Several years ago I attended a spiritual church (which was actually a makeshift church holed up in the back of a botanica). Back then I was a “dance” (Jamaican party) lover and goer, but the message had come to me:”Seek Ye The Kingdom Of God And All His Righteousness and All Others Will Be Added Unto You.” And so my friends and I decided to attend the botanica church.
This was the beginning of Hell.
All attendees (the regulars) wore white including the “mother” (leader) of the church. It was fun! We sang and danced and had a great time.
The mother of the church had set up a ground alter or seal. On the ground were beautiful flowers, sweets, honey, powder, a brass lota used in Hindu tradition, a glass of milk, water, and more, all indicating that the “order” was of light and goodness. Unbeknownst to myself and the girls at the time, the church was spiritual baptist, a Trinidadian spiritual worship. But in attendance were mostly Jamaicans, including The Mother. The Mother knew that we were unfamiliar with this type of worship and so she concealed it from us, but to be honest we did not care. The vibes were good and the mother was loving and kind and we were desperate to serve God (and have fun in the meantime).
But one night, the church was in full swing. The Mother always recorded each session, so professional video cameras were set up to catch every moment. We had become regulars by this time so we were now wearing white like everyone else. While there clapping, singing and dancing, feeling joyous like school children on break, I suddenly felt strange. It’s difficult to explain but there was an eerie feeling that crept over me. A chill took my body, and then the place became unbearably hot. Sweat dampened my skin and I became nervous. This did not feel right.
There was an older woman across the room and her eyes met mine. Her brows pulled together in concern. Everyone else was oblivious to my plight and I struggled to let go of the feeling.
Suddenly, I stumbled from my seat and out into the aisle. It felt as If I was being dragged up to the front of the church. I could not control the urge, but my body walked purposefully towards the center of the church, towards that seal.
I was young so there was an internal war with myself for composure. I had no control over my physical… I realized from somewhere far off that I was in spirit.
It felt as if I stood across the room watching me in action, wishing I could drive my own vehicle (human body) again. We could not wear shoes in the church and so I had white socks on.
I sprinted towards the beautifully laid seal and saw myself run around it. The light of the lit white candles danced as I ran. Around the seal were flags of all colors. I saw myself grab the black flag, tear it from the stick and wrap it around my face and head. Blindfolded, I ran around the seal and did some other ecstatic movements that I can not describe as I am not sure what the hell I was doing.
From my view outside of my body, I saw The Mother looking intrigued as she watched me. Spiritual Baptist people have a sound they make, they call it “daption”. At this time, I never knew this, but I began to make the sound. It was a particular sound that seemed to count up to the number seven and repeat again. While I did it, I cupped my hand over my ear, waiting.
Too stunned for words, everyone remained quiet.
I repeated the sound and cupped my ear again.
The Mother then shouted to everyone. “She is teaching you! Repeat after her.”
And everyone did. As I chanted this beautiful sound, the drummers began to beat the drums and the call-and-response was spectacular.
My human eyes were blindfolded, but the spirit within me did not need my eyes to see. I now know that the spirit wanted us all to know that I was being led by something else. That night I (or the spirit, rather) unveiled the secrets of the church and “The Mother”. I, however, in my innocence, had no idea what I was doing, or that I had now created a dangerous enemy.
And from that night, I would have to fight for my life and that of my children.
“Thou shall set a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.”
I may not be Christian, but I can certainly quote some wisdom there.
My story only begins…
When I was released and allowed back into my body, I was shaken, worried, terribly weak, and slightly afraid. The human was back and I desperately wanted to go home and never come back to this place again. The experience of being possessed was very jarring.
It was now a Sunday morning (church services were on Tuesdays and Saturdays) and I was awoken between 5 and 5:30 AM. A strong presence of thought came to my head and I was compelled to get a piece of paper and pencil and write as instructed. What I wrote, or drew, were symbols, many of them. Symbols I did not understand. I was new to spirituality at this time, so the symbols meant nothing to me. I placed the paper beside my bed and fell back asleep.
After some time, the phone rang. It was The Mother. I can never forget it. The conversation went a little like this:
With strange excitement in her voice, she spoke.
“Sister Obara,” she said in a low voice. “I know you got something! It was spectacular last night. I know you received a gift!”
I looked at the drawing beside my bed. “Yes,” I told her. “But I don’t understand it.”
Her anticipation was palpable. “Get up and come now. Bring it with you and come to my house!”
