What is American Ifa-Fa-Afa? UNIFICATION AND DIVERSITY FIT

AMERICAN IFA-FA-AFA: UNIFICATION AND DIVERSITY FIT

By Dr. Iyanifa Ayaba OchaBi Ifabuluje Ifaseye and Oloye Erelu Abiye Unsi Tassinon Iyanifa O’Fae O’Fae

August 4, 20IFA115

HOW DID THE CONCEPT OF AMERICAN IFA-FA-AFA COME TO BE?

AMERICAN IFA-FA-AFA came to be by watching the people of the diaspora over a period of countless years becoming closer to their spiritual roots in Africa through the yearning to connect with their ancestors. However, despite the yearning there was and is still a barrier. One barrier is distance. During the growth spurt of connecting to our African Roots, a large percentage of the growing numbers of IFA and Orisa devotees and practitioners were and still are financially unable to make the journey home to Africa. We then asked ourselves, “does that mean that we are not African or that we can’t devote ourselves to, or practice our African faiths? Even those numerous of people who were able to go back home, could not do so for an extended period of time, which is needed to become fully involved in Traditional African culture in the way it is done at home.

The question then became, how can we practice our African Roots in the places we live and still maintain the common tenants of our faith to the best of our ability? In essence, we recognized that we can be devoted to and practice our African roots in a foreign land just as our ancestors did which resulted in the survival of our African Faiths in a foreign land, the land in which we live, called America. In so doing, we found that we can express our commonality in the ways we express our spirituality in the places in which we live.

WHY PROUDLY AMERICAN IFA-FA-AFA?

According to the United States 1860 Census, there were 3,953,761 African slaves that represented 12.6% of the total American population. The statue of Liberty and the Statue of Freedom were both created from an African slave woman model which recognized the African presence in The United States of America. The slaves brought their dance, music, stories and faith to a foreign land and after more than 400 years of struggle were finally recognized as AFRICAN-AMERICAN. This recognition came with the rights and privileges afforded to ALL people of the land called America.

WHY AMERICAN IFA-FA-AFA stands for UNIFICATION AND DIVERSITY?

America/Diaspora is truly the land of diversity where ancestors, orisa, and Ifa are widely practiced by the descendants of African slaves. In the America/Diaspora, the Cubans have Lucumi and Santeria; Brazilians have Candomble, Haitians have voodoo, Jamaicans have Obeah and Gullah have Ogeechee and so on. These offsprings of African culture not only blended their cultures in order to survive but they made it comfortable to FIT the environment in which they lived. All of these offsprings have two things in common which are their roots; ANCESTORS and FAITH in the African deities. At the end of the day, everyone wants to live comfortably before going to Orun (heaven) and everyone wants to practice orisa and Ifa life from their ancestral roots of Africa. However, everyone cannot and will not go back home to Africa in order to follow their roots; many are doing it in the places in which they live and afford. Emerson Biakolo in the ‘Nigerian Guardian’ of 28th November 1992 asked: “Do men believe just because they want to or because the object of their faith is credible?” According to Edmund Burke (1790), “People will never look forward to posterity, who never looks backwards to their ancestors. The concept of diversity creates assimilation for American/Diaspora cultures and beliefs which brings a special type of unity, ideas for harmony, a unique mechanical design for spiritual growth and plasmatic substance for long life and the spread of Ifa.

HOW DOES AMERICAN IFA-FA-AFA LOOK BACK TO THEIR AFRICAN ANCESTORS?

Today, the most widely practiced of African faiths in the diaspora are Orisa, Ifa, vodou, obeah, and so on. The most prevalent one is IFA and is called by many other names, since IFA is the system that sets the guidelines for our way of life in so many ways. Ifa is the binary numerical system of odus (proverbs) of which determines our individual destinies. Ifa is the oracle of wisdom, knowledge and messages from Olodumare for an individual’s destiny in life which is governed by the Orisa Orunmila. Ifa have many names that have assimilated into many cultures as follows:

“Ifá among the Edos of Nigeria, Fá among the Fon of Republic of Benin. Eva by Nupes, Ifa in Cuba, USA, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Surinarm and Haiti, Afá by the Ewe of Togo Ephod by Jews, Geomancy by Europeans and Malagasy as well as Ramal or Hati by Arabs. Ifá is widespread in Africa… it is practiced among the Igbos of Eastern Nigeria, the Kamuku and Gwari of Northern Nigeria, the Igbirra in South Central Nigeria, the Jukun of Eastern Nigeria, and all the tribes in the region around the Cross Rivers. Among the Siwah people in the Sahara, Ifá is known as “Derb el raml” or “Derb el fu” It is also widely practiced in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Sierra Leone as well as in Liberia” (Professor Idowu Odeyemi, 2007?). In other words, Vince (2010) stated that the “United States is unique and NOT only is it a country, but it’s also an idea [where] people around the world don’t just dream of coming to America, they dream of becoming Americans.

