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NOTE: The article following my lead-in paragraphs on Obeah and Obeahmanism is perhaps the best all around written account I have been able to locate on the web. It is well worth reading:
OBEAH

AFRO-CARIBBEAN SHAMANISM


PRESENTED BY:

...the Wanderling.



About twenty years ago or so I was apprenticed under a Jamaican man of spells called an Obeah. I learned that in the scheme of things all things must return to a balance. If you create any movement in the normal flow of things somehow somewhere there must be a return to the equalibrium. That is to say, if you are a Medium between the person wanting a spell given and the person receiving the spell, the person wanting the spell is responsible for the consequences. If, on the otherhand, you are the perpetrator of the spell for your own reasons on your own behalf, then YOU must accept and bear the consequences. Nothing is free, there is always a payoff somewhere. It is worth considering when you start casting about spells. Spoken from experience.

SHAMANIC ZEN MUSINGS: The following are four relatively interesting stories, two involving the Wanderling and an Obeahman, and the other two involving east Indian yogis:

My first encounter with an Obeahman occured one day when a Jamaican friend of mine and myself were taking a a shortcut during a trip across Jamaica in his car. He decided it would be quicker if we cut through some of the cane fields on the way back. We were doing about eighty miles per hour when we passed a little old man on side the of the road walking with a staff and carrying a bundle over his shoulder. My Jamaican friend immediately hit the brakes and screeched to a halt telling me the old man was an Obeah and leaving him to walk so far out in the middle of nowhere would be bad luck. Since his vehicle was a small little two-door British car, to show respect due the Obeah, I got out and squeezed into the small rear seat allowing him to sit in the front. Soon we were back up to speed cruising the back roads of the cane fields at about eighty miles per hour. Then, all of a sudden the engine started to cough and sputter, eventually just dying and stopping to run altogether. We coasted to the side, my friend got out and asked me to get into the drivers seat to try and start the engine as he fiddled with stuff under the hood. Two or three times we tried and the car refused to start. The Obeah got out and went to the front of the car, and, although the hood obscured my view somewhat, I could tell he tapped the engine a couple of times with his staff. My friend asked me to try it again and immediately the engine fired up. The next morning my friend was late to work. He said after we left the Obeah off where he requested and me home, he went home. However, when he got up the next morning his car refused to start and that it acted exactly the same as it had in the cane fields. When he got it to the shop to be repaired the mechanic showed him the ONLY thing he could find wrong with it. A spring in the carburetor was physically broken and with that spring broken the car could not run under any circumstances. The mechanic replaced the spring and the car started up and ran perfectly.

The second story is written by and from W. Somerset Maugham's book A Writer's Notebook:

In India a yogi wanted to go somewhere by train, but having no money, asked the station-master if he could go for nothing; the station-master refused, so the Yogi sat down on the platform. When it was time for the train to go it would not start. It was supposed that something was wrong with the engine, so mechanics were sent for and they did all they knew, but still the train could not go. At last the station-master told the officials of the Yogi. He was asked to get in the train and it immediately started.

The third story is also from Maugham, but comes from his novel The Razor's Edge:

An Indian yogi came to a bank of a river; he didn't have the money to pay the ferryman to take him across and the ferryman refused to take him for nothing, so he stepped on the water and walked upon its surface to the other side. The yogi (telling the story) shrugged his shoulders rather scornfully and said, "A miracle likethat is worth no more than the penny it would have cost to go on the ferryboat.

The fourth story returns to the Wanderling and an Obeahman high in the mountains of Jamaica:

The Obeah poured a warm tea-like broth into two small bowl-shaped cups without handles. He took one and gave me the other, gulping down the liquid while motioning me to do the same.

He asked me what I liked about Jamaica. I told him things like the weather and the people. Then he asked again what I liked about Jamaica. But now I wasn't able to answer. It was like my mind had grown so huge that trying to focus on something as minuscule as a few words to string together into a sentence had become an impossible hardship (click to continue)...

Think what you will all you modern day folk.


In Buddhism it is said that the path of Tranquillity-Concentration-Absorption can lead to supernormal powers (e.g., extrasensory perception, knowledge of previous lives, teleportation, etc.). All of the attainments of this path, however, are considered Samsaric. Buddhism holds that absorption by itself cannot lead to Nirvana. It is, rather, the path of Mindfulness-Insight that is said to lead to Nirvana. The mastery of "access concentration," however, is said to be an effective means to more stable mindfulness, and the mastery of the higher absorptive states is said to be an effective means to deeper insight.

Buddhism teaches that after a practitioner achieves a certain degree of realization, spiritual power develops. An Arhat is said to possess six supernatural powers ( `sadabhijna` ): l. the ability to see anything anywhere, 2. the ability to hear any sound anywhere, 3. the ability to know the things in all other minds, 4. the knowledge of all former existences of self and others, 5. the power to be anywhere or do anything at will, and 6. the supernatural consciousness of the waning of vicious propensities. Even so, it is understood that it is through Enlightenment that supernatural powers are manifested, rather than that supernatural powers enhance Enlightenment. Furthermore, supernatural powers are not attainable exclusively by Buddhists. It is possible for anyone who has deep religious and spiritual cultivation to develop some kind of super-normal powers.(SOURCE)

OBEAH


AFRO-CARIBBEAN SHAMANISM
(Afro-Shamanistik Witchcraft)


By: Azoth Kalafou

 

Obeah is one of the more unknown and obscure African traditions of Sorcery. While Santeria, Umbanda, Candomblè are getting a broader and broader reputation Obeah is still veiled in a great deal of secrecy. This is understandable when you view the complexity in this earth-religion. The word Obeah or Obi is it self a word shrouded and obscured in secrecy. The most understandable meaning of the word can be translated into "occult power" meaning a powerful engine used to empower spells for witchcraft as well as other forms for practical magic and communication with the gods.

