Black Spirituality Religion : Tale of the African Christian and her 'Demonic' Ancestors

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Alexandra, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. Alexandra

    Alexandra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I have always believed that cultivating a relationship with the Ancestors is the same as embarking on a pilgrimage to regaining spiritual freedom where Ancestors inform our approach to everything. Life is infinite (circle of life) and knows no end; death is another form of existence, allowing one to change from a physical being to a spiritual one, so who better than them to instruct us in spiritual matters?

    Malidoma agrees and in his book ‘Of Water and Spirit’ states; “in many non-Western cultures, the ancestors have an intimate and absolutely vital connection with the world of the living. They are always available to guide, to teach and to nurture. They represent one of the pathways between the knowledge of this world and the next. Most importantly – and paradoxically, they embody the guidelines for successful living – all that is most valuable about life. Unless the relationship between the living and the dead is in balance (in return for guidance and protection, tributes must be aid to ancestors by the living, the most important one being to keep their name alive), chaos results.


    How very true.

    A recent experience cemented this statement for me, and I share it now in the hope that it will also prove useful to another.

    I had heard about this Tanzanian woman for several weeks. Seems that she had incurred the wrath of my hometown’s version of Juanita Bynum and ignorant of her actions and its consequences, she had asked this priestess to lay hands on her for healing. Later on that night, when she closed her eyes, all she could see were huge snakes lunging at her, or trying to swallow her alive. So vivid and realistic were the dreams that she didn’t sleep for many nights on end. Unfortunately, this was the start of many more unfortunate incidents which always involved this priestess.

    The most recurring incident involved her housing. Whenever this priestess visited her home, this Tanzanian would end up being turfed out by the Landlord soon after and eventually, she became homeless and took to sleeping in a garage/shed. To make matters worse, in addition to her high BP, she also started coughing blood, and getting intermittent chest pains, although Doctors could not pinpoint a cause.

    It so happened that she spent the night at my Mother’s and the next day, we got to chatting casually, but gradually, the timid, quiet, and soft spoken Elder opened up and told me how she had gone from being a successful business woman with a happy home life to being chronically ill, homeless and generally miserable (ironically, her son lives in the same town, but wants nothing to do with her). I felt sorry for her, and in an attempt to lighten the mood, asked her if she had been to Mombasa. She had. Matter of fact, she family there and considered it a second home. What did you make of the unruly, and fearless Djinns that reside there? asked I. She shrugged and said that she was used to dealing with such demons, and that she constantly fought them with prayer.

    “My ancestors came from Egypt and settled in Tanzania. My great great Grandparents were real King and Queen. I am from a royal family. My grandfather served them after they died, but my Father was a Christian and he did not, so I refuse to have anything to do with them. They harass me all the time, but I hate them. They are demons, and I want to find a way to disconnect them from my life.”

    As though to prove just how serious she was, she reached into her bag and took out a massive binder which seemed to groan at the seam with Christian material on how to battle Demons such as Lilith, and practises such withcraft, Necronomicon etc. With a huge circuit of reference to mythology, lavishly illustrated, and brilliantly signposted , it would be a hard book for non-scientists Demonbusters and certainly Occult students to put down. I happened to spot a few seals that I had used but chose not to gush about how effective they were.

    At this point I was lost for words; never had I seen such vitriol coming from a Christian. Eventually, I managed to venture the following theory in the hope that it would temper her detestation with just a small degree of understanding; could it be that all her bad luck would stop if she would only acknowledge and fulfill her ancestral obligations?

    ‘Yes it will' came the instant response. 'I know it is them who are doing this; they tell me all the time but I hate them. They are demons and I don’t want anything to do with them. I have Jesus, and He is all I need.’

    It was soon time for her to go, and with a heavy heart, I wished her well then settled down to mentally review this meeting. I recalled the post titled ‘The Lion King – A rebirth’ initiated by Blackbird in which he wrote at one point;

    “Of particular note is the important role, Rafiki the monkey-priest/ess plays in Simba's reconnection to his ancestors and resurrection in full kinghood. The Ifa Odu Oturupon Meji speaks of the role the diviner priest and propitation of the ancestors have in one attaining a good life. Throughout Africa, various societies speak about the connection paying proper homage to one's ancestors has one one's life and well-being. The Dagara people of northern Ghana and the Bamana people of southeastern Mali discuss how losing a connection with one's ancestral soul by removing one's ancestral culture impacts the psychological and social health of a person. These societies forewarn of restlessness, intense anger, mental illness and overall apathy that can be discovered in a disconnected person separated from his sie or dya. In Vodun, it is the kpoli, an aspect of an individual's soul composition that is located in the stars and serves as a union point of their destiny and ancestral lineage.”

