BLACK MEDICINE is called ETU. In the USA, it is commonly known as activated charcoal, which is the powder form of a potent natural remedy. Activated charcoal is used to trap toxins and chemicals in the body, allowing them to be flushed out so the body doesn’t reabsorb them. It’s made from a variety of sources, but when used for natural healing, it’s important to select activated charcoal made from coconut shells or other natural sources.
Orisa Lifestyle makes regular use of etu [activated charcoal]. There are many verses of Ifa, wherein etu is prescribed. One of my favorite examples comes from the Holy Odu OgbeOyeku. Here, the Lion was not fierce. Nor was he the king of the jungle! Instead, the animals showed him nothing but disrespect. If the Lion fell asleep, they would walk right over him. Lion went to consult Ifa. He was told to sacrifice for glory and honor. The sacrifice included a calabash of water, activated charcoal, three clubs and herbs. They said he should crush the herbs in the water, add the charcoal and drink it. They instructed Lion to make a circle of urine around the spot where he planned to sleep. Any animal who entered that circle would surely fall dead. From that time one, the animals would not dare approach the Lion.
HOW DOES ACTIVATED CHARCOAL WORK?
When charcoal is activated, it is processed in a way to increase the porosity. Because of this, activated carbon will have a large surface area, which can adsorb substances effectively. This primarily increases its effectiveness as a filter. Activated charcoal is "activated" when it's processed at extremely high temperatures, which changes its internal structure, reduces its pore size and expands its surface area  It's not absorbed by your body, so it's free to carry surface-bound toxins from your body and dispose of them through bowel movements. It’s important to note that activated charcoal is not charcoal used in your barbecue grill! Barbecue charcoal is loaded with toxins and chemicals, and should never be consumed. 
Difference between Activated Carbon and Charcoal:
TOP USES OF ACTIVATED CHARCOAL
Whenever you take activated charcoal, it’s imperative to drink 12-16 glasses of water per day. Activated charcoal can cause dehydration if adequate amounts of water aren’t consumed in tandem. In addition, this helps to flush out the toxins quickly and prevents constipation experienced by some individuals.
Here are some uses of activated charcoal:
HOW TO USE ACTIVATED CHARCOAL
 Juurlink DN 2016 published in the Br J Clin Pharmacol titled Activated charcoal for acute overdose: a reappraisal.
The sweet potato with its splendid leaves
Excessive charms make one to act irrationally
If one possesses several potent charms
And one has no honesty, it will not be effective
One’s Ori is more effective than 200 different charms
Ifa’s message for Adibo-Ope,
he who holds the Ifa determinants during consultation
When they declared that he had only 110 more days to live
He was advised to offer ebo
Ifa sees you with longevity
- Holy Odu IrosunOgunda
Power intoxicates. It makes people lose sight of reality. When people think you are powerful, they will suffer with an irrational fear that you are determined to harm them. Any time you make a decision that adversely affects them they will swear that you have deliberately set out to destroy their lives. And when you create some opportunity that does not explicitly revolve around them, these people will be outraged by your apparent attempts to disadvantage them. People who have internalized a victim's mentality cannot have a healthy relationship to power.
Let me say here, that Ifa teaches that true power is never outside of yourself. Ifa says that, even when we have the Instruments of power and the trappings of authority, if we refuse to act, we shall become useless. And so it is, that your greatest power is not in beads, pots, titles or charms. Instead, your greatest power is embedded into your prenatal choice, which we call ORI.
The more closely you are aligned with your destiny, the greater you will become. Reject all movements and campaigns that constantly urge you to put Orisa, charms and other materials before your ori. Ori is supreme. It is what makes you greater than any circumstances or conditions.
Obafemi Origunwa, MA | ObafemiO.com
With the recent pilgrimage to Ghana, I shared with friends a new title given to me by the King of Akwamu, there have been some interesting negative responses from the black community.
Though the positives far outweigh the negatives, I choose today to focus on those negative ones because I believe there is great power in studying this mindset to provide teachable moments.
