African Spirituality and Tradition

The Yoruba Creation Story

The Yoruba people of Nigeria discuss the creation story to this day. They discuss the creation of life and the universe itself. It was common among the Yoruba people to quarrel with different city-states. The Yoruba people used to identify with the city-state they lived in rather than their people as a whole. The principal Yoruba city was called Ife. It was considered sacred among the people. The myth behind the Yoruba creation story attempts to explain humanity and its origins. What makes Yoruba gods different from other mythological gods is that they experience human emotions like anger and love.

Characters

To better understand the Yoruba creation story, it is important to learn more about the main characters. These are described below.

  • Olorun is the creator of the sun and the ruler of the sky.
  • Obatala is the creator of the land on Earth and humans. He is Olorun’s favorite god.
  • Olokun is the ruler of the sea.
  • Eshu is the Messenger God.
  • Orunmila is the oldest son of Olorun and is considered the Prophet God.

 

The Story

Now that you have an idea about the different Gods according to the Yoruba people, you will have an easier time understanding the Yoruba creation story. At the beginning of time, our universe only consisted of the wild marshlands, the water, and the sky. It was Obatala who thought that the world could use more. Therefore, he went to ask Olorun for permission to create fields, forests, valleys, and mountains. Thus, Olorun gave Obatala permission to create solid land on the earth.

After, Obatala went to Orunmila. The Prophet God told Obatala that a gold chain is required to reach the waters below from the sky. Hence, Obatala went to the goldsmith to get the chain made. Once the chain was complete, Obatala descended onto the Earth. He carried a snail shell containing sand, a palm nut, a black cat, and a white hen. As Obatala tried to climb down, he quickly realized that his chain was not long enough. Then, Orunmila told Obatala to dump all of the sand and hen onto the earth. As the hen started scratching the sand, it spread it around and formed solid land onto the earth.

Finally, Obatala let go of his chain and fell onto earth. He named the place where he fell down Ife. Then, he planted the palm nut, which sprouted and became a palm tree immediately. Obatala kept the cat as company.

Despite having the cat with him, Obatala still felt lonely. Thus, he started making clay figures in his image. Then, he drank some wine as he got tired. The wine was made from palm tree juice. As he tried to make clay figures while being drunk, he realized that the figures were deformed. Lastly, Olorun breathed life into these figures, which became humans.

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Give Offerings to Your New God or Goddess

Wiccans need to give offerings to their new god or goddess. To start your journey right and show appreciation, one must give an offering. The act of offering something to a god or goddess allows you to show your love, gratitude, or loyalty towards them. Keep in mind that every god and goddess has their own unique preferences. This is why it is important to plan ahead and learn as much as possible about the topic.

Types of Offerings

When you decide to offer something, you should consider the following.

  • Incense
  • Foods
  • Bowl of flowers or herbs
  • Crystal
  • A drawing
  • Stones
  • Poetry
  • Songs
  • Candles
  • An act

Now, it is important that you follow your heart and use your imagination when making an offering. However, it has to be something that your god or goddess likes. Otherwise, they might get upset with you.

Why Make An Offering?

Before we take a close look at how you can make an offering, it is important that you learn why it is important to make an offering. Making offerings to gods and goddesses is at the core of traditional Wiccan rituals.

How Can You Make An Offering?

To make an offering to your new god or goddess, you need to follow the rituals mentioned below.

Erect the Temple

Erecting the temple is the first thing that you need to do to give an offering to your new god or goddess. It is at the core of setting a place of worship in your home. When you set up a temple, you get to connect with the gods and harness energy from them.

Invocation

The next thing that you need to do is invoke the gods. You must invoke the gods or goddesses if you want them to accept your offering. Through the invocation, you get to call your gods into the temple. This is a very important step. It is crucial that you are as honest and sincere as possible in order for your offering to be accepted by them.

Sabbath

Now, you can proceed to the Sabbath. It is a Wiccan ritual that you take seriously. Learn as much about it as possible to ensure that your prayers are accepted. If you do not know what the Sabbath is, it is an individual holiday that is observed for Yule or any other god. It can be a feast day where you eat food.

In addition to the above, you can also sing, perform certain activities, chant, and cast spells along with meditation to achieve the desirable. Make sure to discuss your previous lives and tune into your previous life force.

Giving offerings to your new god as it is extremely important. New Wiccans need to put in the effort to showcase their devotion towards the religion and way of life. There are many things that you can offer to establish a relationship with the god or goddess.

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International Festival of the Dahomean Culture

The Internal Festival of the Dahomean Cultures in the last one of the year, lasting ten days. It takes place in Abomey Benin and celebrates the diversity of Benin.

This festival was established to share the way of life of the Dahomean people. Many of them continue to follow the same lifestyle today that had been followed by their ancestors. This reveals just how committed the people are to holding onto their values. Therefore, to highlight the culture of its people, the country of Benin decided to establish the festival.

Held every year during the month of December, anyone who attends the festival will let you know that they had an incredible time. There is just something about the event that you will not find anywhere else. It transports you to a completely different world. You will be blown away by the experience and will get to learn how the Dahomean people do things.

The Dahomean dance is unique and very fun to watch. If you have never been to West Africa, you will be surprised to see such diversity in the moves. The people take great pride in their local dance and are always happy to show off their skills. You are bound to have an amazing time watching the people dance to a tune that you might have not have ever encountered.

The International Festival of the Dahomean Culture is a festival unlike any other. If you want to attend a different festival, it is the perfect festival for you. It will change your point of view on everything and is well worth your time. Hence, you have to attend it.

