What is Obeah?

Links

Similar Systems in Africa

Apparently, the line is unbroken. There are still practitioners in Africa with a background in traditional practice, who have expanded into what’s now called Afroscientific Spirituality. These are African scientists and intellectuals from a variety of backgrounds and fields who have studied and some teach African spirituality that is up to date and innovative while being respectful of the traditional standards. One such individual is Efe West. He’s been featured on Auset.net and Zindoki.com and now teaches his own Master Classes in African spirituality.

Other Articles on ObeahWoman.com

Crystals – an overview of various crystals and minerals used in Obeah, Kindoki, and diaspora Vodun.

More About Obeah

Spirit Allies
A list of Spirits commonly sought in Obeah, Hoodoo, and diaspora folk magic and spirituality.

Obeah Links

Here are some other perspectives on Obeah:

A snippet on Obeah in the Bahamas by Zora Neal Hurston

The Wanderling’s Obeah Pages

Obeah and Myal – a brief description of Obeah and Myal belief systems.

House of the Divine Prince’s Voodootye’s video: What is legitimate in Hoodoo, Obeah, and Voodoo?

It’s kind of an ad, but it’s appropriately so, since one of the things that is woefully missing in the discussion of legitimacy is transparency and results.

Narratives of Obeah in Twentieth-century Anglophone West Indian Literature by Janelle Alicia Rodriques, 2016

The Racist History of Jamaica’s Obeah Laws

In Jamaica and the Bahamas, Obeah and spiritual practices that can be labeled as such, are still illegal on the books. If one is caught, one can get actual prison time. This hostility is not new. It started during slavery and continues as a way to try to thought police Africans in the diaspora to disconnect them from their ancestral power.

African Magick and Mysticism

Zindoki.com – very easy, basic spells, protections, and instructions for African and diaspora witches.

My Personal List of Must-read Books

The Greek Magical Papyri In Translation Including the Demotic Spells edited by Hans Dieter Betz

The best translation of a collection of magical papyri from the Greco-Egyptian period. It is an amazing collection of spells, recipes, and prayers to various deities of the region. If you’ve been doing heritage Obeah, you will find a lot of it uncannily familiar. Do not try anything in this book if you are not daily observant and experienced enough in substitutions and offerings/sacrifice to know what the equivalents would be. Also beware of codes and traps. If you are an adept and experienced sorcerer though, this book will give you much joy and inspiration, new ideas, and “tightening up” of practices that suffered from too much vagueness.

The Leyden Papyrus edited by F. Ll. Griffith & Herbert Thompson

Translation of a collection of papyri dating from the 3rd century A.D. It is called the 8th Book or Moses although it is quite different from the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses. Quite different.

Again, don’t try the spells in this book unless you are observant and ready to follow through.

The Books of Enoch the Prophet

If you will be incorporating any Jewish, early Christian, or early Islamic mysticism into your practice, it is important to understand the abrahamic pantheon in the proper historical context as a development on the Canaanite pantheon as opposed to an invader religion. For this, the Books of Enoch are extremely helpful and important. It’s the “missing link”.

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15 Comments

  1. Pingback: Orisha Online Altar − What is Voodoo?

  2. May I enter to learn obeah please? Thank you very much!

    • Thank you for your question, Ethel. 🙂 I do not teach Obeah online, but I do teach general witchcraft. Though some elements of Obeah will shine through in my style of teaching, I have not been led to teach Obeah on the internet specifically. Others do, and I respect them for this, since it is an extremely challenging mission. It’s just that the task that I’ve been given is different: to help prospective witches, sorcerers, rootworkers, and others in this type of occupation to reconnect with the ways of their Ancestors and become effective practitioners regardless of which style they will eventually settle into. Obeah will only be the answer for a very select few, and there are already teachers for them. Our community is pretty stable. Others though, need our help to recover and stabilize.

