Monday, July 02, 2007
Elegua is also known as Esu in the Yoruba Pantheon of Orisha. Orisha are the deities of the Yoruba tradition. He was brought to the Diaspora via slavery to the Carribean in places like Cuba where the Lucumi/Santeria tradition continued the Yoruba worship of orisha in the New World. He is the messenger who takes one's prayers and sacrifices to the foot of God in heaven.
Elegua opens and closes the road or way for us in life. He stands in the crossroads and 4 corners. No ceremony is started without paying tribute to him first. He takes many forms and has many names. He is considered a trickster and can be a difficult teacher when there is a lesson needed to be learned.
There are said to be 256 roads or paths of Esu/Elegua. These paths correspond to the 256 Odu in Ifa. Many have not made it to the New World with the slaves. They remained in Nigeria. No priest or priestess in the Yoruba/Lucumi faith is without an Esu/Elegua. Each person who receives an Elegua receives one specific to their path and needs. Divination is done to determine what path of Elegua is to be given to the person. Elegua is one of the few orishas that you don't have to be fully initiated to receive. One can be an aleyo, outsider (literal translation) or not initiated and receive and Esu/Elegua if they have issues he can help with. This is one of the aspects that what makes Elegua so unique.
He is a very complicated deity. He is known as one that can create confusion very easily. So he always has to be pampered and treated with reverence to avoid hassles created on his behalf. Anytime there is a sacrifice or ceremony he has to be given something first. He is the appropriator of ceremonies. Without Elegua being acknowledged first chances are the outcome desired in a ceremony will not come to fruition. He is considered one of the primary Warriors given in the Ibora or set of Warriors given by a Babalawo. A Babalawo is an Ifa priest initiated in the secrets of Ifa. He gives the set of Warriors to those who need it. The warriors in the Diaspora consist of Elegua, Ogun, Ochosi and Osun. In Nigeria Osun is not given with the warriors. Priests and Priestesses of Orisha may give Elegua to their godchildren but not the whole set of warriors. It is with this Elegua the godchild is initiated to Orisha with when they decide to get initiated.
Contrary to what most people believe not all roads of Elegua like children or want to play. Some can be very serious and dangerous if annoyed or played with. One has to know the road of their Elegua and his particular characteristics. They are not all the same.
Friday, June 29, 2007
The Dark Secret About Healing and Recovery
I wrote this book to show a flip side to "The Secret," by Rhonda Byrne. Her material is wonderful, but she misses an important point: there is a dark secret that prevents us from experiencing all the good we so rightfully deserve.
My book is partly a self-help guide and partly an inspirational tool. Most importantly, it makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the profession of Social Work and to the new field of Life Coaching.
We can have a healthier, happier life if we are willing to choose the Positive. However, this process poses significant challenges for us and our culture.
We are living in times of wondrous opportunity and great folly. The world still looks to America for hope, direction, and solutions. America remains a land of majestic beauty, a beacon of unlimited opportunity, prosperity, and abundance.
But America stands before us transfixed by the rhythm of automobile engines, entangled by a war of liberation and retaliation, surrounded by a haze of unnatural vapor and murky waters, mesmerized by the soothing images on color television sets and personal computers.
See the flashing lights; hear the wailing sirens of ambulances racing through our city streets to remove the bodies of children playing drug war games. Look at the women unsafe from attack while jogging in city parks or strolling through neighborhood parks or even office corridors. Youngsters are assaulted by gunman in schools, airport terminals, and McDonald Restaurants. Robbers steal and prey on the unsuspecting in subway stations, private homes or parking lots.
Meanwhile, numerous high school graduates can't read or write, and many college graduates can't find decent jobs. More of the clergy break their vows and end up in court or prison. Half of all eligible voters in our country rarely vote.
Millions of Americans who work, struggle to meet their basic needs for food, shelter, clothing and medical care. Forty-four million Americans don't have healthcare insurance. More than half of our bankruptcy claims are due to overwhelming healthcare costs; yet our political system passes laws to make filing Chapter 7 even more difficult.
