Messages from Egun (Ancestors): Psalms 58

Blessed greetings all! I pray you have all been very well.

A while ago, I was sitting with my Egun — many of whom, including my late father (iba e) — were Christians. I keep my father’s Bible with my Egun altar and today was moved to open it and was directed to Psalm 58. This Psalm speaks (quite graphically) about unjust rulers and likens them to “cobras who will not heed the charmer no matter how well he plays”. It also makes reference to the snail, which is one of the animals sacred to my orisa, Obatala, and to a few images that I have recently seen in my dreams.

The advice I take from this and that I share with you today is manifold:

First, let’s examine ourselves: are we oppressing or being oppressed by others? If you are the one being unjust, you are challenged to “check yourself” and to understand that because someone is weaker than you or subordinate to you today doesn’t mean they will stay that way. If you are being treated unfairly, you are challenged to stand up for yourself and believe that, if you are behaving righteously, you can overcome the unfair treatment you are receiving. But it’s up to you to start the process.

Next, the image of the cobra not heeding the charmer speaks to us not heeding advice. Is there something that you have been advised to do — something that you know is right and that you should do — that you have not yet done? Remember that failure to heed good advice can lead to downfall, especially when this advice is related to sensitive areas, like health.

This experience is also conformation of advice from the odù Ifá Oyeku Obara I posted on Facebook a while back, reminding us to pay attention to our dreams. That my Egun would direct me to a passage that highlights my dream images is encouragement to go back and review the dreams for things I may have missed. Perhaps you should do the same with your recent dreams?

Lastly, this speaks to a question presented on Omo Oduduwa Radio a while ago where a caller asked about continuing to integrate Christian items into our spiritual practices despite converting to Ifá-Òrìsà/Lukumi or any other African or Afro-descended tradition. Although I don’t incorporate Christian imagery into my practice of Ifá-Òrìsà tradition, I do keep some Christian items in my Egun space because, as a child of the Diaspora, I pay homage to my many ancestors who were Christian and provide items — like the Bible — that they can use to direct me in their own way. My Egun space is a space for my ancestral spirits to gather, it is their place, not mine, and I keep these items there in their honor.

As well, practicing one religion or spiritual tradition does not mean we cannot draw comfort, wisdom and understanding from another. While I devote the majority of my study to the odù Ifá and their associated wisdom, I appreciate and draw from many bodies of knowledge, including the Qur’an, the Upanishads and the Bible. Divine knowledge, indeed, emanates from many sources!

Adupe Egun, for your support and guidance! May you continue to speak to us and direct us. May you never sleep a forgetful sleep as long as you have children on the earth. Ase.

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