RECOMMENDED BOOKS AND REFERENCES

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When people start out on their spiritual journey, those that are serious usually ask for any references that can help them understand their new found reality. I, myself, still refer back to many of my favorite books and videos. Therefore, I take it as a responsibility to keep a repertoire of good sources for those that are interested.  Scroll down for the following list of some of my favorite books or view by Category.

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Dictionary and grammar of the Kongo language

William Holman Bentley

Death and the Invisible Powers: The World of Kongo Belief

Simon Bockie

Rich in anecdote and case histories, Death and the Invisible Powers is a personal account of the spiritual life of the Kongo people. It describes the ancient traditions that nourish a culture whose name symbolizes the heart of Central Africa.

African Cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo: Tying the Spiritual Knot, Principles of Life & Living

Kimbwandende Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau

Fu-Kiau Bunseki, Ph.D. is one of the great scholars of the African religion, and the leading authority on the Bantu-Kongo civilization. He is also a genuine practitioner of the Kongo spiritual tradition. He is intiated in the three "secret societies" Lemba, Khimba and Kimpasi. Lemba is the foundation for several African based religious practices including Palo Mayombe (Cuba), Vodou Petro (Haiti) and Candomble Angola (Brasil). African cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo explores the Bantu-Kongo religious and philosophical teachings, as well as concepts of law and crime. It connects the reader with one of the most ancient and powerful spiritual traditions-explore "seven-direction walk" our origin and links to society, nature and the universe.

Letters From Nigeria - Reflections of an Ifa Initiate

Deidre Prescod

Deidre Prescod was initiated into the Ifa Tradition and journeyed to Nigeria in order to secure authentic information and know how as to the performance of rituals that are mandatory for any Ifa Initiate. The book Letters from Nigeria - Reflections of an Ifa Initiate is the author’s reflection of her experiences while researching the spiritual and cultural tradition during her four years living among the Yoruba people of Nigeria in West Africa. It is an honest to a fault account of the wisdom gained on her journey a reflection which includes her various relationships as sister, friend, mother, grandmother and priestess. It is also a guideline to Ifa devotees and practitioners. Deidre embraced the opportunity to learn and practice Ifa as taught by the Babalawos (father of mysteries) traditional Yoruba Priests. The information in this book is from primary sources, gathered from her travels throughout Yoruba land. Her personal hands-on experiences and direct interviews with the custodians of this ancient wisdom make this book an anthropological find. As a result this book will appeal to the sociologist, the historian the cultural anthropologist and seekers of ancient spirituality and wisdom in general. Deidre a single mother and grandmother left her home and business to the concern and amazement of her two sons and all who knew her to pursue this urgent spiritual call. The technical information in these letters is sound and can be easily authenticated. It is her interpretation of the information that may seem radical. This book Letters From Nigeria re-forges a broken link between African's in the Diaspora and their brothers and sisters on the African Continent highlighting aspects of their powerful innate identity and spirituality that resonates naturally.

The Architects of Existence: Aje in Yoruba Cosmology, Ontology, and Orature

Teresa Washington

In The Architects of Existence: Aje in Yoruba Cosmology, Ontology, and Orature, Washington undertakes an in-depth exploration of Aje’s Yoruba Gods, origins, and manifestations to reveal the force’s vast depth, complexity, and scope. By analyzing diverse sources, including published studies, historical texts, divination verses, and interviews with Yoruba wisdom keepers, Washington elucidates the multifaceted and complex nature of Aje and reveals the power to be extraordinarily dynamic, influential, and logical. Washington’s meticulous exposition of Aje includes chapters on the multifold power of Odu, the Great Mother Aje; Aje’s signs, symbols, and orders of operation; manifestations of Aje in the Odu Ifa; the roles of Aje in Yoruba secret societies and sacred institutions; and the impact of Aje on some of the Yoruba world’s most influential sons, including Olatubosun Oladapo, Wole Soyinka, and Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The Architects of Existence is a groundbreaking study that will be essential reading for scholars of Yoruba Studies, Philosophy, African Studies, Gender Studies, and Religious Studies. Initiates and practitioners of Yoruba spiritual arts and sciences will find this book to be indispensable.

Mules and Men

ZORA NEALE HURSTON

Mules and Men is a treasury of black America's folklore as collected by a famous storyteller and anthropologist who grew up hearing the songs and sermons, sayings and tall tales that have formed an oral history of the South since the time of slavery. Returning to her hometown of Eatonville, Florida, to gather material, Zora Neale Hurston recalls "a hilarious night with a pinch of everything social mixed with the storytelling." Set intimately within the social context of black life, the stories, "big old lies," songs, Vodou customs, and superstitions recorded in these pages capture the imagination and bring back to life the humor and wisdom that is the unique heritage of African Americans.

Palo Mayombe The Garden of Blood & Bones

NICHOLAI DE MATTOS FRISVOLD

Palo Mayombe - The Garden of Blood and Bones is an initiates account of this much maligned religion and cult whose central nigromantic mystery is the prenda, the cauldron containing the human skull or bones, re-animated by living spirit

Rituals of Resistance: African Atlantic Religion in Kongo & The Lowcountry South

JASON R. YOUNG

In Rituals of Resistance Jason R. Young explores the religious and ritual practices that linked West-Central Africa with the Lowcountry region of Georgia and South Carolina during the era of slavery.

The Source of Iya Nla Primordial Yoruba Mother

IYALAJA ILEANA ALCAMO

A woman who is also an Iyalaja, Awo Ifa and Iyalaje needs to know what her spiritual connection is with Orun (heaven) and Aiye (earth) in each one of every diverse manifestation inside the creation. We, as women should realize that our physical and spiritual correlation with Aje energy have been granted to us as a guide to seek how to empower our spiritual development without abusing or altering the balance of existence.

Osun Seegesi: The Elegant Deity of Wealth, Power and Feminity

DIEDRE L. BADEJO

What does our sophisticated, technically advanced society have to learn from a venerable African goddess? The answers the author found as she immersed herself in the ritual orature, sacred songs, and festival drama of the Yoruba goddess, Osun Seegesi, at the diety's principal shrine in the city of Osogbo, Nigeria, are shared with the world in this detailed documentary/analysis.

Jambalaya : The Natural Woman's Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals

Luisah Teish

Actress, storyteller, and priestess Luisah Teish dramatically re-creates centuries-old African-American traditions with music, memoir, and folk wisdom.

Tell My Horse

ZORA NEALE HURSTON

As a first-hand account of the weird mysteries and horrors of voodoo, Tell My Horse is an invaluable resource and fascinating guide. Based on Zora Neale Hurston's personal experiences in Haiti and Jamaica, where she participated as an initiate rather than just an observer of voodoo practices during her visits in the 1930s, this travelogue into a dark world paints a vividly authentic picture of ceremonies and customs and superstitions of great cultural interest.

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