Eku Ojo Aiku! (Happy Sunday)

We find ourselves here today because between the snailshell-chicken -earth-carrying deity , and the naughty naked couple betrayed by a talking snake , somehow humans and earth were made.

Yoruba tradition further declares that the first humans were made in Ile Ife. Jewish tradition claims somewhere in the Middle East as the former Garden of Eden. Science says something else altogether. Who’s to say which version is correct?

Ironically, many of us continental Yoruba would probably side with the Jewish tradition because we are 4th generation Christians and  know the Bible inside out , but is it right that we make any claims about or dismissals of Ifa without actually knowing what it’s tenets , principles and logic are ?

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Ifa is a huge part of Yoruba history ,  Yorubas were only introduced to the Abrahamic faiths in the last 400 years. Up till then everything in Yoruba history was created, performed, and decided with Ifa guidance.

Today the Yoruba diaspora  are admired for amongst other things, their tenacity to hold on to their culture and spirituality in the face of the challenges of slavery and racism .

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The ancient Yoruba are hailed for their creativity and resourcefulness, their urban cities in the middle of the West African forests, their art, their industry, their political system. All of these were achieved and blessed with Ifa spirituality.

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Modern day continental Yoruba faithfuls of Islam and Christianity  have not in the years since contact with Abrahamic religions been able to rule themselves, heal themselves or unite themselves and majority struggle to feed themselves.

When you examine the practice of Abrahamic faiths around the world closely, you will find that it is always wrapped around the ancient practices of the people and that is how they make it work for themselves and that is how they validate their own value systems. Come Easter, the UK shop tills will be ringing with the proceeds from Easter eggs and fluffy chicks and bunny rabbits. Ancient European customs in celebration of the risen Christian God. And the Sky will not fall in. Europeans and their Yoruba guests will carry on eating, drinking, shopping , praying and complaining until the next pagan/Christian holiday Christmas.

 

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The {Roman Catholic] church took the pagan philosophy and made it the buckler of faith against the heathen. She took the pagan, Roman Pantheon, temple of all the gods, and made it sacred to all the martyrs; so it stands to this day. She took the pagan Sunday and made it the Christian Sunday. She took the pagan Easter and made it the feast we celebrate during this season. Sunday and Easter day are, if we consider their derivation, much the same. In truth, all Sundays are Sundays only because they are a weekly, partial recurrence of Easter day. The pagan Sunday was, in a manner, an unconscious preparation for Easter day.” (Willliam L. Gildea, D.D., Paschale Gaudium, in The Catholic World, Vol. LVIII., No. 348., March, 1894, published in New York by The Office of The Catholic World., pp.808-809)

Is that not enough permission for those Yoruba afraid of smudging Christian robes that they too need not be afraid of looking into their ancestors customs and, for example,  blessing the Christian world with Ifa gifts to enhance Easter and celebrate Jesus? If you can’t beat them join them?

Even ancient Arab customs of lunar worship play a central role in the lives of Yoruba Muslims. Is it time to find out what Ifa herbal knowledge might assist with fasting and keeping chaste during Ramadan?

We don’t even know the vast amount of knowledge that we have thrown away. So much so, we don’t recognise it when it is repackaged and sold back to us in the form of Hollywood films, block buster books, pharmaceutical “discoveries”, new Christian/Islamic trends etc.

Homeland Yoruba cannot manufacture or do without plastic or inflatable Santas, christmas trees, Christmas baubles, children’s soft toys, Christmas lights, communion wine, Easter bunnies, piano, church organ, the statues of Saints, bibles, rosaries, candles, Christian self help/inspirational  books and videos etc etc the list is endless.

 

 

 

And yet, the God given talents of Yoruba sculptors, orators, wood carvers, wine tappers , drummers are sliding into extinction because they are viewed as somehow tainted with ancient customs and beliefs.

What is really frustrating is that most Yoruba are not even clear why exactly they shun their ancient spirituality. Let’s see, ancestor veneration? Check. Carved images? Check. Multiple Gods? Check. Human sacrifice? Check. And that’s just Christianity!  Islam already has its moon and its devil monument for symbolic stoning…..

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Are you Yoruba? Give yourself permission today to find out about your ancient spirituality. Read a book, watch a video, join a discussion. Even if you reject it in Jesus’ /Mohammed’s name afterward, at least it will be an informed rejection. You will have triumphed in the face of temptation, like Jesus and the 40 day fast, or Mohammed and erm……erm……brb.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

comments

3 thoughts on “Yoruba Spirituality

    1. But somehow we are paying them for what we already have/know… Because we are not harnessing the knowledge for our common good and the beneffit of all mankind. Europeans discover what we already know/have, the enhance it, repackage it and resell to the world including us, and we buy. In dollars! Sigh….

  1. So true. It’s so irritating. These religions were used to enslave the Yoruba… It’s time for people to wake up. Yet you will find people making every excuse to condemn the faith of their own ancestors, and then practice religions created by the worst savages in human history. These religions were used to brutalise, rape, torture, indenture, and call Africans sub-human.They wear idols on their necks, put them on their walls, and put them all over their places of worship – these images are of someone being tortured to death??? They are always talking about ‘his blood’ and act out drinking it in rituals – as well as eating ‘his body’. Then they call other people idol worshippers??? They used millions of Africans as human sacrifice for their own pure greed. If this is not devil worship…someone tell me what is? Yorubas are not clear on why they shunned their own spirituality because they don’t study slave history and how these religions were systematically used to enslave and colonise them. They faced death and destruction or stravation if they disobeyed the orders of alien religions. The missionaries were sent with blood money and cleverly built schools and provided MONEY to ‘help the poor’ these ‘poor’ were the same people that missionary nations had stolen all their resources from and used as slave labour on their plantations. These religions are all about control and MONEY. After the enslavers destroyed our economies, they came back to SAVE us. The colonialists replaced our deities with their own supreme objects of worship MONEY…and images of THEMSELVES. As a spiritual people we had no concept that people could be so wicked, so CORRUPT, so morally bankrupt and use something so sacred to be something so evil. It’s time to wake up. http://www.africanglobe.net/africa/letter-king-leopold-ii-colonial-missionaries-heading-africa-1883/

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