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Praying for Death

This time of year always brings back bitter sweet memories (yeah I know, it sounds like I’m about to break out into song). Several years ago my life changed and today I find myself, yet again, in the midst of changes that I have no power over to control the outcome.

Sometimes I’d like to believe that if I do incantations the right way, make ebo, smile enough, have good character and do good it will somehow delay the inevitable arrival of death. To literally see death on a person has always been disconcerting, I have never really got used to this and don’t think that I will ever truly will. As I sit here waiting in the advanced imaging suite for one of the greatest loves of my life to finish with their exam, I see death in all of her glorious stages on the terminally ill and those that are teetering between being terminal and having a fighting chance to live longer.

I see the fear, worry and challenges that each individual here is facing and then I see death. It is both interesting and sad for me to be set in the middle of the dance between life and death.

There is a woman here who has prayed to live long enough to she her grandchild born and a man who is very much alone, afraid and remorseful that he chose work over family, there is a little boy here who knows how precious time is and is having a great time making us all laugh.

Death is not cruel, it is the actions of people that is cruel. Death is partner to life. Death is not final. I see her playing her part in the universe maintaining balance and this morning she is reminding me about the importance of living a prayerful life that is filled with as much laughter, love and music as possible. Reminding me to fight for what feeds my soul and makes me happy, makes my loves happy.

I will never be comfortable with death but today, through my tears I am ready to fight for each and every one of my days left and those that I love.

As soon as I get home, I’m going to dance and pray.

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Omo Ogun, His Lie and 30 Orogbo aka The Rewards Received for Obedience.

Bare with me as I recount a true story about a man, his lie and how I learned about how obedience is rewarded.

Let me start off by saying that some motherfuckers are bold as hell!  Bold to the point where no one would blame you if you rolled up to their house, rang the doorbell, punched them in their face and then dropped a bird at their feet.

A man whom I shall call Anthony, called his cousin for a late night Ifa reading about a me. Worried that I was working palo on him, he sent his payment, got his telephone recording app ready and waited for his chance to tell his story.  First a little back story on Anthony, according to him, he was crowned Ogun, a descendent of African Royalty and an all around cool brother, at least this is the version of life fantastic that he told.  Well Mr. I’m the Shit took the steps of downloading my picture and sent it to his Babalawo cousin aka Baba Okeydoke for a reading.

One the night of the reading Baba Okedoke answers the phone and greets Anthony with the following “why are you calling me so late for a reading?”.  Anthony trips over his words and launches into a carefully prepared speech about a spurned woman who lied, manipulated and who is ultimately working Palo on him. The Baba yawned his way through the reading and agreed wholeheartedly with Anthony about me being wicked while never actually doing any type of reading.  Between yawns, food chewing and drink sipping, 24 minutes later, Baba Okeydoke prescribed an ebo of 30 orogbo and 1 rooster to an Orisha that would help Anthony overcome and be victorious over the evil known as the woman in his life.  When Anthony heard the word orogbo, he asked, “what is orge-bo”.  Baba replied “orogbo, you know, kola nuts”.  Anthony says “is that the brown nut thing?”, Baba Okedoke replies yes.  Anthony excitedly tells Cousin Baba that he going to do this ebo and end my wicked reign of terror over his life.

Anthony invigorated from his reading went on to share copies of his reading to prove to all of the doubters that I was a really really bigly bad Palera doing really really bad stuff to the man-boy.

Thing is, he lied and the Babalawo did not do a legitimate reading.

So how did little ole me find out about “Omo Ogun”, his lie and his ebo? I found out because my Egun are who they say they are, Orisha are who they say they are, Mpungo are who they say they are and that recording ended up being played for me and also sent to my inbox.  Imagine listening to a recording and hearing some Basic Billy call you everything but a child of God and asking for a spiritual remedy to stop you in your tracks. I was pissed beyond measure at being accused of things that I didn’t do and felt some kind of way about the bogus reading given by Cousin Baba Okeydoke.  My first thought was to call this low-budget fuckboi and let him know that I did not do any Palo work on him but I could and would so that he wouldn’t be such a liar.  I wanted to confront that Baba for doing nothing more than collecting coin and encouraging a liar to be a liar.  That “reading” was an insult to Iyanifas, Awos and Babalawos that genuienely love Ifa and divine with honesty and integrity.  Through my anger I clearly heard “go to your altar talk it out and do nothing other than pray about it”.  My people, both dead and alive, know that this instruction was against everything that I felt but, I reluctantly complied.

