A client recently asked what type of offering he should make to the orisas: Ifa and Ori. He wanted a clearer spiritual connection to the orisas, he explained. esu weeks

I told him something he probably wasn't expecting to hear. I told him he should offer trust because if he doesn't trust himself or his connection to the orisas he can make offerings all day and night and he'll never make any progress.

And I've seen many people go down that road, and they have nothing to show for it. No peace, no progress, no direction, no real conviction. The forces of life blow them around like a leaf in the wind.

Don't get me wrong. Rituals and offerings (ebo) are important. Perform them whenever divination indicates they are necessary.

But ebo is not a substitute for hard work, character development and trust. You are already connected to the divine. You are Spirit. It's part of your DNA. You are connected to the orisas and to your ancestors. I don't think many awos drive these points home. They should.

There's no way to grow if you don't trust your own connection to the divine, or if you think the answer is always outside of yourself, or that the only way to connect with the ancestors is by doing yet another ritual or by performing yet another ebo.

The orisas and the ancestors don't only speak through divination. They also speak through your intuition and your heart. They speak through nature. They speak through your loved ones and in your dreams. Your connection to the spiritual realm is already there – you just need to listen, feel, and act to access it.