How Do African Spirituality Connect To Ancestors? (TOP 5 Tips)

How do South Africans communicate with their ancestors?

  • In South Africa, it is common to also use snuff or a form of tobacco sprinkled on the ground as you speak or burn impepho to communicate with the ancestors. There is also a 7 day ritual where specific herbs are mixed and used to communicate with the ancestors.

Why do African believe in ancestors?

Traditional African religion believe that ancestors maintain a spiritual connection with their living relatives. Most ancestral spirits are generally good and kind. Negative actions taken by ancestral spirits is to cause minor illnesses to warn people that they have gotten onto the wrong path.

Who is an ancestor in African traditional religion?

The ancestors, or the living-dead, are believed to be disembodied spirits of people who lived upright lives here on earth, died ‘good’ and natural death, that is at ripe old age, and received the acknowledged funerary rites. They could be men or women.

What is an ancestor spirit?

Ancestor spirits were known as umalagad (lit. “guardian” or “caretaker”). They can be the spirits of actual ancestors or generalized guardian spirits of a family. Ancient Filipinos believed that upon death, the soul of a person travels (usually by boat) to a spirit world.

What is an African spiritual?

African spirituality is a holistic concept that stemmed from the historical, cultural and religious heritage of Africa, and includes among others, folktales, beliefs, rituals and culture.

Is it wrong to pray to ancestors?

The Bible expressly forbids any practices which have a remote connection with any form of idolatry. Ancestor worship which has the notion of divine appellation intrinsic to it is therefore clearly forbidden by the Scriptures.

How do you know where your ancestors are from?

To find out the availability or access to vital records where your ancestors lived, check with the state’s vital records office. Some vital records can be found on the major genealogy databases such as Ancestry.com, FindMyPast and MyHeritage.

How do I get ancestors blessings?

Those who can’t afford lavish offerings, can make do with flowers or a few sesame seeds, or just a blade of grass. If that too is not possible, simply raise your hands towards the sun and pray that the ancestors are happy with the devotion and will in turn, bless the family.

How do you pray to your ancestors?

God, Source of all hope and love Hear our prayers for our ancestors. May the road they walked in pursuit of peace and joy in you Mirror for us the same peace and joy we long for. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

What is the relationship between God and ancestors?

Together with their descendants, ancestors worship God (Stinton 2004:135). As mediators between God and humankind, ancestors do not possess the power to mediate salvation. Ancestors remain in contact with descendants for quite some time.

What are the roles of ancestral spirits?

Ancestral spirits were often contacted in dreams and in the trances of spirit mediums, as were the high gods and other nonhuman spirits. They would give people information about the causes of diseases, deaths, and other misfortunes and would sometimes prescribe new medicines or new…

How do you appease African ancestors?

Whenever a family or an individual experiences a series of mishaps, questions of a possible need to appease the amadlozi arise and attain urgent attention. The call for one to appease the ancestors often involves the slaughtering of a beast, mainly a goat, and in some cases, a cow or more.

What do ancestors do for you?

Compassion. Learning the history of our ancestors helps us gain a greater understanding of the challenges they faced, and it often inspires greater love and compassion for their flaws and mistakes. This compassion can easily translate to our relationships with the living, within our families and outside them.

What religion prays to their ancestors?

Ancestor worship and reverence to family are fundamental elements of Confucianism. Rituals to honour ancestors are extremely important and must be performed in precise ways. By carrying them out properly, an individual can receive the aid and cooperation of deceased relatives.

What is an example of ancestor worship?

We often think of ancestor worship as something from the ancient past. But ancestor worship is still alive and well today. Some researchers and scholars even consider acts like embalming and entombing the dead, as well as celebrating occasions like Memorial Day, a form of ancestor worship.

BLACK MAGIC: UNLOCKING OUR ANCESTRAL POWER

When you think about it, the thought of being able to utter an incantation that may compel someone to reveal the truth or see into the future is hypnotizing. Can you fathom what I’m talking about? It turns out that Black people have a long history of connecting with the supernatural, but this concept has never received much attention in the Black mainstream culture until recently. Consider the implications of this. It’s likely that you were raised on shows likeCharmed, The Craft, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and reruns of shows likeBewitched and I Dream of Geni in continual syndication if you were born in the 1980s or 1990s.

So, what is the reason for the lack of Black magic?

In light of Halloween being just around the corner and the presence of anti-Black feeling in the air, it was necessary to add some resistance to the current quo while also learning a little more about Black people’s magnificently beautiful past.

This gives us the opportunity to go ahead.” – Dalian Adofo (Dalian, China) As a documentary filmmaker and co-founder of Ancestral Voices, a UK-based educational institution dedicated to “the study of African spiritual cosmologies, philosophies, and practices,” Dalian Adofo brings a unique perspective to the subject of African spirituality.

