Zar

Aisha Azar

New member
Religion

I have been reading this thread and I learn a lot about Zar. However, I’m from the other side of the world, and I grow up very unique religious situation. In my country, we have two religion co-exist side by side peacefully and they are more like part of our daily life than religion. Both of them are not like Christianity, Moslem, or Judaism, we do not have one superior creature god, but anything have gods and goddess. Also the Buddhism is the same way. Buddha is not god. He was neither creature nor god. Anyway, when we pray, we say “Oh God(s) and Buddha” to pray for some help or health or anything. Yeah, I know it’s really sounds strange for other part of the world who strongly believes one superior god and religion. Like you pray for both Jesus and Allah at the same time, however, it works for us. We do not go to temple or shrine every Sunday or study religion, but occasionally for religious ceremonies. I assume that our religion totally become part of our daily live and we feel them without knowing it. So, many times I have difficult time to understand Western religions even I studied bible when I was in HS, but it’s long time ago, and translated from Hebrew, so many words didn’t make sense to me back then. You know some times translation is all strange. :confused:

I strongly believe gods in nature, but I do not practice any particular religion right now. I have many strange experiences related with some may call ghost or spirit, so I strongly believe spiritual world. I just can’t explain what were they, but sometimes I feel them. So, when I attend or observe any religious related activities I always pay extra caution. I also always pay respect for any religious or traditional places or activities, and their culture. I always try to understand culture behind the activities. I guess that is my anthropologist nature. :cool:

Keep read this thread and learn more about Zar… Thanks for educating me all! ;)

Dear Pirika,
I think the point that might be missing is that all religions and all life philosophies, God-based or otherwise, are SUPPOSED to be guides for how to live one's daily life here on earth and beyond that. They are not supposed to be something that just happens when we step inside a temple, or mosque or church or other similar place. The basic message is that the philosophy or religious structure is inside us as well as all around us, permeating everything that is known to us, including us. Hence the Christian, Muslim, Bhuddist, Hebrew, Taoist, Panthiest, Wiccan, etc., all should feel themselves to be a part of something much bigger than they are, and understand themselves to be part of one infinite whole. Life philosophies are information, basically on how to live a life that allows us to be aware of and responsive to three individual yet united entities; our fellow creatures, our universe, ( call it God or whatever you wish), and ourselves. I think that Zar-like rituals fit into this scheme well enough if they accomplish that. In my case, I would say that I began to understand this in a new and deeper way when I was practicing Zarr, but that I also believe it may just have been my time to have this specific epiphany and it might have happened without Zarr as well as with it.
Regards,
A'isha
 

Caroline_afifi

New member
I'm putting Zar in a context. There is no such thing as the Zar Religion, just as there is no such thing as the Mass Religion, or the Shabbat Religion, or the Haj Religion. Do you understand? To understand Zar you have to realize that its not a dance.
As I keep saying a Zar ceremony in only one small part of a much larger belief system. Its like a Mass is only one small part of the Catholic faith. Zar is a part of an ancient monotheistic earth religion practiced in many parts of Africa. but this belief system is not limited to any one particular religion so you will find Christian as well as Muslim practitioners.

I would say that in Egypt and Sudan the majority of the practitioners are Muslim though. It just reflects the population. People who practice this tradition may be Christian or Muslim, but the actual philosophy is neither muslim or christian do you understand? Its a case where people continued to practice their traditional beliefs AFTER they converted to Islam or Christianity. Or in the case of Egypt, that people who were Muslims or Christians became part of these communities after coming in contact with believers who came up from Ethiopia or Sudan. But because its not a belief system based on a concept of being the one and only religion, no one is required to CONVERT in order to be part of the community. So you can practice this way of life, go to the different ceremonies, of which they are many, and go to the mosque or church later in the day.

Also realize that even in Egypt, the only one who can really tell you about this way of life is an actual practitioner who trusts you enough to be honest with you. They are very secretive for fear of being misunderstood for practicing black magic, or worse, being mistaken as polytheists, so they tend to keep quiet. Because communication with elemental beings is central to the practice, they seek the validation of Islam and the Koran which states that there are in fact such beings, and there is a supernatural world, and that further more, many of these beings are in fact in service to Allah. They will quote the passages of the Koran which state that Solomon did many things with their help and that many of them converted to Islam when they heard the prophet's message. However, outsiders only see the externals. They hear the drums and music of a ceremony and they come and watch. They are welcome as we have no reason to turn them away, but because they are not a part of it, they don't really understand the significance of what is going on and only focus on the externals, music, a chicken or some other animal was sacrificed a bunch of people flopping around and they think oh, that's it. Another thing, we don't tell people what's going on unless we know they can understand and also to protect the privacy of the person involved, so they may tell people, she's possessed, etc. That would be easier to understand than she's being initiated into the tradition so she can work better with her spiritual guardian. Another thing, not all the people flopping around are in trance. You have to know what is going on to know what is going on. Some people may be in commune with either an elemental force, some may be in commune with ancestral entities, some are just in a groove some just be faking the funk. we know which is which through experience.