WHY IS AMERICAN IFA-FA-AFA NOT A CORPORATION OR A BUSINESS?

AMERICAN IFA-FA-AFA is like YEYE Osun/Oshun and fashioned after the nurturing energy of the women who represent the leadership of the Ifa/Orisa way of life in the diaspora. Just like the original Statue of Liberty, we are here as a symbol of the FREEDOM that our ancestors died for in order for us to live. We are also here to claim that FREEDOM in the place we live in order to honor our ancestors’ memories. As we live devoted to and practicing our African culture in the faces of our adversaries, we make ourselves comfortable. Most importantly, AMERICAN IFA-FA-AFA devotees and practitioners are claiming their rights and privileges under the U.S. Constitution that affords all Americans FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND BELIEF under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States which is considered a fundamental human right.

Conclusively, your passport says American; not African American, Cuban American, and White American, etc. It says “American” for ethnicity. Regardless, where you got initiated and you live and practice in the Americas/Diaspora…wouldn’t it be nice if we had a recognized tradition in America and our West African roots are the base? Basically, if you are initiated to orisa and Ifa-Fa-Afa and you live in America and you practice in America, then you are practicing American Ifa-Fa-Afa. It doesn’t take away from where you got your initiation – if you are initiated. Many people have been initiated in more than one system (Lucumi, Congo, and traditional Ifa) and they don’t throw one system away for the next, because those slaves’ DNA…47% Benin/Togo, 25% Congo, 20% Native American and so on is their ISESE (oworin gunda) in America. This is why AMERICAN IFA-FA-AFA exists.

Odu Ifa Otura meji says:

Ọna kan ti n ihin wa, ọna kan ti ohun wa. Ipade ọna meji a bi ẹnu ṣonṣo a dia fun Erinmọdo eyi ti o mu jọba igi loko. Ifa lo wa ferinmọdo jọba

[A road leads from here, a road leads from there. When two roads merge, they taper down, cast Ifa for the Erinmọdo tree who who was made king over the trees in the forest. Ifa declared Erinmọdo king.]

May your head lead you to follow your ancestral path and express it in the places in which you live.

ASE IRE O

American Ifa-Fa-Afa: How will Ifa help us mend our broken world when there is so much hate and lies in our practice?

How can we all do our part in helping to mend our broken world? Many of us will approach this question differently; due to our experiences, age, influences, and destiny within the world. All the approach would be correct. I hope many will ask this question, leaving their ranks and titles on the shelf for a minute.

My opinion would be to change the way we look at the world and how we fit within it, as spiritual Ifa-Fa-Afa /orisa practitioners and human beings. In other words, we need to check our destiny list twice and stay on that path, knowing that there are bumps and sharp corners to deal with, keeping our eyes on the prize. It is not easy to fix something that no one realizes it is broken.

Nevertheless, don’t be among the ones who say, “somebody else will do it”, because it will never get done. Don’t be the person who rather take the blue pill (the lie) because they don’t want people to hate them because they stand for truth. At the end of the day, NO one wants to take the trash out, only benefit from the profits. So, be responsible for your part. Respect the ones who help you along the way. If you have differences with them one day; still respect what they gave you yesterday and learn the lessons that they offered you. Ancestors always told me “A lesson learned is a lesson I don’t repeat.” The disease doesn’t continue to cut holes in the fabric.

This reminded of an odu Irete Meji about MY THOUGHTS:

Odu Irete Meji

“Slender as a needle, dirty and shabby
as a cloth line, glittering as a fool’s gold,
full purse clangs on the ground, the filled net sinks,
tightening the noose; two young roosters: challenge
and fight; two old roosters: shabbily they trod on,
bony buttocks fall whith a dry thud” was the one
who cast for “My Thoughyts”, he-goat, buffalo,
were blocking the stream of the river that Yemoja
worshipped in Ido, on the day that he used the tears
in his eyes to hunt down all the good things in life.
Could he prosper when all things seemed to evade him?
They told him to bring a lobster, eight pigeons,
and 16,000 cowries. “My thoughts” listened
and made the sacrifice. They cooked the lobster for him
with “leaves of riches”, then cast Irete Meji, and mixed
the powder of the Odu with the food, saying: “Drink, eat”.
He began to get rich; soon his compound was
full of wives and children, and whilst he began
to build houses for all of them, he praised the Awo’s
who had said: “Slender as a needle, glistening as mica,
purse clangs down on the earth, young roosters
play and fight, old rooosters listen quietly,
bony buttocks fall with a thud” cast for
“My Thoughts”, heavy as a he-goat, buffalo,
blocking the river flow; I worship Yemoja,
who owns enormous riches. Him with the tears
of his eyes was looking for the evasive fortune.
Wat is with the riches I’m looking for?
It was lobster who ordered all good things
to come to me. And the children I desired?
They swarm into the net, get it in, hoist it,
the lobster said. My slender body filled
to the brim? It was lobster who let the flood in.
And how about the land? I wanted to build for so long.
It was lobster who plugged the holes in the strainer.
I put my hope in the falling tide, and then
all good things in life flowed towards me.
This is Irete Meji to which you have listened.

