I wanted to take the time with this post and share an experience I had early on in my career as a spiritual worker. The post is about listening to divination advice from Elders in a way.
Right around the time I had my Kimbanda initiation in 2007 there was a lady that used to hang around the spiritual shop where I worked as a reader. Let’s call her “M” for privacy’s sake. The lady was nice enough but I always got a sense of her not being so tightly wrapped mentally. That’s not surprising considering the clientele at the shop in question. It was a new age “woo” shop directed at self empowerment with a wealthy caucasian clientele. There is nothing wrong with self empowerment, but there is a lot wrong with arrogance as you will see.
Anyway M used to hang about the shop quite a bit. When my Kimbanda godfather came into town he did a few readings for select people with Exu’s shells. M came to have a reading with him and I was sitting in to watch and learn. Obviously there is client-diviner privilege so I won’t discuss the reading in depth. One thing she did ask was whether Kimbanda was right for her, i.e., could she be initiated. She had seen my life turn around for the better and I think she wanted that for herself. I also suspect she wanted power too.
During the reading it came out as a flat “no way.” She was told she ought to stick with the Christian tradition she had grown up in and was comfortable with. That the energy of Kimbanda would not be good for her. What probably came up was that it would drive her nuts and she didn’t have the backbone, strong mind or energy system to handle it. Perhaps the powers that be saw something in her they did not like, or didn’t care much for her trying to barge in without building a relationship of respect. Who can say really. They see things we do not.
I think my godfather was being really diplomatic. He is a good man. She was given two protective necklaces, instructions for their care, and told to leave it at that. Even that was a huge blessing that she should have honored.
Well guess what she did. Set up her own “Exu and Pomba Gira shrine.” With no initiation, no consecration, no license, no guidance, and after having been told specifically not to. Predictably her life began to fall apart. The necklaces disappeared after she had them on drinking wine one night. She came even more unglued mentally. Her marriage fell apart after her husband began drinking hard and became abusive. She contracted breast cancer. Her teenage daughter decided to do some love work with a candle using her own blood on it to ensnare some fellow student she liked. So they ended up with basically an incubus type spirit in the house. It was assaulting people, scratching them…
To make a long story short she reached out in desperation for help. My godfather agreed and sent me over there to help with a mediumistic curandera friend who had a powerful spirit named White Feather. Together we cleaned the house and it was quite some task. I could almost see the spiritual vermin scuttling up and down the walls and the atmosphere was dirty and oppressive. We managed to get it cleaned up and the incubus thing (Kiumba) driven out. It cost her though. Not only in the torment they all experienced but also monetarily. Nothing in Kimbanda comes for free.
I saw her again years later driving down the street and stopped to say hello. She managed to survive the cancer but it was like some part of her spirit had been burnt up almost. She was difficult to hold a conversation with as she was obviously still quite unwell mentally. I wished her well and went on about my way.
The point of the story is, if an Elder tells you something is not right then don’t just do it anyway because you feel entitled. There’s a reason. You can’t just do whatever you want. There are guardians of these traditions and they are very real. It was a powerful learning experience for me.