I talked, cursed, ranted and prayed about this situation. Prayed to see the lesson in all of this. Prayed for understanding as to why I couldn’t turn this man’s life upside down.  As I prayed my own words were told to me, “do you not trust what walks with you?”.  Receiving this, I sat myself down and eventually let this situation go.

It has been approximately 14 days from the first moment when my Egun woke me up at 4:00 am telling me to go visit my spiritual sister until yesterday, 6/6/2018 at 9:53 pm when the lessons from this experience came fully to light.

When I was instructed to move, I did so without hesitation.  When I was instructed to stand down and pray, I did so, albeit reluctantly. When I felt move to offer a token of thanks to my entire spiritual frame, I did it with love and to the best of my ability.  The rewards for being obedient and listening, even when I didn’t want to were as follows;

  1. Anthony, called me via video conference with a witness to admit that he lied and apologized;
  2. A Babalawo that I do not know, visited my spiritual sister and exposed everything about Baba Okeydoke  without knowing the backstory;
  3. Any doubts that I had about messages I receive, work that I do, etc. were erased when Spirits delivered messages from known and unknown people to me to say, keep on keeping on daughter, we’ve got you covered;
  4. I was gifted something I needed as a reminder that walking the walk matters. Being honest and having integrity counts;
  5. The most powerful work one can do is pray;
  6. The Divine and all aspects of divinity are alive, real and always on the move;

There will be days that I struggle with my own personal challenges, days that I don’t particularly feel like doing anything remotely spiritual but believe me when I tell you this, if spirit tells me to move, I will be moving so fast my feet won’t even hit the floor!

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My Sister’s Kindness

If you’re lucky you’ll have the pleasure of meeting people who truly embody the light that we all wish to see in everyone we meet.

This week I lost a sister-friend, Bea. I am still in a semi-state of denial and hoping that perhaps if I call her she’ll pick up and say “girl you are crazy”.

I hate losing anything. I especially hate losing those that I care about to the other side. While I am fully aware that death is not the end, when it hits close to home I feel salty, sad and question why.

To know Bea was to know a sweet kindness that many claim to have but lack. She was calm, gentle and kind. She was funny and a great cook. She liked my jokes (which is important if you want to be my friend) and was super smart. Did I mention how kind she was? My friend was kind. Kind to strangers and friends alike. Kind to those who didn’t deserve it. Her kindness was so beautiful that it was unto itself, a form of spirituality. It allowed her to find room for the unlovable and to forgive when forgiveness should not have been an option.

I have found random tears streaming down my face, totally unaware that I was crying these past few days. She visited me in my dreams last week, to prepare me for what was to come. I knew that her time here was coming to an end but, damn it all to hell, I wasn’t ready. Still not ready.

Tears are flowing again as I write this latest blog post. I know she was met by her ancestors and given favor because of her heart, so I take comfort in that.

She showed me, by example, how quiet grace is a virtue and kindness is a balm that one must carry at all times. Tonight I am checking my kindness meter to make sure it is at Bea levels.

Sis, rise up and continue to spread your balm wherever your next chapter takes you. I am going to miss you my dear.

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Black Like Me

As a medium and reader I am privy to personal information about my clients that they would never tell others and on most occasions I learn about information that even the client does not know about from their own ancestors.

Several months ago a man, who I will call Greg (story shared with client’s permission, name and state changed to conceal identity), came to me for a reading because he felt drawn to the Lwa and wanted to know if he as a white man should pursue learning more about the Vodun religion and how could he find more stability in his life.

