IGBA ODU = Sacred Calabash…


Oriki – Prayer = Odu… *** Odu the one with lead spear marks beautify the leopard’s face  the tiger whose body is full of small-pox like marks  spirit, Wife of my lord the deity that blesses her child  one who allows secret never to leak out it is through the back head that you drink blood  it through the face that you eat snail. One who rejects palm oil and does not take it  one who abhors pepper and eat it not. One who rejects palm kernel oil and never taste it  she who use shear butter to prepare soup. Mother, with whom one enter into covenant so that one will not die.

*** Mother, with whom one enters into covenant for all good things.  Mother that puts breast of wealth in her child’s mouth  you are not up to a louse before an unbeliever you are not up to an egg of the louse before a fool  you louse, the fire on head that burn them more than the real fire you are up to an egg of the louse and much more  you are up to an egg of the louse and much more. Odu, it is your blessings you should shower me with. Mother, never allow people to know my life secret… 

The Redemption process might be said to begin with the final episode in the saga of Witches. Odu the Female principle imagined as a container, the fourth elemental being to issue forth from the Python’s Egg, having grown “Too Old”, expresses her desire to go underground.

*** Seated on her mysterious cylinder box, she calls her four advisers: Obatala – Obaluaye – Ogun – Oduduwa  gets them to agree on her departure by promising revelations to those of her children ( Awo Orunmila ) who come to solicit her properly in her house in the forest.   

*** This house has become Sphere-Box containing a Calabash (Her Body) which contains in turn the four Calabashes given to her on that occasion by the four advisers.

*** Obatala gives a Calabash of chalk (Efun) – Obaluaye offers his favorite substance Cam-wood (Osun) – Ogun Offers charcoal (Eedu) – Oduduwa offers Mud (Eere).  These gifts imply four roads, four corners of the universe. They are the original four major signs. From one of them will be “born” another first principle, as once Odu from the Python’s Egg.

Ofun, the Calabash of Chalk (Efun) who gives himself, produces Obatala the white divinity as: Orisha-nla, greater than, the beginning and the end, first and last, the container of them all. The egg within becomes the womb, passivity becomes creativity personified. Surely this is part of the meaning of the Orisha Obatala as Ofun. Igba Iwa-Odu  becomes an Orisha, the divinity worshiped by Diviners (Olodu) who have attained the highest degree of self-knowledge ( Awo Orunmila ). Only such diviners may install the terribly powerful Calabash of existence.

“Symbol of the sky and earth in their fecund union, container of the supreme wisdom of Ifa. The Installation of which validates an esoteric principle of universe symbiosis”

= Egg Symbol of the Soul & Life = Holy Odu “Ofun Meji” teaches that in the Spiritual Egg, Divine Spirit stands before primordial matter and from their union springs the great Soul of the World. Often connected with the Spiritual Egg is the idea of a sacred bird that drops the Egg into the waters of space or chaos.

Universal Symbol = The Egg was incorporated as a sacred sign in the cosmogony of every people on the Earth, and was revered both on account of its form and its inner mystery. From the earliest mental conceptions of Man, it was known as that which represented most successfully the origin and secret of being. The human Egg is the female reproductive element. The Egg contains within itself all the essentials for development, leaving the sperm the role of activating an already prepared system.

IGBA IWA-ODU (Calabash of Existence) The Diviners of the house of Orunmila consulted Ifa in order to know the day that he would take Odu as his wife. The Awos of Orunmila said “Hee.” Odu that you wish to take for your wife. A power is in her hands. They said, because of this power Orunmila must make an offering to the earth. In the interest of all of his people. They said, so that with this power, she will not kill and eat him.  Orunmila carried the offering outside. At the arrival of Odu, she found the offering in the street. She said, but she did not wish that they should fight with him. She said, she did not want to fight with Orunmila.

== She wish to tell him her taboo: She said, she did not want his other Wives (Apetebi ) to see her face.  !!! From this day no Diviner is complete without possessing this Odu. One who does not have Odu will not be able to consult Ifa. The day that one comes into possession of Odu, On that day will he become a person that Odu will not allow to suffer.!!!

** The struggle for dominance between Male and Female that is a central component of life on earth is repeated over and over in the world. Central to this struggle is Man’s acknowledgement of Women’s superior spiritual power that cannot be taken from them, that is based in Women’s ability to create life.**

Odu govern the birth of a newborn and the death of an Elder, the tides that rush in and the riverbed that runs dry. The light rain that brings refreshment and the hurricane that carries destruction; the flame that illuminates and the explosion that critically burns are found within Odu grand scope. Odu’s face wears the smile of joy and utters the cry of anguish. The sun at its zenith during midday and the moon that softly illuminates the evening landscape are the children of Odu. The charismatic forces of attraction and repulsion are given license through Odu. Spirit’s descent into matter and its eventual transfiguration and ascension walk the road mapped by Odu. All ailments and their cures are discovered through these holy beings. Odu rule the moment of fertilization, the critical period of gestation, the act of birth and the inevitable call of death. Odu are sacred constellations, satellites of immortal wisdom that impact the cosmic machination of the universe and the minute steps of the individual. Odu gives birth to the day as surely as it does the night.

