Black Spirituality Religion : Finding out who are Ancestors are for worship

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by ANGELIC SOUL, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. ANGELIC SOUL

    ANGELIC SOUL Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    2
    Occupation:
    I gotta a job while I chase my dream
    Location:
    Michigan
    Ratings:
    +2
    Finding out who our Ancestors are for worship

    How many of you are comfortable with the idea of worshiping your ancestors? and if you are, does it replace a religion for you?

    Lady Bastet
     
  2. Sapphdia

    Sapphdia Active Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2004
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Entrepreneur
    Location:
    Outside of Philly, Pa
    Ratings:
    +0
    A while ago my mom was practicing Yoruba. My sister and I had pretty much grown up in the church and my mom was heavily into church too. We were in high school at the time that she started practicing Yoruba and she introduced us to it. My reactions to the religion was that it scared me. I worried that I was going to go to hell or that God would be angry at me for practicing this religion with my mom. I wasn't really into it, but when we went to do certain rituals, I did as I was told. At home we were supposed to set up an alter and offer the ancestors (egun) some of our food, water, and alcohol. After a while, we no longer practiced it.

    For a long time after that I became agnostic, not atheist, there's a difference. I felt confused about Christianity. I had questions that no one could answer and that people were angry at me for asking, so I left the church and stopped practicing Christianity. It wasn't until about a year ago that I started back. Someone had hurt me and I decided to make a positive cd that would remind of my fabulousness. lol I was listening to Faith Evans' song Keep the Faith and I just felt God. I broke down. I can't describe to you how I felt, but I just cried a lot and I prayed a lot and it was WOW!

    Recently, as I've told others, I am on my spirtual walk with God. I don't subscribe to a religion and who knows, I may never, but I am a firm believer in God. The God that is described by Christians is not my God. I don't feel that God is a separate entity from me as I was taught in church. I don't think that I will burn in hell for my beliefs. I set up an alter, I give food offerings to my ancestors, I pray to them and thank them for their contributions to my life, because had it not been for them coming and struggling before me, I wouldn't have the life that I do. At first, I felt a little weird about it, because some of the teachings of Christianity is still within me, but then I became comfortable with it. It doesn't replace a religion for me. I don't practice a religion. I am spiritual. I plan to learn more about Afrikan spirituality as well as other religions like Buddhism and I plan to incorporate some of the things that I learn into my life.
     
  3. ANGELIC SOUL

    ANGELIC SOUL Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    2
    Occupation:
    I gotta a job while I chase my dream
    Location:
    Michigan
    Ratings:
    +2
    Many blessings to you on your journey!

    Sapphdia!

    I want to thank you for replying to my post. Not many women come in here!
    I am supportive of your journey in finding your spiritual path. I was too a Chrisitian many eons ago it feels like. I turned away from those beliefs entirely about a year ago. I wasn't doing anything. It was upon a experience I had in my life that I found my true spiritual path. It is far from over. I pray and give thanks to my ancestors, I have begun to set up alters for them. I have been visited by them in dreams.

    I am still banishing old christian ways of thinking and brainwashing everyday. I do believe in a God and that God has both male and female attributes, not just male. There are so many contridictions in the bible that its scary to me, I had to walk away. Many other factors led me to this decision as well.

    Although, I am not Yoruban, I do identify with the Orisha's and do pray and set up alter for them now. Nothing elaborate as of yet, but its increasing.
    I am also studying wicca,( although I do not consider myself a wiccan, I have been bound to study this new "religion") herbalism, astrology and tarot.
    I have not subscribed to any "religion" but am on a spiritual walk and I have found it edifying and uplifting.

    I support you in your search and am proud that you could share your experience with us.

    Blessing and peace be unto you!

    Shadow walker
     
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    1,819
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Professional Hitman
    Location:
    Da Desert, literally
    Ratings:
    +1,820
    Greetings All,

    With all respect and love for other's position, opinions and truth, I have a question... Yoruba beliefs are very popular in this country, but unfortunately, many of our ancestors were not Yoruba and many of us are not Yoruba, in regards to our spiritual lineage. I was wondering have anybody looked into other Afrikan forms of beliefs, e.g. Akan, Ewe-Fon, Lebu, Igbo and so forth?

