***Women of the Calabash…

                SIMPLICITY IS THE KEY TO BRILLIANCE…

!!! Ilu-Shekere Agbaye = El Chekere Mundial !!!
!!! Ilu-Shekere Agbaye = El Chekere Mundial !!!

Mistakes Are The Portals Of Discovery * Play A Wrong Note = Insignificant * Play Without Passion = Inexcusable

Measure The Breath & The Length – The Hands Reaches Much Higher Than The Head – No Forest Is So Dense That The Iroko Tree Cannot Be Seen. May Your Life Be Clear & Pure Like Water Drawn Early In The Morning…

The Goddess “Shekere” Invents Her Own Life & Lives According To…Her Own Vision. This Quality Requires = Imagination – Dedication & Practice.  

*** Mother, with whom one enters into covenant for all good thing  the Woman that supreme among other Women  the 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.

Existence Is Not About Learning To Accept Reality, But Rather Remembering Your Power To Create It…

*** The Calabash is a functional creation of nature with a wide variety of uses and traditions in cultures around the world. “Shekere” is a general name to describe the beaded calabash rattle. It comes in many shapes and sizes, is played in a variety of styles, and has many different names. In Africa it is found primarily, but not exclusively, in the countries of Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Benin, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire. Different language groups in each country often have their own names, styles, techniques, and traditions associated with the Shekere.

Mother Shekere…. A Beautiful Face Will Age…A Perfect Body Will Change…But A Beautiful Soul Will Always Be A Beautiful Soul…

Calabash is the embodiment of Women’s Mystical Power, the ability to control physical & spiritual forces, to create life through procreation, and the sustenance of life are considered to be ultimate power. The Female being has been chosen by the creator to be the portal between the spiritual realm and this physical realm. 

 Be Strong Enough To Stand Alone = Be Yourself Enough To Stand Apart = But Be Wise Enough To Stand Together When The Time Comes.

 All  Women of the Calabash ever really needed was someone who holds a safe space for us. Someone who sees our gifts and magic, understands the incredible potential this kind of presence is capable of and creates a safe place for it to unfold. You’re not complicated, you’re exquisitely created. You’re a unique gem waiting to be revealed from your raw form. Have you been touched by hands that don’t shake with the responsibility of revealing such extraordinary beauty? You deserve a confident touch and an experienced eye. If you’ve never felt fully seen, your beauty never fully revealed, know it’s not the perfection of your beauty that’s been missing, but the eye of one with the vision to see what’s been there all along. You’re more than enough. You always were.

There Is A Line Where Ignorance & Knowledge Merge As One. Everything That Can Be called Wisdom Happens On That Line.

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.

This Audio/Video presentation is dedicated to all the Players and Lovers of Shekere.

I look forward to your comments below!

“Has this guy got stories to tell. Yagbe Awolowo Onilu rightly deserves a place at the table of the Elders. The passion with which he has investigated and shared African spirituality with the rest of the planet has left us all richer.” Modupue Baba !!!  Scott Wardinsky

West African, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Haitian Master Drummer/Educator/Ethnomusicologist/Living Repository of Folkloric Knowledge/Keeper of the Flame…My Brother…Yagbe Awolowo Onilu…I am honored to know you. Kamau Mensah

“Thanks for posting this Chief Yagbe Awolowo Onilu Sometimes it appears that the shekere gets dismissed as a “rattle .” Like anyone can just pick one up and just shake it. Good to see emphasis on technique and rhythm.”

“The Straight Stick” Chief Yagbe Awolowo Onilu, My Friend, My Brother, My Mentor and indeed Master of many disciplines. You have been an inspiration to me and to many whom have crossed your path. Although it is only a fragment of the many secrets that you possess, this music/video is truly a blessing to me. The world needs to see and hear more of your work. Thank You for your unwavering energy and for breaking me down when proper instruction was necessary.  Joe PIlly Martinez 

Nothing so funky and profound can ever be dismissed…. Thank you Yagbe for making this available to us all. I hope more will be coming in the near future.     Gustavo Kayro

Me gusta mucho todo lo publicas me lo trámites se ve que eres apasionado en todo lo que quieres y en lo que haces verdaderamente toda mi admiración.   Mar Tandy  

