Updated: Apr 23
The most important aspect of my spiritual journey began in 2016. During that time I completely left Christianity and began my search for the Truth. That search has led me to where I am today as an Ifa devotee and Haitian Vodou practitioner. I know right, what an intriguing duo.
I was probably much like you when I embarked on my spiritual journey in my early 20’s. At that time I was a Bible-believing Christian who professed Jesus Christ as my lord and savior. I knew the Bible from cover to cover. I loved what I deemed to be the “Word of God” at that time in my life. It was a beautiful time. I learned many profound truths during those years and I will forever be grateful for that part of my journey.
THE BLACK MESSIAH
However, my destiny would take me far and wide years later as I began to explore the theology of the black Hebrew Israelites in my early 30’s. I started learning about this group right before I moved to Africa. Though I never formally joined a camp, I became deeply embedded in the teachings of the Hebrew Israelites. I did and still do enjoy listening to the messages that some of these brothers so eloquently share on the streets of Philadelphia and New York.
A few years later, I made yet another move to the UAE. I remained a staunch believer in the Hebrew Israelite teachings throughout the majority of my time in the country. However, something began to change about two-thirds of the way through my stay in the UAE. The Creator started exposing me to different teachings and information that later led me to the truth about Jesus and other Biblical teachings.
I came to realize that many teachings in Christianity were based on African spiritual systems. Likewise, I began to understand that concepts and stories related to the life of Jesus were not all true. Since I was deeply rooted in my faith at the time, it was difficult to fully accept everything that I was being exposed to. It wasn’t until a third overseas move to Qatar that I finally let go of my faith in Christianity.
That was a very difficult time in my life. I literally mourned for about two years over my lost faith in Jesus. However, I never lost faith in a Supreme Creator or Source. I was very confused for about two years until my ancestors started to reveal many things to me.
After I stopped believing in Jesus, I started looking for the truth everywhere. I studied religions from around the world to see if any of them could give me the truth that I was seeking.
What I found was that all of them had a semblance of truth, but none of them were “the truth”. So, I stopped searching for a while. I just prayed to Source and lived my life. I stopped reading religious-based texts and listening to religious/spiritual content. Then, something miraculous happened.
I began to experience almost-daily synchronicities and other spiritual phenomena that I just couldn’t explain. Intuitively, I began knowing things that I shouldn’t have otherwise known about people and things around me. I also started spending significantly more time in prayer and meditation. As I innately embarked on this part of my journey, my ancestors started to reveal themselves to me through various signs and wonders.
They showed me that they had been with me throughout my entire life. They were the ones who had taken me on my physical and spiritual journey. I had been charged with the task of traversing the lands where they had once resided and having the spiritual experiences that they had once had. As my time in Qatar came to a close, I was still a bit confused yet very confident in my mission. I was shown that my task was to bring reconciliation to my entire family line.
So, I came back to the U.S. armed with that mission without any clue as to how I was going to carry it out. But my ancestors have been faithful, they have stayed with me through the long haul. After moving back to the states, I started getting readings and divinations performed through various types of spiritualists (astrologers, shamans, spiritualists, etc.).
All of them revealed that I had Ifa in my bloodline. At that time I knew a little bit about the practice as I had come across it in my studies but I wasn’t too familiar with it. However, all of my spiritual readings indicated that I came from a lineage that had practiced Ifa and that it was my destiny to get back to my ancestral spiritual system. I didn’t ignore the information but I also didn’t jump right into the practice when these things were revealed to me.
I simply continued to pray and ask for guidance. A few months after being told this for the third time I met a Vodou practitioner from Haiti who would forever change the trajectory of my spiritual journey. As we started talking and sharing things about our lives, I realized that he was very serious about his spiritual path just like me. It was also revealed to me that our paths had been divinely aligned. So I asked him to help me get a reading from a manbo (Vodou priestess) and he complied.
My first reading confirmed what my ancestors had told me years ago in Qatar. I was experiencing certain challenges in my life because it was my charge to reconcile my broken family lineage. Without going into too much detail, a curse had been placed on my family line due to some mischievous things that my ancestors had done generations before me. These things have impacted our entire family resulting in a myriad of maladies that needed to be remedied. And, it was my duty to initiate the process for reconciliation and healing.
I also learned that I have Haitian roots. My ancestors actually went to Haiti to help fight during the Haitian revolution. My ancestors also practiced Haitian Vodou, which is why I was led down this path. I had to reconcile our family curse from the source in which it was started.
It was not much of a surprise to learn that my ancestors practiced Vodou, though. I was very well aware that my great paternal grandmother was a prominent hoodoo witch in my hometown. So, I knew that spiritism was definitely in my bloodline.
SERVING THE SPIRITS
After having two more readings performed by oungans (Vodou priests) to confirm the first reading, I completed the reconciliation ritual that was prescribed for me. By the way, it is not advisable to do multiple Vodou divinations with different priests/priestesses for the same issue unless absolutely necessary.
The reason I did three divinations for the same issue is because the first two required me to go to Haiti to get the remedy. It was not possible for me to travel during that time. Traveling to Haiti would have delayed the process by at least six months.
In Vodou, different spiritualists have different levels of power. Some can work remotely, some can’t. In my case, I needed someone who could work remotely and I found what I needed after three divinations. This was the reason for my multiple readings.
This likewise served as a major lesson for me. I got the opportunity to learn some of the inner workings of Vodou by consulting with different manbos and oungans. Subsequent to performing the reconciliation ritual I have continued to practice Haitian Vodou because it is part of my ancestral calling – it is part of my destiny. This likewise was revealed to me through my ancestors.
Being a practitioner of Haitian Vodou gives me the peace, joy, and inspiration that I need to continue my journey. Through the veneration of my ancestors and service to the loa I have been mightily blessed in every area of my life.
My life is by no means perfect and it never will be. It is part of everyone’s destiny to endure trials and tribulations – these are things that help us grow and progress. However, I am able to live a much more effective and impactful life as I answer the call of my ancestral heritage.
RECONCILING THE PAST
The journey hasn’t always been easy as it is filled with nuisances often related to language and cultural differences. But, practicing Haitian Vodou has truly shifted the entire trajectory of my life. I am abundantly grateful for the ability to connect with my ancestral roots. I am also very thankful that I have served as the bridge for reconciling my family’s broken past.
Through my practice, I have also been very blessed to be able to help others. I have served as a liaison for my family and friends who were also looking for answers to their questions. Some of them come to me directly seeking the services of an oungan or manbo because they know that I am connected to the practice. Others are simply looking for direction.
I usually point them to Haitian Vodou because I am aware of the inherent power in this system. I also believe in starting with the ancestors, which is why African-derived systems are usually better for beginners in African spirituality. Systems like Haitian Vodou, hoodoo, Gullah-Geechee, Obeah, etc. tend to place a stronger emphasis on ancestral veneration.
This is very important for those of us who have been disconnected from our ancestral heritage. Many of the problems that we suffer from today are related to our lineage. Oftentimes this is because we have stopped honoring our ancestors in the same way that many African cultures still do. These types of systems help us to re-establish these vital connections.
Through Haitian Vodou, I have seen others get solutions to problems that were related to broken ancestral ties. I likewise continue to get the resolve that I need for ancestral and other issues that impact my life. This is why I practice Haitian Vodou – because Haitian Vodou works.