Before you purchase spiritual work from someone not referred to you by someone you know, from the internet, or from a stranger that approaches you…. Know before you jump!
Has this ever happened to you??? Have you ever been on social media, and someone friends you out of nowhere? You check out their page, and all seems to be cool…. Then… a few minutes later… this Babalawo from Nigeria presents himself to you, and after a few lines you begin receiving messages about what Ifa has told him about you, and how you need his spiritual help to forge ahead? If this hasn’t happened to you… just wait… it will.
I’m writing this because not only does it happen to me, but what burns me is that unscrupulous people out there work to get folks new to our traditions who don’t know any better and then they conduct a racket from over-seas. The fact remains that when you are new with your regular western, Canadian, American, or Latino name… and you see a name of Baba (insert long african name here)… it gives a sense of authority to them. They begin with the regular talks about the Orisha… and then … you are hooked. What happens next boils my blood because I’ve seen many folks lose hundreds to thousands of dollars on these ‘spiritual works’, and their lives do not improve and yet… the new person is out of funds.
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Orisha Wisdom wishes to provide tools to empower people into maneuvering our Orisha World, I hope that it will be helpful to you.
- African priests will not rip you off – Just because the person is from Africa it does not mean that they will not rip you off. This is a people thing. Just like people from (insert the name of your country here) will rip someone off…. someone from Nigeria or (insert other country name here) can also rip off another person.
- Only getting initiated in (insert name of country here – mostly Africa, & Cuba) is the correct way – Just because a person gets initiated in Africa or Cuba, it does not mean that the initiations will be good for you. If you do get initiated, then how are you going to be trained? To go back to the country to visit and learn? How much learning do you think that you are going to get in that week per year? There are wonderful priests all around the world that you can work with.
- A reading done on my behalf without my consent is okay because this priest knows what he/she is talking about – This is a HUGE myth. In the Orisha traditions, this is how it works. A person goes to a priest and the priest performs divination on the matter at hand, or a general reading. Can a reading be done on your behalf while you are not around? Sure… but only if you consent to it, and with a trusted priest. If this is your godparent, or a trusted priest, and you ask for a reading and your godparent or that trusted priest lives in another state, or even moved to another country, this can be done. Having someone that you do not know email you, message you, or send you a pigeon with a note stating that Ifa said XYZ… this is a huge red flag of someone who is unscrupulous.
- A priest emailed me and told me that Ifa/Orisha said that I need to get (insert name of spiritual work here) – This is a huge myth which is plaguing the internet right now as there are many people who are just finding out about our traditions and they just don’t know. When a priest gets initiated they go through certain vows to be ethical in their practices. Are all priests and pastors ethical? No, of course not. In our traditions, if you need a medicine or work of some kind, you have to get that read, and explanations must be made on why this medicine is for you. It’s like when you go to see a doctor. A doctor from another country would not randomly contact you to tell you that he was checking out your chart and that now you need (insert name of medicine here). Why would this be any different? If someone contacts you with this… they do not have your best interest in mind.
- A priest contacted me and told me that if I don’t get this (insert name of spiritual work done here) I am going to die, get killed, my family will die, etc. – This one is especially infuriating because of the madness of this statement. This preys on people who are in hard spots in life, and are …. basically easy prey for predators like this. This preys on the ignorance of not knowing who to go to, where to go with a spiritual problem, especially when first finding out about these traditions and you are afraid of telling anyone -(I’ve also known initiated priests who have fallen prey to these unethical practices.)
- A priest told me that Ifa said that I must marry him. / A Babalawo said that Ifa told him that I was meant to marry him as his apetebi – Does this happen? Yes… and it’s mostly when a babalawo is already in a relationship with a woman that this is divined for. (There are exceptions but not common ones) If a person is meant to be with him/her… then these two will come together. If anyone sends you or anyone you know a message that they must marry him in order to appease Ifa… Don’t. No, you will not die. No, your family will not die. No, you will not be lacking happiness in your life. If someone just from the internet contacts you with this… please take a snap shot of the communication, and report him to that platform, and to others in the community and block him. This is an unethical behavior!
- A priest said that during divination it came out that we have to perform a Divine Sexual Energy Ebo or (place here whatever line he uses to insinuate any sexual act) in order for me to have (insert positive outcome here) – Please my sisters, this is NOT done. Please, please please block this individual fast but only after you have gathered proof that this is happening and report him to the platform and to the community. I get sad and angry to see many of my sisters fall prey to this type of predator. They will take their time to get to know you first, and know your spiritual and relationship woes and then attack. If this happens… please know that this is unethical behavior. I’ve known many priests and babalawos over the years and NONE of them have ever insinuated sex for anything. This also falls to men — if anyone messages you or another brother of yours with this…. again… take the proof, report, and then block!
- A priest contacted me and told me that he can send me an orisha in the mail and that I’d be initiated into that orisha – Just because a person contacts you from (insert country name here, but mostly Africa), it does not mean that they are looking out for your best interest. Unfortunately, folks in Africa, especially in Nigeria have been waking up to the outrageous prices of spiritual work here in the United States and that is a fortune in their currency, and many folks here are hungry for the traditions.
Okay, so I have to be aware… what do I do now? You might asking yourself.
Here are some tools to help you in your journey.
- If something doesn’t feel right… listen to that gut feeling. This is your Ori telling you that something is not right.
- Take the time to work and strengthen your Ori (your Higher Self). This is your innate compass that can help to guide you to what you need in life and how to get there.
- If someone is pressuring you to work with them and it feels like pressure — it is your choice to not do so.
- If someone is online and sends you numerous messages about this that you need to do, and how much and is relentless – block them from your inbox, messages, etc. All social media have this capability
- When you join a new group or social media site – do not openly state what your spiritual query or situation is. Being reserved will help you here. This will keep the sign of (I’m an easy target) away from you. Yes, it will take a bit longer to get you what you need – but it is better to wait rather than to lose sleep, sanity, money and your peace of mind.
- If online, you like how a certain priest is behaving online – how he/she responds to others’ questions… observe and then contact him/her separately to see how you vibe him/her. Set up a phone conversation (or several). Establish a rapport to see how you feel about this person. If so, then see if you can schedule a reading. If you would like an in person reading, see if that person can refer you a priest that he/she personally knows.
- Remember that it is ethical practice to request a reading, then be present for this reading, and receive a prescribed ebo (spiritual work / sacrifice).
- Remember that you can have a spiritual relationship with many miles in between; however there are parameters, trust, access, and transparency. This relationship cannot happen out of fear that something may happen to you, etc.
- Always keep in mind – there are good people and bad people in every arena – this is not an attack on any particular country – just on unethical practice of people … Just take care and remember that people are people.