I have always been sure of who I am from ever since I can remember. As a young girl growing up, I sought to know many things of life. I was most often intrigued of things of a spiritual nature and I spent a lot of time out in nature, feeling clost to it,I had no friends so I embraced nature and books. I remember when I was in primary school in Kingston, Jamaica, our school Maxfield Park Primary School would go on outings to Castleton Garden, there is something mystical, magical and enchanting about that place. Jamaica on a whole is beautiful, big up mi place!
I always felt an eerie feeling when I went there, a fear I cannot describe. I felt as if the place was alive and that there I was being watched, by unseen eyes. Of course, I never voiced my fears, because even as a child I was aware of how ridiculous my fears were and was sure never to let anyone know what I thought. Instead, I would stick close to the teachers and pray for the time to come soon so that we could leave. It would be years to come before I understood what that feeling was and why. The feeling not only came from Castleton Garden, but anywhere I went and there was rivers or Ocean, rivers more so than the Ocean. Even while driving there, as we begin to get close by, the feeling would come
One day here in Africa I was having a conversation with a Babalawo name Ifa Kazeem. I told him about those days in Jamaica (Africans like to hear about Jamaica, they have great respect for us, and I am a great story teller, so we would sit and talk in between work) and how I felt when I visited Castleon Garden and he laughed. He knew that I was an initiate of Osun, the water Goddess and so upon hearing my fear of water and its surroundings, he laughed a healthy booming sound and slapped his thighs as he laughed. He said in between laughter;
“Of Course you would feel like that, you are Osun and she is water, your spirit knows that she is there seeing you, your family is there and you feel them even though you were small and did not understand, this is why you fear! Kazeem laughed until the laughter spread to me, and I began to chuckle, for there I was sitting with this Babalawo who in one sentence told me why for all my life I feared water. As simple as that.
I sat with my husband, and I asked him why was it that I feared these places, not revealing to him the conversation I had with Ifa Kazeem days earlier, and he looked and me and said, “Honey, you are from water world, and so when you go around water, you fear, because you want to live in this world with us, you are not ready to go with them, so your head, unknowingly to you, reminds you of this. This is where the fear comes from”.
He said we all comes from different worlds,and this I knew before, but I remained quiet as he spoke. He said many peoples fears come from what they already know or have encountered in another realm, another life. Many people may fear eating meat because it maybe that in another life they were either poisoned or they choked on meat, or it may be their taboo, or they made a promise before they came into the world that they would not eat meat. Some people will fear to drive or ride in a plane or car because the world they come from is the realm of Iron, or maybe it that is how they left their last lives, or this is the means they chose to die before they come into the world, so seeing these things threaten them and they mistake it for fear, not knowing why. There are many mysteries to the world and if we deal gently we will begin to unravel them.
I asked him what was the meaning of deal gently (I knew it, but I want his explanation), and he said, we should not hurry our lives, instead we should remain positive and focused, patient, prayerful and humble and face life and its adventures. We should have no fear, but trust our heads to guide up to the correct path in life. I studied him for a moment. All this I knew he practiced, so he was true to his own path.
“I am Ogun, and Ogun is of God of Iron and steel and God of war. If something annoys and upset me, immediately Ogun comes out and shows himself. I have mastered this feeling however, because growing up, I would fight at the drop of a hat, but Ifa has calmed me down since and so if I shout, I am honoring both Ogun and Ifa. Ogun, because I allow him to shout thorough me instead of fighting, therefore I honor his presence and the warrior in me, and Ifa because I only shout, not fight and I forgive right away, I keep malice with no one.
He said “My wife, remember that we are more than who we think we are in this life, even though we have physical bodies, we are apart of a greater spiritual family somewhere beyond this earth. We must expect remnants of ourselves to come through, it is the spirit which motivates the human being, not the other way around. This is why we do sacrifices to stay balanced and to be grounded and to stay in alignment with the Universe”.
His wisdom is that of an old Baba, and I admire him for that.