The atmosphere is festive. There are different traditional costumes, songs, and dances. Performance of various folk songs and stories of the Dahomey Kingdom from which Benin originates. Because of the intertwined history with neighboring countries, the festival attracts spectators from other West African regions.

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Voodoo Festival of Benin

Benin is easily one of the most diverse countries in all of Arica. It is home to a variety of different cultures and religions. A popular festival that is celebrated across the country is the Voodoo Festival. It is held during the month of January. The festival is a combination of all traditional religions of West Africa. The identity of Benin is very much influenced by Voodoo. The pantheon of goods consists of over 300 deities. The core belief is that just about everything is spirit. It is the main tenet of the religion.

History of the Voodoo Festival of Benin

The Voodoo Festival of Benin was first held more than two decades ago. It has only grown every year. Thousands of tourists and devotees visit Benin to participate in the event. The country is experiencing a revival of the religion. Although the festival is celebrated everywhere in the country, it is most commonly held in the city of Ouida. It is actually an official holiday in Benin.

The origin of the Voodoo Festival of Benin dates back to 1993 when Nicephore Dieudonne Soglo, the President of Benin inaugurated the event to rehabilitate the cultures and traditions of Voodoo. The fact is that the religion is practiced by most Beninese as well as the African diaspora. The main aim behind celebrating the religion was to reclaim African identity and spirituality along with the dignity of black Africans. The festival is celebrated on 10th January..

What Is the Voodoo Festival of Benin Like?

The Voodoo Festival of Benin is unlike anything you might have experienced in your life. During the entire week, Mami Wata the goddess of Water, Zangbeto the guardian of the Night, Kokou the Warrior, Elegbara the Messenger, Gou the god of Iron, and other deities are remembered by carrying out ancestral cult practices. 

The event is observed by thousands of Voodoo adherents, shamans, and traditional chiefs. There are plenty of ceremonies that are conducted. The followers of the religion sing and dance before slaughtering a goat in honor of the deities. There are also consumptions of gin and spirits.

Where Else Is the Voodoo Festival of Benin Celebrated?

The Voodoo Festival of Benin is also practiced in neighboring countries of Nigeria, Togo, and Ghana. 

However, different spellings are used by these countries. The Voodoo religion is unique from other traditional African religions. However, it has travelled to other parts of the world to places like Louisiana, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. Benin is where Voodoo was first introduced. The mysterious religion has remained in its purest form in the country. Estimates reveal that close to 60 percent of the local population follows the Voodoo religion. Thus, it has spilled over into the culture.

The Voodoo Festival of Benin is a truly beautiful festival where the religion truly shines. If you are interested in Voodoo, it is important that you participate in the festival. It will provide you with a better perspective.

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Was a Curse Placed on Me?

The belief that a curse was really put on you is doubtful. It’s not unthinkable, but it is unlikely. Most of the people who think they are cursed don’t want to confront the reality that unpleasant things sometimes happen for no known reason. 99% of the time, a curse has not been placed on you.

Ask yourself this. What did you do to deserve someone’s hatred and rage they would exert such effort and time cursing you? For a curse to actually take hold, it actually takes a lot of energy and magical skill. So, either the individual who’s cursing you is an adept conjurer or witch or is paying off a conjurer/witch good money to curse you for them.

Believe it or not, curses don’t come cheap. Ask yourself this, if someone has magical abilities to do it themselves? Do they have the cash to pay someone to curse you? If the answer is you’re uncertain, then you’re being paranoid. To consider yourself cursed, it takes more than one of these signs of a curse.

1. Seeing an omen with other signs of a curse could support your suspicions. Whether it’s seeing a blackbird or an owl.
2. If you’ve had good luck and then you seem to be experiencing a string of bad luck. Is this bad luck a product to your poor choices in life?
3. If you’re usually a positive, optimistic person, you’re experiencing depressing, maybe even dangerous thoughts. This could be a signal of a curse and that you’re under spiritual attack.
4. The easiest way for someone to curse you is if they have a piece of your personal belongings. If someone’s been in your home lately and something personal is missing, this could be a sign.

5. If you have a recurring dream of someone who is violating your personal space, breaking into your house, even stealing from you, could be a sign you are under psychic or spiritual attack. Your ancestors and guides will alert you.
6. Broken glass in your yard or doorstep can be a sign. Filled bottles containing cursing elements are thrown at an enemy’s front door, doorstep or yard. When it’s broken, the hex is released.
7. If you’re getting unusual or dangerous letters, whether direct or as an email, perhaps that very individual is cursing you. The message itself might be magically energized with negativity.

8. If you find strange things on your property that doesn’t belong to, this could be a clue someone is attempting to curse you.
9. Have you noticed dead or dying animals at your doorstep? Is there an animal that seems to stick around, checking you out more than usual? Maybe your pets come down with an illness or died. This may be another.
10. If you are a healthy individual and start developing an unexplained illness or unforeseen injuries, this may be a curse. Curses can be set to cause someone to become ill and waste away.

Whew!
Whether you are or aren’t being cursed, understand this. Your fear feeds negativity. A curse is maintained by negativity. Don’t encourage fear. You are strong enough to break this cycle. Know this. Believe it.

If you answered yes to more than one sign of curses, you might be under spiritual attack. Ask your guides or ancestors to verify what is taking place through some measures of divination.

Thoroughly cleanse your space as well as yourself. Smudging is always the best means of removing negative entities along with floor washes and sweeps. Following a cleansing of your area and yourself, perform a spiritual cleansing or uncrossing bath.

Understand the curse is broken. Move on with your life. Don’t forget it’s essential to cleanse your space and yourself regularly.

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