Recently I spoke to the Oluwo who first went with me to Africa for the first set of my initiations. We were having a conversation of how initiations are done throughout the country by different people and the techniques most use. During our conversation, I began to remember my Osun initiation and the ten days I spent on my God mothers mat. I had been a spiritual practitioner before I was brought to tradition, and I was taught by non physical elders, no human being imparted anything upon me, other than what I learned from watching my mother, who never explained anything. Sure I had three spiritual mentors, three spiritual gurus who, at different times in my life, I was close to. I learned a lot from them, but the odd thing was that I was never taught by them. It wasn’t until I began to wake up to me that I began to look back on my childhood and see the mystic of who my mother was. While on the compound in Nigeria, being surrounded by the oloorishas who were initiating me, I saw my mother and her wisdom in their actions. The atmosphere there on the compound reminded me of Jamaica and the spiritual churches, and although they (the Africans) did things differently, probably more intense, the energy was almost the same.
When travelling to Jamaica, via airplane, when the plane hovers over the island, you can feel a particular charge in the air – a spiritual vibration. When the plane lands, if people were to pay attention to their feelings of when arriving in Jamaica as opposed to landing in a different country, they can actually tell the difference of their feelings, and what they are feeling is the land’s energy, the spirit of the land. There is almost like a warmth, or a greeting coming from the land itself. Jamaica is a land of Eguns, which, as I wrote in the first spirituality of Jamaica post, is the black in the flag. Egun is a Yoruba word for ancestral spirits, and Jamaica is a land that was built on the blood of many who came before, those who Christopher Columbus met there and also many others who were transported there and who gave their lives for the freedom of others.
But this fight is the same with many other countries, so why is it that Jamaica is any different? My answer to this question reminded me of what I heard from an interview with Chronixx, which not only explains that the land itself stands with the people in it’s geography and how it protects it’s citizens, and what I mean by this is that anyone who knows of the fight between Nanny of the Maroons or the slaves of the Jamaica and their enslavers, knows that it was the geography of the land that gave us victory. In the interview with Chronixx, he was asked, “What do you love most about Jamaica?”
To which he responded, “The people and the geography, because most people don’t understand that Jamaica is a spiritual place, which means anybody who is born under this constellation, on this grid, on this X… is born with a special power. Jamaica is an energy center.”
This is very true and it surprised me to hear him say it because many Jamaican’s are oblivious to the power of the land on which they live. The problems of the country are very easy to fix. Easy because it lies within Jamaica’s and the Jamaican’s spirituality. Their connection to their divine self and also their connection to their ancestry. There was a time in the history of Jamaica when everything that threatened to come their way or that they faced, the island as a collective, sought through prayer, fasting, reverence, solace from their God and their ancestors. Jamaicans have never disconnected from Africa and this IS evident through their music which is their voice (as reggae is known protest and a back-to-Africa movement). However, through recent times, we can see where a great shift has occurred within our culture and this is also evident within the same music. The lack of spiritual connection to our land and our ancestors is no longer being shouted. Every word that a human being utters, unbeknownst to him or her is a prayer, and I told this to my last class on Saturday. And to prove this, if you go through Bob Marley’s music, you will see, through his lyrics, his prayers for not only Jamaica and Africa but for the world. Jamaica highlighted her son and the world received him. He carried that torch.
But no longer is our music protest music because fear is now apart of the once fearless Jamaicans.
Fear of not conforming to the pressures of the world, bringing them into 21st Century which is an illusion. It is a break up of morality, a break of tradition, a break of community where once a village grew a child. The sacredness of this blessed island has been lifted, like the scab off of a sore, therefore leaving it vulnerable for infection. The people of Jamaica do not know that their problems are so easy to fix, and this is going back to our motto, “Out of many one people,” we stand in solidarity, and together not following the world, who we once led. To fix the problems of Jamaica is to find back your spirituality, embrace it as our elders once did.
There were times when Kumina was kept to honor the ancestors, so songs like “weed an’ grabba” or “si mi an’ cock,” were not being sung, as they have NO spiritual connection at all. Kumina, today, is almost like a Dance, where the once powerful Kumina was able to shut down any dance that was held close or in the area. Revival/Zion nowadays is always a play for power. Who is more powerful than the next? The serving of spirits, greeting and entertaining them, for whatever messages they may bring for individuals or for the island, is often lost by the Bishops, Leadress, or Mothers, looking to out “jump” the next one. It is now all competition.
Now let me expound on what Chronixx said and explain to you the metaphysics behind his words:
Within our spiritual system, for example I will use Revival (which is one of them), Jamaica, is indeed an energy center, and what this means is that the island absorbs or pulls, like a magnet, from every and all cultures and their spiritual systems. While Zion/Revival is being worked, and the drillings, drummings, and groanings are invoking, in will walk the Chinese Spiritim. The Chinese Spirit will possess the Jamaican and you will hear him speak Cantonese or Mandarin. The Indian Spiritism will walk in, and you will know when this happens through the Jamaican’s action, dance, and language. The Africans from many parts of the different countries on the continent will also walk in and work through the Zion/Revival order. Yet still, I have been in Africa and have seen the Bongo Man, which is a spirit indigenous to Jamaica, come through possession of a child of Esu in Africa, therefore allowing me to realize, that while I am in a Kumina in Jamaica, and Bongo walks in, this is indeed Esu, straight out of Africa. This is the same with Lucumi’s Elegua, and this is the same with Haiti’s Papa Legba.
Jamaica is able to pull, meaning create, all that which she has never heard of. So if a spirit is in Taiwan that Jamaican’s have never heard of, the land is able to attract that spirit. It would seem as if it has the spiritual key to attract anything exotic or otherwise toward us. This is apart of Jamaica’s spiritual makeup, which is also apart of the DNA of it’s people, and what lends to the creativity and artistry, this is evident in the yellow of the Jamaican flag. The yellow points to the Yoruba deity Osun, the river goddess.
Every Jamaican is spiritual. The greatness of Jamaica is in her spirituality, unbeknownst to the world and even Jamaicans. When I say the greatness of Jamaica, I am speaking of their achievements which gains them worldly recognition. If they knew the power of the land and how to work with it, honor it, and listen to the messages that comes from it, if they put themselves together as they once did as a community, the force of the island, as in the Star Wars movie, would be with them. When Jamaicans begins to wake up to the spirituality their elders knew and practiced, the country will rise again. It will.