WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN TO BE AN AWO, AN INITIATE, A DEVOTEE OF IFÁ AND THE IRUNMOLE-ORISA:

An awo, a babalawo, an iyanifa, a babalorisa and an iyalorisa are representatives of Olodumare and of the Irunmole-Orisa. Have you ever thought about what it means to be someone’s representative?
It is and we feel it a great responsibility, privilege and honor to be a representative of an exalted, renown and accomplished human being. If this is true of being a representative of an exalted, renown and accomplished human being, what can be said of a person who is a representative of Olodumare, of Ifá and of the Irunmole-Orisa?! Is it such a simple and easy thing to be a representative of Olodumare, of Ifá and of the Irunmole-Orisa? Can just anyone do this? Can someone without any qualifications, without any training, without diplomatic skill, without personal dignity, without love, without sympathetic understanding and charisma be a representative of Olodumare, of Ifá and of the Irunmole-Orisa? Can someone who does not in good measure share the qualities, heart and mind of Olodumare, Ifá and of the Irunmole-Orisa represent them? Can a liar be a representative of the truth? Can a mean and indifferent person be a representative of kindness and compassion? Can a cheat and exploiter be a representative of honesty and generosity? Can an ignorant and uninformed person be a representative of pure wisdom and divine knowledge? Can a person who delights in filth, dishonesty and vulgarity be a representative of cleanliness, honesty (truthfulness) and purity?
If you had to select someone to represent you and to successfully promote your aims, what kind of person would you choose, and what qualities must this person have? Would you just choose anybody to represent you? Can a person be qualified to represent you by just having ‘good intentions’ or ‘good feelings’?
Shouldn’t they in addition to good intentions and good feelings also have knowledge, training, experience, sympathetic understanding and good social skills? After all they are representing you. Shouldn’t your representative have an honest and credible character, true knowledge-understanding, wisdom, courage, determination, commitment, training, maturity, gracefulness and a highly developed skill-set? Shouldn’t your representative care about you and what you are seeking to accomplish? Shouldn’t your representative have affinity with you and with your way of doing things?
What kind of people do you think Olodumare, Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa are looking for, to represent them and to promote their benefit conferring cause? These are things to carefully think about, to ponder and to consider, especially if we have the personal aspiration to serve and represent Olodumare, Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa before others.
In former times a genuinely developed, trained, qualified and mature awo or initiate, was considered a source of inspiration, strength and blessing to his family, community and nation. These awo or initiates were the spiritual pulse and heart of the community. The essence of their devotion was not merely ritualistic worship but to arouse a genuine and deep faith in Ifá (Olodumare) and in the Irunmole-Orisa. The were able to impart asé, hope, courage, inspiration and strength to others. By promoting the divine standard of Ifá values, they were instrumental in promoting the progress, wellbeing, peace, harmony and safety of their families, their community and their nation. These special awo were gifted with the special asé to create an atmosphere of harmony, peace, understanding, gentleness and love. These dedicated or consecrated awo had the special asé to disarm people of their worries, fears, doubts, anxieties and misunderstandings.
Let me ask you: If the ones who are charged with the privilege, responsibility and duty to draw people close to Ifá-Olodumare and the Irunmole-Orisa become dishonest, corrupt and indifferent, then what will happen to the family life, the community life, the communal spiritual life and the national life?
There is a great need today for awo, initiates and devotees of divine calibre who have true love and compassion for the people. There are so few authentic awo today! Many awo today have made a business of the sacred trust, that in former times was a great honor to discharge with humility, integrity, dignity and simplicity. And this is why we see so little prosperity, peace, harmony and wellbeing in the lives and families of many initiates, for how can they who are living in this sad condition help others. Some awo [initiates] have dedicated themselves to fooling and duping people to achieve their isolated desires and their selfish ends, and sadly many of the sincere but naive public blindly follow these kinds of ‘awo’ who fill their minds with all kinds of lies, make believe and fantasy.
It is a sad but strange wonder: An honest, sincere and true awo, initiate, priest or priestess comes along to freely share and offer the truth and values of Ifá to people and only a small amount of people will respond to this awo. But when a cheating, lying, duping, advantage taking, fantasizing, exploiting, double dealing and false promising ‘awo’ comes along, all come running to place their heads at his feet and to do his bidding and to secure his ‘blessings’?! What kind of ‘blessings’ can this person give when he himself is living an accursed life?! This is where we are today.
The ancient awo were not rich according to today’s standards and conception, and their search was not for money. The ancient awo were rich in peace of mind, good health, respect, wisdom, true spiritual power and divine virtue. The ancient awo sought for divine wisdom, imperishable values, health, spiritual power, penetrative insight, communion with the irunmole-orisa, harmony and longevity so as to be able to enjoy life to the fullest and to benefit others. Good conduct, good character and the earned (merited) respect of their community was their crown of achievement. Even today in Yorubaland there is an exalted title given out to knowledgeable awo of irreproachable conduct, extraordinary competence, deep understanding and sterling character: This sacred title is called Oba Iwa – the king of good conduct, virtue, good behavior and character! How beautiful and wonderful this is! This is the true gold and riches of Ifá!