According to Adolfo, the mission ofAncestral Voicesis “to remove the lies perpetrated against these systems as a result of colonial imposition, whose legacy continues to have an influence on them to this day.” Adofo believes that colonial propaganda has sowed seeds of resentment against African spirituality, “shrouding it in mystique, fear, and negativity, rather than presenting its ideologies in an accurate and objective light,” as opposed to “presenting its ideologies in an accurate and objective light.” The disintegration of ancient African customs was fueled by the colonial goal of Europe and the emergence of Christianity in the Middle Ages.

  1. What better way to maintain control over people than to cut them off from their source of strength?
  2. Afro-descendants found themselves smack dab in the center of some of Haiti’s harshest atrocities.
  3. As a matter of fact, according to Adolfo, some of the world’s top positions of authority have access to our ancestral knowledge and power and are preaching a new religion (Christianity) in order to maintain control over the populace.
  4. After all, they were taught to “turn the other cheek” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” which is in direct opposition to some of the most extreme anti-humane systems of oppression this world has ever known.
  5. Attempts to isolate oneself from one’s home, family, and language are all part of an effort to remove one’s authority.
  6. Anyone or anyone who has contributed to the advancement of Western civilization has done so in whiteface.
  7. “Black” is defined as fully wicked or evil, indicative of condemnation or dishonor, and characterized by animosity or passionate dissatisfaction, among other characteristics.

Additionally, pro-white propaganda and anti-African feeling have coexisted throughout most of America’s legal and cultural history.

Everything linked with the continent has been tarnished and demonized, even our historic traditions.

The Ifa spiritual system originated among the Yoruba people of Nigeria and is still in use today.

For many Afro-Cubans, there is a dichotomy in which they profess Catholicism officially while still practicing Santeria in their private lives.

Many of us now have a basic understanding of Yoruba deities such as Osun, thanks to Beyonce’s music video.

When we got away from that.take a look at us on a global scale.

You are stripped of your authority.

You have no right to tell me that talking to my departed father is bad.

I prepare meals for my forefathers and foremothers.

Keka Araujo is a Lucumi and Palo Mayombe practitioner who lives in Brazil.

Keka Araujo has been initiated in both Lucumi and Palo Mayombe, and she believes that in order to perform Palo Mayombe, one must be descended from a Congolese lineage, according to her.

“It tracks you down.” She claims that after being initiated into the church, she had a DNA test, which revealed that 43 percent of her ancestors came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Palo Mayombe, like Abrahamic faiths, adheres to a code and set of principles, with one of its most essential features being the obligation to remember and revere one’s ancestors, which is one of its most important aspects.

“We made use of our forefathers in order to advance in life.

Take a look at where we are right now.

We’ve been brainwashed into believing that communicating with our forefathers is a bad thing.

Every day, I communicate with my father.

I provide them with food and drink.

They are never truly gone.

In the views of many Westernized Black people, there is no way to fight back, whether it is with or against supernatural forces.

Because they have been denied power for so long, historically, Black people have had a difficult time accepting it.

There was no actual reason given as to why Halloween was evil, Satanic, or demonic; instead there was only an overall feeling that a malicious gloom surrounded the occasion, regardless of whether they were African American, Caribbean, or African.

Even though his faith is rooted in the Motherland, Lamar has found that Black people are fearful of him when he informs them about his beliefs.

There is, maybe, a ray of optimism in this situation.

“The ocean is influenced by the moon.

Human beings are composed of approximately 70% water.

It is common for people to visit the grave of a deceased loved one after a period of time and discover that the body has become one with the ground.

The body is no longer there, yet the energy has not vanished either.

The same may be said about the spirit of our forefathers and mothers.

According to Adofo, liberty lies at the heart of African spirituality.

Christianity, on the other hand, was employed as a means of exerting control over the situation.

“There is a duality to everything.

“You are made up of your physical body and your spiritual body,” Adolfo explains.

Accessing these supernatural powers is seen negatively in Western societies, and it is considered wicked.

For example, consider the issue of slavery.

I mean, it’s really messed up, right?

Consequently, it is vital to recognize that Black magic has been marketed as evil, just as we have been marketed as bad.

Natural resources, education, tradition, language, and spiritual activities are all included in this category.

Only lately have we been secure enough to reclaim our inner magic through the use of hashtags and economic upward mobility, among other means.

It’s possible that the notes from our history hold the key to a more promising future for all of us.

It’s possible that we’ll only require some assistance in connecting to it.

When the sound is turned off, both appear to be the same.

We are all connected, and no matter how far we stray from the path we have chosen, the truth is that the magic is still within us. HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO EVERYONE!

Words byThe Grapevine TV

In the idea of being able to say an incantation that will force someone to tell the truth or see into their future, there’s something hypnotic about it. Imagining something like that is difficult. It turns out that Black people have a long history of connecting with the supernatural, but this concept has never received much attention in the Black mainstream media until recently. Put it this way: We were raised on shows such asCharmed and The Craft, as well as reruns of Bewitched and I Dream of Geni in constant syndication.

