Iyerosun = Opon-Ifa…

                     The Divining Powder (Iyerosun)  

Iyerosun is a powder used in the Yoruba Ifa tradition mainly by Diviners in Ifa divination practices to mark Odu Ifa. It is termite dust from the Irosun tree, the Irosun tree is a special tree that is said to have a connection to the spirit realm. Iyerosun is sprinkled on the Opon- Ifa  (Divination tray) and scattered on its face to imprint the Odu Ifa. This powder is very important to Ifa and a competent Awo can use it to perform wonders. This powder has blessed by God  and whatever a Diviner wishes to do with it shall come to pass as long as it is properly done. The position of Iyerosun in Ifa is such that Ikin cannot be used for consultation in the absence of this powder.

*** By implication, the most sacred aspect of Ifa cannot be carried out without the use of Iyerosun. Ifa tells us what led to the situation where Iyerosun choose never to part with Ifa forever…

Ogbegbarada Adebayo Ebo-Riru

*** The figure of Ifa are marked on the tray in a powder which is scattered on its surface. There are problems in botanical classification and apparently regional variations in the name of the tree, but Iyereosun as the name for the powder is widely recognized. Divining powder Iyerosun is often kept in a bottle or other container. Ifa Diviners bring home a piece of the trunk of the Irosun tree during the dry season and leave it on the ground so that termites can eat it. The termites, they explain eat only the whitish outer parts of the wood.

Initial Invocations: Before the first divination of the day, prayers and invocations are offered to Ifa and other Deities while the apparatus is being arranged. The Diviner sits on a mat with his tray in front of him. He spreads wood dust (Iyerosun) on the tray, and places the divining cup in the center of it. He draws a line clockwise with his finger in the wood dust (Iyerosun) around the base of the divining cup, saying, “I build a house around you, so you can build a house around me, so you can let children and money surround me.” He erases the line with his cow-tail switch, saying, “I pay homage oh..(3x) Homage come to pass…(3x) He takes a little wood dust (Iyerosun) from the tray and places it on the ground, saying “Ground I pay homage; homage come to pass.”

                    ***Opon = Ifa Divination Board…

***Ifa is not merely a Collection of Verses, Proverbs, Parables and Anecdotes. Ifa is God’s Sacred Message to Mankind. It is the embodiment of the totality of human existence. It is also clear that Religion, Worship and Sacrifice are but few aspects of what constitutes the Divine Message known as Ifa. It constitutes what is also known as the Great Mystery System.  

Yoruba Traditional Wood Carving

God gave the holy spirit Orunmila a flawless method of communication between himself and the Orishas. Sixteen is the number of Cosmos; it represents the primal order that issued from the unity of God. Sixteen is also a significant number in the world of computers. When the world was first created, it spread out from an original palm tree that stood at the center of the world at Ile-Ife. The palm tree had sixteen branches, which formed the four cardinal points and the sixteen original quarters of Ile-Ife. The number sixteen represents the variables of the human condition, the sixteen possible situations of human life. The sixteen principle signs are called Odu or Olodu, from each of which are drawn sixteen subordinate signs Omo-Odu, “Children of Odu”.

These are the universal energies that give birth to all given circumstances and situations, all the blessings and misfortunes of the universe are contained within them. It is through the knowledge of these energies, called Odù Ifá, that a Diviner is able to work with individuals to achieve the greatest potential of their destiny. The Odù Ifá are the blueprints to all the energies possible in the Universe. Each has verses of esoteric knowledge associated with it along with Medicines, Rituals, and Sacrifices…

A Diviner uses the Opon Ifá in order to communicate with the spirits who are able to identify the causes and solutions to personal and collective problems and restore harmony with the spirits. Opon Ifá are flat and usually circular, with a raised outer edge carved with figures, objects, or geometric designs. Opon Ifá  may also be rectangular, semi-circular, or an approximate square. The top of the tray is called the head, and the bottom, the foot – the latter is typically placed closest to the diviner. The diviner, uses several art objects in communicating with the spirit world during divination.   

At the beginning of a divination session, the Ifa diviner will draw a cross-roads pattern on the surface of the Opon Ifa as a sign that this is the place of meeting between human concerns – sickness, barrenness, fear of witchcraft and spiritual powers. It is the place of communication between humans and Orisha Orunmila, the God of wisdom who knows the prenatal destiny (Ori) chosen by each person. The diviner will then use his Iroke Ifa, Ifa tapper to invoke the presence of the Ancient Diviners. Tapping rhythmically, he will call upon Orunmila and Orisha Eshu, to be attentive to what he is doing. Eshu is the guardian of the ritual way, the messenger of the Gods and other spiritual powers, as well as the conveyor of the sacrifices of humans to such powers. Eshu’s face always appears at the top of an Opon Ifa.  

When the holy spirit of Orunmila wants to communicate with you, chances are he’s got what it takes to bypass all the human trappings that people say must be done. Orunmila has so many ways to at his disposal to make an appearance to an individual’s consciousness that it boggles the mind. Conversely, simply because we’ve gone through all the hoops that the community of Ifa worshipers says are necessary in order to become a Diviner doesn’t automatically make us a Diviner. A person can study Odu verses and spiritual text from now until the end of time. However, if the individual s not right in his or her relationship with Orunmila, if they do not embrace social consciousness, if the person does not practice personal integrity, Orunmila would not trust that individual to be his manifestation of spiritual instruction. Only people with the fortitude to maintain their good Character will have his trust to guide others…

*** No Leaf can fall from the Tree without the Authority, Power and Knowledge of God… 

Reference Sources: Wikipedia = William Bascom =  Ifasola Ogundabe Ajigbotifa

 

Atare = Agbon = Odidere…

 The Magic of Ataré..”Grains of Paradise = Alligator Pepper”

Guinea Pepper is so called because it is a native plant from the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa. Other common names for this spice are Guinea grains, melegueta pepper, and grains of paradise.  Alligator pepper is a West African spice which corresponds to the seeds and seed pods of Aframomum Danielli. It is a close relative of grains of paradise, obtained from the closely related species, Aframomum Melegueta. However, unlike grains of paradise which are generally sold as only the seeds of the plant, alligator pepper is sold as the entire pod containing the seeds.

The plants which provide alligator pepper are herbaceous perennials of the ginger (Zingiberaceae) family of flowering plants, native to swampy habitats along the West African coast. Once the pod is open and the seeds are revealed, the reason for this spice’s common English name becomes apparent as the seeds have a papery skin enclosing them and the bumps of the seeds within this skin is reminiscent of an alligator’s back. It is a common ingredient in West African cuisine, where it imparts both pungency and a spicy aroma to classic West African soups (stews). Often, a single whole pod is pounded in a pestle and mortar before half of it is added as a flavoring to West African soups. The spice can also be substituted in any recipe using grains of paradise or black cardamom to provide a hotter and more pungent flavor.

It can open the way to communicate with the Orisha and Ancestors, it is the key ingredient in countless Sacrifices and literally there is no major initiation that can proceed without having a bit of its Ashé. It can also be used for protection and even to set wrong doings.In the Orisha community Ataré is also known as Pimienta de Guinea. 

When babies are born in Yoruba culture, they are given a small taste of Alligator Pepper (Atare) shortly after birth as part of the routine baby-welcoming process, and it is also used as an ingredient at traditional meet-and-greets. Alligator Peppers and kola Nuts are presented to guests at the top of the agenda and prior to any other food or entertainment. Prayers and libations are made together with kola Nuts and Alligator Pepper.

Ataré is important because its energy awakes our bodies & spirit, it increases our Ashé, it makes our words carry the heat of creation and it opens doors to the realm of the Ancestors and Orisha. However, the value of Ataré goes beyond the spiritual reasons our bright Ancestors recognized centuries ago.

                         *** Agbon = The Coconut Oracle ***

 Coconut Palm Tree = “Tree of Life from heaven” 

There is no doubt that the ritual of breaking the Coconut has its origins in Hindu practice. There is no doubt that it is performed by people of all religions today in India. It is even performed in enterprises conducted by the state, which are supposed to be truly secular.

Smashing the coconut is symbolic of annihilating the Ego and Humbling oneself before God. Whenever a work of magnitude is undertaken it is natural for the persons involved to feel a sense of pride at what they are setting out to achieve or what they have achieved. This ritual indicates that the actual “doer” is God and humans are merely instruments in his hands. Coconuts are also broken before the deities in temples during normal worship. Again, the philosophy is the same – complete submission to God.

Coconut Palm Tree is called the ‘Tree of Life’, ‘The tree from heaven which gives all that you desire’ by those living in coastal areas. As a thanksgiving to God and a symbolic gesture, for the path to Self Realization which you tend to forget in the midst of the stress and strain of day to day living.

*** Coconut is a symbol of selfless service to the almighty. Each and every part of the coconut is of use to mankind. Nurturing a Coconut tree does not require much effort. It can grow all on its own and serves the mankind in many ways.

The Evolution of Obi Abata to Coconut: Divination is performed using four pieces of Coconut meat in Santería Lukumí.  When the Lukumí people were abducted to Cuba, they found themselves in a different climate where many of their native plants did not grow. Kola Nuts do not grow on the island of Cuba, and yet the Lukumí people needed to perform Obí Abata divination to begin restoring their religious practices. They decided to innovate and used Coconut meat instead of kola Nut (Obí Abata). By cracking open a Coconut and extracting its meat then dividing it into four pieces, they developed a suitable alternative for Obí Abata divination. Over the years, and with the loss of fluency in the Lukumí dialect, Santeria adherents fell into the habit of referring to Coconuts as Obí since they were being used in the Obí Abata system of divination. But in the strictest sense, the Lukumí word obí actually refers to Obi Abata, and Agbon is the proper word for Coconut.

