“CALLING DOWN IFA ON 12/21st AND NOT DECEMBER 31st- WINTER SOLSTICE”

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Picture retrieved from http://www.drclaudia.net/blog/winter-solstice

By Iyalemole Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi-Fabuluje

January 2nd, 2020

US, Florida: Firstly, the History Channel (2010) indicated that New Year’s around the world does not fall on the same day nor occurs at the same time due to time zone differences. Booth (2017) stated that December 21st is the 355th day which makes one year and on a leap year it is the 356th day. The other ten days towards the end of the Gregorian calendar remain for transitioning. Many babas and iyas in the Orisa- Ifa religion are stressing that people are obligated to follow a tradition upon seeing the 5th annual American Ifa reading which came out on December 21st in America. It is a tradition, simply one they do not share.

Let’s begin by defining traditions and discuss why these broken traditions in Orisa and Ifa-Afa practices in the United States or Diaspora are the norms and religious customs. Many Lucumi/Santeria and kitchen top spiritual practices battle with others who are following the original traditions before slavery or before Christ. Google dictionary describes “tradition as a belief or behavior [that is] passed down within group[s] or societ[ies]” with similar ideas, social norms, and practices. Oderinde (2018) article stated that traditions such as religious practices, ceremonies, or festivals were the vital parts of cultural heritages. It is understood that different groups believe these activities are part of the essential fabric to their culture’s survival and circulation. These events provide perspective and help to see the differences in various regions and their traditions (Oderinde, 2018). According to some, if a person leaves their adopted communities; they have severed themselves from either their roots or kinships. It is possible the person severed the ties that chained them to roots that were not theirs in the beginning. Those roots may have been the closest roots they could adopt due to slavery displacement and it was time for them to grow and follow their own roots.

On December 21st, the world has both the shortest day and longest day on the first day of the winter solstice (Booth, 2017). It depends on what hemisphere you live in. The winter solstice has long hours of darkness, the birth of the sun, and is considered regenerating, renewing and self-reflecting (Booth, 2017; Explore Deeply, 2019: National Weather Service, 2019). To illustrate, the “Ifa letter for the coming year.” Technically, there is no odu that states the letter for the coming year is set to be pulled down officially on December 31st. All the same, December 21st is the most powerful day of the year. National Weather Service (2019) stated that this is the time that the world at the same time is affected at once.

In 2010, the History Channel stated that civilizations around the world have celebrated New Year’s as far back as 4 millennia ago. Over time, civilizations have developed their own calendar to establish their first day of the year in coordination to their agricultural or astronomical activities. Not all cultures celebrate December 31st as the New Year’s and or January as the 1st of the New Year. In the 8th century B.C. Januarius and Februarius were added by King Numa Popilius (History Channel, 2010). This caused the calendar to not be in alignment with the winter solstice – sun (e.g. Olorun). Julian Caesar decided to add 90 extra days to the calendar to introduce the new Julian calendar which is very similar to the Gregorian calendar (History Channel, 2010). Caesar established January 1st as the first day of the year to honor that month as Janus. Christians leaders rejected this and replaced the January 1st to December 25th to have more spiritual and religious appeal and religious significance (History Channel, 2010). This idea didn’t last long. Christians used the winter solstice to declare that the moon (Orisa Osupa) gave birth to the sun and the birth of the sun or son was Jesus (Booth, 2017: National Weather Service, 2019).

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII revisited the idea of January 1st as New Year’s Day. Since 1907, the US celebrated New Year’s traditions by dropping a giant ball in Times Square at the stroke of midnight in accordance with the Gregorian calendar (History Channel, 2010). This was started for a few reasons centered around the economy, unification, and remembrance. The Farmers’ Almanac (2019) stated that the Druidic tradition believed that on the winter solstice, December 21st, the death and rebirth of nature power occurs as well as the renewal of the human soul. The Newgrange, also known as Stonehenge in Ireland, was built around 3200 B.C. and is a large circle of stones baring a semblance to the opon of Ifa. This was associated to the “light of winter” (Farmers Almanac, 2019). The Chinese see the winter solstice as the Yang (positive) which is the opposite of Yin. For many centuries, different indigenous cultures and religions have celebrated December 21st and its unique energy by applying rituals and festivals on that day (Booth, 2017; Explore Deeply, 2019: Farmers Almanac, 2019). The winter solstice has a large spiritual effect (Booth, 2017). It signals a milestone and the change of power on December 21st.