  1. White women who had access to other-worldly forces abound in these shows, which was no surprise.
  2. Rather than the presence of evil, the absence of Black people in the supernatural realm is at issue.
  3. In vodou, for example, the purpose of every ritual is to assist you in reconnecting with your ancestors.
  4. This gives us the opportunity to move forward.
  5. For the past seven years, he has traveled throughout Africa and the Black Atlantic diaspora, talking to traditional healers, spiritual workers, and academic scholars.
  6. Deconstruction of traditional African practices was driven by the European imperialist agenda and the advent of Christianity.
  7. Adofo cites the Haitian Revolution as an example of ancestral power in action: “No one is completely powerless.
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They were able to fight by utilizing Vodou and physics.” Access to the systems is the most important thing.

Even in the face of the most extreme anti-humane systems of oppression this world has ever known, people of African heritage raised on Christianity often fail to recognize the irony of their situation.

It is all part of an effort to remove authority from one’s home, one’s family, and one’s language.

This is known as “reprogramming.” Anyone or anything who has contributed to the advancement of Western civilisation has done it in whiteface.

In the dictionary, “black” is described as fully wicked or evil, suggestive of condemnation or dishonor, and marked by hostility or enraged displeasure.

Aside from that, pro-white propaganda has coexisted with anti-African sentiment for much of America’s legal and cultural history.

Whatever is associated with the continent has been tarnished and demonized, including our ancient practices.

According to legend, the Ifa spiritual system originated with the Yoruba people in Nigeria.

For many Afro-Cubans, there is a dichotomy in which they practice Catholicism publicly while also practicing Santeria in their personal lives.

They are at the heart of Ifa and Santeria.

In order to advance in life, we used ancestors.

Take a look at where we’ve gotten ourselves into this situation.

The idea that communicating with our ancestors is harmful has been indoctrinated into us.

Every day, I speak with my father.

The food and drink are provided by me” Lucumi and Palo Mayombe practitioner Keka Araujo shares her thoughts.

Keka Araujo has been initiated in both Lucumi and Palo Mayombe, and she believes that in order to practice Palo Mayombe, one must be descended from a Congolese lineage, which she claims she has.

“It tracks you down.

Palo Mayombe, like many African religions, is nature-based, with deities that can be found in nature and who have been given human attributes to make them more relatable and understandable to the general population.

One of its most important aspects is the need to remember and respect one’s ancestors, which is an important aspect of all Abrahamic religions.

“We made use of our ancestors in order to advance in our lives.” See how far we’ve come since we stopped doing that.

You have lost your ability to act on your behalf.

Telling me that communicating with my deceased father is evil is simply not true!

For my ancestors, I prepare their meals for them.

When you stop mentioning your ancestors’ names, they pass away.

If only black people all over the world were aware of the power we wield as a result of our ancestors’ contributions.” Also believing in dark forces and demonic spirits, Araujo states that there are people who use dark forces to achieve a desired result and that she does not deal with these individuals.

  • In terms of things that are outside the scope of what we understand God to be, we are lacking in a sense of curiosity.
  • That many people avoid Halloween and “dark magic” is understandable.
  • There was no real explanation given as to why Halloween is evil, Satanic, or demonic; instead there was just an overall feeling that a nefarious darkness surrounded the holiday, regardless of whether they were African American, Caribbean, or African.
  • Even though his faith is rooted in the Motherland, Lamar has found that Black people are intimidated when he tells them about it.
  • There is, perhaps, a ray of hope in all of this.
  • “The ocean is influenced by the moon.
  • Is it really reasonable to believe that the moon will not have an impact on our lives?

The fact that we are nature tells us something important.

When people die, the energy they contain is released into the ethos of the world they inhabit.

“There is no such thing as a heaven or a hell.

According to Adofo, liberation is the goal of African spirituality.

To the point of saying that there is no such thing as “The Devil” in African practices, Adolfo contrasts this with the teachings of Christianity.

You are made up of two parts: your physical body and your spiritual body, according to Adolfo.

The meaning of life, according to him, is essentially discovering our purpose in a physical world that is similar to a “energy plant,” in which any energy can be accessed at any time, as long as we know how to access it.

Adofo believes that the same process can result in two completely different outcomes in two different situations.

One side believes they are in the right, while the other clearly opposes the practice, though both sides rely on God to see them through to the end.

This lends support to the notion that a practice cannot be categorically evil, but that intent is the deciding factor.

The current disposition of black people toward the magic that exists within and for us is a result of our systemic separation from anything that would serve to protect us from ourselves.

With the help of hashtags and economic upward mobility, we’ve only recently felt secure enough to rediscover our magic.

It’s possible that the notes from our past hold the key to a more promising future.

It’s possible that we’ll only require some assistance in connecting.

This was a fascinating point that she brought up.

Our country’s tradition of pouring liquor “for the homies who ain’t here” is similar to that of many African cultures, which involves doing so for the deceased.

There is a connection between us, and no matter how far we stray from our intended path, the truth is that the magic is still within us. Everyone have a safe and enjoyable Halloween!

