Category: Understanding Odu

Who is Obatala? (long but a MUST read)

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What is his position in the order of seniority?

This Pataki tell us that all divinities, including ILE –the mother earth, joined forces to dethrone OBATALA OSEMARAGBO (the ancient of days) and take for them his creative powers. Bitter rivalry emerged amongst the divinities and deities who wanted to share the glory of OBATALA. ORUNMILA was invited to join in the conspiracy but refused. ESU was invited into the evil plot against the ancient of the days OBATALA, but ESU refused. In the end the divinities lost the fight to take the glory of OBATALA. Consequently a universal glory was conceded to him forever according to the IFA stanza below. However, the refusal of ORUNMILA BABA AGBONNIREGUN and ESU LALU OGIRI OKO, to join in the conspiracy against, the illuminated one –OBATALA –was with great benefit and enormous advantages. ORUNMILA and ESU were both promoted to co –exist as equals with OBATALA in the trinity of divinities

Irete Meji says the following:

Igangan IFE
Orunmila wo suu , o ko won
E e ri i
Awon ojise aye
Awon igangan ife
Awon ni Orunmila maa
Nranse si ELEDUA

Translation:
Envoy from earth
Town –crier of IFE
Were suddenly seized and slashed by Orunmila
You see
The messenger
The town crier
Are the emissary
Orunmila always send to GOD the omnipotent

The emissary from the earth and the town crier of IFE were ORUNMILA`S regular messengers to ELEDUMARE, the omnipotent. The message to the omnipotent was: “such being the state of things in IFE today, what sacrifice should I appoint as remedy?”

The reply would come ‘’offer a bush rat’’. Acting on this recommendation ORUNMILA would receive good auspices for the city and all would turn out well, but as time went on things changed. When the Omnipotent indicated the sacrifice of a goat, these messengers reported to ORUNMILA that a Lamb should be offered. The sacrifice would result in failure. What could be responsible for this turn of events wondered Orunmila. Eventually the truth came out but ORUNMILA said nothing, he merely stopped the messengers from bearing further request to the OMNIPOTENT.

One day ORUNMILA seized the messengers and killed them. The people of IFE wondered how ORUNMILA could do such an evil thing, killing his messengers who were always bringing good tidings to the people of IFE. The answer given to them by ORUNMILA was not satisfying, and the people decided to attack ORUNMILA, and without mincing words ORUNMILA hid himself from the anger of the people. They beat one of the disciples of ORUNMILA called IMULEGBE and AKALE – ORUNMILA`s guest was not spared.

ORUNMILA could not hide his emotions and he came out from his hiding and challenged the people. Orunmila left the city in annoyance, IMULEGBE and AKALE went with him. ORUNMILA warned the entire council of IFA priests to stop divining for the people of IFE, so that they may know the implication of their habit and actions.

Orunmila later travelled to the forest with his friends until they got to a place called ‘’THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE’’ and here they built three hut’s, one for AKALE – ESU, one for IMULEGBE – OBATALA, and one for ORUNMILA. Soon, there was a report from IFE that the city was under heavy plague and many problems. Fishes were dying in the river, sickness and illness became the order of the day. The pregnant women would no longer find it easy to have their children, men became infertile and the barren could not conceive. There was total chaos and pandemonium and nobody in the city was able to find a solution to the problem. The chiefs of IFE went out of their domain to seek solution but all to no avail.

One day they met a diviner named CRAB THAT CRAWLS IN HOLES IN THE MARSH AWAY FROM WATER HABITANTS, but he declined to divine for them because of what ORUNMILA the chief diviner had said. He then instructed the people of IFE to look for ORUNMILA so that they might find solutions to their problems. They replied that ORUNMILA could not be found, and he said they should look for an antelope and bring him the animal so that he would help them look for another diviner. They brought the animal and were led to another diviner called GOLDEN –HUED LIKE FRESH PALM OIL who was expected to take them to where ORUNMILA resided.

The diviner then asked the people of IFE to look for an antelope for sacrifice like was given to the first diviner. This request was more laborious than that of the first diviner, but since they did not have alternatives, they prepared to go into the deep bush and look for an antelope. They found an antelope which they pursued up hill and chased the animal into the forest until the people of IFE found themselves in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. Here, suddenly the antelope disappeared and they continued searching for the disappeared antelope until they found the three huts built for ORUNMILA, AKALE and IMULEGBE (ORUNMILA, ESU AND OBATALA).