    Source: http://destee.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58389&page=2

    Alexandra
     
  2. Alexandra

    Alexandra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This seems a fitting place to post the following information from Jean Kent who is a Houngan Asogwe on some effective ways to honor Ancestors.

    source: http://www.florid.org/myinitiation.htm

    1. Yearly Mass For Ancestors

    Once a year, go to a Catholic or Greek Orthodox Church's Parish office and request a mass for your ancestors. (Jewish also provide services for the dead but the Catholics will do it no matter what your religious belief are) You should do one for your mother's side, one for your father's side. In addition when you request this service you you should give a a $3.00 donation for the poor, understand you don't have to be there when they perform the mass on the other hand, the mass will not be valid without the donation. When the Parish is taking your request, they will ask when you want to schedule the mass, just say whenever is available. The effect takes place as soon as you pay for it. It is imperative to do this once a year so that the spirits you have work for you. If you don't take care of your ancestors, then
    why should they help you?

    2. Weekly Salute To Ancestors

    You will need a glass of water, a white candle and a plate. When you bow, bow by just slightly bending your knees and coming right back up, still facing forward.

    Face East and light the candle. Take the glass of water and the lit candle and raise them while announcing to the spirits, "Spirits of my ancestors, mother's side, father's side, love honor respect!" Drop a small quantity of water on the ground then bow.

    Now turn clockwise to the West and do the same, then turn counter-clockwise to North, then clockwise to South.

    After you are done, leave the candle to burn out in the center of a plate, with the glass next to it. If you are nervous to leave it burning when you are not present, you can snuff it then relight it later. Dump the water out and throw away the wax when you are done.

    If you are struggling with finances, you will find it beneficial to place a fork, butter knife, and spoon around the candle. Have the knife and fork touching points, making the sides of the triangle, and lay the spoon across the bottom to form the base. This symbolizes that you need money to eat.

    Hope this helps.

    Alexandra
     
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The ancestors are powerful. They are all I got. Peace Sister for the thread.

    Tuhwi (aka Blackbird)
     
  4. DARKSIDE MAGICK

    DARKSIDE MAGICK Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    THANATOS/EROS!!


    THE "ANCESTORS" LAY WITHIN...... AND OUTSIDE THE BODY. HMMMMMM



    BABA DARKSIDE ---- BEING IN THREE PLACES AT THE SAME TIME
     
  5. Alexandra

    Alexandra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    *Shrieks* Baba Dside!!, cheers for stopping by. Everytime you say hmmm..it means something's usually amiss lol, please do share some more if you can.

    A
     
  6. DARKSIDE MAGICK

    DARKSIDE MAGICK Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    THANATOS/EROS!

    THERE IS NOTHING WRONG, JUST GIVING YOU SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT. WHAT CAN BE AT MANY PLACES AT THE SAME TIME(PER SCIENCE)?


    BABA DARKSIDE -- LINKING THE "ANCESTORS" WITH QUANTUM PHYSICS
     
  7. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Reinvigorated....( from the latest entry on Lion KIng thread)

    The importance of the ancestors to an individual's well-being and constitution is almost a immutable fact for many African peoples. In order for one to have a good life, it is said one must be in balance with one's ancestors. At one time, I was out of balance with my ancestors and I had a block in place. During those times, nothing went right. I was homeless, broke and suicidal. Life held no meaning for me. I had haunting nightmares where "ghosts" would walk in my dreams. One of my ancestresses appeared with spots and another one, whom loved me in life, held a dagger in her hand as I tore apart a mutli-colored necklace, consecrated to my ancestors, (an act I actually did in real life) and spilled the beads on the floor because I felt they had abandoned me. Blind to me, it was I who had abandoned them.

    Many people are going through life and experiencing hardship after hardship. It could be possible that they are just out of sync with their folks. This is a lesson of Lion King, on one level. The song "They Live in You" eludes to this "truth." The power of the ancestors is a power we all can harness if we recognize that they live in us, pay homage and realize no mountain is too great because of many thousands of years of collected Se that is within our veins. At one point, I was listening to songs sung for the Ghede on CD at my godfather's house a few years back and immediately I was transported to a long ago land. There I sensed I had lived before and knew certain things. Was it the I that was I or was it the I that is now we? We have a spiritual constitution formed from spirits around us, in our spiritual quadrant (frame). These spirits can be genetic relatives, spirits attracted to us due to certain things and those we voluntarily acquire through life. It has been my experience that the spirits most powerful in our frames, the ones that organize all the others and speaks for them are the blood relatives (ancestors). My own personal take is part of what makes you "you" is composed of those ancestors that are the most attached to "you". They impart certain knowledge and awareness based on their experiences and their memories, similar to certain experiences we may presently being living, create the deja vu effect.

    I'm just shooting off....

    Tuhwi
     
  8. Alexandra

    Alexandra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Ok, thanks for clarifying that Baba DM. I am thinking the answer is Air, but I am confused because I thought it was water because isn't the spirit in the water? or am I confusing two different things?

    Thank you!
    Alexandra
     
  9. Alexandra

    Alexandra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    To compliment Brother Blackbird's post, herewith an interesting article written by a Palero on what role the Ancestors play in our lives.

