to declare that I am a good Juju worker, mi heart too saff, plus mi fraid ah God lol, an coward man kip soun bone!
Of Good Juju;
Good Juju can do wonderful things to aid human beings from problems and sufferings. In Africa the threat of Malaria is here, but there are herbalist and spiritualist and traditionalist (Balalawos) who have concoctions made from herbs and plants along with many things that cure Malaria and other diseases when others are plagued with them. This is known as Juju work, remember as I said before Juju can be viewed as a tablet, a pill, medication if you will (I just rhymed a sentence, lol) this is the example. There was a case of a woman who had Tuberculosis the dreaded TB, when she got to Nigeria she was almost dead, the Oloorisha sent her students to catch twenty one lizards (Alagba in Yoruba), and then the lizards were killed and left in the hot African sun to dry on zincs, after which they were placed in mortar and pounded with a pestle in to fine powder, an assortment of herbs were done the same, grounded into powder, the Oloorisha, an Osun woman gathered everything and prepared the medicine for this woman who was made to drink this concoction, she vomited things indescribable and for twenty one days she was on that compound (this is a story told to me, I was not there) she was cured. That is Juju work. My mother told me that she had whooping cough when she was young in Jamaica and what is known in Africa as Grass cutter (bush meat, de Africans love it more dan real meat lawd God!) and as Cane piece Rat in Jamaica was boiled and given to her as tea and this cured the whooping cough, that is Juju work. Ganja put in white rum fi pain, ah Juju wuk! The work which I did for the person who was opening a business in her country is Juju work, she asked for something so that her business will flourish. I knew what exactly to prepare to help. All my ingredients came from nature. I knew what to do to put certain herbs together and other things which will aid in another to enjoy their life without disturbing another persons own. What I prepared for her, God supplied it for me, because it all came from the bush, it is because of knowledge we have that we know what to use and how to use it, and it is confirmed. On this earth realm there is power, you just have to know what to do. The Bible said Jesus groaned at the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus groaned, then he commanded Lazarus to come forth, consider the word groan, plus the command!, lol ah Juju work! these are some examples of Juju work, we can discuss it more in detail later.
Of Bad Juju
As I have said before there are Good Juju and Bad Juju. Here I will deal with bad Juju. Bad Juju really depends on the character of a person. The person with the knowledge does so to be paid his worth, although some smart ones will only take but so much money and there is a reason why. The customer who seeks out the work of the bad Juju worker is worse than the practitioner himself. One should never seek that which has no cure or is too complicated to deal with. Many people seek out bad Juju for money rituals or to kill or maim a person, drive persons crazy or break up a family unit among many different possibilities. All these are wrong and there are serious repercussions for such actions. Bad Juju as it relates to money rituals, can ask for the sacrifice of a human life so that the petitioner will use the dead persons “star” to acquire earthly gains, these things are done a lot, and it is even said it is being done in the nowadays music Industry. Bad Juju can drive a wife from the home of her husband, and this can be done by any wicked person who wants to separate these two people, a person can collect the hair of another and take that hair to a tree out some where with certain implements and incantations and do certain things at a specific hour and drive that person mad, to which no doctor can cure, but for Orunmila! Bad Juju is using power, knowledge learned to harm a fellow being or kill them, it is work done by human hands to cause disturbance and destruction. It is not the correct way to walk the road of life, but we were given free will as human beings and as such free to do what we will, however every action carries an reaction. Walk good and stay away from this practice! To do anything like this is to destroy you own self. God is not in support of anything done to hurt another or the Earth, and you cannot escape the wrath unleashed as payment when it is meted out and even your children and their children will feel it, often times even more terrible than you, sow good seeds, walk the right way! There is nothing called bad anything when it comes to spiritual work only BAD HUMAN BEINGS the blame lays with them!
This topic needs a lot of time spent on it If I were to explain it fully, so for now I will do a short synopsis of it and deal with it as a topic all on its lonesome, (when mi work up mi nerve). We have all heard this word witchcraft before and of course like all the other words which deals with any form of Spiritual work and workers, the mystery and curiosity and sometimes fear of this presents itself into our minds. When I speak of Witches and of Witchcraft here I will speak to you coming from the African point of view, although they are every where. In African cosmology the science behind these things once explained properly can be understood without dread or fear. Religion, Hollywood and media propaganda has stigmatized all these and have made us all cowards to all that which we should face and understand.