We greet the sacrifice …. only what you put in, you can get out. It is the same about being responsible for yourself; your actions, and CARING for others. So the practice of this culture will carry on without blockage and negative forces eating away at its existence. Bottom line, Ifa and orisa lives in all of us; we are too busy being SELFLESS, HATEFUL and ENVIOUS to reap the true benefits of IFA.

My suggestion is to listen to the ase of Ifa that exist inside you, your ori and the ancestors around you. Be a good listener and not a great talker. Ifa says, at time we should ask if some things don’t go too easy, if it’s not slightly more complicated than they seem. Work from within before out-in.
O meji mi o

 

AMERICAN IFA: Tempering the head

hmmm2Inspired from Odu Ogbe Yonu: TEMPERING OF THE HEAD

Is it fair for a person who is looking for guidance?

How do we temper our head?

There are foods and products which we tend to enjoy, such as eggs, chocolates, soufflés, gasoline, metals, etc. Tempering is when a person adds substance to mold, shape, and harden the product to function well, e.g. ori. For instance, we go to school to get an education, training or skills. If you didn’t learn anything, you have gained no substance. An ori without tempering is an ori without substance; therefore, it is broken or dysfunctional. Some would say it is damaged goods. The concept of “iwa rere – good character/iwa pele – gentle character”.

TEMPERING:

In the earlier days, elders would temper the ori for initiation. They would develop the ori to move from one stage to the next. Testing and challenging the ori, e.g. sticking a fork in it to see if it was done (hardening the head to receive the ashe (fire or initiation)). The hardening is needed to carry the weight of the orisa. Meaning, there were years of training and spiritual development before initiation. It wasn’t a cash-carry or drive thru window process, e.g. McDonald drive-thru.

WHERE DOES THE DEVELOPMENT BEGIN?

The elders and initiators remind me of the story of “Ajala” who was the avatar of Obatala, the head maker – Odu Ogbe Yonu. This is story is taken from “Ajala and choice of ori” by Wande Abimbola, 1975; UNESCO files: “The Ori is chosen in Orun (heaven) and the consequences of this irrevocable choice are on every individual.” Firstly, I have three children, and I am amazed how each one has their own character and innovation toward solving problems, even though they are raised by the same standard – moral and values. The story is about three friends – Oriseeku (son of Ogun), Orileemere (son of Ija) and Afuwape (son of Orunmila) that heading to the abode of Olodumare to choose an ori. They were on their way to Ajala’s home. Oriseeku and Orileemere went straight to Ajala house and Afuwape went to his father’s house to divine on his journey to Ajala’s house. Meanwhile, the two friends reached Ajala’s house to only meet a lot of problems. Meanwhile, Afuwape was instructed to do ebo…three small bags of salt, three times nine thousand cowries. At the end of the story, Ajala knew which ori was good and which one was bad. Afuwape received a good ori and his friends picked their own ori.

 

80.Afuwape said that he was going to the earth,

And he must first go to Ajala to choose Ori.

Orunmila then took his divination instruments,

And with them he touched Afuwape head.

When he cast the instruments on the ground……

 

  1. Ogbeyonu (otherwise known as Ogbegunda) appeared.

When the Orunmila household studied it carefully,

They said, “You, Orunmila,

Your son is going on a journey to certain place.

So that he may choose a good lot there……..

 

My point here is the importance of tempering the enter head – ori (higher consciousness). It is my opinion that an elder that is dysfunctional – the heads which they make will be dysfunctional. Elders in some lineages don’t mold, shape, and harden the head and/or prepare it for the ase of the orisa(s) OR Ifa. We can see this and experience the ori that is not tempered when they leave nasty remarks on this page. I guess, it’s like putting untreated glass in the stove or an egg in the microwave…if it makes it through the fire, it is all good… if not…it is still good. Tempering of the head is adding substance (you have to have substance to give substance, Odu Ika Fun- you can’t give what you don’t have) that will prepare the person to receive the necessary firing by hardening the head to carry the power (or ase); and for the ase to be seated well or properly on the head…good characteristics. It is a perfect head. When the ase isn’t seated well, the ego takes control and they are dysfunctional; they become destructive to themselves and others around them. Basically, spiritual cultural unconditional love is essential for tempering the ori, so, over time people won’t have problems. I will stop here……….

