Changing Horizons

Changing Horizons

In Itás*, sometimes we are told to change our rooms, to change our furniture, to change our lives. Why are we told this? I’m not so sure. Some say to thwart Egguns and spirits that want to do harm. Other times perhaps it is because we need to breathe new life, new air. We all can get complacent in our lives. It is comforting to know where your next meal will come from and where you will lay your head at night. Or perhaps the Orichas are saying you have not reached your destiny you need to keep going.

I had just received Itá and my padrino Ogbeate asked “you have any questions”. As I sat dumbfounded all I could ask “What do you mean I have to change my entire life”. “Asi es, poco a poco pero todo tiene que cambiar” (As it is so, little by little but everything must change).

Growing up brown and poor in the ghettos of Los Angeles, I thought I had cracked the ‘glass ceiling’ (concrete more like) by being the only one in my extended family to go to college, get a master’s and work in my profession. And here the Itá was saying something was amiss in my life, that I needed an entire transformation.

Okay, I gulped… much to think about…

As our twins were very young, they needed lots of attention, care and nurture. During this trip to Cuba I received Odudua, Olokun and my yeye Obba. This trip was to fortify me with the strength I needed and continued to need with what lay ahead. What lay ahead was a series of challenges related to the life or death threat to my husband Frank’s health. Changing one’s life is not at the forefront of your existence when you’re just trying to survive an onslaught of hardships and just trying to breathe, hoping that our family will somehow come out together at the end of the tunnel. It is interesting that life has a way of testing you through adversity, just to see what you are made of. Will you blow away at the first strong wind or will you grow your roots a little deeper?

Years later, with our family intact we headed to Huautla de Jimenez, Oaxaca. We decided to go to Huautla after a series of disappointments of not selling our house, though we knew that we needed to leave our old life and start anew. I had suspected that something was amiss, that we were missing a piece of the puzzle but what could it be?

What transpired in Huautla, forever changed our perspective. We both now looked at the world from a very different perspective. We could no longer keep doing what we were doing in the same trajectory. A shift- change had occurred unsuspectingly to us. Going to the city was our first realization that something profound had occurred. No longer were we looking at the world through a capitalist imposed lens of the rat race. But from the perspective of the Earth itself, from the earthen floor, from the greenery of living plants, from the dew of the morning, from the rising of the Sun. Our whole perspective changed and life was no longer taken for granted.

A New Horizon

I didn’t realize how much my life had changed until my Horizons changed. As our family traveled through the U.S. The horizons of the sun rising on the East and setting on the West is a constant. I have seared images of the sun setting on the Pacific Ocean where you can see the settling sun inch by inch in the vast sea. But arriving at the Atlantic Ocean I could barely make out the sun setting on the west.

And it wasn’t until arriving on the East coast that I realized a total transformation had taken root. Down to the core where I struggle to find which horizon to look for that I realize my life has changed completely…

…poco a poco.



*The Itá is the deep divination performed as part of major initiations. During this divination, the Oricha received gives predictions and advice which apply to your whole life.

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2 thoughts on “Changing Horizons”

  1. Dear Lisa Chango,

    I really enjoyed your entry. I appreciate how you capture change, as a totally “un-neat” process that occurs over a lot of time. And that you demonstrate there’s all different kinds of time, and that they can occur all at once. Not to mention – itá is really complex and your reflections contain the gravity.

    I used to rely so heavily on linear time, days ticking by, to heal or grow into the following phases or new sets of emotions, in my life. Patience is pretty simple that way. But you provide so much insight on the difficulty – being advised through itá that you will have to be strong through the change (talk about setting up stressful expectations). Being a rock through Frank Baba Eyiogbe’s prolonged illness – who knew you would face so many unpredictable iterations? Wanting to change, trying to change homes and not being able to. The frustration sounds suffocating.

    Persistence is a miracle through so much adversity, especially when (this is my experience, but it sounds like you’re saying this too) it feels like the more you believe the harder the challenges become or the more the Orichas test you.

    It’s pretty hilarious when you reveal, the change happens and you aren’t aware of it, “A shift- change had occurred unsuspectingly to us.” And what you perceived for many years as difficulty, stress, frustration, etc. were the signs of changing. That idea was always confusing to me because, in the past, I experienced relationship difficulty, poor health, professional struggles, and I thought that was me changing – it wasn’t. It was me being complacent, as you say. It was a mistake of believing a world view that was destroying me and left me weaker and sicker by the day. (So linear time wasn’t going to fix it, just make it worse!)

    Your post really clarified that point for me.

    I’m looking forward to hearing more reflections now that your feet are literally to the ground and your vision is directed into the changing sunrises and sunsets.

    Blessing to you and your family!

    1. Hi Naca,
      Definitely agree that linear time is the way our modern world functions and we are taught how to function in it at an early age where everything in our lives is scheduled. The Orichas have their own time frame and could careless of the Gregorian calendar. I was just amazed that moment that I realized that everything in my life had changed that Olokun and Oduduwa had called for. Interesting that I happened to be facing the Ocean when I realized it. Maferefun Olokun! Maferefun Oduduwa! But all those steps and lessons are a big part of my spiritual journey. I am loving hanging out with your Mom, Yemaya!
      Congrats to you and Elena!

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