Explore Deeply (2019) indicated that the winter solstice changes the energy and redirects our daily life. The changes can affect the cycle and nature. For instance, the ideas of the end and beginning of life and preparation of a new year, changes in the weather, changes in the oceans, agriculture, and human reflection and rest (Explore Deeply, 2019).

History Channel (2010) said that in “many parts of the world, [the] traditional New Year’s is death [and is] featured with the legumes, which are thought to resemble coins and herald future financial success; ex: lentils in Italy and Black-eyes peas in Southern U.S., because pigs represents progress and prosperity in some cultures, pork appears on the New Year’s Eve table in Cuba, Austria, Hungary, Portugal, and other countries. In Spain, people would eat a dozen grapes to symbolize 12 months of their hopes for each month ahead of them.”

Meanwhile, it becomes more and more amazing when people are trying to do the right thing in Ifa practices. Several male only babalawo council societies are developing corporations all over the America-Diaspora in order to push and pull their misogyny, domination, and controlling (Ika meji) masculinity to the mass of practitioners and devotees online. Some babalawos have ordered and demanded to know who gave American Ifa- Ile Ikoko Ata the rights to break from the Cuban traditions by pulling an odu for the coming year on December 21st and not on December 31st. In Yorubaland tradition, annual ifa reading for the year is not done on December 21st or December 31st. Generally, Yorubaland Ifa is celebrated in June (Edimomi, 2017). This is the time of harvest of Yam, which is very important to Ifa and the people. The Yoruba people have been practicing this custom since after the arrival of the Christian missionaries during the 17th century (Edimomi, 2017). The Cuban babalawos societies letra del ano (the letter of the year) is an annual proclamation of predictions that falls on December 31st (Meyers, 1999). The Spanish babalawos in the Lucumi/Santeria culture give advice for the coming year and they follow the Gregorian calendar. As a matter of fact, letra del ano practice was started by Adeshina (Remigio Herrena) on December 31st, 1899 in Cuba (Meyers,1999). There were only six of his godchildren present at that time. The tradition was invented in the early 19th century (Meyers,1999). Adeshina was recorded as the first Cuban babalawo to do a ritual to get the odu for the New Year. Adeshina died in 1906 and Bernardine Rojo continue organizing the tradition – letra del ano. In addition, some recorders show that Tata Gaytan was an assistant to Rojo behind the scenes (Meyers,1999). Until his death in 1986, the Comisión Organizadora de la Letra del Año by Miguel Febles Padrón performed the tradition for Cuba and the world. It is no different than the Yorubaland Ifa festival. There the odu pulled in June in the Yorubaland is also for the world. Lele (2012) declared “on the eve of the Cuban Revolution, we must turn to this custom…December 31st, 1958 babalawos gather together to call down the odu” (ch. 4).

At the end of the day, different regions have different governments, social problems, and economic issues. Ngozi (2019) stated in the article “Practicing Ifa Afa in America”: “in the 1860 United States Census, there were 3,953,761 African slaves that represented 12.6% of the total American population” (Johnson, 2012). 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. In 2010, a creed for a divorce was publicly posted. Lukumi babas stated:

“…….devotees (lucumi vs traditional) are incompatible with each other (Lele, 2010). Lukumi says that they are a separate entity from their Mother (Yoruba West Africa) by their actions. Reminding what Oluwo Fayemi Fatunde Fakayode (2015) wrote in the Facebook Ifa-Orisa-Egun Talk group that “many stories we hear today about most of our Orisa are mere fabrications… it is high time we wiped out the fallacies that have overthrown the real history … Let us do away with stories that are not firmly rooted in Ifa…… what is sure is that the destiny of our `religion is in our hands. It is high time we started rewriting the stories of our Orisa for the coming generation to have documents to lay hands on. Let us encourage ourselves to write books of our religions by ourselves.” In Odu Ejiogbe says that the basis for understanding the beginning is knowing the end of all things towards the essence of life… within the Lucumí Religious system (Lele, 2010) has forced their now orphans to develop a new way of life – American Ifa.”

Therefore, it is wise and practical for each region to have an approach that is equal to or in harmony with the people’s government, spirituality, economics, and health. To my fellow male challenging Babas and supporting Iyas who are in need of an explanation of why American Ifa calls down odu on December 21st and not December 31st, it is simple. We are living in a country where an individual has the freedom of religion and has the freedom to pick and or choose their religious practices and ways to worship. Let’s find a commonality in the ways we can share the same water fountain to lower the barriers of criticism and narcissistic anti-socialization. American Ifa is interested in how we view our government, spirituality, economics, communities, families, and health and finding solutions through ifa and orisa to struggles that affect us in the American-Diaspora.

