Osogbo: Speaking to the Spirits of Misfortune

Ocha'ni Lele. Inner Traditions/Destiny, $16.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-62055-098-4
Packed with personal stories and traditional tales, the latest offering on practices of the Afro-Caribbean Lucumi religion by accomplished author Lele (Sacrificial Ceremonies of Santeria) examines the role of osogbo, or misfortune, in human lives. Students of Yoruba culture, Lucumi cosmology, and Santerian practices will find a rich selection of over forty sacred pataki stories that illustrate the power of misfortune to not only break things down, but also build things back up again, perhaps better than before. Lele also studies this process of spiritual evolution in his own life, as he faces the Stage IV cancer diagnosis of his beloved goddaughter Rebecca. Lele doesn't leave the stories to speak for themselves, but gathers them together under the Lucumi ontology, which he spells out with precision and care. Newcomers to the Lucumi vocabulary may find the material challenging at times—Lele elaborates on 256 spirits in the odu of the diloggun (divination patterns), for instance—but he always provides explanations and definitions, including an excellent glossary, that make the work accessible to all. (May )
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Genre: Religion
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-62055-344-2
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