There are many different traditions in Egypt. Just because it is a folk tradition outside of Islam doesn't mean that it is related to Zar in any way shape or form. Some are traditions that have survived from pharonic times. Some are things that were just made up. I can't say what the people who got brain clots were doing. I'd have to know more details. Like I said Zar is not a dance. Even when a person is in commune with a spiritual entity, it doesn't necessarily mean that they start thrashing around. It can be very disorienting when the consciousness of the person is merged with another force. They may stumble, they may fall over. Or their eyes may just glaze over. If people are just shaking their heads....???? I don't know what that is.



Exactly. Which is why if you are an outsider to these traditions you should treat them with caution and respect and not jump into things you don't understand. You can attend a ceremony and observe, but don't go jumping up and flopping around. It would be like going to a mosque and start bowing down all over the place just because you've seen muslims bowing down. Unless you are a muslim or have studies something of the religion you don't know why they bow, when they bow, how often, which direction, what they do before, what they do after. What you should do during what not to do before during or after etc. This is the same problem with Zar. People focus on the external activities because they look exciting and dramatic, but they really don't know the significance of what is happening at all. If they had respect for these people, they wouldn't just see them as quaint colorful natives doing interesting things. They would treat them with respect and try to understand what they were doing and why and realize that they actually have a world view and philosophy behind what they are doing.



You are exactly right. I heard of an Egyptian dance teacher now living somewhere here in the US that gave a seminar on Zar. Now, I know this guy. I know he is from an Upper Class Egyptian family and he was a modern dancer in Egypt who had nothing to do with Oriental or Egyptian dance at all. He's never even been to West Il BAlad in his entire life and never anywhere in Upper Egypt, yet he was trying to tell me, who has, what Saidis do and don't do when they dance. And what local Egyptians do and don't do.

So anyway, he has this workshop where he tells the people that Zar is an exorcism and that when the daemons are leaving the body the last place they try to hold on to is the hair and that is why the women fling their hair. HE kept telling the women to fling their heads around faster and harder to "get it right". Of course I don't have to tell you my friend who went to this cluster f*** had a sore neck and headaches for the entire week. So this numb nuts just made up this whole thing. HE doesn't know his ass from his elbow, but because he's "Egyptian", everyone assumes he's an authority because after all its his culture. Well I'm sorry, but this is NOT his culture and those are not his people. The belief system that Zar belongs to is not his culture because he is not a part of it. Just because he's Egyptian doesn't mean squat. Just like someone being English doesn't make a person a member of Parliament or the Royal Family, being an Egyptian doesn't mean that a person knows anything about this belief system.
The whole issue around the Zar being not being a dance has been going on for some time now. I have done it as part of dance theatre when I was in Wendy Buonaventuras dance company. Venus Saleh was also part of that company and she would not accept Zar as any part of it. She reluctantly partcipated in the end. The Persians slap and hit themselves on the body as part of theirs and this is what she did. This sort of thing is part of Shi'ite ritual anyway.
The case my husband ivestigated in Saaid was a child who had been shook and loud pans etc. banged around it's ears (exactly like a Sabouah) but with a little more determination I think. It was classified as a zar gone wrong, very wrong.
Of course people have to be careful not to talk about these things for fear of being labelled witches etc. I did ask my friend Fady who is a Christian in cairo if the Christian church practised zar in cairo and he was stunned and said 'No way! we definately do not do it'. I have heard this before from a friend here too, so here is a perfect example of conflicting messages from people who live in the heart of it.
I think it is like you say, all called a zar and practised by both, but I think the way in which they are performed are different like I said.

Has anyone come across the practices of Magic spells in Egypt? this is more common than you think. Again my husband had a few incidents related to this issue where people wanted someone arrested for putting spells on them etc. of course, my husband thought it was very funny but the people didnt.
He came across it so many times he started to believe some of it, he said some cases were very convincing and spooky.