 

Odu IdinRete

Ori mi gbe

Ori mi la mi

Tete gbe mi atete niran

Atete gbeni ku forisa

Ori pele o onomo atakara sola

Ori ko da mi re

Orisa ma ma je nsowo ase danu

Ori ko da mi re

My orie save me

Rescue me,

You are swift to save

You save quicker than orisa

Ori pele – greeting ori

Ori cast me right

Don’t let me trade at a loss

American Ifa: Fa-Afa Why do we need temples?

WHY DO WE NEED TEMPLES – REALITY OR LIES?

 Many centuries, various cultures have found alternative ways to practice orisa and Ifa which influenced many of us to practice today. But, living in modern time why is it necessary for us to continue living in hiding under or behind bullshit stigmas? Why is it necessary for us to go outside our homes to build churches and call them temples of Ifa? What is happening to the freedom of religion? What is happening to touching the sources in nature – orisa in their own elements? Why are people so much in the need to belong to a brick-mortar? At the end of the day, they still can’t get but 1% and no life insurance plan? Beside the word, TEMPLE basically refer to an institutionalized and organized religion process and procedure to honor a supreme statue of some-source and not the god within, which is patrolled by the governmental body or some type of figure head that will enforce dogmatic gender separatism and push man-made doctrine and agenda (irosun meji). The first time the word “TEMPLE” appeared was in the Old Testament which was Hebrew (hay-kawl) and in the New Testament by Greek (hee-er-on and nah-os). The word “TEMPLE” was where the original temple of god in Jerusalem that was patterned after “The Tabernacle in the Wilderness”, which was completed by King Solomon about 950 B.C.. It survived over 360 years before it was destroyed by the Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.. In other words, don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s Temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s Temple, God will destroy him; for God’s Temple is sacred, and you are that Temple.” (from the bible – 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV)? Why are we accepting this practice of IFA in this form – brick-mortar church/temple? Have it come to be a continuation of mentality manipulation and brainwashing that people are solidly embracing that they need a man image of god to guide them? What is happening to SPIRITUALIS1pillM?

 

American ifa: (Fa-Afa) EjiOgbe penis vs vagina

aboru aboye abosise and greetings

ODU EJIOGBE – penis will lose the war with vagina…

Men and women are always seeking love. Some seek love to dominant another through sexual behaviors. Other seek love to be loved. Some would say love is the love making and sweat. While others will tell you love is like the sun and the rain…it just is. The key here (I think): you can have what you want, need and desire when it comes to love, if you are looking within, 6a5e52ece34f6f00fdcb89ef6109d700because love is not something you can touch or control or need to battle with. Love is the internal emotions of the self which is located in a place where there is no war or battle. Love is love. In odu Ifa, everything starts with the odu Ejiodu, for example, a man should not battle with a woman (penis vs vagina).

Ifa says,

Ọtọtọtọ, ọrọrọrọ, ọtọtọ laa jẹpa. Ọtọtọ nla jẹ imumi. Ohun tori tori, ohun tore tore nlaa fọba makin nile Iranje, ko ba le fi ohun to ri to re ta ni lọrẹ a dia fun Ogotẹẹrẹ ẹyi ti n gbogun lọ Ẹhinwọran. Ogotẹẹrẹ lorukọ a n poko. Ẹhinwọran lorukọ a n pobo. Eewọ oriṣa oko ii jagun ilobo ko sanwọ-o.

TRANSLATION

Ọtọtọtọ, ọrọrọrọ, ọtọtọ (What is real is real [true], what is not real is not real), Whole is how we eat groundnut. Whole is how we eat imumu (edible black seed). In Iranje, they assess the king’s valour through his performance. If you praise the king with his acts of valour, he will give you a gift. This reveals why Ogotẹẹrẹ made war against Ehinwọran. Ogotẹẹrẹ is what we call penis, and Ẹhinwọran is what we call vagina. It is an abomination to the gods for the penis to fight a war with the vagina, because penis will lose.

reference Harvard.edu

American Ifa (Fa-Afa): Look back- to forgive and don’t forget

Odu Ogbe Iwori (Ogbe Wo-Ehin):

“LOOK BACK: TO FOREGIVE, AND DON’T FORGET”

People usually say “Forgive and forget”. My mother always said “to forgive, don’t forget.” When you forget you will repeat and end in the same situation again. On another note, people often borrow money, car, and clothes, etc. only to get what they want for the moment. My mother always said “don’t burn your bridges down after you cross it; you may have to run back across it for safety.”

Odu Ogbe Iwori (Ogbe Wo-Ehin):

Ogbe wo ẹhin wo, baja rẹ o pakun, a difa fun Ekuya eyi ti n ṣawo re ile baba rẹ, ti n lọ re jogbo, ti n lọ re jaatọ.

