ancestralvoices:

The United States of Hoodoo

The United States of Hoodoo explores the influence of African spirituality, traditional religions, customs and Culture brought to the Americas by with the people taken during the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade, in American popular culture.
It is written by Darius James and Oliver Hardt and directed by Hardt.

Documentary overview The United States of Hoodoo is a road trip to the sources of black popular culture in America. The film’s main character is African-American writer Darius James who is known for his often bitingly satirical and self-ironic texts on music, film and literature. The film’s story begins when Darius´ world is turned inside out after his father´s death.

Uprooted from his life in Berlin, he unwillingly returns to his childhood home. All that remains from his father is his mask collection and a cardboard box filled with ashes. His father had been a painter and sculptor, his work drawing deeply on manifestations of African-based spirituality.Yet while he lived he fiercely rejected any idea of being inspired by the old gods of Africa.

Back in a house that is now his, but not quite, Darius finds himself confronted with many questions about his own life. In need of answers he sets off on a search, not for his roots but for traces of the spiritual energy that fueled and informed a whole culture.

It is available for digital purchase and download from Amazon.

(Source: hoodoo.stokedfilm.com)

787 notes

yearningforunity:

Sisterhood of the Good Death - Bahia, Brazil
Bahia - Brazil. Sisterhood of descendants of slaves who resisted slavery. 
In the Brazilian state of Bahia, about an hour by car from the better-known city of Salvador, lies the historic city of Cachoeira, where the Irmandade de Nossa Senhora da Boa Morte, Sisterhood of Our Lady of the Good Death, holds their annual mid-August festival. Don’t let the name fool you; there is nothing macabre about this celebration. A unique testament to the strength and endurance of the African Diaspora, Boa Morte is a festival of deep cultural, social, spiritual and religious significance, a joyful expression of life, faith and happiness. 
The Sisterhood is said to be the oldest organization for Women of African Descent in the Americas. It is a vestige of African Secret female societies, and began more than 150 years ago in pre-abolition era Brazil. Brazil had more than four times as many Africans imported to its shores as the United States, with the majority entering the country through Bahia.

yearningforunity:

Sisterhood of the Good Death - Bahia, Brazil

Bahia - Brazil. Sisterhood of descendants of slaves who resisted slavery. 

In the Brazilian state of Bahia, about an hour by car from the better-known city of Salvador, lies the historic city of Cachoeira, where the Irmandade de Nossa Senhora da Boa Morte, Sisterhood of Our Lady of the Good Death, holds their annual mid-August festival. Don’t let the name fool you; there is nothing macabre about this celebration. A unique testament to the strength and endurance of the African Diaspora, Boa Morte is a festival of deep cultural, social, spiritual and religious significance, a joyful expression of life, faith and happiness. 

The Sisterhood is said to be the oldest organization for Women of African Descent in the Americas. It is a vestige of African Secret female societies, and began more than 150 years ago in pre-abolition era Brazil. Brazil had more than four times as many Africans imported to its shores as the United States, with the majority entering the country through Bahia.

2,112 notes

nok-ind:

Osun
Osun (pronounced O-SHUN) Is the Yoruba divinity of love, intimacy, beauty, wealth and diplomacy. She literally is the personification of beauty and sexuality. As the guardian of Oshogbo, Which she retains, to this very day, she holds a unique place in the pantheon of  Yoruba orisa. Yoruba mythology tells how the town of  Oshogbo was founded and survived due to the protection of Osun. The Oshogbo is the last and Largest Orisha grove still standing in Yoruba land (Now known as Nigeria) today. 

Importance in Yoruba culture

According to Yoruba elders versed in ifa, Osun is the “unseen mother present at every gathering”, because Osun is the Yoruba understanding of the cosmological forces of water, moisture, and attraction. Therefore, she is believed to be omnipresent and omnipotent. Her power is represented in another Yoruba proverb which reminds us that “no one is an enemy to water” and therefore everyone has need of and should respect and revere Osun, as well as her followers.

Osun is the force of harmony. Harmony which we see as beauty, feel as love, and experience as ecstasy. She, according to the ancients, was the only female Irunmole amongst the original 16 sent from the spirit realm to create the world. As such, she is revered as “Yeye” - the great mother of us all. When the male Irunmole attempted to subjegate Osun due to her femaleness, she removed her divine energy (called ase by the Yoruba) from the project of creating the world and all subsequent efforts at creation were in vain. It was not until visiting with the Supreme Being, Olodumare, and begging for Osun’s pardon (as advised by Olodumare) that the world could continue to be created. But not before Osun had given birth to a son. This son became Esu/Elegba, the great conduit of ase in the Universe, the eternal and infernal trickster.

