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A lot of you have been asking, “Ócháni, what happened to your blog?” Well, life happened. In June I travelled to Chico, California, to visit my best friend Flavia for a four-day weekend, and I never went home. [Except to gather my belongings and give away . . . almost everything I owned!] A cross-country move is a big thing, but I’m used to doing big things. Before driving across country both ways to gather my orishas, clothes, and dogs,  I got married. That’s right: July 20, 2016 I was married in a private ceremony with one witness. And, you guessed it, that witness was Flavia. My last name became Acevedo, and things have been insane ever since.

 

In case you’re wondering, insanity is always a good thing.

 

During all this I began blogging on Patreon. It’s a patron-supported website where writers, artists, and other creative people create exclusive content for those who support us with monthly pledges. It’s a lot of work, but in return for your support you get quality content on subjects you love.

 

And as you all know, can’t no one do odu like I do.

 

For a $25.00 pledge per month, you get exclusive access to content that no one else in the world does. Soon, I’ll be adding vlogs to my blogs, and you guys know that when I’m on cam, I’m a ham.

 

From time to time I’ll be here on the public blog. I’m updating it slowly with information about classes and events. Mostly it will be a way to communicate with readers about events coming up. But if you want the good stuff, you’ll have to pop over to patreon.com/ochanilele. Make that $25.00 pledge per month. You will get access to awesome writings. This month I’m focusing on the orisha Yemayá and some of her roads.

 

Become my patron. Support my most spectacular efforts. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

 

Ócháni Lele [Stuart Acevedo]

Chico, California.

PS: Please don’t make me beg!

Attention: New Online Class, Appropriate for Olorishas and Aborishas with Warriors

Course Title: Working the Warriors, Elegguá, Ogún, Ochosi, and Ósun.

 

Date and Time: It begins October 11, 2016, and meets every Tuesday night online from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM Pacific Standard Time (7:00 PM to 8:30 PM EST).

 

Working the Warriors is a 12 week course appropriate for aborishas who have warriors and for Olorishas (especially if you have godchildren to train). This is a course teaching the patakís supporting the reception of the warriors (Elegguá, Ogún, Ochosi, and Ósun), and it is camino-specific for the attendees. In it we will cover information, patakís, and special ebós for the roads of Elegguá and Ogún represented in the room (Ogún will be time-dependent). Ebós and obras for working the orishas Elegguá, Ogún, and Ochosi will be covered. Please note that an obra is a work, and is not dependent on divination. It is an ebó used when one needs work done. The cost for this three month course is $300.00, and class size is limited to 10 participants.  Due to the sensitive nature of this material, students will not be provided with recordings; however, class recordings will be made and will be viewable for twenty-four hours following each class on YouTube.

 

To register: email BStuartAcevedo@gmail.com OR private message me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ochani.lele

An old journal entry about Obatala

Every year I come back to reread this short essay. This year, I thought I’d share it again, hoping to reach a new crop of aborishas, iyawós, and even some olorishas. The most beautiful orisha in Olódumare’s creation is so often overlooked. At some point in life, no matter what orisha is crowned, everyone is held accountable to Obatalá. And no matter what the transgression or the reason for it, Obatalá always forgives.

Ócháni Lele

December 10, 2007
I was in my ocha room this morning, putting fresh flowers to Obatalá and redecorating her shrine. Each time I add something to her, each time I rearrange her implements, each time I clean her and refresh her, I stand back, and cry. Being her child, I know I am heavily prejudiced, but I can’t think of any orisha more beautiful than Obatalá.

Especially my road of Obatalá, Obánlá.

Today, however, I remembered another iyawó who was about to go to the river. She thought I had Oshún crowned; and while she was waiting for ebó de entrada to begin, she told me, “I really wanted to be crowned with your orisha, Oshún.” Before I could correct her, she continued, “I wanted to be crowned any orisha EXCEPT Obatalá.”

The word “except” plunged into my heart like a sharp knife cuts through butter. Only one word came…

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An old journal entry about Obatala

December 10, 2007
I was in my ocha room this morning, putting fresh flowers to Obatalá and redecorating her shrine. Each time I add something to her, each time I rearrange her implements, each time I clean her and refresh her, I stand back, and cry. Being her child, I know I am heavily prejudiced, but I can’t think of any orisha more beautiful than Obatalá.

Especially my road of Obatalá, Obánlá.

Today, however, I remembered another iyawó who was about to go to the river. She thought I had Oshún crowned; and while she was waiting for ebó de entrada to begin, she told me, “I really wanted to be crowned with your orisha, Oshún.” Before I could correct her, she continued, “I wanted to be crowned any orisha EXCEPT Obatalá.”

The word “except” plunged into my heart like a sharp knife cuts through butter. Only one word came out of my mouth, “Why?”