*** Coconut water is an essential spiritual item which stand for mystery and parity. We are require to apply Coconut water to this great bath ritual rites to purify ourselves. What we are suffering from is unknown to us, our enemy is known to us, items they used for the evil spells are unknown to us: mystery. For our deliverance to reach 100% purity, Coconut water must be involved. Remember, literary, coconut is been used to reduce or dilute the effectiveness of drug. The amount of injury, harm, pains, and suffer our enemies leveled against must be fight using mystic force of Coconut water.

*** The Coconut is an independent object of worship… A coconut  The fruit of God, alone is also used to symbolize ‘God’ While worshiping any deity. The three eyes of the coconut represent the three eyes of unknowns. In India one of the most common offerings in a temple is a Coconut. It is also offered occasions like weddings, festivals, the use of a new vehicle, bridge, house etc. In traditional ritual done in all temples and many homes, several materials are poured over the deity like milk, curd, honey, tender coconut water, sandal paste, holy ash etc. Each material has a specific significance of bestowing certain benefits on worshipers. The Coconut also symbolizes selfless service. Every part of the tree -the trunk, leaves, fruit, coir etc, is used in innumerable ways like thatches, mats, tasty dishes, oil, soap etc.

Parrot =  Odidere = Ayekooto :  The World Reject Truth

The Magic in a Feather: A Feather Found***A Gift From SpiritThe Birds are sacred and special in various ways and thus make them to be different from other Birds. One of these Birds is a Bird named Parrot =  Odidere = Ayekooto which means = The World Reject Truth… because they believe the Bird is strictly a Bird that say nothing but the truth. This Bird is a special bird with many beautiful features and brilliant characteristics that makes it different from just any other Bird. Legend has it that during the Ancient times of myth, animals including Birds speaks and understand the human language. And it is believed till this day that Odidere = Ayekooto still retain this special mystical power to speak, hear, and understand the language of human.

Parrot spirit animal is the wise teacher of the power of your words, spoken or not spoken, for even the silent. Words in your mind are driving you forward, having dominion over your choices and the paths you take. Parrot reflects to us the immense power of our inner mind. Parrot spirit animal shares his wisdom; to take care in the words you speak and the secrets thoughts you carry.

In forest one can easily see other Birds like pigeon, sparrow, dove and even hawk. But to see this Bird named Parrot = Odidere you will have to go deep into the thick deep forest because it is not a common Bird, and even the nest of this sacred Bird is hardly seen by people. It is even the belief that the egg of Odidere is a sacred object that cannot be seen by a mortal, and thus make it so rare to be seen in open places. The feather of Odidere is used by royalty and it is a symbol of the elite. A symbolic special Bird that combines its beauty together with its mystical attributes… (Obatala Odidere-Crown Ogbe Ose)

Parrot is symbolic of truth telling = Speaking from the center of the heart. As Parrot speaks back to you the words you have spoken, you hear your own words with no filter. This is a powerful reflection of self, as you able to recognize the truth of your own words and what you are communicating or you will be reminded of the secrets that you are keeping, or the untruths that are being told. Parrot is a great teacher of communication and brings guidance and assistance in your ability to communicate that which you really feel.

Feathers come from Birds and so are thought to be magical by association. Birds have long been regarded as messengers to the Gods, as Ancient people believed they would carry messages to and from the heavens. Birds were the only animals who could defy gravity, and so they were sacred to many cultures around the world in old times. Because of this, their feathers were regarded as gifts from the Gods…and today if a feather is found it is said to be a gift from Spirit—be it a person’s spirit guide, angel, or deceased loved one. There is something special in every found feather, and feathers can be used to bring good things into one’s life. Every Bird’s feather contains the power of the Universe… Feathers are magically ruled by the element of Air. But each feather also can hold other special powers; depending on the bird it came from, its color and place of discovery and other factors.   

The feather represents the element of air, of the intellect and the realm of thought, which is the first step toward creation. Bird feathers are symbols of the wind, the mind and new opportunities. Finding a feather can also be a sign that we are connecting to the divine and the creator God. Finding Bird feathers is a reflection of change and of reaching new levels of consciousness.  

*** Orisha Worshiper practices open pathways to the sublime in all of us, and foster a deep and loving respect for all that lives through stones, crystals, trees, plants, animals and humans themselves. To the Worshiper, all is alive, all is sacred and all is connected in a cosmic web of beauty…  

  Reference Sources: Wikipedia =

Ogbo Edan *** Ogboni Society…

*** Good Character Is What Adorns A Man…

               (( Ogboye, Ogboran, Ogbo Edan!))

Ooni Adesoji Aderemi Ile-Ife Yoruba

Ogboni  =  known as Osugbo in Ijèbú  is a fraternal institution indigenous to the Yoruba language-speaking polities of Nigeria, Republic of Bénin and Togo, as well as among the Edo/Benin people groups. The society performs a range of political and religious functions, including exercising a profound influence on regents and serving as high courts of jurisprudence in capital offenses. Its members are generally considered to be part of the nobility of the various Yoruba kingdoms of West Africa.

Though versions or lodges of this fraternal group are found among the various types of Yoruba polities – from highly centralized kingdoms and empires like Oyo, to the independent towns and villages of the Ègbá and the Èkiti. The Ogboni are recognizable for their veneration of the personified Earth (Ilè or Oduduwa) and their emphasis on both authority and benevolent service to the community. While membership in the Ogboni generally signified a high level of power and prestige, the society held pre-eminent political authority among decentralized groups like the Ègbá, where they were intimately involved in the selection of rulers that served as little other than figureheads in practice. In contemporary Yoruba land, Ogboni members still command great power and influence in the affairs of their societies, although this is largely due to the history of their respective chieftaincies and not to any official authority.

Ogboni lodges were one of the main commissioners of brass jewelry and sculpture in pre-colonial Yoruba land, using the metal’s rust-resistant qualities as an apt metaphor for the immortal functions and beliefs of Ogboni adepts. The most recognizable of these symbols was a pair of Ogboni initiates, one male and one female, attached by a chain and worn around the neck. The pair are thought to symbolize the attachment of the sexes in procreation and balanced society. Generally, one or both figures will hold a thumb in the grip of the opposite hand, demonstrating the paramount Ogboni handsign denoting initiation and membership.

Various fraternities in Nigeria have incorporated references and insignia from the original Ogboni, including the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity, the Indigenous Ogboni, and various others. Many of these contemporary societies combine elements of Ogboni’s historical functions with superficially similar institutions like Freemasonry and the Rotary Club.

Olori Oluwo Ogboni Ibadan

Similar traditional institutions combining political, judicial, and sacred duties exist among the various ethnic nationalities of southern Nigeria, including Nze na Ozo in Igbo-speaking southeast Nigeria and Ekpe/Ngbe/Ugbe in the Cross River region of southeastern Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon. Initiatory secret societies are a common feature of pre-colonial government across much of West Africa and Central Africa.

Oluaye Oba Ogboni Agbaye

History and Structure: With regard to how to describe the Ogboni,  members of the Ogboni “society” would likely take offence at having their organization referred to as a “cult” or a “secret society” and would probably refer to themselves as a “lodge” similar to that of the Masons. In Nigeria the Ogboni are commonly referred to as a “secret society” by Nigerians, but that Ogboni members would likely self-identify the group as a social club whose members help each other in matters such as commerce, marriage. Consequently, in this Response the Ogboni will be referred to as a Society. There has been a lot of “cross-fertilization” between the Masons and groups such as the Ogboni, since there are many Masons in Nigeria and that they have been there since the 19th century.  

  The traditional Ogboni society was part of the checks and balances system of the Yoruba kingdoms. They were kingmakers, and disposed of both a religious as well as a judicial function. They had also the power to dethrone the Oba (the king) and could order him to kill himself. They are thought to still dispose of considerable local influence, forming part of the traditional power network to regulate societies and control resources. It is assumed that through their membership they also have strong connections to official state structures.  

  First we have the Osugbo gbede which is normally referred to as being owned by the Oba. This is for the Oba’s chiefs. There is Ogboni Aborigine fraternity of Nigeria, there is Iwule Ogboni and it is believed to be for the elderly four. Firstly we have Ogboni Out Ife, there is Ogboni Arapa Nika, this came from Akoko in Ondo State, there is Ogboni Ara Ife, there is Ogboni Akala, and there is Ogboni Agamasa, Ogboni Ogenete and also the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity which came out of Ogboni Aborigine.  

 The Osugbo’s being titled chief of the Oba can however attend functions of the Aborigine because they are respected members of the society. It is therefore not expressly possible for a member of one society to gatecrash into another’s. Asked to state when the traditional Ogboni was created, the Oluwo Ogboni Aborigine, Iledi Iyadamilola I, Imota Chief Emmanuel Olatunji Akinyemi said nobody could say when Ogboni started. “What is known about Ogboni is that they existed before the advent of colonialism, they ruled with the Oba, they governed and adjudicated matters in traditional ways and they were so meticulous that even when the colonialists came, they found the system so formidable that they coudn’t tamper with it,” he explained.  