Osun is known as Iyalode, the “(explicitly female) chief of the market.” She is also known as Laketi, she who has ears, because of how quickly and effectively she answers prayers. When she possesses her followers, she dances, flirts and then weeps- because no one can love her enough and the world is not as beautiful as she knows it could be.

Osun’s significance

Osun, for all her beauty, sexuality, and wealth, arouses distrust in  many Western women. For Osun men, who reflect her energy, the path is somewhat easier. In one sense, the very power of her movement for quintessential femininity could be seen as an impediment to the movement for women’s equality. Not only is this not true, but (seriously) Osun would never give up her dominance and settle for equality! Osun is an energy force focused on the present  and intimately connected and comfortable with all sensual pleasures. If you were forced to give a one-word description of the energy quality of Osun and her children,  it would be sensuous. 

In Yoruba mythology contains reference after reference to the beauty of Osun, but beauty is often culturally or societally defined. Her children can be short or tall, skinny or fat, young or old, fair or dark,  but they will all have a tangible sensuality that often transcends the current standard of beauty or attractiveness.  Those in touch with that  energy, regardless of their body style, carry themselves and behave in a manner befitting the most beautiful movie stars. If you have ever been at a party where an overweight man or woman, for example, acts as if he or she were the most  handsome or beautiful  creature there,  walks about  exuding charm and the absolute confidence that  you will  be smitten by those charms, you have been in the presence of a child of Osun totally in touch with his or her orisa energy. That energy, that sensuality, is the core and essence of Osun and her children. 

This sensuality is not a casual or hedonistic energy. It helps Osun and her children accomplish the single most important task in the life of Ifa devotees: conceiving and bearing children. The magical moment of conception is made more probable when both participants reach full sexual expression. 

Osun’s sensuality epitomizes the powerful, sexual female that Ifa extols. It is through this transcendent sexuality that conception can take place and our Ori called from heaven to share its next journey with the newly created fetus. In the philosophy of Ifa, children are the greatest single blessing that people can achieve. Though Osun is more than just a conceiver and deliverer of babies, it is this one aspect that places her in a position of prominence in the lives of her children and of all Ifa devotees. And though all orisa can help women who are having trouble conceiving, Osun more than any other is capable of giving children to the childless. 

The sensuality of Osun also offers us an opportunity for transcendence, a chance to be open to the world of spiritual energy through orgasm. During orgasm we experience pure feeling, and afterward we are better able to cope with our routine responsibilities. That, in great measure, is what the world of spiritual energy is all about—it replenishes our energy. 

It might seem that, because of her obvious and overwhelming femininity, Osun would have no male devotees. But that’s not true. There are many male omo Osun. For all her abounding femininity, Osun does carry a male energy component, who is known as Ikoodi Osun. 

He is the messenger of the male sexual energy necessary to complete the act of conception. Male omo Osun represent the same sexual and sensual intensity in male form that daughters of Osun represent in female form. To put it simply, male Osuns are usually quite sensual and are uniquely aware of and responsive to female sensual needs and desires. The true male lover, as opposed to the performer, will likely be a child of Osun. 

Osuns Sensual energy

The sensual energy of Osun is not limited to sex or conception; this same sense of total involvement is what provides Osun’s children with the road map to wealth and love. Ifa understands that money is a necessity for fully exploring and appreciating the beauty and spiritual This sensuality is not a casual or hedonistic energy. It helps Osun and her children accomplish the single most important task in the life of Ifa devotees: conceiving and bearing children. The magical moment of conception is made more probable when both participants reach full sexual expression

The sensual energy of Osun is not limited to sex or conception; this same sense of total involvement is what provides Osun’s children with the road map to wealth and love. Ifa understands that money is a necessity for fully exploring and appreciating the beauty and spiritual prayers to even hope for her forgiveness. Her children have much the same trait. They are easily offended, and once genuinely injured, they will cross you off their list forever. 

Osun both loves her children and provides them with the finest of everything: beautiful clothing, fine food, vintage wine, and colorful jewelry. Their love of fine things has a certain down side as well. Osun men and women must be careful not to overindulge, as extra weight or portliness is always a risk.  Osun is intimately acquainted with and adept at witchcraft. Her children have an almost instinctive ability to work freely in this area as well. Those in touch with their energy will find themselves drawn toward spells and ebos designed to strongly influence the behavior of others. With all the natural allure and sensuality of Osun, witchcraft seems almost superfluous. 

