I had 3 spiritual mentors and they all told me the same thing: I had to choose a Spiritual House.
What is a Spiritual House? A Spiritual house is a place where you seat yourself within your belief. Be it Church, Mosque, becoming a Buddhist, practicing Hinduism, Tao Te Ching, Voudon, Isese, Lucumi, Condomble, Zion Revival, Akan or anything at all that is personal to you. It can even be a lodge or brotherhood. A Spiritual House is the “House” where you embrace your spirituality. It is your freedom.
I remember years ago when my Padrino (one of my mentors) told me that one day I would become an important and very a strong spiritualist. During those times, I was very young, a teenager actually – and also a Christian.
But although I was fascinated with my Padrino and his Lucumi religion, I could not see what he saw, and most certainly did not believe it. He had a sly look about him when he spoke about my future, as if he wished he could show it to me. He knew I did not believe him, and where I am now in my life, I now understand how he felt then.
It is not easy to convince a person who has no knowledge of their future, what is to come, or even how to achieve it. Especially for those whose present circumstance is at odds with the greatness in front of them. I know where ever my Padrino is now in the world of Spirit, he knows who I have become and that my journey, although very rough, has finally placed me where he told me I would be.
Iba my Padrino.
One Saturday afternoon we were standing before Padrino’s Olokun shrine, and in his heavily accented Cuban voice he told me:
“It doesn’t matter where you go spiritually, but you have to choose a Spiritual House in order to host the beings you came to this world with to do your work.“
In other words, I would be who I was destined to be regardless of what religion or traditional house I chose to be apart of.
I was born Obara Meji, whether or not I or my parents knew it. All that was needed was for me to find her and become one with her. It is important for me to tell you all that during those times, Christianity was everything to me. I was crazily in love with Jesus Christ, and looking back I can understand why. I am naturally a soft hearted and compassionate person, and in the Biblical description of Jesus, I saw myself. So even if I had to leave Christianity, there was no way I could see myself leaving Jesus behind. I had a strong grip on his frock tail, mi did mean sey mi neva did aguh let go!
But still I felt an intense pull, like steel to a magnet, to know more. Deep within me was a feeling that I was “too contained” in a Church setting, and although the Bible did fascinate me, it just stopped making sense after a while, and when the time came for me to release Jesus… I cried.
I felt as if I were abandoning what I was taught, and who was to me, my best friend. Yet when I saw Padrino do a sacrifice to Esu or any other Orisha, or cast his cowrie shells, or dance to the Bata drum, or allow spirits to possess his body and pass messages… when I heard him do ritualistic prayers… I was enthralled. I felt as if this was where I belonged. Even though I felt as If I was abandoning Jesus. I was haunted by this for a time. De Christian indoctrination very strong.
When Padrino, his daughter and I would go to the river to give an offering to Osun, all that had sat still before we arrived would become alive. The wind now blew, and the leaves scattered, the river would stir, and all the ducks came out of hiding….. the riverside now pulsated with life. I needed to know more. I wanted to become apart of this thing that fascinated me so much.
However, because Padrino explained to me that all that I was fascinated by, originated from Africa (he referred to himself as African, although white skinned Cuban), I was reluctant to go the Cuban route of initiation. And I told myself that if I should ever choose this path, then it shall be Africa that I choose.
What was most fascinating in my life as I think about it, was that my 3 mentors belonged to 3 different religions:
Christianity (Mr. Mitchel, a Bishop)
Vodoun (Mr. Pierre, a Houngan)
Lucumi (Padrino, a Lucumi Priest).
And they all told me the same thing: I had to choose my Spiritual House. But where did I fit?
Mr. Mitchel was a staunch Christian, but an extraordinary diviner! I have not seen his second. The man was a MYSTIC, but all he dealt with was the Bible. He would always say he had nothing to do with the dead or spirits! Yet while saying this, he had an altar in his house of Mother Mary… who was a Saint… who lived and died… I’m sure you get where I’m going with this. (Iba Mr. Mitchel).
One note I’d like to add about him. Mr. Mitchel became sick at the end of his years with Alzheimers, there is a huge reason for this. Mr. Mitchel had neglected an aspect of his spirituality, but I will write a post explaining more about this later.
