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My History of the Tradition

I came into this tradition back in 2008. I was going to Temple University studying African

American History when a friend of mine told me that she met a woman who was a Lukumi

Priest and she was wondering if I would go with her to meet for the first time because she met her on the internet and didn’t feel comfortable going by herself. I reluctantly agreed but

needless to say I was suspicious of anyone who would solicit people over the internet to do

spiritual work. Nowadays, all of this type of behavior is too normal but back then it wasn’t as

prevalent online nor within the community of practitioners. So, I went with my friend to meet

this woman at her house and when we got there I was still suspicious but respectful, just trying to get to know the woman a little bit and see what everything was about without letting my guard down. After being at the woman’s house for a while the thing that convinced me that this tradition had something real about it was when the woman said, “You’re Blackfoot Indian.” It is something that I didn’t discuss with people so I knew she couldn’t have gotten it from anyone else but besides that…I had just met her so there is no way that she could have known that information. From that point on my curiosity grew and even before I left the woman’s house she said to me, “You were suspicious when you first got here.” I just laughed it off and confirmed with her that I initially was very suspicious.

Once I became familiar with the woman a while longer, I really grew to love her. I think it is

because I was looking for something that was always missing in my life, not because she did

anything special. I just wanted to feel love and stability which is something that I think many

people are searching for when they come into this tradition. Unfortunately, there were a lot of

toss and turns that took place, many to which were unforeseen by me and I felt really blind-

sided by the mistreatment that I received shortly afterwards.

One lesson learned….love yourself. Second lesson learned….don’t expect a fantasy when you get involved in this tradition. While it is beautiful, concrete, and all about community at the same time we can allow ourselves to throw common sense out of the window and have

expectations for people that are unrealistic. Remember, we are all human beings and we all

have flaws that we are working on and I find many times that people become disappointed

when things don’t happen the way that they imagined it in their head. Like I said before, I was crushed at the treatment that I received from the elder that I first met in this tradition and it took me a minute to find my way but I took my time and eventually found the right teacher for me.

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