She, as many I have met before her, lamented the fact that while Obatalá was a great orisha (“they all have wonderful ashé,” she said, as if she knew what ashé was), he was still a “boring old man.” She went on and on about how colorful the other orishas were, and how much fun they were. I listened until she was done.

And then, I corrected her.

I told her that Obatalá was more than an old man. He was a young man. This she knew.

“But did you know that Obatalá is also . . . a woman? I have a female Obatalá crowned.”

The iyawó listened as I explained to her that out of all the orishas, none knew what it was to truly create save Obatalá. Obatalá created all the heads in heaven; he crafted all the bodies on earth. Obatalá knew what it was like to be drunk; Obatalá even knew what it was like to be high. Obatalá knew cold, hard logic, and he also knew the throes of madness.

Obatalá knew what it was like to be murdered; and, Obatalá knew what it was like . . . to murder. He knew passion. He knew rage. He knew heartache. He knew despair. He knew war.

He created war.

But SHE . . . also knew what it was like to be a young girl. She knew what it was like to be an old woman. She knew what it was like to be a virgin; and, she knew what it was like to be a whore, to use her body to get exactly what she wanted.

She knew what it was like to be young and locked in a loveless, sexless marriage to an older man, and, yes, she knew the pleasures of sexual ecstasy.

And while other orishas might control the moment of conception, it was Obatalá who reached into the womb to mold and guide the new life to birth.

“What does Obatalá NOT know?” I asked the iyawó. “What does she NOT do?”

Before she could answer, they came to take her to do ebó de entrada. I never found out if I changed her mind, or if she ever came to love Obatalá as embracing the full spectrum of divine and human experience. But I do know one thing . . .

Those who have Obatalá crowned are among the most blessed in this religion. At the end of the day, when the other orishas fail us, or even turn their backs on us, it is Obatalá who is the most forgiving, and it is to her . . . or him . . . that all of us must one day turn to for help.

Maferefún Obatalá!

The Basics of Lucumí Divination

On Wednesday, June 15, a new online class begins: The Basics of Lucumí Divination. This is an online course open to olorishas. I use gotomeeting.com as our classroom. There are two learning objectives: teaching the techniques of casting and interpreting obí (the coconut oracle) in a ritual context, and teaching the techniques for casting diloggún. Basic interpretive skills for the diloggún are taught in a separate class.

Instructor: Ócháni Lele (B. Stuart Myers); bstuartmyers@gmail.com.

 Textbook: The Secrets of Afro-Cuban Divination (Destiny Books, 2000). Please note that this textbook is required of all students. I prefer that everyone have a hard copy, not an eBook copy.

 Obi, Oracle of Cuban Santería (Destiny Books, 2001). Please note that this textbook is required of all students. I prefer that everyone have a hard copy, not an eBook copy.

 Recommended texts: For this class, I suggest reading Osogbo: Speaking to the Spirits of Misfortune (Destiny Books, 2014).

 For additional reading, I suggest Teachings of the Santería Gods (Destiny Books, 2010) and Diloggún Tales of the Natural World (Destiny Books, 2011). These books are recommended but not required; they are merely suggestions. Remember: no one has ever dropped dead from reading a book. We are here to expand our minds and learn. I provide additional reading and resource material throughout the course.

 Length of course: the core curriculum consists of thirteen weeks. I have another three weeks booked for you all because, depending on your interests and aptitudes, we may venture into some Lucumí cosmology, ontology, and philosophy. Also, depending on the needs of the class, we might be together a bit longer. It depends on how well we flow in sync with the syllabus, and it depends on how much work you put into your studies. The more you give me as students, the more I give you as your teacher.

 Cost: $250.00

Class Objectives: There are two major objectives in this class: to give students the ability to cast obi in a ritual context and to give students the skills needed to cast diloggún. Interpretive skills for obi are covered in this class; however, interpretive skills for diloggún will be covered in a separate class

Animal Recovery Mission: Their Vendetta

Lawsuit 1

Lawsuit 2

 

As promised, the filing of Animal Recovery Mission against Rooterville, one of the animal havens for the animals they confiscate from family farms. It seems having a poor opinion of A.R.M. lands you in court. Read the documents . . . and give them some critical thought. Some interesting allegations against them were allegedly made.

 

Animal Recovery Mission: Lawsuit Alert

Look what I found. Back in 2015, A.R.M. filed a libel/slander lawsuit against Rooterville. It’s for an amount greater than $15,000. It’s over the condition of the animals from the Coco Farm Raid. And the paperwork is very interesting. I’ll be posting the paperwork soon.

ANIMAL RECOVERY MISSION INC VS ROOTERVILLE A SANCTUARY INC ET AL

Local Case Number: 2015-015148-CA-01

Filing Date: 07/06/2015

State Case Number: 132015CA015148000001

Case Type: Contract & Indebtedness (Greater than $15,000)

Consolidated Case No.: N/A

Judicial Section: CA22