Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Warrior, Scholar, Priest: An Interview with Awo HRU Yuya T. Assaan-ANU
This post is a very special treat for me and one I have been anticipating sharing for a long time. It is an exclusive interview with my very dear friend and fellow Orisha priest Awo HRU Yuya T. Assaan-ANU. Brother HRU is, amongst other things, an extraordinary writer who has just published his latest title "Grasping the Root of Divine Power" available on Amazon.com. A profound contribution to the literary corpus of African Spirituality, this book promises to become a classic for those seeking to develop an understanding of how to connect with the enormous power, wisdom, and relevance of the great African religious traditions. Here, in his own words, is celebrated spiritual advisor, healer, scholar, and author HRU Yuya T. Assaan-ANU...

Author, community leader, and spiritual advisor HRU Yuya T. Assaan-ANU Congratulations on publishing your new book! I had an opportunity to review this insightful and fascinating book, and was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about it? Give thanks. Well, “Grasping the Root of Divine Power” is a primer and

clarifier for those who desire to work with celestial forces. The core objective of the book is to empower the reader to develop their own personal spirit power in order to center and elevate their consciousness. It’s not only a step-by-step instructional but also breaks down some complex metaphysical and cultural notions that I’ve found, through the years, become stumbling blocks for traditional spirituality practitioners. In a nutshell, it’s a book of religious demystification.

What inspired you to write this book? I’d say I was inspired by my personal council of spirit guides. “Divine Power” seems like such an immense expression until the understanding of this idea is etched in one’s soul and psyche. In working with clients over the years I’ve encountered, all too often, people who were swamped with information but, had no relevant know-how on how to apply this information or its fundamental meanings. It came to me that the best way I could serve, in this season, would be to develop convenient hands-on guides for those coming into the “knowledge of self” wakefulness. There are plenty of books, videos, and seminars that one could dive into but, “Grasping the Root of Divine Power” is my modest attempt to make a bee-line straight to the core message and significance of vital foundational spiritual calculations.

What do you want readers to gain from your book? Confidence. We’re in an age where people need to become shamans, gurus, and high priest/priestesses unto themselves, first, on the individual level. Waiting for the “blessing” and green-light from a high priest/priestess or the passage of initiation into a traditional system prior to making contact with the spirit guardians that help support and provide spiritual navigation for your life is unwise, in my opinion. To be clear, I’m not advising one to go out after reading a few kitchen spell books, and incantations to attempt to counsel others as a conjurer or energy worker. I would say one needs to learn to be a minister to the “shrine of self” first. People have become too dependent on messianic blind faith and we tend to super-impose western

religious concepts onto every sacred experience and expedition so; “Grasping the Root of Divine Power” teaches you how to wield your own power…..fearlessly. The techniques outlined in “Grasping the Root of Divine Power” give the reader the toolset to embark on that sacred undertaking with self-reliance, proficiency, and competency. Still, I’d say read other books and observe other ways of doing things. There is no monopoly on spiritual techniques and what may work for me, may not work for you; and vice versa. People get crystallized into one way of doing things often because they were taught that there is only one way but, this is untrue. Everyone puts their own funk and soul on what they do. My desire for those who read this work is that they learn as many modalities as they can, put them in their munitions store and then truthfully look at how their own portion of Ase would like to express itself in ways to achieve the same results of the time tested sages. Ultimately it’s about results…..at least it should be.

Asides from writing, what other professions are you involved in, and what type of services do you offer to the public? Well, my Ase has chosen to express itself through Martial Arts, Spiritual Counseling, Rites of Passage, Music Production, and Professional Development for Educators. I also operate a program named “Sadulu House” where I teach African culture/spirituality/philosophy/nation-building for adults and children. I have a program that I designed by the name of “R.A.S.” which is an acronym for “Reclaiming All Suns”. It’s a one-on-one interactive, Rites of Passage Based, service geared towards single mothers who are raising young boys without the presence of a cognizant man. I also design and construct spiritual tools (Opon Ifa’s, OBI, Chakra staffs, KWK…) that I sell.

Outside of your professional work, what are a few of your major interests and hobbies? I’m a fervent motorcyclist, musician, outdoor survivalist, and I spend a lot of my time studying ancient/natural building techniques. I suppose I don’t really have any hobbies, although despite living off of my music production, for some time, I still consider it something I do for enjoyment. Walking in my

life purpose is the most enjoyable activity for me. I’m cool with that. I would say as a disclaimer though, I do get out and have fun, look at funny YouTube videos, and smell flowers like everyone else but, even in those moments I’m gathering insight and inspiration for my professional work.

