With over twenty years of experience in developing database applications I cannot find a job where I choose to live at the moment. There are plenty of jobs on the east coast, Texas, and the west coast. I could pack up and leave my family, friends, and neighborhood. I have been unemployed for three months now. But I have yet to get so desperate to move across country. My mom will be an octogenarian in a handful of years and I don’t think now is a good time for her to be alone in this city. I actually enjoy my all black neighborhood and my black neighbors. I’m continuing to hold out hope that I’ll find the job I need to stay.
Maybe I need to bust out the big guns. Maybe I need to make an ebo so I can manipulate the Orisas to move on my behalf. It doesn’t take much. If I paid about seventy to a hundred bucks for a chicken sacrifice Orisas wouldn’t dare say no to whatever I ask. At least that’s the impression from some people who practice this spirituality.
But ebos aren’t about taking Orisas for granted and trying to bend them to our will. Besides, it just plain doesn’t work. If I could get those lottery numbers from Orunmila I’d sacrifice enough chickens to open my own chain of restaurants. I can see my commercials now, “Come on down to Sango’s Fried Chicken! The extra sharp double axe is the secret! Severs the neck before the chickens know what hits them. Absolutely no adrenaline in the meat! We’re quick as lightening on the service too!”
People have totally forgotten the purpose of ebos and offerings. We’re not supposed to use them to buy spiritual favors. Ebos and offerings are supposed to be used to thank Orisas for just being in our lives. Imagine how different our lives would be without the water of Yemonja’s ocean or Osun’s river, without Obatala’s mountains, without Osanyin’s forest, or without the winds of change from Oya. The fish from the water fed us. The forest provides us with trees for houses and fire. The wind propels boats, cleans our air and changes our weather. Orisas are important in our lives and provide a lot of services for our lives.
The ebos are supposed to be an offering of thanks. Thank you for doing what you’ve done for us and nothing more. The person who feels that he or she deserves more or is entitled to more really has an over inflated sense of self worth. Why do you need more? What makes you so special?
Here is a hypothetical situation for you. A woman has a few young children. There all pretty young. Let’s say they range in age from four to ten. Now the woman give the kids food to eat, a place to sleep, makes sure they get their education, makes sure all their needs are met. But one of the kids decides that they are entitled to a little more than the others. One of the kids decides that if he gets mom that macaroni necklace for Mother’s Day she’s going to be so thankful that she’ll have no choice but to get him that PlayStation3.
Now, I don’t know how things work in the household that other people grew up in but my mom couldn’t be paid to favor one of her children over another. And who the hell needed a PlayStation anyway? My mom would be more likely to slap the taste out of our mouths for even thinking of such a proposition. So now why would someone think that Orisa would be so open to such manipulation?
The original concept of ebos was just a way of saying thank you. In the beginning ebos were a community thing and it didn’t involve individual priests getting paid by individual clients to express their individual thanks. The expression of thanks was done as a collective. No one was left out. No one was more important than another. The community moved as one for the benefit of all.
Sometimes it would be nice to be wrong about this. Trust me, if I thought it would work I would happily spend a million dollars sacrificing the most exotic chickens, goats, rabbits, hell, I’d sacrifice a dancing albino African elephant from Cirque Du Soleil if I thought it would help me out of my predicaments. But the bottom line is that Orisas aren’t open to such trivial manipulation. It is actually an insult to think that they can be open to such maneuvering. It’s a wonder that more people don’t get the taste slapped out their mouth for even thinking about trying to buy favors.