*** Magical Calabash – Gourd anthology of sacred wisdom from the Ancestral Mothers and Magic inside it we add ingredients to direct our intentions to that which we want to birth to life. Many people define Odu as the physical symbols used to mark the signs received during the divination process. Others equate Odu with the verses associated with each symbol that form part of the body of the Ifa divination corpus. While both elements reveal a small part of Odu, the greater Mystery lies far below the surface. The Odu are the Sacred Symbols that hold the power/life force of everything in existence. 

The Calabash shape is taken to represent Heaven and Earth with an extended meaning representing the entire universe. Within the Calabash there is a mystical zone in the form of an alternate universe or the entrance to another world, and Orisha – Vodun – Spirit immortals and practitioners can travel between these two worlds. The “marriage” of these two substances was a sexual metaphor for the union of semen and menstrual blood to create life.

The top half signifies Maleness as well as the sky/heaven–the realm of invisible spirits. The bottom half represents Femaleness and the primeval waters out of which the physical world was later created. A mysterious Power called Ashe is thought to hold the Gourd in space, enabling the sun and moon to shine, wind to blow, fire to burn, rain to fall, rivers to flow, and both living and nonliving things to exist.

This power emanates from a Supreme Deity known as Alashe – Owner of Power Olorun- Lord of the Sky and Olodumare – Eternal one and source of all that exists. Assisting Olodumare in administering the universe is a host of deities or nature forces called Orisha-Vodun-Spirit. Said to number four hundred or more, each Deity (Orisha) personifies a Power (Ashe) associated with a natural or cultural phenomenon.

All that was, is, or ever will be, is born through Odu, including the Orisa and their sacred Ashe. The varied manifestations of Heaven and Earth are born through Odu and it is through these same sacred pathways that they will be returned to the primordial void. Odu govern the cycles of nature and the sands of time. They are the cosmic energies of creation—the very fabric of life itself! They are the blood and bones of our natural and supernatural existence.
Odu is the oracular utterance of the spirits, the divine wisdom of all those who have come before and those who have yet to be born. Odu is the original language of the Ancestors and Orisha. They are the pure voice of divinity that expresses itself in absolute binary perfection. Odu hold the answers to all of life’s questions and collectively they become the eternal compass that directs and redirects one on their journey. The Odu issue words of blessings, but also carry admonitions and warnings. 

The VAGINA is the 3rd dimensional portal to Mother Earth. In order for all souls to have a physical experience here on this planet, they must come through her divine portal. It’s no wonder that she is considered the – Gate of Heaven. The Intention Is To Offer Practical Guidance To Connect And Work With The Divine Mother Ancestral Wisdom, And To Use It To Empower Lives Today. The Calabash As Symbol For The Womb… Because Of Her Shape, Calabash also Symbolizes The “Womb”. In Both The Sense Of The Female Reproductive Organ As Well As In A Broader Creative Sense.

*** If an Egg is broken by an Outside force, life Ends. If an Egg is broken by an Inside force, then life Begins. Great things happens from the Inside.

Reference Sources: Irete Meji = Irete Owonrin = Ogbe Ogunda = Odi Meji = Ogbe Osa = Osa Meji = Irete Ogbe = Ose Oyeku = Google Search/Photo = Wikipedia =


7 thoughts on “IGBA ODU = Sacred Calabash…”

  1. Magical Calabash… Gourd Anthology Of Sacred Wisdom From The Ancestral Mothers And Magic. Respect The Signs Of The Heavens – He Who Maltreats Oyeku Will Face The Wrath Of Ogbe…

  2. Aboru Aboye Baba,

    Happy Ose Ifa!

    My question is, If these priest know that women’s spiritual power is superior, why do they mistreat and overwork women like I observed on my first visit to Africa, Yorubaland to be specific, this past June? I was told by a priest in the temple where I initiated, that women are subordinate to men. I asked him if Ifa specifically dictates that in an Odu or if that’s a cultural acquisition through the influence of Christianity and Islam? He told me yes, Ifa says so, but he never quoted an Odu. I found his statement very disturbing…

    1. Aboru Aboye Abossise, respectfully women are not “supierier” the theology is not correct from many. IFA is about balance,there is no battle of the sexs persay. This is a human idea. Essentially, it is important to fully understand the Awo is more powerful than any juju. This is one huge emphasis during tefa. The opa osu is a clear representation of this ” Orunmilas bird is bigger than all the birds of ota combined”. The igbaodu is a female orisa that instills Balance and abundant ASE for the babalawo. IFA is not male or female,it’s balance. Females in the west with western issues need to understand IFA is not “feminist” or against woman. Each sex has a very important role ………..

  3. Eduardo Vyllaronn = Aboru Aboyè Abosisé! Another fantastic article helping us to understand better the essence of our existence related to the Supreme Intelligence. Amazingly beautiful! Thank you once again. Mo juba! Asé Asé Asé O!

  4. Aboru, Aboye, Baba. My question is, can a woman be a priest/priestess of Ifa? By reading this article I assume that Odu was given to men through the marriage of Odu and Orula, with the stipulation that women could not look upon her. So, how can a women divine with opele or ikin and look upon Odu? I guess this is two questions. Edupe

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