[Ogbe look back and see if your dog has killed a squirrel cast Ifa for Ekuya who practiced Ifa in his father’s house, who grew old but was still strong]

Ekuya [a type of wild plant] went to the other side of the world to try his hand at business there. He tried and tried and tried. He made a good name for himself there, and people favored him, but he didn’t find any gain in any of it. Ifa said he should go back home. When he went home, things began to change for the better; his hometown was favorable for him, and he had peace of mind. 12look backThey prospered, some died, and they multiplied. He was very happy. Every time his ancestral festival came around, he would dance and rejoice and remember the Ifa Priest who cast Ifa for him when he was on the other side of the world and told him to return home. He did not call the priests liars; he did not call Eṣu a liar. He did everything he was told to do. They said when he returned to his father’s house, he would receive his blessing. He would grow and prosper. He praised the Ifa Priest, and the Ifa Priest in turn praised Ifa. He said, my Ifa Priest told me it would be so, my Ifa Priest said:

Ogbe wo ẹhin wo baja rẹ o pakun, a difa fun Ekuya eyi ti n ṣawo re ahoro ile baba rẹ, ti n lọ re jogbo, ti n lọ re jatọ. Ẹbọ ni wọn ni [k]o ṣe, o si gbe ẹbọ nbẹ, o rubọ. Riru ẹbọ ni fi ti n gbe ni. Aitete ru teṣu a da ladanu. Ko pẹ, ko jinna, Ifa wa ba mi laarin iṣẹgun, aarin iṣẹgun laa ba ni lẹsẹ ọbariṣa. Ẹyin o wofawo ki bi ti n ṣẹ.

[Ogbe look back and see if your dog has killed a squirrel, cast Ifa for Ekuya who practiced Ifa in his father’s house, who grew old but was still strong. He did everything Ifa prescribed. His sacrifice was accepted. Failure to sacrifice to Eṣu renders any effort a waste. Not long after that, Ifa met me in the midst of victory; we receive victory at the feet of God. Come and see what the Ifa priest has done!]

That is how Ekuya (is a plant) became successful. If anyone goes all over the place, if (s)he sees a house that has collapsed and become dilapidated and sees the Ekuya plant there, the plant will be prosperous. It will gleam, be sparkling white, and will be shining. This is all because of the sacrifice it made on that first day when it did not refuse to return to its father’s (mother’s) house, the place that was favorable for it. Ifa says if this person should travel abroad, (s)he should look back and stay in touch with what (s)he has left behind. There are no blessings for him/her in front; they are all behind him/her in his/her father’s (or mother’s) house. That is where (s)he will receive his/her blessings. Ifa says so in Ogbe – Wo Ẹhin Wo.

From the Harvard library of Odus and google picture collection

American Ifa (Fa-Afa): Born to lead but left for the tail, Irosun ogbe

When you know that you was born to be a leader, but people keep making you the @$$….., because you refused to make sacrifice.

IROSUN OGBE (Irosun-Agbe)

This Ifa says:

Idawo lọna, Idawo ni papa, a dia fun Gunugun eyi ti ṣọmọ olore. Idawo lọna, Idawo ni papa a dia fun Elulu eyi ti ṣọmọ olore.

[Idawo can show the way, or not at all. It’s value depends on the person who is using it. This helps us to understand the case of Vulture, the son of Olore. Idawo can show the way, or not at all. It’s value depends on the person who is using it. This helps us to understand the case of Elulu, the child of Olore.]

Two-wolves-fighting-Sue-Demetriou-PhotographyThe two of them were told to offer a sacrifice. they were both the children of Olore. Elulu was the elder, Vulture the younger. Both of them were told to offer a sacrifice because of a coming day when their blessings would arrive, so that they might live a long time. They were told not to be greedy. If something does not belong to them, they should not say that they are the owners. If they want to take something that they should not have by force, that thing that doesn’t belong to them, this will result in disgrace. Ifa told them the very same day. Elulu rejected the advice, he didn’t offer the sacrifice. He understood, but didn’t offer the sacrifice, he didn’t prepare the offering. He called the Awo a liar, he called Eṣu a thief. He looked up at the sky as if it were never to become dark again [he was overly confident and sure of himself]. He said, hah, which sacrifice do I need to make. You are just trying to rip me off. Vulture, understood his role better. He offered the sacrifice. His sacrifice was acceptable.

