quote:
Originally posted by Balogun Arinwaka:
Shango, who happens to be the ruler of my ori (head), is the orisha of thunder, lightning and politics.


What is an ori???

quote:
His number is 6.

His colors are red and white.

Shango is one of many Orishas in the pantheon of Yoruba Religion. Orishas are sub-dieties and servants of Olodumare (god).


Balogun



Welcome to the site, but did you introduce yourself???



Peace,
Virtue
Ummm... Just so everyone here knows

I AM NOT TRYING TO BAIT SHANGO...

*background--

of late I've been on message boards, and continuously see this screen name by itself or in some form...

a lot...

this coupled with the fact that on other message boards I've been starting threads regarding other religions..... I've been curious lately and though I can do my own research, I want to hear from people who can tell their "experience" and their "interpretation" of things...

well, whether or not you believe me, I just wanted to put this out there....

sigh..


OshunAuset, Fagunwa do you know something about this???

Peace,
Virtue
Shango is one of the Orisha of the pantheon worshipped and/or honored in the Ifa religion of the Yoruba. I believe that other ethnicities in western Africa have belief systems related to Ifa. Many of the enslaved Africans from that region brought these faiths with them. They pretty much got squashed out of us US blacks, but people who were enslaved in predominantly Catholic-run colonies, like Haiti (France), Cuba (Spain) and Brazil (Portugal) were able to hold onto their Orisha by somewhat disguising them as Catholic saints. Through that, worship of the orisha lives on in the Western Hemisphere.

Shango is the orisha of thunder, and as such he commands kind of a powerful presence. That would be why you see his name reflected in so many people's online screen names. Oshun is another Orisha, and she seems to be one of the more popular Orisha to African-American women who know about the Orisha. There are many others. Maybe I should change my screen name to Obatala. And EbonyRose can be Nana Bukuu. I think they all need some shine. Smile

And that's not out of any disrespect to Ifa, by any means... I am not a practitioner, but I have always felt very drawn to learning about Ifa and all of the Orisha. Just reading about it all has always been a source of uplift for me, even though I have never felt moved to join the faith itself. The entire body of wisdom and faith is full of spirit and energy, and if the belief system reflects the people, then maybe it explains why we've been able to endure so much...

@ Vox--Thank you very much for your reply...I am reading up on Yemoja.. I think I can identify with this Orisha...

I looked up Shango and he's known to be a womanizer, gambler, extremely beautiful and wise Orisha....*cough* ummmm.... and brovas identify with this? lawd, help us...

and Obatala is the King of the Orisha... Wink....



@ ma'am.... I'm still trying to mine through Santeria, Voodoo,and the Catholic integration... and why...

still reading...

@Bro. Balogun-apologies I just noticed you joined in 2005..... and thank you for the link...


Peace,
Virtue
Bro. Balogun, ma'am or Vox

Question.....

Why is catholicism prevalent among Yoruba followers in the Carribean?

I understand this was to maintain the beliefs, but, why is it maintained?

It's a little confusing...

and what is your stance on sacrifice?

How have you witnessed it practiced or not practiced, would you also provide the meaning of such a practice?

And a general question:

How does one who practices Ifa feel about its Dahomey background?


Peace,
Virtue
Catholicism is prevalent among the practitioners whose people had that forced upon them. In some areas Shango refers to a religion that mixes the Yoruba tradition with Protestantism, though. Like in parts of the former English colonies.

For years the Christian saints gave a great cover for the Yoruba gods.

I suppose the mixture just stuck.

But there are people who minimize the Christian elements today. They reject the new names and images and try to practice the religion as it was.

I haven't witnessed sacrifices. I pass no judgment.
Vox its funny you mention Obatala. I am not a practitioner either but i have always felt a connection with the religion and more specifically with Obatala-i was told I possess some of the qualities children of obatala have. He is my favorite orisha. i've dreamed about him several times. i know i mentioned this on here before but i don't know if i "talked" to you specifically about it.
I'm curious, why is there an interest in the religion, but no decision to become a part of it???

