Leaving Christianity , we expect to have the ultimate spiritual experiences with those who we assume vibrate high and vibrate in love. Nevertheless, people are still human and can be succumbed by and to egotistical behaviors in any culture, race, religion or creed. The thing about elders is however, they are held at a certain regard. They are to behave in ways that lead the youth, and younger initiates in the direction of iwa-pele. I have been very fortunate to come across so many beautiful elders since I have been actively participating in ATR. On the contrary I have also come across some elders with the nastiest of spirits. It's disheartening to know that so many take the time to inaccurately and ignorantly judge than to kindheartedly assist. In a world where those of us of mostly pure African blood have been stripped of our cultures and customs , not including those who are terrified of it; you'd think that there would be a team of elders and leaders that offer support in crisis and/or offer support in educating on what can be known without initiation. In the diaspora there is hardly anymore room for division. Yet, there are so many offering criticism and nothing more. For someone to actively participate in gossip or slander of another individual is a clear sign of lower vibrational energies if not entities. Have we lost our way? Have we forgotten to do ebo and offer to the Orisha and continue our daily prayers to Olofi? Have we forgotten our vows of Iwa-pele? There are no doors or rooms that are equipped for slander in a world where so many on the outside look in and see our culture as a safe-haven. Seeing the crab-in-barrel mentality amongst those who are automatically placed upon pedestals because of their bravery and pan-African lifestyles in this world can cause so many to turn away in fear like those who are and were already initially uninterested because of post slave trade mindsets and conditions. I urge you Elders, if you see something questionable offer a helping hand instead of a foul tongue or hot fingers to attempt to discredit anyone under false pretenses and untrue allegations. Names, dates, and even times can be secret in these cultures, so if you don’t know, ask, and I’m sure you’ll find something to place you at ease. But critiquing and campaigning against others because they are younger, prettier, less seasoned, or even have language barriers is I’m sure frowned upon by the very Orishas that we serve and work with. Our cultures have been turned into Hollywood tragedies and fear mongering fuelers for those of us who may be destined for greatness to be turned away completely and to know that only certain knowledge can be gained from elders, it’s just logical that one would do better when they know better. Those of us who are younger and take the time to assist our peers with learning of their heritage need all of the support that we can get. Community is very important but please do not let your egos cause you to forget your true positions here. While there are “children” (because if you’re in your 40s lets be real someone 20 years younger than you should be considered a child unto you) being spiritually raped in hopes of joining ATR communities they are terrified to even seek assistance because of the internet theatrics and even physical practices administered by those who are “authentic” and “qualified” in their roles in these cultures. So please, I urge you all, if you were raised in the cultures, or have been involved in them for many years to focus less on pointlessly Policing situations and to lend the power of your Ori to heal and assist those who are the next generation because ultimately Ifa himself is the police. Instead of questioning the motives of someone who is obviously up and coming, question their leaders and the Godparents whom they are/were initiated under, they are supposed to have the best interests of the godchildren that they take on. When we see a bad child we automatically look to the parents of this child. This should be the same within our cultures. It takes a village, even with spirituality. Please, I challenge you to do more community work in your qualified rights of passages. Doing more for community in terms of ebo and offerings so that the titles of Babalawo and Iyanifa aren’t abused for money and/or the titles of TaTa and YaYa in Palo aren’t used in attempts to enslave individuals. There are far too many serious things happening in our cultures that are being unspoken of, yet witch hunts are actively taking place for all of the wrong reasons. Hopefully this was a good read as I am simply making an observation and speaking a truth that needs to be addressed. As one day I will be an elder, and when those who are half my age grow into their rights of passage I pray to be and will myself to be a leader of love and light in Iwa-pele.
love and light,
-YaYa Bea (Bee) KiKi (Kikongo) …
example: certain names are to be kept secret so I abbreviate, I have lots of heavy self researchers who don't understand (Kikongo, BiKongo, Congolese, Yoruba) when broken down into culture, who ask me many questions. So when I explain something I give them as many familiar words as possible so that they can get a general understanding of what is privileged only to us, the initiated.