Then the prescribed day came, and a blessing came to their house, to their neighborhood. A title had become available inside their father’s household. The people of the town said, the title that is in this neighborhood, come take it for us. When the people held a meeting they decided that Vulture and Elulu were the rightful holders of the title. Elulu was the eldest in the house. Elulu jumped on the opportunity and said the title belonged to him because he was the eldest. Vulture didn’t want to start a fight, so he let his brother have it. They took Elulu and made him the title-holder. When Elulu became the chief, the people took care of the palace for him. They gave him everything he wanted to eat or drink. Then one day, he saw a butterfly flying in the middle of some thorn bushes. He said, Ah! A fine meal is passing by there. His courtiers said, Chief, can’t you be happy with what you have before you? He said, That thing flying there is a great meal, come let’s catch it. Ah! They offered him good advice, but he didn’t take it. Then he flew out of the palace. He chased after the butterfly and his clothes got entangled in the thorns. That is where he died. Greed killed him. When he had the chance to offer the sacrifice before, if he had done it, he would have had a long life and kept the title for a long time. They said, alright the way things are now, when they finished announcing his death, when they finished burying him, his younger brother, the one who offered the sacrifice at the beginning, they unanimously decided, Ah! Let’s make the younger brother the chief. This is why we say, the person who will benefit from the inheritance won’t allow a dying person to get well again. They took Vulture and made him the new chief, and he was well-received. Everyone liked him. The town experienced peace and prosperity and everything worked as it should in the town. His rulings were just and accurate. He praised the Awos who did Ifa divination for him at the beginning. The Awos in turn praised Ifa. He said, This is what the Awo predicted for me. This is what the Awo said to me:

Idawo lọna, Idawo ni papa, a dia fun gunugun eyi ti ṣọmọ olore, abufun Elulu eyi ti ṣọmọ olore. Ẹbọ ni wọn ni ko ṣe, Igun nikan lo gbe ẹbọ nbẹ to rubọ. Ẹru Ẹpo, ẹru Ọffa, ẹyin a wa wofa awo ki bi ti n ṣẹ. Oun ṣe wa wofa awo ki bi ti n ṣẹ, ẹ wofa awo ki bi ti n ṣẹ. Ẹru Ẹpo, ẹru Ọffa, ẹ wa wofa awo ki bi ti n ṣẹ.

TRANSLATION:

[Idawo can show the way, or not at all. It’s value depends on the person who is using it. This helps us to understand the case of Vulture, the son of Olore. This helps us to understand the case of Elulu, the son of Olore. The sacrifice that was prescribed, Vulture was the only one who prepared it. People of Ẹpo, people of Ọffa (everyone) come see how what the priest said has come to pass. He said, come see how what the priest said has come to pass, come see how what the priest said has come to pass. People of Ẹpo, people of Ọffa (everyone) come see how what the priest said has come to pass.]

Ifa says this person should offer a sacrifice. Something in his/her house, (s)he will be considered for it, and (s)he will lead a full, long life. The same Odu Ifa also teaches us a lesson that for any person for whom Ifa gives this message, (s)he should not be greedy. If something doesn’t belong to that person, (s)he should not try to take it by force. If (s)he tries to take it by force, his/her life will be cut short. This is what Ifa says in Irosun-Agbe.

Photo by Sue D. Text by Harvard Online library

American Ifa: Olokun from Odu Ofun Meji

aboru aboye abosise,

This is a great story about OLOKUN from Ofun Meji (Ọrangun Meji):

Òfún MEJI is the 10th ODU in cowries and the 16th in order of Ifa system, where it is known by the same name. In Ifa is known by fon (Jêje) as “FU Mejias ‘or’ Ofu MEJI”. The nagôs the also called “Lagin MEJI”. “Lagun” meaning mystery. “OLOGBÔ” (mysterious and evil for having committed incest “lo”), “OGI Ofu” for euphony. “Hekpa” or “Baba Hekpa” for eufemia (prayer, prayer). In Yoruba, “fun” means giving, giving. “Funfun” means white and this Odu is this color, while “ofu” means loss, damage. The word “fu” conveys the idea of blowing clean as when it blows an object or any surface to remove dust there deposited.
:
IRE (Positive), Òfún can point: acquisition, wealth, longevity, increased material resources. Increased energy physical and spiritual, credibility, security, success.

Osogbo/IBI (negative), this indicates ODU: greed, obsession accumulate wealth, betrayal, demoralization, loss of public respect.

In this Odu speak the following deities:
Orisas Nagô: Obatala, Oduduwa, Osun, Esu, Egún, Ancestors, Iroko, KPOSÚ (Talk all FUNFUN).

Voduns Jêje: Lisa Mawu, Gun, Elegbara, Iroko, Hoho, Sakpata, HEVIOSO,  XU-Loko and KPO-Vodun.

STORY:

Ifa nla la nla fi gbafa nla n la, oogun nla nla laa figba oogun la nla. Ẹgbasere laa fi tanran Sere. Igba ta a ba ri Sere mọ, emi la fi tanran ẹ gba a, a difa fun Olokun nijọ ti ẹri gbogbo n ba ṣọta.

TRANSLATION:

[Powerful ifa must be used to resolve serious issues, a powerful medicine must be used to counter another powerful medicine. A fortune must be used to resolve Sere’s issue. What if we have no money, how will we resolve it? cast Ifa for Olokun when all of the bodies of water became her enemies.]

