Listen The First Time

Listen The First Time

I lost my first client…1919354_130738258413_6598384_n

I did my first and last divination for her a few months ago. Last weekend, I got the blow. Her mom called to day that this brilliant, young woman who had so much to offer this world is no longer with us.

She collapsed suddenly and died.

I couldn’t believe it. Still can’t believe it. Her sudden death was yet another reminder that every moment is precious. Can’t take anything, anyone for granted.

How quickly we forget…

Her sudden passing also made me reflect deeply on the work that I do as an Ifa diviner.

You see, from my cultural and spiritual point of view as an Ifa diviner, things didn’t have to turn out this way.

She had been warned…

During the reading Ifa spoke of her health and the need to do ritual to protect it.

Sure, there were other reasons why spiritual work (ebo) was needed and I explained those as well.

But she DID NOT follow through with the rituals, nor did respond to my follow-up email.

Not sure why.

Who knows! Maybe she didn’t have the money! Maybe she didn’t think she was in danger. I clearly recall that health didn’t seem to be a concern when we spoke. She wanted guidance about her career, and her desire to have a baby.

But physically, she felt fine, she said. Sure, she had stress like we all do, but besides that, my client didn’t seem to have any health worries.

The fact that someone who seemed to be so healthy could suddenly die startled me. But it didn’t startle my elders in Africa one bit.

Experience has taught them over and over that when Ifa prescribes ritual medicine, it’s always for a good reason. Even if it doesn’t seem to make logical sense at the time.

Consulting Ifa but not following through with the rituals, is like going to a doctor but not listening to advice nor taking steps to improve your health.

Health issues come up often in my readings!

Given the statistics in our community it’s easy to see why. The report card on African-American health in the U.S. is horrific. Heart disease is the leading killer for ethnic minorities in the U.S. Fifty-percent of African-American women are expected to die from heart disease. One-third of African Americans suffer from high blood pressure. African-Americans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than whites. Cancer is the second leading cause of death for ethnic minorities. African-American women are 36% more likely to die from breast cancer. African-American men are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer than whites.

As I reflect on these statistics, I feel deep gratitude for my elders in Africa and their deep, ancient knowledge. They have helped my family through many health issues that could have been devastating.

I feel honored to be a part of this ancient healing and spiritual tradition. It’s not easy working with clients in the West. African healing systems are not well-respected in the minds of many. Clearly, we have a lot of educating to do.

Working as a team, I know we can help save lives. We are committed to our craft.

But you must be willing to listen the first time.

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James Weeks/Across The King’s River