Those who cannot handle flirtatious behavior had better find a mate other than an omo Osun. Though it is not imperative for Osuns to act out the flirtations, they do thrive on constant admiration and attention. In Ifa mythology Osun was originally married to Orunmila but was attracted to and married Sango. In so doing she left Orunmila and took Sango away from his original wife, Oya. It was said Sango built her a glorious brass palace where she bore him the blessing of twins. Since that time brass has been the special metal most associated with Osun. Her children should wear brass bracelets to help connect with her energy. In the same context, children of Osun will seldom get along with children of Oya. In the visceral recesses of time, the injury and hurt felt by Sango’s loyal wife Oya at losing him to Osun has not diminished or faded away. It is an undercurrent that almost invariably will strain any relationship between these two powerful orisa. 

Children of Osun (People who Osun is the Orisha of the their head /Basically people born with predominantly Osun energy)

Osun’s heightened sense of life creates a number of idiosyncratic traits in her children. One of the most perplexing to me is what can be called the “vote syndrome.” Osun’s children, perhaps because of their sensitivity about how other people view them, will invariably ask a host of people their opinion about something the omo Osun is considering doing. They may ask four or five or twenty people the same question, 

“What do you think about … ?” After they have completed their poll, they will do whatever they want or feel is right regardless of the opinions the others expressed. Why then take the vote? Only Osun and her children can answer that question. Osuns favor bright colors, music, dance, and excitement. An omo Osun, tired from the everyday workplace, will find her energy replenished by going out and having a good time. While other orisa seek peace or seclusion as a means of recharging, Osuns can play or dance into the wee hours of the night and awaken refreshed the next morning. For those living with or loving an Osun, understanding this is extremely important. If you try and fetter Osuns you will not only drain their energy, you will create a situation they will eventually leave. 

In the workplace as well, Osuns need excitement or, at the very least, people contact. To place an Osun in a cubicle running a computer for forty hours a week would be the equivalent of an emotional death sentence. When Osuns do not understand this energy or attempt to exist in an inappropriate atmosphere, they become emotionally stressed and physically ill. The worlds of fashion, cosmetics, acting, photography, television, public relations, hairdressing, or modeling are environments in which omo Osun would thrive and grow Children of Osun will love her waters and find themselves able to fill up with her inexhaustible energy by swimming, sailing, or even soaking in a perfumed bath. 

In Africa her followers wear necklaces of brass beads and favor the color yellow. The peacock is symbolic of her beauty and bearing, and five peacock feathers adorn the thrones of Osun. Mirrors and fans, along with shells and brass combs, are among the symbols that cater to and help connect her children with her. Fish are her divine messengers, and the catfish is of particular importance as an ebo or offering. It is believed that the tentacles on each side of the catfish mouth are charged with energy similar to that of the orisa. Honey, both as a symbol for sexuality and for her appetite for it, is a regular offering to Osun. Her children will often go to the water’s edge and slowly pour honey into the lake or stream while asking Osun for the favor they seek. 

Osun Oshogbo Sacred Grove  

The Osun-Osogbo or Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove is a sacred forest along the banks of the Oshun River just outside the city of Osogbo,Osun StateNigeria.

The Osun-Osogbo Grove is among the last of the sacred forests which usually adjoined the edges of most Yoruba cities before extensive urbanization. Every year Osun-Osgogbo festival is celebrated, Osun- worshippers come from all walks of life to celebrate this day.

In recognition of its global significance and its cultural value, the Sacred Grove was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

Legacy

Carried to the new world during the middle passage by descendants of West African diasporic faiths like Santería/Lukumi ( In the Caribbean) and Candomblé (In brazil) this divinity developed in the Americas. In Cuban SanteríaOshun (sometimes spelled Ochún or Ochun) is an Orisha of love, maternity and marriage. She has been syncretized with Our Lady of Charity (La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre), Cuba’s patroness. In Cuban Lukumi tradition, Oshun has many roads, or manifestations. In Brazilian Candomblé KetuShe is worshipped with the name spelled Oxum.

407 notes

kemetic-dreams:

Native American and Afrakan Spirituality

Animism: The belief that the the supreme being lives in all things. Nature is alive and filled with spirits that can communicate. Some energies are agreeable and some disagreeable.

1. Hold the principle that the supreme beings is in all of nature, so one must respect nature in live with nature. Humans are not above nature or animals but coexist with it. E.G. Native Americans would pray to a buffalo before killing it. Noting that one day there spirit will occupy the body and they will understand the reasoning to.


2. Yoruba tradition holds also that there is a cure for everything in the world. Every plant has a cure! And that the ultimate cure is found in self. But one must have patients. Nothing happens instantly!