Am I missing something?

and what of the invoking of deities..? Is this symbolic? Or do you really believe there is an actual Shango entity???

@ ma'am thank you.... do you know if there is contention among those who continue to use catholic symbolism and those who do not?

What type of sacrifices have you witnessed? Did you understand the reason behind the actions?

Peace,
Virtue
quote:
Originally posted by Balogun Arinwaka:
Shango, who happens to be the ruler of my ori (head), is the orisha of thunder, lightning and politics.

His number is 6.

His colors are red and white.

Shango is one of many Orishas in the pantheon of Yoruba Religion. Orishas are sub-dieties and servants of Olodumare (god).


Balogun


You must be lukumi.
I have to ask, forgive my ignorance but I truly want to learn more about Ifa and Yourban philosophy, is Oludumare an entity (like a god) or is Oludumare an universal law/ideal? It is like Ultimate Reality? Like the Hindu Brahman-Atman or the Buddhist Shunyata or Daoist Dao? Or it is a powerful primordial ruler deity like Kronos or Ahura Mazda?
quote:
Originally posted by virtue:
quote:
Originally posted by Fagunwa:
Oludumare is beyond human comprehension and explanation.


May I ask.... how do you comprehend the uncomprehensible and explain the unexplainable?


sincere curiosity...


Peace,
Virtue


I do not attempt to do so. Sincere answer.
quote:
Originally posted by Fagunwa:

I do not attempt to do so. Sincere answer.


How can you believe in something you cannot comprehend? If it is incomprehensible then it cannot be known....

If it is beyond explanation then it cannot be shared....


How is this possible?

How can you say emphatically that Shango is a deity? If you do not attempt to comprehend or explain His existence?



Peace,
Virtue
quote:
Originally posted by Shango67:
I looked up Shango and he's known to be a womanizer, gambler, extremely beautiful and wise Orisha....*cough* ummmm.... and brovas identify with this? lawd, help us...



*erm* Just felt like reposting this quote...






Peace,
Virtue
quote:
Originally posted by virtue:
quote:
Originally posted by Fagunwa:

I do not attempt to do so. Sincere answer.


How can you believe in something you cannot comprehend? If it is incomprehensible then it cannot be known....

If it is beyond explanation then it cannot be shared....


How is this possible?

How can you say emphatically that Shango is a deity? If you do not attempt to comprehend or explain His existence?



Peace,
Virtue

Virtue,
Fagunwa was responding to the inquiry about Olodumare, not Shango.

Fagunwa,
Your statement had me wondering whether there is a tradition of "negative theology" in Yoruba religion, a la the Cappadocian Fathers or Meister Eckhart in Christianity; Maimonides, Emanuel Levinas, or Jacques Derrida from the "Jewish tradition"; or Avicenna and al-Ghazzali in Islam.
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:

Virtue,
Fagunwa was responding to the inquiry about Olodumare, not Shango.



But Kresge, with the exception of the last, my questions remain.....

How can you believe in something you cannot comprehend? If it is incomprehensible then it cannot be known....

If it is beyond explanation then it cannot be shared....


How is this possible?



Peace,
Virtue
quote:
Originally posted by virtue:
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:

Virtue,
Fagunwa was responding to the inquiry about Olodumare, not Shango.



But Kresge, with the exception of the last, my questions remain.....

How can you believe in something you cannot comprehend? If it is incomprehensible then it cannot be known....

If it is beyond explanation then it cannot be shared....


How is this possible?



Peace,
Virtue


Ms. Virtue

We "comprehend" Oludumare through it's manifestations in our realm i.e. Shango etc. I believe you are a muslim, can you explain allah? Do you really comprehend allah? These are western views of life or religion. No disrespect but I always find it funny when humans say they know god.
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
quote:
Originally posted by virtue:
quote:
Originally posted by Fagunwa:

I do not attempt to do so. Sincere answer.


