Good day everyone, I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and I pray that this week will bring blessings for you and for yours. This is my prayer for all my Bloggers and peepers ,well wishers, family and friends, fi all de haters oonuh guh chuck off some whey! Last week was very heavy with some very strong posts on some thought provoking subjects. This weekend for my faithful bloggers and to lighten up the dark atmosphere I introduced a series about Obeah and revenge, I have my time when I like to write and entertain my faithful’s, we all loved and enjoyed them. I will continue it on the weekend to write more about Alton and de duttie Doreen, but for today let us explore the titled post.
When I was a child growing up in Jamaica, I saw my mother help many people with many ailments or afflictions. She had a job at the University of The West Indies Hospital in Kingston, but Mama knew things, many things. She was never known as a spiritualist, (perhaps behind her back, I have no idea) but to all, whenever they had problems that no doctor could aid them with they all came to our veranda and Mama always had something for them, from Gonorrhea to Duppy/Ghosts, my mother helped them all . This is what I remember of my mother and her abilities from childhood. When we would ask her what was what, trying to understand her work, she would shush us, me especially, since I was always curious of her work (I never knew I would be who I am today) or at times when she felt like it she would explain. I learned many things from her which I apply in my own spiritual practice today. I thank God for her.
There was a time after mama had given birth to my junior sister, when she woke up one night with pain with her breasts. The milk was too much and the baby was not nursing, her breasts had become hard as a rock. Mama had woken up crying, in pain, her enemy and arch nemesis Hilda Willis who lived in the apartment next to us, in the wee hours of the morning, came to our apartment with an enamel basin filled with hot water and a rag, she proceeded to bathe mama’s normally average breast, now huger than Dolly Parton’s titty dem, and seemed to soon burst with excess milk. As a child, I sat on the bed feeling sorry for my mother who was crying and clearly in pain, as Miss Will bathe her breasts with the hot water, releasing the milk which was causing her pain.
It was said that Miss Will knew a thing or two about healing, some even said she was an Obeah woman. Since the beginning of time the native doctors has always played a major role in every community. The Herbalist/Spiritualist/Traditionalist/Medicine man or Woman/The Shaman/woman. The Oracle. Even in movies their presence can be found such as the Oracle in The Matris and also the Oracle in the movie 300, and many others. It could be also said that Jesus’s role in the bible was that of the same kind. (do not attempt to hit me with yuh Bible!).
The reference to my mother and also to Hilda Willis was to point out the importance of community involvement with each other, Unity, support and strength. This was done while I lived in Jamaica and it is still a practice in Africa.
The primary function of every traditionalist or native doctor for their community is to take care of the spiritual nature or aspects of the community. To serve the Gods/ Deity or Deities of the town, to heal, and restore order, to consult through oracle or through medium-ship for individuals or community their fate or destiny and to seek the proper solution spiritually for all problems, to ensure peace and to remove chaos.
In Africa all traditionalist or priests of each town have an higher up or a head priest of who is a titled Chief and Priests himself, which oversees their conduct or behavior. It is he who represents all traditionalist or herbalist when speaking to Government or to the King of the town. In Nigeria, in each town, there in the middle of the town sits the shrine of the the ruling deity, of the town. In Nigeria where I live the Orisha called Babaluaye (Baba-lu-aye-yeah) and Orisha Amagbo which is a Tree Orisha (he presentss himself when invoked into the form of a tree). Their shrine is in the middle of the town and it is the King’s duty to appoint the head priest of the town whose title is Ojubona to take care of it and to do their sacrifices and festivals. The Ojubona is the religious leader of the town and along with him there are a selection of Babalawos (Traditional Priests) whose job it is to take care of the towns deities and to keep their yearly festivals up.