3. Native afrakans believed that the stars,animals,plants have a direct effect in humans!

4. Nature as a shrine. Njelele shrine, Bulawayo Zimbabwe. Tutuventiwngwu(Hopi ethnic ) Willow Springs

5. Passing scared knowledge,religious rituals and traditions.

6. Dance was a form of prayer. Dance invites the presence of particular spirits, depict the history of a particular spiritual or honor the dead.

7. Masks: Kwele masks of Gabon are used during initiation ceremonies and or at the end of a mourning period
Potlatches commemorate major events in a family history

8. Ancestor Veneration: Death is a mere passage from the human world to the spirit world… In many Afrakan societies the ancestor occupy more devotional attention than god supreme!

9. Beadwork: shows social status

10. Totem poles: Shows social life

11. Mother water!

269 notes

ancestralvoices:

History of Candomblé Candomblé is an African-Brazilian religion. It was born of a people who were taken from their homes in Africa and transplanted to Brazil during the slave trade. A young boy watches as his protector orixas dance before him Initiation ceremony. The religion is a mixture of traditional Yoruba, Fon and Bantu beliefs which originated from different regions in Africa, and it has also incorporated some aspects of the Catholic faith over time. The name itself means ‘dance in honour of the gods’, and music and dance are important parts of Candomblé ceremonies. Candomblé and Catholicism From the earliest days of the slave trade, many Christian slave owners and Church leaders felt it was important to convert the enslaved Africans. This was in order to fulfil their religious obligations but also in the hope of making the enslaved more submissive. Others also argue that enslaved Africans were religiously persecuted in order that they held no connection to a shared past. Although the Church succeeded in many cases, not all Africans converted. Many outwardly practised Christianity but secretly prayed to their own god, gods or ancestor spirits. In Brazil, where Catholicism was popular, adherents of Candomblé saw in the worship of saints a similarity with their own religion. Candomblé practitioners often concealed the sacred symbols of their deities inside their corresponding Catholic saints.
In the segregated communities of America, it was easy to create Catholic religious fraternities where black people would meet with each other. These meetings, however, were actually an opportunity for Candomblé worship to happen and for feasts to be held on special religious days. They were also opportunities for the enslaved to gather and plan rebellions against their masters. Many of the enslaved Africans from Bantu found a shared system of worship with Brazil’s indigenous people and through this connection they re-learned ancestor worship. Persecution and resurgence Candomblé was condemned by the Catholic Church, and followers of the faith were persecuted violently right up through government-led public campaigns and police action. The persecution stopped when a law requiring police permission to hold public ceremonies was scrapped in the 1970s. The religion has surged in popularity in Brazil since then, with as many as two million people professing to follow the faith. It is particularly practised in Salvador da Bahia, in the north east of Brazil. Interestingly, many people from African countries visit Bahia in order to learn more about the faith of their ancestors. For many followers it is not just a matter of religious belief but also of reclaiming the cultural and historical identity which slavery stripped them of. There is also some movement to remove Catholic imagery from worship services, in an attempt to return the faith to its more fundamental origins. READ MORE WITH PHOTOS HERE:http://kwekudee-tripdownthememorylane.blogspot.com/2012/08/candomble-african-traditional-worship.html

ancestralvoices:

History of Candomblé

Candomblé is an African-Brazilian religion. It was born of a people who were taken from their homes in Africa and transplanted to Brazil during the slave trade.
 A young boy watches as his protector orixas dance before him Initiation ceremony.

The religion is a mixture of traditional Yoruba, Fon and Bantu beliefs which originated from different regions in Africa, and it has also incorporated some aspects of the Catholic faith over time.

The name itself means ‘dance in honour of the gods’, and music and dance are important parts of Candomblé ceremonies.
Candomblé and Catholicism

From the earliest days of the slave trade, many Christian slave owners and Church leaders felt it was important to convert the enslaved Africans. This was in order to fulfil their religious obligations but also in the hope of making the enslaved more submissive. Others also argue that enslaved Africans were religiously persecuted in order that they held no connection to a shared past.

Although the Church succeeded in many cases, not all Africans converted. Many outwardly practised Christianity but secretly prayed to their own god, gods or ancestor spirits. In Brazil, where Catholicism was popular, adherents of Candomblé saw in the worship of saints a similarity with their own religion. Candomblé practitioners often concealed the sacred symbols of their deities inside their corresponding Catholic saints.

In the segregated communities of America, it was easy to create Catholic religious fraternities where black people would meet with each other. These meetings, however, were actually an opportunity for Candomblé worship to happen and for feasts to be held on special religious days. They were also opportunities for the enslaved to gather and plan rebellions against their masters.

