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Hello all. In the navigation section of the blog, you’ll find that I have some book picks for you all. Reading is important, it’s my favourite thing to do. I should have been born in a library. I love to share what I believe will help others, and so today I have decided to list 6 books that I believe can assist those of you who are on a spiritual path or those wanting to know.
I’d like to make it clear that the books I am recommending will vary in beliefs, religion, or philosophy. I believe that there is wisdom in almost all doctrines and it has to do with you and your search, and how it resonates with you and your spirit.
I remember many years ago when I found a peculiar book that piqued my interest in a practice I had no idea existed. What was strange to me at the time was that this book was written by a Puerto Rican woman on the topic of African spirituality, and at the time I did not know that Puerto Ricans or Spanish people practiced this, I was a young teenager then – but I could not put it down! It was a book about Esu, the Yoruba deity of justice, who the Lucumi’s call Elegua. I was so fascinated with what I had discovered that I brought it to Mr. Mitchel, a Jamaican spiritualist who was a friend of the family and one of my mentors. I asked him if he knew of this deity called Elegua? His answer was honest as he told me, “I don’t know much about it but I know that the Santeria people use it, and I do know that it is very powerful.”
What intrigued me specifically about the book, other than the author being a great story teller, was the fact that she explained that Elegua was one of the pantheon of Orisas from Africa, of the Yoruba people. It was reading this that astounded me. Here were these people worshiping this power that belonged to my ancestry, the author made sure to point out that this was from an African tradition… and I knew nothing about it. In hindsight, I marvel at the wisdom of my non-physical teachers because I was pointed in the direction of this peculiar book as an introduction to this tradition, and unbeknownst to me one day I would be apart of it.
It was this book that set me on my spiritual path.
For anyone on a spiritual path or meant to be, something will introduce you to that path. That ‘thing’ can often be traumatic, it can be an experience, it can be meeting someone that fascinates you, or it can be a book. Something will unlock what is called curiosity, and that curiosity becomes the road map that sends you searching. When these things happen, it is not coincidental (there’s no such thing). Like Alice, we fall through the rabbit hole and discover a world of things we never knew. There, you will find something that seems to say “this is your life… welcome.”
If you’re reading this at all, know that it is ‘curiosity’ that has led you here and kept you coming back. As of today, know that you are on a path. Something out there has led you to search, and with the books that I will be recommending, I hope that I will assist you to finding who you are and where you ought to be in this life.
Why You Should Read It: Someone introduced this book to me a while back and I read it when I was already a practicing spiritualist. I found it fascinating the author’s tale of his spiritual relationship with this Shaman called Don Juan. I was fascinated by the fact that the Shaman, whose character was calm and gentle, wanted to hand over his knowledge to someone and Castaneda was who he chose (although Castaneda’s initial approach was purely for science). In this book, Castaneda takes us on his journey where he learns through this mysterious man how to use herbs and plants after ingesting them to enter the realms of spirit. There, he will have different mysterious experiences.
The author is an anthropologist and he found himself interested in the Peyote plant and went searching to learn more about it. He was introduced to a man who happened to be a Shaman, and subsequently, he became a student of his. After some time, he became slightly frustrated with the Shaman, believing he wasn’t learning enough or fast enough despite being in his presence often. But when he did begin to understand the Shaman’s wisdom of teaching, he was plunged deep into the mystical powers of hallucinogenic plants and herbs.
I recommend this one because it is written in such a way that it is easy to follow, so you, the reader, becomes the author. With him, we experience phenomenal things. It is important to know that if a person carries great power, before he leaves this earth, he must hand over that power to a worthy student.
See the book HERE.
Why You Should Read It: This book was given to me by a fellow spiritualist who practiced Hinduism (the spiritualist was a Jamaican). This is one of a whole series and it deals with how to achieve ascension in way of trying to understand and know your higher self through the path of spirituality. The author shares certain aspects of enlightenment that would resonate with anybody regardless of your belief. Although he mentions the Ascended Masters. Many people may not know who or what they are, but they are elevated souls who, from the realm they reside, inspire and teach those who are on their spiritual journey.
