African Magic

Throwing the Bones

There is just something unique about divination. It allows us to connect with the spirit world. Throwing bones is one of the forms of divination that you will enjoy. If you consider throwing the bones and want to know more about them, you need to read on.

What Does Throwing the Bones Even Mean?

Osteomancy is another term for throwing bones. It is an ancient form of divination that originates from Africa. Throwing bones has been used for diving into the past and foretelling the future for generations. Indigenous American and South American tribes also practice the act. Throwing the bones refers to casting a collection of bones, stones, seashells, and other items onto a hard surface. As patterns emerge, messages are read. Each piece of the collection would mean something different depending on where it lands.

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Diloggun and Obi Divination

West African traditions have been followed for centuries, and countless people adhere to them to this very day. Chances are that you have come across Diloggun and Obi Divination. When we talk about Obi Divination, it is a West African system used to foretell the future. It originates from the Yoruba religion and is practiced by New World lineages like the Santeria. Obi readers use four cuts of cowrie shells or four pieces of coconut to answer questions for clients, whereas the African form uses kola nuts.

Obi literally translates to coconut in the Yoruba language. The Lukumi religion considers it to be an Orisha or deific spirit. As for the contemporary hoodoo practice, Obi is used to divine answers. American obi readers even use four coins if kola nuts, coconuts, or cowries are unavailable. Similarly, Diloggun Divination also has African origins. It is commonly practiced among Afro-Caribbean practitioners. However, diviners who use the method tend to be initiated, priests. They employ specific religious techniques and perform complex rituals when casting the cowrie shells.

Use of Coconut
Obi Divination is commonly performed by using coconut. It is an easy and quick form of fortune-telling. Four coconut pieces are cast or thrown to do a reading. Hoodoo adopted Obi readings through contact between African diasporic religions and American spiritual practitioners. It is important to note that Obi readings only provide answers in “Yes” or “No.” The physic reader would hold four coconuts in their hand to tell your fortune. They would pray for the answer and toss the coconuts onto the ground or a mat. The way the coconuts fall would allow them to get the answer that you desire. Coconut pieces will either fall outside up or inside up.

From a mathematical perspective, the toss would generate either of sixteen possible combinations. These would be grouped to provide five possible answers as mentioned below.
Alafia: It happens when 4 white coconut pieces are up. The response is in the affirmative and provides blessings. One can even get more than they requested when they receive such a response. Alafia simply means peace which means that the light will assist you.
Etawa: It occurs when there is 1 dark and 3 white coconut pieces. It means that you would get what you desire. However, you would have to be prepared for delays and must work hard. Etawa can be considered an unstable response as it reveals that the outcome would be dependent on different factors.

Ejife: It occurs when 2 dark and 2 white coconut pieces appear. It is a definite response. However, you would be cautioned not to ask further questions as the Orisha Spirit of Divination would get mad.
Okanran: If there are 3 dark and 1 white coconut pieces, it means “No” and requires more effort from your end.
Oyeku: Finally, if you get 4 dark coconut pieces, it is a firm “No.” Hence, you would require serious spiritual cleansing for getting rid of negative conditions


The Queen of Voodoo: The Legend of Marie Laveau

The Queen of Voodoo: The Legend of Marie Laveau

The Queen of Voodoo: The Legend of Marie Laveau

Anyone interested in New Orleans and its history of voodoo is bound to come across the name “Marie Laveau.” Considered a voodoo queen, you might be wondering if she is as mystical as she is typically portrayed. New Orleans is a city that perfectly mixes the Old World with the New. Most of its residents believe in the supernatural. The legend of Marie Laveau is a popular one. She was a black priestess who possessed breathtaking beauty.

Tremendous Power

Marie Laveau held great power in her community. There are countless rumors of her magical abilities. People visit her grave even today in exchange for a small request and leave tokens. It is impossible to overlook voodoo when we talk about New Orleans. Most people are influenced by the pop-culture perception of voodoo which holds that dolls and zombies are at the heart of voodoo beliefs. However, it is essential to understand that voodoo is a compilation of various West African religions. Religions brought to the Americas by slaves with traditions of indigenous people and the Christianity they adopted. There is more to Marie Laveau than the legend might make you believe.


Born in 1801 to a wealthy mulatto businessman by Charles Laveau and a freed slave by the name of Marguerite, Marie Laveau was the first free person in her family. Her great-grandmother had arrived in New Orleans in 1743 as a slave. Eventually, her grandmother, Catherine, was bought by Francoise Pomet, a successful entrepreneur of color and free woman. She managed to buy her own freedom and established a small home where she went on to have Marie, her granddaughter.
During the 1800s, it was common for free blacks to buy slaves. Laveau even had a few slaves despite being an important figure in the black community and a rather charitable woman. She had a brief marriage with a free mixed black man, after which she had had a relationship with Cristophe Glapion, a noble, white Louisianian man for thirty years. Interracial relationships were a thing in New Orleans during the time, even though there were forbidden to marry by law.

For most of her life, Marie remained a Catholic, and voodoo had no place. Nevertheless, she accepted voodoo, and her front room was filled with offerings, holy images, and candles. She held weekly meetings where the participants were only allowed to wear white. Liquor and food were left as an offering to the spirits. Marie gave advice to her clients on just about everything. Racism and the need for newspapers to publish sensational stories led to most descriptions describing Marie’s ceremonies as drunken orgies. Marie became a prominent position in New Orleans due to her natural theatrics, charitable work, and strong personality. She bailed free women of color, nursed yellow fever patients, and visited prisoners to pray for them.

Marie Laveau died in 1881. However, her popularity only continues to grow. She has been a fantastic inspirational figure for black women in the Deep South. Her rise would have been impossible if it had not been for New Orleans.