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…

Orisha: Kind and Loving or Punishing Energies?

The other day I was looking into the reasons why people may come to my website. One question typed in, was regarding “what happens if you disobey the Santos?” I have also; over the years thought deeply into how fear is used as a tool of control within religious movements. Never more so than the idea that if you “ Sin” you go to Hell or you will be punished. There is also the idea of Karma; ie what comes around, goes around. There are many ideas and philosophies that exist within different traditions pertaining to the idea of Punishment….

Esu/Eshu/Exu is NOT the Devil

There are so many misconceptions and misinformation regarding our religion. One of the most common which also results in instilling fear, is that Esu ( or Exu Eshu) is the Yoruba version of the Devil. This is a classic case of Western ideas being imposed in a completely different and separate belief system. Eshu is not the Devil, he is the deity of the crossroads. He represents different possibilities and multiple choices. We then are obliged to find ourselves the right way to go. There is always the possibility of choosing between classic Good and Evil scenarios. We all have…

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…

Making Ocha and the Initiation Procedure.

This little blog is directed to anyone who is thinking of taking the step to make Ocha. In particular I will emphasis the year of initiation, the Iyawo year, the so called year in white, What does it mean to make Ocha? Making Ocha refers to the ceremony of Kariocha where the tutelary Orisha of the person is seated in the person’s crown.  The Orisha is aligned with the person’s inner head. The person also receives various Orisha that are born during the ceremony that will have to be looked after and cared for. This is a life long process. …

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…

My View on filming and Photography of the Sacred

FILMING AND PHOTOGRAPHY:   I hold very strong views about the filming and photography of certain things in our religion. In my house,( and I may soon be alone in this, however I am determined to hang on to what I sincerely believe in ) I do not allow the filming or photo taking of anything once a ceremony has started. IE  I allow no filming or taking photos of  and during TAMBORS, GUIROS,  etc. I also do not allow anyone to take photos of my thrones or altars, expect by invitation. WHY is this may you ask?  There are…