By Ita Awak
I met the ladies as they were nervously debating on the “Christianness” of the “assignment” the prophetess and “woman-of-God” of their new “miracle-working” church had prescribed for Uduak, a 34 years old beautiful lady.
Apparently, Uduak was encouraged to patronise this “prophetess” of a “powerful” church so as to help find a permanent spiritual solution to one of her most perturbing worries: the inability to get a husband 9 years after graduation.
What brought about the debate amongst the ladies was the “materials” that Uduak was requested by the prophetess’ assistant to gather for the spiritual “assignment” and the assurance that these unusual appurtenances when accompanied with the proper prayers had the powers to “unbound the ancestral curses” and “break the yoke” that tended to discourage and/or repels good suitors from her. These materials were: 1) some sand from her family compound in the village; 2) the mask of a masquerade; 3) mirror; 4) a bottle of water from an ebbing stream or river possibly from her village river; 5) a white and black cockerel; 6) incense; 7) 7 candles; 8) bathing soap of her choice; 9) towel and 10) a set of new undies.
Uduak’s predicament, she told me, was that in as much as she earnestly desired to solve her seeming problem, she found it extremely difficult to reconcile the prophetess’ envisioned method of solving the problem with she considered as “Christianity practice.” To her, it all looked like the kind of “satanic” African “voodoo” practice that is roundly condemned by priests of Christianity.
It was here that I called Uduak’s attention to Leviticus 14: 1-9 of our Judeo-Christian Bible. This passages records the standard “divinely approved” method for the ritualistic cleansing for one having leprosy. According to this mosaic ritualism, a priest is meant to slaughter a cock whose blood is collected in an earthen vessel held over a running body of water. This blood is sprinkled 7 times upon the victim who is asked to ritualistically shave ALL hair from his or her body on the 7th day.
After reading the text, I then asked Uduak and her friends: is this not some kind of Israelitish voodooism sanctioned by the Bible??? What is the essential difference, I further inquired, between this Jewish cum biblical voodooism and the type recommended by the modern sorceress posing as a church “prophetess” or the kind practised by Ifa or Ekpene High Priests???
In any event, I got Uduak to appreciate the fact that what her new “woman-of-God” was trying to do was a Christianised form of original pagan cleaning rites and”Nature Worship,” combined with aspects of Sympathetic Magic. The candle, incense, river water and sand were simply the four Principal Elements of Fire; Air; Water and Earth respectively. The way I see it, I think the “Assignment” was intended to both “commune” and “harmonise.” The carefully selected psalms, “fasting” and bathing are related to “cleansing” of one’s auric field of certain psychic debris.
As we can see, many of the priests of Christianity deftly incorporate elements of pagan and Nature Worshipping in their ritualisms. I DO NOT taboo genuine and good “Church Assignments.” What I loathe and condemn is the hypocrisy of a vast majority of the Christian priestcraft.