Black Spirituality Religion : What Obeah Is...

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Jahari Kavi, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. Jahari Kavi

    Jahari Kavi Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Feb 12, 2008
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    Just thought I'd share a quote from the book, "Obeah: A Sorcerous Ossuary," by Nicholaj De Mattos Frisvold. Obeah is so rich, complex, and misunderstood by many. I must admit that it isn't easy to define, but I feel that the following definition does it justice.

    "Because obiya is a power given, it is an awakening to a new perception, a magical perception, it is an ensorcelment of Self and Soul and that is what Obeah is about. Obeah is about your ability to make true and functional concords with the spirits that live in the matrix of creation.

    The way of Obeah is 'shamanic' in the sense that we travel in the in-betweens of worlds towards them-but in doing this we also open a gate and a bridge for constant interaction in whatever world we find ourselves to be. Obeah is the crude essence of the sorcerers' craft. It is about the bond we make with the other side, benevolent and malevolent. It is about the concord and contract we make with plants and the spirit herd of Sasabonsam. It is about acceptance and eternal becoming where creation is a spider's web of possibility. The Obeahman knows by instinct the secrets of godhood and can manipulate them in accordance with the knowledge and wisdom spirit gives.

    And the greatest spirits of always use the silk of creation to weave the world, which is gentleness and enigma-because when you possess kumona (foresight/spirit sight) and obiyah, this can be done in a quiet joy. In this quiet joy the Obeahman knows that he-or she-can poison the world or heal the world, and in this lies responsibility and its rejection. And it is here we find the beauty of Obeah. If we work destruction or healing, this spiderweb that is cosmic design will always be able to balance the good and the bad-what matters is that we do what we are supposed to do.

    This understanding is only given by living life with spirit. Anything else is merely an error. And in this way the Obeahman walks on sheltered by the woods, and works his obiya at the moonstruck lakes where the Fates dance feverishly in celebration of life, death and the trickery that makes Fortune and the World to go 'round."

    I really enjoyed this quote, because I feel some kind of connection towards Obeah. It started with me developing an appreciation for my African ancestry from the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas, after hearing Atallah Shabazz (Malcolm's oldest daughter) tell me and my grad school cohorts to explore our roots, when she taught in our Pan African Studies Department. From there I've tried to develop an understanding of the history of the Bahamas and how Obeah is practiced throughout the Caribbean. Peace to everyone.
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