In the last year alone, a million people have joined the ranks of the poor. The mentally ill and our homeless continue to overwhelm local social service networks. Medicaid and prison costs threaten the solvency of state governments. Furthermore, mass media floods us with the uneasy images of emaciated third-world children, assassinations, terrorist bombings, casualties of war, looming pandemics, natural disasters, and fear.
The good news is that life doesn't have to be an experience of constant pain and unhappiness. Unfortunately too many people, after initially trying to make some healthy changes, simply give up and return to their old ways of living. And life does appear to be very negative for so many of us.
By profession, I am a social worker who has learned to believe in our right to heal and find peace. This book will try to convince you of these facts: we can learn how to make changes or improvements in ourselves as well as our culture.
For the last 30 years of my adult life, I have reached out a loving hand to countless many that suffer and hurt. In spite of all the pain, sorrow, human misery, and hardships that I have witnessed, I am awe-struck by the incredible spiritual growth I see, including miracles that have appeared in my life's journey.
Do you need a miracle? Are you facing a challenge of sickness, loneliness, pain, loss, excessive habits or lack? Surely you will agree that living in today's world is exciting, but you also know there is so much that is wrong, destructive, and harmful.
Spend some time with me and we will talk about healings, happiness, miracles, and social reforms. My healings can be the start of your miracles; our miracles can begin to transform social ills; our culture dedicated to social healing can take its rightful place in the service to the needs of the world.
This is a book about personal healing, social work treatment, and the need for social healings; but above all else, it is a message of hope. Yet, my approach requires that ultimately each person find their own inner pathway to healing. Along these lines I am reminded of a story from the Talmud: (4):
"A young Rabbi talked to his master: 'During the time when I am studying I feel filled with light and life, but as soon as I cease to study this mood disappears. What should I do?' So the Rabbi replied: 'It is like a man who walks through a forest on a dark night, and part of the way is accompanied by a companion who carries a lantern. Soon they come to the point where their paths divide, and they must go on alone. If each carries his own lantern, one need fear no darkness.'"
What I will share with you is not new but old and it is a lantern. If we are to survive in this world, I believe it is time to wake up and look around. Let us choose to see the Light. Let us sing the song of Light, and search for our emotional connection to the Light that flows inside and through us all. With this knowledge of spirituality firmly in place, we can claim our in-born right to healing, happiness, and freedom.
Like the ancient Greek philosophers emphasized; "Knowledge is not what a man has been told, shown, or taught; it can be only what he has found out for himself by long and rigorous search." (5). Absolute Knowledge—the Light, is subject to many different styles and modes of interpretations, just like music can be expressed in an infinite number of modes.
The more I share with others, the more I discover that Light is everything I know and feel plus more than I know and feel—the mystical element. Follow that which is positive, wholesome, and good.
Today I choose to share what Light means to me in the hope that you will find your own truth-vision. This is an exercise that will take patience, faith, and practice. What will soon become clear to you, from reading my book, is that the pathway to healthy change
overflows with peace, joy, and "bliss" as the mythmaker states.
I have divided my book into two parts. Part I will focus on: face stressful feelings and think positive thoughts. Part II will conclude with: take positive action and turn to Positive Power. This is a healing formula. One can use it to facilitate personal healing, to help others, and to make improvements in our country. It begins with the best we can humanly do in steps 1 through 3, and then requires our complete surrender in step 4 to the power of Light however one defines It.
I see my message as a beacon of Love-Light to those who want and need to have a better life. My book illustrates that when find the power to unlock our dark secret, we can all become more effective change agents, which will help our nation heal too. And then one can super-size "The Secret," to get the results we all are want and need.
More information is available at Lulu.com
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Reincarnation & Karma - 4 Reasons People Think They Lived Past Lives as Famous Historical Figures
Too often, there are reports of people claiming to have been
glorified historical figures in past lives.