    • How can obeah be Igbo when none of the deity are Igbo

      • We don’t generally share our personal pantheon with people. We may reveal some of it so as to teach beginners, but we aren’t going to give away the entirety of our allies. I tell people about the Yoruba pantheon because they are offering this information to the world freely and publicly. Igbo are not generally so ready to share. There is the guy with the Medicine Shell channel on YouTube, and a couple of others, but nobody I know gives very specific instructions for someone outside the community about how to deal with specific deities. I am following the rest of the community’s lead in that. I’m in the diaspora, and it is not my place to make sudden innovations in this matter. If someone is interested in Igbo spirituality, I refer them to the “orthodox” Igbo practitioners.

  3. I have much regret and apologies to have to ask. i am inquiring about the proper spelling and pronounciation regarding a spirit. It sounds like Obigetkchi. It is a soulmate matchmaker. Greatly appreciatied if you are able to help.
    Thank you.

    • This came during a time I was a bit distracted. This is a Turkic or Afro-turkish entity by the sound of the name. Be careful as there wasn’t the concept of “soulmates” when this was crystalized as there is today. You may be calling on something you don’t know how to handle.

  4. Hello.
    I am retired and still trying to acquire the path I should be on. Any suggestions or advice, excluding personal opinions?

  5. Hallo, my Name is Johann Musyl from Vienna, Austria. I have a question about obeah initiation online. Do you Know someone who is doing that. And can that obeah man or woman tell me if obeah is my path, my way?
    If you need more Information about me, please ask.
    Thank You very much for Youre answer to come.
    Johann Musyl
    musyl.johann@gmail.com
    P. S. And can you tell me more about transmission of obeah?

    • Hello Johann. 🙂 Thank you for your comment and good questions.

      Online, though it is possible to teach on some level, it is not possible to receive a full initiation online for a few reasons. Anyone can read about and learn the things that have been published, but there is a lot to Obeah that is not published, and for good reason. Some things are exclusive to particular lineages, and some thing must be passed from teacher to student live. In most lines that I’m aware of, there are things the teacher must do themselves.

      A teacher can however, initiate you specifically as an online or distance acolyte. This has been done since before the internet. One takes the vows of a student in order to begin learning. We tend not to call this “initiation” though because this word has been overused and misused to mean something that it doesn’t. People will claim to be initiated into Obeah, Vodun, or other African and diaspora systems, and take this to mean they are qualified to teach or to lord over others or claim ranks and titles that they did not earn to standard.

      The truth is that any teacher can form their own curriculum and standards and “initiate” people to their group, but that doesn’t mean what they’re teaching you will give you anything good or important. So don’t be so concerned with initiation just because some others make a big deal out of it. I’ve encountered people who were “initiated” to Orishas but had no idea what offerings to give them or how to care for any of the items they were given in the ceremony.

      As to whether or not Obeah is your path, since we have greater access now, your best place to start looking is an Ifa or Afa reading from a qualified African diviner. They will tell you more about what you should do.

      Obeah may seem very fascinating, but it is, like any other spiritual system, very difficult for someone to get into as an adult. It is nothing like Wicca or other neopagan religions or magical disciplines. Though some have come in from other places to learn and one has reportedly received the Obia, this is extremely rare. These few instances should not be taken as normal or preferable. Unless you are connected to our community somehow, there is no real reason to pursue it. It is not the reclaiming of a dead belief system with a broken line. It is the continuation of a legacy of a very much living, unbroken, African tradition of sorcery. There are responsibilities and obligations involved that most people are not ready for, and no outsider really wants unless they have an ancestor or two prodding them towards this path.

      This is why online, I teach general witchcraft and not Obeah. Some others may, but I don’t because I don’t want to give anyone a wrong impression or be blamed for anyone taking what I taught them to claim a title they didn’t earn.

