Some initiated individuals may focus solely on external power and may not necessarily establish the time to commit and cultivate the power within. Ideally, in order to strengthen ones Spiritual connection, the development of internal power should remain consistent with the honoring of external power.

Through alignment with one’s higher self, and their higher power, one can connect to their divine stream of happiness, fulfillment and purpose. In doing so, one is able to manifest. When operating consistently out of our lower selves, manifesting the fruits of Spiritual and Orisha work may be challenging. Lower vibrations, from a place of judgement and lack of compassion, create blockages and an ineffective flow of energy.

Art by Soul Indigo

Unless one strives to align with their higher self, thus expanding their internal power, the songs, prayers, dances, Odu’s and ceremonies are inefficient.

Many continue to gain titles and initiations, while lacking inner development. Some may place emphasis and importance on the collection of crowns, Orishas and ceremonies, as opposed to dismantling fears, traumas and dysfunctional patterns. In these situations , the ego expands with each ceremony, instead of introspection, growth, humility and compassion. This in turn may create separation, and a false sense of entitlement and evolution.

Art by Andre Hora

In addition, many strive to understand or familiarize themselves with the Orisha for whom they are marked, without striving to get to know themselves in the process. They are eager to take on the characteristics of an Orisha, without addressing their personal characteristics. For some, the replacement of Orisha energy for personal energy, may seem easier than acceptance of self, healing and evolving. The Asé of our Orishas should compliment our characteristics, not replace or mask them. The Asé of the Orisha should not be used to excuse or justify ones negative behaviors or shortcomings.

Many on the path are encouraged to change or address negative behaviors, solely out of fear of the Orishas “punishments “ and possible repercussions. This concept only perpetuates the continuation of imbalance and feelings of inner powerlessness.

The inner work is an aspect that is not always encouraged in the process of initiation. In the 22 years of my being in this tradition, I have witnessed an increase in individuals that become Priests, without having been held accountable for the inner work to address dysfunctional patterns and behaviors. Instead of rushing folks through initiation, we should also direct them to healers, Spiritual counselors, therapists and connect them with healing modalities. This step is crucial and frequently overlooked on the road to initiation.

Furthermore, individuals on the path to initiation, should also be encouraged to do additional ancestor work. Ancestor reverence is an essential step of healing and growth. In the interaction with ancestors, one is able to identify patterns and behaviors that require change. This is an integral step for evolution.

Folks should also consider meditation, honoring the the head/ Ori, clearing the third eye, energy work and alignment of chakras. All these practices make for a more efficient transmission of energy. It’s like blood that flows and provides oxygen. Our Asé has to flow to provide the appropriate spiritual nutrients that are needed for an optimal experience. The flow of this Asé ignites the inner power, therefore connecting us with our external power.

Art by Soul Indigo

For those that struggle with manifesting, take time to align your inner power, with your external power. Honoring your internal power is an essential step for Divine connection.

Iya Ota Niwé, LCSW, Certified Holistic Life Coach.