It's a frequent misconception, perhaps encouraged in part by
somewhat unscrupulous psychics who tell clients how important
they were in their past lives. When people are regressed and see
their own past lives, it's common to perceive experiences as being
both rich and poor, male and female, powerful and powerless,
productive and unproductive, and so on. If people perceive
themselves as a famous historic figure such as Cleopatra,
Joan of Arc, one of the Disciples of Jesus, or even as Jesus
himself, there are four possible explanations for this:
1. The person really was the historic figure in a past life.
2. The person is identifying with personality patterns
associated with the historic individual to such an extent that
the person believes he or she was that individual.
3. The person's ego is adding to the session. For example,
perhaps he or she perceives through regression the ancient
civilization of Egypt and a woman who looked like Cleopatra,
or they may have been associated with Cleopatra, but the
regressed person wasn't actually Cleopatra.
4. The person is somehow connecting to the energy or
consciousness that was once part of the historic figure.
Regarding those who consider people who believe in
reincarnation and past lives to be escapists and cowards,
it actually takes more courage to accept and live within the
ideals of reincarnation and karma because it means you have
to take responsibility for everything you do, say, intend, and
feel for all that happens to you. There is no such thing as a
victim, you can't blame anyone for anything, and you "get
away with" nothing.
Furthermore, physical death may be the end of our body, but
we are far more than just a body. Our soul consists of energy
or life force. Science has proven that energy never dies and
can't be destroyed; it just takes a different form.
Past life regression can be used for entertainment purposes,
but more importantly, even if you don't believe in past lives,
it can be a very useful and therapeutic tool.
Finally, it doesn't really matter if the theories of reincarnation
and karma are valid or not, but if we all acted as if they were,
our world would be a much better place.
Copyright © 2007 Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
New Age Gurus - 20 Qualities That Don't Make a Good Spiritual Teacher
Since the early 1980's we've explored metaphysical and
New Age offerings. We've compiled a list below to help
you navigate the metaphysical marketplace.
The following is an extended list of characteristics that,
although perceived by much of the population as inherently
"spiritual," do not automatically make someone a good
*Membership to a sect/religion based in a foreign country
*The appearance of a wise, old sage; older doesn't always
*The ability to offer an authentic-looking, heartfelt cry on
*Having attracted a lot of money/contributions through their
*A foreign accent
*Lots of press
*Expensive seminars and retreats
*Mention of having studied under a "guru" in an exotic
*Specializing in mysterious disciplines that are difficult, if
not impossible to pronounce
*Being a "best-selling" author
*An appearance on Oprah
*Appearing on other national TV/radio shows
*Having testimonials/endorsements from other "spiritual
authorities" (i.e., often self-proclaimed)
*A powerfully effective communicator/stage presence
*Having "cured" themselves of a terminal disease through
their magic powers that you can have too if you would just
pay their fees and buy their products
*Guaranteeing success in manifesting what you want
(especially if it contrasts with who you really are/your
*Denying reincarnation and karma (usually because accepting
these basic spiritual concepts would negate some or a lot of
what they preach)
*"Never" saying anything "negative" and always smiling
*Written communication that appears to sound profoundly
deep, is difficult to decipher, and that leaves you thinking,
"What does that mean?" after the feel-good feeling fades
*The ability to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside
*Claims of having communicated directly with God, or guides,
or other spiritual beings--especially when the "communications"
are sometimes biased-sounding. For example, someone claiming
that "God" told them a certain politician/political initiative or
corporate initiative is evil, or that one must, for instance,
abstain from sex for the rest of his/her life in order to reach
*The willingness to jump on the New Age bandwagon just
because a spiritual concept is popular
Copyright © 2007 Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The Lap Dancer Who Changed My Life
She was stunning, had a beautiful aura and the moment she stepped onto the bar I knew that I had to have a lap dance from her. Her skin was softer than a baby. As she proceeded to straddle me I couldn't help but begin to talk to her. She told me her name was Angelina and that she was a local resident in Amsterdam. I made a comment about how her skin was so soft and made a light note of it by asking her what her secret was? She laughed and asked how old I was. I told her that I was 30 to which she then asked me what my secret was to looking so young?