    With the exception of our Ori, no Orisha approaches the level of closeness that we have with our Egun (Ancestors). Because we have shared life experiences with them we are at ease in their presence. Even when your dearest relative is gone you can pick up their favourite shawl, pipe or book. We maintain a level of connection that if need be, can be triggered by only remembering them and their ways. It is no wonder that we are taught as Orisha worshippers to take the majority of our problems to them first, before we approach the Orisha. We feel secure in knowing that just as when they were living, they still care for us and look out for our interests. However, in learning to perfect our communication with the Egun we must not take a "cookie cutter" approach, but rather learn the ways our specific Egun work for us. To build more effective relationships with our Egun we must take into account two prominent factors. First we must look at our own individual make up, our tenancies, our strengths and weaknesses, and needs and method of learning. Also, we must acquaint ourselves with the attitudes our family line has about self-reliance, spiritual growth, ethics and the manner in which our elders typically aid and teach.

    While everyone has a grandmother, that relationship is not the same for each of us. Even within the same family relatives relate to one another very differently. Your grandmother may have spanked every child and grandchild that she had, except you. She might have sensed that this kind of care would make you rebellious, or that a simple "talking to" was suffice. Maybe you were very close to your father's sister when she was alive, but your other siblings rarely spoke or spent time with her. So, when she was alive she loaned you large sums, or helped you study for exams. So, knowing the distinct nature of relationships sets the tone for who and how you approach in the Ancestral Realm. Unless that Egun transcends or takes on new approaches while in Orun (Heaven) we generally stick to the family that has been kind to us in life. Also, we steer clear from relatives that lived turbulent or unethical lives.

    When we go to our Egun for assistance we must be aware of both how they teach and how we learn. It took me sometime to realize that my Egun teach in the only way I grasp. Even when it appears sometimes as if they are making it rough on me. In actuality it is me that is setting the scenario up!
    I might go to them with concern over obtaining a better job. Maybe I have done some legwork, picked a few positions out that sound interesting. So, I go to my Ile' Run (Ancestral Shrine) do my invocations, and perform Obi divination. I then ask them if the prospects I have in mind are worth my time. This is a good question. The world would be very different if everyone knew they could ask and get a reliable answer to such inquiries. Well, my Egun will almost always answer this kind of question in one or two ways.
     
  10. Alexandra

    Alexandra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Meanwhile, someone else's Egun might go through each prospect, say "yes" or "no" then give specifics about the work environment, people, etc. My Egun know me. On other issues they might provide startling detail. But they are going to take this job hunting venture as an opportunity to teach, not simply find a way to pay bills. They want me to make sure I don't count myself out of opportunities or underestimate myself. They want to condition my psyche in way that makes me feel "unstoppable." Pick a job Thabiti, go get that job Thabiti! Knowing this is their way has saved me frustration and confusion. It has also opened me to the possibility of learning something about myself.

    Everyone's Egun have their own idea of right and wrong. When you know what your Egun think is right and just, you know to what extent they will go to take care of you. This is a point of contention within different Ile's. Some godparents teach their house that when deceased relatives return to Orun (Heave) that they are automatically endowed with great wisdom and understanding. My godparents have taught that life is learning and even Ancestorship brings more opportunities to learn.

    One of my favourite living relatives and now Egun came to me in a dream about 4 years after her death. She talked about all the hard work she had done in Orun to understand life better and strengthen her spiritual constitution. In death, she saw growth as her priority. No matter which side of the debate you take, for sure, no one disagrees the vantage point of the Egun is superior to living humans. You just have to know from what perspective your Egun are watching from to understand where you stand! My Egun don't give luck numbers for the Lotto. My Egun don't subdue women, because they strike my fancy. They do come from far and wide and show me things in my dreams that aid me in working with Spirit.

    I wouldn't dare try to comment on the ideal of right and wrong in this limited time. I can only say that is unwise to quickly condemn someone else's lifestyle if they seem to have the backing of their Egun. Know YOUR Egun! It's telling that what others may be able to do might warrant severe punishment from your Egun. In my humble experience, our Egun represent the sum total of our family's spiritual progress or level of enlightment. So, right and wrong are judged from different levels. The Orisha then work with each of our families and spiritual houses to raise our level of understanding over time. So be careful what you ask for from your Egun. Never assume that what goes for another is okay for you.

    Families carry both legacy and karma just like individuals. We say we stand tall on the shoulders of our Egun. We reap their good reputations. Neighbours take our word because the word of our family has always been good. The community watches us because we lead the way. When we are trying to nourish and communicate with our Egun we take these things into account. If we notice that our family struggles financially on a whole, generation by generation we must do something. If drug abuse or felonious conduct are our trademarks we must do something. When we notice no one is very spiritual in our family, we must do something. We take action, we work to elevate the spirits of our Egun. Why? Because they are our family's spiritual head. We heal them and appoint them to aid others who are still living. On a side note, this is our equivalent to western methods such as genetic tapering. Through ritual we can effect even the cellular characteristics of our family! In time, we can see old problems or "curses" fade away, or become controllable. In turn, we find that our Egun are in a better position to aid us in our everyday lives.
     
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