  *** Ogboni society, including its history, structure, rituals and Sources indicate that information about the Ogboni society is limited. Several sources also indicate that they are referred to as a “secret” society or as a “cult”.   

Ogboni Society…

Historical Background: Ogboni society is an “assembly of elders” that created a cult based on the cosmology of Yoruba.   The Ogboni considered themselves as the “privileged intermediaries between the Living and the Ancestors”. They venerated mother Earth or goddess Earth, Sources indicate that the Ogbonis acted as the “check and balance” against the power of the king to the point of having the authority to remove him if necessary. The Ogbonis had judicial functions, their primary role was the preservation of the “Ife oracle”.  Priests of the Obgoni society are often called on to consult the oracle to determine a number of sensitive issues, such as Ancestral support for the King. In fact, members of the Obgoni society are Guardians and Protectors of the Divine Oracle and Laws. The Ogboni society was the highest court in Yorubaland, with the power to judge powerful individuals that did not face justice in the open judicial system.  

Apena Ogboni Oranfe

The only Yoruba parts of Nigeria where they still have some real influence on the traditional administration of the cities are in the Egba, Egbado and Abeokuta parts of Nigeria.  However, the Ogboni still have “quite significant” influence and power over the affairs of the nation. Nevertheless, the political integrity of both the Ogboni Society and the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity “has been called into question given their strong links with Freemasonry, the Rotary Club, or the Rosicrucian Brotherhood”.  All Ogbonis are under the authority of the political leader, referred to as the Alafin, who has the authority to convoke the priests into “extraordinary sessions”.   However, the structure of the Ogboni society is a “secret that only an Ogboni member can answer,” risking death by poisoning.

Rituals and Ceremonies: particularities about the rituals and ceremonies of the Ogboni society are a “Secret that Only an Ogboni Member can Answer,” risking his or her own death. Membership is open to Yorubas and other ethnicities, and that men and women are eligible for initiation within the society, although the “predominance of Male Elders is undeniable”.

The society is “potentially very dangerous for individuals who join them”.  Even though positions within the Ogboni society are not inherited, if one person’s parent was a member of the Ogboni Society, and that person had been exposed to their activities meetings held at his or her parents’ house while the child was present so that over the years the child grew up knowing the identities of the Ogboni; or the parent deliberately pledged that his or her child would become a member.  In most situations, individuals deliberately and voluntarily join these societies because they want power, financial rewards, and success….  

Lanre Awoyemi Oluwo Ejaloninbu

*** The Apena was the spokesman of the Ogboni society which was a central and important institution in all Yoruba states. The Ogboni has been defined as a ‘secret and ritually united corporation of political and religious leaders and its special priest. The Egba Ogboni as the ‘real leaders of the town’. The Ogboni was once the civic court, the town council and the Electoral College… In principle the Ogboni stood between the King and his subjects, preventing the one from being despotic and ensuring the proper subordination of the other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Reference Sources: Wikipedia = Yoruba Traditional & Culture Renaissance = Oba Ogboni Agbaye  

Orogbo = Bitter Kola Spiritual Benefits…

*** I have tasted and eaten Orogbo in the physical state of existence. Let my voice and my life attract longevity and sound health in the universe. The force behind Orogbo gives us  the power to enjoy longevity in the universe. Yearly , we set our eyes on Orogbo  at the market place.  I have eaten Orogbo in the physical existence let me live long , live old and live well in the world – let me live a life dignifies of an Orisha devotee before joining my Ancestors.

Orogbo = Bitter Kola…Garcinia kola is a species of flowering plant in the Clusiaceae or Guttiferae family. It is found in Cameroon,  Congo, Danxome, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. Bitter Kola also known as Garcinia kola is a tropical flowering plant found in western and central Africa and it produces brown, nut-like seeds. A brown to deep brown peel covers it. This peel is removed before it is eaten. It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth when it is eaten. It is this bitterness that its name is derived.

It has been used in African culture for centuries for both traditional and medicinal purposes.In Yoruba land it is called Orogbo. The Hausas call it Miji-goro, while it is called Akiilu by the Igbos. Amazing health benefits of bitter leaf Bitter Kola was eaten mostly by the elderly people because of their belief that it could prolong life. Bitter kola can act as a serious healing tool because of its strong spiritual properties. Used for rituals and spiritual cleansing; Act as tonic, stimulant, astringent, decongestant, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory tool.  Used in special protective rituals for suppressing enemies.

The legend concerning the appearance of Bitter Kola states that Kola nut was the original food of the Gods. One day, while visiting earth, one of the Gods left a piece of this nut and people consequently found it.  Since then, the tree stake and the fruits of this plant for their stimulant effects have gained popularity of having some spiritual benefits of bitter kola; they began to be used in the sphere of magic or as a kind of an aphrodisiac. Benefits of bitter cola: wide range of effects The fruits of Kola tree have varied medicinal uses, especially in Nigeria. Bitter kola is primarily used as a tonic and stimulant, for the treatment of dysentery, fever, vomiting, and exhaustion. Bitter kola can act as a serious healing tool because of its strong spiritual properties.

Used for rituals and spiritual cleansing; Act as tonic, stimulant, astringent, decongestant, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory tool. Used in special protective rituals for suppressing enemies. Bitter cola can ease the flow of asthma, it can act as an antioxidant and diuretic. Its use enhances alertness and improves physical performance. It improves mood, suppresses appetite and stimulates libido – because of the caffeine as one of its components.

Negative Energies affect people and cause distress to them through their subtle energy. Negative energy can create a variety of problems such as depression, unclear thinking or malfunction of an organ which lead to even further difficulties such as addiction , financial problems or chest pain respectively. Negative Energy : The primary weapon used by negative energies is a spiritual energy capable of manipulating any process on the Earth plane. The extent of this manipulation depends on the strength of the attacking negative energy.

 Bitter Kola Benefit for Food Poisoning: In many rural areas of West Africa, when food is suspected to be contaminated by bacteria or someone accidentally eats food poison, traditional healers often recommend the mastication of bitter kola immediately after eating. This usually prevent the development of any infection or poisoning. Herbalists even recommend the seed and the bark of bitter kola should be eaten together in cases where food poisoning is suspected, it helps to detoxify the system. Bitter kola is not only anti-poison, it also has the ability to repel evil spirits according to traditional beliefs. Though it sound superstitious, many believe it works and do have spiritual benefits.

*** Do you know that bitter kola is one of the easiest ways to increase your Sperm without going through any medical means. The examination has shown that individuals that have the practice of chewing two slices in a day hardly suffer little sperm court. Both Men and Women can gain a lot of benefits of bitter kola when they chew it.  People drench the cola for 2 days, mix the cola with heated water to take out the extract, after which it is filtered so the unmixed and plain solution is obtained. Some people like better to take off the back that is the outer layer but it is more effective when you mix it together, by doing this you grow the level of the vigorous effect of bitter kola on sperm. It is believed to cure Male impotence.

Ify Asia Chiemeziem Museum…

*** Unlimited Sexual performance: Bitter kola is the number one Sexual performance medicine for weak Men. No other product can match the Sexual benefits of bitter kola as its give you unlimited performance in bed! This is a new discovery that has made this product a hot cake! Those who have tasted it are living happily now with their couples. And their Women has no reason to look outside. Get like 6-7 pieces of the bitter cola and mix until you get a smooth structure, add water to the blended mix, stir it up and drink. But it is passable when this blended mix is connected with honey, it tends to grow the potency and it is perfect for the individuals who cannot tolerate the bitter taste of the kola.

Bitter kola and honey Healing properties of honey are known for centuries. Bitter kola and honey are two brothers, which heal body, spirit, and soul. Honey and bitter kola are two natural antibiotics, so combining them you double-strengthen their effect. Honey and bitter kola are used both for the treatment of a sore throat and coarse voice, stimulating mucus, they soften the dry throat. The mixture of these two useful products is also used for the treatment of acne due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Now you know about healing properties of bitter kola and honey, these two medicines are given by nature and help in the treatment of many health problems. Why not to use what nature has given us. Chewing bitter kola relieves coughs, hoarseness, bronchial and throat troubles. Several studies discovered bitter kola to be a remedy for dysentery, osteoarthritis, antidote against poisoning and considered an aphrodisiac.

 The importance of Orogbo during initiation process, sacrifice, propitiation of head, prayer and other essential spiritual steps, before and after Orisha activities cannot be quantified, but it is important to know that Orogbo during divination is equally important, if just to be at the pocket of highly revered Babalawo . The presence of Orogbo depicts longevity for Babalawo and those around him, just like the presence of obi means, evil has no portion in the surroundings of a highly respected and honored Babalawo .

Just like any other Yoruba words , the word Orogbo is coined and derived from two words – oro and gbo.  Oro means very small, round, while Gbo means longevity, eternal, everlasting. when the two words are blended together, it becomes a unified and spiritually blessed word called Orogbo , which consequently means, a round fruits that attract longevity, everlasting blessing, enduring health and perpetual blessing of longevity .