We continued to speak during the course of the lap dance and to be honest, I'd almost forgotten that she was supposed to be giving me a dance because I really enjoyed the conversation that we were having. Later that evening my friends and I were talking and I noticed that Angelina was sitting at the bar by herself having a drink. I decided to go over and talk to her. We ended up talking for the better part of half an hour. She told me that she was a mother of two even though she was only 23 years old. When she told me that I was totally stunned as not only did she look very young too, but she was doing lap dancing as her primary source of income!
As the conversation went on we learned a great deal about one another. I did ask Angelina if she enjoyed being a lap dancer to which she replied that she did, however, she had plans to go study and train to be a make up artist. She was very confident about herself, what she wanted to do and the dreams she wanted to fulfil. We continued talking about various things and life in general. At the end of the conversation, we gave each other a big hug and I said to her: "you're beautiful on the inside as well as the outside!" After that I wished her the best in fulfilling her dreams to be a make up artist and wished her luck for her marriage too!
Two days later my friends and I ended up being at the same bar again. After a while Angelina came onto the bar. Shortly after she noticed me, waved at me and gave me a big smile. She beckoned me over to have another lap dance from her. I reluctantly said yes but as she sat onto my lap it just didn't feel right any more! It felt like I had asked a friend to strip naked and dance for me! I felt very uncomfortable but to express that when you're in a bar surrounded by men jeering you on is not an easy thing to convey. When she finished her dance I gave her a huge hug and whispered in her ear: "I'm truly sorry, but I feel as if you're a friend now and that just didn't seem right to me!" She whispered back; "I know and I could tell, it's because you're different to every other guy I've met, it's ok!"
I paid her the money after which I waited and hoped to see her walk by after she'd finished so that I could speak to her further. Unfortunately I had to leave as my other friends wanted to go which meant that it is unlikely that I will ever see her again!
Just after we left the bar one of my friends was very tired and just wanted to sleep. We didn't have anywhere to stay that night so we decided that he and I would go to the airport and find a quiet corner where he could sleep. My other friends wanted to continue their night out and so we went our separate ways. After we got to the airport we found a good spot where my friend fell asleep. We had 6 hours to kill before our flight and even though I was tired I didn't feel like sleeping. So I sat down and decided to meditate. The whole experience with Angelina came back to me and I spent the better part of four hours and just thinking about what had happened. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes but I was determined not to cry! It had a huge impact on me what had happened.
I realised that if getting to know someone can make me have a conscience about dancing with this girl then there should be no reason why I find it ok just because I do not personally know the woman, or should I say, the beautiful spirit in front of me. Just like every other man on the planet, I love the site of a naked woman, but that isn't an excuse for me to satisfy my needs by paying a woman to dance for me. I spent much of that time crucifying myself for what had happened. For good reason too, however, I know that beating myself up inside was not going to change what had happened. Nothing could! It was then that I realised that it was part of the my journey of self discovery that things transpired the way that they did. It was no coincidence that I ended up being at the bar both the nights that Angelina was there, considering that she only danced 3 nights a week. It was what I chose to experience. If I didn't have that experience with Angelina there would've been a chance that I would've done the same thing again in the future and continued doing it.
I have no idea if what had happened also had an effect on Angelina. I would love to be able to see her again and tell her the impact she had on me. She probably will never know, but she, in that moment, was my Angel, Angelina.
The question now is where do I go from here? I am always going to be invited to strip clubs by my friends, unless I decide to change my friends! So will I ever go again? Yes I will for sure because as far as I'm I'm concerned it's one place where I still have the opportunity to do some good. Will I ever pay for a lap dance again? No, that is something I will never do again but I have no regrets about what transpired, in fact, I'm grateful! I made my choices, some of which were not the best but I've forgiven myself because out of them, I choose the path to grow.
