Upon receiving the elders blessings to express authentic Obeah before the world I knew there would be consequences…. I knew embarking upon this spiritual endeavor meant challenging, combating, and dispelling the myths and false truths propagated about our tradition in the diaspora. Obeah… a term that strikes fear and awe in the hearts and minds of men gained much notoriety during the 18th century. With Obeah fueled rebellions taking place across the Americas and Caribbean; the deterioration of the slave economy was inevitable. Nevertheless the colonizers were never so naive as to believe Obeah was ineffective… They knew something shrewd had to be done to silence the tradition and weaken Akan captives. Before we knew it, Obeah was forsaken, banished, and punishable by way of Europeans laws imposed by a corrupt judiciary system. It became so demonized and pitiful anything spiritual outside of the parameters of Christianity done by the African was deemed “Obeah”, hence a lot of todays confusion. Nevertheless the integrity or powers of our traditionalists were never questionable; for Akan spiritualist have always taken pride in demonstrating their powers for the public. Obeah practitioners were never branded simple con-artist with a cunning snake oil pitch… but actual religio-magical threats reinforced by an unseen sentience. All slaves regardless of their tribe knew this; causing many non-Akan Africans to masquerade as a practitioner wherever they could. The possession of Obeah made one a muse with authority and created space for defiance. It wasn’t rare that practitioners of Obeah would be shipped to other plantations for their “trouble-making”. This contributed to the teaching and embellishing of our tradition… from Obayi to Obeah.
Fast forward to the 21st century authentic Obeah now faces exploitation alongside its Sistar traditions via mainstream social media… The masquerade still continues and placing the term “Obeah” over one’s activity is synonymous with saying, “my snake oil works”! These days however, I am seeing the fruits of my labor come to fruition and am witnessing the necessary reconstitution of our ATFR (African Traditional Folk-Religion). Even Google has retraced the linguistic etymology of the term Obeah to its proper cultural and ethnic destination; Bayi from the Twi language belonging to the Akan. Our works and publishing’s from The Obeah Tree has made it easier for the public to access Obeah and learn it’s true cultural cosmology. Many are finding their way back to their ancestral practice through The Obeah Tree and I credit this momentum to the seekers own blood-circle and spiritual navigation system. Yes Obeah is real… yet Obeah does not make one a “believer”, but rather opens one’s eyes to our ancestral mandate in reality… there are many living testimonies that will account for its validity physical and non-physical. But will it survive… At this point of my life I know I was born to promise you that. Paapa Yewoti