Updated: Mar 7
As the founder of Saint Christopher's Metaphysical Temple, my journey through spirituality has been long, zigzagged, backwards, forwards, upside down and right side up. My life is full of many different milestones, many different teaching moments and many different wonderful stories.
My journey began in my late teens in London, as a Nurse specializing in Psychology and Psychiatry. Although life had different plans for me, my goal was to
help people. My intentions have not changed; only redirected.
In my earliest memories I saw things I couldn't rightly explain. The gift of sight was ever present and initially caused me great turmoil. Things trying to get
my attention would shake my mattress while I was studying or slam my doors shut in my face.
It frightened me!
I didn't fully understand the things I was seeing and hearing, and I was plagued by these constant banging migraines.
It tortured me. It got to the point that I was popping Excedrin like hard candies, all in the hopes that these head aches would relent, if only for a moment. What was worse were these hauntingly vivid dreams, they were like visions, and they made my sleep restless.
I was exhausted.
I walked around with a great weight on my head that I couldn't be saved from. In these dreams I would see and meet people I'd never heard of, they would share stories with me and tell me about the future. Looking back, I know all of this strife were ancestral spirits trying to get my attention.
Then one dream, more powerful than any other, knocked the wind out of me.
I was a young woman living in London at the time, but I saw myself traveling to New York. I was to meet a woman, a priest, who would read me my destiny and set me on the path to my true faith. Being a devout Christian, I had prayed heavily for God to lay his hands on me and ease my afflictions. I was worried I was crazy, terrified that I would be ostracized and ridiculed, but this dream was too strong to deny.
So I took a leap, and took myself to New York. The woman in my dream fit the description of my mother’s "godmother" in Brooklyn. Just like what happened in the dream, the woman gave me my reading; I learned about my spirits and the spirits around me, I learned of my gifts, and I received my elekes (blessed beaded necklaces). These were my first baby steps into the Santeria Lucumi religion.
November of 1981, I made the move to New York, ready to fully dive into this religion. Santeria was more than just my faith, it became my calling, and I took my spiritual education very seriously.
The following year I had another of my oh-so vivid dreams, and I found myself traveling to Puerto Rico, a nexus of the Palo systems. I studied there for a few short years, traveling back and forth, partaking in a ceremony called Rayamiento and becoming an initiate of Palo Mayombe.
Then in September of 1985, I became an initiate of the Orisha Sàngó Oro for Aganju in the Santeria Lucumi religion.
I became a fully recognized priest!
However my need for spiritual education was bottomless, so I moved to Miami Florida in June of 1990 to fully immerse myself in one of the largest hubs of Santeria. It wasn't long before I was working with experienced Oriates and Babalows; learning the techniques to be, not only a successful priest, but a valuable spiritual guide.
In Miami I flourished!
I felt in my heart of hearts, I knew I was on my right path. I was deep into the Santeria. I was consulting and healing and teaching others. I had become a "Godmother" to dozens, and was a pillar to my community. Truly, I felt well seated in my power. However, within the Santeria community, there is many barriers and gatekeepers. It's hard to continue to progress after a certain point, unless you are willing to delve into the messiness of social politics. It's important for me to move with selfless motives and it seemed that there was more power grabbing tactics at play than providing genuine care and service to others.
Even in Santeria, I still found something missing. I was not whole there.
With this gnawing need in my chest I knew it was time to move again, so in 2008, I left to North Port, Florida. In this new area, it was glaringly obvious that I did NOT have the true understanding of this Santeria religion. I wanted to find the truth of it, its origin. In Miami and New York, I was constantly snubbed for looking into things too deeply, for asking too many questions, for investigating secrets. It had blown up in my face too many times to count, but I still persisted. My search brought me to Nigeria, the birth place of my enslaved ancestors. I found Ifa, the true core of Santeria and its deities.
In Ifa, I found my true freedom, my ambitions are boundless.
That dream I had in London put me on this path and I believe Ifa is my ultimate destination. Through Ifa, I have fully reconnected with my roots and my ancestors. Its because of Ifa that I can welcome and accept any and all into my temple, regardless of race or faith. There are no closed doors, no back room ceremonies or untouchable Hierarchy, there is only the divine. I needed to open a place that people could feel welcomed and get a better understanding of the Ifa religion. While I was in the thick of my new studies, I opened St. Christopher’s Metaphysical in 2009. In 2010, I was fully initiated and became an Iyanifa (priest of Ifa).
I want nothing more than to offer a safe place to any person who is seeking spiritual enlightenment, to venerate and honor their ancestors, and practice their faith proudly and openly.