How can you believe in something you cannot comprehend? If it is incomprehensible then it cannot be known....

If it is beyond explanation then it cannot be shared....


How is this possible?

How can you say emphatically that Shango is a deity? If you do not attempt to comprehend or explain His existence?



Peace,
Virtue

Virtue,
Fagunwa was responding to the inquiry about Olodumare, not Shango.

Fagunwa,
Your statement had me wondering whether there is a tradition of "negative theology" in Yoruba religion, a la the Cappadocian Fathers or Meister Eckhart in Christianity; Maimonides, Emanuel Levinas, or Jacques Derrida from the "Jewish tradition"; or Avicenna and al-Ghazzali in Islam.


Most traditionalists know that Oludumare is "far away" from man, meaning it is beyond man's ability to truly "comprehend" such wonder. We can only comprehend this wonder through it's manifestations in our realm, through the motion of it's works here in the sense realm, where we exist, for the most part as disconnected beings. Disconnected from our higher selves and living in our heads (ori). Those of us in the religion seek through Iwa Pele or good character to connect these two and thereby live a truly spiritual life. It is this Iwa Pele that attracts the divinities (Orisha). I hope this answers the question, if not help me to be clear by going further.
quote:
Originally posted by virtue:
quote:
Originally posted by Shango67:
I looked up Shango and he's known to be a womanizer, gambler, extremely beautiful and wise Orisha....*cough* ummmm.... and brovas identify with this? lawd, help us...



*erm* Just felt like reposting this quote...






Peace,
Virtue


The fourth Alaafin of Oyo's attributes are some of the most misunderstood of all of the Orisha,except for Oshun who is seen as a loose woman which is ridiculous. The stories of the Orisha are messages for us. The santeriaists and the lukumi to a lesser extent have a form of the religion, but not it's true substance. Unfortunately here in the states they are the main voices for what Ifa and it's sacred technology are all about.
quote:
Originally posted by Fagunwa:
quote:
Originally posted by virtue:
quote:
Originally posted by Shango67:
I looked up Shango and he's known to be a womanizer, gambler, extremely beautiful and wise Orisha....*cough* ummmm.... and brovas identify with this? lawd, help us...



*erm* Just felt like reposting this quote...






Peace,
Virtue


The fourth Alaafin of Oyo's attributes are some of the most misunderstood of all of the Orisha,except for Oshun who is seen as a loose woman which is ridiculous. The stories of the Orisha are messages for us. The santeriaists and the lukumi to a lesser extent have a form of the religion, but not it's true substance. Unfortunately here in the states they are the main voices for what Ifa and it's sacred technology are all about.


Forgive me....

That was me being silly with Shango (on this board).... however, after re-reading it....

I realize that it was highly inappropriate....

and verging on disrespectful.... mainly because I took it out of context...

my most sincere and humble apologies....

please...

Peace,
Virtue
quote:
Originally posted by Fagunwa:
Ms. Virtue

We "comprehend" Oludumare through it's manifestations in our realm i.e. Shango etc.


How do you recognize the manifestation? Please explain the misunderstanding I'm having.... because you say Oludumare cannot be comprehended then how can you know when it is manifesting itself?

quote:
I believe you are a muslim, can you explain allah? Do you really comprehend allah?


Yes....

quote:
These are western views of life or religion.


What are western views of life or religion?

quote:
No disrespect but I always find it funny when humans say they know god.


I'm not sure why you made this statement.... my questions were to understand your perspective not to prove I knew god better.... nor did I posit anywhere on this thread that I know god...

until you asked me directly...


Peace,
Virtue
quote:
Originally posted by virtue:
quote:
Originally posted by Fagunwa:
quote:
Originally posted by virtue:
quote:
Originally posted by Shango67:
I looked up Shango and he's known to be a womanizer, gambler, extremely beautiful and wise Orisha....*cough* ummmm.... and brovas identify with this? lawd, help us...