We American born blacks were bred to hate our own people and ourselves. Self-deprivation is buried deep within our subconscious. We’ve found comfort in calling ourselves derogatory names and sabotage our own progress because we’ve been convinced we are unworthy of the same things whites or other nations enjoy. When Jews visit the Holocaust Museum or Israel, or Irish and Italian Americans travel to their homelands, there’s ZERO backlash from their communities and communities outside. Ask yourselves:
WHY IS THERE ALWAYS BACKLASH FROM OUR OWN BLACK COMMUNITY WHENEVER WE HAVE PILGRAMIGES OUR HOMELAND?
This is not only from other blacks; it brings commentary from other communities who mysteriously seem entitled to chime in as well!
“Negative comments like; “Who do these Ni**ers think they are? They’re celebrating slavery! Africans were complicit in slavery as well! This is just a publicity stunt! They just want attention! etc.” Why all the hate? Why do folks care so much? It’s like we threatened them…AND WE HAVE! We have threatened them and other black folks to think better of us, therefore- better of themselves!
We American blacks are SUPPOSED to think negatively about being connected to our homeland because that's how we were conditioned to think! We’re SUPPOSED to think; all Africa was, was slavery when only an extremely small portion of the continent was even involved in the slave trade. We’re SUPPOSED to see Africa as mainly "starving people and jungles."
We may call ourselves African Americans but we are truly disconnected from Africa. I say WE because I’m not excluded! I thought “my people” came from South Carolina which I now see, is as stupid as a Chinese man saying his people came from Ohio! I tracked my heritage South Carolina was only a small part of my people's journey that began in Ghana, a place that had kings well before Europe had theirs. For me to be enstooled by the King Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III of Akwamu is far more relevant than if I were knighted by Queen Elizabeth who’s royal bloodline doesn’t go back as far. Ghana has been the 8th African country I’ve visited. They’ve all been astoundingly beautiful, with classy and very educated people who speak more languages than we do.
Those of us that felt “some kind of way” maybe you can begin to direct that anger toward those orchestrators that made you hate who you are- those who’d find comfort in you hating your own people, and those who’d find it threatening for you to unite with your people in solidarity. I believe the original culprits are long dead but their policies are alive and well. Please ask yourself; if Mark Wahlberg or Ben Affleck went back to their place of heritage would you care? They have a country that loves and embraces them. WE HAVE A WHOLE CONTINENT THAT LOVES AND EMBRACES US!
In Africa, a voice commands him to look around. The Voice: "Do you see any niggers?" He answers meekly “No.” The voice: "Do you know why? Because there aren't any." - Richard Pryor.
The Orisa and Vodun traditions belong to a single spiritual and cultural heritage, whose exact origins are embedded into the ancestral memory of the Yoruba and Fon peoples of West Africa. Learning to serve the ancestors and the deities properly - with precision and sincerity - is a particularly important aspect of West African identity. In this regard, the Orisa and Vodun School of Life aims to gradually lead the individual from anonymity to divinity. More precisely, as you learn and develop as a student of the ancient ways, you undergo a series of separations, each of which is a death to the previous profane life.
If there is one principle that defines the educational process, from beginning to end, it is discretion. This is revealed in the terminology we use to identify all Orisa devotees: Alawo, keepers of the mystery. Before anything else, then, the neophyte must make a solemn vow of absolute discretion regarding what they have seen, heard and experienced in the sacred spaces. Any devotee who cannot keep quiet about what is to remain secret and act with the veneration that is due to the sacred insignia he carries on his head will be considered a traitor. And so the Yoruba say, It is not everything the eyes see that the mouth must say:
It is not everything that the eyes see
That the mouth must say
This was the babalawo who cast Ifa for Iwori
On the day he was going to take a peep at the genitals
- Holy Odu IworiMeji
Many years ago, I was introduced to the writings of Bernard Maupoil, Paul Mercier, Pierre Verger and Remy Hounwanou, each of whom has written pioneering books on Vodun. And while those authors have done exceptional research on Vodun, some of my most enlightening insights have come from a sixteen page essay written by Barthélemy Zinzindohoue . I have especially enjoyed his detailed descriptions of the educational process of Vodun.