Witchcraft belongs to a group of people who we call in Yoruba land Iyami (e-yah-me) Osoronga (Oh-so rung-gah), or Aje (ah-jeh), or Elders of the night. These are otherwise known as witches. Make no doubt about it, they are real and were sent here to this realm and given power by nobody else but our supreme God. They were escorted here by Esu (Yourba divinity of Justice) with the assistance of our Great Orunmila of whom they respect a lot, through the Holy Odu Osa Meji. Orisha Osun is the head of these group of people and birds are their Insignia. It is said that they fly, and they do. Outside of Africa we here of them flying on brooms, I cannot speak on that although with them anything is possible. In Africa these people turn themselves into birds and fly, mostly at nights, where they gather in the realm of spirit for their meetings. They are known as Awon Eleye, Owner of birds. In Africa witches are not known, they are our Neighbors, the Market Sellers, the Seamstress, the Hair Dresser, they are among us everywhere, there are no known meeting place for them where anyone can point to, and even if one knows them who dares to point them out?
It is a society that one is born into and although there are initiations into it which is given to those who want it, it is held in the deepest of secrecy. I am tempted to tell you a little about the initiation but I fear I cannot. The Elders of the night have a power which is given to them as stated before by God (Olodumare, and Orunmila knows their secret, but he will never betray them) , their work is very mysterious and when they counsel together many destructive, strange, unimaginable things can occur, also they can heal what others have given up on. In Yoruba land people are careful not to insult each other because you never know if the person is a witch and real witchcraft is not something any human being would want to face. They must be respected and held in high regard, to offend them is to seal your fate unless you seek the help of Orunmila through a Babalawo. Be respectful of birds even the vultures, here in this form they demand sacrifice when you see them and seeing these vultures at odd times in your life are an indication that these elders of the night are indeed with you, a part of you lineage, do not speak of them in a negative way and be mindful of cats as they are their messengers. When they come in the form of Owls especially the white ones they bring messages of death, I could go on, but I will leave it here for now.
To the Elders of the night, I Obara Meji beg you, please do not disturb me or my children, as I have not neglected you!
Casting spells, making charms, guard rings, and such delights are attributed to this terrible word Obeah. Obeah is a term used and originated in Jamaica to describe black magic, Voodoo or matters concerning mysterious occult work. L. W. de Laurence (friend in my head) is said to have taught many Jamaican practitioners the art of ritualistic magic. Again some people use their knowledge for good and some use it for evil, the choice is in the Humans hand. An Obeah worker is normally viewed in the eyes of many as evil practitioner. Here the Bongo man as some in Jamaica are called builds his fire on his compound and blows his rum and calls his main messenger to come and assist him to kill someone, the fire burns and he chants a psalms (most Obeah man or women In Jamaica use the Bible to assist them in sending off their work), as he chants his psalm probably psalm 109, he calls “Joseph”!, a non-physical being. Joseph appear and the Bongo man flings a bottle of red stripe beer into the blazing fire, now shooting angry looking sparks, Bow!!! the bottle explodes as it enters the fire, Bongo man shouts loudly “One shot!“, another bottle of Beer is flung and Bow!!! another explosion, he shouts “two shots”! he continues until he reaches nine shots, the number 9 which is the number of death, the Bongo man has just sent a death blow, which will reach the intended victim in 9 days on 9th hour. It is left to be seen if it will take, perhaps the intended victim is under the “Blood”, and No weapon formed against him shall prosper, who the hell knows, we can just perhaps. The term Obeah is actually supposed to represent a person who is of evil thoughts or intentions in matters relating to spirits and conjuring malevolent entities and working with them for the destruction of life and thensome, but there are people who do good healing work and are also called Obeah people so we therefore cannot place the whole lot in the same basket. All in all it comes down to the same thing as Juju and Voodo, it is the hand of the human being, the bad hands and minds of our fellow world citizens, Again neither the word nor practice is bad, it is the wicked HUMANS, THE CHARACTER, THE POWER AND DOMINION WHICH PEOPLE SEEK TO DESTROY OTHERS!!! Orunmila teaches that we should strive for Iwa Pele (Good character), we should adhere!!!. Whew mi tiad!…The End!
Ìgbà tí ijó bá yẹ’ni lá ńkúrò lójú agbo. /
It is when the ovation is loudest that one ought to quit the dance floor…..Yoruba Proverb!
[Know when to quit; don’t overstay your welcome.]
All religions are valid as long as it teaches peace and love….Obara Meji!
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.