 

It is assumed that the Ashanti and the Dahomeyans are the carriers of the wisdom of Obeah. That it was slaves from west and-north-Africa that brought this current of power to Jamaica and Trinidad-Tobago. The tradition of Obeah captures several lines of occult transmission. The Obeah it self is best seen as an multi-different source of extreme power. In a way the Obeahmen are the True Chaos magicians since they can use any system they want and fuel it with the power of Obeah, without the danger of disrespect for the gods. In Trinidad you will find Obeah blended with Muslim faith with Hinduism and Christianity. Also in Sierra Leone there are certain tribes which declares themselves as Muslim but who use the Quran to perform powerful magic with the help of Angels and Djinns. Similar traditions are to be found in Trinidad-Tobago as well. In the succession I belong to Obeah is blended with Orisha-worship, which is the most common manifestation of Obeah. Orisha worship in Trinidad has two main fractions "Spiritual Orisha" which are very Christian in its practical way. They also avoid blood-offerings. The other one "Baptist Orisha" is a more pure and ancient line of Orisha-transmission who accept blood-offerings and function very much like Orisha-worship you’ll meet elsewhere in the world. Still I might add that Voudon (Voodoo) is perhaps the closest "brother" to "Baptist Orisha"

 

Obeah is close to witchcraft, but it also includes many elements easily recognizable as Shamanism. This is the very core of Obeah, the shamanistic techniques that are used at initial stage of obtaining knowledge, on a more developed level the practice developes into forms of worship easily recognized within voudun. The impulse of Obeah is the witchcraft-part.

 

Obeah can be viewed as "a Tower of Power", an enormous vault of Intelligent-Power (similar in scope to Joriki in Japanese) that can be communicated with by the Obeah in special and secret ways. The Obeah inhabits All, that's why it is no problem to blend it with other traditions. For more along the same lines see Sudden or Gradual Enlightenment: APPENDIX.

 

In Obeah related to Orisha worship you can become an Obeahman or a Obi-man. This signifies that your pathway is particularly dark and evil. Usually the Obeahmen sooner or later will move to secluded places and perform dark forms of magick mainly connected to the Dead. The Orisha of the Obi-men are called Bones. Bones is the King of Death and has many features in common with Ghuede of the voudon pantheon. Another deity of great importance is Oduda, which means "The Black One," a complementary mirror-figure of the male King of Death, or "Dark One". She is the principle balancing and most of all - complementing Bones. In features she is closely linked to Maman Brigitte and also resembles the indian Kali in her aspect as Dhumavati and Baghalamukhi combined. The spirit known in the outer world as Anima Sola is also of great importance, but my vow of silence restrains me for telling much about her in the open.


He squated down without changing eye contact and said in his heavy Jamaican patois, "You have felt the breath of the Dark One." "Yes, once," I said, "many years ago," refering to an incident in the military when I literally felt the shadow of Death brush across my soul. "Why didn't he take you with him," the Obeah asked? "I don't know," I responded, shrugging my shoulders.

The old Obeahman to the Wanderling, high in the mountains of Jamaica.(SOURCE)

 

It must be understood that the path of Bones is a special path not suitable for anyone. The path has a tendency to turn the practitioner of his magic into anti-social beings who inhabits what can look like a disrespect for the life of human beings. The initiation of Bones is only given to those who truly belong in this path of empowerment. The access offered to the wisdom of existence and how to change it relies on the practitioners ability to recognize his or hers own heart of hearts in a manner that draws proper cells of attunement close to the practitioners knowledge of Self in the light of Death. The path of Bones is lethal in the way that he gives his children tools and formulates of a direct and instant function that infuse the ability to severely destroy whatever comes in the Obeahmans path. I have heard stories about Obeahmen who charge people only a few pennys to kill off someone, like they really want to just kill for the sake of killing. These are rumours, maybe a few occasions has given rise to this rumour – since the danger inherent in solely working with the forces of Night and Death is evident. But the same rumours is also surrounding paleros, without these rumours having much substance in them – with a few exceptions…..

 

Vouden is proper to mention at this juncture since Obeah in practice is very similar to vouden. But there are some differences, for instance Satan is personified in this tradition as all the princes of Hell are. This is due to the great influx of western theurgical teaching and the importance stressed on kabbalah and gematria.. The different grimoires are frequently used by the Obeah-men, like Grimorium Verum and Goethia as well as the 6. And 7. Books of Moses. Especially these books by Moses has a great importance since Moses is seen as the snake-charmer and among the greatest of magicians. Techniques of shamanistic quality are frequently used together with methods ascribing to traditional witchcraft. The way of the Obeah-man is a crooked one but a path that leads to Attainment of Self. Much of this is shrouded in secrecy and it still will be. This is only a taste for the truthful eyes of wisdom to get even wiser….

© The Lodge of UR 1997


DARK LUMINOSITY: Smashing the Black Lacquer Barrel



 

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