I find myself, for the second time in two years on the edge of disillusionment when it comes to Orisa communities.
Understand me, I do not mean Orisa; I mean human communities of Orisa devotees. And when I say communities, I mean those both offline and online.
I am for the most part, disgusted with the kind of people that seem to populate these communities. So few of them that I have met, or encountered have any honour at all and as for iwa pele (true and noble character) forget about it. To my memory, there have only been a few who I felt were honorable to the core.
It seems as though these communities are rarely driven by spiritual truth, and more often by more corporeal motivations, chief among them financial gain, and at the least petty one up man ship.
I am deeply unimpressed by the spite, the bile, the lack of compassion, the ease and quickness with which people inflict pain and suffering on one another; the penchant towards cult mentalities and most of all, the way in which some of these people discourage personal empowerment.
This thing with ‘elders’, people who are initiated, and people who have been involved in the religion for a number of years… many of them are voracious about demanding respect from all, but rarely do they reciprocate. For them, they can bear no criticism whatsoever, yet are quick to criticise everyone who doesn’t agree or go along with their own game plans.
I have watched, over and over, as Orisa devotees pull down other people’s houses to build their own. I have watched how people contort themselves to be nasty, unkind, unforgiving and to maintain control of others.
One of the biggest breeding grounds for these kind of people I have come across is the Internet. If you are searching for god parents, or searching to learn more about this tradition, it’s easy to say, let me look online for communities of Orisa devotees. This is especially true if you live in towns and cities that are isolated and has no visible Orisa community present.
I wasn’t necessarily looking for god parents on the Internet, but looking for discussion and avenues for growth. What I found for the most part was a cesspool, a morass of spiritual mediocrity masquerading itself as Orisa.
I have come to realise a few things.
Because people know a lot of rituals (or claim to online), and they know a lot about the religion, it’s easy to think that this person can teach you, that you can learn from them. And maybe you can. However, on the Internet, people really aren’t who they seem. In the four years since I started my spiritual journey with Orisa, I have found that even people you meet in the real world, are not what they seem. The Internet only exasperates this further.
In that time, I have joined a number of online forums for Orisa devotees and practitioners and have been consistently disappointed. Most of them devolve into petty arguments about lineage, people take pot shots at each other,
But to me, I don’t want to learn anything from someone who doesn’t have the basic milk of human kindness. I don’t want to learn anything from people who insist on crying down other people so they can feel superior. I am sick of the cliquism, and the way people manipulate and use each others as tools to attack and destroy each other.
I just finished reading your post and I would like to encourage you to continue on your path of the Orisha for many blessings await you. I too, have not have very positive experiences with some people in the Orisha comunity. In my experience, I have found that it is always best to first develop a strong relationship with your Ori and your Orisha. It is through the development of these relationships that you will be guided to the right group of people. Take care.
i so agree wtih your post on this subject. my own similar experiences left me despondent and disappointed. I think omoshango is correct, if you can, do separate the people from the religion. there are a FEW out there who actually walk what they talk.
blessings to you always. orisa bless and watch over you. ifalade
What I have come to realize, is that people cannot have a healthy spirituality without at first being in possession of a healthy psychology. And if we want to be truthful, we in the Afrodescendant community have plenty of reasons for not being psychologically healthy.
Therefore, we may have plenty of psychic gifts, but we will not be able to use them to better our family or community.
It saddens me to read this. I am looking for ways to begin my path and this tradition and there is A LOT of trepidation on my part.