*erm* Just felt like reposting this quote...






Peace,
Virtue


The fourth Alaafin of Oyo's attributes are some of the most misunderstood of all of the Orisha,except for Oshun who is seen as a loose woman which is ridiculous. The stories of the Orisha are messages for us. The santeriaists and the lukumi to a lesser extent have a form of the religion, but not it's true substance. Unfortunately here in the states they are the main voices for what Ifa and it's sacred technology are all about.


Forgive me....

That was me being silly with Shango (on this board).... however, after re-reading it....

I realize that it was highly inappropriate....

and verging on disrespectful.... mainly because I took it out of context...

my most sincere and humble apologies....

please...

Peace,
Virtue


I thank you for the chance to give honor to Shango and to further explain something about the divinities to others.
quote:
Originally posted by Fagunwa:
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
Fagunwa,
Your statement had me wondering whether there is a tradition of "negative theology" in Yoruba religion, a la the Cappadocian Fathers or Meister Eckhart in Christianity; Maimonides, Emanuel Levinas, or Jacques Derrida from the "Jewish tradition"; or Avicenna and al-Ghazzali in Islam.


Most traditionalists know that Oludumare is "far away" from man, meaning it is beyond man's ability to truly "comprehend" such wonder. We can only comprehend this wonder through it's manifestations in our realm, through the motion of it's works here in the sense realm, where we exist, for the most part as disconnected beings. Disconnected from our higher selves and living in our heads (ori). Those of us in the religion seek through Iwa Pele or good character to connect these two and thereby live a truly spiritual life. It is this Iwa Pele that attracts the divinities (Orisha). I hope this answers the question, if not help me to be clear by going further.

Fagunwa,
This is helpful,
This is consistent with another conversation we had regarding Oludumare as transcendent, or "completely other." So called "negative theology" in certain traditions, is a response to the limits of language to describe the divine. It uses the via negativa, negation, finding it more preferential to say what God is not, than what God is, because it is impossible to define, to categorize, God.

Here is a list of apophatic statements that one might find in negative theology, courtesy of Wikipedia

Apophatic description of God

In Negative theology, it is accepted that the Divine is ineffable - that is, humans cannot describe the essence of God - and therefore most descriptions if attempted will be false:

* Neither existence nor nonexistence as we understand it applies to God, i.e., God is beyond existing or not existing. (One cannot say that God exists in the usual sense of the term; nor can we say that God is nonexistent.)
* God is divinely simple. (One should not claim that god is one, or three, or any type of being. All that can be said is, whatever God is, is not multiple independent beings)
* God is not ignorant. (One should not say that God is wise since that word arrogantly implies we know what wise means on a divine scale, whereas we only know what wise means to a human.)
* Likewise, God is not evil. (To say that He can be described by the human word 'good' limits Him to what good means to humans.)
* God is not a creation (but beyond this we do not know how God comes to be)
* God is not conceptually definable in terms of space and location.
* God is not conceptually confinable to assumptions based on time.


Shifting focus for a moment, what do you mean by higher self. What is the nature of human ontology; i.e., what are human beings? Is human beingness unitary, dualistic (mind/body or spirit/body), or perhaps even more fragmented. If it is not unitary, is there a hierarchy; e.g., spirit is higher than material/body.

I apologize to Virtue if this is taking the conversation away from the course you wished to pursue, and am willing to shift it to PM or start another thread.
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:

I apologize to Virtue if this is taking the conversation away from the course you wished to pursue, and am willing to shift it to PM or start another thread.


No... this is natural dialogue... from which I'm learning....

thank you for your consideration.....

please continue....


Peace,
Virtue
I'm loving this thread, been away too long I see. Thank you Kresge for explaining 'negative theology'...because that was a foreign term to me, but the concept isn't.

I don't have much to add to the discussion but this side note...

