They Called Me Olivia Pope: 8 Things I Learned During My Year In White

52 thoughts on “They Called Me Olivia Pope: 8 Things I Learned During My Year In White”

  1. Congratulations on you completing your year and following your path of Kari osha.
    May our father Obatala always grant you peace, tranquility and clarity.
    May my mother Oshun bless you with happiness, joy, pride, love and overall good health.
    Maferefun Obatala
    Maferefun Orisha
    Sincerely yours,
    Apetibi Iyalosha Omo Oshun
    Ewe ire nelle

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  2. Today i am a month old as a newly crowned Obatala priest. Transitioning is tough for me but not impossible, patience is the virtue here. The energy is so powerful, healing me of being sick. When im out and about i feel so pure all in white from shell and head to toe. I thank my godparents as they spend alot of time teaching what makes a good priest. I love this religion yoruba/ifa. Maferefun Obatala, Asé

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  3. Interesting and inspiring article…Making me grow eager to get initiated…This article is very encouraging and I love your courage + bravery in choosing what you want for yourself…I pray the Orisas will continue to bless you…your blog is really an heart sweetener…From an aspiring initiate.

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  4. I have been thinking about initiating for the last 3 months I am trying to find out as much as I can. It is inspiring for me to know and I feel that connection is not ever lost. I say this as a woman who was born into a Sierra Leonean household of Christian and Islamic parentage. Neither spoke to me, yet on the times I visited my Mende Grandmother Baindu, I always sensed mystery around her as she gather and prepared herbs and chanted. Alas, she passed away and her knowledge went with her I learned that she was a midwife and herbalist. With one one to teach me my original based spirituality I have been looking into Ifa and it resonates. I chose the name Yemaya without really understanding its true connotation and associated it with a magic that felt good. I even remember when I wrote it and changed it legally exactly 7 years later. Thank you for you blog Ama. ASHE

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  5. Thank you for posting comments as you did. I think people have to understand that to make Kari Ocha one will need to make sacrifice and that the year in white is a moment of rebirth of understanding. I remember my year in white and the many ceremonies I’ve completed after my year. Orisha worship is detailed and fosters a greater energy in all of us.
    Que eleggua te compañía
    – Oba kilona

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  6. Alafia Iya ! Thanks so much for this article. It has served as more Divine confirmation for me. I am almost complete with my Yawo year ! ! 😉 I am humbled, grateful & at peace.
    Peace Love Light 😉

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  7. I know several who were initated into this system. For some reason I’m drawn to it as initiates have be drawn to me. Interested in learning more.
    Thank you

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  8. Very interesting. I have been searching for my place in the universe. Everything I’ve read anout Yoruba, feels natural and right. I would appreciate some guidance as to how to begin my journey. Blessings Always…

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    1. First step – begin building a relationship with your ancestors. Build a simple ancestor shrine. And look for practitioners in your community? If there are none, continue to reach out thru or global community to connect and grow. Just bc you are solo doesn’t mean you can’t be guided xo

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    1. I’m not sure who made the original decision on the Iyawo wardrobe. But psychologically, white is such a calm color. You stand out, but in a good way. And it represents Purity…the Iyawo process is one of spiritual purification.

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      1. My thoughts on the whites would be that being of African origin, white symbolized a balance/difference to the dark skin of the people. A prominent and profound difference.

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  9. Congratulations on your journey. May you be of the best service to others that your powers shall afford you. One question I do have is that, “If you are of a lineage other than Yoruba, should you follow the well known Yoruba tradition or seek that of your tribal lineage? I am African American and have recently found out that I am Massa, (Mitachondrially), from Cameroon and Chad, a Nilotic people originally. Knowing this now, has thrown my search for the right spirituality in a tailspin. Or should it matter?