The liberation in connecting with African spirituality

When you think about it, the thought of being able to utter an incantation that may compel someone to reveal the truth or see into the future is hypnotic. Can you imagine what that would be like? It turns out that Black people have a long history of connecting with the supernatural, but this concept has never received much attention in the Black mainstream. Take a moment to consider this. It’s likely that you were raised on shows likeCharmed, The Craft, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and reruns of shows likeBewitched and I Dream of Geni in constant syndication if you’re a millennial like we were.

  • So, what’s the deal with the lack of Black magic?
  • With Halloween just around the corner and anti-Black sentiment in the air, it was imperative to add some resistance to the status quo while also learning a little more about Black people’s gloriously magical past.
  • Yoruba — you are constantly in communication with your ancestors in order to have them guide you through life.
  • For the past seven years, he has traveled throughout Africa and the Black Atlantic diaspora, talking with traditional healers, spiritual workers, and academic scholars.
  • The deconstruction of traditional African practices was fueled by the European imperialist agenda and the birth of Christianity.
  • Adofo cites the Haitian Revolution as an example of ancestral power in action: “No one is completely powerless.” Africans found themselves in the midst of some of Haiti’s most heinous abuse.
  • As a matter of fact, according to Adolfo, some of the world’s most powerful people have access to our ancestral knowledge and power, and they are preaching a new religion (Christianity) in order to control the populace.

To this day, the powerful people who use the Bible to set their agendas continue to act in direct opposition to the principles of the “good” book.

Using images of a white savior to attack the Black psyche, pseudo-religion replaces the original, now-erased systems of tradition.

According to Webster’s dictionary, “white” refers to something that is free of moral impurity, is not intended to cause harm, and is innocent.

With the Bible being touted as the world’s most popular book of magic, the greatest example of acceptable power comes from a man who is depicted as Caucasian and blue-eyed.

Black people in the United States have become overexposed to images of Africa that are sad and solemn.

When it comes to religion, Lamar James, who practices Ifa, Santeria, and Christianity, says that people believe what you tell them without doing any research.

According to legend, the Ifa spiritual system originated among the Yoruba people of Nigeria.

Many Afro-Cubans live in a state of duality, in which they practice Catholicism publicly while also practicing Santeria privately.

Many of us are now familiar with Yoruba deities such as Osun, thanks to Beyonce’s music.

When we got away from that, take a look at where we are now internationally.

You are deprived of your authority.

You have no right to tell me that communicating to my departed father is wrong.

I prepare food for my forefathers and foremothers.

Keka Araujo, a Lucumi and Palo Mayombe practitioner, shared her thoughts.

Keka Araujo has been initiated in both Lucumi and Palo Mayombe, and she believes that in order to perform Palo Mayombe, one must be descended from a Congolese lineage, which she claims she does.

“It makes its way to you.” She claims that after being initiated into the church, she had a DNA test, which revealed that 43 percent of her ancestors were from the Congo.

In the same way as Abrahamic faiths follow a code and set of laws, Palo Mayombe follows a code and set of regulations, with one of its most significant features being the necessity of remembering and respecting one’s ancestors.

“We made use of our predecessors in order to advance in life.” When we got away from that, take a look at where we are now internationally.

You are deprived of your authority.

You have no right to tell me that communicating to my departed father is wrong.

I prepare food for my forefathers and foremothers.

Your ancestors will only perish if you cease referring to them by their given names.

If only black people throughout the world were aware of the power we have as a result of our forefathers.” Also believing in dark forces and demonic spirits, Araujo stated that there are those who employ dark forces to get a desired objective and that she does not interact with them.

We lack a sense of wonder about things that are outside the boundaries of our understanding of God.

It’s no surprise that many people dread Halloween and “black magic.” Rather than participating in Halloween activities, many Black millennials have chosen to join in Church celebrations such as “Hallelujah Night,” which takes place on October 31st.

Black people have extended their fear of Halloween to any spiritual system that is not Christian, including African traditional faiths.

His words: “We have based our culture on the oppressor’s culture.” There is, maybe, a ray of hope.

“The water is affected by the moon.

Human beings are composed of 70% water.

You will find that when you go back to the body after burying it, the body has become one with the soil if you wait a long time.

The body is no longer there, but the energy remains.

The same may be said about the spirit of our forefathers.

Its objective is to connect with the energy of the ancestors in order to get advice.

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In fact, Adolfo goes on to argue that in African customs, there is no such thing as “The Devil,” which is in stark contrast to the teachings of the Christian faith.

There is a spark, a spirit, inside of you.

We all have a part to play in explaining why we’re here in the physical world, says Dr.

The meaning of life, according to him, is simply discovering our purpose in a physical universe that is similar to a “energy plant,” in which any energy may be accessed at any moment, as long as we know how to use it.

Adofo argues that the same method might result in two completely distinct outputs in different situations.

What a mess, isn’t it?

As a result, it’s crucial to remember that Black magic has been promoted as evil, just like us.

Natural resources, education, tradition, language, and spiritual activities are all examples of what is meant by this.

Only lately have we been secure enough to find our inner magic through the use of hashtags and upward economic mobility.

It’s possible that the notes from our past hold the key to a brighter tomorrow.

What we would seem to be otherworldly or magical is actually a past that is so rich that it is ingrained in our DNA.

