Libation: Superstition or Belief?
Libation is a ritual pouring out unto the ground of a liquid as an offering to a deity ,the spirit of a dead person(s) or in memory of the dead.(wikipedia)
The act of pouring out libation may have so many meanings attached to it. Some of these meaning are largely attributed to the belief that a fair share of what is to be drunk has to be accorded to a particular unseen being or entity. This belief us further cemented with the conviction that when libation is offered, the spirit is appeased and is prevented from causing a havoc it had intended to cause or that the spirit will work tirelessly to increase the wealth and well-being of the libator.
Biblical take on the topic of libation
Libation have had many instances in the Bible. The first instance , we see in the book of Isaiah 30:1, and second in Philippians 2:17.
These are the two of numerous instances of libation we have recorded in the Bible.
Most Orthodox Christians see libation as an anathema to the word of God , while some consider it to be an important ritual that has to be observed.
Libation in the Igbo culture.
I once experienced an Igbo man pouring out some of his beer to the ground while muttering the words “gwo nu ka unu da alaia”(meaning you people should drink and maka merry) . I inquired his reasons for doing this, he smiled and said that it was necessary for him to maka libation to his dead ancestors so they could become Happy after drinking and in that merry mood, they would be eager to push more blessings his way.
He also stated that if there were evil spirits lurking around a man , when such man makes libation, the evil spirits would get drunk on the wine offered and consequently forget their evil plans to hurt the man.
Whether as an effort to garner more blessings to themselves or as a distraction to evil spirits, libation has formed a close knitted proximity to the culture of the Igbo people.
Superstition or Belief
Libation is both superstition and belief.
A superstition to some , who constantly attest that they have never in any way gained an advantage from the act and have therefore ceased to make libations.
It is a belief if not a way of life for some. This class of people will not be caught drinking without first having to make libation. This act would even be extended to drinking water and in extreme cases, bath water.
A believe is sure to give testimonies of what benefits making libation has accorded to him.
I have heard so many of testimonies and I am still amazed whenever I re-count the details.
So, whether you do it or not , whether it is a superstition or a belief, libation has been a part of human history and still remains a noticeable factor of human existence even till the present time.
So, if there is indeed a dead relative around ready to drink offering and consequently gets drunk and becomes so happy that he or she spends their entire spiritual existence to please you, then I am off to the liquor store to buy their whole stock. I am about to please an entire planet of ghosts.