The reading started off quietly as most of my readings do and then a whole bunch of his father’s family showed up to tell me exactly why Greg had no stability in his life and he felt a draw to an African Traditional Religion. They were upset that Greg was racist towards his own people and did not acknowledge his own Black ancestry.

To say that this reading was going to be interesting for me and startling for him would have been an understatement. His family was slaves and their descendants from Virginia. His grandmother was Black and passed as white. She moved to the northwestern part of the United States, married and raised her family, along with her husband, as white. Greg grew up not personally knowing any minorities and often he took part of taunting of the few Black kids in his school.  As Greg got older he explored several spiritual paths and is now currently in ******** but, the internet and his exposure to other cultures eventually lead him to discover religions such as Vodun, Palo and Lucumi. Vivid dreams as well as various incidents in his life that ********* rituals could not explain or fix, was why he said he felt a pull to Black religions to find answers.

Greg was referred to me for an ancestral reading in 2017 and during our reading I told him that his Black ancestors were not pleased with him and a few of them were causing his roads to close. He was given several suggestions by me to put into place immediately to help alleviate his situation, to start learning more about his family and the religion he was drawn to.  This revelation was, needless to say, a complete shock to him and was met with disbelief and accusations of me being a fraud.  Six months later I received an unexpected “love gift” and thank you for the reading from Greg with a letter explaining what he felt and had subsequently what he went through.  Below is a portion of his letter;

“Dear Ambrozine; I want to apologize to you for the way I behaved when you read for me last year. When you told me that I had Black ancestors, I didn’t believe you and I did not want to. I did an ancestry test and three days after speaking with you I got the result and they matched what you said. I sat with the information you gave me and the DNA result for weeks before going to my mother about what I had learned. My mom thought the result was wrong and she ordered tests from another company for me, my sister, dad and her. When we got the results back a few weeks later, that’s when we discovered that my dad was part black. This has turned my life upside down, it has turned my family upside down. I have many answers but also twice as many questions.”

As I read Greg’s letter, I thought about all of the people who walk around believing that they have exotic features, are a mixture of European and Mediterranean or think they have native in their family line.  I thought about all of the African slaves that had to survive and their descendants that decided to pass for white in an attempt at an easier life. I thought about all of the Indigenous people of this land that had their children taken away from them and placed into institutions to make them stop being a child of this tribe or that tribe. I thought about all of the things done to eradicate Black and Brown, to eradicate our languages, religions, our lives. I thought about the racism that is so deeply rooted and on full display in our country. Then I thought about the moment a white man discovers that the one drop rule does apply when it comes to the viewpoint of the ancestor realm.

The part of me that has to navigate in a world that loves Black and Brown cultures but not our lives, laughed at the irony of a man who truthfully wanted the perceived power that he thought could be found in Vodun to heighten his own magical practice was really being called out and put to task by part of his bloodline.  The part of me that seeks healing in a world that uses the skin tone color chart to determine the haves and the have-nots is looking to egungun and Orisha for the proper steps to take to help those that discover they are Black like me when it comes to Spirit.  I’m thinking out loud, wondering and on some levels am in awe of the universe’s sense of humor.

What a time we are living in, when one can seek out a particular thing only to discover that their journey should start at home.

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What’s in a Name?

In the online spiritual community, everyone knows someone who knows a person that knows someone’s cousin’s best friend’s sister that goes by a name other than their birth name.  In my case I have a few names, one is a name given to me by my parents, two names were given to me by my godfathers after my initiations, one was coined by a colleague as a term of endearment, another name is one that my children call me and the fifth name is what people who don’t like me refer to me as. I wear each name proudly as they all represent me and my unique journey.

When I navigate the strange and most times wonderful world of the online spiritual community I am often struck by the names that people create for themselves. I’m not talking about names given to those of us who have initiated into a religion and had our spiritual names divined on or those who have business names with special meaning but, those names that people think up in a moment of brilliance or ego-laced drunkenness. Names like Oshun Twerk Goddess, Papa Big G Dipstick or Cemetery Whore usually make me shake my head but, every blue moon I come across a name that makes me wonder if the person put any thought into the meaning of their chosen spiritual name. Sister Girl is one such name that has me asking the question, ‘are you serious?’.