References

Abimbola, W. (1976). Ifa, An exposition of Ifa literary corpus. London, UK: Oxford University Press

Booth, J. (2017). What does the winter solstice mean spiritually? It’s celebrated in tons of religions and cultures (356th leap years). Retrieved from www.bustle.com/

Meyers, S. (1999). A timeline of lucuma history. Retrieved from https:/sitrs.google.com/site/bstartmeyers/atimelineoflucumihistory

Edimomi, V. (2017). Nigeria: Ifa festival-celebrity age-old Yoruba deity. Retrieved from https://allafica.com/stories/201007280462

Explore Deeply (2019). The spiritual significance of the winter solstice. Retrieved from https://exploredeeply.com/

Farmers’ Almanac (2019). Winter solstice 2019: when is it, and what is it?. Retrieved from https://www.farmeralmanac.com/winter-solstice-first-day-win…

History Channel (2010). New Years History. https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/new-years.

Idowu, E. B. (1970). Olodumare: God in Yoruba belief. London, UK: Longman

Lele, O. (2012). Sacrificial ceremonies of Santeria: A complete guide to the rituals and practices. USA

National Weather Service (2019). The winter solstice. Retrieved from https://www.weather.gov/

Oderinde, O. (2018). The lore of religious festivals among the Yoruba and its social relevance. Lumia, 22(2), 2094-1188. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/

Picture retrieved from http://www.drclaudia.net/blog/winter-solstice

PRACTICING IFA AFA IN AMERICA

By I80355715_133875368068525_3556363359244779520_oyalemole Dr. Queenchiku Ngozi-Fabuluje

December 26th, 2019

US, Florida: In 2019, an 100th old age African in America woman said, “Living in America as the descent of slaves the rituals and rights of West Africa have not left my soul. Where do I belong? Where?” According to the 1860 United States Census, there were 3,953,761 African slaves that represented 12.6% of the total American population (Johnson, 2012). Some scholars suggested that 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.

Sambol-Tosco (n.d.) indicated that the “enslaved [African] men and women whom kept their rites, rituals, and cosmologies of Africa alive in America through stories, healing arts, song, and other forms of cultural expression, creating a spiritual space apart from the white European world.” 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. The American slaves where no different than the slaves in Cuba. They saw Christianity (church) a beacon of hope for freedom. The African slaves didn’t let go their religious orientation but combined with the church philosophy.

In 2008, Wilford reported that 300 pieces of metal, wood, and other items was found as archaeologists explored the old houses in Maryland of United States. The bundle was dated by the 17th century. This indicated that African Americans practice traditional African orisa-ifa-afa religions before the earliest phases of the 18th century. One of the anthropologist professors described the found bundle was West African artifacts (Wilford, 2008). In other words, the bundle was artifacts that pre-dated before Afro-Cuban lucumi/santeria spiritual practices in America. The Orisa and Ifa – Afa practice was here in America long before P. Neimark-Ifa Foundation of North America, Inc., Lucumi, Santeria, hoodoo, voodoo, Kwanzaa, or any other ideology of West African Yoruba spirituality and or Fon religious practices as claimed. National Historical Park Louisiana (2019) stated the end of 1700s the average African person in America were either free African or African slaved descents from various tribes. The African slaves brought their dance, music, stories and faith to a foreign land and after more than 400 years of struggle, they were finally recognized as AFRICANS IN AMERICA or as known African Americans. This recognition came with the rights and privileges afforded to ALL people of the land to be called Americans.

In 2010, a creed for a divorce was publicly post. Lukumi babas stated “…….devotees (lucumi vs traditional) are incompatible with each other (Lele, 2010).” The Lucumists draw the race card to explain the incompatibility. Nevertheless, “…. the worst part of it is that they spoke about false consciousness……[which] are all totally preconditioned (Odeyemi).” It like “two brothers become enemies” (odu Oyeku meji), one odu properly reminds humanity that two brothers (Lukumi and Traditionalist systems) who are born from the same womb (Yoruba), become enemies, due to envy, greed, ego, and political dogma. This has brought division and rapture among friends, families, and communities (Odu Otura meji). Today, the two brothers (lucumi vs traditionalist) still fight over childish principles, titles, women in ifa, watered-down rituals, fragmented and created ceremonies (Odu Ogunda fun). Lukumi says that they are a separate entity from their Mother (Yoruba West Africa) by their actions. Traditionalist say something very different in thought and actions. Many of the elderly lucumi priests agreed that many ceremonies and rituals are invented by Miguel Febles Pardon out of Cuba between 1919 – 1986. In 1920, he was consecrated as a priest of Ifa Babalawo by Eulogio Rodriguez, known as Tata Gaitán Many of the other oloshas in Lucumi followed. Despite the fact that the two to four subgroups of the Yoruba religion and culture disagree over who is right and who is wrong; they both share a deep concern over the spread of the Orisa and Ifa religious development in the world, as well as reserve their practices. Nevertheless, both have failed to bring a spiritual wholeness, ethnicity, evolution, and quantum leap for the growing pains of the culture and its practices among the African Americans in America. The Lucumi refuse to accept the brotherly love, evolution and ideology, while the Traditionalist perform racial cat calls with his new titles against various populations in the world who didn’t have the money for a weekend trip to Africa, just to suck the dribbling milk that still drips from the mother’s breast (Africa). The only thing that both systems can agree on is everyone is fraud if they personally didn’t initiate the person.

