A family member was venturing to commune with the ancestors. She was introduced to Hoodoo by a Nigerian man, a follower of Ife, whom she dated for a spell. He introduced her to the practice but shortly thereafter returned to Nigeria and she moved to Virginia out of the New York area.
In Virginia, she was surrounded by family members who were following a different doctrine and religion. Fear of isolation led her to keep the information learned to herself. With no one to talk to she relied heavily on books and the Internet for information. By chance one day at a family gathering someone mentioned ancestors and she replied “You have to feed them.” I replied “Yes, you do.” Our eyes met briefly and the connection that we were on the same road was made. We recognized that we were on the same journey, however under different circumstances. I shared with her all that I had learned to the best of my ability. We would spend hours on the phone conversing and sharing. As much as she desired to commune with the spirits, fear was holding her back. After many long conversations with her I began recognize it for what it was.
a. The fear of isolation. As Africans in America we have embraced other religions without the willingness to even hear about anything else. For us, spiritual conversation about anything outside of the mainstream garnishes a number of reactions: requests for more information, isolation, loathing and/or banishment. It’s considered going against the grain, which is unacceptable; or could lead you to the gates of hell.
b. The fear of opening Pandora’s Box. Movies like the Exorcist, Poltergeist, and The Serpent and the Rainbow are designed to convince us of lurking danger. The continuous theme is good people turned bad when confronted with the spirit realm. While your intentions may be good the outcome could be detrimental. Once you let them in, your life could be turned upside down. In reality just the opposite is the case.
c. The fear of the unknown. What do I say to the spirit? How should I dress? What kind of food to offer? Which language should I use? Am I saying it properly or am I insulting them?
All of the above stems from the uncomfortable position of stepping in to a new area.
To my cousin and all new initiates I say I had all the same questions and fears. I was fortunate not to have to go it alone. Having entered this journey with the support of HRU as my teacher and guide, I recognize how fortunate I am. However, you should know that you are not alone. The pull that you feel to commune with your ancestors is your ancestors attempting to commune with you. Approach them and they will help you along the way. Pay close attention to your dreams, and the conversations you have when you “talk to yourself”. Often that’s where you will hear the voices.