When you step into the public arena and hang your shingle out as a rootworker, your name is a very big part of your identity. Choosing a coontastic name like Sister Girl is so deeply insulting that it takes a fair amount of time to realize that a Black woman purposely picked this name. A name that comes from a comedy about “the man” and racism. A name that stinks of the stereotypes Black women fight so hard against. Sister Girl what is you doing, I’m seriously asking?

It’s bad enough that there is a worker that thinks being referred to as a Sister Girl is some how admirable. Why would a grown woman want to refer to herself as a girl in private or in public? Then there is the darker side (pun intended) to this. A “spiritual worker” who did not believe in or understand why BLM is an important movement, who has a track record of calling legit workers for free advice and has now joined an organization in which one of the heads has made known her hatred of African Traditional Religions while profiting off of Black history and dollars this person now wants to spiritually help people. Yeah right, miss me with that bullshit Sister Girl.

Before you start questioning me and saying I am a hater, answer this questions for me, how can someone who does not understand the plight of communities of color be of spiritual assistance? How can someone with a name that is a joke or an insult, depending on the context, be taken seriously as anything? How about Sister Get Your Life Right or Sister Guide as a name instead of having a name that makes images of black-faced mammys come to mind?

Names are important, names identify and names have meaning. How a self-proclaimed spiritual worker doesn’t understand this basic concept is beyond me.

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As The Nganga Turns

On last week’s episode of As The Nganga Turns, the tug-of-war between munanso Casa de Caca and House of Bud heated up when the Yaya of the House of Bud announced her engagement to the Tata of Casa de Caca. Five months pregnant and uncertain of the father, Yaya has lied and said Tata Ain’t Shit is the baby daddy even though she’s been banging the hot ngeyo in her former munanso, House of Bud.

On the other side of town, an initiation gone wrong has left several unsuspecting new initiates fully mounted and Tata Wikipedia has hidden himself in his shrine room in the hopes that he can find an english translation of how to safely dismiss a group of spirits.

Meanwhile, Baba turned rockstar, turned reality show host contemplates airing a live initiation from the from the top of the Empire State Building.

Will Yaya continue profess her love for the 80 year old Tata of Casa de Caca? Will Tata Wikipedia find step-by-step instructions on how to remove spirits before they find his secret stash of 100 year old chamba? Will he find out what fula translates to in english? Will there be a live scratching on top of the Empire State Building? Tune in this week to find out?

Lmao… I crack myself up sometimes and other times I am saddened by the real life As the Nganga Turns that plays out online and via private phone conversations. Some days the online spiritual community is rife with all kinds of drama worthy of its own 24/7 novela. As I scroll through posts and listen to the stories of those who are victims of other people’s amoral and greedy behavior, I ask myself when did spirituality get reduced online popularity contests? When did it go from growth and service to a for-profit corporation and seeing how many people one can sleep with? Perhaps I am a bit naive but I still believe that Spirit, ancestors and living our best lives possible should mean something, should be what we work towards and fight for. Despite what I see and hear, I am going to embrace, hold on and believe in the greater good and do my best to stand on good sound principles. No petty dragging, no deflections, no inflating titles, no private group texts to defame someone who has found out your shady past, no to the things that seem to dominate the spaces where seekers come to learn and network.

If you can remotely see someone in my lamentation dressed as a funny blog post, it’s time to ask yourself some tough questions. Hopefully you cannot relate to this.

Today is March 27, 2018 and I am, going forward, going to focus on the beauty and depth of the religions that I love and leave the soap stars of these here innanets to their own drama.

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When They Tell the Truth…

At least once a day I get a call from someone looking to find out whether or not their lover is really into them or not. I can honestly say that 90% of the time the object of desire is just there for the free Netflix, food and sex. The other 10% of the time the caller is just an annoying toad that is slowly eroding away the sanity of the person that really wants to be with them.