All of the other bodies of water made Olokun their enemy. No matter what Olokun did, they would always find fault with it. They would not accept Olokun at all. She put two and two together and realized that she should go to see a babalawo. He said she could escape from the trouble in which she currently found herself, from all of those who had become her enemies. He cast Ifa about it. Ọrunmila told her, she could escape from the situation about which she was consulting Ifa. She would defeat all of her enemies and rule over all of them. That is what Ọrunmila’s divination revealed, and Olokun said it was so. Ọrunmila said she should offer a sacrifice of four female goats who have already had kids, lots of clothes, and lots of money and kola nuts. Ifa said once she had made a sacrifice with all of these, she would rule over all those who had become her enemies.

Olokun offered the sacrifice and did everything required of her. She danced and rejoiced. When her victory was complete, all of the other bodies of water came to her and said, “Ah Olokun, please, we are not your enemies anymore. Please forgive us!” All of them came begging for forgiveness. They came before her, every one of the rivers gathered there. They begged olokun for forgiveness. Olokun said she was not angry with them. She said she was not angry at all. She said, “All of you were angry with me. You were the ones who were fighting me, you were the ones who made an enemy out of me.” She was not angry. She praised the babalawo, and they in turn praised Ifa. She said, yes, my babalawo told me so, he said it would be so.

Ifa nla la nla fi gbafa nla n la, oogun nla nla laa figba oogun la nla. Ẹgbasere laa fi tanran Sere. Igba ta a ba ri Sere mọ, emi la fi tanran ẹ gba a, a difa fun Olokun nijọ ti ẹri gbogbo n ba ṣọta.
O ṣe bọwọ fun Olokun, omi mo gbọ4d976c296fe4765eda7b294ea4c727be
Ẹ bọwọ fun Olokun.
Olokun lagba omi.
Olokun lagba omi, Olokun lagba omi.
Ẹri gbogbo, ẹri gbogbo ẹ bọwọ fun Olokun.
Olokun lagba omi.
Olokun lagba omi, Olokun lagba omi.
Ẹri gbogbo ẹ bọwọ fun Olokun.
Olokun lagba omi.

TRANSLATION:

[Powerful Ifa must be used to resolve serious issues, a powerful medicine must be used to counter another powerful medicine. A fortune must be used to resolve Sere’s issue. What if we have no money, how will we resolve it? cast Ifa for Olokun when all of the bodies of water became her enemies.
O water, respect Olokun
Show respect for Olokun
Olokun is the ruler of all waters
Olokun is the ruler of all waters
Olokun is the ruler of all waters
All waters, all waters, respect Olokun
Olokun is the head of all waters
Olokun is the head of all waters
Olokun is the head of all waters
All waters, show respect for Olokun
Olokun is the ruler of all waters.]

That is how Olokun [the ocean] became the leader of all bodies of water up until today. She is the ruler of all water. From that time, rivers submitted to her. She became their ruler. Ifa says this person should offer a sacrifice. (S)He will become the boss of all those who made an enemy of him/her. They will accept him/her as their leader. If this person wants to be a politician, or wants to occupy a certain position, Ifa says (s)he should offer a sacrifice. All of the people those conspiring against him, Ifa says (s)he will defeat all of them and become their boss. Yes, Ifa says so. If (s)he wants to be a governor, or a senator, or representative in the House of Reps, Ifa says (s)he will defeat them. Yes, this is what Ifa says in Ọrangun Meji.

reference Online Harvard library

American Ifa (Fa and Afa)

by Iyanifa Ayaba OchaBi Ifabulluje Ifaseye, 7/2015.