Mr. Pierre very much wanted me to become a part of his religion, Vodoun. He told me the same thing as they all did, I needed a Spiritual House. By this time, Mr. Pierre was dying and I had no idea. In his closet, he would have clay vessels that contained all of his spirits, to which he told that he had no one to give them to and he wanted to give them to me.
Of course as a Christian, “Abomination!” was my first thought, despite my curiosity. However, fear was victorious and I never took him up on his offer. Mr. Pierre died from Emphysema.
There is a correlation between all my 3 mentors. I’ll make a note to write about this one day.
Now, there is a way for you to know where you belong spiritually.
And it has nothing to do with power or your abilities. It has nothing to do with what you feel you must do, or even who you feel you must be. It has everything to do with where you are led. What interests you? What is calling you?
Most often we become curious of so many things at once in our life. There are some interested in African Religions and so they’ll travel the path of Khemet (Egypt) while having dreadlocks, and others will hold the Bible and at the same time study the Metu Neter and the Quoran; others will initiate into Vodun, Orisha, Mami Wata, worship Zion, among other things.
I am never one to judge anyone and I do understand the need to be curious and explore. However, often times, fear allows even the Christian to peep, to read, to try and find things out, while still attending Church or the Mosque.
But for the spiritualist, the one who came to make a difference on Earth, the one who is here to find their place and shine their light – the way how you find yourself or your spiritual house, is what resonates the most to you. This translates to where your Ori, or your inner consciousness leads you.
In my case, I was pointed to Isese through the Lucumi system and my wonderful Padrino.
Vodun held my interest but could not remove me from Christianity. But my memories of my Padrino and all that we did in nature, and the beauty of the deities, was the magnet that kept pulling me, and in that I found my place. It was what resonated with me most.
And so I urge you all to listen to what your own Head (Ori) is telling you. There are many potential Babalawos in Church. In other words, these pastors were never initiated, have no interest in the tradition, no interest in spiritual work on a compound, but because of what they have innately, they are able to heal and do extraordinary things while in church, though they will condemn the Babalawo.
Why is this possible? Because the Pastor has chosen Christianity to be his House, but Christianity did not remove the light that he came to the world with, and so his work, regardless of where he resides, will continue.
However, if that is not where he is meant to be, then who he ought to be will be suppressed and can cause many disruptions until he releases his own restrictions. Despite my fears of the consequence of leaving Jesus, and despite my Christian upbringing… I finally released and allowed myself to be guided to where I was meant to be, and not where my culture said I should be.
There’s one more thing you must know…
I must explain that there are powerful people, and then there are powerful people. Therefore, some Spiritual Houses, while still powerful in their own right, are not able to contain the Light that some people carry for the betterment of the world at large.
A Zion Revival goer (or Celestial Church in Nigeria) can not be apart of a Catholic Church. Why? Because there is no battery to charge the spirit of the Zion person in the calm and quiet Catholic Church. Spiritually, there are blocks existing in the Catholic Church due to the protocol on “right behavior”.
Everything has to do with levels in spirituality and not everyone has the same amount of Light radiating from them. While some may be annoyed with this, we can not all be on the same level because each level is needed! Somebody must be the pointer and someone must be the savior.
No one’s gift is more important than the other. It’s like a Jigsaw puzzle, if one piece is missing, the whole thing can not make sense. There is no small role and no greater role. Everyone simply has their own place, how you get there is up to you.
Let go and allow yourself to be led.
I love you all!
Good luck on your journey,
I realize that I did not make this very clear. Please know that finding a Spiritual House is a must for those with spiritual gifts. Those with spiritual gifts are here to assist mankind through it’s elevation (either benevolent or malevolent). The reason for this is because the spirits you work with must be settled somewhere. However, for others, it is not a must to settle into a Spiritual House. What is a must for everyone is finding your purpose and finding who you are. This process can be helped through a Spiritual House, but it is not a must that you seat yourself into one.
If you do not feel a connection with any Spiritual House you have come across, then that is OK. But you must continue on your journey to finding your place in this world.
A piece of gold that wants to glitter must pass through fire – Yoruba Proverb
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.