Firstly, unlike the Yoruba, who typically train the Orisa devotees in the personal homes of the priests, the Fon have a place called the Hun-kpamè or Vodun-Kpamê (Vodun enclosure). It can be compared to an ashram, where priests reside and neophytes come to live and get trained in the various aspects of Vodun tradition. For the first three months, the neophyte is considered Kajèkaji (a gourd who increases the number of gourds). This category reinforces the fact that the training process will enable each initiate to bring forth the mystic potential that resides within themselves.
The neophytes are supervised by the xwégan (head of house), the Kangan (master of the rope) in charge of discipline, the Hunso and the Nagbo, who are the heads of male and female instruction, respectively. Very much like the Yoruba training one would receive on the compound of his Oluwo and Apetebii, the Hunkpamê - Vodun Enclosure - is a harsh school that requires strict renunciation and relentless endurance. The educational process explicitly trains and conditions the neophyte in the life long art of serving the Vodun.
In the pedagogy of initiation, the neophyte is required to prove his capacity for endurance. A carefully choreographed series of challenges is administered by the priests and priestesses in order to prepare the neophytes for the trials of life. Training through trials, which is already a characteristic of the Yoruba and Fon educational systems in general, are even further concentrated in the Orisa and Vodun School of Life. For this reason the elders will remark, "It is preferable to suffer in the beginning and enjoy in the end." Discipline and tenacity are essential, and corporal punishment is used to develop these. Each devotee internalizes the educational experience and stores it in the body. Through gestures, attitudes, rhythms and, if need be, flagellation, the teacher’s words and postures must be memorized and reproduced exactly by the students. As Booker T. Washington instructed us, the mind, heart and body work together to build the complete man.
Apart from learning the sacred language, chants and dances, the neophytes also perform to chores around the temple and engage in fundraising activities. Ultimately, laziness is intolerable, which prompts the Fon to say, “Kajêkaji mo no do hwemê mlon”, which means “the neophyte does not take siestas”.
The neophyte learns to show maturity and be serious in matters of religion. In this way they are being trained to contribute to the balance and order of their community. All devotees are urged to cultivate a sense of brotherhood with all the other practitioners, to respect the deities and to feel a sincere sense of responsibility for the land of their Ancestors.
The Fon have a particular ritual which reinforces this virtue. It is called Kajêkaji (giving of the sand):
“About fifteen years after I was Kajêkaji, the Vodunun gathered all the Vodunsi of my year and told us that he was going to lock us up in a retreat (“xwe mi do xo”). We had been told to utter a strident shout (“gbo”) all the way from our houses to the Vodunon. He put a little earth in our left hand. With this gesture of offering earth, he said: “Danxome ko tonye die emi so do alomê nu hwi ma nu e jê ayi gbede o” (Here is the earth of the Danxomê which I place in your hands, let it never fall!)”
 The Vodou Phenomenon in Benin. Barthélemy ZINZINDOHOUE
Traditional African fabric and fashion promotes culture, style and status. The Yoruba people attach considerable importance to their appearance in the public. To them, it is socially necessary for both men and women to be well groomed at social events and one's dress must fit the occasion. This is perhaps the reason why the Yoruba say aso la nki, ki a to ki eniyan, meaning “it is the cloth we should greet before greeting the wearer” and eniyan lasoo mi, that is “people are my cloth.” The Yoruba also say, ‘Ibere osi, bi oloro ni ri; ti wo aso ile r’oko’ (It is poverty that forces a poor man to wear his best cloths to the farm); ‘Eni ti ko se bi alaaru l’Oyingbo, ko le se bi Adegboro l’Oja Oba’ (He that would not labour at Oyingbo market, would not purchase anything at King’s Market). These proverbs indicate the need to dress according to one’s station in life and according to societal bounds of decorum.
