Study the Teaching of Ifa and the Orisha's
One night when Tortoise was asleep in his hut, they set fire to it, and as they saw the flames leaping up, they said to one another:
He cannot escape. He will die.
But Tortoise drew himself into his shell and was untouched by the fire, and in the morning his enemies were astonished to see him walking about as usual.
Soon they made another plan and threw Tortoise into a pool of water.
The pool is deep. He will drown, said his enemies to one another.
But Tortoise had drawn himself into his shell and was secure, and at noon the sun shone fiercely and dried up the pool.
That evening Tortoise walked about the village as if nothing had happened, and his enemies were astonished.
The next day they made a third attempt to kill him. They made a deep hole in the ground and buried Tortoise, and this time they were quite sure he could not escape. To mark the place, they put a bamboo stake in the ground.
Meanwhile a man who was passing saw the bamboo stake, and thought, Someone has buried a treasure here! He called his friends, and they began to dig, but all they found was Tortoise fast asleep inside his shell.
Tortoise walked about the village again, looking very happy, and his enemies were filled with astonishment.
He has a charm, and we shall never be able to kill him, they said to one another, and from that day they left him in peace.
Adechina Remigio Herrera (Obara Meji)
Adechina (“Crown of Fire”) is credited as being one of the most important founding fathers of Ifa in Cuba. A Yoruba born in Africa and initiated as a babalawo there, he was enslaved and taken to Cuba as a young man in the late 1820s. Legend has it that he swallowed his sacred ikin ifa used in divination in order to take them with him across the ocean. An intelligent and gifted man, He worked at a sugar mill until his freedom was paid for in 1827. He later became a powerful property owner in the Havana suburb of Regla. In addition to his large African and Creole religious family he had many influential godchildren from Havana’s Spanish, white elite and had important high society connections. He set up a famous religious institution, the Cabildo of the Virgin of Regla (the Cabildo Yemaya) in around 1860, which became a powerful center of Ifa and Orisha worship. Along with his daughter, the famous Ocha priestess Echu Bi, he organized the annual street procession on the feast day of the Virgin of Regla, every September 7th. Each year seminal Afrocuban drummers like Pablo Roche Okilakpa would sound the mighty Ilú batá in honor of Yemaya as they processed around the town. Incredibly, Adechina is also reputed to have returned to Africa, the land of his birth, in order to acquire the sacred materials needed to initiate babalawos. He returned again to Cuba with these sacred items in order to build Ifa there.
All the mojubas (prayers and recitals of lineage to honor the ancestors) of babalawos in Cuba include Adechina.
A great man who helped carry African profound spiritual knowledge to the Americas.