African Spirituality on the Rise
Some African American,Caribbean and Latin millennials especially women are embracing the ancient practices of Yoruban spirituality. Orisa or Orisha worship existed long before the modern religions of Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Wiccan belief systems many South American religious practices are informed by African tradition. As a matter of fact many Orisha followers are concerned caucasian so-called witches are appropriating African rituals they do not properly understand. Young initiates in Yoruban traditions like vodun receive oral tutelage and hands-on training from elders who learned from those before them who passed on the traditions for centuries. Most women embrace these teachings because they empower women and many modern religions do the opposite or seek to reduce the female to either an archetype (Mother, virgin,whore,crone) or chattel property for men.
A number of Pew Research Center surveys have shown that millennials in the United States – are less religious than older Americans with the exception of black millennials are considerably more religious than others in their generation with one blaring difference. Black millennials embrace spirituality not patriarchal religious doctrine which historically has been used to enslave more blacks than free them. A majority of Black millennials (61%) say they pray daily. In the Trump era the hypocrisy of evangelical Christians has become obvious Christians have supported Nazi’s, pedophiles, and overt racists, and made excuses for rapists, school shootings and child murders, in the interests of maintaining white privilege. Black millennials showed the power their outrage in Alabama when evangelicals who condemned the LGBTQ community voted for accused sexual predator Roy Moore the next. Roy lost on the strength of the black female vote!Dawtas of the Moon is an organisation calling out to ALL WOMEN OF COLOR. They are actively seeking all priestesses, shamans, and healers. and their website www.dawtasofthemoon.org proclaims they are calling all sisters of color from the novice to elder to come to their safe haven for healing and sisterhood.
Safe spaces for Orisha worship and traditional spiritual practices are cropping up everywhere, Oakland California, Baltimore Maryland, Atlanta Georgia, and even Washington D.C. In her Harvard dissertation “I Worship Black Gods”by Lisanne Norman the Author recounts “In post-revolutionary 1959 Cuba, Christopher Oliana and Walter “Serge” King became the first two African Americans to initiate into the Afro-Cuban Lucumi tradition. Upon their return to the United States, they founded first the Shango Temple, and then subsequently the Yoruba Temple in 1960 to teach and share the knowledge with their fellow spiritually seeking African American sisters and brothers of this African-based religion that the descendants of Yoruba slaves in Cuba had managed to preserve for nearly three centuries.”In Nigeria 25 year old Orisha Priestess Omitonade Ifawemimo is a “modern-day sage” according to OZY news site. She is fighting to fight the brainwashing the west has used to disconnect Africans from their spiritual roots and replace them with idols representing the white man as Godlike.
“Ifawemimo’s work is crucial for countering the “stigma, hypocrisy, misunderstanding and demonization of the traditional culture,” the article states. “You cannot run away from your roots,” says the young sage. “When you have a problem, you will go to your pastor: no solution. Your imam: no solution. So the last solution — you will come home.”Many Latinas are familiar with these traditions because At the heart of Ifa and Santeria are the Orishas. A Haven for Millennial’s of the African Diaspora … Oshun is the Yorùbá Orisha (Deity) of the sweet or fresh waters In Beyonce’s video Lemonade she portrayed the essence of Oshun with her flowing mustard yellow gown and raging waters of rebirth. In Brazil, Cuba, Trinidad,Columbia, Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico, New York, Miami and even Haitian Vodou She is worshiped as a Goddess.
The most significant difference is when it comes to Hispanic practitioners they tend to substitute the Yoruba sound ‘j’ for ‘y’ as in their ‘Yemaya’ instead of the African ‘Yemonja’ or ‘meyi’ for ‘meji’. Different African tribes refer to witchcraft differently: the Nyakyusa tribe of East Africa refer to it as a “Python in the belly”In Africa Christianity has made adhering to the ancient beliefs toxic because it was the spiritual leaders of Africa that fought the hardest against colonialism. The poorest areas those with the most need for the oldest teachings are the most oppressive against the resurgence of ancient religions.
The present form of belief in witchcraft in Africa is not traditional but a Europeanized vilification of African tradition, belief system and even natural appearance such as hair and skin color. Everything natural and native to the African was branded evil,ugly and unnatural.Myths of evil spirits, devils and possession were promoted by western missionaries of fundamentalist, particularly Pentecostal, Christian beliefs. It was a con to enrich white invaders and now it is a con for the pastors of independent African churches that identify children or young people as witches (for a fee) and are prepared to “cure” them (for a further fee) by exorcising the evil spirits. If they refuse they are ostracized beaten and at times even killed by their neighbors.Most African politicians do not see the issue of child witches as of primary importance this makes sense considering many are sell-outs to Europe and put their bank accounts at higher importance than their country.