A New Class: Apere ti, Obi

When divining with obi to Elegguá, there is a little-known, almost lost art of interpretation known as apere. Apere is a word from the old Lucumí dialect meaning pattern; and in the context of obi divination these geometric patterns have meaning. It is a little known skill, an art that is all but lost; but it is a skill that adds deeper layers of interpretation to each casting of the coconuts. For those who, like myself, make the casting of obi to Elegguá a weekly practice, or for those who have a prohibition against casting Elegguá’s diloggún for one’s clients, godchildren, or self, this skill is indispensable and adds depth to your readings. It enables the olorisha to have deeper conversations with Elegguá, and it identifies the orisha standing with Elegguá to help overcome, conquer, acquire, or evolve. No longer a silent stone, with apere obi Elegguá has a simple yet powerful way to speak with the olorisha.

On Friday, August 7th, a new ONLINE class begins (5:00 to 6:30 PM EST) focusing on the usage of aperes when casting obi to Elegguá. For this class it is assumed the student has a basic working knowledge of the oracle obi; and only olorishas may attend this course. In the course of eleven weeks we will study the aperes of: Elegguá, Ogún, Ochosi, Babaluaiye, Aganyú, Shango, Obatalá, Oyá, Oshún, and Yemayá. Our first class meeting will be orientation and an introduction to the rules of apere. The remaining weeks, each class is devoted to a study of a different orisha’s apere. The meanings and ebós for not only each apere but also all five positions will be presented. As with all my classes, depending on the needs of the students we might spend extra time together, and, as always, if the class runs over the promised eleven weeks no additional payment is asked of the students.

The derecho for this 2 ½ month course is $200.00. Students who have studied obi divination with me before but want a deeper study of the aperes do get a discount; please ask for the discount when registering for the course.

Email me to reserve your seat: bstuartmyers@gmail.com. Or, send me a private message on Facebook. Upon registration, a non-refundable deposit of $100.00 is required. The remaining balance is due in full 30 days after the class begins.

And, in advance, I’d like to thank you for taking this course. I consider each of my students to be both a blessing and a treasure, and I am grateful that you have selected me to be your teacher.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Diloggún Readings and Spiritual Counseling

As a Lucumí priest (olobatalá) specializing in divination, often I am asked about doing readings and consultations. I do offer these online, using gotomeeting.com as my platform. For a very limited, locally established clientele, I do offer sessions from my home; however, I am not taking new home-based clients at this time. 

If you would like an online consultation with me, please email me at bstuartmyers@gmail.com. The derecho is $50.00, and while you should plan on spending an hour with me I do book appointments two hours apart just in case more time is needed. While I encourage note-taking during our session, I do record the private consultation so you have a permanent record of our conversation. 

Appointment times vary based on my teaching schedule, work schedule, and tutoring sessions. I take only two consultations per day. Please note that if you pay to book an appointment with me and then miss your appointment without prior 24 hour notice, a reschedule is at my discretion. No refund is offered.

Thank you for your interest!

Posted in Uncategorized

An update on classes offered

Lately my email box is crammed with requests for class schedules. Here is an update of what I’m teaching, and which classes have openings for new students. For any questions, a syllabus, or other information please email me at bstuartmyers@gmail.com.

Monday Evenings: 

1. Advanced odu lectures, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

2. Advanced odu lectures, 9:00 PM to 10:30 PM 

Every week these two classes focus on one odu of the diloggún. It is an open-door, revolving class. This means new students can join at any time. The prerequisites for this class include: have ocha made (must be verifiable) and Basic Diloggún Divination. There is no substitute for having your asiento done; however, if you are already a student of odu and have a basic proficiency in casting diloggún, you may challenge this class. You may join at any time: currently we are working through the composites of Ogundá and when those are completed, we move into the composites of Ofún. For more information, please write to me at bstuartmyers@gmail.com 

Tuesday Evenings: 

1. Basic Diloggún Divination, 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM [closed to new registrants]

2. Basic Diloggún Divination, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM [beings June 30th, open to new registrants] 

This is a six month course teaching the skill of casting diloggún, and the art of interpretation using what many refer to as the “tonti” system of interpretation. The 12 basic olodu are taught in this class, along with appropriate modes of interpretation. In chronological order, we cover Okana (1) through Ejila Shebora (12). Two textbooks are required: “The Diloggún” and “Osogbo, Speaking to the Spirits of Misfortune”. Please email me at bstuartmyers@gmail.com for a syllabus and more information.  