When Araujo requested us to view a video of someone catching the Holy Spirit in church and then a video of someone experiencing god possession in an African traditional religious event, she raised an interesting issue.

Many African societies provide libations to the dead, and we do the same in the United States when we serve booze “for the homies who ain’t here.” We are all connected, and no matter how far we stray from our intended path, the fact is that the magic is still inside us. MERRY HALLOWEEN TO EVERYONE!

Connecting With Your Ancestors (African Spirituality Beliefs and Practices Book 8) – Kindle edition by Siedlak, Monique Joiner . Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

A little excerpt of the material is available; double tap to view the complete excerpt. Double touch to view the abbreviated content if the full material is not accessible. Author, witch, and warrior Monique Joiner Siedlak is dedicated to awakening people to their highest potential via the power of narrative combined with mysticism, modern paganism, and new age spirituality. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children. She began studying the interesting idea of Wicca when she was just 12 years old, and hasn’t stopped since.

  1. She has written almost 40 books on topics ranging from witchcraft to the secrets of life, and she continues to do so.
  2. Monique is originally from Long Island, New York, and is now a proud resident of Northeast Florida.
  3. When she isn’t reading or writing, she enjoys traveling and discovering new places and learning new things.
  4. Please feel free to explore Monique Joiner Siedlak’s official website at www.mojosiedlak.com to learn more about her artistic, spiritual, and personal life.

Finding Healing in the Spiritual Practices of Our Ancestors

In the United States, the black church has historically served as a source of connection, solace, and political engagement — but it has not always been without flaws or shortcomings. The black church, like other religious institutions, has been rocked by scandals and hamstrung by doctrinal attitudes that many people consider to be less progressive and, at times, even detrimental. Many young black people are choosing to leave the church, despite the fact that they belong to one of the most devout groups in the country.

“I never had a sense of the presence of Jesus’ spirit.

“It just didn’t feel like my truth to me at the time.” Black women are going through a moment of spiritual rediscovery and are looking for spiritual ideas that would help them feel more at home.

While the church has served as a gathering place for generations of black people to discuss issues of faith, spirituality, and resistance — particularly against slavery and Jim Crow — it has also frequently operated within a patriarchal framework that has prevented women from assuming leadership positions, despite the fact that they make up the majority of congregants in many cases.

  1. Due to their origins in the Americas, these ancestral rituals sometimes combine Christainaity (and Catholicism) with West African spiritual traditions in order to give a more affirming and healing experience for its practitioners.
  2. “Black women are going through a phase of spiritual reclamation, and they’re looking for spiritual ideas that will help them feel more at home,” Cordova says.
  3. “Being in a black female body allows me to feel everything.” As J.
  4. When Chavae was experiencing physical and mental health concerns, she turned to practices such as yoga and meditation for relief.
  5. “At the time, I didn’t have enough money to go to doctors, and at that point, I was very skeptical of doctors,” she says.
  6. Photograph by VALERIE MACONGetty Images The return of Cordova and Chavae to the spiritual and therapeutic traditions of their ancestors has also been mirrored in the work of various black female celebrities, like Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson.
  7. In addition, in 2018, Solange brought Florida Water to the Met Gala, which is a cleaning tool utilized in Hoodoo, Voodoo, and Santera rituals.
  8. “Women of color, particularly black and brown women, are discovering their own identities.
  9. “They are reclaiming a power that has always been inside them, and it has always been with our ancestors,” she stated in an interview with Mit.
  10. Many companies that sell items like as crystals, smudge sticks, and other tinctures do not employ black people despite the fact that the number of black women who follow alternative spiritual activities is on the rise.
  11. In terms of locating therapeutic venues and purchasing crystals for my own collection, I’ve been a consistent shopper.

The things I heard rang true with our culture and our ancestors’ history, and I was puzzled as to how I was receiving such valuable information from someone who didn’t look like me.” In response to this experience, Ayers founded Queen Hippie Gypsy, Oakland’s first black-owned botanica, which serves as an accessible spiritual healing environment where black women are represented without judgment.

  • The construction of a community place for the next generation to engage in healing and health via the usage of crystals to connect with the holy and materialize objectives was inspired by Ayers’ childhood memory of purchasing rose quartz from a black female seller in Berkeley.
  • Women like Ayers, Chavae, Cordova, and countless more, on the other hand, have found comfort in the traditions of their foremothers.
  • Taylor Crumpton is a writer residing in Oakland, California.
  • Get the latest from Shondaland sent right to your inbox: TODAY IS THE DAY TO SUBSCRIBE This material was generated and maintained by a third party and imported onto this website in order to assist users in providing their email addresses for further consideration.

You may be able to discover further information on this and other related items at the website piano.io.

LibGuides: African Traditional Religions Textbook: Ifa: Chapter 1. Orientation and Overview

Will Coleman, Ph.D., was in charge of the photography. It is referred to as theopon ifa (divination board that is used that is used during the process ofdafa). It also represents interactions between the macrocosm and microcosm of spiritual and physical realities, as well as interactions between spiritual and physical realities. Because of his ubiquitous presence throughout the board, esu has established himself as a key player in communication between all aspects of society. ORIENTATION AND OVERVIEW OF THE PROJECT This text and course provide an introduction to one of several sacred West African spiritual traditions, which are discussed in detail in the text.