ASO EBI: FAMILY CLOTH
Festivals and dress are inseparable. Each festival has special fabrics associated with it. The most important and universal use of fabric is Aso ebi. Aso ebi is when a group wears a chosen cloth as a uniform dress to commemorate or celebrate an event or occasion. It is seen as strong expression of communal, solidarity and love.
In that regard, men and women of various age groups will choose their cloths according to their rank and status. Style of dress shows that one is wealthy, cultured and belong to a special class. In the kingdom of Ijebu, for example, religious or cultural groups might appear at a major festival in traditional aso oke fabrics like etu, alaari, sanyan. These categories of aso oke fabrics are prestigious and functions as ceremonial cloths. The fabric is woven in strips which are woven using local wild silk fiber. They carry social significance among the Yoruba which makes them suitable for events such as chieftaincy and festivals.
Yoruba women use aso-oke as oja (girdle), iro (wrapper), gele, (head-tie), buba (blouse) and ipele (shawl) or iborun which is usually hung on the shoulder of the user. Yoruba men wear a complete suits consisting of sokoto (trousers), buba (top), agbada (large embroidered flowing gown) and fila (cap).
Aso-oke is highly valued as special gift for dignified people. We cannot overlook the importance of aso-oke as a wedding gift for the bride’s family. It can also be used to placate the witches. Aso-Oke is also used for religious purposes as egungun costume. Aso-oke is also used as a sacred cloth by the ogboni society among the Ijebu-Yoruba. it is referred to as itagbe, an insignia of the Ogboni. It is used to cover some religious objects and used as shrine decoration. 
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ANKARA: AFRICAN WAX PRINTS
While the aso oke is considered the king of cloths and is reserved for special occasions, there are also basic cloths that play an important role in the life and culture of Yoruba people. Basic cloths are those produced for everyday use. They can be made with traditional hand spun thread or with industrial threads to produce lighter cloth that can be used as cover cloths, casual wrappers to be worn to markets, baby ties, work and play clothes among others. Cloth under this category include; Kijipa or Ikale, Oja and Ala.
African wax prints - ANKARA- are the newest addition to the spectrum of traditional fabric and fashion. They are industrially produced, colorful cotton cloths with batik-inspired printing. One feature of these materials is the lack of difference in the color intensity of front and back side. Ankara can be sorted into categories of quality due to the processes of manufacturing. 
In Sub-Sahara Africa ankara is the most popular textiles. The process to make wax print is originally influenced by batik, an Indonesian (Javanese) method of dyeing cloth by using wax-resist techniques. During the Dutch colonization of Indonesia, Dutch merchants and administrators became familiar with the batik technique. The Dutch wax prints quickly integrated themselves into African apparel. Women used the fabrics as a method of communication and expression, with certain patterns being used as a shared language, with widely understood meanings. Many patterns began receiving catchy names. Over time, the prints became more African-inspired, and African-owned by the mid-twentieth century. They also began to be used as formal wear by leaders, diplomats, and the wealthy population.
[RELATED: Buy quality African fabric online]
Before the 1960s most of the African wax fabric sold in West and Central Africa was manufactured in Europe. Today, Africa is home to the production of high quality wax prints. Manufacturers across Africa include ABC Wax, Woodin, Uniwax, Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL), and GTP (Ghana Textiles Printing Company); the latter three being part a part of the Vlisco Group. These companies have helped reduce the prices of African wax prints in the continent when compared to European imports. 
Since festivals and religious ceremonies draw crowds and help create community, they can serve as grounds for reinforcing our cultural values. Most important among the values of Yoruba people- especially orisa devotees- is cottage industries, like weaving, tailoring and entrepreneurship. Yoruba traditional dress should be promoted in traditional festivals in order to preserve our dressing norms and prevent acculturation of western garments.
1. Aso-Oke Production and Use Among the Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria. Makinde D.Olajide Ajiboye, Olusegun Jide & Ajayi Babatunde Joseph
2. Role of Dress in Socio-cultural Events Among the IjebuYoruba, Ogun State , Nigeria. Diyaolu I.J