The founder of Ogunda Meji Temple, the venerable Awopeju Bogunmbe was such an exalted, revered, holy, wise, hardworking, dedicated, inspiring and tireless servant of Ifá and the people, and this is why he was awarded with the title of Oba Iwa. The venerable Awopeju Bogunmbe was a rare awo. He was rare not because others could not live as he did, but he was rare in that he dedicated himself, by himself, to following Ifá with wholeheartedness and sincerity.
The same can be said of Olorunfunmi Adebanjo Oshiga the founder of Ijo Òrúnmìlà Adulawo and his worthy successor Olori Oluwo Ifajobi Fagbemi. The same can be said for the great high chief, the Oluwo Ifá of Ota, the venerable Fasola Opayemi Ifagbemi and his worthy successor and son, Babalawo and Ogboni Oluwo Fasola Faniyi of Ota. The same can be said of the founders of Indigene Faith of Africa [Ijo Òrúnmìlà Ato] and their present successors. They were and are the true and divine awo upon this earth. The same can be said for the wise and progressive founders of Ose Meji Temple. These great devotees achieved what they did because of their genuine love for and dedication to Ifá and Ifá blessed them beyond their expectation, but these men had to work hard, with patience, perseverance, intelligence and dedication. They cared for, loved and served the people with the wisdom and power of Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa. They left an indelible and uplifting and inspiring impression and made a transformative impact in the lives of all who were privileged to know them. These authentic devotees of Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa had to fight a lot of up-hill battles and had to persevere while being in the midst thankless, arrogant and unappreciative people. These men were men of action, dedication and integrity. These men taught everyone the truths of Ifá and the beauty and power of orisa esin ibile by the way they lived, related to people and treated people. Everything they did was scented with gracefulness, sanctity, authority and truth. This is why they were and are loved and cherished by the people, the irunmole-orisa and Ifá and Ifá. The irunmole-orisa and the people made sure that they never lacked the basic necessities. The people compelled by love and gratitude upheld them and supported them. How beautiful and wonderful. Aboru Aboye!!! When we serve Ifá like this, Ifá feels indebted to us and he begins to serve us!!! When we serve the people like this the people without being asked and without being prompted will uphold us, assist us and bless us.
But many want Ifá to serve them without them first serving Ifá and without them assimilating the spirit, character and manners of Ifá. They don’t really serve the people they serve themselves! They don’t really worship and promote Ifá, they worship and promote themselves! They want Ifá to listen to them and respond to them, but they do not listen to Ifá or do what Ifá expects of them!!
The great and true awo previously mentioned were and are the true embodiments of Ifá and true friends of Òrúnmìlà and the irunmole-orisa. And there are still presently such awo of divine quality in Yorubaland and in the diaspora, but they are few compared to the many who come to Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa for the wrong purposes or aims.
The awo is supposed to be an exemplary teacher, role model and guide, but today many awo do not want to assume these necessary obligations. Many awo are not paying attention to their true duties, mission or responsibilities. Instead of imparting true knowledge, they teach people incorrect things, tainted information, superficial understanding and superstitious foolishness and thereby lure people into incorrect paths and unsatisfying paths. Ifá is a divine science and a path of divine devotion, and not superstitious foolishness. But many ignorant or misinformed pseudo ‘awo’ promote superstitious ideas and fear-mongering in an attempt to manipulate, mislead and control people for their own selfish aims!
It is impossible to take upon oneself the name of awo and then practice such shameful, embarrassing and debasing things. The word awo implies a way-maker, a path-finder, a truth bearer, a genuine and reliable friend, mentor and guide. The word awo implies that one is able to successfully point others in the right direction and to the correct path that will lead them to genuine success, peace and happiness. A genuine awo does not practice fooling people, flattering people, manipulating people and inciting their feelings. There are not few ‘awo’ who shamefully use their ‘authority’ and who shamefully misrepresent the true, kind and loving nature of the irunmole-orisa to threaten people and to fill the hearts and minds of people with fear and imaginary worries. These fraudulent ‘awo’ don’t serve or represent Ifá or the irunmole-orisa. These fraudulent, immature and insensitive ‘awo’ serve their own pride, arrogance and ignorance. If they really believed in Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa they would never even think about pursuing such perilous actions which divine justice will adjudicate, discipline, punish and correct.
The sensitivity, compassion and generosity is disappearing from the hearts, minds and lives of some initiates. Many initiates have made of Ifá or have attempted to make of Ifá a cult of arrogance, self-worship, pride and conceit! Such ‘initiates’ are no longer human beings. They are animals with human faces. They are less than animals, because even animals have care, love, sympathy and concern for their own! When they could have chosen to live god-like or divine lives they have chosen to live impure, dishonest, scheming and unwholesome lives. They have become ajogun and servants of the ajogun!! Instead of promoting the cause of Ifá-Olodumare they are directly and indirectly promoting the cause of the elenini.
Ifá-Olodumare expects more from initiate disciple of Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa. Ifá-Olodumare expects more from any and all human beings whether they are followers of Ifá or not. Those of us who have embraced Ifá and the way of the Irunmole-Orisa let us be true awo, true babalawo, true iyanifa, true babalorisa, true iyalorisa and true devotees. Let us help to spread the knowledge and practical love of Ifá and let us work individually and collectively to eradicate misunderstanding, negative tendencies and ignorance. This is what Olodumare, Ifá and all Irunmole-Orisa expect from all initiates and all genuine devotees. This is what we should expect from ourselves.
BY: AWO ÒRÚNMÌLÀ MARK CASILLAS
spiritual_world - ancestral-pride-temple

