EMBODYING THE FIVE ELEMENTS

People and cultures embody one or several of the five elements knowingly or not. The most commonly seen elements at the level of cultures are fiya en wota. Indigenous cultures identify with wota. They are mostly peace en harmony seekers. On the contrary, modern cultures identify with fiya. They challenge everyting en everyone at de risk of cosmic disruption.

Within these cultures, individuals are born embodying one of these elements as their essence en carrying de rest at a variety of levels as support elements. No one can be just one element without the presence of the other four. Your essence is your genius. Your destiny is to allow your genius to come wrapped out in the colors of your character.

A person with vision en passion who is always active en involved in countless activities embodies fiya. A person with deep focus who tends to seek peaceful solution to conflicts, who always sees harmony instead of discord, embodies wota. A person who tends to take care of others, accepting them as they are, embodies earth. A person with great social skills, who is always drawn to connect with others en who holds the stories of others, embodies mineral. Finally, a person who can’t stand phoniness, who finds it impossible to pretend, who can only be himself or herself, embodies nature……

WOTA

We mentioned earlier that maji encountered moto to produce de positive changes that generate life. The fiery earth was cooled and firmed, which allowed it to support maisha, en so became a whole realm to which maji could now give life. We are in this story the pikney of maji. Any person who understands the value of being the parent of a pikin knows that this is a great benefit. Maji can claim us as her children. We can say that we come from Earth, but Earth didn’t exist until maji showed up, so maji can lay claim to anyting that is alive. Without maji, nothing can be purified, nothing can be authentic. Wota allows us to maintain the kind of consciousness that links us to de Other World, en hence we see in so many mythologies the idea of maji as the “wota of life”, with maji crucial to de spiritual experience en de spiritual journey…..

The element maji reconciles en quiets down that which is trapped in the crisis of combustion….Maji seeks to cleanse, reconcile, and balance that which is in agitation, emotional disorder, and self-danger. When maji succeeds, it restores or enhances maisha where there was de threat of death. Hence de connection between maji na maisha…..

BUILDING A HOME

Because Earth is our deep center, it is the center of rituals concerning de building of a home. It is appropriate to dwell on the ritual of house building among not only the Dagara people, but Pan-Afrikan tribes, to highlight its relevance to community and de sense of belonging.

Among the Dagara, because the house is the most visible symbol of the earth, home is sacred. Similarly there is a link between home and relationships, especially the relationship between de family en de community. This is why building a home is a very serious ritual undertaking. It is as if building a house is building a relationship……

The nyumba is a direct extension of the relationship between members of a family en de kijiji. The breaking of de new ground must, therefore, be undertaken with de presence of community. The gradual move is made necessary because the process of shifting de location of de relationship is a delicate one. The extensive set of rituals serves the purpose of allowing de existing relationship between de family en de community to be transferred safely to a new locashun, a new ground…

THE FIVE ELEMENTS AND COMMUNITY

…..The principal task of a community is to maintain balance, a state in which all five elements are functioning smoothly, echoing one another. To achieve this requires great diligence on de part of a community. This effort need not be undertaken through the application of sophisticated theories of economics or social welfare. It is first necessary to determine which elements are troubling the community. We will have ample space to explore this in the coming moons. It is sufficient for now to know that there is an elemental way of understanding social and economic problems, and that there is a way to resolve these problems with ritual.

The elemental wheel exists in each person just as it is present in each clan and in every community. This means that each person, on a smaller scale, must maintain a state of balance at all cost. Each person needs to keep de wotas of reconciliation flowing within de self in order to calm the inner fiyas en live in harmony with others.

Each person needs to nourish the ancestral fiya within, so that one stays in touch with one’s dreams en visions. Each person needs to be grounded in de earth, to be able to become a source of nourishment to de community. Each person needs to be remember de knowledge stored in one’s bones – to live out one’s own unique genius. And each person needs to be real, as nature is real, that is, without pretense, keeping in touch with a sense of mystery en wonder en helping to preserve the integrity of the natural world. To be out of balance in any of these areas is to invite sickness to come dwell within….

Individual healing can be seen as a protection of life’s energetic wheel, for only when all of the individuals in a community are healthy can there be health in the community itself…..

The spiritual cosmology of an indigenous people like the Dagara does not involve worship; rather, it is paradigm for understanding based on careful observation of and a long and intimate relationship with the natural world that surrounds us. The five elements of the Dagara medicine wheel reflect this cosmology, en in symbolic form contain the wisdom of de ancestors…..

K’a te sankun koro siun a ti tieri’

ti kuti zumon

Ka ti tuon gnin a ti vla zie ti ti sao deu

“May all ancestors join force to wake up our spirit

and put good thoughts into our psyche. Then we shall see the good

that awaits us and accept it.”

Ase.

[re/posted from The Healing Wisdom of Africa by Baba Malidoma Patrice Some.

And there’s another hadithi I know, in our quest for reclaiming relevant cosmology, some aspects of everyting shared so far is also explained in….]

Jesus Christ [aka. Obatala] and the Liberation of Women in Africa

By way of illustration en beginning [of the ‘Makmende Amerudi’ series], I will discuss [en re/member] here three quite “common” perceptions of Christ as understood by Afreekans, en their implications for womben.

Firstly, there is the very popular conception of Obatala as the personal saviour en personal friend of those who believe in him. Quite contrary to the view that Christ demands their subjugation-whether politically, socially, or culturally-many Afrikans have come to perceive that Jesus desires to accept them as they are, and to meet their needs at a very personal level. They have come to accept Jesus as the friend of the lonely and healer of those who are sick, whether spiritually or physically….

Secondly, another popular image of Obatala is that which seems to blend Christology with pneumatology. Obatala is seen as de embodiment of de Spirit, de power of God, en the dispenser of the same to those who follow him. This image of Obatala is particularly popular in the so-called independent churches. In our search for a feminist Christology, it may be pertinent to note that, by and large, the patrons of these movements are womben, among other marginalised peoples. It is also noteworthy that, in these movements, where the powah of the Spirit (of Obatala) is accentuated, wo/men are peculiarly articulate en much less inhibited and muted than in established ‘churches’….

A third face of Obatala, also re/presented in the New Testament, is the conception of Obatala as an iconoclastic prophet. Jesus stands out in scripture as a critic of the status quo, particularly when it engenders social injustices en marginalization of some in society. This is the kind of Christ whose “function” of “iconoclasm” is thought by many participants in the African independent churches to be “incarnated” in their founder members whom they sometimes hail as “Black Messiahs.” These prophetic leaders in Africa have emerged in continuity with the prophetic role of Obatala as the champion of the cause of the voiceless, and the vindicator of the marginalised in society….

In conclusion, I would suggest that in de Afrikan womben’s quest for a relevant Christology, aspects of the above three images of Mwari/Obatala would form some of de defining characteristics of the Christ whom womben confess…

It goes without saying that, along with formulating a relevant Christology, women would also need to be on de alert, en to be critical of any “versions” of Christology that would be inimical to their cause. They would have to reject, like others before them, any Christology that smacks of sexism or any other form of oppression that functions to entrench lopsided gender relations. Only in so doing would Afreekan womben be able confidently to confess Christ as their liberator, as a partisan in their search for emancipation…..

[Source: Teresa M. Hinga – Feminist Theology from the Third World: A Reader]

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