Now that the world has split open, let’s talk about some celebs who practice non-western spiritual systems.
Every time you drink a Starbucks coffee, you essentially are paying homage to the voodoo deity, Mami Wata. Now don’t spit out that $5 cup of joe, embrace that you indulge in indigenous culture, but acknowledge how shit gets hacked.
Nonetheless, this write up isn’t about how the West and Europe “borrow” indigenous philosophy then commoditize it. This article is about acknowledging celebrities who openly practice some form or strain of traditional African spiritual systems.
Generically called, African Traditional Religion or ATR, it is more complex than one practice, and not religion. The difference between religion and spirituality is that religion has a rigid set of tenets while spirituality encourages the spiritual elevation and development of the person. Although ATR is an umbrella term for many traditions, it is not a monolithic cultural phenomena or practice. In the diaspora, ATR ranges from Santeria and Candomble, Palo and Obeah, and to conjure or mojo.
There are numerous studies even showing how the Black Church in the US is very rooted in those practices. Ironically, those of the white Jesus church, attempt to vilify, but appropriate worship styles such as: call-and-response, speaking in tongues, prayer cloths, re-enacting a blood sacrifice, and even reading certain scriptures to invoke certain actions. Yep, you’ve hit the jackpot, that’s the Black indigenous Jesus from the Congo or Cartagena. The one they try to keep away.
Below are a list of notables who have in some way, been affiliated, deep into practice or come across it in real life. Most, allegedly, implement it into their lives. Ironically, Hollywood and the West have a sordid history of demonizing and misconstruing the spiritual traditions of African, Native nations of the Americas, Asia and Australia. Yet and still, they survive in its descendants.