Alaafia family! I must say that the first quarter of 2013 has been phenomenal for me and I pray that your year is also beginning in a wonderful way. I would like to take a moment to thank the the fantastic group who participated in our Spiritual Journey to Peru in January -- they truly embodied the power of positivity. Soon, I’ll be revamping the website to include a travel section and I’ll look forward to seeing some of you on future trips. Speaking of which, if you’re interested in going to Nigeria this summer, please visit our partner the Orisa Community Development Corporation who is organizing a trip this August to the world-famous Osun Festival and other wonderful sites. I’ll be there and I hope that you will join us! I’d also like to invite you to join me and a host of wonderful scholars for the African and Diasporic Religious Studies Association’s inaugural conference at Harvard University on April 5th. Baba John Mason will be the keynote speaker and a host of other wonderful scholars and practitioners will discuss traditions from around Africa and the Americas.

You know, I don’t eat Chinese food very often anymore but whenever I do, the fortune cookie is always my favorite part of the meal – it’s the diviner in me *laugh* The last time I partook of some wok-prepared goodness, my fortune was so profound and timely. It said:
In order to give light, one must endure the burning 
Often times when people embark upon a path of spiritual enlightenment, they believe that suddenly – magically – all of their problems will melt away and that struggle will become a thing of the past. Reality is, though, that moving closer to spirit – becoming initiated, ordained or going through other spiritual training – does not make our problems disappear. What it does do is give us the tools to navigate the obstacles that may arise along our paths. If we wish to shine bright, we must know that we will have to withstand a little bit of heat and our spiritual tools are what enable us to do that. Through divination, ritual, and spiritual counseling we are able to ensure that our inner flame does not consume us, but helps us to become a beacon of light which will attract the people and things we need to be successful and fulfilled.

Today and every day may your fire burn bright and strong. May it warm your spirit and the spirits of those around you, attracting all that you need and repelling all that you do not. Ase!