I became intrigued in this because one of the Ascended Masters is Quan Yin, a Chinese Deity. You can equate her to the Yoruba goddess Osun, because she, too, is of the river. This Ascended Master came to me and introduced herself to me several times, which prompted me to build her a shrine. To this day, I still honor her and her shrine remains in my home.
This book is very easy to understand. I believe this book puts life into a certain perspective. It goes into great depth of spirituality but while reading it, you won’t find yourself befuddled with anything he has written. It’s that kind of book that you will not put down and have to pass on to someone else.
Be prepared to have a shifting perception of how you view life and spirituality after reading this book!
See it HERE.
- The Healing Wisdom of Africa by Malidoma Patrice Some
Why You Should Read It: When I read this one, I couldn’t put it down. It’s a beautiful book of Some’s extraordinary spiritual recount of growing up in Africa, the elders, community, and nature. He speaks of his memory from childhood of a place that most people see as impoverished and violent, but felt like a place of comfort in this book. He spoke of initiation and of absorbing wisdom from subtle messages. It was one of the most popular spiritual books of its time.
He speaks of rituals and sacrifices and the purposes for which they are done. It really makes you see Africa outside of the barbarism you believe exists there. The book focuses on nature, the use of it, and community. It also shows the importance of the elders within the community and the value of wisdom passed along. This one shows how nature is at one and at peace with the human… but it depends on your geographical location. What is clear here for all who will read this book with understanding is that respect of us as a family or as a community will strengthen us spiritually. This is what I took away from reading this well written book, and it is one that will surely assist you on your path.
See it HERE.
4. Great Book of Magical Art, Hindu Magic and East Indian Occultism, and the Book of Secret Hindu, Ceremonial, and Talismanic Magic by L.W. de Laurence
If you have just began your spiritual journey, don’t buy this book.
This book is for people who have a clearer understanding of their journey and want to delve deeper into hidden mysteries. L. W. de Laurence is greatly feared in Jamaica and I understand why, but as I have done a post on him (trying my best to humanise him), I think those who read that post will realise that they had nothing to fear.
De Laurence in his time ran a mail order company where he would send spiritual orders such as seals, oils, and powders, and attach instructions on how to use these things. Because of his comprehensive knowledge of different kinds of spiritual products and his writings, most people in the Caribbean began to fear him as a man with great spiritual power and knowledge. But the thing is de Laurence died in 1936 and his mail order business continued and is even still in operation. His books, however, (although accused of plagirism – but that’s another story) are very well written and have extreme quality of information and also warnings for the aspirant who is searching for knowledge but may want to use it wrongly.
This book is for persons who are already on a path and are seeking to understand spirituality from a practical level. However, please follow any cautions within the book.
See it HERE.
5. Ifa Will Mend Our Broken World by Wande Abimbola
Why You Should Read It: This book is written by an academic, or what you can probably refer to as an “Academic Babalawo” – meaning he’s not practical. There are not many books on Ifa from the Yoruba perspective and this tends to cause a lot of misinformation. I believe Wande Abimbola in this interview-like book did a very good job in how he explained the Yoruba tradition. In the introduction of the book, he explains his lineage and the extraordinary wisdom of Orunmila, otherwise referred to as Ifa.
This book is great for anyone who is interested in this tradition and what it’s all about including a bit of it’s history.
See it HERE.
6. Osun the Manly Woman by Fakayode Fayemi Fatunde
Why You Should Read It: The title of this book is a striking one. It refers to the deity Osun being a strong feminine source of nature. What I love about this book is that the author tells the stories coming out of a particular odu as it relates to Osun and her contribution to the world.