I have also seen spells written out in the form of a letter (from Senegal actually).
They have versus of the Koran on them and are written like some form of Graph. There are specialist police in Egypt who study the graphs and spells in order to understand them better and they can read them straight away.
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
The whole issue around the Zar being not being a dance has been going on for some time now. I have done it as part of dance theatre when I was in Wendy Buonaventuras dance company. Venus Saleh was also part of that company and she would not accept Zar as any part of it. She reluctantly partcipated in the end. The Persians slap and hit themselves on the body as part of theirs and this is what she did. This sort of thing is part of Shi'ite ritual anyway.
REAL Zar is not a dance. The fakelore companies have made a tableau based on it for the stage, but not even they realize what it really is. This is STAGE FANTASY based on the IDEA of a Zar. It is not ZAR. There are no such thing as ZAR steps etc. Zar is a very specific ritual, from a very specific practice. There are MANY practices in the Middle East. They are all unique and different. They are not interchangeable. What your friend was doing has nothing to do with Zar. That is part of Shi'ite rituals commemorating the death of Hussain. You can't call any type of non mainstream ritual activity a Zar. They are very different things and that is what you are still not understanding. It would be like calling prayers in a Mosque a church service. They are both religious gatherings in a building, but they are not the same thing. Okay, let me put it to you in terms you can understand: Samba is a dance that has shimmies in it, but it is not Oriental dance is it? Calling this that and the other thing a Zar is like calling Samba, Hula, or the Twist Oriental Dance. Do you understand now?


The case my husband ivestigated in Saaid was a child who had been shook and loud pans etc. banged around it's ears (exactly like a Sabouah) but with a little more determination I think. It was classified as a zar gone wrong, very wrong.
Again, this was not ZAR. Zar IS NOT AN EXORCISM. I'll say it again because no matter how much I or other people say it, it still doesn't sink in ZAR IS NOT AN EXORCISM. It was classified as a Zar by ignorant people who wouldn't know what a Zar was if it ran up and bit them on the ass. There is nothing in any of these practices that would require physically abusing someone. I don't know what the hell that was, but it was not a Zar. A Zar ceremony has very specific rules and follows very specific procedures just as a Christian or Moslem ceremony does. Its not a bunch of people just doing whatever. Please already, I hope your understanding this.

Of course people have to be careful not to talk about these things for fear of being labelled witches etc. I did ask my friend Fady who is a Christian in cairo if the Christian church practised zar in cairo and he was stunned and said 'No way! we definately do not do it'. I have heard this before from a friend here too, so here is a perfect example of conflicting messages from people who live in the heart of it.
Once again, you're only partially understanding me. Zar is part of an ancient nature based religion that predates the Judaic religions. It has NOTHING to do with Christianity, the Coptic Church or Islam. Just because someone is Egyptian does not mean they know what the hell they are talking about when it comes to this or any other aspect of culture in Egypt. If they are not part of a certain community or grew up in a certain tradition, they don't know what it is really. So for people who have told you Coptic priests perform Zar, BIG CLUE, ZAR ISN'T AN EXORCISM SO IF A PRIEST IS DOING AN EXORCISM, ITS AN EXORCISM, NOT A ZAR Yes, the Coptic church does perform the rite of exorcism, but that is not Zar. People, even EGYPTIANS, who do not know what a Zar is falsely believe its an exorcism. So if they see a priest doing an exorcism, they mistakenly think that Zar is just another word for exorcism and they are the same thing. They are not. Its like calling Tanura and Taktiyb the same thing because they are both dances from Egypt.

I think it is like you say, all called a zar and practised by both, but I think the way in which they are performed are different like I said.
No, that's not what I said. What I said is that ignorant people call everything Zar because they don't know what a Zar is. Its just like people who are ignorant about the Middle East who think Indians, Turks and Afghanis are Arabs. They are not Arabs are they? Same thing here.

Now what I did say, is that a Christian or a Muslim can be a part of a Zar community. Lets put it this way. Both Christians and Jews can belong to a Buddhist meditation group because the Buddhist group does not require them to convert to Buddhism. Therefore, they can do their meditation in the morning and go to church or synagogue in the evening. However, you wouldn't expect the minister or priest or rabbi to start leading everyone in a Buddhist meditation in the middle of service would you? It has nothing to do with those faiths.

There is NO SUCH THING AS A CHRISTIAN ZAR. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MUSLIM ZAR. There is only the Zar ceremony that is ONE OF MANY ceremonies done by people who practice an East African nature based religion. The members may belong to any religion and practice this as well in addition to their main faith.

Every religion has its rituals and ceremonies. They are all unique and distinct. They are not interchangeable. They may have the same idea, but they are not the same. A Sabua is not the same as a Christian Christening even though they both involve blessing an infant. Understand?