Wednesday Evenings: 

1. An Introduction to the Lucumí Faith, 9:00 to 10:30 PM [closed to new registrants] 

This course is designed for aleyos and aborishas. It is an introduction to the Lucumí faith. Think “catechism” for new orisha worshippers. It explores the history, lore, orishas, and responsibilities of the laity in this faith. This class will be repeated in the future; please email me at bstuartmyers@gmail.com to be put on a waiting list.  

Thursday Evenings 

1. Ebós for Working the Orishas [open to new registrants] Please email for information.

1. Basic Diloggún Divination, 7:00 to 8:30 PM [closed to new registrants]

2. Advanced Odu Lectures, 9:00 to 10:30 PM [forthcoming] Please see Monday’s offerings. This is a sister class to Monday night classes. Registration will begin soon; please email me at bstuartmyers@gmail.com. 

Costs: 

The derecho for Basic Diloggún Divination is $400.00.

The derecho for Advanced Odu Lectures is $300.00 for 16 weeks.

The derecho for An Introduction to the Lucumí Faith is $100.00

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The four types of priests in our religion

An oriaté trained by Tomas Romero, Nicolas Valentin Angarica, once wrote that there are four types of olorishas in our faith, and he advised us how to deal with each. The four types of olorishas we have in our communities are: 

1. The olorisha who does not know and does not know that he does not know: he is an imbecile. Run away from him.

2. The olorisha who does not know and knows that he does not know: he is ignorant. Instruct him.

3. The olorisha who knows and does not know that he knows: he is sleeping. Wake him up.

4. The olorisha who knows and knows that he knows, but does not boast that he knows: this is the true sage. Follow him.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Auditing my classes

Even though I’ve tried to keep an open, liberal schedule with my classes, there are many who cannot participate on the days and times that I offer lectures. Many olorishas work evenings and nights, while others do revolving shift-work. Some are in college and their class schedules change every semester. Some have young children, and that makes settling in for an hour and a half class impossible. Well, I think I have these issues solved. In conjunction with patreon.com and YouTube, I have a solution for those who cannot maintain a normal, monthly class schedule.

If you go to patreon.com/ochanilele, you will see that you can be a patron of my work with varying levels of monthly support. There are options for $1.00 a month, $5.00 a month, $25.00 a month, and $50.00 a month. If you want to study divination and odu with me but can’t maintain a regular weekly class schedule, you can become a $50.00 a month patron and you will have private, by invitation-only access to one odu lecture per week. This is for the advanced odu lecture series. Right now we are studying the composites of Ogundá (3), and after the live class finishes all 16 composites of Ogundá, we move into an odu-by-odu study of Ofún (10). Just sign up to be a supporter and you will have a lecture available to you by Tuesday of each week! This option is limited; because it involves a bit of work on my part to get the lectures converted and uploaded, plus set up to be private and by invitation only, this is limited to twenty (20) audit students. Once twenty individuals sign up, that’s it.

Also, at the $50.00 level of support you have access to all my patron-only blogs. Those are wonderful educational opportunities in themselves, so if you’re not interested in my classes you can sign up at the lower levels of support so you can learn from my blogs.

Soon I’ll offer audit-only access to the basic diloggún course; however, they won’t be available until July. When it becomes an option, an appropriate level of support for that six month class will go up on patreon.com/ochanilele.

Thank you so much for being a reader; and if you do choose to become my patron through patreon.com, you’ll have my undying gratitude. Over the years I’ve learned that my readers are a special group, and I thank Olófin for each of you. You are all wonderful!