Even whilst writing this I feel like crying, I know it will come out of me at some stage. But I also feel like a new chapter has opened for me and many new doors will open from this experience.
Thank you my Angel-lina! :)
Monday, June 11, 2007
The Perfect Threesome - You - Me and God
I woke up this morning so it's already a good day. When I wake up every morning, the first thought is always about me. It may be how I feel, or what I was dreaming, or something like that. I'm talking about that very first thought when I am conscious. From that point, I have to reduce my self-consciousness and remember God.
I don't like waking up alone. I am single, but that's because I had chosen to marry someone who did not love God. I didn't understand that no one could really love me if they didn't love God. I have always known what I wanted. Now, finally, I realize what I need.
I am not a preacher. There have been times in my life that others may have even wondered if I even knew God. I have come to a point in my life where I understand that pain is anywhere in my life where God is not.
Sometime last year I had been reading my spiritual text and I realized that all of it was about relationships. My chosen text is the Bible. I have formally studied all major religions, their histories and current states. I choose to be Christian. I know that this is not everyone's choice, and that's not really my concern. As my mentor put to me last year, the source of my pain was always because of my separation from God.
All the stories and teaching I have been reading has to do with the relationship between God and me, God and others, God and this earth, along with the angels whether or not they had fallen. And then there were stories about relationships between people and everything else we call reality, both seen and unseen. I believe that when I began to see and understand these relationship stories I began to wake up.
My mentor and I do not have the same religious beliefs. He taught me not to be religious. We share a strong belief in spirituality. My salvation from the pain of living came when I learned how to embrace spirituality. When this happened, I learned how to love. I learned humility, and when that gets out of whack, I have to remember something simple. How long can I hold my own pee? I am not in control of anything.
God is in control. It follows that for me to have a relationship, whether it is friends, family, or a partner, then God will have to be in control to be able to relieve the inevitable pains that we bring each other. Remember I started by saying that any part of my life where God does not live brings me pain. I am allergic to pain.
I need love. I need God. And I need you. How God operates in any of my relationships is up to the three of us. Without those three ingredients our recipe is incomplete and who knows what we'll cook up. However, if God is the center of us, then when we look into each other's eyes, as lovers, as friends, and/or as family, then we will always see home when we need to. Anything else is superficial.
Friday, June 08, 2007
Faith Is Not Easy, But You Can Have It!
For the past months my husband and I have been standing in prayer for a friend that is going through a very stressful situation in her life. We have been her mentor for many years.
She is one of those special people that receives and follows instructions to a tee. That is very rare. There are many people who constantly ask questions. They will listen to what is being said, but they never put into practice what they have heard.
Many of these people just want therapy; they do not want solid answers that require change. Change is not easy. It is the one of the most difficult things that we humans must learn to do. Just as our natural muscles ache when we over exercise or use them in ways in which they are not accustomed, the same is true when we stretch our spiritual muscles. They too cry out in pain.
As we read in Hebrews 11:1, "Faith is the substance of the things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen."
How do we believe for something we cannot see? In Romans 4:17, Abraham "called things that are not, as though they were."
In essence it comes in literally taking God at his word. Believing what He has said, no matter what we see, what we feel or what we hear. Faith is not easy, but you can have it!
If we never learn to see God in the small things, we will never see Him in the large ones.
Our spiritual eyes must recognize the fingerprints of God in every area of our lives. Our faith grows as we live through trials and circumstances where God comes through for us over and over again. These begin to form faith building blocks that become the strong foundation that our spiritual lives stand on.
Look back to the times that God has come through for you. Even if it is only once, His fingerprint is the same, it never changes. If you have heard His still small voice even once you can hear it again, for it never changes. If you have felt His touch upon you even once, you can feel it again, for He never changes.
Hebrew 3:8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Believing that is having faith! Faith is not easy, but you can have it!