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, however, it must be understood that the true power of these items is not accessed through simply making a purchase.
In faiths such as Ifa and Santeria, where ceremonies are conducted and ultimately create a tangible path of growth and spiritual development, the wearing of various necklaces, bracelets, and other articles symbolize the completion of specific ceremonies and/or the receipt of various tools. However, even in this profound aspect of their meaning is the full potential of their power not truly realized.
It is not until the individual understands that the power is not in the tool itself, but rather in the relationship with the Orisha and/or Eggun that the full potential of its power is realized. Tools provide a focal point for an individual. They afford us an opportunity to fill our need for tangible manifestations of the presence of all that we regard as our spiritual guides. Through them, we can – and should – further develop our personal relationship with all of the energies that surround us. Too many times individuals feel that by simply adorning themselves with items, they are abiding by the traditional protocols of their faith and/or establishing new, evolved protocols. However, such a thought process can actually be defined as insulting to one’s faith as they are bypassing the ceremonies and instead resorting to the “power” of cash and simply purchasing the tool that they are attracted to.
Anything can evolve to the status of spiritual tool when we, ourselves, have evolved to the point of sincerely establishing a relationship with our spiritual guides. What we hold in our hands, place around our necks, and/or include in our wardrobe should be additional reminders…not sole resources.
It is about the BOND, not the beads…
Luz, Amor, y Àşę.
©Dr William Q Ross 2017