In Odu Ejiogbe says that the basis for understanding the beginning is knowing the end of all things towards the essence of life. It simply means that Lucumi and Traditionalist have either forgotten the laws of creation or they have never learned it (for say). “Although[t] the rituals and consecration practiced in Lucumi religion and in the so-called Traditional Yoruba religion share ethnic, cultural, and geographical origins, [our] practices differ considerably” (Lele, 2010). However, Lucumi states “Those priests ordained in the Lucumi Religion that for whatever reason wish or are desirous to be ordained by and/or convert to the practices of the Traditional Yoruba Religion will abandon and renounce any and all rights – hierarchical and practical – within the Lucumí Religious system” (Lele, 2010) has forced their now orphans to develop a new way of life – American Ifa (Movement of Odu). To illustrate, when a plant or animal is bred with a plant or animal from different stock, the process is known as hybridization. There are numerous reasons to create hybrids, including increasing genetic diversity and breeding for specific traits. It is frequently practiced in agriculture, to make stronger, healthier plants with desirable characteristics. Slaves and their combining culture and faith is hybrid to what is known today in America/diaspora. Sambol-Tosco (n.d.) stated that the African religions and practices to America were “numerous and varied.” The West African religion morals, values, and practices have reached a high level of challenges, especially for women. Many scholars who has written on the birth of lucumi, Santeria in America have a history of invention and misogynistic over tones. To illustrate, the traditional ifa stated in Odu Oyeku Pose ifa described only four priests is needed to initiate someone to ifa, while some Lucumi priest proclaimed its take 16 plus priests. But the ancestors were the major custom throughout the slavery displacement within the world.

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.”

In 2015, Oluwo Fayemi Fatunde Fakayode wrote in the Facebook Ifa-Orisa-Egun Talk group that “many stories we hear today about most of our Orisa are mere fabrications. The fabrications started from non-practitioners. Most of them intentionally fabricated stories to gain popularity or to denigrate our faith, while some of them (especially the historians and anthropologists) gathered the fallacious stories from people who either were not conversant with our religion or who had aversion for this faith…It is high time we wiped out the fallacies that have overthrown the real history … Let us do away with stories that are not firmly rooted in Ifa, the scripture of our religion. Let us not depend on the history[ical]…of any Orisa which was/is written by christian fanatics or muslim jihadists who call themselves historians or anthropologists… What is sure is that the destiny of our religion is in our hands. It is high time we started rewriting the stories of our Orisa for the coming generation to have documents to lay hands on. Let us encourage ourselves to write books of our religions by ourselves. Let no muslim or Christian write the stories of our Orisa for us. Let those who have useful information about each Orisa document such information for the posterity.”

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.

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.

In 400 years, the Yoruba (African roots) spiritual ways of life have become a hybrid in America and the diaspora proper. America is the land of diversity that assimilates into one movement with individual arms. People of Color have looked to the Brazilians, Cubans, and the hill tops of the Caribbean for spiritual evolution and connection to their African roots. A good analogy of how this is being done can be taken from the example of what he Jewish did with their holy book, he TORAH. The Jews didn’t change the foundation of the Torah; they only adapted MODERN WAYS OF LIVING AND INCORPORATING THE STANDARDS OF THE TORAH (National Geographic, n.d). Even though there are your extremists in all forms, time does bring on a change that lessons the extremes but does not take away from the core essence of a thing. Another example is the Lucumi/Santeria religion is a hybrid which combined all the slave’s subgroups together along with Christianity.