  6. I had a dream last night. Perhaps, I should lead up to this.
    I’m living in an unjust situation and under heavy oppression and persecution. Recently, I’ve been calling out, spiritually, for an energy to help me turn things around. I asked for a sign. I did this for 2 days, the sign asking. Help from spirits I’ve been asking for, for years. I made an offer in exchange for this help and I asked for a lot, but only what I feel is my Karmic due.
    Last night I had the weirdest dream. I entered a night club. There were offers of drugs and alcohol and I declined, saying I was there on business. It was loaded with people of African heritage.
    A ritual was taking place down near the stage and there was a circle in front of it. I heard the word Obeah spoken many times. People gathered around and a woman, also of African heritage appeared, within it. The ritual was a normal ritual where the being would choose her tributes. By the time she arrived, everyone but me was in a trance. Before she chose her tributes though, she summoned me and I entered the circle. She hugged me, called me old friend and said it had been a long time.
    Is this some sort of being answering me, giving me the sign I was looking for, that my offer has been accepted? I have felt ungrounded and spaced out yesterday morning and also today, like I’m here but not quite.

  7. I’ve never heard of an Obeah before and I know this is me completely. Everything in this article Explains me to a T.

    I can’t even explain how I know. But I know.
    I am a Mixed race almond woman born in Miami.

    Thank you for sharing this. All of my knowledge has been passed from spirit to me. I just keep wondering why I’m different then others. And somehow I feel this just explained me and I know who I am.
    I’ve been at this practice my entire life.

    • Hello Ezralea 🙂 If this is so, then you must rid yourself of slavery era “race” concepts and think in terms of actual lineage. Though awareness of how other people think is useful in terms of social justice, actual belief in anti scientific hierarchies of humanity do not suit a prospective mage.

      Just being categorized as Black by authorities in the occupied Maizeland has nothing to do with whether or not a type of Obeah is your path. It is connection to the specific history of the islands, and the struggles and cultures in which they developed.

      Though anyone can be called, there is no “self initiation” in this. One is either instructed by a mentor from or in the lineage of people from the islands, or promoted to a kind of mage or “Obeahman/woman” level by serving a community in the islands or families in their diaspora for some time.

      If certain aspects of it seem familiar, it is because there are many branches in the African diaspora, of people who originated from places in Africa that have the Obia concept or something like it. It is similar though not the same as the Roman “daemon” or Yoruba Aje. It may have been a branching off that happened before the concept of the Kemetic Sobek. Nobody knows. There are some pretenders out there claiming to be Iyami Aje, and Yoruba people and diaspora Ifa practitioners have plenty to say about this. The Obia concept being co-opted doesn’t generate much hype, but eventually it still catches up with people, even those who innocently misinterpret things. The spirits hear it and it’s like, “Oh really? Let’s just see how much suffering they can take.”

      So for now, if you feel that it is for you, find the non Christian folks from the West Indies, Caribbean, and other east coastal islands who are having meetings, running supply shops, etc. Eventually, if they like you then they will start teaching you. Even if the spirits are teaching you a lot, there is the concept of word power, and as soon as you speak a cultural lineage, this will signal the spirits to test your endurance compared to others who came through that culture. Better to do the slow endurance test of how much of various translations of papyrii you can commit to memory than the fast track of brutal hazing by Jamaican ancestors.

      Blessings and Ashe!

  8. My apologies first for being one of many bombarding you with questions about “how to”…I am not of Caribbean descent, and I’m not sure where I would even find a shop that supplies goods for people as you mentioned to someone in another post…I understand that you said the teachings need some one on one time to share their knowledge to students by talking with them…That certainly makes sense…If I wanted to learn this way of life do I begin by reading the information above?
    Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you at your convenience… Kindly, Sue R

    • It’s alright. As I mentioned before, I found the Motherland non traditional folks, so the Caribbean version, while wonderful, is no longer the lonely strain of Afroscientific Spirituality available to the western world. You can learn straight from the heart of Africa from Efe West’s Master Class at https://kindoki.net/asmc

      So that you know, I don’t get paid anything from promoting him. We help each other because we’re spiritual family. Just be ready because you’re going to do a lot of reading. It’s a bit harder catching up as an adult, but it is do-able since we all have the compulsion to service to our community. It is very likely what drew you into the healthcare field in the first place.

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