When did God, Olodumare, die (Irete meji)? According to the United States 1860 Census, there were 3,953,761 slaves that represented 12.6% of the total American population. The statue of Liberty and the Statue of Freedom were both created from an African slave woman model. The slaves brought their dance, music, stories and faith. Emerwo Biakolo in the ‘Nigerian Guardian’ of 28th November 1992 asked: “Do men believe just because they want to or because the object of their faith is credible?” According to Edmund Burke (1790), “People will never look forward to posterity, who never looks backwards to their ancestors!”  What spiritual faith did our ancestors practice? Today, the popular African based practices in our society are Orisa, Ifa, vodou, and obeah. E014The major one is IFA! What is Ifa? Ifa is the binary numerical system of odus (proverbs). Ifa is the oracle of wisdom, knowledge and messages from Olodumare for an individual’s destiny in life which is governed by the Orisa Orunmila. Orunmila is not Ifa. Professor Idowu Odeyemi (2007) stated that “Ifá among the Edos of Nigeria, Fá among the Fon of Republic of Benin. Eva BY Nupes, Ifa in Cuba, USA, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Surinarm and Haiti, Afá by the Ewe of Togo Ephod by Jews, Geomancy by Europeans and Malagasy as well as Ramal or Hati by Arabs. Ifá is widespread in Africa… it is practiced among the Igbos of Eastern Nigeria, the Kamuku and Gwari of Northern Nigeria, the Igbirra in South Central Nigeria, the Jukun of Eastern Nigeria, and all the tribes in the region around the Cross Rivers. Among the Siwah people in the Sahara, Ifá is known as “Derb el raml” or “Derb el fu” It is also widely practiced in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Sierra Leone as well as in Liberia.” Vince (2010) stated that the “United States is unique and NOT only is it a country, but it’s also an idea [where] people around the world don’t just dream of coming to America, they dream of becoming Americans.” America/Diaspora is truly the land of diversity where ancestors, orisa, and Ifa are widely practiced. In America/Diaspora, the Cubans have Lucumi and Santeria; Brazilians have Candomble, Haitians have voodoo, Jamaicans have Obeah and Gullah have Ogeechee and so on. They have two things in common: roots and goals. At the end of the day, everyone wants to go to Orun (heaven) and everyone wants to practice orisa from their ancestors’ roots of West Africa. Odu Ifa says: Ọna kan ti n ihin wa, ọna kan ti ohun wa. Ipade ọna meji a bi ẹnu ṣonṣo a dia fun Erinmọdo eyi ti o mu jọba igi loko. Ifa lo wa ferinmọdo jọba [A road leads from here, a road leads from there. When two roads merge, they taper down, cast Ifa for the Erinmọdo tree who who was made king over the trees in the forest. Ifa declared Erinmọdo king.] Therefore, the concept of diversity creates assimilation for American/Diaspora cultures and beliefs which brings a special type of unity, ideas for harmony, a unique mechanical design for spiritual growth and plasmatic substance for long life and spread of Ifa. Conclusively, your passport says American; not African American, Cuban American, and White American, etc. It says “American” for ethnicity. Regardless, where you got initiated and you live and practice in the Americas/Diaspora…wouldn’t it be nice if we had a recognized tradition in America and our West African roots are the base? Basically, if you are initiated to orisa and Ifa-Fa-Afa and you live in America and you practice in America, then you are practicing American Ifa-Fa-Afa. It doesn’t take away from where you got your initiation – if you are initiated. Many people have been initiated in more than one system (Lucumi, Congo, and traditional Ifa) and they don’t throw one system away for the next, because those slaves’ DNA…47% Benin/Togo, 25% Congo, 20% Native American and so on is your ISESE (oworin gunda) in America. At the end of the day, why is it a blessing for Brazilians to have Candomble, but we can’t have our own? Why do we allow people to say we need training after 200 years plus of initiations and practicing? eldersAnd what does training have to do with who we are today in America/Diaspora? When the spread of Lucumi/Santeria initiations in American/Diaspora populated the land…were the Cuban Africans fully trained? Are you and I fully trained according people who are no older than me or you? Are you saying Americans can’t have their own tradition because we don’t have any elders that are trained, but everywhere else in the world does? That is ignorant and discriminatory. Be proud and acceptance of who you are.

 

 

AMERICAN IFA CONCEPT ON WEARING WHITE CLOTHES FOR A YEAR

yawoAMERICAN IFA CONCEPT ON WEARING WHITE CLOTHES FOR A YEAR

In the early 1950s to 2000s, wearing white clothes was more than a fashion statement. Wearing white clothes for a year provided the sign to the universe that a person had accepted their destiny and had prepared to take that journey. Just in the past 15 years, the concept of wearing white clothes for a minute outside the igbodu has changed. It is like a death-rebirth cycle to existence again. The concept of entering into an agreement with the orisa and ifa has become zero. The concept of wearing white clothes for a year disciplines a person. It reminded them every day for a year of their contract and commitment towards fulfilling the agreement with God (Olodumare), ancestors and orisa. Wearing white clothes basically keeps the person balanced between life and death. For example, in some societies white is the color of death. It is the color of hidden powers or ase (ashe), e.g. like the shroud in which a person is wrapped in when they die.  The color white itself is for the “Alala” – the owner of dreams; Obatala who is the father of secrets. …he is the orisa who dresses in white, sleeps in white and wakes up in white; meaning the waking of consciousness. At the end of the day, white clothes reflect and deflect.

In odu IKA OKANRAN,

Ifa says Ika was cast for Eka,1341874623

Okanran was cast for Eka,

who got the message that Death was on his way

to his house because of his evil deeds.

If Eka didn’t want to be killed,

he should sacrifice a sheep

and the black cloth on his body.

He also should cease to be bad,

and should wear white clothing only

from that moment on.

Eka listened, but refused to offer.

Ifa says that this person must desist from doing bad things, and he should improve his lousy character. He would do wise to always wear white cloths.

EBO: 1 goat, and the black cloth the client was wearing.

 

In conclusion, appreciate priests and priests alike should wear white clothing to remind themselves of the contract which they made with Olodumare/ancestors and orisa; to keep themselves balance in the world. Wearing white clothing helps build “Iwa rere” – good character.