It doesn’t take away the 400 years of struggles from the African Americans; it is incorporated, adopted and assimilated into the pores of the Americans and other peoples of the Diasporas who live according to Odu Ifa/Orisa and ancestral practices and rituals. The Odus are the roots and foundation of this way of life. In America, African Americans who embrace this form of living can move easily into spiritual elevation by adapting and incorporating the availability of what were presented within the 400 years on this side of the world. Basically, we need to look at the various ways which one Odus are being interpreted. Then, analyze how the concept of hybridization fit our modern environment and socialization to the world (National Historical, 2019).

Conclusively, THE SYSTEM is odu based, has becomes the people who in their expressions of life, live the embodiments of the Odus. Keeping in mind that all Orisas speaks through ODUS as well as to our diverse ancestors (not only of African origins but from other places in the world) as well as other entities. In the diaspora/America our passport says “American” and 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 you are practicing in America our West African roots. AMERICAN IFA-FA-AFA does not see to change or rewriting the context of the Odus of Ifa as some may imply but instead, we seek to celebrate the diversity of those Odus that are expressed by diverse groups people who live in various places around the world and collaboration between the various groups and individuals.

References

Johnson, S. A. (2012). African slave religions, 1400–1790. he Cambridge History of Religions in America Volume I: Pre-Columbian Times to 1790, 369-391. doi:10.1017/CHOL9780521871105.01.

National Historical (2019). Jazz origins in New Orleans’. Retrieved from https://www.nps,gov/

National Geographic (n.d.). 1917 original Dixieland jass band released the world first jazz record. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.org/

Wilford, J. N. (2008). Under Maryland street, ties to Africa past. The New York Times, Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/21/science/21arch.html

Sambol-Tosco, K. (n.d.). The slave experience: religion: Slavery and the making of America. Retrieved from https://www.thirteen.org/wnet/slavery/experience/religion/history.html

 

American Ifa practice good behavior

Aboru aboye abosise and greetngs, American Ifa bring the odu Ogbe Iwori:

Ifa says that we should practice good behavior……………………

squirl(harvard edu, 2011)

Ogbe-Iwori 1:

Ifa teaches us a lesson here. Ifa says we should behave well, that we should not look down on anyone, saying that (s)he cannot be successful. Ifa says so. It says that we should not look down on anyone and think that (s)he cannot succeed. It says that we should practice good behavior. Ifa says that this person should offer a sacrifice for his/her legacy so that it will be great when (s)he passes on. Because a person’s behavior determines what (s)he will receive. Ifa says so in Ogbe-Wẹhin. Ifa says people reap what they sow. Ifa says this person should make a sacrifice for his/her legacy. Ifa says this person’s problem will be resolved and his/her yearning will be met. Ogbe-Wẹhin says so. This is what it says, that everything this person achieves during his/her lifetime, when (s)he leaves this world behind, his/her legacy will be great. This person should buy a dog for the sacrifice. (S)He should buy a dog, and ifa says when the babalawo have finished collecting the medicine, they should rub the iyẹrosun [divination powder] over the body of the dog. They will give it to him, and (s)he will raise the dog. The dog will be called “who knows what (s)he will leave behind? Who knows tomorrow?” Ifa says this person should not look down on anyone and assume that (s)he cannot succeed. This is how Ifa reached that conclusion. Ifa 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 jaatọ. Ẹbọ ni wọn ni o ṣe, o si gbẹbọ nibẹ, o rubọ. Ko pẹ, ko jinna, Ifa wa ba ni ni jẹbutu ire; jẹbutu ire laa ba ni lẹsẹ ọbariṣa. On ṣe ta n mẹhin, ta ni mọla? Bi wọn o ba kuku lowo lọwọ lọla? Ta ni mẹhin, ta ni mọla? Bi wọn o ba ni lari lọla? Ta ni mẹhin, ta ni mọla…

[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 followed Ifa’s instructions exactly and offered the sacrifice. Not long after that, Ifa met him in the midst of blessings. We receive the gift if blessings at the feet of God. He said, “Who knows what (s)he will leave behind, who knows tomorrow? If they will become suddenly rich tomorrow? Who knows what (s)he will leave behind, who knows tomorrow? If they will become successful tomorrow? Who knows what (s)he will leave behind, who knows tomorrow?]

Ifa says this person should not look down on anyone, that there is nobody who cannot become successful. Ifa says so in Odu Ogbe-Wẹhin.

COMMENT:
There are people who claim that they are initiated, yet they have a hard time living up to the position without cursing other initiated people in this way of life. It have nothing to do with iwa pele or iwa rere; it about spirituality and self-consciousness. Old folks use to say, “You have not home training.” Basically, it is your perception on life and others.