My mother was also one of my greatest teachers, she taught me many things about life and how to have Iwa Pele ( E-wah-peh-lay, Good Character) before I even knew what Iwa pele was, Iwa Pele is the overall concept of the teachings and practice of our traditional practice of Ifa/Orisha. Orunmila teaches us that we MUST practice good and gentle character.
She taught me, never to ignore even an enemy who asks for a drink of water, if I can, I should give it to them. This one I practiced all my life, but as I grew and experienced human beings and their wickedness and coldness to each other, I found this a hard pill to swallow, yet I continued to heed to her words and even taught my own children.
I was in America when the wicked baby father called one day complaining of his life and all he faced, he needed help as he had fallen and for a long time was not able get up, in terms of his everyday life and prosperity. He felt that Obeah was apart of his life and he needed my help spiritually. I thought it odd, because when I suffered while we were together at the hands of him and his woman through Obeah and the wickedness she threw at our young and newly formed family, all in her hopes of getting him, when I would tell him what she was doing and pleaded with him to remove her from our lives, which was crumbling at her hands, he would lambaste me and quarrel with me and said there was no such thing as Obeah! Ahhh, life!
While he spoke to me, almost in tears, (he didn’t cry, but his voice shook with emotion) as he lamented about his suffering, while he spoke and I quietly listened, I found myself remembering his terrible treatment of me and also how he totally forgot about his children in every way. I thought of how he never took care of them when he had it, and even now when he had lost everything he never called them at all, not even a happy birthday. I thought, as he spoke, “the nerve of him! How dare him, ask for my help, did he forget all that he did to me and my children, especially the children, never mind me!. I never voiced any of my thoughts, but instead told him that I would call him back.
I hung up from him and called my husband in Nigeria and told him about the phone call. I told my husband that I was not prepared to help him, he should find someone else. His treatment of me and the children was too much, too bad, I couldnot forget it, I wanted nothing to do with him. My husband interrupted my speech with “Ni Suru, (be patient) Farabale (calm down).
He said, “Honey, we shall help him”, I protested, but he insisted, he said “Please honey, forget about what he has done, he is down and he called for help, let us put bad feelings aside and help him! I asked my husband who will pay for his medicines, he said that we will. He told me, in the same words of my mother and also with what I have practiced all my life, but was willing to put aside when It came to this wicked man. My husband said,
“He asked for help, we cannot as initiates ignore his cry. If God is to pronounce judgement on him, then that is for God to decide, but we will help him! Of course I conceded, but the wicked man never followed up, so we are yet to assist him.
Here was one of the very same teachings my mother drummed into our heads as children, and I in turn taught my own children while practicing what she taught me, which was really forgiveness termed another way. Emotions and hurt at the hands of this vile man made me forget this and had to be reminded by my husband, that although this man was an enemy, look at him as my mother taught me (my husband never said these words, it is I who m explaining it this way for you), “If an enemy asks for water and you are in the position to give it, do not deny him!
Our teachers are all around us, and we also teach as we learn. As you all know the earth is a school room, there are many lessons here for us to learn. Through out my life, people always called me teacher, and anywhere I go in the world, once I begin to speak,crowds would draw near it is amazing to see. I always had something to share, and I loved sharing what I knew as well as I loved to learn and still do.
My three mentors in spirituality was Mr. Mitchel, Mr. Pierre and my sweet Padrino, I will never forget them
My husband speaks of his Oluwo everyday, and he always begin his sentence with this, “My Oluwo taught me…..” His Oluwo is the one he trained under when he studied Ifa for twenty three years until he became independent. His Oluwo made his transition at 112 years old. I was in Africa when the Oluwo called him and told him to come see him, before he left, as he felt to travel very soon. He left a month after the phone call.
Iba Ifa Toki (Ose/Fun) Oluawo of Ilobu Osun State!!!! Your teachings are not forgotten Baba!!
He was not sick, he just left on his own. It was his Oluwo who taught him what I now teach you here on this site and that is…..it is not good for person to expect life to be happy and good for them all the time, rough times, and turbulence has to be in the mix, but we should pray that we do not see devastation, because a person who has life good all the time, who is happy and who does not experience some bad at times, will not live long, there must be balance.
