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End Of Year Review


By many measures 2008 was a helluva year.  Baba Orunmila said that this would be a year of great change.  To quote Baba, “This will be for good, better, and yet also worse. Oya is blowing and the landscape of life will begin this beautiful metamorphosis that is change. Do not be confused as change is wonderful. But ugly things can, and do, happen during the process.”  Truer words were never spoken.  And boy did Iya Oya blow.

2008 started off with some of the craziest weather seen in forever.  A monster blizzard in China just in time for the Chinese new year brought that country to a screeching halt and threatened many people’s ability to celebrate the coming year of the rat.  Snow in Los Angeles of all places.  There were reports of tornadoes taking out targets in Tennessee in early February.  We saw satellite photos of the Wilkins Ice Shelf collapsing into the ocean off the coast of Antarctica in the southern half of the globe and glaciers in the northern half that have existed for thousands of decades are on the verge of extinction.  But for many people global warming continues to be nothing that warrants attention.  A cyclone hits Myrammar and kills tens of thousands.  An earthquake hits China and kills tens of thousands more.  The changes in our natural environment are beginning and we are woefully prepared for what is to come.

The economy burst out the gate erratic.  While the recession was far from being official, unofficially it was way too real for a lot of people.  Back in January something like sixty thousand jobs were lost.  But that was just the start.  Well over a million American jobs were lost in 2008.  And while the petroleum giants were raking in their astounding profits fueled by four dollar a gallon gasoline, automobile manufacturers hit bottom and were asking the government for help.  A variety of financial institutions ceased to exist as independent entities.  But others, believed to be too big to fail, received the nurturing handouts of government sponsored bailouts.  While AIG and other financial institutions get a no strings attached bailout easily topping one hundred billion dollars that can be used for anything and everything like executive retreats at lavish resorts and seven figure executive retention payments that look amazingly like end of year bonuses, automobile manufacturers have to agree to an hourly wage cut before they can get a dime.

And do we really need to point out the changes in politics, at least in America?  After well over two hundred years America is finally going to have a President that is not a white male.  That’s the news of a couple centuries.  Political change was coming even if President-elect Barack Obama was not elected.  If the Republican presidential nominee had won we would have had our first female Vice President.  Thankfully, America dodged that bullet like a President dodges a couple of Iraqi loafers.  But that’s not all.  Louisiana made a couple of politically historic moments as well with the election of Republican Bobby Jindal as the first Governor of Indian American decent, and the election of Republican Anh Joseph Cao to Congress makes him the first Vietnamese American to go to Washington.

Baba Orunmila also said that many have overreached and are looking for Orisa to come to the rescue.  How many people pray for better days?  And true, relatively speaking not many people pray specifically to Orisa.  But a lot of people are clinging to their faith in these hard times.  Whatever people’s beliefs, they pray to their spiritual entities for some kind of relief for the mess they have made of their lives.  This past year, like every year of our lives, should have been used as an opportunity to make adjustments and wiser choices.  The potential for loss is great and people who try to face the ways of the world separated from the support of family and friends would do better if they had true allies.

I wonder how many people actually heard Baba Orunmila’s reading for last year and took it to heart.  I wonder how many people actually took the steps necessary to make adjustments in order to better prepare for what was coming last year.  And now that the year is over, how successful were we in our preparation or lack thereof.

Like many people I could have done better this year.  But I also could have done so much worse.  Thankfully, I had my family around me and with me in every endeavor I had to make this year.  Like everyone else I have to take the somewhat vague things that Baba Orunmila tells us and figure out for myself the best way to respond.  Regardless of what many students of Ifa claim, children of Orisa don’t get a free pass or any advantage when it comes to facing the challenges of life.  We can live and we can die just like anybody else.  How we chose to live is based on the same choices that, for the most part, apply to everyone else.  We have the choice to take the reading to heart and try to prepare or we can disregard what was said and take our chances with the spiritually deaf and dumb.

I have yet to hear the reading for the next year.  I’m willing to bet it will be very similar to 2008 if not worse.  I hope to hear the word of Orunmila and take it to heart.  Listening to the reading and then making changes to stay in harmony with nature and the environment can be extremely difficult.  But change is the only constant in the universe and the changes to come are bound to make the changes we’ve been through pale in comparison.  But as humans, if we take the time to build our social strengths we are more likely to survive changes together with less fuss than we are as individuals too rigid to compromise.  Whether we want to or not the next year is coming.  I look forward to hearing it.

Thursday, January 1, 2009 - Posted by | Faith, God, Ifa, Life, Orisa, Religion, Spirituality, Thoughts, Weather

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