7 Years Later

Here I find myself, seven years after my initiation into Santeria took place, moving my online journal entries onto a free server. While I don’t feel the need to continue to pay the hosting fees any longer, I know that my story has helped many new initiates and those struggling as victims of religious abuse. So I’m transferring them here to WordPress where they will stay safe and not cost me any additional expenses.

So what ever happened to that little iyawo? Well, I grew up into a confident gay man with his feet firmly rooted in down-to-earth, practical spirituality, much of which has foundations in my experiences during my Year in White. I’m currently hosting a podcast where I discuss an emerging spiritual path for gay men that cultivates integrity, self-empowerment and reaching out through the community to reclaim our positions as spiritual leaders, assist others who need help, heal the sick, and craft magical results for those who have problems. My spiritual path is rich, fulfilling and I’ve met many kindred brothers who walk this path with me.

Earlier this year, I managed to reach out and get in touch with some of the priests I once interacted with back in New York during my iyaworaje. I had a vivid dream about my godfather, where I basically saw him die and was wondering if indeed he had. I managed to get in touch with one of the priestesses of Oshun and she found out that my godfather had moved back to Puerto Rico – I’m sure after being run out of town on a rail. She reported that she also had a big fight with him where he severely insulted her and she refused to be treated like trash, so she left his ile.

Apparently my godfather continues his highly unethical behavior. The priestess told me that within a year my godfather had initiated another priest of Shango and that he dressed him in MY GALA OUTFIT! He still had my shells, my gala outfit, my itá, all of my stuff. I just have my orishas proper (their otanes) he has the rest. Well he recycled all of that stuff and gave it to someone else – something that is NEVER done. In fact, I’m supposed to be buried in that outfit – well, not any longer. And he did the same thing with the gala outfit that the initiate who lifted me wore – he recycled it and gave it to another initiate. I wouldn’t be surprised if he rewashed the shells that were birthed in my orishas and gave them to another – the very shells that spoke in my ita. Well, he has clearly created his existence to be one of misery. My decision to leave was the best thing I ever did.

As a result of these experiences I now insist on running my own priesthood and life of spiritual service as transparently and democratically as possible. I don’t keep secrets from my students of initiates. They have say in the direction of our coven and how we do things, and I consider their feelings when making decisions.

The Year in White may not have turned out how many members of the Santeria community may have imagined, but the end results of the journey are undeniably wonderful and I’m glad I went through it. I’m the oddball though – not everyone has the determination and steadfast attitude I have about life. Many are lost in the process, or abused or destroyed. If you have any doubts whether you should go through the initiation or not, my recommendation to you is to not do it. Just hold off and wait until the time is right. Slowly is holy – I once heard. Stick to your convictions and don’t allow anyone to pressure you into making a foolish decision.

Thank you all for your support throughout the years. May your individual spiritual journeys be rich and fulfilling, and may you find bliss and joy in your life.

Blessings,
Ikú Dayo

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Responses

  1. Hola Eddy,

    First I wish you all the blessings of La 21 Divición and all Egguns.

    I have to say, that I am very happy to “know” something about you again. I read your other website. I guess it’s not online anymore. I also read the page of the Omo Oshún you mentioned on that website.

    I will keep it short, wondering if by this way I can get in contact with you. Since I read your first website, I tried to contact you because I have some kind of questions and was wondering if you would be able to share the experience with me.

    Please let me know if you would.

    Mis sinceros saludos y hasta pronto!!!

    Bendición!!!

  2. What’s the name of the podcast?


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