How did you become involved in the spiritual arts? I would say a successive series of divine opportunities. I can’t say that by any great insight or brilliancy of my own but, more so I was slated to walk this path on a DNA level. I can remember as a child, my parents had made a move out of Harlem and into a very rural area of NJ. During that time I developed my affinity for nature. Not only did I learn about the complexities of natural surroundings, but I was also given plenty of freedom and time to learn that I had stored up in my pre-teen shell a cadre of intuited rituals and techniques. I remember Saturday’s when I would rush out of the house in the early AM and just go hiking into the woods (I couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8 years old). I would find a spot I liked far from two legged people and I’d light huge bon-fires (I don’t suggest you allow your children this level of independence). I’d light my fires and begin to pray to the forces I felt around me and the ones that would appear in my night visions. In doing this I’d notice that “things” would be different for me when I would emerge from the woods. My eyes saw more angles of light. My sensitivity began to change greatly over time and the way I was perceived changed; despite the fact my forest expeditions were always done in secrecy. I suppose from those early years I began to develop a very warm connection with the unseen reality that, at that time, I knew governed the “seen” reality. I’d say this is when mysticism became an art to me as I saw that I could twist and mangle it in a way that my mind could grasp. It was the first inkling that I, myself, was/am a deity and the voices that I’d hear were spirit comrades. It helped when I became introduced to Islam and, further down the road, Christianity because I would presume that the God being prayed to was actually me and it was my own secret I’d keep as I sat in the church pews, and in the Masjid.

What advice would you offer to someone looking to learn more about the Ifa/Yoruba/Orisha traditions of West Africa?

I would say to dissect African…no, all traditions with a discerning mind. Never feel that because a system is what some consider long-established that it’s beyond your scrutiny. Many systems have been compromised by the psycho-political onslaught of foreign invasion and the spiritual warfare waged by those very same raiders. It’s imperative that one not localize themselves to one region or even one tradition. African’s are global citizens and the fragments of the dispersed body of African spiritual wisdom must be recovered from all over the globe much like Auset recovering and reassembling the pieces of Ausars body. I’d suggest one advance toward Ifa, Yoruba, and Orisha tradition with the intention of discovering the full manifestation/reflection of your own self-shape and awareness. Don’t look at these traditions and practices as being external to you…in other words don’t dogmatize them. These traditions and spirit entities are a reflection of what occurs inside of your own inner consciousness. They are YOU expressed externally.

How has your involvement with traditional African spirituality affected your life and work? I’d say my intentions are more focused and single pointed. I’ve done so many things in my life from owning a Barbershop for 5 years, working in the Information Technology Field for 11 years, teaching martial arts and music, owning an independent record label…..and many more diversions from my life purpose. African spirituality boxed me in. I came to a place in my life where the spirits that granted certain access to opportunity for me no longer supported my acts of diversion and distraction. Through studying my own divine origins I caused a shift in the paradigm of my reality. Once my life archetype shifted, the spirits conveyed the message to me that I’ve passed the survival approach of the root chakra and I would have to create my own success through my magic. The ways that I had used previously to achieve wealth and access to what I wanted would no longer work for me because I had left that universe and graduated to another in my life crossing so, the spiritual currency is different now. It’s been an amazing voyage and one of the most agonizing and joyous one that I’ve ever embarked on. African Spirituality and the study of spirit alerts me to how fragile my mind is. I’m constantly reminded how this flesh brain of mine is the bottleneck in the flow of Ase in and out of my body temple. So, studying the enormity of spirit has helped me to see my own thoughts as less key and focus more on the voice of my own ancient immortal consciousness.

What would you like the public to know about you that they might not already know? Well one thing is I currently offer classes to those wishing to learn traditional African philosophy, culture, metaphysics, and spiritual and occult sciences. This course falls under the “Sadulu House” Umbrella. Also, I do offer remote spiritual counseling, readings, and natural spiritual balancing work.

Are you currently working on any other books or do you have plans to do so in the near future? Yes, I have a few more books on the drafting table right now. My very next work will actually be geared towards the young teenage reader and employs a more imaginative expression of my Ase as it’s set in a parallel universe with characters who find themselves slipping in and out of altered realities……said too much already. Just be on the lookout for it!

How can people get in touch with you for more information about your work or services? I can be reached at http://www.hruassaan.com/ or (201)735-7475; as with the entire universe I also have a facebook page at facebook.com/HRU.Y.Assaan.

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