Making Ocha, The Build up and Preparations

How can you really prepare mentally for making Ocha? I am writing this as I share the journey with someone who is close to me. It is always a reminder and a confirmation of the process, and rebirth that I experienced and I always feel excited and grateful by my journey. Being crowned with Orisha is not a right but a privilege and something to take seriously. You are on your journey but what can you do to prepare mentally? With most people I would imagine that there are mixed emotions. There is excitement with what is to come, a…

I am interested in following the Path of Orisha, what do I do about it?

This is one of the most frequent questions that I have been asked over the years. I would also like to say that the Lucumi Path is only one variation of what may be labelled as Orisha worship. Because it is my lineage, the Lucumi path is what I will be concentrating on, however please be aware that there are different traditions under the umbrella of Orisha worship and you need to find what is right for you. Also bare in mind that even within traditions there are variations. I would say, first and foremost. Do not hurry. My advice…

Lucumi, A community Based Faith System

Last Year an initiative started in the United States called Oloshas United for Peace and Healing. The initiative involved wearing white for a certain number of days and organising and attending various ceremonies and other events for all of us, including the wider community. Last year I organised an open rehearsal with the London Lucumi Choir. We concentrated on singing songs to Obatala and Babalu Aye. I also organised for my Ile, a prayer meeting for healing and a Agbwan in front of Babalu Aye. This year as the 16 days drew to a close, esteemed Oba Willie Ramos asked us…

New String to my bow: Becoming a Celebrant

I have not written for some time. This has been such a busy year. I have settled into a new home, continued to work with the London Lucumi Choir preparing a new recording dedicated to my Mother and Father in Ocha, Oshun and Obatala and continue to guide godchildren and my family members. All of this keeps me pretty busy. Many concerns and topics always come up which tests, challenges and and confirms my faith and my journey in life. There is a lot I would like to write about, and find the time to do it. Meanwhile I would…

REVIEW: On the Orishas’ Roads and Pathways: Oshún Deity of Femininity 
By Obá Miguel W. Ramos, Ilarí Obá

    I was so excited when I heard about this book. Any information and insight into the Orisha that I am crowned with is most welcome. What was also exciting is that Miguel W.Ramos is not only a Scholar and a Writer but also an experienced and respected Obá in our religion. This is one occasion where the ability to write combines with the experience of an initiate and that is a rare and wonderful thing. The book did not disappoint. From the introduction documenting his own personal experience, to the historical background, to understanding more about the paths…

Orisha comes to London. A review of the projects that came to London last year.

Feature photo: Creative Direction Janine Francois. Choreography: Stella Odunlami. Dancer: Zinzi Minott: Photography Zainab Adamu. BOdy Art: Estar Melbourne. I consider myself an artist. I am first and foremost a musician, however I have used other idioms to express my creativity, I have been also in my lifetime a professional dancer and I enjoy textiles and embroidery.  I am also passionate about the arts and how it can reach the individual, make a statement and create a powerful message.  Over the last couple of years there seems to be a resurgence of interest in all things Orisha. My natural instinct…

Ten Things: Exploding the myths!

I wrote this piece a while ago for an online magazine. It was in response to a request for some basic information regarding this terribly misunderstood way of life. In addition I think that in this day and age where there is a lot of information on the net, it does not hurt to add my perspective. If you are thinking of following this path, I would say that it is really important to educate yourself. Understand that this is a communal religion based on lineage and bare this in mind when you are on your journey. Because of the…

The most public of ceremony

I was inspired to write this post for several reasons. Firstly  because until recently I had held the only Tambors de Fundamento in the UK and secondly because I hope that any Olorisha that is reading this in the UK will understand  the importance of playing to your Orisha in the country where you live ( this is my Opinion!) and thirdly because of one of my major projects  as director and lead singer of the London Lucumi Choir has always brought up such interesting points. I have been a musician all my life so it is no surprise that…

Our Religion, A Green Religion

 I was crowned in Cuba in February 2006, however my path towards Kariocha was a very long and winding one.  It was not like many stories I  hear about these days. I truly believe that my destiny was fulfilled finally when I became crowned, however I was forever running away from it. Frightened of the commitment, the responsibility and what it may entail. I started to be pulled towards the path of Orisha in the early 1980′s when in Cuba it was prohibited. It was not a curiosity I felt, but an overwhelming pull  towards it, like a magnetic energy…

Beautiful Queen's Woods

Connecting to the elements; a Santera’s guide to London.

One of the great things about walking this path is the fact that it inspires you and obliges you to connect with nature, even in an urban environment. Hills, rivers, forests and the sea are all quite accessible for us. and if you need a Cemetery there are some fantastically historical ones to go to. Here are some of my tips on where to go in London; HILL London is not a flat City, there are plenty of fabulous Hills to visit. Please note my hill knowledge is quite north London based. Please feel free to add your information to…