According to Yoruba tradition, the sacred use of money had its beginning in the Ejigbomekun Market, a mythological place where the deities conducted the transactions that would enable them to perform wonders in the world. It was through their earthly achievements that the deities purify and elevate their spirits in preparation for their heavenly return. This is established in the teachings of the Holy Odu OyekuLogbe, which says:
A tree knot is the one that fears no rain
This was Ifa's message to Olodumare Agotun
The king who created the well-balanced earth
When he was going to create a marketplace on water
Behold! When you get to the earth
Do not forget heaven
For earth is but a marketplace
Heaven is our home
You shall give account of all your deeds
While on earth
- Holy Odu OyekuLogbe
In this regard, we see how the marketplace, which is activated by countless transactions, draws the world of spirits into the world of things. This notion, which is borne out of African indigenous knowledge, challenges our narrow view of ancient peoples. We tend to think that our ancestors were primitive, superstitious and maybe a little stupid. But, let's consider another possibility; What if we choose to believe the sacred texts, the myths, rituals, beliefs and traditions? We are comfortable with the idea that we govern our own lives through rational thought and scientific precision. But what if we accept the possibility that there exists a world beyond our physical world, where activity is caused by forces that are beyond our ability to perceive? That is, what happens when we seriously consider the fact that, if there are causes that we can detect with our five senses, there might also be additional causes that we cannot detect until we have developed extra-sensory perception?
It's important to consider the ancient concepts of money, markets and transactions because these considerations help us to redefine our relationship to money. More precisely, it's essential that modern Africans reclaim our understanding of money as a living, spiritual force that has the capacity to heal. That is, in the same way that the deities descended upon Ejigbomekun Market in order to acquire the tools and experiences that would enable them to perform wonders in the world, so can we humans, construct a marketplace wherein we can circulate money that is imbued with a healing impulse.
Money circulates through the marketplace through transactions. To be sure, a transaction is an agreement between two or more parties. But where do agreements reside? Certainly not in the documents where they are articulated, nor in the courtrooms where they are reinforced. Agreements, like love, can only exist BETWEEN parties. Neither party possesses the agreement, but the two of them create, sustain and strengthen the agreement together. As the parties change and evolve, so does the agreement. Today, Africans have reached a pivotal stage of evolution that warrants a reconsideration of our agreements with one another and our collective relationship with money. More precisely, the time has come for us to use money to heal our condition and empower our future.