Iyami Osoronga (My Mother the Sorceress)

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Iyami Osoronga (My Mother the Sorceress)

Iyami Osoronga (My Mother the Sorceress) Iyami have been characterized as a negative force in the universe frequently associated with “witchcraft” and the use of female power to harm others. However, this particular belief is ill informed and is in contradiction to both Ifa scripture and Ifa ritual practice. For one, offerings to Iyami are a component of nearly all offerings made as a result ofconsultation with Ifa divination. In addition, the use of the symbolic representation of birds (Eleye) on the crown of the king (Oba) suggests that the blessing of Iyami is an essential element in the sanctification of the monarchy. Referring to the cluster of birds (birds represent the power of the mothers) on his great crown, is reported to have said, “Without ‘the mothers,’ I could not rule.

“The Iyami are the women that guide Olodumare. They go by the name Aje or Iyami. The three Iyaami that primarily guide Olodumare are called; Ayere Eiye Ayere Eiye Oyeye Eiye Ti Se Oniko Eleiye. These three Iyaami not only guide Olodumare, but they empower the Aje on the earth. They are the ones that originally sent the Aje to the World. The three Iyami have supreme power over Aje on earth and they are the ones who initiated and spread Aje throughout the World. The Aje on earth fall into two categories, Oso, which are male Aje and the Eleiye which are female Aje. Esu has ability to enter among both Oso and Eleiye. No one can choose to initiate Aje/Iyaami, they choose who they want to initiate and “call” that person.

Iyami Osoronga (My Mother the Sorceress)According to Ifa, the difference between men and women is that women are born with ofo ase or the power of the word. This power is called aje and is rooted in the concept of ge or female ase. Ase is a component of the life force breathed into each human being by Olodumare; it is spiritual power; it is the power to create. Ase is given by Olodumare to everything – Orisas, 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 ase

Yemoja becomes the Apetebi ( woman ) of Orula

Yemoja becomes the Apetebi ( woman ) of Orula

Yemoja becomes the Apetebi ( woman ) of Orula. After Yemoja left Oshun’s Ile Tinibu she wandered sometime through the kingdom, and she reflected upon what had happened that day she left.

Deep in thoughts Yemoja became startled by a voice she had heard calling to her from the forest.

Yes, yes I hear you .. I will come .

Yemoja followed the voice she had heard in her mind. she followed the path deep into the Ile Nibu ( forest) Till she came upon a rather large Araba tree in the middle of the forest known as Iroko. There she knew she would find the owner of the voice from which was speaking to her.

There at the foot near the roots of the tree , Yemoja became surprised to see a man sitting on the ground with a table made from the Ceiba tree.

He spoke to her this time not in her head but from his lips.Yemoja becomes the Apetebi ( woman ) of Orula

Emine, Yemoja Osi Obini ( I Orula ,which you Yemoja to be my wife).

Yemoja looked upon the man and said to herself, why not stay with him, he looks so lonely and unloved by anyone, since he had never known anyone to show him love. It would be well for her as well and convenient for her this way she could learn the art of divining through Orula’s Oracle.

This would prove to be beneficial for her , she would be able to predict the events to come in the future. Without thinking she stayed by his side , not because of love but yet because she pitied him , therefore Yemoja knew this would not last long, besides he did not fulfill her as a man, nor did he have any wealth to speak of.

Her time with Orula was short but took advantage of watching his divine with the Ekuele( oracle of Ifa) long enough that she began to divine as well when her Ocu( husband) was not at home. The crowds came and would allow Yemoja to divine for them and she became known as great as her husband Orula in predicting the future .

One day while in the village Orula overheard the news of a woman who could divine the future and he had to see it for himself , so he followed the crowd that gathered . To his surprise the crowd lead him to his own Ile Araba ( home of the great tree of Orula).

Yemoja had been consulting when her Oku
( husband) entered the door , in surprise Yemoja tried to hide the Ekuele under her skirt. Orula’s pet dog entered first and caught Yemoja by surprise, then he entered the home, Orula angered by his Apetebi’s actions , told Yemoja to leave that he no longer desired her as his Obini (wife) .