His Oluwo taught him not to speak dreams at night, his Oluwo taught him the use of every plant, root and wood in the bush and the uses of certain animals for the goodness of mankind and to cure many illness and also his Oluwo taught him Ifa! He mentions his Oluwo every day, from I know him to this day, he has never forgotten him, and so he shares those teachings with me and also his students on our compound. I also share my knowledge with him, and things that I have learned throughout life, from these three men who were my mentors, to my mother who taught me many thing through life, the cycle continues,because I teach my children and they in turn also teach me.
We teach each other here on this blog, for it is not I alone who teach here, I also learn from you. This post came because a couple days ago my husband sat in our parlor talking, and of course he was telling me some of the lessons he learned from his Oluwo, by the way an Oluwo is an Ifa Chief (the word actually means chief), but it is a title given by the Araba who is the head of all Babalawos in the town, not all Babalawos have this title, or can be called Oluwo, my husband is also an Oluwo. In Africa you are recognized and respected because of your title. he said during our talk, that everyone has a teacher, and it is important for us to recognize and respect that. The idea for this post was born in that moment.
We learn from everyone and from everything, we must look at every thing in our lives as lessons. We must recognize our teachers, even if she is the wicked sister or he is the wicked friend or spouse. As we search for gold and prosperity in life, we must seek knowledge, if we do this, we can grow and become who we ought to be in life.
Parents listen to your children, or rather we should not ignore the younger ones, some of our greatest teachers are them. Always think before you speak, words are like eggs, once spilled they can never be retrieved.
Never be quick to lay curse on another, think and deal gently before pronouncing judgement or curses, some curses can never be removed, and often times it is the undeserved who suffer.
Adults all children belong to you, do not care only about your child, if you see a child having difficulty to cross the street, assist him or her.
Wives respect your husbands, Husbands respect your wives.
Respect your elders, even the ones who have no respect, be mindful not to be found at fault, if anything let the fault be theirs!
Do not worry about anything, everything that is supposed to be will!
Everything happens for a reason and everything comes when it must!
Never hurry your life!
If you pray and you feel that your prayer is not being answered, look again, the wisdom of God surpasses man, and often times God answers our prayers, we are just not wise enough to see it!
Wait and be positive in life, positive thoughts and out look is better than any antibiotic,
Never be found with Jealousy, what is yours will be yours in this life and if you never find riches, then it was not meant for you, accept that. You may have gotten something even better of which there are many, Knowledge being the best!
Never Judge, this bears repeating, you do not know what lay in wait for you tomorrow, no one is above another persons circumstance, never judge!
Love surpasses all, let love be a part of your life, show it and open your self to receive it!
When you find a good person, cherish that person!
Reject the spirit of arrogance!
Be humble, release ego
Release hate, it only destroys
Practice the things you preach, be an example for others to follow
Never rejoice over another hurt
Figure out what is your service to humanity and do it, if you even have to volunteer at a soup kitchen, help your fellow human beings
Pray, meditate and practice your affirmations daily
Never do what is taboo to you
Remember your sacrifices
Honor your ancestors
I have so much more, I am not even finished!
I have so much more to write on this topic. I want to tell you my lessons from Padrino, and Mr. Pierre and Mr. Mitchel. From Madda Myrie de Jamaican Obeah woman, and Miss Milly another wicked (as in great) diviner. Lessons fro Miss Jenny who read tea leaves, and from my Jamaican Oluwo. I wanted to tell you many things, but if I continue then the post will be too long, and many of you I notice are drawing away from me, the visits are not as much as before. You all know I call is as I see it.
I will continue to blog until a voice says stop! mi nah watch oonuh!
Ìyà ńjẹ ọmọrí ìṣaṣùn; ìṣaṣùn ńjẹ dídùn ọmọrí ńjoru ọbẹ̀. /
The pot-lid is exploited; the pot gets all the sweetness but the lid gets all the steam……Yoruba Proverb!
[Only a fair deal, a win-win position is sustainable in the long run.]
All religion are valid as long as it teaches peace and love…. Obara Meji!
There are no disappointments in life, only lessons learned!….Obara Meji