Many of the enslaved Africans from Bantu found a shared system of worship with Brazil’s indigenous people and through this connection they re-learned ancestor worship.
Persecution and resurgence

Candomblé was condemned by the Catholic Church, and followers of the faith were persecuted violently right up through government-led public campaigns and police action. The persecution stopped when a law requiring police permission to hold public ceremonies was scrapped in the 1970s.

The religion has surged in popularity in Brazil since then, with as many as two million people professing to follow the faith. It is particularly practised in Salvador da Bahia, in the north east of Brazil. Interestingly, many people from African countries visit Bahia in order to learn more about the faith of their ancestors.

For many followers it is not just a matter of religious belief but also of reclaiming the cultural and historical identity which slavery stripped them of.

There is also some movement to remove Catholic imagery from worship services, in an attempt to return the faith to its more fundamental origins.
READ MORE WITH PHOTOS HERE:http://kwekudee-tripdownthememorylane.blogspot.com/2012/08/candomble-african-traditional-worship.html

(Source: )

288 notes

restlessandcr8ive:

In Haitian Vodou, Papa Legba is the intermediary between the loa and humanity. He stands at a spiritual crossroads and gives (or denies) permission to speak with the spirits of Guinee, and is believed to speak all human languages.

restlessandcr8ive:

In Haitian VodouPapa Legba is the intermediary between the loa and humanity. He stands at a spiritual crossroads and gives (or denies) permission to speak with the spirits of Guinee, and is believed to speak all human languages.

162 notes

sarakstar:

The pineal gland

The pineal gland—a small endocrine gland in the brain—has been thought  to be the “seat of the soul” or the spiritual gateway to all realms and  all dimensions. Before reaching this gateway, you must activate the  pineal gland through meditation and other spiritual practices, such as  changes in diet.
 1
Slightly close your eyes, stare at the tip of your nose and slowly raise your gaze to the bridge of your nose.

 2
Sit up with your back straight  or lie down completely flat on your back. Keep your palms to the ceiling  (above your head or on your knees).

 3
Let go of all “thoughts” that  seem conditioned. Acknowledge them if they come up, but push them aside.  Focus on your breathing to clear your mind of all irrelevant thoughts.

 4
Visualize, as intently as  possible, the spiritual body escaping from the physical body through the  pineal gland. This is the first step in directing the energies required  to activate the pineal gland. Eventually, you will feel yourself leave  your physical body to astral project. Often, people hear a “popping”  sound as the spirit exits the physical body.

 5
Practice this meditation on a  daily basis. Set aside a certain time each morning—preferably between 4  a.m. and 6 a.m.—for meditation. The more you practice, the easier it  will be to use your pineal gland.

sarakstar:

The pineal gland

The pineal gland—a small endocrine gland in the brain—has been thought to be the “seat of the soul” or the spiritual gateway to all realms and all dimensions. Before reaching this gateway, you must activate the pineal gland through meditation and other spiritual practices, such as changes in diet.

  • 1

    Slightly close your eyes, stare at the tip of your nose and slowly raise your gaze to the bridge of your nose.

  • 2

    Sit up with your back straight or lie down completely flat on your back. Keep your palms to the ceiling (above your head or on your knees).

  • 3

    Let go of all “thoughts” that seem conditioned. Acknowledge them if they come up, but push them aside. Focus on your breathing to clear your mind of all irrelevant thoughts.

  • 4

    Visualize, as intently as possible, the spiritual body escaping from the physical body through the pineal gland. This is the first step in directing the energies required to activate the pineal gland. Eventually, you will feel yourself leave your physical body to astral project. Often, people hear a “popping” sound as the spirit exits the physical body.

  • 5

    Practice this meditation on a daily basis. Set aside a certain time each morning—preferably between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.—for meditation. The more you practice, the easier it will be to use your pineal gland.


191 notes

xosegold:

6footlonghair:

My natural hair texture after washing my hair loose. 2 years chemical and heat free.

I’ve been natural three years and my hair isn’t even half the length 😭😭😭

xosegold:

6footlonghair:

My natural hair texture after washing my hair loose. 2 years chemical and heat free.

I’ve been natural three years and my hair isn’t even half the length 😭😭😭

139 notes

themaninthegreenshirt:

Ella Fitzgerald performs at Mr Kelly’s nightclub, Chicago, Illinois, 1958

themaninthegreenshirt:

Ella Fitzgerald performs at Mr Kelly’s nightclub, Chicago, Illinois, 1958

3,953 notes