Recently I heard the following “I am only dealing with you because of your spiritual gifts”, damn that was beyond brutally honest. There was no ‘even though you are cute, it’s your gifts that I like’ or ‘let’s be spiritual partners and friends instead of lovers’.

What should a person do when faced with a brutally honest truth like this? Personal experience has taught me that no matter how difficult it may be to sever all ties with this person do so. They are only with you because YOU ENHANCE THEIR LIFE. You are bringing something to the table that they want and even if they bring a little something too, once they have all of your time and talents used to their benefit they are going to move on. There is no magic to make someone genuinely attracted to you, make them genuinely long to be with you. Recognize your worth, know that your gifts are so great that people are out here clamoring to get a piece of it. Be alone and lavish your gifts on you. Spring is here and it is a time of rebirth, move onward and upward, there is no need to stay where you are not wanted. Save your magic for those that truly deserve it.

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Moving with Spirit in Silence: Venting Via Blog!

It is March 12th and it feels like I’ve lived 8 months in 10 weeks. So many things have happened in such a short period of time that I have barely had a moment to rest and collect myself.  Landlords, creditors, clients, etc. do not want to hear that you are sick, tired or stuck in an airport a few thousand miles from home.  Recently, I had a reading from my Baba and was given instructions by Spirit on how to move.  Since recommitting myself to fully live my spiritual life and not just be a practitioner of a particular spirituality, I knew that to follow the life changing advice would be something I could do without question.  To say that I did not initially have my own personal fears and questions about the instructions would be a lie. When I heard first heard what my ancestors and Orisha had to say, I verbally said let’s do this but in my head I said what the hell, are y’all serious?  I have to do what? At the end of the day, I decided without hesitation to move with Spirit and to do so in silence.

Now unto itself this is nothing extraordinary, many people answer the call of spirit and move on it. What was interesting was the reaction of people who felt they had exclusive rights to know the who, what, where, when, why and how’s of my life.  Did I miss the memo that stated I must disclose what I am doing as soon as I know what it is I am supposed to be doing? Did I cut the class where the professor said that one must disclose the information your ancestors give to you, for your benefit, for public consumption?  Surely I missed something because the reaction that I got from elders (yes multiple elders) when I went radio silent for a few weeks while I healed and made changes was at best laughable and at its worst a indictment of true feelings.

Rupaul said the following, “my goal is always to come from a place of love but sometimes you just have to break it down for a motherfucker”. I actually had to break it down for one motherfucker and another motherfucker I simply decided to bow out gracefully rather than to call them out on their hypocrisy and their attempt to garner a confession about my movements and pull me back into their spider web.  Folks must have forgotten that I am a priestess and have been their reader, sounding board and confidant not the other way around.  To say that I was pissed is an understatement, when I went to my altar to pray about what I could have done differently to keep everyone happy the answer I got was a simple question “why keep those happy who do not bring you happiness and elevate you?”.  Why indeed.

Living a spiritually balanced life should be, in theory, something that a person can do without all of the external drama that people bring to the table. Everything from ego, deviant behavior, riding coattails, lies, power tripping and blocking spiritual growth is such a regular thing these days that people are afraid to seek out and explore different spiritual paths to help them live their destiny.  Under no circumstance should any person make demands on you especially when elevated ancestors and/or Orisha have spoken.

Life is too short and the to do list far too long to waste time, energy and build up people that wear titles that they did not earn or have muddied with their personal behavior. Let the tongues wag once this post is read, the only folks I’m worried about appeasing as well as honoring are my ancestors and those that ride hard for me whether they know how I am moving or not.

Waiting to get back to the comfort of my home so I can continue playing catch-up and perhaps get some sleep.  Until then, pray without ceasing and follow the guidance of your ancestors.  For anyone that doesn’t like what you are doing or how you are moving, break it down for them, continue to move silently or just block their asses and DO YOU!

Thank you for letting this antibiotic popping, mile logging, doing readings on the go worker have a bit of your time today.

When your spirits speak do as Sun Tze has advised “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night and then fall like a thunderbolt.”

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When a Priest Leaves Home to Dance with Spirits.