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    1. Heeey Maria! I’ve seen Yoruba/Ifa be a road for ppl to lead them to another spiritual system. I have a Haitian god sister, but her immediate family no longer practices Vodun. Practicing Ifa gives her a missing link. African systems are linked bc of the mixing thru the Diaspora. Start your spiritual journey, and when it’s time for you to branch and learn another system, it will present itself to you. xo

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    2. Maria… I am a priestess of Yemaya… the linage or blood line have nothing to do with the path a person decide to walk… am as far way from being African… but I love my faith, many African american decide to hold on to the christian faith… that is okay, my path is not for every one to walk. A Yoruba priest or priest have a life of services and test of faith in a daily basis. We don’t turn to this religion because is part of the culture, we do it because is our calling in life.

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      1. I have to respectfully beg to differ to a degree. Bloodline and lineage have everything to do with it in many communities, yet there are many who are not of these lines who are called to service, myself included.

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  10. I still wear a lot of white, and more hats than I used to. The hardest part of the year for me was not touching anyone! Thank you for sharing.

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  11. Congratulations and sincere thanks for sharing. A difficult but powerful lesson that I learned in my process: you don’t owe an explanation to anyone.
    Keep the faith!

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  12. Thank you for writing this! It is so refreshing! I am preparing myself to make my Ocha next year! It is a long process, which never ends, but it helps you a lot to be aware of yourself and your surroundings, it helps you to understand that the changes that you want in your life begins IN you. Blessings! Fabiola

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    1. IN you indeed! Wooo HOOO Congrats on the upcoming Ocha! Have you already started buying clothes? I started a yr in advance, buying things off season and putting them away. And saving money, of course. 😀

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      1. Oh yes! Every time I see white clothes, I buy some. Specially now in summer. I live in Germany and here during autumn and winter is really difficult to find something white. So I have to do it now. When I think back, it fascinates me: I was born in Brazil, I grew up in this tradition. I came to Germany 28 years ago, here almost no one knows about this tradition, so I couldn’t practice it ( and I was too young to understand it indeed). 4 years ago I met a Santero, who became a very good friend and I had the feeling to be home again. Now I am preparing myself to do what I was always supposed to do! So happy and excited about it! Curious to know more about your experiences! Blessings

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  13. How did you know that this was the path you wished to pursue? I had never heard of the process or of the following, but in recent days all I want to wear is White, as a bride, but not a bride. I would like to know a LOT more, but frankly know quite little, so, I’ll start here 😀 thank you so much for sharing, it was certainly enlightening to review your own lessons, as I feel as if the same journey has captivated me as well. Much Love, JAH Love. ❤

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    1. Hey Jenney! Very good question – I wanted to pursue this path because it felt true. In my faith, and in many indigenous spiritual practices/religions/philosophies, there’s an active relationship with the Divine beyond just prayer, hope, faith. To be able to change things about myself physically, and in my environment, helped to project the change I sought and felt inside. Does that make sense?

      If you want to wear white, wear white!! I started wearing all white sometimes before my yr, especially when I’d travel on planes. All-white outfit, or even just a hat or headwrap. The white helped keep me calm and grounded thru security and rushing etc. Try wearing white at home, or sleeping on white sheets. ❤

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  14. Thank you for sharing sis. Here a a few lessons that I learned myself during that initial year. 1. Keep your faith in the Orisa, not human beings. 2. The power was within all along. 3. Balanced character is far different than “good” character. 4. There can be no war if only one person is fighting. 5. The initiation was only the beginning… Eku se

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  15. Thank you for sharing! I do have a few questions for you. How was it when you stepped out of the white? Do you find yourself wrapping in white when you are feeling hysterical or confused now? What did wearing, eating from, sleeping on, and cleansing yourself with white mean for your at the time and what yoes it mean for you now that you are a Iyalosa? What were some of the most intriguing questions from outsiders during your year?

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    1. Great questions!!! Man, I’ll need to make a follow up post!

      I’ll say this – colors are fun, but white is now my Identity. My brand. I still wear a piece of white clothing everyday. I still sleep on white. It’s definitely a safe haven.

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