ORDER IN TRADITIONAL BELIEF SYSTEM

The following order can be recognized place to place and is fairly typical
  • The Supreme being (Olodumare)
  • The Chief Divinities or Gods
  • The Ancestors
  • The Spirits
  • The Charms and Amulets

THE SUPREME GOD: This is recognized among all traditional believers all over the world, the supreme being is called or can be called different names depending on places to places and language variations. for example, yoruba as a case study, yoruba belief system called the supreme God as Olodumare or Olorun, Olorun means “Owner of the Sky“.

Every race of the world has a legend myth connecting God and the creation of origin of their race.




THE CHIEF DIVINITIES: These are next in rank to the supreme God, they are simply refer or regarded as the physical representatives of God in the world and are also called different names from place to place. Example: Obatala, Ifa, Osun, Ori, Sango, Ogun and so on. each of them have their own shrines, priest, cults, initiation ceremonies.

THE ANCESTORS: Every family has the belief that their ancestors survive as the living-dead among the family. Ancestral worship could be restricted to members of the affected families alone. Egungun is the best way to get connected to a dead ancestors and that is why you see each family having or can be trace back to a specific egungun name e.g Oya Arogunmola is an egungun that belongs to arogunmola family of Ota, Oloolu of Ibadan belonging to oloolu family and so on. Continue reading

DIVINE ADMONITION OF IFÁ:

Odumare ni ka fi iyin fun.

In this present world in which we live “white lies” and duplicities are a part of daily life. Everyone attempts to justify or disregard the deliberate deception, dishonesty and lies in their lives. “White lies” or so-called ?little lies? are still transgressions in the eyes of Olodumare and Irunmole. Olodumare and his servants the divine Irunmole will not accept any justification for engaging in deceitful, misleading and dishonest activities. Lies, cheating and dishonesty are cankers and worms that slowly eat out the substance of our souls, dignity and health. Lies, cheating and dishonesty builds up very fast and before one knows it, one has created a world of lies, cheating and deception, a world in which one is trapped in, and living in, a world which can only be maintained for a limited time by continual lies, deception and cheating. Eventually the heavy and great edifice of lies, deception and dishonesty will come crumbling and crashing down upon ones head. Falsely and deceptively winning the admiration of people amounts to nothing and does not in any true way make life successful. Perversion and hypocrisy leads to spiritual suicide and moral annihilation.