Recently in Nigeria there was a very bad incident which was all over the news and it happened in the town of Ejigbo Nigeria where I live. The incident had made international news stemming from a you tube video which had gone viral. Three women who had been accused of stealing Pepe (Pepper) #200 Nairas worth, the equivalent of perhaps 50 cents in America, were held in the market, stripped and beaten and blended Pepe rubbed in their crotch area by men who were at the market. In Nigeria this is called Jungle Justice. One of the women died after her breast was cut during the torture she suffered which subsequently led to her death. Here is the link to the story;
Ejigbo’s King who is also the owner of the market and others such as the Chairman of the Local Council (the Mayor of our Town) came under fire from the International community and local women groups, along with human rights activists and others. The Iyaloja (female Chief in charge of the market) and the Baba loja (the male Chief in charge of the market) were both arrested and the men from the video who had ran away were being hunted and their families held in place of their capture until they were found. Ejigbo was in an uproar. The streets were filled with protesters, police stopped every vehicle and searched looking for the vile men who committed these acts against these women. Some were found, and some are still yet to be found.
The King of Ejigbo along with the Local Politicians knew that they had to do some thing to restore order to the town and also bring the criminals to justice. The Market which is one of our main markets had to be closed, and so this problem affected many people. Elders along with the Araba consulted the oracle, Ifa, so that they could find the solution and restore the town of Ejigbo to order. The Oracle gave its wisdom and a festival for the tree Orisha which is called Amagbo was called for, it went on for a week.
In the Christian Community and also in Islam and Judaism, there are the Pastor/Bishop, the Imam and the Rabbai. These are religious leaders whose devotees/members/congregations depend on for leadership and counsel, when it comes to themselves and or family and often times community. In time of need these upstanding members of the community must show themselves and be the pillar of strength for everyone, while bringing in through fasting or prayer the realm of the divine as a comforter for all. Regardless of what they are called in tradition or religion or in any tribe or Community, Country or Town, these people are a necessary part of human existence.
They are the mediators between God and man, bridging the natural and the spiritual world for the benefit of the community. Both cannot survive without each other. Within each culture there are things which are done a certain way set so by elders who have gone on ahead and have now become ancestors. Common among all traditional practices however is the veneration of the ancestors, which the practitioners feel is the most important. Were it not for them how else would the community grow and understand the realm of spirits while having an earthly existence or still experiencing the human experience. The Importance of these people who have the ability to see into the future and also manipulate energy, use of herbs and plants to heal, use their bodies as mediums to bring across messages from the spirit wold to communicate the wisdom of the divine is unquestionable and should be respected.
In Nigeria within the Tradition of the Yoruba, you will find that women who are initiates of Osun are often midwives, they even have traditional clinics with which to deliver babies. In those clinics if the birth is a breech birth, I have seen these mother (YeYe’s) touch the stomach of the pregnant women and say incantation and the breech is turned into normal deliveries. After the baby is born certain rituals are taken place for new born and mother to ensure their health and well being.
In Nigeria all people, Christian, Muslims, Kings, Politicians, Bigwigs, and more all visit the Babalawo for consultation with the Ifa Oracle, before making important decisions. If there is an illness which cannot be taken care by the medical professionals, then that person will come to the compound of the Babalawo or of the native doctor for divination/consultation and solution.
When I was called to this work, I had no idea what was happening to me, I went through a series of initiation which I thought that I would never recover from mentally. I can tell you that it was very hard for me, physically and psychologically. After my initiation and awakening, I then Journeyed to Nigeria many years after, to do more initiation and to finally take my spiritual seat, if you will, in other words settle in my role as an Orisha Initiate and a practicing Traditionalist. Before I went to Nigeria to receive Ifa and Osun, I had my own set of people who I was responsible for as their spiritual leader and advisor, I took that job very seriously, I still do. After I initiated into Ifa/Orisha my responsibility grew, I had not only people who were in my care as their advisor and spiritualist, but I had the Orishas who I had to care for and serve and also my ancestors.
There are many roads within time and space which leads to our one creator, how we use our lives here on this planet is determined by the choices that we make. When someone is given the responsibility of community or of individuals as a spiritual leader, advisor or teacher they must do their best to be the best they can be for all who are within their care.
Please add your own thoughts to this, and watch the videos below just for additional knowledge, not necessarily in support of this post.
Àjùmọ̀bí ò kan tàánú; ẹni orí rán síni ló ńṣeni lóore. /
Blood relationships don’t often procure mercy; favour comes only by divine connection…..Yoruba Proverb!
[Help does not always come from expected sources]
All religions are valid as long as it teaches peace and love…..Obara Meji!
There are no disappointments in life, only lessons learned…..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.