I attended a Haitian Voudun ceremony for the Saint/Lwa/Orisha Santa Barbara Africana/Erzulie Dandor/Oya this weekend. What was interesting was the attendies that were invited by the Houngan were from Voudun, Santeria, and Ifa(Lukumi influneced and not) communities. I applaud him for bringing us all together. The only complaint I have is about that darn Florida water, it burns like crazy!

Fagunwa, the one ceremony that I would really like to participate in is Candomble. Did the Brazilian form retain more of Ifa in comparrison with Santeria and lukumi, since Brazil has a more recent influx of Yoruba peoples?
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
I'm loving this thread, been away too long I see. Thank you Kresge for explaining 'negative theology'...because that was a foreign term to me, but the concept isn't.

I don't have much to add to the discussion but this side note...

I attended a Haitian Voudun ceremony for the Saint/Lwa/Orisha Santa Barbara Africana/Erzulie Dandor/Oya this weekend. What was interesting was the attendies that were invited by the Houngan were from Voudun, Santeria, and Ifa(Lukumi influneced and not) communities. I applaud him for bringing us all together. The only complaint I have is about that darn Florida water, it burns like crazy!

Fagunwa, the one ceremony that I would really like to participate in is Candomble. Did the Brazilian form retain more of Ifa in comparrison with Santeria and lukumi, since Brazil has a more recent influx of Yoruba peoples?



Brazil retained more of the community based aspect of Ifa. Of course it is nearly inpossible to maintain the family aspects due to the slave trade. I have yet to see a diasporic Ile that has the depth of the sacred technology maintained, but the slave trade is the cause of this. No longer having a connection with elders etc. That said I think it's remarkable how much has been retained and how beautiful the ceremonies are.
Shifting focus for a moment, what do you mean by higher self.

There is another part of you that remains in the space we call heaven. We seek to unite the three parts of us let's call them head, heart and higher mind. First through divination to see what's going on. Second through sacrifice if needed. Third through good character.


What is the nature of human ontology; i.e., what are human beings?

Huamns are we not I.Our individuality is an illusion of western invention. We have lost our reciprocity, we have lost our "way". I like this quote "we are spiritual beings having an earthly experience". Our earthly experience is supposed to be making this a better place than we found it for our families and our communities.


Is human beingness unitary, dualistic (mind/body or spirit/body), or perhaps even more fragmented. If it is not unitary, is there a hierarchy; e.g., spirit is higher than material/body.


I would say that mind and spirit are the same thing! I think that there is no hierarchy that all is one and the attempted seperation is what has humanity in this state. It is bad for africans to think of themselves as outside of the community/family. We see the product of our enslavement in all we do. We as a people have fallen a long way.

I apologize to Virtue if this is taking the conversation away from the course you wished to pursue, and am willing to shift it to PM or start another thread.[/QUOTE]

Please do not take this to PM. I think we need to hear this.
quote:
Originally posted by virtue:
quote:
Originally posted by Fagunwa:
Ms. Virtue

We "comprehend" Oludumare through it's manifestations in our realm i.e. Shango etc.


How do you recognize the manifestation? Please explain the misunderstanding I'm having.... because you say Oludumare cannot be comprehended then how can you know when it is manifesting itself?


Everything that is incarnated in this earthly realm is seen as a manifestation of odu. It has a signature seen as a combination of I's and II's.


quote:
I believe you are a muslim, can you explain allah? Do you really comprehend allah?


Yes....


Then please explain and display your comprehension for us. I would love to learn.



quote:
These are western views of life or religion.



What are western views of life or religion?


That there is the possibility of understanding all that Oludumare or allah is. I have heard preachers speak of having "the mind of god". Misguided in the extreme. That submission is a form of godliness. I could go on but being an intelligent lady I'm sure you understand.


quote:
No disrespect but I always find it funny when humans say they know god.


I'm not sure why you made this statement.... my questions were to understand your perspective not to prove I knew god better.... nor did I posit anywhere on this thread that I know god...

until you asked me directly...