( **this reaffirms, Yemojas hatred towards dogs and the reason her children should not have them in the home )

Yemoja was sure she had learned all she could from her Ocu , left him and continued on her path to her Alafin ILe Ocum (palace in the deep sea).

The time she spent with Orula was less than a year of the cycle of the seasons.

during this time she tried to keep herself busy in order to forget about her love of Arganyu .

IWA PELE (GOOD CHARACTER)

 Odu Ifa Ogbe-otura
A Yoruba adage says Iwa rere leso eniyan meaning it is good character that guides one in life, the Yoruba people believes it is good character that guides one to success in life. The good character will be that thing that will even protect man when he is in danger. The importance of good character cannot be over emphasized that why I decided to share what Ifa taught us about this topic. Remember Ifa speaks in parable

Orisa lo se laa ni feere
It is Obatala who made pawpaw like trumpet (name of an Ifa priest)

O se enu re dududu
He made the mouth of the trumpet systematically (name of an Ifa priest)

Komo araye o le maa ri n fon
For all humans to use for rhythm (name of an Ifa priest)

Difa fun Orunmila
The made Ifa reading for Orunmila

Baba n lo ree gbe Iwa niyawo
He wanted to marry Iwa (character)

Ebo ni woni ko wa se
Ebo was prescribed for him

This verse of Odu Ifa Ogbe-otura (ogbe-alara) tells the story of when Orunmila was going to get married to a woman named Iwa (character).Orunmila was told by the above Babalawo that he need to make ebo (sacrifice} and make sure he is contempt and always take care of her i.e Iwa (character) so Orunmila made ebo and he went ahead to marry Iwa (Character). When the new wife came into Orunmila’s household everything started going well for him, he is very happy cause he was having success upon success. So it got to point when Orunmila started giving his wife(Iwa) some troubles at home, sometimes he complain on the meal she cooked, the next day he will complain on the compound. Every day he (Orunmila) gives his wife (iwa) one problem or the other. Orunmila has totally forgotten what the Babalawo (Ifa priests) told him. One day Iwa (Character)became sick and tired of Orunmila’s complain and troubles, so she decided to pack and go. After she left things started going from bad to worse for Orunmila he didn’t noticed until he found out he was virtually left with nothing. So he went for Ifa divination and his babalawos (Ifa priests) told him that he has chased someone away from his life he needs to go and beg the person to come back to his life before everything will come back to normal for him. So after making ebo (sacrifice) Orunmila start the journey in search of his wife that packed out. People told him that they heard she went to king Alara, so Orunmila travelled to Aramoko and he went to the palace and asked the king if he has seen his wife or not? the King said she has come to the palace he told her he cannot harbor her because Orunmila is his close friend and he is the one that helped him spiritually and made him king, he now gave Orunmila a clue that he heard she went to Ijero. When Orunmila got to the town King Ajero told Orunmila the same thing King Alara said, it was King Ajero that gave Orunmila another clue that it seems she is on her way to King Owa-rangun-aga’s palace. Orunmila quickly continues his journey, on getting there he finds his wife and he told the king all that happened. They pity Orunmila and helped him plead to his wife to follow him back home and she agreed. Henceforth, Orunmila says whoever has all blessings in life and does have Iwa (good character)
all the blessings is another man’s blessing. Whatever we do in life let’s have good character I pray
that Ifa will not let us loose all blessings that belong to us…Ase o

Orisa lo se laa ni feere
It is Obatala who made pawpaw like trumpet(name of an Ifa priest)

O se enu re dududu
He made the mouth of the trumpet systematically(name of an Ifa priest)

Komo araye o le maa ri n fon
For all humans to use for rythmn(name of an Ifa priest)

Difa fun Orunmila
The made Ifa reading for Orunmila

Baba n lo ree gbe Iwa niyawo
He wanted to marry Iwa(character)

Ebo ni woni ko wa se
Ebo was prescribed for him

Odu Ifa on Love and Relationships

Odu Ifa on Love and Relationships. The Odu Ifa presented here are like my personal Ifa diary on the subject of love and the work it takes to cultivate love. The Odu Eji Ogbe speaks well about love and the importance of seeking the advice of Ifa in relation to finding the right person. Ifa says:

The cleanliness of the Sky is not the result of constant sweeping
The beauty of the moon is not as a result of regular bathing
The plumpness of the Ose tree is not as a result of frequent or excessive eating
These were the declarations of Ifa to Orunmila
When going to have the hand of Orilewa in marriage
He was advised to offer ebo
He complied
Come and see the beautiful children of Orilewa
Orunmila himself is he who had taken Orilewa as his wife
Behold the beautiful children of Orilewa.

