The spiritual world can be described as the permanent abode of all living creatures. Therefore the spiritual world consists of the dwelling place of Olodumare (The Supreme Being -God), divinities (Irunmole), diverse kinds and races of spirits, the pre-mortal spirits of unborn human beings, ancestral spirits and malevolent forces. The spirit world is not empty, featureless and formless. In fact our world is a small reflection of the vivid visual beauty and wonder of the spirit world. In the spirit world there are spiritual natural landscapes like a special sacred places, homes, roads, mountains, rivers and market places and many other things. All of these things actually exist in the spiritual world. The things that exist in our world (physical universe) of physical creation also exist in the spiritual realm of creation. Besides these things there are inconceivable, awe-inspiring and and mysterious worlds, classes and races of spiritual beings, potencies, powers and energies. There are countless realms of existence in the spiritual realm. There are countless spiritual worlds and planets.
Olodumare is the beneficient ruler of the spiritual and physical worlds. All other beings without exception are subject to Olodumare (God).
The unique and diverse spirit beings, spiritual intelligences and powers, the pre-mortal spirits of unborn human beings, divinities, ancestral spirits and other wonderful creatures display the same varied range of emotions, feelings, thoughts and actions in the same manner in heaven as it is displayed and expressed on earth.
Consultation of Ifá played a large role in determining harmonization in the spiritual world. Ifá is consulted not only on earth but also in the divine spirit world. There are many spiritual worlds and spiritual planets where Ifá is consulted. Yes, there are divine priests and divine priestesses of Ifá in the divine spiritual world. The priests and priestess consult Ifá at their temples, holy shrines, homes and market places for those who seek the guidance of the Ifá oracle to follow the advice of the oracle thus increasing their good fortune and avoiding misfortune.
Yoruba spirituality consist of a series of original and incorporated concepts that evolved over the millennia . Olodumare, Irunmole and Ancestors were integrally woven together in the social order of things. Edumare (God Almighty) granted the requests of living creatures in heaven to visit the physical world.
Sacrifice is necessary to enlist the aid of benevolent forces and to avoid malevolent forces. Through sacrifice undesirable outcomes are avoided, deflected and transcended. Sacrifice empowers and enables the desired prayer, incantation or invocation to become effective. Prayer or invocation and sacrifice are. inseparable. Thus to only pray for a desired outcome without accompanying sacrifice is recocognized as an unbalanced and incomplete spiritual practice. The receiving aspect of prayer can only be balanced by the giving or offering of sacrifice.
‘‘Asefin awo won lode Ibaigbo.
Adifa fun won lode Ibaigbo
Ebbo won ni ki won se
Nje, asefin o de o
Awo ode Ibaigbo
Eni to ba pe asefin ni ebbo re yio da.’’
‘‘Asefin the priest of Ibaigbo
Cast divination for people the of Ibaigbo kingdom.
They were asked to make sacrifice so that their prayer will be answer. Thus, Asefin has become the priest of Ibaigbo. He who called upon Asefin
that the sacrifice/prayer be accepted.’’
Sacrifice is the enabling (activating) component that makes prayer or invocation to be accepted and to manifest. Sacrifice and propitiatory rites (ebbo) are made to Olodumare, ancestors, deities, malevolent spirit forces and other spiritual forces to receive the requested wish.
Sacrifice is performed after consultation of Ifá Oracle or other means of divine inquiry like cowry-shells called Erindilogun which are frequently used by Orisa priestesses and priests. The Oracle would reveal what sacrifice was required to be done to tackle the present situation, either bad or good. Sacrifice corrects, adjusts, modifies and heals the situation so that what was not ideal or good becomes ideal, good and better.
The sacrifice can be performed with animate or inanimate objects or materials. An example of some of the inanimate objects that could be used would be cloth, cowries, water, plants, and so forth. While the animate ranges from small creatures such as different forms of birds and larger creatures like four legged-animals (goat, sheep, dog, and so forth).
It is only when a prayer has been answered that happiness and praises can be seen as it’s result.
Ifá says in Okanran Yeku:
“Wara wara orun ope adifa fun yeye olomo metadilogun won ni korubo nitori aiku omo re,
Ikan yi ko ku ara mi, ire wa wo orun a yo se se.”
“It was sacrifice that made the prayer of yeye olomo metadilogun to manifest, and she was joyous because she never loses any of her children.
Conclusively, sacrifice is most important in our day to day activities.’’
The only way that we can live a better and fulfilling life and/or lifestyle is to develop a habit of making sacrifice. Sacrifice could be spiritual or physical as Yoruba Elders will always say “ara gbe ni ile aiye”. meaning to live a fulfilling live ,it has a price to be paid.
Spiritual sacrifices are the one that involve the deities and ancestors. They serve as intermediaries between humankind and Olodumare.
While physical sacrifice can be generous material (temporal) giving or serviceable gifts of medicine,
food, clothing and money given out in the form of humanitarian services without been conceited, hypocritical or boastful about it. As a matter of fact it is obvious that to live a fulfilled life both forms of sacrifice must be put into practice and both must be taken into consideration. Both forms must be engaged in and not just one. Both forms complement and complete the earth. We have to bring it to the forefront our minds that spiritual living and understanding, supercedes the physical or materialistic or non-spiritual living and understanding. One more thing needs to be said. No kind of ebo will be effective, accepted or approved if our lives are far removed from good character (iwa Pele)
Iwa Pele : good character, integrity, truthfulness, gentleness and honesty, all of these together are the activating power of all ebo. Without iwa as a permanent feature of our thoughts, words and actions no spiritual activities will find acceptance before Olodumare and Irunmole-Orisa and no spiritual activities will yield positive results.
May Olodumare accept all our sincere spiritual and physical (temporal) sacrifices which have been blended, bound and mixed with iwa. Asé.
By: Oluwo Fasola Faniyi
Priest @ Ancestral Pride Temple, Ota.