It is referred to as Isese in more specific terms.

It is a spirituality that spread throughout the African Diaspora in the Americas (Brazil, Cuba, and Puerto Rico) during the transatlantic slave trade in a variety of forms during the transatlantic slave trade (e.g., Candomble, Lucumi, Santeria, Haitian vodou, etc.) 67 years ago today, my (Dr.

Memphis, Tennessee, is where I was born.

The spirituality of Africa

The big snowfall of 1978 is one of Jacob Olupona’s first recollections of the state of Massachusetts, when he was a graduate student at Boston University and nearly died in his apartment due to the cold. “I had it in me. It was then that I informed my father that I would be returning home,” he stated. But, after enduring the first snowstorm in a nation far apart from his own country of Nigeria, Olupona persevered and eventually received his Ph.D. Afterwards, he went on to perform some of the most important study on African religions that has been done in decades.

Having received his bachelor of arts degree in religious studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Olupona began his professional career in the field in 1975.

(1981) and a Ph.D.

Olupona has written or edited more than half a dozen books on religion and African culture (including the recent “African Religions: A Very Short Introduction,” published by Oxford University Press), and her research has covered a wide range of topics, from the indigenous religions of Africa to the religious practices of Africans who have settled in America.

  • Olupona is the recipient of numerous prestigious academic honors and research fellowships, including the Reimar Lust Award for International and Cultural Exchange, which is considered one of Germany’s most prestigious academic honors.
  • Olupona will be able to study and conduct research in Germany for a year as a result of the scholarship; he will be on leave for this academic year (2015–16).
  • How would you characterize indigenous African religions?
  • OLUPONA: Indigenous African religions refer to the religious beliefs held by the African people prior to the arrival of Christian and Islamic missionaries and the colonization of the continent.
  • For example, the Yoruba religion has traditionally been based in southwestern Nigeria, the Zulu religion has historically been centered in southern Africa, and the Igbo religion has historically been centered in southwestern Nigeria.
  • Religion, on the other hand, is inextricably linked to all of these for many Africans.
  • No, traditional African spirituality does not constitute a sort of theocracy or religious tyranny in any way, shape, or form.

African spirituality is a holistic approach to life.

This imbalance in one’s social life can be related to a breakdown in one’s kinship and familial relationships, as well as to one’s relationship with one’s ancestors.

OLUPONA: The significance of ancestors in African cosmology has always been prominent, particularly in the context of the ancestors.

The custodian of these shrines may also suffer misfortune in the form of disease if these shrines are not properly maintained by their designated descendent.

GAZETTE: Are ancestors regarded deities in traditional African cosmology?

OLUPONA: Your inquiry brings to light an essential aspect of African spirituality: the concept of karma.

As opposed to certain varieties of Christianity or Islam, it does not adhere to a defined creed.

Some Africans think that their ancestors have power equivalent to that of deities, but others feel that they do not have such authority.

GAZETTE:Does it make a difference if we refer to African spirituality as polytheistic or monotheistic while attempting to comprehend it?

OLUPONA: Once again, it fails to take into account the wide variety of ways in which traditional African spirituality has conceived of deities, gods, and spirit beings in the past.

A supreme being known asOlorunorOlodumare exists in the Yoruba tradition, and this creator god of the universe is empowered by the variousorisa to create the earth and perform all of its related functions, including receiving the prayers and supplications of the Yoruba people, according to the Yoruba tradition.

  • OLUPONA: It’s a mixed bag, to say the least.
  • Consequently, the number of adherents to indigenous beliefs has decreased as Islam and Christianity have both proliferated and acquired influence over the African continent.
  • Christianity is more prevalent in the southern hemisphere, whilst Islam is more prevalent in the northern hemisphere.
  • Nonetheless, the number of Christians in Africa has increased from roughly 7 million in 1900 to more than 450 million now.
  • Consider, however, that in 1900, the vast majority of Africans in sub-Saharan Africa were adherents of traditional African faiths.
  • Also worth mentioning is that, although not claiming to be complete members of indigenous traditions, there are many proclaimed Christians and Muslims who participate in one or more forms of indigenous religious ceremonies and activities, regardless of their religious affiliation.
  • The incredible triumph of Christianity and Islam on the African continent over the last 100 years has been remarkable, but it has come at the price of African traditional faiths, which is terrible.
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“I had it in me.

Olupona, on the other hand, chose to stay and complete his Ph.D.

OLUPONA: Yes, it’s a mixed bag since indigenous African faiths have expanded and taken root all over the world, including in the United States and Europe, as a result of the African diaspora, which began with the slave trade in the 15th century and has continued to the present.

There is also a town named Oyotunji Village, which is located deep within the American Bible Belt in Beaufort County, South Carolina, and which practices a sort of African indigenous religion that is a combination of Yoruba and Ewe-Fon spiritual rituals.