    I believe if you don't have Yoruba as your spiritual lineage, your soul will not recognize it, resonate with it or at least to full capacity and potential. Instrinic to our own spiritual paths is our quest for collective identity as a people and to draw on any ancestral solutions to our present problems. It's Sankofa.

    We have the concept of ancestral soul, once again y'all. Our ancestral soul can not reach its full capacity in any spiritual tradition which it was not born in. We have to center this aspect of self in order to have a foundation in anything we endeavor to do or be. On another note, your spiritual lineage maybe European-based, meaning the European ancestry (if you have such) is more dominant than the Afrikan in you, and you may have a strong inclination to Western-based forms of spirituality. It is a deep search, very complex, but I think due to our lack of knowledge of certain concepts, we over-simplify everything. My ancestral lineage, as I've stated many times, is Ewe and as such my ancestral soul resonates within a Vodou context. Ultimately, the choice of my spiritual beliefs (religion, if you will) was not mine, but my ancestors. The Vodou are in my blood and there's no getting around that. I could practice Buddhism or mix-up beliefs to form my own coherent system, but I would to have eventually come to terms with my purpose for incarnating with Ewe Vodou blood. Does that mean I don't look into other systems or respect them or incorporate them in my overall spiritual regimen? No. But I do this only within the context of Vodou, as my over-riding outlook on life.

    Yes, at the core, these various beliefs are the same, but we also incarnate in this world with a specific function to perform and that function is informed by the spiritual lineage one possesses. Every spiritual belief sprang from a culture and every culture has its own worldview. When incorporating spiritual beliefs, we are also incorporating various elements of different cultures (some which may be, essentially, diametrically opposed in worldview) and this could eventually cause a problem, in regards to ancestral soul orientation. Just as the human body may reject another person's organ, so it is with the soul. As above, so below. In issues like this, I advise wisdom and for the traveler to tread lightly. Said in love and light.

    Ase!
    Blackbird
     
  5. ANGELIC SOUL

    ANGELIC SOUL Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    2
    Occupation:
    I gotta a job while I chase my dream
    Location:
    Michigan
    Ratings:
    +2
    This leaves room for serious thought!


    Blackbird your post was deep and taken with nothing but love and consideration. I think I have stated to you before that I do not feel a connection with Yoruba. However, the Orisha have visited me on several occassions, maybe I am confusing them with another belief system?

    I have looked at maps of Africa during the slave trade and its hows the regions that were heavily taken into slavery. Yoruba is one, Kongo, Alergia.... if our ancestors did not come from the west coast of Africa, then where? and how in the world does one go about finding it?

    I have not looked into the other belief systems... but I will now. Do you have any suggestions on how to get started?

    Shadow... searches for the truth which is in the light!
     
  6. Abena

    Abena Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Ancestors, the Akan, and African religion

    Greetings,

    I disagree with the post about needing an ancestral link to Yoruba.
    I think that the intent to establish a link with an ancestral tradition is important. Yes, Yoruba may be well known as opposed to other traditions, but that certainly does not mean that each person involved in Yoruba has that ancestry.

    Let me state that I am not Yoruba, I am Akan. I know many people that are Yoruba priests, but there was something about the Akan that I liked. That is not to say that perhaps there was some ancestral link, but that it not as important to me as having the sense of spiritual fulfillment from being involved in African spirituality.

    I also was raised in the church, but some things simply made no sense to me - they did not resonate in my soul. When soemone believes that they will go to hell (!!!) because they don't believe, honestly, that is not love, that is real jealously.

    I understand that our people may have been forced to accept the christian way simply to survive. I understand that. Yet I feel it is also an indication of our continued bondage when we are convinced that the system that was forced on us when we were on the auction block is the only way to salvation. What an introduction to God, any God.

