Puerto Rican Parade 2017…

On Sunday, June 11, a young Puerto Rican child will stand on Fifth Avenue in New York City dressed from head to toe in Puerto Rican paraphernalia. Even their face will be painted with a Puerto Rican flag as their small hands feverishly wave the flag that on that day, possibly more than any other…

Ọṣun is my Valentine….

As countless individuals scurry around to find trinkets to represent the love they share for another, I will lay before La Caridad del Cobre and smile. With Her bell firmly in my hand, I will feel my body tingle with each ring made as my hands softly swing it from side to side.  I will…

The Affair….

Next week, many will choose to express amorous feelings towards each other. Couples will exchange gifts as what can be argued as mandated prerequisites for passionate kisses and loving embraces. The history of St. Valentine will not hold as much importance as the tradition of exchanging flowers and devouring chocolate. On the day that society…

World Cancer Day 2017…

Today is recognized as World Cancer Day by millions who seek to raise awareness and education about this disease. Established by the Paris Charter adopted at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millenium in Paris on February 4 2000, the tagline for 2016-2018 is: “We Can. I Can.” In essence, these four simple…

Maferefun Orisha Oya….

Luz, Amor, y Àşę. Today, February 2, the winds of change blow. Countless practitioners of Orisha worship come together to celebrate Orisha Oya and embrace the manifestation of Her energy in their lives. Candles flicker, drums play, and bodies move to the rhythms of resistance that have protected a faith with such vehemence that it…

Year of My Ori….

Coconut water drips down my face and cools more than my flesh…. it cools my mind. I am immersed in the fragrance of the land made fertile by the blood, sweat, and tears of my ancestors. I inhale but am not simply breathing…. Rather, I am ingesting the energy that surrounds me. I am not…

Untitled Orisha Poem….

Omi Tuto Oni Tuto Tuto Laroye Mi querido Esu, pido su bendicion. Pido que su ashe abre los caminos de la consencia. ashe, ashe… May my words be heard by those who normally do not listen. May my presence be felt by those who normally believe that they have grown numb. The boom is not…

A Community in Prayer…

The trials and tribulations associated with our mortal existence often crash upon us with a force that not only threatens to knock us down, but also to keep us down. It is because of this that we must be ever vigilant against the tendencies to stay down. We must remember that we walk on the…

Gracias Papa….

“El Santo le quiere dar Claridad….Claridad, Claridad….El Santo le quiere dar…” The drums beat strongly behind me. From a device that embodies many of the technological advances that have come to exist as social norms for the western world, traditional rhythms are recited and my body responds with instinct. My fingers dance over the keyboard hitting…

The Ride…

Welcome. All aboard. As the train runs on tracks laid by routine thought, I take a moment to get out of the seat that represents my life and walk down the aisles that represent the reality of others. I see images that are in extreme contrast to my own. I see countless individuals deprived of…

Paying for a Service. Not Salvation.

One of the most passionate arguments I have heard regarding the practice of Ifa and/or Santeria is that practitioners are discouraged (to say the least) at the fact that each step of their progress comes with a monetary price. This leads to the creation of an image that their salvation is dependent on their financial…

Its About the Bond, Not the Beads…

Each and every day, individuals adorn themselves with beaded bracelets (known as ildes) and necklaces (known as ellekes) in the hopes of receiving more of the blessings, guidance, protection, and overall ashe of the Orishas and the Eggun. Botanicas (stores selling religious items) are in abundance in major cities such as New York and Miami,…