This is the link: patreon.com/ochanilele. If you click that hyperlink it will open in a new tab, and then you can scroll down to read about the different levels of patronage. And remember: once you sign up, your support is monthly. You can cancel at any time (but I hope you never do)!

Thank you so much!

Ócháni Lele

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Maintaining a blogging schedule is not easy!

It’s been a rough week, and maintaining a blogging schedule is hard work.

For those of you who don’t know, I have a patron supported site here: patreon.com/ochanilele. Three times a week I’m blogging there to benefit those who act as patrons to my work. Monday blogs are simple and open to $1.00 supporters. Wednesday blogs are a bit more thoughtful and are open to $5.00 supporters (they get access to Monday’s blog as well). The best blogs, those that have to do with my specialty, divination, are open to $25.00 supporters (they get access to all my blogs). Your patronage is on a monthly basis. As soon as I get a handle on my three weekly blogs, I’ll be adding other levels of support with some serious perks, so please keep up with my work there.

Besides blogging, what have I been doing?

 

I’m working on two books now. One book is about ashé and its cycle in nature. Last month I began an experimental class with some of my more advanced students. In thought, it was a masters’ class dealing with ebó, its disposal, and the cycle of ashé in nature. But as I began teaching the class I realized that I had more than one class embedded in my idea, and because there is almost nothing written about ashé I had very few options for reading material, and forget about having a textbook. So as this class now studies the actions of the odu Okana through Ejila Shebora in nature, I am outlining and writing a book about ashé itself and how it flows in the natural world. The basis for my work is in two things: the nature of the odu and the nature of the orishas. I’m looking at six months before a proposal is ready, and maybe another two years before the manuscript is complete. As I make significant progress on that work, I’ll post about it here.

The other book I’ve begun is another collection of patakís. Next to divination, storytelling is my strong point, and that’s probably because when divining I’m telling a huge story — the story of the client’s life. I’ve worked with a small collection of patakís from Okana, Ogundá, Obara, and Unle; and by the end of next week I should know, for sure, which family of odu I’m publishing. Once I decide, I’m about two months away from a book proposal and one year away from a complete manuscript.

The rest of my time is devoted to teaching and nursing. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I teach a number of classes at different levels of mastery. An experimental class for aleyos and aborishas starts soon (June 24th), and if that goes well I’ll be working on a more expansive curriculum appropriate for them. And on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday I work part-time in a nursing home to maintain benefits (for me, it’s much cheaper than the affordable care act). 

What are you up to? Let me know! And if you have any greater interest in the projects I’m working on, ask. I’ll be more than happy to keep everyone update.

Ócháni Lele

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

The Birth of the Ibeyi: the Pact of Oshún and Yemayá

My note: I wrote this story when my writing skills were still weak, back in the mid 90s. It appeared in a small booklet that I published with Original Publications titled “The Ibeyi, the Children of Miraculous Birth.” That booklet is long out of print and the rights are mine again; but I want to make sure this material is still available to those who need it. So I’m posting another patakí from that booklet.

Lately I’m very focused on the Ibeyi. I’ve worked with them a lot the past few weeks. In my ita (back in the dark ages!) Yemayá told me that twins were coming to my family. She said that when twins came to the family, everyone related to them by blood would enjoy their blessings, and a new current of life, love, and prosperity would come to a family that had all but fallen apart. It sounded nice, and I smiled. Even though I know ita always unfolds, I wasn’t sold. Obviously I wasn’t having any children; and both of my sisters were done having children. They were raising their families. Well, in March my youngest sister (whose only daughter just turned 18 and started college) gave birth to twins.

Ita never lies. Yemayá’s words never fall on the floor. Maferefun Yemayá! Maferefun Ibeyi.

Celebrate with me the next couple of weeks as I explore the spirituality behind these wonderful orishas.

