My Path To Ocha
I wasn’t looking for Ocha. Oh no, not at all. It started with my first diloggun reading back in 2016. I requested the reading because I had been having extremely vivid dreams connected to spiritual traditions that I knew nothing about. When I confided in my best friend about my dreams she suggested I get a reading from her Padrino. Padrino (godfather) or Madrina (godmother) is what we call the priest or priestess that initiates us into Lukumi. I quickly agreed to consulting her elder as I very much wanted to understand the spiritual awakening I was experiencing. So I made a visit to Las Vegas where my best friend’s ile is located.
I was not prepared for that reading. I don’t think anyone is ever prepared for their first diloggun reading. I don’t know what I expected when I arrived at Padrino’s home, or maybe I anticipated an old man in priestly garb surrounded by altars, fetishes, and dramatic African artifacts. Instead when I knocked on the door I was met by a young, handsome, sassy ass Mexican man in sweatpants and a t-shirt. He welcomed me into his home and instructed me to make myself comfortable while he prepared the space for the reading.
His home was very clean, cozy, and...normal. Very unassuming and not at all what I expected. He eventually ushers me into the Santos room and we sit down. He doesn’t ask me any questions or gather any information from me other than asking for my full name. He then pulls out his mat and cowrie shells and proceeds to read...me...for..filth. When I tell you I was in that chair straight stuck, shocked, and appalled! This man, who I had never met before that day, who had never had any prior information about me, gave me details of my life that he should have never known. It was pretty intense. He even spoke of things that I had never told anyone. I wasn’t ready. Nor was I ready for the conclusion of the reading when I was prescribed the ebbo and told I needed to get initiated. The ebbo I anticipated, but initiation. Say what? I quickly dismiss the initiation and focused on the ebbo. I thanked Padrino, paid the derecho, and prepared to return to Atlanta not giving a second thought to initiation.
That reading changed my life. It definitely sparked something within my core. When I returned to Atlanta the dreams only got more intense, more vivid. I even started dreaming about Padrino. I started studying Orisha, connecting with priests in the community, and learning about African and Diasporic traditional religions. This went on for about a year.
The signs were blaring yet and still not only was I not seeking initiation, I was avoiding it altogether. I didn’t see the point. That is, until my life started to fall apart. At a certain point I began experiencing a level of instability and relationship turmoil that was uncharacteristic of me. I’ve never had an issue getting a job, manifesting money, making something happen, or building relationships with others until then.My situation was bad and had gotten to a point of being unmanageable and overwhelming.
It was obvious I needed to seek counsel again so I reached out to Padrino for another reading. I just so happened to be heading back west to visit family for the winter so the timing was perfect for me to see him. Not only did he agree to schedule another reading but he brought up initiation. I thought to myself, not this again, but at that point I figured, why not? I’m well aware that I tend towards stubborn but things couldn’t get any worse than they already had. Perhaps this was a blessing in disguise, my ancestors way of answering my prayers. Plus Padrino and I had developed a good relationship by then and his ile had a good reputation. So I finally agreed to receive ceremony.
Again, my life was forever changed. I wasn’t looking for Ocha but that didn’t matter because Ocha was clearly looking for me. Through initiation I gained a strong spiritual family and amazing godfather. I was put back on course and in alignment with my spiritual destiny. I was activated! When I returned to Atlanta everything started to immediately change for the better.Things stabilized and my prosperity began to flow again. My communion with the Orishas got stronger as did my mediumship and relationship with my Spirit guides.
Most importantly, I’ve been able to integrate who I am. A lot of personal healing has taken place as a result of my Orisha worship. Not to say this path is easy. It requires you to truly level up, to take responsibility for your actions and growth. The Spirits, ancestors, and your spiritual house will be hard on you at times. They will demand commitment, consistency, respect, humility, spiritual maturity, honesty, and effort. Ain’t no half steppin with these practices. Not if you want the results and blessings that you are meant to have. Everything you receive within these practices are earned through hard work and dedication. I’ve been uncomfortable, ripped open, dismantled, exposed, and made vulnerable in this practice. I’ve had to cease fighting myself and unlearn, relearn, and reprogram so much of what I accepted as Truth. I’ve had to surrender to forces outside of myself while owning the powerful force within myself. And the journey for me has only just started. I have a very long way to go.
I share my story because so many of us are being called to the traditions of our ancestors. A lot of times it starts the way it did in my case - intense dreams, psychic messages, and drastic changes in the lifestyle. It’s a collective awakening within the Diaspora, though the call is not just limited to people of color. However I’ll save that topic for another blog.
Though I am just as anti-religion, non-traditional, and rebellious as they come, even I know when to sit my ass down. I realize that none of this is about me. This is about my ancestors and carrying on my lineage. This is about the awakening and healing of the collective consciousness. It’s about sovereignty.