During, initiations or any sacrificial steps, or ritual  or propitiation, Orogbo is used to pray for longevity, sound health, peace, harmony, and happiness. Indeed a man with the blessing of long life and sound health, so also his loved ones enjoy the same degree of health and longevity  is indeed a blessed man in the jungle of life that is filled with mishap, untimely death and sorrow. The name of the fruits Orogbo  is coined to denote Iwure (prayer), it is a spiritual seed  that establish the power of divinities with abundant  trait of long life  and sound health . However during  Initiations, Sacrifice or Ajiki , which is early morning prayer, Orisha devotees or seeker of truth through the tradition of Orisha, are required to pray and eat  part of this fruits, to serve as alignment  with the force and natural energies  embedded in the nature. Orisha is a religion or philosophy based on the use of natural materials in the nature .

While Obi Abata is perceived to be a Female fruit energy, that give birth to Male and Female alike, Orogbo is a Male fruit energy  that fail to have lobes or part like Obi. Orogbo can be cut into pieces either by teeth or knife, it has no parts, but a hard fruit that shows natural toughness and ruggedness. While obi is easily breakable with just hand and it is used also to denote the Feminine part of the universal force or energy. Orogbo represents   the dominant energy of God  with unique characteristics of solidity , strength , firmness and oneness of energy in the universe. Orogbo symbolizes  unilateral force of God  which means life, wisdom, strength, victory, longevity and sound health in abundance. Orogbo also denotes that life in any way cannot be explained or invented  except through divine  and spiritual understanding and wisdom .  

Orogbo according to above explanation is an object that represents the uniqueness and unified energy and vibration  of God in our lives. If all necessary spiritual, physical, mental, moral and emotional obligation are followed, happy lot, success,  longevity and sound health will be out lot, that is the meaning of Orogbo .

*** Another importance of Bitter Kola is that it  repels snakes. It can be used to chase snakes away. For snake prevention, spread it around the building. ***  

Reference Sources: Wikipedia = Nairaland Forum = 

 

 

Opele = Ifa Divination Chain

The Ancient Name of Opele = Irere…

An Opele (Irere) is a divination chain used in traditional West-African Religions, notably in Ifá and West-African traditions. A Babalawo = Bokono (Diviner) uses the Opele in order to communicate with the spirits who are able to identify the causes and solutions to personal and collective problems and restore harmony with the spirits.

The Opele (Irere) consists of eight half-nuts of the Opele tree with convex/concave sides linked at regular intervals by short strands of chain at the ends of which the priest may attach small beads, coins, and cowries. More recent Opele (Irere) have substituted small, oval brass plates for the half-nuts. The Diviner holds the Chain at the center and then swings the Chain gently, lying it on the cloth or mat on which he is seated. In a single motion he creates a pattern, which refers to an Odu of Ifa, the verses of which he then chants. The pattern, consisting of the concave and convex sides of the brass plates or nuts, is equivalent to the pattern of parallel marks made by the Ifa priest in the Iyerosun dust on an opon ifa when using Ikin Ifa (Sixteen Sacred Kola Nuts).

 The Divining Chain is said to “talk more” than the Palm Nuts, but it is regarded as in inferior instrument, less reliable than Palm Nuts for deciding important questions. It is also spoken of as Ifa’s servant. Nevertheless it is more commonly used in Divination, and a number of Diviners employ only the Chain, because they dislike using the Palm Nuts. The reason for this is that the Divining Chain arrives at the same interpretation through the same set of figures and verses more rapidly, and answers more questions than are usually asked when the slower method with Palm Nuts is employed.

Olatona Oyegbade Oyekunle = Ojugbonna Awo Osogbo

The Divining Chains are made by the Diviners for themselves and for their students. The Divining Chain, which is about one foot to two feet long, usually consist of eight halves of Seed shells or Pods joined together by sections of Chain. The middle section of the Chain, by which it is held, is somewhat shorter. The Seed sections are of equal length, so that when the Chain is held in the middle, the four Shells on the right and the four on the left hang down side by side.

The Divining Chain is thrown with the Right Hand only, which is said to be used consistently in Ifa Divination, even by left-handed Diviners. It is tossed away from the Diviner in such a way that the two open ends fall nearest to the Diviner and the two sides fall parallel. Each half Seed shell can fall with either the Concave inner surface (I) or the Convex outer surface (O) facing up. It is essential that the two surfaces of the Shells, or of other materials used in place of them, can be distinguished.

Various objects – including beads, cowries, shells, coins, buttons, rings, small bells, and bits of metal – are attached to the bottom of the pods at either end of the Chain. Their purpose is to enable the Diviner to distinguish the Right half (even) and the Left half (odd) of the Chain, so that the same half is always cast on the same side, and so that the figure will not be misread. Often an even number of cowries (two or four) marks the Right half and an odd number (one or three) mark the Left.

The Type of Divination Chain most highly prized consist of circular brass links set (Swivels) at right angles to each other, permitting the Seeds to fall freely in either the concave or the convex position. With a good Divination Chain the probability of each of the figures appearing is equal (1 in 256). The fall of the Seeds is not left to chance but is controlled by Ifa, the Deity of Divination, and any interference with the free fall of the Seeds, by the instrument or by the Diviner, garbles the message which Ifa wishes the client to receive.

The Shells of a dark-colored Seed (Egbere), said to come from a large tree (Igi-Epu), is most commonly used and most highly regarded. These Seeds resemble almond shells in their general shape and markings but are darker, smaller, and much harder. They are sold in the markets, but they have become increasingly rare and expensive since the early trade in ivory. When Split open, they show a smooth, slight convex, outer surface. A small hole is burned through each end of a half of a Seed Shell with a hot iron, so that the section Chain may be attached.

Most common is the Seed pod known as  “Opele – Irere” from which the Divining Chain takes its name. It comes from the Opele tree, this pod is referred to as Ewe’s foot  (Ese Agutan) these are the only Seeds found in elephant dung, and that they are obtained either from hunters or directly from the tree. This Seed pod has a distinctive pear shape and naturally split open at the base, with the two halves splaying out from the top where they are joined until broken apart.

” According to Ife Diviners, when Ogunda Meji died at the town of Oko, a tree called Opele Oga Oko sprang up on his grave, and from it fell a fruit that split open, revealing the figure Ogbe Meji written inside.”

As Orunmila told us in Ejiogbe: The basis for understanding the beginning and end of all things. Through Ifa is revealed the Great Mysteries of life. Only Ifa explains the reasons for the existence of life, living, death, sickness, success, failure, poverty, wealth, life before birth and life after death. 

Reference Sources: Wikipedia = William Bascom

Ori = Destiny & Designator…

Head (Ori) = Inu “Inner Head – Destiny” *** Head (Ori) = Akoko “First Head – Designator” 

Distinction between Heaven (Orun) & World (Aiye) * Heaven contains: Owner – Deities – Ancestors…  * World contains: Human – Animals – Sorcerers…

The Heaven/World distinction is important in understanding Yoruba concepts of Life, Death, Destiny, Reincarnation & Soul. Firstly, Yoruba thought makes a distinction between the physical body & the spiritual elements which inhabit it and give it life & individuality. The characteristics of these two spiritual elements appear as the most important are Breath (Emi) & Head (Ori)

Breath (Emi) is generally thought of as the vital force, without which the body dies. In some accounts it is also thought of as the conscious self. It not only provides locomotion for the body, but can think independently of it, and can travel abroad on its own in dreams. Head (Ori) is more complex it rather than Breath is the seat of the intellect. It is also related to a person’s destiny, as the element which predetermines his success or failure in the world.

Head (Ori) is given to, or chosen by, an individual before his/her birth, creating limits within which success in the world can be expected and within which the Breath is able to act. In contrast to this rather fatalistic model, Head is also to be the Ancestral Guardian Soul – A spiritual entity which can be influenced by humans in efforts to improve life on earth. Each individual has two Ancestral guardians, one on the Head, and one in Heaven which is doing exactly the same things as the individual is doing on Earth. With the support of the Ancestral guardian in Heaven, an individual will live the allotted span of life.

Head (Ori) is believed to be the first and the most important Deity in Heaven. The spiritual and personal Head (Ori) or Divinity possessed by each and every individual. Each person and deity before coming to earth, must visit Ajala – maker of Heads in heaven. If one has the bad luck to choose a less than perfect Head, his/her life on earth will be severely affected. Head (Ori) refers to one’s spiritual intuition and destiny. It is the reflective spark of human consciousness embedded into the human essence, and therefore is often personified as an Orisha in its own right. It is believed that human beings are able to heal themselves both Spiritually and Physically by working with the Orishas to achieve a balanced character, Oriwa-Pele. When one has a balanced character, one obtains an alignment with one’s Head (Ori) or divine self. It is also believed that Head (Ori) be worshiped like Orisha. This is because whatever one becomes or whatever happens in one’s life is as destined by Head (Ori)

A person’s Head (Ori) is so crucial to a successful life that it is propitiated frequently, and its support and guidance is sought before undertaking any new task. Personal Head (Ori) shrines are indispensable and are present in most homes, irrespective of sex, religious belief, or cult affiliation. And in the performance of virtually all sacrifices, Ancestral worship, since it determines their favorable outcome.

As above, so below. Ifa offers the term Head (Ori) to explain the exact path from our “Origin” to us and between us and others. It is our portion of the divine spark that is encoded with our destiny. Its components are seated in certain chakra points within and above us. Above -Below or better yet, simply Without – Within” to describe the path by which the two are connected: Our original form of pure energy or true spirit body that manifested first, from our original energy source. Our Head (Ori) also resides in one of the first realms created by that source. 

