Now that I am a grown-up, I understand that the movie was incredibly sensationalized. However, as crazy as it sounds, I believe that the movie had an element of truth. There are people who get possessed by mysterious entities. Some people may call them demons; others may say they are evil spirits or negative energies. In Yoruba, these spirits are called the ajogan.
Ajogan are demons that attack and take you away from your natural self.
Although I have never heard of any cases where people’s heads starting to spin. I’ve seen people totally lose contact with reality. The ajogan work in two ways, they can either pull you down, or boost you up by giving you a false sense of self.
The ajogan are tricksters and master manipulators.
They will work to blow your head up by stroking your ego. Having your ego stroked is like having your pictures photo-shopped. It starts out with little changes, that aren’t really you. You use the slimming feature to erase pounds off your stomach and thighs. You take out the red-eye, you lighten or darken the picture, and you even start to remove whole people from the frame. However, by doing this, you move farther and farther away from your natural character. And you become oblivious to your flaws and weaknesses.
The ajogan will work to create a dream world for you.
Where you can sleepwalk through life, and never have to address your flaws, mistakes, or weaknesses. Millions of people live their lives this way. However, they cannot sleep forever, one day they are going to have to wake up. When they do, they are confronted with a reality that they simply can’t handle. They are disappointed in life and with themselves, because they hate the way they look in pictures without them being touched up with photo-shop.
The ajogan also work by pulling people down.
People who suffer from depression and feelings of unworthiness are most susceptible to the ajogan. Depression, low self-confidence, and feelings of unworthiness are symptoms of energy not flowing smoothly through the body. In fact, energy gets stale, and the ajogan feed on this energy like vultures eating a dead corpse. The ajogan will bring you down to an ultimate low and turn your life into the “Hell” that is described in Dante’s Inferno.
We can combat the ajogan by staying close to the earth and understanding our true nature.
This means that we need to take the time to reflect and meditate. We must also work to acknowledge our flaws and shortcomings. Some of us need to come to the realization that we are perfect just the way we are!
There are all kinds of wives tells about voodoo and brujeria. As a result, many people become “part-time” believers, flocking to African based religions only when other religions have failed them. This has resulted in people looking for a quick fix, or ways to assuage their immediate needs and desires. This way of thinking is not what Yoruba is about. Yoruba as a religion guides people back to their true nature through practice and initiations.
Getting back to your true nature means aligning your earthly consciousness with your heavenly consciousness.
But so many of us live just to fulfill our immediate needs. We become hustlers, swindlers, liars, and cheaters, without understanding that we have to experience the consequences of both our intentions and actions. If we constantly put out negative energy, we will constantly receive negative energy. This results in the hamster wheel effect, where we re-create the same experiences and situations over and over again until we learn from our mistakes. The initiation process in Yoruba helps us to break the cycles of reincarnation by elevating us to a heavenly consciousness, where we can have direct communication with higher powers.
Of course, these higher powers would be the Orishas.
I like to think of the initiation process as being a journey to enlightenment, or in other words, a way to increase our bandwidth. We all want the ability to be able to “talk” to the Orishas. However, we have to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually in order to do that.
Ilekes is the first process for the novice.
Ilekes are religious beads that mark the first level of commitment made by the novice. Five Ilekes are presented ceremoniously to the initiate, with each one representing a particular Orisha. Initiates are giving a white Illekes for Obatala, black and red for Eshu-Elegba, yellow for Oshun, blue for Yemaya, and red and white for Shango. Receiving the Ilekes gives people limited access to the Orishas. It’s almost like having a cheap cell phone plan. You don’t have a lot of bandwidth or reception, you only get so many minutes, and the signal is weak and unclear.
The second initiation process is receiving the Ajagun or the warriors.
The ajagun are comprised of Elegba, Ogun, Oshoosi, and Oshun. Their function is to protect the initiate from destruction from opposing spiritual forces (ajogan). This initiation process allows you to have better reception. It is like having free nights, weekends, and carry-over minutes.
The third and the fourth stage of initiation deal more with the initiate and their relationship with Orunmila.
The initiate is instructed on how to use the Odu, on how to pray using the Ikin, and on how to call on the Orishas for worldly assistance and spiritual elevation. The Elehan is the last stage in the initiation process where you are deemed ready to serve as a priest/priestess of the religion. This is the state of realignment between your earthly and heavenly consciousness.
In these last stages of development, you have unlimited band-with.
You have good communication with the Orishas because the signal is crisp and clear. It’s like having a plan with unlimited calling, text, and face-to-face communication. The whole concept of initiations in Yoruba is development. The stages of initiations allow you to elevate to points where you are stronger, mentally, physically, and spiritually. The initiations allow you to increase your bandwidth, so you can receive stronger signals, and thus have better communication with the Orishas.
Orunmila, a great prophet who lived approximately 5000 years ago in West Africa, taught the Yoruba people an advanced form of spiritual knowledge and ethics, known as the Odu. The Odu is a collection of 256 verses, each with its own collection of knowledge and wisdom. Many priest use the Odu for divination purposes, for they believe that the practice bridges the gap between the spiritual and physical world. Divination is a process of seeing how the past affects the future. This concept is known in both the Eastern and Western world as karma.
Many people use the word karma pretty loosely.
