Do you know what it means to create a visionary goal? As I have noted many times as of late, Orisa Lifestyle HAS to be an inside out process AND it should be carried out STRATEGICALLY. In this way, your Personal Priesthood should reflect and support a specific strategy, differentiate you from competitors AND fellow contributors, resonate with the people you serve and inspire you to be the best person you can be.
Creating a visionary goal that meets these requirements is fundamental to every kind of success. However, your visionary goal grows directly out of your family's Ancestral Promise. It cannot, therefore, be an exercise in wishful thinking. I mean, in the exact same way that your great grandfather was a real man, who did real things, your visionary goal has to be grounded in REALITY so that what you leave behind will be something of real value for your progeny.
Likewise, is your visionary goal really feasible given the limitations, resources and interpersonal dynamics of your family and local community? Is your visionary goal really challenging enough to be taken seriously by the people you serve and your ancestors as well? Do you even have the awareness and the tools to ANALYZE and VALIDATE your visionary goal???
Validation comes from making an Assessment of your personal capabilities and activities that enable or prevent you form delivering on the Ancestral Promise. Where Orisa Lifestyle is practiced outside the USA, there are actually institutionalized bodies that validate Personal Priesthood. In Nigeria for example, the great lineages of orisa families support their traditions with deep ritual expertise and effective medicines. In Cuba, the state sponsored priesthood supports the perpetuation of 'Ifa Criollo', with its particular brand of ceremony and protocol. Brazilian terreiros support the continuation of Candomble liturgy, aesthetics and infrastructure. Trinidad, Haiti and Benin also have created visible strategies for sustaining their approach to the Ancestral Promise of their respective countries.
Without explicitly saying as much, they sponsor their members' Personal Priesthood by providing visible and invisible validation points. The Isese Festival of Nigeria, the Letra del Ano in Cuba and the Yemoja Festival of Brazil are all vehicles through which the thought leaders reinforce the shared vision and validate the Personal Priesthood of every individual devotee in their traditions. At the same time, however, while shared vision and validation definitely provide leverage, if they are weakly presented or if they lack strategic direction, they become hollow and eventually become irrelevant. When I say strategic direction, I am referring to the REAL investment you make into the assets, skills and programs that the you need to carry out your individual mission.
What does strategic direction mean to the practitioner here in the USA? From my perspective, as a human development specialist, the strategic direction firstly represents a kind of reality check. It reveals the critical things you MUST DO in order to improve consistently. Once these things become visible, they should stimulate you to assess the feasibility of your strategy. These are typical questions that devotees usually overlook, in spite of the fact that they are FUNDAMENTAL to orisa lifestyle, as evidenced by the traditions of West Africa, the Caribbean and South America. Do you have a visionary goal for your spiritual development and personal achievement? the money you need to invest in your spiritual development? Do you have ANY support from your immediate family? Is your extended family capable of responding to the strategic directives of the Ancestral Promise? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” then you need to know that you're under prepared to develop a genuine Personal Priesthood. If you refuse to address these needs, your Personal Priesthood will soon become an empty idea.