When it comes to seeking spiritual assistance or succor, followers of African diaspora faiths have a wide range of options.

In addition, I should mention that there are hints of a resurgence of African traditional customs in various regions of the continent.

Ritual sacrifices and witchcraft beliefs are still prevalent in many cultures.

Some African diasporans are returning to the continent in order to reconnect with their ancestral customs, and they are encouraging and mobilizing the local African communities in order to recover this history for the African continent.

OLUPONA: Yes, and one of the reasons for the popularity of African-tradition religion in the diaspora is due to the diverse nature of the religion.

While Islam and Christianity have shown a strong reluctance to accept traditional African religious ideas or practices, indigenous African faiths have always made room for those who hold other religious views or practices.

This suggests that the traditional African practitioner who created the amulet believes in the efficacy of other faiths and religions; there is no conflict in his mind between his traditional African spirituality and another faith, according to this interpretation.

He sees the “other faith” as a spiritual complement to his own spiritual practice of creating powerful amulets, and even as a means of increasing spiritual potency.

It all comes down to achieving actual outcomes.

OLUPONA: One of the primary reasons for this is because indigenous African spiritual beliefs are not constrained by a written book, as are the beliefs of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, among other religions and cultures.

The core of indigenous African religions is not the practice of adhering to or maintaining an unified ideology.

Example: If indigenous African religions were to disappear in Africa, diviners would also vanish, and if diviners disappeared, we would not only lose an important spiritual specialist for many Africans, but we would also lose an institution that has served as a repository of African history, wisdom, and knowledge for centuries.

  • Each and every day, the Yoruba diviners, for example, review Ifa, an immense literary body of material spanning science, medicine, cosmology, and metaphysics that they draw on to supplement their own extensive indigenous knowledge.
  • The loss of Africa’s diviners would mean the loss of one of the continent’s most important custodians and sources of African history and culture.
  • GAZETTE: What else would we lose if traditional African religions were to be extinguished?
  • OLUPONA: The practice of age-grade initiations has always been beneficial to young Africans in terms of feeling linked to their society and their ancestors, despite the fact that they are less frequent in Africa now than they were 50 years ago.
  • Religions such as Christianity and Islam are gradually replacing these traditional African ways of defining oneself in Africa, and in the process, they are establishing a social identity in Africa that cuts across these indigenous African religious and social identities.
  • What strategies do you use to maintain a healthy balance between your Christian and indigenous African identities?
  • OLUPONA: In today’s world, however, this is not the case because of more exclusive-minded types of Christianity and Islam who believe that patronizing indigenous African beliefs and practices violates the integrity of their Christian or Muslim principles.

GAZETTE: How did you manage to pull that off?

OLUPONA: As he traveled throughout southern Nigeria and spoke to people about African culture — which included initiation ceremonies, festivals, and traditional Yoruba attire — he never criticized or spoke out against it, as long as it did not directly contradict with Christianity.

For example, I hope that in a few years, I will be able to participate in an age-grade event called Ero in my home Nigerian village of Ute, which is located in the state of Ondo.

I will not pray to Anorisa, but I will express my appreciation for the value of my relationship with other people in my age group.

In addition, I participate in and honor the king’s festivals and ceremonies in my hometown as well as other locations where I live and conduct field research.

Perhaps this explains why I am not ordained as an Anglican priest.

“The sky is large enough for birds to fly around without bumping into each other,” according to an ancient African proverb.

in social anthropology from Oxford University. He has done extensive study and writing on a wide range of religious communities, including the Hare Krishnas, Zoroastrians, Shakers, and the Old Order Amish, among others. Abridged and clarified versions of this interview have been provided.

African Religion Defined: A Systematic Study of Ancestor Worship among the Akan

African religion is based on ancestor worship, which includes funeral preparations, burial of the dead with ceremony and pomp, belief in the eternal existence of the souls of the dead as ancestors, periodic remembrance of ancestors, and the belief that they have an influence over the affairs of their living descendants, among other practices. Acknowledging the importance of ancestors and deities, whether in Africa or the African Diaspora, ancestor worship is known by several names such as Akwsidai, Homowo, Voodoo, Nyant?r (Aboakyir), CandomblZ, or Santeria.

In this book, the author, a traditional king and professor, investigates the Akan people of Ghana in order to demonstrate that ancestor worship is as pragmatic, systematic, theologico-teleological, soteriological, and symbolic as any other religion in the world, with a highly trained clerical body and elders acting as mediators.

Reclaiming Our Ancestors’ Spirituality, Virtually

Having been brought up in the Baptist faith, I was always surrounded by songs and prayers from my elders. My great aunt would sing a tune that I’ve lately come to a fresh understanding of: “Put a little oil in your vessel, keep your lamps trimmed and blazing.” The song served as a warning to the crowd, telling them to be “ready when the bride and groom arrive.” But, as a youngster, I had no notion that “Put Oil in Your Vessel,” along with many other songs, provided our enslaved ancestors with both melodies of Jesus’ impending coming and directions on how to escape enslavement in the New World.