Has anyone come across the practices of Magic spells in Egypt? this is more common than you think. Again my husband had a few incidents related to this issue where people wanted someone arrested for putting spells on them etc. of course, my husband thought it was very funny but the people didn't.
He came across it so many times he started to believe some of it, he said some cases were very convincing and spooky.
All societies have these sort of practices. However, please understand that this has nothing to do with Earth religions. It is forbidden to do such things as we believe that whatever you do or send out will come back to you. Our basic rule is that we should live in peace and harmony with ourselves, God, nature and each other. Do nothing that would bring harm to another in word, thought or deed. Such practices as these are considered to be part of the negative forces which seek to destroy God's creation and throw it out of balance. Our goal is to resist the temptation to do anything that would cause imbalance.

I have also seen spells written out in the form of a letter (from Senegal actually).
They have versus of the Koran on them and are written like some form of Graph. There are specialist police in Egypt who study the graphs and spells in order to understand them better and they can read them straight away.
Once again every society has such things. Just like in Christian countries people will use the Psalms from the Bible as prayers to achieve certain things in life. They have their amulets and we have our like carrying a four leaf clover or rabbits foot for good luck, or putting a horse shoe over your door.
 

Caroline_afifi

New member
REAL Zar is not a dance. The fakelore companies have made a tableau based on it for the stage, but not even they realize what it really is. This is STAGE FANTASY based on the IDEA of a Zar. It is not ZAR. There are no such thing as ZAR steps etc. Zar is a very specific ritual, from a very specific practice. There are MANY practices in the Middle East. They are all unique and different. They are not interchangeable. What your friend was doing has nothing to do with Zar. That is part of Shi'ite rituals commemorating the death of Hussain. You can't call any type of non mainstream ritual activity a Zar. They are very different things and that is what you are still not understanding. It would be like calling prayers in a Mosque a church service. They are both religious gatherings in a building, but they are not the same thing. Okay, let me put it to you in terms you can understand: Samba is a dance that has shimmies in it, but it is not Oriental dance is it? Calling this that and the other thing a Zar is like calling Samba, Hula, or the Twist Oriental Dance. Do you understand now?
No, I am totally confused. My friends culturally call it a Zar, are you saying they are incorrect?
The people in the case of the police called it a zar too.

what is a ZAR in a nutshell please... I am struggleing to understand this as some of it goes against everything I have been led to understand by many many people over many years.





Again, this was not ZAR. Zar IS NOT AN EXORCISM. I'll say it again because no matter how much I or other people say it, it still doesn't sink in ZAR IS NOT AN EXORCISM. It was classified as a Zar by ignorant people who wouldn't know what a Zar was if it ran up and bit them on the ass. There is nothing in any of these practices that would require physically abusing someone. I don't know what the hell that was, but it was not a Zar. A Zar ceremony has very specific rules and follows very specific procedures just as a Christian or Moslem ceremony does. Its not a bunch of people just doing whatever. Please already, I hope your understanding this.
How are they so confused then?


Once again, you're only partially understanding me. Zar is part of an ancient nature based religion that predates the Judaic religions. It has NOTHING to do with Christianity, the Coptic Church or Islam. Just because someone is Egyptian does not mean they know what the hell they are talking about when it comes to this or any other aspect of culture in Egypt. If they are not part of a certain community or grew up in a certain tradition, they don't know what it is really. So for people who have told you Coptic priests perform Zar, BIG CLUE, ZAR ISN'T AN EXORCISM SO IF A PRIEST IS DOING AN EXORCISM, ITS AN EXORCISM, NOT A ZAR Yes, the Coptic church does perform the rite of exorcism, but that is not Zar. People, even EGYPTIANS, who do not know what a Zar is falsely believe its an exorcism. So if they see a priest doing an exorcism, they mistakenly think that Zar is just another word for exorcism and they are the same thing. They are not. Its like calling Tanura and Taktiyb the same thing because they are both dances from Egypt.
I think most Egyptians whom I have ment including my husband have no clue then.




No, that's not what I said. What I said is that ignorant people call everything Zar because they don't know what a Zar is. Its just like people who are ignorant about the Middle East who think Indians, Turks and Afghanis are Arabs. They are not Arabs are they? Same thing here.

Now what I did say, is that a Christian or a Muslim can be a part of a Zar community. Lets put it this way. Both Christians and Jews can belong to a Buddhist meditation group because the Buddhist group does not require them to convert to Buddhism. Therefore, they can do their meditation in the morning and go to church or synagogue in the evening. However, you wouldn't expect the minister or priest or rabbi to start leading everyone in a Buddhist meditation in the middle of service would you? It has nothing to do with those faiths.