Excellent information. The gourd is really the belly symbol that generates life – Container of Wisdom Supreme Orunmilá Baba Ifa, which introduced the principle of humanity. The magic is in the ability to generate weddings, continuing the human species. Ire, o!   Juliana Arruda 

Your work is priceless my Brother! Thank you for sharing!   Stan Corpus

Alafia! Adupe! Thank you for sharing the wisdom Yagbe. Ase’!   Maria Medina 

Gracias baba por todo su arduo trabajo y toda estas bellas enseñanzas. Yissell Diaz 

Heart throbbing beat… Sekere lo n Oba jo. Great Vibes abound, around and colorful. Ire Awon Irunmole…   Babatunde Kayode

I am hugely moved and humbled to be included in this photo tribute to the power of the Calabash Shekere to uplift and move people in both ancient and modern traditions! Thank you, Chief Yagbe Awolowo Onilu, for these very inspiring photos! And thank you for including me in this series! Blessings to you.  Jim Greiner 

Much appreciation for your efforts BABA needles to say that you’re constant dedication to the secrets of the CALABASH is second to none,I’m so blessed to have you as one of my closest Brother that I never had,I do really appreciate all that you do.   Mosheh Milon Sr 

 

 

IGBA ODU = Container of Existence

 SPIRITUAL CONSECRATION: (((IGBA IWA-ODU)))

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.  (Oshe-Oyeku)

*** 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 Odú 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 = Oshe Oyeku

 

Aje-Witches = Elders of The Night

!!! Witchcraft Territory of Malignant Women…Magic Words &                           Practices…Territory of Wizards !!!  

***Iyaami Osoronga is the foundation of everything!!! Types of IyamiI Aje (Witches) – According to Ifa  spirituality there are three types of Iyami Aje energy available in the world. They are : Aje Dudu (black energy) Aje Pupa (red energy) Aje Funfun (white energy)

Aje Dudu (Black): Witches are usually a not progressive one, they have mysterious power, they can only punish or make human being to suffer.  Like causing their victims delay marriage, infertility, lack of promotion in work and business, causing their victims sickness etc. The members of Aje Dudu are predominantly female hardly can you find any Male among them. They spread their initiation easily than others type of Iyaami. 


Aje Pupa (Red) Witches are most dangerous, they have power to kill, they drink blood and eat flesh d, they punish their victims and give no room for forgiveness even up to their own children. Their membership is both mixture of female and male but with female membership domination, they don’t initiate members easily. 
Aje Funfun (White) : Witches are very good Witches, they don’t kill, they don’t drink blood or eat flesh, they use their energy to bring protection and blessings and prosperity to whom ever they love like children, husband or family or friends. They bring knowledge, power, blessings and protection. It is very difficult to get initiated to them.

***Sacred Mothers, you are everywhere – You have it all, you give it all, not to everybody  only to the faithful devotees,  always see you but you don’t know them. Sacred birds children of my Mothers – Eye that see the World, legs that walks the Earth – Giant rat makes you smile -Palm oil is the water, Liver is the food, Night is the day, Day is the night. They call you “Witches” To me you are the sacred Mothers with the master key of Earth… Mojuba Iyami o !!!!

” Mysterious Mother Osoronga Who Kills Without Sharing. The Dominant Force At Midnight. One Who Devours Human Livers Without Vomiting. One Who Vacates Only When The Market Closes. One Who Terrifies In Dreams.”

The Aje – Witches On Earth Fall Into Two Categories: Osho – Male Aje  &  Eleiye – Female Aje.

“No one can choose to initiate Aje-Iyaami; they choose who they want to initiate.” No one can say they have initiated to Iyaami or say they can initiate you. No one can have or give a shrine to the Iyami or Aje. If someone claims to have an Iyaami shrine, can give a shrine, to have been initiated to Iyaami or wants to initiate you, they are speaking falsely. It is impossible to truthfully make these claims.There is no specific shrine to Aje. To feed the Aje one must either feed them through Eshu, Orita Meta-3 road junction…

No one knows the actual Aje shrine, however according to Elders and what Ifa says, we know that the name of their house is called Ota and the name of their shrine is called Idi. No one knows the actual place of the Idi and if they do they can never say…

** According to Ifa, the difference between Men and Women is that Women are born with Ofo – Ashe or the power of the word. This power is called Aje and is rooted in the concept of Female Ashe. There are Male sorcerers, by the way, called Oso (osho), but they aren’t as powerful as the Women. They belong to the Orisa Oko cult. Aje is really just the name of the power itself, not the person, but after the arrival of Muslims and Christians, the term started to be used for persons. Women have Aje, a form of Ashe.  It is passed down to them from their Mothers. If you got a womb, you got Aje, but sometimes it needs to be awakened.