  1. Black spirituality, like Black people, is complex and multifaceted.
  2. Enslaved Africans developed the hidden technique of hoodoo as a means of claiming their spirituality while also physically protecting their family and surviving in captivity.
  3. When faced with a violent society, our Black forefathers and foremothers conjured up a creative and all-encompassing spiritual system at the crossroads of hoodoo, ancient African religions, and Christian teachings.
  4. My great aunt’s song, like the words of my great aunt’s song, which both preserved and obscured a sacred tradition, has long been present in the Black church while also remaining hidden from view.
  5. For many arrivals, this collective experience has seemed like a homecoming, even though they had no idea they had been separated from their homeland.
  6. However, Black millennials and Generation Zers are still less religious than their Black elders.
  7. With widespread fear about the pandemic preventing many churches from reopening, many people are turning to internet sites for worship.

Lyvonne Briggs, an ordained Pentecostal minister as well as a certified Baptist preacher, is the founder and pastor of The Proverbial Experience, a virtual church that meets online.

Every Sunday morning at 11:11 a.m., Briggs livestreams the service on her Instagram page, which she considers to be a “angel number.” She then saves the tape to her page, which she also shares with her followers.

After completing my theology study and attending African-centered churches in Atlanta, and beginning to activate and reclaim my own African spiritual practices, I realized that I didn’t want to limit myself to merely celebrating being African during the month of February.

Our faith did not begin with the enslavement of people as property.

Her sermons, which are based on the Bible, are sex-positive and place a strong emphasis on the experiences of people of color, LGBTQ people, and women.

On a recent Sunday, praise and song were accompanied by the sounds of Nina Simone’s “Take Me To The Water,” and the service concluded with a tarot message for anchoring the congregation.

To connect with spirit and intuition, Briggs employs tarot cards in conjunction with the moon deck oracle cards, both of which she uses in her work.

During the Zoom call, known as the “Proverbial Afterglow,” attendees can come and reflect on the service while also connecting with other members of their church community.

Pressley noted how people used to have to drive a long distance to locate Black areas, such as the juke joint depicted in The Color Purple (1966).

In her opinion, the usage of livestreaming has assisted Briggs in reaching new audiences. Getting to the juke joint doesn’t require traveling; all you have to do is go onto your computer and you’re out here with your friends, according to Pressley.

Reimagining a weaponized religion

Clubhouse hosts a similar combination of African customs and old-time “slave religion” every other Sunday, which is titled “Psalms, Hymns, Spiritual Songs: Slave Religion for an Impossible World.” Hakim “Keem” Pitts is the host of the program. Yoruba-Lukumi religion believes that Pitts is the son of the warrior deity Ogun and that he is an aleyo (an uninitiated practitioner) of the faith. He will be ordained and inducted into the secrets of that Orisa in the not-too-distant future. The room is filled with a symphony of sounds, and Black people are encouraged to “sing, testify, lament, and congregate” as they “keep on running to see what the conclusion gon’ be,” according to the song.

  • Those who are willing to step on the audio stage and announce themselves, using their preferred pronouns, and either provide witness through words, scripture, or music are then invited to do so.
  • For Black people who practice and revere ancient African faiths, Pitts established a safe environment for them, while also tapping into the connection and religion of their bright, enslaved ancestors, who were also Black.
  • Because it cannot be held in such ways, Pitts argues that black religion and spiritual traditions do not cohere with religion.
  • “I devoted my life to Jesus when I was nine years old; I remember being transformed, I remember something that happened to me that was true.
  • Also true is that I am a practitioner of orisha – a devotee of the orisha.

It’s important to note that when I say things like, “I am saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost,” I’m using slang, and I’m aware that my meaning of what I’m saying may be different from someone else’s.” The dual understanding, according to Pitts, can only be accessed by individuals who come to Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs with an open mind and spirit.

“I was a little skeptical at first.” According to Angles, “we all carry this type of pain that results from these interruptions that happened to our ancestors — whether it was the interruption of transatlantic slavery or the interruption of Christianity.” Although she began as a spectator in the room, Pitts called on her to recite a prayer from the bookI Hear Olofi’s Song: A Collection of Yoruba Prayers for Egun and Orisa, which she had brought with her to the meeting.

She had “a really emotional experience” after a few meetings with the doctor.

She has done it before.

Perry, curator of The Churchy Mystic, to build online places for people of color, gay people, and handicapped people.

Ensure that Black, LGBTQ, and handicapped groups have a secure place in which to exist and to honor their ancestors, spirits, and heritage, according to Pitts’ definition of community service.

It is a fusion of both Christian tools from the religion of Black enslaved ancestors and African traditional spiritualism, and while others may find such activities incongruous, they make sense to people who follow them, which is a large percentage of the population in the United States.

When going to church in person has been dangerous, these online places have provided a secure space for both worship and education on the genuine essence of genealogy, lineage, spirituality, and Blackness during a time when going to church in person has been dangerous.

That is the place where genuine emancipation may be found.

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