Then you see why I made the statement. I don't know Oludumare except through his signature (odu) in creation. To me he is a wonderful mystery.


Peace,
Virtue
quote:
quote:
I believe you are a muslim, can you explain allah? Do you really comprehend allah? [

Yes....


Then please explain and display your comprehension for us. I would love to learn.




hmmmm...

I'm so used to people being antagonistic.... I'm a little unsure if you are being sarcastic or sincere.... so I will err on the side of what I know of your spirit....

positive...

would you mind if I chew for a bit on the right way to answer you? I don't want you to think I'm avoiding the question....

I'm just not used to being asked....

I'm used to sitting and watching others tell me what they think I believe and getting angry when I speak otherwise...

so, this is refreshing.....

and I'm taken a bit off guard....

you actually asked me... thank you...

if you will allow it, I'd like a moment to think about the best way to say it...


Smile


Peace,
Virtue
quote:
Originally posted by virtue:
quote:
quote:
I believe you are a muslim, can you explain allah? Do you really comprehend allah? [

Yes....


Then please explain and display your comprehension for us. I would love to learn.




hmmmm...

I'm so used to people being antagonistic.... I'm a little unsure if you are being sarcastic or sincere.... so I will err on the side of what I know of your spirit....

positive...

would you mind if I chew for a bit on the right way to answer you? I don't want you to think I'm avoiding the question....

I'm just not used to being asked....

I'm used to sitting and watching others tell me what they think I believe and getting angry when I speak otherwise...

so, this is refreshing.....

and I'm taken a bit off guard....

you actually asked me... thank you...

if you will allow it, I'd like a moment to think about the best way to say it...


Smile


Peace,
Virtue



I am eagerly awaiting your answer.
quote:
Originally posted by Fagunwa:

Huamns are we not I.Our individuality is an illusion of western invention. We have lost our reciprocity, we have lost our "way". I like this quote "we are spiritual beings having an earthly experience". Our earthly experience is supposed to be making this a better place than we found it for our families and our communities...

I think that there is no hierarchy that all is one and the attempted seperation is what has humanity in this state. It is bad for africans to think of themselves as outside of the community/family. We see the product of our enslavement in all we do. We as a people have fallen a long way.

This is quite interesting. The direction of my research deals with challenging the modern notion of "the subject", the autonomous self, "the human."

Ironically, I have gotten more flack from African American scholars of religion than at least some white scholar's who are informed by postmodern theory and methods. AA's are invested in the modern conception of the self, because it is still the dominant one perpetuated by our society as well as I believe they think that it is the basis of power, and the means by which liberation will be achieved.

But I have become more and more convinced that human beingness is social, not private. One of the things that might make my line of argumentation more compelling to this community is to show that such an understanding is consistent with certain African traditions. While AA religionist are often thoroughly modern, they are often simultaneously and ironically suspicious of European postmodern theory. It is often stated that "at the point when we as oppressed people want to claim our subjectivity, subjectivity is being deconstructed." IMHO, they do not see that the kind of subjectivity that is being deconstructed is part of a fiction that arose during the European Enlightenment.

I am always building my proposal bibliography. If you have any titles, I would greatly appreciate them.
Peace....


quote:
That there is the possibility of understanding all that Oludumare or allah is. I have heard preachers speak of having "the mind of god". Misguided in the extreme. That submission is a form of godliness. I could go on but being an intelligent lady I'm sure you understand.


I do not think that one must understand all of what Allah, Oludumare, or even Ausar is in order to have the mind of God.

It is not that the speaker is in possesion of God, but better said they have loss themselves, thereby becoming a manifestion of God in person.


If Oludumare manifests through the creation, when you see the creation you see the Allah...If man loses himsef he becomes a manifestation of Allah,


man becoming strong until he is man no longer...


The key to this is in the manner of submission or surrender of the self.


Kai

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