Just bought this new book "Notes From The Hyena's Belly" written by an Ethiopian Nega Mezlekia. The very first paragraph has the following sentence in it, which prompted I into further Iditation about many of the misconceptions western Christians have in regards to Christian Ethiopia
Queen Menen, far off in her palace, sent for fortune-tellers and Deviltamers-modern medicine was failing to cure her
Whaaaaa? Devil tamers? Fortune tellers? The "occult", astrology, spirit possession? Used by Queen Menen and H.I.M?? Could it be????
Let's dig deeper...
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
The clergy is composed of priests, who conduct the religious services and perform exorcisms; deacons, who assist in the services; and debtera
For example, in wukabi spirit possession rituals, contrary to what happens in exorcism, the spirit is not supposed to leave, but it must be ritually appeased in order to bring prosperity and heal the people involved in his invocation. Wukabi spirits are typically inherited from one’s kin and regarded as ‘spirits of the family’ or, in the word of a medium, as ‘part of one’s inheritance’. Wukabi spirits regularly descend upon their human mediums to invade their bodies and appropriate their voices, demanding sacrifices, and giving indisputable ‘judgments’. Wukabi rituals are complex and dense sensory experiences and include the burning of incense, coffee-roasting, music, singing and occasionally dancing – all actions meant to please the particular desires of distinct personified spirits. who, though not ordained, perform the music and dance associated with church services and also function as astrologers, fortune-tellers, and healers. Ethiopian Christianity blends Christian conceptions of saints and angels with non Christian beliefs in benevolent and malevolent spirits and “imps” (minor devils)
For several years, Ras Makonnen's chaplains and astrologers had been foretelling the infant's birth; Neptune and Pluto, they explained, had started slowly moving toward each other in the year 1399; both planets travelled along the Heliocentric Line, taking 493 years to intersect; the moment would come in July 1892, sparking off radiations from other zodiacal signs that would mystically influence the constellation Leo, which corresponded to the biblical House of Judah, Jacob's fourth son, who was born the same month, as recounted in Isaiah.
But before this birth, said the seers, there would be a great drought in Ethiopia, beginning in .1889, despite the fact that the country traditionally enjoyed two rainy seasons. The eventual return of the rains would confirm the identity and destiny of the child, as it was written in Isaiah 9:6: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the Government shall be upon his shoulders; and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
The stories about Tafari's boyhood encounters with the priests and his OCCULT WISDOM and uncanny powers were spreading like a runaway brushfire throughout Ethiopia in 1930 as the country prepared to carry out Ras Tafari's vow that his coronation in November would be the grandest and most solemn that Africa had ever known.
A Cup of Fortune: A documentary By Gebriel Abebe