____________________

Shangó was married, having taken Oba for his wife; she was a proper spouse, attentive to her husband’s needs and always predictable. Yet he was a man of war, virile in nature; soon he grew bored. Oshún soon caught his eye. Each wanted the other desperately, and each thought to seduce the other secretly. It came to pass that the two orishas were lovers, and spent many passionate nights in each other’s arms. Yet not only did Shangó have a wife at home, he also had a kingdom to defend, and in time his duties called him away from both women and into far away lands. Alone, Oshún pined for her lover. Days turned to weeks, and weeks became months – the orisha noticed changes within herself while her lover was away. Her lithe figure grew slowly at first, and then enormously; there was no denying to herself that she was pregnant with Shangó’s child. Not wanting the other orishas to know of their affair, she hid herself away for nine months to bear her child alone. Yet when the pains began and the child was born (a son) she reeled in disbelief as it was quickly followed by a second, a beautiful girl. The joy of birth became dulled by fear and doubt, “I am so young and unwise, too irresponsible to raise a single child. Whatever am I to do with two?” Frightened at the thought of rearing two children, Oshún took her twins secretly, at night, to the house of her friend, Yemayá.

Yemayá was worried when Oshún showed up at her home; the two orishas were close, and not even she had heard from the Oshún during her months of hiding. At first she went to embrace her sister, and then drew back as she saw the two bundles that she was holding. “Oshún,” whispered Yemayá, noticing that the bundles were moving, “what have you there?” The young orisha stepped closer, into the house and the light. Yemayá saw that she held two young infants, recently born. “Children!” she exclaimed. “They’re not human – they’re one of us! Sister, are they yours?” A single tear fell down Oshún’s cheek, and a strange, frightened smile crept over her face. Without a word, the little one’s eyes gave Yemayá the answer she sought.

Oshún sat down with Yemayá and told her about the birth – how she had an affair with an unnamed man, and then in shame and secrecy hid herself away to have the baby alone. Her intentions had been noble: to give birth to the child and raise it, without a father. Yet the birth of twins frightened her. “What will the other orishas think?” asked Oshún. “I am too young for one child; I have no husband, and the father belongs to another woman in marriage. Already I am a bad mother, more concerned with myself than their welfare; how can I raise them alone? I cannot even take care of myself!”

While Oshún had been telling her sister her troubles, Yemayá had held each child in turn; now she sat there with one embraced in each arm, holding them tightly against her breasts. She felt part of her coursing in each of them. She looked in Kaindé’s eyes and saw her sisters eyes, which were the same as her own; yet when she looked in Taewó’s eyes, the resemblance was unmistakable. “My son, Shangó, is the father – is he not?” No word fell from Oshún’s lips; she just stared at her sister and nodded her head.

“Then there is nothing more that needs to be said. We are sisters, you and I, and I will help you raise your children. I will be as a Mother to Taewó and Kaindé, not just their aunt and grandmother as is our true relation; and you, Oshún, will be as their aunt since you are my sister. Yet together we will always know who the true mother is, and as they grow the Ibeyi will know that they have two women who love them dearly, both as a mother loves her children. They will be blessed, for they will have the two of us to guide them and care for them throughout their lives.”

Oshún looked at her sister in thanks; unable to find the words, she began to stammer, “But . . . Shangó . . . the other orishas . . .”

Yemayá, being wise and knowing that her sister came her out of guilt and shame, continued, “My sister, no one but you or I ever needs to know that you are their true Mother. Your relationship with them will be because of me, because you are my sister, and none need ever question why or how you become so close to them. Just as one of my mortal children on earth is often a child of yours and vice versa, so will it be with these children. Claim to be their mother: claim to be their aunt. It matters not. And your secret is always safe with me. Shangó will know that he is their father, as will the entire world, when they see the boy Taewó. Yet none will ever know, especially not Shangó, that you are their biological mother until you are ready to divulge that secret yourself. Thus is our pact made and sealed!”

Oshún kissed her two beautiful children goodbye and goodnight; her tears fell freely over them both. Embracing her sister tightly, she then left the house without a word. Knowing that she had made the right decision did little to soothe her heart – a piece of it went out to each, a part of her own immortal spirit that she would never reclaim. For days, she kept to herself in darkness and secret, filled with sorrow until she heard that her lover, Shangó, had returned from his wars.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments