With all my upcoming projects, there seems to be a bit of confusion out there regarding what project is in the proposal/planning stage and what project is about to come out; also, some of my readers are confused about what is available right now. I thought I’d go through my list of published works just so everyone knows what is available now, what is coming out, and what is being written:
The Secrets of Afro-Cuban Divination: How to Cast the Diloggún, the Oracle of the Orishas (Destiny Books, 2000).
This was my first title written in 1998, contracted in 1999, and released in 2000. It is a simple primer on divination with the diloggún, the oracle used by orisha worshippers in the Lucumí/Santería faith. It provides a very good description of divination’s process, and it gives very in depth meanings of the twelve root odu that a diviner can read from Okana (1) through Ejila Shebora (12). It gives a very brief survey of Metanlá (13), Merinlá (14), Marunlá (15), and Merindilogún (16). The brief surveys are for the sake of introduction to those signs – in depth material for divination is not given.
The book also gives a breakdown of the major ebós for each composite odu, with suggestions for working through them logically.
For the beginner with little or no knowledge of divination, this book is an excellent way to begin one’s studies. It is straightforward and uncomplicated.
Obi: Oracle of Cuban Santería (Destiny Books, 2001)
To my knowledge, this is the only title in the world devoted to the casting of Obi, the coconut, in the Lucumí faith. It presents that patakís (myths) that support this system, and gives detailed, logical suggestions for conducting several levels of divination. It presents the aperes, or patterns, used when giving more in depth readings with Obi beyond simple “yes” or “no” answers. The art of apere is almost a lost art; I could find little or no mention of it in any notebook I read past the 1950s. Somewhere along the way, it seems Lucumí priests began comparing the castings of Obi to legs of Ifá, which in my opinion is beyond the scope of the orisha priests’ initiation. When I wrote this book, however, I was lucky to find one santero with knowledge of the patterns, and he helped me flesh out my own knowledge of the geometric system. Unfortunately, he did not give me permission to use what he taught me in the pages of this book. Also, a couple of years later I was given yet another libreta with more advanced interpretations of the various apere; however, I have chosen to keep that material to myself.
This book was translated into Spanish by Alfa-Omega Press in Madrid, Spain, in 2002.
The Diloggún: The Orishas, Proverbs, Sacrifices, and Prohibitions of Cuban Santería (Destiny Books, 2003).
This book is huge, more than 400,000 words dedicated to the art of divination with the diloggún. Inner Traditions International regarded it as my “magnum opus” and didn’t see how any more information on the system remained to be written (to which I laughed!). I wrote this volume in a year’s time, believe it or not. It was like an obsession. Now, 7 years after its publication, sales are still strong and it is, fortunately, the most complete volume on the Lucumí diloggún ever written.
Those with no knowledge of odu or divination will benefit from reading this book as it does make a wonderful reference; however, it one is studying to be a diviner, the material in The Secrets of Afro-Cuban Divination should be mastered first before attempting a thorough study of the system as given in this volume. It is complicated, and builds on concepts learned in the first book.
Teachings of the Santería Gods (Destiny Books, 2010).
This book is slated for release August 15, 2010. To be honest, I began writing this book after submitting the manuscript for The Diloggún to Inner Traditions International in 2002. For 7 years I wrote and rewrote my collection of patakís from the odu Okana (1) through the odu Merindilogún Meji (16-16). In 2009 I stopped writing and pulled together a collection of more than 100 stories for “Teachings.” I used patakís from the root odu (Okana through Ejila Shebora), pairing them carefully with the odu in which they are referenced and told.
How the Moon Fooled the Sun (a proposal for Inner Traditions)
This is the title that I write about which confuses everyone. This is not a contracted work yet; it is, however, under right-of-first-refusal by my publisher, Inner Traditions. This is another collection of short stories and patakís from the diloggún. Instead of presenting stories from the root odu, I am presenting stories from the composites of Okana through Ejila Shebora. If Inner Traditions International does contract for this volume, it should be on the market towards the end of 2011 (but that is just an educated guess).
This brings everyone up to speed on my catalogue with Inner Traditions, International, and, hopefully, dispels some of the confusion regarding my work.