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

 

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