Dancing with Spirits, truly dancing with them, requires that we strip away all of our layers and stand in truth. Even when that truth exposes your fears, your part in ignoring a wrong and/or leaves you feeling vulnerable.

Sometimes we dress the truth up. Give it a wig, makeup and talk pretty to it but, at the end of the day the truth is exactly what it is supposed to be.

There are times when a person will be sidelined and forced to stay still. Forced into a position where one has no choice but to sit and listen to their entire spiritual quad. Having the flu, bronchitis and being exhausted put me in the perfect place for my ancestors to correct and give necessary lessons about dancing with spirits and saying goodbye.

I had grown comfortable in my practice and home. Placed my loyalty, despite misgivings, with people that lacked the desire, ethics and fortitude to align themselves with Olodumare and the divine legions that seek to improve our lives. When presented with an ancestral mirror, I had to look at my own discomfort, silence and part in things that either did not sit right with my spirit and stood in direct opposition to the principals of Spiritual growth, healing and elevation.

As I looked in the ancestral mirror, I thought about what it means to truly serve and stand for what is right without an agenda. Serving and growing even when you may be the only one trying to do what’s best and right from the viewpoint of spirit and not one’s emotions.

It should be an easy choice to say goodbye to those who do wrong, use you or are morally corrupt but, it often takes a person time to walk away with just the clothes on their back.

In an age of quick fixes, title holders looking for rent money via buffet style initiations, sexual predators preaching to the desperate and folks looking for redemption through others once their muse is gone, I have to ask myself, what kind of woman/mother/friend/lover/priest/daughter am I? What do I stand for? Do I serve God, my house or myself?

I willingly asked for and stepped into a beautiful spiritual world. I made the conscious choice to live my spiritual life semi-publicly by teaching and being online and I have been blessed abundantly by this in many ways, so when asked if I would chose the hard and narrow path of truth and doing what’s right versus the easier path paved with likes, shares and fake-love from agenda holders, I paused. Paused to think about the time I stood alone because I spoke up and, then I remembered just how much peace, calm and abundance entered my life at that time. I paused only for a nanosecond because the space where love, charity and laughter resides is far more enriching and rewarding than the current home I have taken temporary residence in.

Once again I find myself on the road with just my dance clothes, heels and makeup on. I’m permanently leaving this home and moving into a house where the dance with Spirits is filled with life and love.

What kind of priest am I? The imperfect kind that listens to what comes from above and below, dances in the rain and tries to do what is right even when everything else seems to be going left. I’m okay with this and am waiting for Spirits to put the next song on.

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Born Again

There are few things in this life that surpass watching a new life enter into this world and take its first breaths.

I have had the good fortune to witness the births of several children (human and fur babies) and I can honestly say that seeing a live birth will forever rank as one of the most beautiful events in my life. Recently, I found myself a witness to another live birth, the birth of an Orisha’s omo.

Though I have witnessed and have participated in more initiations than I care to count, there was something so deeply moving about this particular initiation, I have found my face wet from the tears that I did not know were falling.

This birth was a birth of love and destiny being fulfilled. No crisis, no emergencies, no godchildren making mills, etc.. This was an initiation ordained by Egungun and Orisha, an event filled with the blessings of the ancients and the hopes of descendants yet born. Several days of stepping through the veil and living with love called Orisha.

Every time I think of the new Omo, I cry, laugh and marvel at the complex simplicity of this spiritual birth. I cry because to truly have been held by another’s ancestors and Orisha and invited to their private party is indescribable. To be counted among the few witnesses as the baby opened his eyes, was presented by his Godfather, surrounded by the elements and held lovingly by Sàngo has me longing for better days when everyone can feel the pure joy of being surrounded by love, your physical and spiritual family as well as having Orisha smile at you. If I close my eyes, even for a moment, I can still feel the energy of it all in every cell of my body. I’m longing for more invites to ego-free, love filled and Spirit lead events.

To be loved in heaven and on earth is truly a blessing and tonight, I am hoping that many more people during their lifetime get to experience the blessing of being a witness to life born from love.