Suffice it to say that karma is a process where we re-create our experiences until we learn from our mistakes and walk down the path that God has created for us. Many people fail to realize that we carry karma from previous lives. We also carry karma from our lineage and family ties. Priests who interpret the Odu or use the Odu for divinations are looking for particular patterns and or mistakes in past and present lives. Then, they are able to guide initiates and practitioners down the right path to rectify a problem or reoccurring situation. The Odu acts as a tool or a religious script that morally guides people through life.
Many of the participants in Yoruba and other African religions don’t believe in the concept of good or bad.
In fact, the concept of dualities is a rare form of thought that is used mainly in the Western world. African religions operate from a different paradigm. They believe that everything is good and bad. War is good for the people who win because they get the additional resources needed for survival, but bad for the losers, who end up with nothing. Good and bad are on different sides of the same coin, and one cannot exist without the other.
Frederic Wiedermann sums up this concept by saying that Karma is the sum total of the consequences of all actions.
This means that we cannot escape our karma. We must experience the positive and negative consequences of our actions. The Odu is a religious scripture that allows us to get feedback and guidance from a Godly force. The process of divination allows us to become conscious of our mistakes, patterns, and misdeeds, so we can learn from them and stop the cycles of reincarnation.
I’ve attended many seminars and workshops and listened to gurus, leadership experts, priest and priestess all talk about the same thing. They speak about enlightenment, about peace of mind, and awareness. However, many of these people are missing out on one huge concept, degradation.
There is the law of gravity that pulls us down; it keeps us near the earth and from floating away.
However, gravity can be our worst enemy when it comes to self-development. The best way to explain degradation is to imagine going into a seven-story walk up building. Each floor represents a stage of development that you have to pass through in order to reach the top. The top is like the pen house suite. In spiritual terms this pen house suite is a symbolization of completeness, where you are freed from the confines of the physical body. Many mystics believe that reaching the top allows one to tap into innate powers and magical abilities. Others believe that the top is where the soul is free from the wheels of life that forces reincarnation.
The goal is to get to the top. Each level has its own vibrational frequency that you need to master.
As you climb the stairs you become more powerful because the higher up you go the more you can see. However, there is one small problem. The law of degradation will pull you down. It will make it completely difficult if not almost impossible to get to the top. Many people trip, fall, and stumble down the stairs. The higher they are, the harder the fall. Some people fall and can’t get back up again. Others work to dress their wounds and heal before they make an attempt to climb the stairs again. Those who are wounded need to work twice as hard to make up for the ground that was lost.
This happens to many of us when we make bad choices and fall off our path.
The force of gravity sends us tumbling down. But that’s ok. The biggest problem that many of us face is getting up again. Many times, we don’t dress or wounds properly, or give ourselves enough time to heal. So we limp back up the stairs, knowing full well that we are not strong enough to make it to the top. So we keep falling down, over and over again, until we just give up. We can see this with criminals who are repeat offenders and drug addicts.
The only way to combat the law of degradation is to completely heal our wounds.
This means taking the time to reflect and look within. Healing is about acceptance and taking responsibility for our lives. The concept of degradation is further discussed in the fiction book When The Shadows Began To Dance.
They didn’t have microscopes or sophisticated equipment to study matter and atoms. They had something much more powerful, their imaginations. Today, after centuries of disagreement, scientist and spiritualist agree that virtually everything in our world is made out of energy.
Some cultures call it chi, others call it ashé, but all acknowledge the fact that there is a world, a plane of existence that is invisible, naked to the human eye.
Energy in simple terms; is a source of power that shapes our existence. Energy vibrates at its own unique speed. Like-minded organisms vibrate in similar ways, but no two organisms are exactly alike. Energy from opposite spectrums such as male and female, or yin and yang can join together to create an electric charge or spark.
Energy can be physical or subtle.
Physical energy is more stagnant and concrete. While subtle energy is more flowing and invisible. Just think of subtle energy as being the blueprint, or instructions manual used to create physical matter. When something isn’t working properly, we normally refer back to the users manual to see if all the parts fit together naturally. The basis of all energy work is to get the body and soul to work as one harmonic unit.
If the body isn’t working properly, or in extremely bad cases the body is diseased or ill, there is a tremendous misbalance of energy.
Today, prescription drugs and surgery are commonly used to change the vibrational frequencies in the body. Our ancestors were able to alter our physical states by entering into altered states of consciousness. This state allowed them to travel to another plane of existence called the subtle world. By traveling to the subtle world they were able to diagnose pending and reoccurring problems. Some even got instructions on what herbs or remedies to use to cure a certain ailment or disease.
Subtle energy is incredibly important because it can stretch beyond time and space.
It can change form and it can occupy many places at once. Remember, It works as a template for physical matter. Subtle energy actually exists within physical matter, just on a different plane or continuum. There are many ways to enter the subtle world. Many healers will enter into a trance, or conduct a brief meditation. Others may need to be possessed or mounted by a certain spirit and or guide to lead them into the world of the invisible. These are all ways to enter into the subtle world where virtually everything is created!
The first step to really understanding energy, ashé, chi, is to understand that energy is mostly invisible.
We give it instructions on how to operate, and if we are not happy with how our bodies or lives are operating, then we can change it. We can refer back to the users manual and truly understand all the components of our being to evolve to be a single, harmonic unit.