THE NEW TIMES HOLLER! was pleased to be the grateful recipient of the wise insights and spiritual gifts of Mae Regina, from the Terreiro Do Gantois, Bahia, Brazil. Mae Regina is a mae velha, which means that she is a senior “Mother”,was visiting New York over the summer, and many people here benefited from her wisdom. The form of the Yoruba religion that she practices is Condomble; in Brazil women read cowrie shells, or buzios, and the readings are called Jogo do Buzios (the “game” of shells), men the cola nuts, Jogo do Ifa. The buzios are 16 in number; the use of that number in Jogo do Buzios is ancient, relating to a number specific to Ojun, and also Shango, of which Mae Regina says there were 16 original Shangos. The shells are thrown inside a “Meza” (table), a wreath of many shells, sea horses, herbs; many objects from the sea and the earth. Since the Orisha, the deities of the Yoruba religion, are forces of nature, I assume that those elements that comprise the Meza are related to those forces.
The Meza is truly a wonder, and Mae Regina’s grace matches its sublime properties. To be able to meditate on the Meza as one would a mandala or any other spiritual image or artifact is a blessing. And Mae Regina is full of a natural, profound love, truly a spiritual mother whose presence and words are as constructive as they are calming.
The interpreter for Mae Regina was Mossa Bildner, a spiritual daughter, and the camera work was done by Amon Bey. This interview was conducted at the home of one of Mae Regina's spiritual daughters, Francine Winston. Mae Regina can be contacted via Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Universal practices of the different ethnicities of Africa and Bahia are discussed; the co-relationships of the Orisha with stellar bodies is explained
The structure of the Condomble community and how certain positions are inherited; the state of the world
Mae Regina's view of Barack Obama; America's potential spirituality; the need for African Americans to become more acquainted with their ancestors