Physical Head: This may even refer to our brain. It houses the next three Ori portals.  It is located at the crown of our head. This is the point where our silver cord or chain connects us to our original and true spirit self in Heaven (Orun). The Head (Ori) is vested with great importance in Yoruba art and thought. When portrayed in sculpture, the size of the head if often represented as four or five times its normal size in relation to the body in order to convey that it is the site of a person’s Power (Ashe) as well as his or her essential nature, or Character (Iwa). The Yoruba distinguish between the Exterior Head (Ori-Akoko) and Inner  Head (Ori-Inu). Exterior Head (Ori-Akoko) is the physical appearance of a person, which may either mask or reveal one’s Inner Head (Ori-Inu) aspects. Inner qualities, such as patience and self-control, should dominate outer ones.

The head also links the person with the other-world. The Imori ceremony – Head (Ori) is the first rite that is performed after a Yoruba child is born. During Imori, a diviner determines whether the child comes from his or her mother’s or father’s lineages or from a particular Deity (Orisha). If the latter is the case, then the child will undergo Deity (Orisha) initiation during adulthood, during which the person’s Head (Ori) becomes the spiritual vessel for that Deity (Orisha). To prepare for these ceremonies, the person’s head is shaved, bathed and anointed.

Yoruba do not consider the Head (Ori) symbol really complete without an accompanying container to house, honour and beauty it. This is the most costly acts of honour an individual can do to any Deity. It is hard to imagine a more fitting residence for Head, the cause and essence of one’s being. During consultation or Propitiation, the devotee will place Ibori – House Of Head (Ori) on a well-swept & polished floor which has been covered with a white cloth. Devotee offers standard items of sacrifice to Head like water, kolanut, and is free to add other items of choice. Depending on the nature of the request, a corresponding symbolic sacrifice is made.

Coconut Water – Omi Agbon as Head softener (Ero), makes it work more in favour of the owner where that Head is found to be hard. Snails (Igbin) are offered to ask Head (Ori)to avert an impending disaster. Sugarcane – Ground Roasted Corn & Honey are offered to attract good fortune – happiness or joy…

Consequently the Yoruba Concept of Head (Ori), is always conscious of the duality of his being, namely the material mortal self, and the spiritual one. In actual life experience, the spiritual Head’s qualities such as immortality, ever-presence and insuperable power are employed where human efforts fail or appear inadequate. Thus, in extreme conditions of bad or good health, fortune or misfortune, the Yoruba resort to Head (Ori) for rectification or gratification.

***Because of the circumstances of their creation, all Deities have to pay homage to Head (Ori). Similarly, all cult heads & devotees have to touch the Earth with their forehead as an act of symbolic respect for the first Ori-Akoko in heaven who in turn will roll side to side in reverence to Owner of Heaven on behalf of the appellant on Earth.  (Ofun-Irete)

Ori is the essence of a human being, Ori is the guide and guardian of our life with one specialty – Ori has been with us since before we were even born, he follows us through our whole lives until death and beyond. Consequently, all our accidents, mishaps we encounter, are all reflections of our Ori. We can consider Ori as the source of everything, the foundation of everything we experience in life. It is the energy that motivates us at everything; it is responsible for our dynamic energy, for our achievements, our mistakes, our consistency. 

There are two types of Ori, namely – Ori Ire – good fate, good Ori  Ori Buruku – bad fate, bad Ori. This is all very visible in our life. We can recognize the people who have good luck and certain people with a bad luck or negative fate.

 Ori is an individual choice of a human life. Everybody has the right to own choice, be it bad or good, from experience or without, with risk or without it. Sadly, that same Ori can turn against us. In fact, our most vital energy is what can let us down when we need it the most. When we work for ourselves, it is actually our intelligence that can fail us. Our life resources are also our experiences, our personal security and self-confidence – all the resources we need in order to survive. All this can collapse. That leads us to destruction, to negative experiences. Accidents happen because of this; we make wrong decisions, we get angry for no reason or we fall into a deep depression. We can regard this as failure of our Ori in a certain cycle of life.

 This is beyond the concept of any religion. This is the concept of a human being. Ori is the nature of a human being, the power of fate. Ori is the personal guardian responsible for all our noble deeds, our vitality, our achievements and for our failures. It is our essence. Ori is the principle that serves the basic human needs in order to have a worthy life. The basic needs are: common sense, knowing our own restrictions, responsibility and fear. Fear is also needed because if we did not have it, we would go beyond our restrictions. Every time we go beyond our limitations, we expose ourselves to greater risks.

When people with this kind of energy expose themselves to extreme risks, it often leaves them with irreversible damage. That is when we tend to say: “This was his destiny“. However, fate is actually only an aftermath of irresponsibility towards oneself. Experiences that follow usually are not satisfying. Our Ori is responsible for all the energies that are needed in order for us to protect our lives, to ensure our survival and the possibility of another life. But our Ori is also responsible for all the energies that lead us to our deaths. If we do not use all our natural resources with adding positive things into our lives, we can encounter a large number of negative experiences. The paradox of life is that a lot of people actually do not even care whether they take risks, they do not care if they are protected or not, and that they are actually digging their own graves.

All requests must be sanctioned by Head (Ori) before any other Power, Force, or Divinity can act on them, favourably or otherwise. Head (Ori) is the channel of communication between individuals on Earth and the Deities. 

Reference Sources: Ifasola Ogundabe Ajigbotifa = 

 

IFA = The Mystery System…

       Divine Message Of Olodumare To Mankind…

“There is not childbearing woman who cannot give birth to an Ifa priest. There is no childbearing woman who cannot give birth to Orunmila. Our father, if he gives birth to us in full, inevitably we shall in time give birth to him in turn. Our mother, if she gives birth to us in full, inevitably we shall in time give birth to her in turn. Ifa oracle was consulted for Orunmila, who said he would bring the heaven down to earth, he would take the earth back to heaven. In order to accomplish his mission, he was asked to offer everything in twos, one male and one female – one ram and one ewe, one he-goat and one she-goat, one cock and one hen, and so on. Orunmila heeded the advice and performed the sacrifice. Thus the earth became fruitful and multiplied greatly.”

” Ifa is not merely a collection of verses, proverbs, parables and anecdotes. Ifa is God’s sacred message to mankind. It is the embodiment of the totality of human existence.”

Ifa is the Divine Message of Olodumare to mankind and for all those who seek to receive it. Ifa’s universal relevance lies in the fact that, when an individual from any race, color or creed approaches an Ifa Priest for a personal message, Ifa may reveal a message national, continental or even global importance. For instance, the message may be a warning of an approaching war, famine, or pestilence…

THE EIGHT ESSENCES OF IFA –  The Spiritual Essence: This relates to the place of man (as a spirit) in the cosmos, the powers of matter and all aspects of ontological evolution and development. The Religious Essence: This relates to faith, catechism and preaching.  The Divine Essence: This relates to the methods of Divination and accessing of esoteric information; the mechanics of Divination and the systems of Divine Message collection, processing and interpretation. The Worship and Sacrificial Essence: This relates to the basis and meaning of worship and sacrifice. The Medicinal Essence: This deals with both magical and materialist medicine. The Historical Essence: This deals with the history of all creation, including the creation of materialist, non-materialist and spirit worlds. The Scientific Essence: This deals with the power of observation, axiomatic, astronomy, cosmology, cognitive experience, astral science, physical and biological sciences, logic, philosophy mathematics, statistics and computer science. The Cultural Essence: This relates to rites, rituals, politics, socio-economics, language dress and normative value systems. As it is obvious, these eight essences of Ifa are also in the main, coincident with the human essences, of planet earth and the non-human essences in the entire universe.

As a divinatory system centered on the intersection between aspects of the self, free will and destiny, it can inspire explorations of the nature of the self, and of relationships between human will and the factors that shape the course of human life. As a mathematical system, it can be adapted to the use of mathematics as a means of mapping ideas and phenomena, even up to scales as broad and as elaborate as the cosmos, one view represented for me by Babalawo-Adept of the esoteric knowledge of Ifa. As a literary system, it can motivate literary study, and inspire the reworking of its literature to create new, hybrid forms or the development of entirely new forms. As a system making unusual claims about the nature of phenomena, it can act as an inspiration for  examining the question of the mode of existence of non- material forms, such as  mathematical structures and other ideas.

Araba Agbaye  Awoyemi Aworeni Adisa Mokanranwale Ile-Ife 

On account of these adaptive possibilities, Ifa as a cognitive matrix  in which  several discipline  constellate and from which they may derive inspiration. Along those lines,  demonstrates an effort of mine to proceed with such an adaptation using  an Opon Ifa around which orbit  images of the Odu Ifa, the organizational categories and active agents of Ifa.  In the lines the Odu Ifa  are  correlated  with various aspects of existence. This style of adapting Ifa derives from its  character  as a divinatory  system but one which may be adapted  for uses beyond that older  orientation.

The Odu Ifa are spirits who represent all possibilities of existence, from the concrete to the abstract, from the temporal to the situational. One way of adapting this idea is that of correlating the Odu with forms one understands as the primary categories of existence. These derivations operate at various levels based on the expansion of one unit into two units in which the second  unit is a variation of the first one. The original two units then constitute the template in terms of which another two units are generated as variations of the first two. These four primal units are then used as templates for the creation of another twelve units which are variations of the first four units. The set of sixteen units thus generated is them employed as a framework for creating another two hundred and forty units, which are variations of the structure of the first sixteen units.

