Young Lovers

By Natalie Cooper Young Lovers’ excitement to know someone else better than they know themselves To earnestly step out of our own heads and give willingly They build a bridge to each other each plank an honest attempt to love “This is the best feeling in the world” glowing ecstacy projects one thousand fold burning our shadows to cinders we knew not the sheer power of love Young Lovers meet through the fog and behold each other anew as alike as they will ever be, as different to all they had previously known the fog thickens, the padlock binds the…

Syncretism Important or Not?

In many parts of the Diaspora where Orisha worship has continued, Syncretism is very much a feature of the practise. Today is the 2nd February 2021. Today in Brasil the Festival of Yemonja is celebrated. Whilst in some parts of Cuba, it is Oya’s feast day. On the 4th December, Brasil Celebrates Oya, whereas in Cuba, Shango is honoured. The reason why these Feast days are different is because the Orishas were syncretised with different Saints around the Diaspora. Today is the day that La Virgen de La Candelaria is celebrated. She is known as the Patron Saint of the…

December 2020

End of year Blog. Presently wearing 16 days of white as I usually do as part of the Oloshas United Peace and Healing initiative. This year, it will be so different. I usually hold an Awan to Babalu Aye for my Godchildren and end of term Christmas party with Mulled wine and merriment for the Choir. This year, the Awan is appointment only, a well ventilated room, and one person at a time. Wondering what will happen in Cuba during the annual procession to the Rincon. Black and White photos by Raul Cañibano Choir continues to rehearse online. Good for…

I am In Lockdown Part 2.

Here in the UK, we are in the second week of a second lockdown. It doesn’t seem as extreme as the first but, I am taking it pretty seriously since we are the first Country in Europe to reach 50,000 deaths and I currently know a few people with Covid also, so it’s social isolation time for me. The three last posts concentrated on Bullying and Abuse in our tradition and advice on how to spot predators and avoid them. Simultaneously, I became aware of another Social Media Personality within our traditions who has been outed as an abuser and…

Why Black Lives Matter.

With so much going on in the world over the last couple of months, it has been hard to keep up with what I feel I should be writing about. What I have noticed, however, is that, like many things regarding social media, hashtag culture does not last for ever.  I believe that in my role as Iyalorisha, it is as important to use my platform to educate in all matters of life, in addition to inform those coming to my page regarding all things Orisha. So today I am focusing on  four projects that I feel are worthwhile to…

Education during these unusual times. Part 1: Children

In many places now internationally, the majority of children are at home. Some children are having to attend online classes, others are having work sent to them. All in all, it can be an opportunity to be more adventurous with children’s education. Personally, it has been a time for learning with my granddaughter, in some aspects like growing vegetables, and foraging. There are also Spiritual aspects of my life that I am able now to share with her, such as learning more about our rituals and also beading which I am enjoying teaching,  but there are also amazing online opportunities…

Lineage, Initiation, entitlement and appropriation: Part 2

As we come to the end of the decade, I am reflecting on some of the personalities that have crossed my path. One of the most disturbing trend I have found is the general  idea that Orisha are universal energies open for all too manipulate. This has led to many people building altars, selling produce,  creating rituals and also filming it for all to see. So there are a lot of  misguided individuals who think they have the entitlement to work with Orisha or the equivalent in other ATR religions, when they have no idea what they are doing. Then…

Support Your Community this Christmas: Part 2 Selfcare.

There are so many alternative gifts you may make. Although you could give material gifts, you could also buy vouchers for massage, treatments, life coaching and even divination.  Support your local community by thinking outside the box with your Christmas offerings! REFLEXOLOGY:  Buy a voucher from Yolanda Reflexology.  A one of treatment or a regular series of treatments can work wonders. In these stressful times, reflexology can help you relax, reduce stress and also boost your immune system. Yolanda is a trained experienced Reflexologist who is available for a range of treatments. She is also an Olorisha of Yemaya and…

Why my previously public ceremonies are no longer public.

    This is just a little note to let anyone know that I am not here to provide material for your PhD or your book chapter, If by chance you are intending on using any information gathered whilst attending something in the Ile Oshun Kayode. Have the courtesy and respect to ask me if it is OK first. Put it by me. Mention who I am and my Ocha name. I am representing Oshun. Have some damn respect. Do not write me out of the story, because you will be disrespecting Oshun and her Ashe. And so be it….

What makes practising in the UK Unique?

UNDERSTANDING AND PRACTISING LA REGLA DE OCHA IN THE UK:   The rise in social media attention to African Traditional Religions in general and Lucumi in particular has given the impression that these practises are wide spread and that there are communities everywhere. I have received emails recently asking me to make recommendations of practising Iles (Religious houses) all over the UK. This is a reminder that what you experience on Social Media is a false reality. Social media does not determine what is going on in the UK and there is a big difference between what is going on…