There is NO SUCH THING AS A CHRISTIAN ZAR. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MUSLIM ZAR. There is only the Zar ceremony that is ONE OF MANY ceremonies done by people who practice an East African nature based religion. The members may belong to any religion and practice this as well in addition to their main faith.

Every religion has its rituals and ceremonies. They are all unique and distinct. They are not interchangeable. They may have the same idea, but they are not the same. A Sabua is not the same as a Christian Christening even though they both involve blessing an infant. Understand?



All societies have these sort of practices. However, please understand that this has nothing to do with Earth religions. It is forbidden to do such things as we believe that whatever you do or send out will come back to you. Our basic rule is that we should live in peace and harmony with ourselves, God, nature and each other. Do nothing that would bring harm to another in word, thought or deed. Such practices as these are considered to be part of the negative forces which seek to destroy God's creation and throw it out of balance. Our goal is to resist the temptation to do anything that would cause imbalance.



Once again every society has such things. Just like in Christian countries people will use the Psalms from the Bible as prayers to achieve certain things in life. They have their amulets and we have our like carrying a four leaf clover or rabbits foot for good luck, or putting a horse shoe over your door.
I think I have not explained myself properly in places as I did not mean some of this. However, I am very confused like I said.
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Zarr

Dear Caroline,
In fact, many Egyptians and other folk from the Middle East and North Africa do call forms of exorcism Zarr. It is not just one type of ceremony for one particular reason, but includes many different types of practices, according to people that I have spoken to all over the Middle East and North Africa, both Christian and Muslim, (though I believe the practice predates these particular religions). Your friends seem to have informed you in the same way mine have in formed me. A Zarr can be an exorcism rite or it can be a ritual that is used to appease djinn rather than to get them to leave, or it seems it can also be a form of emotional or psychological release, depending on the intent of the people involved in the ritual. Intent, just like in most other types of rituals, is 9/10ths of the ritual.
Regards,
A'isha
 

Pirika Repun

New member
Dear Caroline

I can see Tarik’s point very clearly, because maybe I do not have any information about Zar before.

I’m sure he’ll explain again, but this is my understanding. Zar is ritual practice, and dance is part of it but NOT ALL of it. Like he said Zar dance is fantasy or theater version of it. Like Sharki is theater version of Balady, so Zar dance is like Sharki. But the difference is Zar is NOT Dance, but ritual practice, and Zar dance (if there any) is totally make up dance for it.

Also like Aisha explains to you, exorcism is maybe part of it, like I’m sure Christianity performs exorcism, but not all of it, just a pert of it, and for special occasion. I think IF Zar perform exorcism, again, it is part of it, but NOT ALL OF IT.

You brought up spell, and it is also not only Zar, but my county has very similar to Voodoo doll. We use like 5 inches (or 10cm) long nails stick in to straw doll with spell. However, Tarik said you have to be very careful when you performed this, because we also believe that spell or evil spirit will come back to you. So, if some one really doing this spell, they also know it might be come back to you and worst case kill you.

People who believe major religion many times do not accept sub group of religion, ritual or cult, and if some bad thing happen, they always blame to these sub groups. So, even if there is nothing related with Zar, but people who believe mainstream religion want to blame or make escape goat for sub group of religion, ritual or anything. I mean, if you can’t explain with science or your belief, people always bring up some unusual things or nature to blame.

I think because I do not believe any major religion, and I’m more believe nature than creatu, so maybe that’s why I clearly see the point of Zar that people in here know and explain it. I hope this not make you more confuse...
 

masrawy

New member
don't let them fool you ..

I think I have not explained myself properly in places as I did not mean some of this. However, I am very confused like I said.
Caroline,
listen to your husband from what I hear you saying he is an educated man, will trust his opinion than. Not everything old and has been practiced for years and years is right. God give you a brain then use it don't let anybody fool you. It's by design that will try to confuse you, I'll be more than happy to share with you privately material and information in this subject. Salam
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
I think I have not explained myself properly in places as I did not mean some of this. However, I am very confused like I said.
I've said all that I can say on this topic. If you really want to know what the real deal is, the next time you go to Egypt, then you need to do some serious research. Don't ask other people, go to the source, which are people who are involved in it and follow this way of life. Develop a relationship with them so that you build trust. Go to several sources. When they get to know you and see that you take them seriously and respectfully they will trust you and begin to let you into their world. this will be an ongoing process not a single event. this is the only way you will really know what it is all about and what it is not.