The book gives you a deeper understanding of this mysterious deity and allows you to understand that she was (from a physical perspective) the first female advocate for women, realising that although Orunmila is the embodiment of wisdom and power, Osun may be his counterpart here. This book resonated with me but you don’t have to be an Osun initiate to read it. But the stories which the author compiles for us, which are from within the authentic odu of Ifa, lets the reader get a clearer and better understanding of this deity Osun, whose very name means ‘Source‘.
See it HERE.
The African Unconscious by Edward Bynum
Why You Should Read It: Now this is a book I’d give as a Christmas gift.
The African Unconscious is a book on how every culture, every human being, regardless of culture or location, are linked together coming from the African sojourning from the continent to other parts of the world. However, what I personally like about this book is that it also shows our spirituality which consciously follows or journeys with the African through which ever culture he or she may have ended up in. When a person reads this book, they will realize that there is no need for racism. We are one and we have a collective unconscious that binds us together regardless of how we may look.
There was one part of the book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Here, he writes deeply on Ifa, not only the oracle but also about Witches, how dreams are had, spiritual possessions, how witchcraft happens and more.
This book is worthy of being on your shelf to be handed down to your generations…
See it HERE.
As I am passing on these things to you, find someone else to pass them on to. Always remember it is very good to pass on knowledge. If you read any of these books, come back and give me your own take on them. However, I urge you to buy them all if you can. These books will help each and everyone who reads them connect to their spirituality in some way or the other.
Good luck to you all,
Hi Obara Meji I am really scared of all these books, I want to start from the beginner/beginner if you know what I mean. Please what about Secrets of the Psalms by Godfrey Selig I have it right here, I am too scared to read it. Should I open it?
Thanks for these reference books, i did purchase some
Mi fraid to buy or read Laurence book plus that book ban over here. I’m going to start off slow and easy. Will keep you posted on the readings
I do apologize for the spellings errors…see wid this blasted phone. It probably gets confused when I mix patois and English lol
Africa net work bad Queenie, nobody nah try de delaurence book??, lol
Mi???? Mi nuh waan nuh stone rain down pon fi Mi yard. Ah joke. One book at a time.
grungggggg, not ah suh man cho!
Good aftenon O and all Es family!!! Bwoy O yuh hard fi get. Call yuh wah day and nuttin, will try again today. Anywho, the for this because I’ve been procrastinating picking my new read. I decided to start with “ifa will mend our broken world.” Will start this weekend. It was under adcanced books, but I like to try things out of my range for a challenge. Big up yuh self Kb. Love and light family!
ktb IT WAS A GOOD BOOK, YOU CALL ME NUH
Called last evening….I will tonight again.
Missus O!!! Sending love and light to you. Thanks for this post. Just today my spirit urged me to get back to my reading list. I added Angela Davis’ latest to my list. I did not come back to report however I enjoyed Tell My Horse by Zora Neale Hurston. It was different than what I expected. Had some humor and some AHA moments. With me saying wow that’s where that tradition started from and also feeling sorrow for all the traditions we have missed and may never learn.
PLEASE CALL ME OBARA
Hi Obara Thanks so much for sharing these books.
I’m excited to start reading.
Dear Obara, I had a similar experience. One Sunday I was reading the book “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom.” a book I had read many times prior with no unusual reaction. But this time as I read the word, “shamanism,'” the word “jumped” out and hit me on my forehead. Suddenly I had this urgent need to discover what shamanism meant. I dropped the book, ran downstairs to my computer and Googled shamanism. I clicked on the first link and was taken to a site of a woman who was teaching an Introduction to Shamanism class that Tuesday, and an Introduction… Read more »
Thanks for sharing, i enjoyed it
Hi Obara Meji
Thank you for another informative post. There are some good books in the list for a beginner like me. I’ll start off with “The Healing wisdom of Africa”.
Also, I wasn’t sure if you received the emails I sent you recently with my query, but I havn’t received a response. I’d be grateful for your response.
Thanks Obara Meji. Much appreciated.
Hi Oto, I did not see the email, but I have been busy so I will check and if it is there respond