This sequence of derivations may be adapted to the development of an increasing number of ideas or principles from a few constituent ideas or principles. The underlying ideas could demonstrate what are understood to be the most broadly summative of principles in that system while the other ideas could be derivations from these underlying forms. Using such a process of derivation, one could adapt the description of the Odu as demonstrating all possibilities of existence. One could describe the primary Odu in terms of the most fundamental principles of existence and the other Odu that derive from the primary Odu as the subdivisions of these primary principles.

Oyegbade Latona – Ojugbona Awo Osogbo Osun State Nigeria

Using that strategy, the collage above depicts the first Odu, Eji Ogbe, as correlative with mind, because consciousness may be seen as the fundamental quality necessary for perceiving existence. Without consciousness, the cosmos would exist but no entity would register that existence. The fact of the existence of the cosmos or of any phenomena would be unknown. The second Odu, Oyeku Meji, is linked with matter, because existence, as currently accessible in an uncontroversial sense  by human beings,  is dependent on matter, be it matter known to be living,  this being humans, animals and plants, or matter not conventionally understood as living, such as rocks and air. The third Odu, Iwori Meji, is identified with space because matter necessarily implies space since matter occupies space. Space is also central to cognition because the human being, composed of mind operating in terms of matter, uses space in orienting itself. The human form is structured in terms of spatial orientation towards the front, two sides- left and right, and the back, this being primary templates for the description of space in terms of east, west, north and south. The fourth Odu, Odi Meji, is depicted in terms of time, since movement in space implies motion in time.

The ultimate markers of time, the revolutions of the celestial bodies, demonstrate spatial motion at the largest scales. Other primary markers of time, such as the developmental cycles of terrestrial forms, of which the human body and mind are central but which also includes animals,  plants and geological forms, are not dependent on motion in space, but may be described metaphorically in terms of motion purely in time. The remaining twelve of the foundation-set of sixteen Odu ifa  are then described as derivatives of mind, matter, space and time, demonstrating specificities of these four primal units.. Perhaps the model  would be more comprehensive if forms of matter are also explicitly included in the subdivisions, but I am reflecting on that for a possible future development of the model.

Including the subdivisions of matter would be vital because Ifa operates in terms of a cosmology grounded in an understanding of Ashe, a cosmic force that enables existence and change, being and becoming, as pervading all forms of existence, and enabling mutuality of existence between various forms of being, this mutuality being meditated through, or understood in terms of, the Orisha Eshu, whose face is an invariable feature of every Opon Ifa, craved into its border, overlooking the empty space where the dialogue between forms of being takes place within a divinatory session, a symbolic construct that may be adapted to an understanding of Ifa divination as analogous  to  the emergence of possibilities through the  intersection of forms of being from within the interactive space symbolized by the empty centre of the Opon Ifa. After all, divination is meant to address practical issues that come up in people’s daily lives, issues for which they think  their own intelligence or  human intelligence as they understand it is too limited to address adequately, so they go to a diviner, a person understood to demonstrate access to supernatural knowledge and power. So, if one is adapting a divinatory system, should one not also try to see how far one can go with developing that adaptation into a cognitive force which may be applied in daily life.

The structuring of the Opon Ifa into unified segments  created through the inscribing of intersecting horizontal and vertical lines into its surface in order to commence divination. In terms of the saying that Ori is the ultimate deity with respect to the self and that without Ori’s consent, no other deity may grant any blessings to the individual and the superb Ese Ifa poem presents in Sixteen Great Poems of Ifa indicating that Ori is the only Orisha or Deity who can follow its devotee through the journey of life and into the ultimate journey represented by death. This adaptation may be developed in terms of an understanding of the center of the Opon not only represents the place where the  individual is standing in time and space, but also represents the  consciousness of the person in question, as well as the totality of all  there is.

As Orunmila told us in Ejiogbe: The basis for understanding the beginning and end of all things. Through Ifa is revealed the Great Mysteries of life. Only Ifa explains the reasons for the existence of life, living, death, sickness, success, failure, poverty, wealth, life before birth and life after death. Only Ifa reveals the spiritual basis for reincarnation experience; why no living thing, having sucked from the, breasts of mother Nature, will fail to taste the bitter truth of death.  Only Ifa tells it exactly as it is. In short, only Ifa guides the life of man from cradle to grave! Although, as a result of close association through the several millennia, Orunmila has been regarded as being synonymous with Ifa (the two names are actually frequently interchanged in the Sacred Verses). Ifa as the embodiment of Olodumare is the ultimate level of esoteric consciousness, a level attained only by Orunmila. Presumably anyone can reach that level, but so far, it is not achievable by mere mortals.

The real key to life lies in Ifa: It forms the foundation of the all-governing principle of life for them. Before a betrothal, before a marriage, before a child is born, at the birth of the child, at successive stages in one’s life, before a King is enthroned, before a chief is installed, before anyone is appointed to civic office, before a war is prosecuted, before a journey is made, in times of crises, in times of sickness, at any and all times, Ifa is consulted for guidance and assurance. Because Orunmila is the Great Interpreter of Ifa and witness to destiny.  Orunmila himself seeks guidance from Olodumare through Ifa.

It is also clear that Religion, Worship and Sacrifice are but few aspects of what constitutes the Divine Message known as Ifa. It constitutes what is also known as the Great Mystery System. Thus, while Ifa Religion represents the transcendental and Evangelical dimension of Ifa worldview, Worship and Sacrifice epitomize the corrective and restorative facets of that worldview.

Reference Sources:  Wikipedia = Idowu Odeyemi =  Awo Falokun Oluwatoyin Vincent Adepoju = Ifa Foundation International = Ogunsina Olayinka Adewuyi =

 

 

OBI ABATA = Mystical Divination

              General Interpretation Of Obi Abata (Kola Nuts)

For proper use in divination, the Obi Abata must be of four segments, consisting of Two Males (Ako Meji), and Two Females (Abo Meji). These segments represent an equal balance in the forces of “light” corresponding to the masculine force and “darkness” corresponding to the feminine force. To get an accurate oracle in consultation, the four segments should be cast on a clean ground, flat bowl, plate, or tray. Water should be sprinkled on the ground as a means of offering libation to the various Orishas before casting the Obi Abata.

**One thousand and one questions can be asked in a day, but the same question must NEVER be asked twice, or else the questioner will be deceived. The subject of inquiry must be always stated before the Obi Abata kola nuts are cast.

The Obi Abata Oracle can be performed by either a Man or a Woman. Yoruba traditional customs indicate that the Obi Abata is favored among Women as a means of consulting, and assisting in the Ifa system of divination.

The Language of the Obi:  When the Obi is to be used for divination either as a medium in her own right, or for asking procedural directives during the process of or after the completion of a sacrifice, or for asking questions in the presence of another Orisha.  It is important that the Obi to be used must be very clean and a complete whole seed. The Obi that is meant for use should be selected from a pack and should be properly washed and placed in a clean container or piece of clean white cloth.

Casting The Obi Abata:  The Obi for divination or asking questions should first be put into water, and the person to cast her must take a sip of the water in which the Obi is in three times before he/she picks out the Obi from inside the water. Before taking out the Obi from inside the water, the water should be sprinkled upon the Orisha or ebo three times or if it is meant for divination purpose the water should be sprinkled on the ground where the divination will be casted three times. The Obi should thereafter be carefully broken up into its constituent Lobes, allowing for no scratch or bodily damage.

***A knife or any metallic instrument should never be used to break the Obi open, so as not to interfere with her degree of accuracy, which could be altered say for example when she comes in contact with Ogun’s iron.

Reading the Obi: In Obi Abata Divination, about Nine (9) positions of the Obi’s Lobes formation after a throw are each a coded Signature loaded with meaning such as will answer or give explanations to questions asked in response to various and specific enquiries. When the Obi is cast for asking questions in the presence of a Female Orisha,  Oshun, Yemoja, Olokun etc, the reading of the Male/ Female meaning is reversed. Then the Female Lobes are read as mostly positive, while the Male Lobes are read as may-be or less positive.

I. Idiwo/Oyeku:      All Four Lobes Facing Downwards

               Orisha says that this cast could either mean that you are about to come into an abundance of Good Luck or that a fight or quarrel is imminent. It is always presumed that the abundance of Good Luck is what the Orisha is talking about. Because of the double language of the Odu, a recast is always necessary for clarification. So make a second casting. The casting of the four Lobes facing down is also making reference to the possible birth of twins of the taking of special care for the twin children. It also talks about a pregnant woman who needs Orisha’s attention. She should give ebo to Obatala.

***Darkness, death and many obstacles. From it you derive unhappiness, sickness, and great fear. It may also sometimes offer protection, avert sudden death, and dangers.

II. Aje/Ija (Fight):      One Female Lobe Facing Up

Orisha says that this is a may-be negative indicator calling you to give the Orisha what you are owing them, and that is why negative forces are present or surrounding the inquiries. Watch out for sickness or trouble that might be ahead. A second casting is necessary to clarify if the first throw signifies sickness, accidents or bad luck.

***Good fortune, financial prosperity and comfort. It is said that this formation brings good news.

III. Ilera = Ifa Wa:      One Male Lobe Facing Up

Orisha speaks of a reinforcement of the positive influences that are abound now. Orisha says one should make Sacrifice so that the favorable trend can continue. Orisha says that no charm nor medicine have been affected by negative vibrations. Orisha says that you should not put a curse or make negative wish for anyone so that it might not come to pass.