Because I belong to such a tradition, I know more about it, but what I do is not exactly the same thing as Zar. Its like you could give me a general explanation of Christianity, but there are differences between each denomination. If you are an Episcopalian you would not know what goes on exactly in an Ethiopian Coptic Church unless you've spent time in them and spoken extensively with the followers of that particular denomination. So don't take my word for anything, go to the source and you will learn much more than you can from anyone here.
 

Caroline_afifi

New member
Don't ask other people, go to the source, which are people who are involved in it and follow this way of life. Develop a relationship with them so that you build trust. Go to several sources. When they get to know you and see that you take them seriously and respectfully they will trust you and begin to let you into their world. this will be an ongoing process not a single event. this is the only way you will really know what it is all about and what it is not.

Because I belong to such a tradition, I know more about it, but what I do is not exactly the same thing as Zar. Its like you could give me a general explanation of Christianity, but there are differences between each denomination. If you are an Episcopalian you would not know what goes on exactly in an Ethiopian Coptic Church unless you've spent time in them and spoken extensively with the followers of that particular denomination. So don't take my word for anything, go to the source and you will learn much more than you can from anyone here.
AH Tarik, I am done with this one too. I doubt I will ever have the time or the inclination to research this one in Egypt.
I thank everyone for their input in this thread but it makes my head hurt trying to get my head around it.
I just keep reading and thinking well what about this, and what about that, and this article I read in Egypt said this and this person said....AAAH!

It is not something I can see myself taking up so i will leave it to other interested parties to do the research and feedback! and leave well alone with Zar discussions in the future.. :lol:
 

masrawy

New member
"Tarik aben sultan"

Ashtaten ashtout ely ygebow maia khdowsh madad .. ya asiadna .. madad sybow "Tarik aben sultan" wee matazzohosh dah wald glban wemay3rafsh 7agah .. madad .. madad ya asiadna .. madad
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
Ashtaten ashtout ely ygebow maia khdowsh madad .. ya asiadna .. madad sybow "Tarik aben sultan" wee matazzohosh dah wald glban wemay3rafsh 7agah .. madad .. madad ya asiadna .. madad
SPANISH MASRAWY SPANISH! :mad: WE'RE IN AMERICA NOW DAMN IT REMEMBER?!:naghty:
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
AH Tarik, I am done with this one too. I doubt I will ever have the time or the inclination to research this one in Egypt.
I thank everyone for their input in this thread but it makes my head hurt trying to get my head around it.
I just keep reading and thinking well what about this, and what about that, and this article I read in Egypt said this and this person said....AAAH!

It is not something I can see myself taking up so i will leave it to other interested parties to do the research and feedback! and leave well alone with Zar discussions in the future.. :lol:
This is why we seldom speak to outsiders about our way of life. It can be such a frustrating experience because we have to plow through so many layers of misunderstanding and misinformation. What has made us start to speak up is because every time the police found a person who seemed to be murdered in some sort of ritual one of two people would ALWAYS get blamed, Santeros, (like me) or Wiccans. We've both had to come forward and explain that we are not Satanists and human sacrifice has nothing to do with our practices.

I am particularly sensitive to what you related about kids beaten to death because we've had an epidemic of those cases here as well. A psychotic Latino person beats their kid to death, or dumps them in a tub of scalding hot water because they claim the kid is possessed and they were trying to exorcize the damon. Next thing you know its all over the evening news that another kid was killed in a Santaria ritual gone wrong. The police always do this to us. This is why I am leery when I hear, "The police said...".

My main concern is that A) You don't have to believe in our practice, but at least treat us with the same respect you would show to any other spiritual practice.

B) Realize that there are many different mystical, spiritual traditions in any country that are not officially recognized. They are all different. Don't assume they are all the same thing.

C) Realize that in any practice, there are people who are legitimate and those who are total charlatans. Just like there are people who sell snake oil treatments like penis enlargement pills doesn't mean that they are practicing alternative medicine or that all alternative treatments are garbage.
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Zar, etc.

Dear Pirika,

Also like Aisha explains to you, exorcism is maybe part of it, like I’m sure Christianity performs exorcism, but not all of it, just a pert of it, and for special occasion. I think IF Zar perform exorcism, again, it is part of it, but NOT ALL OF IT.
For me personally. when I used to practice Zar, it had nothing at all to do with exorcism, but that does not mean that no one utilized it in that way, and in fact according to my Alexandrian friends, in their Coptic religion, it was used that way. Others do not see it as an exorcism as such, but more a quieting of a bothersome spirit that they say is "married" to the sufferer. The marriage is meant in terms of the spirit being with the person always. Others see Zar as more for calming the troubled mind, so there are many different explanations for the purpose and meaning of Zar, not just what I personally experienced.