Ogbe-Wo Ẹhin 1:
This Ifa sign here, anyone for whom it is cast, Ogbe-Iwori which is called Ogbe-Wo Ẹhin Wo. Ifa says that this person should make an offering so that his/her life may be pleasant. Ifa also says this person should not leave his/her father’s house. (S)He should not go far from his/her father’s house to ensure that (s)he can receive a blessing. So that (s)he can take advantage of all the opportunities that are there. (S)He should not go far from his/her father’s house at all. If (s)he does not go far from his/her father’s house, Ifa says (s)he will live a long life. All of the blessings that are intended for him/her, (s)he will receive in Ogbe-Wo Ẹhin Wo. Ifa says if (s)he has gone already, (s)he should remember where (s)he has come from, look back, and come back to his/her father’s house. If (s)he has gone overseas, (s)he will not succeed there. If (s)he goes anywhere else, (s)he won’t be able to be successful. If (s)he is going back and forth, Ifa says (s)he should not leave his/her father’s house so that (s)he may have a long life. That is where (s)he will receive his/her blessing. Ifa says so in Ogbe-Wo Ẹhin Wo. This is how Ifa said it, Ifa said:

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. They 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 babalawo 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 babalawo, and the babalawo in turn praised Ifa. He said, my babalawo told me it would be so, my babalawo 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 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 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 house. That is where (s)he will receive his/her blessings. Ifa says so in Ogbe – Wo Ẹhin Wo.

Ogbe-Wo Ẹhin Wo 2:
If this Ifa sign should come up for a person, if this Ifa sign should emerge, Ifa says this person should be very patient. Ifa says a lack of children is troubling this person, and Ifa says if (s)he is patient, (s)he will have children. Ifa says (s)he should seek out Ọṣun and care for Ọṣun. Ifa says Ọṣun holds his/her blessings. Ifa says that the issue will be addressed directly, and (s)he will have children. (S)he should be diligent in the worship of Ọṣun. She will become a mother and will soon carry her child and dance. She will rejoice a great deal. Ifa says so. This is how Ifa said it. Ifa said:

Aṣiju wẹhin obinrin awo apo, aṣiju wẹhin ọkunrin awo amọ, igba elepo abẹhin manamana a difa fun onile eti odo eyi ti n mẹnuju ṣe rahun nitori ọmọ. Ẹbọ ni wọn ni ko ṣe, o si gbẹbọ nibẹ o rubọ. Ko pẹ, ko jinna, ẹyin awofa ọjọ bi ti n ṣẹ. Ko pẹ, ko jinna, Ifa wa ba ni ni jẹbutu ọmọ, jẹbutu ọmọ laa ba ni lẹsẹ ọbariṣa. Ẹ ba wa ki yeye o. Yeye o a fidẹ rẹmọ. Ọṣun yeye o, a fidẹ rẹmọ. Ẹ ba wa ki yeye o, a fidẹ rẹmọ. Ọṣun yeye o, a fidẹ rẹmọ.

[The woman moving forward but aware of what is behind is the companion of the arrow holster, the man moving forward but aware of what is behind is the companion of the bow. The back of the palm oil seller’s calabash is always shining cast Ifa for the owner of the house by the sea who was distraught because (s)he didn’t have children. (S)He did everything asked of her. It did not take long, come see how quickly Ifa’s prediction came to pass. We receive the blessing of children at the feet of God. Greet our great mother for us! Our great mother uses brass to pacify the children. Ọṣun, our great mother, uses brass to pacify the children. Greet our great mother for us, the one who uses brass to pacify the children. Ọṣun, our great mother, uses brass to pacify the children.]

Ifa says that this person should offer a sacrifice, that (s)he should have brass in the sacrifice, that (s)he should offer the sacrifice to Ọṣun, and that (s)he should keep Ọṣun stones that always stay wet inside her house. She should take good care of Ọṣun. Ifa says she will have children in abundance. She will become a mother. Ifa says so in Iwori Meji [Ogbe-Iwori].