*** Good health, singleness of purpose, and good prospects. Those Lobes which are down may also add more emphasis depending on their positions.

 IV. Ejiko = Ejire:    One Male & One Female Lobe Facing Up

Orisha says that this is a may-be “Yes” indicator, a marriage of convenience. Ejiko is also called the “Twins” and regarded as an indicator of continuity. Whenever this figure appears, it is greeted with thus “Good Luck, & Continuity” Appease the ground with cold water before proceeding…

*** A good omen for all undertakings, also speak of friendship when one Male and one Female Lobe lay open together.

V. Akoran = Ire:    Two Male Lobes Facing Up

Orisha speaks of a reinforcement of the positive influences that are abound now. Orisha says one should make Sacrifice so that the favorable trend can continue. Orisha says that no charm nor medication have been affected by negative vibrations. Orisha says that one should not put a curse or make negative wish for anyone so that it might not come to pass.

*** A quarrel or trouble, possibly relating to a court case. It is often described as a difficult problem.

 VI. Ero = Odi:    Two Female Lobes Facing Up

Orisha says that this is a negative indicator, Iya-Mogun (Witches) are showing displeasure with you. They disapprove of habit/food or interest in the question asked. A Sacrifice should be made for the Orisha on behalf of a sick person. Orisha says “No” to this question is final. Make Sacrifice to appease Iya-Mogun.

*** Everlasting and Peaceful rest…

 VII. Akita = Ishegun:    Two Male & One Female lobes Facing Up

Orisha says that this is a very positive indicator. if your inquiry is about love relation or marriage proposal..This position of the Obi is a sign of victory. the enquirer should neither fight nor put a curse upon anyone. He has overcome all his enemies.

*** Good health, controversy among enemies, joy. May predict the birth of a Male child.

 VIII. Obita = Ota Iwa:    Two Female & One Male Lobes Facing Up

Uncertainties and a very slow trend is abound. Sacrifice and propitiation for Ogun is the key to getting back on a smoother path. Avoid getting into a fight or unnecessary annoyance. Treat loved ones with care and be patient with work mates.

*** Brings peace, happiness, comfort, sometimes this can predict victory over enemies or court case.

 IX. Alafia = Ogbe:    All four Lobes Facing Up

The indicators are that good health and happiness will continue in abundance. Orisha says that traveling is in the air with possible rewarding and gainful outcome. For those who are connected with overseas trading, expected shipments are just arriving at the port. Orisha Ibeji (Twins) is about to look upon the enquirer.

*** Pure light, happiness, confidence, long-life and prosperity…

   When examining the various patterns of formation in the Obi Abata (Kola-Nut), the reader must keep in mind that the direction of the Lobes plays an essential role in understanding hidden messages which are relevant to the ways in which the Masculine and Feminine forces are moving within the Signature cast.

Obi Abata Divination = Serves as a useful guide for decision making in day-to-day activities. Questions and matters affecting one’s destiny, health, love, marriage and wealth can accurately be answered…

The person who desires to have his/her fortune told must first invoke the Obi. Ask The Question and cast The Obi Abata on a clean ground, a flat plate or a tray. This system of Obi Abata Divination can be used by either sex. The individual using the Obi Abata must therefore specify whether the question is personal or for His/Her mate or client. The answers may be altered to fit from husband to wife, children, society, a whole community or country etc…

 Reactivating The Obi Abata (Kola-Nut): The Obi Abata like any Orisha sometimes refuses to function according to expectations. Various reasons may be insinuated for this primary of which could be perhaps unclean body of the caster or sometimes highly charged atmosphere. If after a few casting of the Obi Abata, particularly during the process or conclusion of a Sacrifice or in the presence of an Orisha, there is no positive response from the Obi Abata. Obi Abata might have to be pampered to reactivate…

*** When two Lobes of the Obi Abata stand over each other, it could signify the interest of the Iya-Mogun (Witches) in the matter. If the Female Lobe climbed over the Male Lobe, the reverse is the case, it could signify prosperity and Wealth.

 Orin/Song:  Ojodu Ode O…. Omo Arera (2x)  Ifa Mo Dupe L’Owo…Obi To Yan O

Orishas are fond of the Obi Abata as a tool of communication within the Ifa system of Divination.The word “obi”, as it is used within this module, refers to the fresh kola nut native to Africa, specifically the Obi Abata. Obi Abata, also known as the kola nut, falls under the scientific classification cola acuminata. It ranges from white to dark red in color.

Two Males (Ako-Meji) Bottom Right *** Two Females (Abo-Meji) Upper Left

Obi Abata, the type of Obi used in divination, is made up of four and five lobes that are split open and used as both an Oracle and as offerings to the Ancestors and Orisha. It is the Obi Abata that is a staple ingredient in most sacred Ifa-Orisha rituals and celebrations. Though other configurations of the Obi may be used in various ways, it is the four lobed Obi, also known as Iya Obi (The Mother Obi). Two Males (Ako-Meji) Bottom Right *** Two Females (Abo-Meji) Upper Left.

 

Two Males (Ako-Meji) Bottom Right *** ( Olufua) Double Female Middle *** Two Females (Abo-Meji) Upper Left

Olufuwa / Five Lobes ObiSaid to belong to Oshun, the Deity for puberty, whiteness and cool serene water.  It has the female lobe or the “Ofa” which have a double Female characteristic making her bottom ending look like a delta of a river.  For divination purposes, the “Ofa” is always taken aside and given to Eshu from the lot and only two Males and two Females are used.

This is a 5 Lobes Olufua Obi-Abata top left are 2 females (delta) – center is a double female (belongs to Orisha Oshun)- far right are 2 males (straight lines).

 

OYA = Guardian Between Life & Death

 “In Yoruba mythology, Egungun-Oya is a Goddess of divination. Egungun refers to the collective spirits of the ancestral dead; the Orisha Oya is seen as the mother of the Egun.”

Oya is one of the most powerful African Goddess – Deity = Orisha = Vodun. A Warrior-Queen, She is the wife of the God Shango, to whom She gave the power to create storms. Much of Oya’s power is rooted in the natural world; She is the Goddess of thunder, lightning, tornadoes, winds, rainstorms and hurricanes. A Fire Goddess, it is Oya who brings rapid change and aids us in both inner and outer transformation.

Oya is the guardian of the realm between life and death; as such, She is not only the Goddess of spirit communication, funerals and cemeteries but also the Goddess of clairvoyance, psychic abilities, intuition and rebirth. She can call forth the spirit of death, or hold it back — such is the extent of Her power. Because of Her affiliation to the dead, and Her intense knowledge of the magic arts.

Oya is both loved and feared, and for good reason: Unleashed, Oya is the Savage Warrior, the Protective Mother. She whose power sweeps all injustice, deceit and dishonesty from Her path. She will destroy villages if the need is true enough, for while She understands everything, She will only accept, act upon, and speak the truth.  Oya Enin-Heyi…

Oya is the protector of women and patron of feminine leadership. Fiercely loving, She is wildly unpredictable and can change from benevolent, caring Mother to destructive Warrior in the blink of an eye. Passionate, fearless, sensual and independent, Oya is not a Goddess to be invoked lightly and must be treated with respect and care. Oya is known as a fierce warrior and strong protector of women, who call on Her to settle disputes in their favor.

As the Orisha of change, She brings down the dead wood to make room for the new, and She uses Her machete or sword to clear a path for new growth. She is believed to watch over the newly dead and assist them as they make the transition from life.She can manifest as winds ranging from the gentlest breeze to the raging hurricane or cyclone. She goes forth with Her husband during His thunderstorms. Oya is the Orisha of the Niger River, and Her violent rainstorms are said to be its source. She is worshiped not only in Africa but in Brazil, Cuba, where the Amazon is said to be Her river. Oya attributes are the sword or machete and the fly whisk, and Her animal is the water buffalo, in Whom She sometimes manifests.

Apawa – Framboyan Shakers

Oya-Yansa is the Queen of the Winds of change. She is feared by many people because She brings about  sudden structural change in people and things. Oya does not just rearrange the furniture in the house — She knocks the building to the ground and blows away the floor tiles. She is the Orisha of rebirth and new life. Goddesses such as She are referred to as Dark goddesses because.  They not only pull you into the darkness guide you through the dark and turmoil, but they point you to the light of hope.

Oya is the sentinel between the realm life and death. She gives assistance and guidance to those when they make their final transition into the veils. She can either hold back the spirit of death or call it forth.  Hence, She is the last breath taken. Oya also governs over the cemetery and the realm of the dead, and it is said that She entered into the lower world of Ira upon hearing that Shango died. She is known for using charms and magic…

As a Crone Goddess She is a teacher of truth and a bringer of justice. Do meditate and take in Oya’s power during the wind, rain, snow and thunderstorms, for She speak to those who listen. She cleanses that which is sullied with Her mighty broom . Oya has nine children and Her favorite number is 9.

Oya’s Symbols: Oya has a few symbols associated with her.  Among them are the lightning bolt with crossed arrows, the vector or hurricane symbol, nine violet feathers carried by a spiraling wind, nine veils each of a different color, a necklace or skirt with nine colors, and a spiral wind chime made of nine ornamental spearheads. Oya’s colors vary from place to place, but the main one is purple or dark burgundy or maroon.  She is also symbolized by the nine colors, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, black, white, and brown.  Depending on her function at a given time, she may wear purple and orange to work a storm, dark red to motivate a group of warriors or sportsmen to work as a team, all colors to make a tornado, etc.