Witchcraft is a Feminine art and has its power from Eshu. This power is generally attributed to older Women but young Women or even girls can sometimes be involved. Witchcraft power is a kind of immaterial substance which may be kept in a Calabash hidden in a hole in the wall of a Witch’s house or in a hollow tree. The power itself may be lodged in the roots of a tree or even in a young child. In the latter case the witchcraft power will not harm the child but on the contrary will protect the child from other Witches as the child is serving one of them as a refuge.

The red tail feather of the parrot is used as a sign of witchcraft power and may be placed in the calabash or in the tree containing witchcraft power.

Yoruba cosmology is heavy in duality and polarities that are constantly seeking balance in unity. Just as there exists the polarity of Male-Female energy, within Female energy itself exists a polarity that is create and destroy. Many focus on the destructive power of the Mothers, giving the impression that they are destructive. However, they are also needed for all creative pursuits. The Mothers are believed to possess a spiritual life force (Ashe) equal or superior to that of the deities (Orisha).

Earth Seven Pillars: Iwo-Arere-Oshe-Iroko-Iya-Asurin-Obobo  

The trees are scattered throughout the rain forest and grow in isolation, meaning a single tree and not in clusters. In traditional Yoruba culture, villages were built around the Iroko tree. The Iroko tree is the Ifa tree of life because within the shadow of the Iroko tree there are over a 1000 species of living things living in perfect harmony. The effect of all these living things creating a balanced environment, is that the Iroko tree is an inter-dimensional portal. The tree is used both for the Ancestors and for Iyaami… 

Witchcraft power is like a breeze, you can’t see it but it has effect. A Woman can’t die possessing it. When she dies, she vomits out the invisible witchcraft and it passes to her daughter. A person can buy witchcraft power or may, as well, inherit it from another person. This mostly depends on the interest or love the witchcraft Woman has in the person that is going to possess it. But it is necessary and matter of must, to give this witchcraft power to somebody before she should die. Witchcraft bought with money is not given directly, it can be given through foods such as baked beans Akara , Kola, Porridge, red Yam and many other native foods. When this is taken, the power will start to grow, until when the person will start to fly at night.

Old Saying:  The Witch bird chirped yesterday, the child dies today…

Witches take part in some obscure nocturnal orgies for which one member of the Witch party must supply a human child. By drinking the life blood of numerous victims, the Witch is able to prolong her own life and it is for this reason that old people are suspected of being Witches. A pregnant Woman will avoid visiting an old Woman during her pregnancy and the birth of a baby will be kept a secret from a suspected old Woman. In some areas the death of a young person or child is considered unnatural and all such deaths are attributed to the work of Witches.

Hand Work Of Witches: One of the most common deeds attributed to Witches is interference with reproduction. Impotence is common among males and it is the prevalent idea that this is the work of Witches. A Witch is capable of taking the penis of a Man and having intercourse, using it with the Man’s wife or some other Woman. The witch will then return the Man’s penis but it will be altered in some way and may not be able to function.

Witches Control The Menstrual Flow of Women: They may obstruct the expulsion of the child from the womb. There is some obscure fundamental relationship between witchcraft and menstrual blood. The menstruating Woman and the Witch both have power to render magic and the native doctor’s medicines powerless.

Aje is passed down from Mother to daughter. Aje is Feminine/contractile energy. Aje is a force that is naturally connected to the Female principle. It has the power to create or destroy so that re-birth is possible and balance is restored. All Women carry the power for creation and destruction through the Womb. There is also power of the word. The ability to use ones Aje to create reality for the person using word as well as those around them.. Aje is both a spiritual power as well as the humans who exercises that power.

When a Witch closes her eyes she can see everywhere and can observe all that is happening.

In traditional Ifa: Iyaami Osoronga is the foundation of everything!!! Yoruba cosmology is heavy in polarities that are constantly seeking balance in unity. Just as there exists the polarity of Male-Female energy, within Female energy itself exists a polarity that is create and destroy. Many focus on the destructive power of the Mothers, giving the impression that they are destructive. However, they are also needed for all creative pursuits.