This verse tells us that Orunmila was in love with Orilewa, so he sought Ifa consultation to see how the relationship would be. Ironically, Orilewa also sought Ifa consultation with a different awo on the same subject. Ifa gave both of them good messages. Ifa told them that their relationship would be very good. Ifa said that this relationship would be harmonious and they would live long and be in love for a very long time. Their love would never wane. Ifa also told them that they would be blessed with many children that they would be very proud of.

This verse is significant because it deals also with cleanliness. This cleanliness is associated with beauty. This cleanliness is not necessarily a physical thing but it does manifest on a physical level. This cleanliness or beauty that “is not as a result of regular bathing” is actually the result of character. This love and purity is actually the purity of one’s character.

Imagine your character as a clear pristine river. This river is so clean that you can see to the bottom of it. Now imagine that you can see your own reflection in the river. In this verse Orunmila loves Orilewa because he can see himself in her, and she can see herself in him. They reflect each other. Orunmila sees the beauty of Orilewa because he sees the beauty of himself. Love is just that, seeing your reflection in someone.

As Heavy D and the Boys once sang, “Now that we found love, what are we going to do?” So, what do we do now that we have found love? This is a very important question because love requires maintenance. It requires making conscious choices. It also requires understanding and patience. This brings me to a verse of Ogunda Meji. Ifa says:

Baba encamped at oko town
Baba landed at oko town
And rested his back comfortably against an akoko tree
And he ate 20 tubers of cocoyam
My matter is about to have a head now
These were ifa’s declarations to Orunmila
When going on a spiritual mission to ekun town
He was advised to offer ebo
He complied
Baba encamped at oko town
Baba landed at oko town
Baba reclined in comfort against an akoko tree
And he ate 20 tubers of cocoyam
My matter is about to have a head now
These were ifa’s declarations to Esu Odara
When going on a spiritual mission to Ekun town
He was advised to offer ebo
He complied
Ogun is the awo who knows how to cut trees
Oxossi is the awo who knows how to design
And Oosanla is the awo who knows how to put ase (power to let something manifest)
They were the ones who cast ifa for them at ekun town
When they pledged one rat in favor of two children
They were advised to offer ebo
They complied
Orunmila please do not be annoyed
Ifa please be patient
Half human
And half wood is what a woman is
Baba, please do not be angry
Baba, please exercise patience
Half human being
Half wood, that is what a woman is

This verse of Ogunda Meji stresses the importance of being understanding and patient with your spouse. This verse illuminates the fact that one’s spouse may try their patience from time to time, but it is important to be very understanding within these situations. In this verse, the people of Ekun town had pledged the same baby girl to Orunmila and Esu Odara. So, on the young lady’s eighteenth birthday Esu Odara and Orunmila both sent word that they were going to claim their respective wives. The people of Ekun town remembered the promise that they had made, so they frantically went to Ogun, Oxossi, and Oosanla for help. Ogun, Oxossi, and Oosanla cast Ifa for them. As a result of the divination Ogun cut down a tree, and Oxossi designed an exact replica of the young girl out of wood. Then they cut the young girl in half and they cut the wood sculpture in half. They then put the wood halves with the human halves. Oosanla then put the breath of life into their bodies. Now they had two young ladies that were exactly the same in every way. The people of Ekun were very happy and Orunmila and Esu Odara came and married their respective wives and went back home.

These young ladies were great wives. They were the most ideal partners to Orunmila and Esu Odara. Both Esu Odara and Orunmila were so happy with their wives, and many people admired them. Life was great for the first three months, but the next three months their wives were the total opposite of what they had been. They were mean, recalcitrant, and disrespectful. Those three months were like 30 years. Orunmila was so angry that he decided that he was going to return his wife to her family home. When he got they got her family’s home her family began to sing:

Orunmila please do not be annoyed
Ifa please be patient
Half human
And half wood is what a woman is
Baba, please do not be angry
Baba, please exercise patience
Half human being
Half wood, that is what a woman is