Offerings to Oya: Traditions vary, Oya loves eggplants, beets, red wines, and purple grapes.  She also enjoys popcorn and sesame seeds, especially caramel corn or sesame candy.  She likes locust beans, amala, and chickpeas too.

“To fight and stir up dust like Buffalo” was the one who cast Ifa for Hunter. They said he should make a sacrifice so that he would find a wife to marry during that year.  Hunter sacrificed = Whenever her children should want to perform their annual festival, Ogun should sacrifice with them to the horn that she had pulled off and left at home as a remembrance of her when they might want to sacrifice to their heads.  From that time on, her children have continued to sacrifice to the horn when they perform their annual festival.  Those who sacrifice to horns in this way are the ones that we call and greet as “Children of Buffalo” until this very day.

In Egba and Egbado area, as well as many parts of Yoruba land, Odun Egungun festivals are held in communities to commemorate the ancestors. Egungun masquerade are performed during these annual or biennial ceremonies as well as during specific funeral rites throughout the year. The masquerade is a multifaceted ceremony which includes the making of offerings as well as the honoring of Ancestors for past and future aid.

Oduduwa Templo Dos Orixás Brazil

Oya is the Orisha of sudden change. Drastic transformation is Oya’s rightful territory, and for this reason the Orisha is linked greatly with death. Associated with the whirlwind, tornado and lightning, Oya is the energy that can reverse luck at any moment, bringing with it either wealth and blessings, or destruction and chaos. Oya is the energy of the marketplace, where fortunes are lost and won. On the converse of loss, even from chaos all things grow – and so this Orisha is always sought out for support and blessings whenever change or something beyond our control is imminent or already occurring.

Oya is the Orisha of the warrior. An energy both fearless and knowing, Oya fights against any perceived injustice. Orisha Oya’s children have often developed stronger survival skills than most, due to having endured much suffering in life. This allows them to be familiar with the shadow side, and those aligned with Oya are often perceived to be magical. However, past trials and tribulations also enable those associated with this Orisha to express its more empathetic aspects, for Oya is the energy that will provide for an individual what will most serve them, though it may not always be what is easiest.

Shango (Alaafin Tella-Oko) in one of his journeys wanted to hunt a buffalo that turned into a beautiful woman, who he felled in love. He carried her home and his wives gave her the name of Oya, because they were not expecting their husband to return so suddenly. Oya was the beloved wife of Shango. She alone of all his wives accompanied him in his fight towards Tapa (Nupe) country his maternal home. When her husband entered the ground and disappeared, she summed up the courage to follow his example and hid among a sheep flock, helping her not to be found and to disappear. Due to the support is given to her by the Sheep, her followers are forbidden to eat Mutton (Sheep).

Nobody could see her”órá” (no see), which gave the origin name for Ira (no see). She entered into the ground at a place called Igbo-Oya in Ira. This place was founded by an Oyo hunter called Laage. It was the need to move closer to Oya’s grove that made him found the present site of Ira. Oya became a river called Odo Oya or River Niger, which is named after her. As thunder and lightning are the tribute to Shango so tornado and violent thunderstorms are attributed to Oya.

Oya is known as well as Iya Sán (Mèsán) the mother of 9 children. She was known for being always surrounded by children, but she had never born. Two swords and the horns of Buffalo (Efòn) are the representative images of Oya. The followers are distinguished by a particular kind of reddish beads which are always tied around their necks. Oya disappeared in the town of Ira  Shango disappeared at Koso.

Oya Shrine Ile-Ira Nigeria Yoruba

Ashe = Mysterious Powers…

      Ashe = Mystical – Preternatural & Esoteric Powers…

***We Speak Things Into Existence – Speak Your Power & Become It***
                      We Are The All In All = Our Power Is Within Us

   Ase – Ashe = (Ah Shay) …   A Yoruba Word Meaning ** Power – Command & Authority. The Ability To Make Whatever One Says Happen. Often Summarized As “So Be It” = “So It Is” = “It Definitely Shall Be”

Ashe-Power is a component of the life force breathed into each human being by God; it is spiritual power; it is the power to create everything – Gods, ancestors, spirits, humans, animals, plants, rocks, rivers and voiced words such as songs, prayers, praises, curses, or even everyday conversation. Existence, according to Yoruba thought, is dependent upon it; it is the power to make things happen and change. The power of the word is an important part of harnessing Ashe.

Ashe-Power: is an African philosophical concept through which the Yoruba of Nigeria conceive the power to make things happen and produce change. Existence, according to Yoruba thought, is dependent upon it. In addition to its sacred characteristics, Ashe-Power also has important social ramifications, reflected in its translation as “power, authority, command.” A person who, through training, experience, and initiation, learns how to use the essential life force of things to willfully effect change is called an Alaashe.

Rituals to invoke divine forces reflect this same concern for the autonomous Ashe -Power of particular entities. The recognition of the uniqueness and autonomy of the Ashe-Power of persons and gods is what structures society and its relationship with the other-world.

The concept of Ashe-Power influences how many of the Yoruba arts are composed. In the visual arts, a design may be segmented. Such elements can be seen in Ifa trays and bowls, veranda posts, carved doors, and Ancestral masks.

The language of Ashe-Powers is profound because the Yoruba conceive of their religious discourse as such ritual language is “Deep” and stylized, and it possesses Ashe-the capacity to invoke Powers, appropriate fundamental essences, and influence the future. Rich in metaphor and poetic devices, it expresses fundamental ideas of ritual power which are highly valued and closely guarded. Because of restrictions imposed by Deity-Orisha cults, ritual-language texts are difficult to record. Many are performed only once a year, and some only once in a lifetime. To sing or perform them at other times is infelicitous. One must bring offerings and undergo many Initiations to gain access and trust. In addition to these practical problems of restricted access, the texts themselves are difficult to understand.

Ritual language texts are of course verbal, oral-talking. They are spoken, sung, chanted, even danced in dialogue with drums. Formal categories based on stylistic criteria are always mixed in practice-praises can include proverbs and incantations extensively from Ifa. But the language itself remained a closed book. Textual fragments which possess Ashe-Power are clearly rich in metaphor and allusion-as in most poetry are sensed and intimate rather than formally explicated. Like the deeper meaning of ritual symbols, the language of Ashe-Power undermines the fundamental differences-linguistic which it outwardly reproduces. Best way to discuss ritual language is by letting it speak for itself, as it were, through transcriptions, translations…

These mystical, preternatural and esoteric powers are virtually inexplicable, but they cannot escape notice when they are manipulated by those who have access to them. Outsiders tend to dismiss such powers as superstitions; others class them as Mumbo-Jumbo and the like. But we should realize that one person’s superstition is another person’s belief. Traditional society understand the belief in mysterious and mystical powers which manifest themselves in different ways-in the form of incantations, medicine, magic, sorcery and witchcraft. Belief in these powers which can alter the course of nature is very real and prevalent among the Africans.

Incantations involve the chanting or uttering of words purporting to have magical power. Sometimes the incantations go with some medicinal preparation which is carried in the form of a ring, amulet, girdle, small gourd or needle. Words coupled with charms have mysterious powers which are frequently used by “those who know how”, to escape death, to vanish in the approach of an imminent danger, to escape a ghastly accident, to destroy an enemy or wild animal, to shorten distance, and such like.

Eshu receives Ashé when all the gods journey to the supreme god to find out who is the next most powerful. Each brings a huge sacrifice, carrying it on his or her head. But Eshu consults the Ifa oracle before he goes, and finds that all he needs to bring is a bright red feather set upright on his forehead. When the supreme being sees this he grants Eshu the power of Ashé, because Eshu had shown his unwillingness to carry burdens, as well as his sensitivity to the power of information. To this day, Eshu figurines often have a large phallic plume or nail on the head. Eshu shows us that one must “cultivate the art of recognizing significant communications…or else the lessons of the crossroads–the point where doors open or close, where persons have to make decisions that may forever effect their lives–will be lost.”

 Ashe is an African philosophical concept through which the Yoruba of Nigeria conceive the power to make things happen and produce change. Àshe = a coming to pass; law; command; authority; commandment; imposition; power; precept; discipline; instruction; effect; consequence; is derived from the meanings: law, command, authority and power. 

Ashe as the vital power, the energy, the great strength of all things. It is also the  divine energy manifest in the process of procreation of life, to begin. Ashe does not signify anything particular, yet it invests all things, exists everywhere and as the warrant for all creative activity, opposes chaos and the loss of meaning in human experience. The underlying spirit of this root is “the power to cause to happen, the authority to make changes.  Ashe is  power and this power is manifested in two primary forms:  biological power which shapes one’s physical existence for good or ill, and  political power which shapes people as moral and social beings. It is in its latter branch of meaning by which “kingship” becomes a euphemism for Ashe.  

Ashe among the Yorùbá is associated with the very force which is life and brings things into being in the universe. As we will see later on, it is also associated with the power of speech as can be seen in its meanings of command, ordain, and law. We will see that there are two primary themes for Ashe – power and speech and these are derived from two different linguistic roots that were pronounced the same in ancient times. These terms have merged over time because of the similarities in associations.

Èshú :  keeper  of the word  which is also the life-force  and is master  of language. In Yorùbá, one of the paths of Èshu is known as Elegbara.