Comments widget out of sight

February 28, 2013 by · Comments Off on Comments widget out of sight
Filed under: Using this website 

public-article-balk

I have, kind of to my own pleasant surprise, figured out a way to remove the “comments widget” in the right hand sidebar from the sight of non-members AKA people who are not logged in. Now only members can see that widget and the member names associated with it. Yet another safety measure! More anonymity… which is of course sad because we need it, but good because we have it!

By the way, it shouldn’t and indeed doesn’t make any difference for the comments themselves, of course. Members can comment on all posts, both the public ones and the restricted ones. Posting a comment on a public page/blogpost is a deliberate choice, including the fact that your name appears with the comment.


New Odu Portal

February 27, 2013 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: Using this website 

public-article-balk

Brenda Beek, who is the artistically creative half of the quite remarkable Blabla-Omolet team, has replaced the two long dropdown Odu menus with a good looking Odu Portal. It’s not only easier to work with than the previous version… but also, just like Brenda herself looks better than me, her menu looks better than mine (wide grin)!

Odu Portal


Ifa Divination Lesson 5

February 20, 2013 by · 10 Comments
Filed under: Ifa divination lessons 

members-only-balk

Tap and Fly

Ifa-Divination-LessonsAfter the opening invocation for Ifa divination, I take the four shells in my right fist with the knuckles of which I tap on the floor (mat, table) once, and then “let fly”. This “tap” marks the boundary between what in a slightly melodramatic way could be called “secular time and sacred time”, in other words: after the knuckles have tapped the floor the shells are charged to provide the correct Odu in the cast. I do this tapping before every subsequent cast, clearly separating the jolly banter with the client and such, from the actual cast.

Unlike the casting of four cowries in an “Obi-like” way (just to get yes/no answers), in Ifa divination we want each cast to produce one leg of an Odu Ifa. This is, of course, done by reading (Members: click to read on)


“New” Ifa-Orisha

February 4, 2013 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Jaap's mental musings 

public-article-balk

During my three decades in Ifa-Orisha, especially in the last few years, I have noticed the increasing need for some “new” forms of Ifa and Orisha practice. I don’t simply mean “Independent” practice which already covers a growing number of people anyway, but much more the understanding and the realization that wearing a swim suit for climbing the Mount Everest or taking a motor bike along when you go deep sea diving, is kind of silly, counterproductive, and indeed quite unhealthy (amused grin)!

More and more am I beginning to understand, even to grok, that Ifa is wide and large enough to be practiced in many very different ways, depending on many factors like the country you live in, the culture you’re born from, the conditions of weather and climate, and the local concepts of decency and values. There’s a whole other bunch of course, but you get the picture. Even the Orishas themselves are very, very different, depending on the places where they live and are worshipped. Yemoja, traditonally a river deity, became the Orisha of the ocean in the Americas; Oya, another river deity, got the cemetary added to her tasks in the West; Oshoosi, who in Africa isn’t particularly interested in getting people behind bars, found himself appointed sort of the local sherif in the Diaspora… that sort of thing.

I am working (yep, I’m always working, dammit… I should be a retired gentleman of leasure by now, but I ain’t… sad grin!) on some articles about this subject, and not only that: I’m also working on some stuff about essential deviations from whatever “old” form of Ifa-Orisha worship happens to have arrived in the place where I (you, he she, they) live, into “new” forms of Ifa-Orisha fitted to the circumstances. Don’t misinterpret the word “new”, because such new forms will quite likely be the exact form Ifa-Orisha would have taken in your particular area if it had originally been born and developed there, and not in Yorubaland.

Ifa works everywhere, because Ifa is everywhere. But it works differently in different places, a pleasing fact that we shouldn’t oppose and try to camouflage, but use to the fullest and most joyful extend instead.