Maximiliano Goiz, Beyonce fan and practitioner of an Afro-Cuban faith, has been quoted several times in media publications for his detailed, romantic and intriguing description of the Orisa Osun following the release of Lemonade, especially honing in on the albums “Hold Up” sequence. It seems his words may have even made it into the upcoming ‘How to Make Lemonade’ book, though if so, it was without his knowledge.
He can’t say for sure (“The book hasn’t been released yet,” he is quoted as saying), but like many of us practicing one of the various forms or descendants of African Traditional Religions, he is just ecstatic to see mainstream recognition for our often unrecognized practice.
Given that Beyonce’s upcoming book is 600 pages, I’m sure we will get to see more of the influence of African Diaspora religions that maybe didn’t make it into the visual album.
All the African influences in Beyoncé’s visual album, Lemonade, explained
(Fun fact: Maximiliano Goiz is quoted in this article from Ventures Africa, too)
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2016 is closed out with a bang for the Temple. Official sanctioning, recognition and authority was granted by His Imperial Majesty Kabiyesi Aare Ogboni Agbaye (Awise Iwase of Yorubaland) for our Temple to be the head of the Florida chapter of Aborigine Ogboni in America, with myself, Chief Ifagbemi, receiving the chieftaincy title of Olori Apena Ola of Florida State and Secretary of America directly from the Paramount King of Ogboni Worldwide.
The Temple name has a slight update as well, to Iledi Ala Orisa Temple (where as before, it was Ile Ala Orisa Temple). Temples of worship in Ifa and Orisa are often called either an Egbe or an Ile. In Ogboni we call a place of worship an “Iledi”, meaning a tied house.
What we have done in establishing the Ogboni here in our Temple is to go back further to our roots. We have enough members here to establish a place of worship of Mother Earth, which is the heart of Ogboni practice, and these members have exchanged oath to maintain the spiritual purity and integrity of all areas of our practice.
The Earth is the oldest Orisa and the only one not to pass on after a lifetime here. Mother Earth has been here all along as the eldest or what we call “Agbalagba Orisa”, meaning Elderly of Orisa. Within the Ogboni we still worship, venerate and work with all Orisas and consult Ifa.
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Eku Ose Obatala today. Blessings on this day of veneration of Obatala the divinity of clarity, prosperity, light, abundance and great wisdom.
Obatala is said to control Aba and Ase. Aba is imagination or intention, while Ase is manifestation, and fruition of our imagination. Obatala teaches us what it means to be fully human, including our imperfections, as well as how to cultivate the mind to live well.
As you think, so shall you live. As the co-architect of your destiny and by the thought forms of your own mind, your life and the things you have or lack are entirely your own responsibility to bear. Spiritual practice is intended to show you where you are.
So many times we get caught up in the details of our lives and we lose track of the small miracles and blessings in our lives; or we make evaluations or judgments of our practice, thinking things like, “I am still struggling”, or “Nothing in my life has improved”.
Is that really true?
I always encourage people to pray. Prayer is free and can be done anywhere and with no exertion whatsoever. But, how do you know what prayers are being answered and when? How do you know what prayers are truly in alignment with your destiny?
Perhaps a job promotion or raise didn’t come through for you; maybe the spouse you have been praying for and seeking hasn’t made an appearance. We need to be honest with ourselves and ask, are we truly in alignment with what we are asking for? Does our lifestyle, thinking, feeling, being, acting, etc truly attract the things we are asking for?
It is easy to say “yes, I’m doing all those things correctly.” Then why the constant complaining and crisis? It is very easy to fall into feeling dissatisfied over what one believes to be the lack of tangible results; but if asked what has been done to encourage personal progress, are the answers in the final analysis vague? There is practice and being engaged, and then there is proper practice and proper engagement. Which is yours?
The next time you find yourself dissatisfied or distraught by life’s little twists and turns, take a step back. Say a little prayer. Give yourself a moment to evaluate and be gracious. In this tradition as in life you get out what you put in. If you come to your spiritual practice with doubt, jealousy, dishonesty, skepticism, negativity or knowing-it-all, your progress and personal life will reflect as much. No one can teach you that which you already know.
These are good things to be thinking about as we all do our own “inner work” with intention and mindfulness.
Our temple’s prayer to Obatala today is:
Eepa Orisa, Orisa Eepa! Ogbe omo re o soo daje. O ni ki won rerin in, won rerin in.
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He stands by his children, and makes them materially prosperous. He gives them cause for laughter, and they laugh.
May our lives and inner alignment give us cause for prosperity and laughter. Ase
Chief Ifagbemi Faseye