I took a bus to her house and one stop before I got there, I heard a voice clear as day. It told me to get off the bus and go across the street to make a copy of the paper. I did as told and put the copy into my bra. I walked the rest of the way to her house and when I got there, The Mother could hardly contain her excitement.
“Come, come!” she said, quickly ushering me into a room. “I’ve been watching the tape all night. I couldn’t believe what I saw!”
We sat and faced each other. “So? What did they give you?”
I removed the paper from my pocket and handed it over to her.
She wore her glasses and studied the gibberish I wrote.
“Hm! Look at this. You are born to be a leader. You will travel the world and have the respect of many people…”
I looked on as she spoke, stoic in my expression. How could she tell all of this from some drawings I could not even understand?
She kept speaking. I was slightly lost and drowned her out somewhat but came back when she patted my hand.
“I’ll hold on to this and study it some more.” She tucked the paper into her bra.
I agreed (It didn’t seem as if I had a choice) and left afterward. When I left, I heard that voice again. I removed the copy of the paper from my bra and heard the voice say that when I get home, I will draw the rest.
Since that day, I was no longer welcome to the church.
The Mother got angry every time she saw me and avoided me like a plague. Later, I discovered that what was under her seal was the names of all the attendees of the church. The seal, as beautiful as it appeared, was not an order of light and goodness, it was bondage. Our names were tucked into it, binding us to her church. But after that night, with the actions that were led by the spirit, I had released everyone from bondage.
For one year straight, I faced her wrath because of this.
Every day I would experience near-misses of car accidents, see spirits without faces, be attacked by unseen things. It was during this time I learned how to fight back when the battle became unbearable.
But her final blow came on a Saturday night. One of the most difficult days of my life. It was the day I woke up fully aware that (my enemy) would die.
The final strike was coming and I was terrified. I was young, scared and lonely, but I had an army behind me. An army of non-physical protection. I called a friend to come over and help me pray. I packed all my children and sent them to my parents’ house. They could not be there when this dark spirit came for me.
Preparing for the spiritual attack, I was instructed to draw seals on all of the windows and doors of my house. I did… but I quickly removed them again, hissing.
“I don’t believe in this sh*t!” I said scornfully.
I cried the whole way through. I was a Christian. I was young and confused and I didn’t believe I had any “spirituality” or “power”. I was normal the previous year and now here I was, house-bound and preparing for an alleged spiritual war.
But when my friend, a more developed spiritualist, took one step into my house, she confirmed my fears. Something dark was definitely coming. I was not crazy.
But When 6’oclock came, my friend stood.
“Obara I can’t stay here,” she said gathering her things.
She told me that what was coming was too terrible, she can not stay with me any longer, and with that, she quickly fled.
I was now alone and scared.
I stripped myself naked and rolled on the floor, swimming in tears as I cried out to God to spare me.
As the hours drew nigh, I turned on all the lights and televisions in the house. I knew I could not run, I had to face it. Death was coming.
1:00 AM came and I was urged by my guides to go lay down. I fought to stay awake, too afraid to fall asleep. But as I lied down, my throat dry and hoarse from crying, my eyelids grew heavy and I dozed off immediately.
I saw a human dressed in black with wings flying toward my house. It flew through my balcony door and straight to my room. It straddled me and began to choke me. I struggled with it and heard my guides shouting words that I should repeat. I struggled to speak, my tongue was heavy. A word was thrown to me, one of the names Christians have for God and I managed to squeeze it out, as this being and I wrestled for my life. As the word was whispered, I felt the hold on my throat loosen a bit and I was able to fly up off the bed with a barrage of prayer and incantations.
I ran to the kitchen for some spiritual tools I had and now that I had passed through the valley of the shadow of death, I combated evil and it ran.
The next day I received the news that The Mother passed out and was hospitalized.
The war had finally ended.
It was to be about seven days after, she appeared in my dream.
“All I wanted was for you to be apart of my church and my movement,” she said weakly. “But your eyes are too swift… I bow to you.”
She was never the same from that day. She left the hospital with a limp, lost her botanica, the church, and died two years after.
Even though we may view her as wicked, and she was, I learned something extremely crucial for this road that I walk: how to fight back. To that, I will honor her spirit and may she be doing her work in whatever realm she now resides.
Experiencing her and her church, her war against me as a young girl, allowed me to learn about spiritual battles and spiritual wickedness, lessons that we all should know. It allowed me to find who I was.
I once called her wicked, but I now hail her as one of my best teachers! May you all learn from my experiences and revisit the pain others have caused you. You might find a jewel you never saw before.