Ogbe-Iwori 3:
Ifa also teaches a lesson here. This person has a relative who is abroad somewhere. It could be his/her older sibling. They could share the same mother, or the same father. That person is in a faraway place. Ifa says the client should find a way to bring this person back home. There is an opportunity that they will benefit from this person’s return. They should bring him/her back, but it doesn’t have to be by force. They should offer a word of advice that this person should return home. There is a blessing, and this person should also have his/her part of it. When (s)he does come back, everyone in the family will benefit from it. All of the children of his/her mother will benefit, and they will have peace of mind. It could be a city where people practice politics, and they can’t find anyone within the family to take a position like that of a senator, or perhaps a governor, or the chairman of a local government, or even a counselor, but the person we have mentioned who is abroad, is up to the task. (S)He is a good person who will take care of everyone when (s)he is in that position, Ifa says we should find a way of bringing him/her home. Ifa says it will be very beneficial. Once (s)he is able to return, nobody in the family will be impoverished. They will not have to worry about money anymore. Ifa says so. This is how Ifa said it. Ifa said:

Ogbe Wẹhin wo bi o jẹ le san, bikun ba jẹ loju oloko, eku ẹ ṣagada lẹhin ebe a difa fun Ogbe eyi ti o gbe apo iwa kọ Iwori ọmọ iya rẹ lọrun. O ni ọjọ ta a ri Iwori la rahun aje mọ. A rira, mama jẹ ki a rahun a rira. Ojọ ta ri Iwori la rahun ire gbogbo mọ. A rira, Ifa mama je [ki] a rahun, a rira…

[Ogbe look back, maybe it will be better, the squirrel is grazing in the presence of the farmer, he has prepared the yam tubers for planting season cast Ifa for Ogbe who put a yoke on the neck of Iwori younger sybling. On the day when we saw Iwori, we did not worry about money anymore. A rira, don’t let us worry, a rira. When we saw Iwori, we didn’t worry about money anymore. A rira, Ifa don’t let us worry, a rira.]

Ifa says when this person arrives and comes back to his/her family, they will not worry about money anymore. Ifa says this about their family. That they won’t have to worry once (s)he comes home. Ifa says that they should look for a way for that person to return home. Ifa says they will do well to try this. That is if the person comes back. Ifa says there is success in it.(Harvard.edu)

American Ifa Review the War of Orunmila: Why two yearly reading Odus in Nigeria

Aboru aboye abosise, greetings to all;

“War of the Roses” or may I say the “War of Orunmila”; or better yet, the “War on life”. The different Odus out of West Africa in the past weekend reminded me of a movie called the “War of the Roses”. The movie was about a married couple who has out grown each other, but together they have accumulated knowledge, material wealth, and children. This scenario is now playing out for the worshipers of Ifa. For instance, Solagbade Popoola, the assumed President of ICIR (2015-8) statedgun

 

“Ile Ife (WAS NOT) where the Odu of the World has always been cast, [because] a great Awo called Orisasona [in 1956] gathered all Awo in Yorubaland together and pleaded for cooperation …to build a Temple for Orunmila [called] Oke Itase Temple … in Ile Ife” (Popoola).

 

In the ‘War of the Roses’, the couple had out grown each other’s company, and wanted to go their separate ways. Yet, there were financial and ownership issues. The Roses sought advice from their friends, but no one wanted to compromise and equitably divide the wealth they had accumulated. In the case of ICIR, for instance, Popoola continued to state in that same document that Professor Wande Abimbola (Christian), Araba Ifayemi Elebuibon (Ifa), and Professor Odeyemi,

 

“…wanted to see Ile Ife become great again [since], So the festival being international is really a recent thing. Up till today, the Ife people still celebrate their own Itase rites. As late as 1980, there was nothing like a International Annual Ifa Festival in Ile Ife. There was no such thing. By that time, the Ife people were still insisting that the Itase festival should remain an Ile Ife ceremony and were insistent against outsiders being involved” (Poopla 2015).

 

In relationships, there are always signs of trouble before the final separation. On June 6th, ” Popoola’s camp made a pilgrimage to land of Orunmila and divined for the Odu of the year. The Odu was Ogunda Masa (Osa). At this point, it doesn’t matter if it is ire or ibi (osogbo). It will not make a difference because of the energy of the Odu OGUNDA and the energy of OSA. In the War of the Roses’ the couple did everything they could to disgrace and humiliate each other. It was a game theory tactic, which did not work. This same point is illustrated in Ogunda Masa, which says that Ifa speaks about “monetary gains by spiritual fidelity”. Spiritual fidelity means, there is a “faithfulness to a person, cause or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support” (Dictionary). Both scenarios, “War of the Roses” or may I say the “War of Orunmila”; and even better, the “War on life” lacked the understanding of life; not just for themselves but for the population in which they claim to have in their best interest. In other words, Ogunda Masa states that a relationship between people becomes separated because they abandon and throw away their principles to the Orisa and others. In the “War of the Roses”, the estranged couple continue to break the law to win the battle. They used unethical behavior and had friends spy and lie. For example, the two ICIR factions have the Iya, Olomitutu and her unethical behavior cause destruction in the main area of support – America/Diaspora. In Ogunda Masa, Ifa speaks of how Ogunda crossed, which is the story of how Ogun trespassed on Olofin’s road and Olofin said that Ogun broke the law. Olofin said, “I let him do it if he wants to lose the meanings of life, I find the meaning of death” (Ogunda Masa). In the ‘War of the Roses” Mrs. Rose consultants a lawyer (Ifa) about her dilemma and the lawyer told her the same thing that Ifa told Popoola’s camp in Ogunda Masa. Ifa said, “Pat your belly and blow the sickness away.” He added, “This is simply to be honest with yourself”. Why? Because it reflects your life destiny and leads others to think that the situation is more difficult than it is; that the situation is more about the debt you need to fix than the shoddy action which is a pending situation that you must rectify.

