By Obrafo Kwasi Donkor Adofo In my experiences in Akan culture, I have found spiritual readings to be one of the most amazing and important aspects. It is believed that Odomankoma, Almighty God, has a spiritual blue print drawn for us before we are even born. Through the course of childhood, many of us forget what our mission in life was. The spiritual reading is one of the best ways to rediscover that plan God has for you. (This is specifically what it means by the pursuit of becoming one with your own divinity, to fulfil one's destiny, called Ori in Yoruba.) It is a form of divination used by the Okomfor (Priest) to provide you with clarity, and insight on the various issues of life. The opportunity is there to talk with the abosom about these issues such as spirituality, health, family, job, community etc. The sequence of a reading may vary depending on the Deity, the circumstances, and the client. Spiritual consultations, as does all important events, begins with the pouring of libation on the person's behalf. The libation prayer is proceeded by inquiry of the mission. At this time, the client will state their reasons for coming to the shrine. Once the mission is established, the person is welcomed to the Shrine. During the reading, the guest can ask their specific questions and will receive specific answers along further insight. It is not unusual for the Deity to come down and possess the Okomfo to speak directly with the client. In this case, the Bosom will speak through the Shrine Okyeame. I have had this experience myself at one of my earlier readings at the shrine. I remember showing up with three pages of questions and issues for Nana Asuo Gyebe. He came quickl by possessing Nana Kyerewaa to address my situation. Nana Asuo Gyebi started to talk to me, answering all of my questions before I could even read them. He then proceeded to laugh at me, teasing me about my list. There was a lot of joy, laughing and excitement that day. It reminded me that the Abosom are not uptight and rigid but very "down to earth". They are very serious when it is necessary and can be fun likewise. The Abosom never like for anyone to leave the shrine without clarity and assistance. In addition to identifying problem areas, they also provide solutions and direction. Often during the course of a reading, the Deity will prescribe the necessary rituals and medicines, if any, for the Okomfo to administer. These medicines are given to assist that person wit their various situations. Honesty is essential and required for any shrine consultations. All of the Abosom and Nsamanfo abhor liars as they already know the truth. It is equally important to follow the instructions given precisely. If a person does not plan to do so, it is better not to ask for help. The Deities know exactly what needs to happen even though you may not. Just in case you have not realized it yet. I have personally experienced all of the above situations. I grew up in an African centered home, attended an African centered school and, since age 1, had the benefit of African centered traditions and spirituality being practiced in my home on some level at ALL times. As young people often do, I strayed from the values and traditions I was taught. I walked down that dangerous road many young African American men travel everyday. It was only through the spiritual consultations my mother hand on my behalf thta I avoided imprisonment and death. This realization prompted me to visit the AFSANI Shrine on my own to put my life on its proper track. It was then that I discovered my spiritual path to serving the Abosom as an Obrafo. After 3 years of rigorous formal training, I was recently installed as Obrafo to the AFSANI shrine. As shrine Okyeame, I have seen many people come through the Shrine for healing. It does not matter what your current religious background is, you can still visit the shrine. The only thing that does matter is that you come with an open mind and heart to receive the blessings that Odomankoma already has waiting for you. I hope that this information will help you take a step towards truly healing your mind, your body and your spirit.