In Yoruba tradition, Women are thought to be as indispensable to Men as Osun was to the sixteen Male Orısha or Odu at the time of creation. However, Men have an ambivalent attitude toward Women. It is felt that Women of any age are potential Aje´ who possess Eiye the “bird power.”

The symbolism of the bird is ubiquitous in Yoruba ritual and art. The crown of the Oba is adorned with birds, the staff of Osanyin as well as Babalawo, and the Calabash which holds the bird and other magical ingredients (Odu pot, or Igbadu) has birds carved on the surface. The Mothers, also known as Eleiye, “owners of bird,” are said to send out there birds or turn into birds themselves at night. This is a reference to the ability of the Iyami to astral travel. It is during astral travel that they come silently to “eat your intestines.” The fear of this extraordinary power has caused Men to appease Women as they do “Our Mothers” (awon ıya wa).

!!!— Pledge of Allegiance to “Woman”—!!!

There’s more to me than the human eye can see. I’m a Woman of purpose and destiny. A perfect design, I’m special and unique. I won’t be identified by the parts that make up my physique. My beauty is not defined by my skin or my hair and my soul has more value than the clothes that I wear. I’m not a symbol of pleasure or sex appeal; I have the natural ability to comfort and the power to heal. When God made me, It created a gem, because it fashioned me in the likeness of Her and Him. I refuse to do anything that will put myself to shame. I deserve to be treated with reverence and called by my name. I can’t be purchased or sold at any price. I Am divine, A Creator of life…

Awon Agba = Elders of the Night…
Those who eat from the intestines – Those whose have menstrual flow  made divination for the Mother Witches when they were coming from Heaven to Earth….  

Aje – Witch simply refers to the use of extrasensory clairvoyance beyond normal human knowledge in other to accomplish an aim, be it positive or negative, and it also refers to the original power given by God to Iyami Osoronga who is the Mother of Witches.

In Africa whenever there is any spiritual party or what is called festival they are in full attendance but no one knows who they are, so they dance around and eat and enjoy in the company of everyone. However if the party is held by Babalawo or an knowledgeable initiates, he or she must recognize them and pay his or her respect to them in a way he or she knows how to and also in way as not to reveal their identity. The Babalawo or the Oloorisha will greet them and also pretend that they do not know who they are.

CLASSIFICATION OF AWON AGBA…
In order to do the pact or harmonious relationship called Imule, it’s important to identify the following – Imule Aje-pact with witches – Imule Osho-pact with wizards – Imule Emere-pact with Egbe spirits and Abiku.
An Imule is usually done by burning or pounding some  bones of birds, cats, tree bark, parrot feather, sometimes vultures, different leaves etc, it can be made as incision in the body or soaps after the necessary invocations and prayers are made and it will restore harmony to the user and it will act as a sign that when witches sees such a person they will grant he/she favors. Most Diviners in Nigeria often use this method. 

The Women’s society, the Iyaami, had the authority to bestow kingship. It was the Iyaami who put the crown on the new king. All the king’s power and authority were in the crown. It contained the Ashe of Kingship. The Men’s society and the Women’s society, made up of respected elders, made decisions which were passed to the king. In a Yoruba village, Iyalode is a title bestowed on a Woman who is head of the Women of the community. She is the one who issues the birds, the power of Aje. She is head of the market place, and a priestess of Oya. She represents Women in court, and settles disputes. She controls the menstruation of all the Women, and so controls all Women through her mystical powers.

The fact that there are so many stories about the polarity of Male-Female energy, suggests that in Yoruba thought, this polarity is in constant flux and plays a primary role in life on earth. The term Aje is derogatory when used to designate a Woman as a Witch. Better to call Mothers, Iyami, Awon Iya Wa or Eleiye (owners of birds). When we mention these Women, we touch the ground as a gesture of respect.
The more widely known aspect of Iyami is as the elderly Women who keep the Calabash that has the bird.  It is the Calabash of existence itself. It is believed these Women organize at night and transform into birds and go out and engage in maleficent acts. Odu Logboje is the one who received the power over the world in the Calabash, the power itself symbolized by the bird. 

***Man = The Seed of Life ***Woman = The Portal of Life…

Reference Sources: Oduduwa Templo Dos Orixás Brazil = Taiwo Makinde = Asuwada Institute