People who believe major religion many times do not accept sub group of religion, ritual or cult, and if some bad thing happen, they always blame to these sub groups. So, even if there is nothing related with Zar, but people who believe mainstream religion want to blame or make escape goat for sub group of religion, ritual or anything. I mean, if you can’t explain with science or your belief, people always bring up some unusual things or nature to blame.
I see that one does not even have to belong to a mainstream religion to blame another group for the ills of the world. People who practice less well known religions also blame others. And then there are those, like me, who see plenty to blame in the religion I was born with, (Roman Catholicism). But.... if I care to look beyond just MY needs and MY feelings, I can see also that there are those who benefit deeply from what I once scorned. I think the real issue here is being aware that what works for some on a spiritual level might have no meaning at all for someone else, but that we each have our own spiritual roads to travel. I would say we each need to tend our own path before pointing at the weeds growing in someone else's.

And Eid Mubarak to all of our friends who are celebrating today.

Regards,
A'isha
 

Pirika Repun

New member
Dear Pirika,
For me personally. when I used to practice Zar, it had nothing at all to do with exorcism, but that does not mean that no one utilized it in that way, and in fact according to my Alexandrian friends, in their Coptic religion, it was used that way. Others do not see it as an exorcism as such, but more a quieting of a bothersome spirit that they say is "married" to the sufferer. The marriage is meant in terms of the spirit being with the person always. Others see Zar as more for calming the troubled mind, so there are many different explanations for the purpose and meaning of Zar, not just what I personally experienced.

I see that one does not even have to belong to a mainstream religion to blame another group for the ills of the world. People who practice less well known religions also blame others. And then there are those, like me, who see plenty to blame in the religion I was born with, (Roman Catholicism). But.... if I care to look beyond just MY needs and MY feelings, I can see also that there are those who benefit deeply from what I once scorned. I think the real issue here is being aware that what works for some on a spiritual level might have no meaning at all for someone else, but that we each have our own spiritual roads to travel. I would say we each need to tend our own path before pointing at the weeds growing in someone else's.

And Eid Mubarak to all of our friends who are celebrating today.

Regards,
A'isha
Dear Aisha

Oh, I didn't mean Zar is exorcism. Like any other ritual, religion or any spiritual belief maybe occasionally some of them practice these things, BUT it's not all of it. I think some degree most of religion or ritual perform similar to exorcism or I don't know the correct word for English, but like purify ( is the correct word? ) body or spirit performed by occasionally I think. In Buddhism, if you go to funeral to temple and come home, before you enter the house, we use salt to purify (?) or not bring bad spirit or evil spirit in the house with us. But this is not exorcism (I think) just prevent from some bad thing happen from these evil spirit from the funeral or from grave. I never heard Zar before, but as people in here have knowledge to Zar explain pretty well what is about, and I think I have my unique religious or spiritual background make me little bit easy to understand what kind of thins is Zar. I still learning, and very fascinating.

Oh, yes, not only main stream religion blame on minor one, but most of time both of them bemaed each other and among them. That is one of many reasons that I do not practice particular religions or rituals. I always respect other cultures, rituals and religions and other spiritual worlds. It may different from what I believe, but unless they not force me to believe their belief then I'm cool with it. I occasionally perform one of my main belief's ceremonial things or ritual things, but I always pay extra respect and caution to the spirit that I contact with, because I have had many strange experience related with these spirits or ghosts. Yes, like you said each person has different belief and different spiritual worlds, and work for one , but no meaning for the other. Yeah, for me still have little hard time to accept or concept of one creature god, because I grow up in different situation and different world, but work for many people.

I'm keep studying Zar from you guys and I'll research my self too. Thanks again for educating me guys. ;)
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Religion, etc.

Dear Pirika,
I like the salt cleansing as you described it! I think it is common in many religions and in medicine to use salt to cleanse and protect. My sister inlaw, who is a Wiccan, used salt to keep my house safe from a creep once, and another American Indian friend suggests burning sage bundles. Very nice rituals, I think!
Regards,
A'isha
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
Ashtaten ashtout ely ygebow maia khdowsh madad .. ya asiadna .. madad sybow "Tarik aben sultan" wee matazzohosh dah wald glban wemay3rafsh 7agah .. madad .. madad ya asiadna .. madad
Dear Masrawy:

Sorry for not thanking you for the lovely prayer earlier. However, with my supernatural abilities to write pages to prove my point and to magically create
youtube videos to back them up.... Don't you think you should be praying to god to protect the evil spirits from me? :think::pray::lol:
 

masrawy

New member
Originally Posted by masrawy
Ashtaten ashtout ely ygebow maia khdowsh madad .. ya asiadna .. madad sybow "Tarik aben sultan" wee matazzohosh dah wald glban wemay3rafsh 7agah .. madad .. madad ya asiadna .. madad
Dear Masrawy:

Sorry for not thanking you for the lovely prayer earlier. However, with my supernatural abilities to write pages to prove my point and to magically create
youtube videos to back them up.... Don't you think you should be praying to god to protect the evil spirits from me? :think::pray::lol:

Thanks to assiadna ... you are still with us as Tarik and not your original state of a chicken, I am a believer now in el Zar it works ... it really works. You used to be a chicken in your previous life my friend I intervene with the help of assidna off course.:pray:
sorry I had to write "el 3mal" in the Lawinde language, otherwise it would not have worked and you might have ended up as "Molkhia bel frakh". Hey don't ask :naghty: what you will be in your next life, they told me ......... :think:

:lol::lol:
PS Thank your friend who read the Lawinde for you ... you have some very educated friend :shok:
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
Thanks to assiadna ... you are still with us as Tarik and not your original state of a chicken, I am a believer now in el Zar it works ... it really works.


Oh man! Now you're one of us?!:doh: I thought this was an exclusive club! Now they're letting everyone join! That's it, I'm becoming a Sikh!

You used to be a chicken in your previous life my friend I intervene with the help of assidna off course.:pray:
sorry I had to write "el 3mal" in the Lawinde language, otherwise it would not have worked and you might have ended up as "Molkhia bel frakh". Hey don't ask :naghty: what you will be in your next life, they told me ......... :think:

:lol::lol:
Yes, remember. Being a chicken was a step up on the evolutionary scale. I was a battata in the life before that one. You should have seen me. I was so plump and absolutely delicious! Before that I was a politician, so you see, with every life time I get better and better!:lol:

As for my next life, I already know. I'm going to be Zorba's father and i get to treat him like a step child. I can't wait!:dance:

PS Thank your friend who read the Lawinde for you ... you have some very educated friend :shok: [/QUOTE]

Friend? What friend? That was one of my spirits who translated it for me!;)
 

masrawy

New member
Grand Wizard not Sikh

Hey Hey its Grand Wizard not Sikh :mad: ... I am the Grand Wizard of NJ We need You . Gets worse every lifetime not better they will always tell you they were kings and queens in their past lives I have never seen anyone that says yeah I was a garbage man before!! As for being as Zorba father I'll see what I can do for you you have to be nice to me :yay:
please tell your imaginary friend hello, where does he live under your carpet?! :tongue:
 

Caroline_afifi

New member
This is why we seldom speak to outsiders about our way of life. It can be such a frustrating experience because we have to plow through so many layers of misunderstanding and misinformation. What has made us start to speak up is because every time the police found a person who seemed to be murdered in some sort of ritual one of two people would ALWAYS get blamed, Santeros, (like me) or Wiccans. We've both had to come forward and explain that we are not Satanists and human sacrifice has nothing to do with our practices.
I understand that I was making a point that some people see it like that as you say.

I am particularly sensitive to what you related about kids beaten to death because we've had an epidemic of those cases here as well. A psychotic Latino person beats their kid to death, or dumps them in a tub of scalding hot water because they claim the kid is possessed and they were trying to exorcize the damon. Next thing you know its all over the evening news that another kid was killed in a Santaria ritual gone wrong. The police always do this to us. This is why I am leery when I hear, "The police said...".
Yes, I understand this roo but it is also what people say and it does happen in some crazy situations. I did say 'flip side', everything in life is open to abuse.

My main concern is that A) You don't have to believe in our practice, but at least treat us with the same respect you would show to any other spiritual practice.
I said earlier that me personally I am not into it but whatever rocks people boats (meaning whatever works for the individual).

B) Realize that there are many different mystical, spiritual traditions in any country that are not officially recognized. They are all different. Don't assume they are all the same thing.
Yes, they often het lumped together but if things are hidden then you can see how easily this can happen.


C) Realize that in any practice, there are people who are legitimate and those who are total charlatans. Just like there are people who sell snake oil treatments like penis enlargement pills doesn't mean that they are practicing alternative medicine or that all alternative treatments are garbage.
But how are people supposed to tell the difference? there is no easy answer to this.

We are taking about Zar here and it is clear that people have different ideas about what that means both within the culture it springs from and beyond.
 
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