    When I encounter people that want to preach, I politely decline. I know not a single Akan priest that has to preach to someone that there way is the right way. As is said in Yoga, there is 'one truth, many paths'. I find arguments about religion to be a waste of time, and I believe that God (Nyame) is amused that humans fight over the way the Creator speaks to each person's heart.

    BTW, I have also posted a notice about an event our temple in NY is having. Our members from the VA/MD/DC area will be traveling by bus to our event.

    Gye Nyame (God is Omnipotent)
    Abena Anum
     
  7. ANGELIC SOUL

    ANGELIC SOUL Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    2
    Occupation:
    I gotta a job while I chase my dream
    Location:
    Michigan
    Ratings:
    +2
    Thank you for your response

    Thank you for your words. I commend you on your path. I am not familar with other African traditions other than Yoruba and some Egyptian. Tell me a little more about Akan?

    lady
     
  8. Abena

    Abena Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Re Lady Bastet - The Akan

    The Akan tradition is the traditional culture of the Akan of Ghana, W. Africa. The Akan are also in Togo.
    It is similar to Yoruba, in that in the cosmogony, you have Almighty God (Onyame, or Nyame, or Onyankopon).

    Proverbs about Onyame's benvolence:
    If an evil minded person knocks over your cup, God will fill it up for you.

    The deities (abosum) are who we communicate with. They are the intermediares between us and Onyame. The deities assist us. The priests (okomfo) are the interemediares. They are taught how to communicate with the abosum. People come to the okomfo for assistance.
    Also, we acknowledge the ancestors (nsamafo). Every 40 days, we have Holy Sunday (Akwesidae) where we make a meal for them and offer prayers to them. Our last Akwesidae was March 28.

    Abena
     
  9. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    1,819
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Professional Hitman
    Location:
    Da Desert, literally
    Ratings:
    +1,820
    Medase Sister Abena,

    I welcome you and your refreshing appearance. I think we all can benefit from having a better understanding of Akan spirituality. When I go back to New York, I will definitely visit some house services. My path is Vodou.

    Sister Shadowwalker:

    Many of our ancestors came from the Congo/Angola region of Africa. Some estimates are at about 50-60% and in the South, where I'm from, you can find many Congo retentions, in terms of vocabulary, cemetary burials and "spirit" trees. My home state of Louisiana is literally riddled with Congo influence from the infamous Congo Square in New Orleans to the town of Angola, Louisiana (name for the point of origin for resident captive Africans) to "African House" on Melrose Plantation in Natchitoches, Louisiana (which is the only Congo-inspired architecture in North America). I know without a doubt Congo ancestry runs strong in my veins.

    South Carolina, whose trading sphere influenced southern North Carolina and Georgia, was also heavily populated with Congo/Angola people. The Seminole Indians of Florida have been influenced in varying degrees by Congo people, as well. Congo blood, along with my Dahomean lineage, definitely called me to Vodou and rootwork. The old rootworkers of the plantation days and the early 20th century were virtually the magical descendants of Congo nganga (priests).

    Lastly, my daughter was born this past Saturday, April 17th. Her mother is Akan from the Fanti people of Ghana (Cape Coast) and her father, yours truly, is of mixed Pan-African and Indian heritage. My daughter is truly Pan-African, like most of us - where blood from various African groups flow in our veins. Ase!

    Ayibobo,
    Blackbird
     
  10. ANGELIC SOUL

    ANGELIC SOUL Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    2
    Occupation:
    I gotta a job while I chase my dream
    Location:
    Michigan
    Ratings:
    +2
    Congrats are in order!!!

    Thank you blackbird for your insight. I was told that Congo were my ancestors from someone who practices vodun and who is in love with the Orisha. I want to find out for myself. How do I do this? I am curious to know.
    My mother has done some minor geneology and I know that we have ancestors from her paternal side from south carolina. My father's is heavily west indies. I am curious to know.


    Congrats on the birth of your baby girl! I wish you and yours many blessings as you walk the journey of raising one of the most precious gifts the universe can give us!

    Take care and enjoy your family

    Shadow
     
Loading...