 

Osa as Ogunda calls you to care for every detail in your life as a shield to the problems that are occurring. Because Orunmila has emphasized the religious procedures since this astral certifies that the instruments of Ifa that you used to guess by not having the proper consecration may not be effective to the needy; therefore, being honest to the world as a state of consciousness into your processes of life, and we all know that actions have consequences.”

 

In other words, Ogunda Masa is saying the damage is staying directly in your brain as an imbalance or mental illness that is a psychological, psychic and spiritual condition. It is important to understand the malevolent and malicious actions, arrogance, coldness, pride and any other negative acts that you did and or do effects the lives of others. So Mrs. Rose…expect tragedy.

 

Meanwhile, Mr. Rose has consulted a lawyer (Ifa) as well. This other camp in Ile Ife, has initiated many people in the diaspora and has placed an “American” Araba named Adedayo Ologundudu in the ideology of governance over the American/Diaspora’s Orisa Ifa practitioners. (This Araba is NOT an American). Odu Ofun Osa came to tell this camp that Ifa said, “Pat your belly, hands behind your ears, over your eyes and blow the sickness away” (Ofun Osa). This is about a person whose life is becoming confused and that the only solution is spiritual redemption. While everything seems fine in the present, disaster lies ahead. In addition, Ifa suggests, “understanding why there is a war between the sun and moon”. Ifa states that your whole life which you stand for will be turned upside down. You will not know what or who to trust because you have been blinded from the truth or lied to by the same person who smiled at you through tiny eyes…Now it is a mess. As soon as you think things are going good, all hell will break loose and disaster will present itself. Ifa continues, it speaks of weakness, misdirected energies, illness, in consequence, ignorance and treason. For instance, Popoola (2015-6) stated that if he “chose [NOT] to stay silent… Ile Ife would not be in its position today.”

 

In all scenarios, Ofun Osa states if the world becomes rotten and destroyed it will be because no one no longer knows how to behave with one another. The ‘War of the Roses” ends with death; both camps have created their own suicidal plans, which makes all their fears (American Ifa, P. Neimarks, and Awo Falokun) look like hope and enlightenment [lol].

COMMENT:

Personally, they (both ICIR camp/ Ile Ife) have proven that they are incompetent to lead any of us in the Diaspora into the new stages of Ifa/orisa and egun practices. They must thank Olomitutu for her contribution to us learning about the imperfections of the people we here in the Diaspora trusted and believed. If she wouldn’t have pushed others of like minds to defame and declared Ifa wars with us; this may would had continued flying over our heads, we would have never learned about the 1% rule and no cuts.

The movie clip: War of the Roses (<<<<<https://youtu.be/5ebv3i_9Ltc>>>)

American Ifa Letter to Oya

A letter to OYA…

Today I give honor to one of my mothers. I have not forgotten you, Oya. Many people have put away their orisa when they make Ifa. I have not, Mother. I know 18 years have passed. I still love you, honor and respect you as I did yesterday, when I didn’t have Ifa. You have done so much for me; when man has failed to lift me as well as my own birth mother… you did so. When my own brothers and sisters had forgotten me and treated me as a stranger…you didn’t. You and the other orisa (Obatala, Oshun, Sango, Yemaya, etc.) have been there for me since the beginning of my existence. You have taught me so much in a short time and you have carried me such a far distance in this world. You have saved me from destruction and you have removed the assholes that were in my life. You brought the ancestors to all my initiations including the one where the elders gave me my first name OchaBi. I was named after one of the greatest women in our faith. Maferefun Oya! No, Mother, I have not forgotten you. I love you…So today is the day I tell the world a little bit about your greatness in my life…. OYA

To Oya with love

To Oya with love