To realize the truth of Ifá-Olodumare one most disengage from these defilements. To repeatedly receive and hear the instructions, warnings and admonitions of Ifá and not obey is a dangerous, offensive and sorrowful thing. The one who turns away from the words of Ifá is the one who has given himself over to his own lusts, arrogance and perversions. He has become intoxicated and blinded by his own lusts, passions, arrogance and imagined power. His own lusts, arrogance, heedlessness, unfaithfulness and perversions will destroy him. Esu is watching and justly dispensing impartial justice. Esu will not be accepting bribes from anyone. Many are the “spiritual” thugs and gangsters who make moral-spiritual demands on others while they themselves are drowning in their own hypocrisy, impurity and deception. They might be able to deceive some people but they will not ever be able to deceive Ifá and Esu. Such ones aim to please people while they neglect and ignore Ifá. When what they have earned reaches them, who will help them and save them? Living for temporary and ill-gained ‘gold‘, ‘fame‘ and ‘imaginary good reputation’ they have forgotten Ifá-Olodumare. They worship themselves in the name of Ifá-Olodumare and the Irunmole. How can such scoundrels escape the just judgement of Ifá ‘Will they be able to bribe and purchase the favor of Ifá with gifts, sacrifices and offerings’ No, not ever. Will they be able to make Ifá turn a blind eye to all of their disloyalty, lies and abuses ‘No, not ever. They have time and make time for all things but they have no time to praise, love, worship and obey Ifá! Can a dog who is is fond of eating rotten and stinking garbage relish the taste of divine and pure eatables’ Living to promote their arrogance and to maintain false appearances, they reject the good and real. When they finally awake it will be too late.




Ifá says with love, urgency and warning:

“Stop now. Turn around. Do not continue on the misguided path you find yourself in. Do not waste your time and efforts on vain, dishonest and shameful pursuits. Remember that this life is short. Remember that this life is only the market place. What report will you give when you are called to stand alone before the divine council, when you are called to return home?! Do not rely or trust on your own isolated judgments or deceptive feelings. Rely and trust on Ifá-Olodumare and you will know limitless joy, peace and satisfaction.”

Reject and disregard Ifá at your own peril. It is a fearful and worrisome thing when Ifá ceases to listen to you and to respond to you due to ones negligence and repeated heedlessness. In countless and many ways Ifá speaks to us for our own good. Will we listen, comply and obey?! Ifá sees all and knows all. The eyes of Ifá cannot be made to close, and the mouth of Ifá cannot be forced or bribed shut. It is time to return and listen to Ifá. If we refuse and neglect the good counsel of Ifá then we alone are to blame for what will follow. Ifá is the one who counsels and admonishes us with more love and concern than our nearest and dearest relatives.




Ela ?boru. Ela ?boye. Ela ?bosise.

Ifa_Love_Respect_Humility--ancestral_pride_temple

IFÁ: EL AMOR PRACTICO, EL RESPETO Y LA HUMILDAD

Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Bendiciones de larga vida, salud y prosperidad por la virtud del santo mensajero (manifestación) de Olodumare, Iworiwofun.
**Iworiwofun es el majestuoso Odu Ifá quien es el portador de la plenitud de las bendiciones, virtudes, amor y sabiduría de Olodumare para cada miembro de la humanidad. Iwori-Ofun es la manifestación plenaria de la infinita mente, inteligencia, amor, bondad, comprensión, rectitud, humildad, buena voluntad y virtud de Olodumare.**
Cuando consideramos nuestra comunidad religiosa y el estado moral-espiritual de nuestro pueblo Ifá-Orisa que podemos señalar? Por un lado hay un pueblo considerable de devotos sinceros, honestos, entusiasmados, humildes, estudiosos, prácticos e inteligentes que se están educando y preparando en cuanto a su fe Ifá-Orisa. Por este remanente de fieles, que de día en día están aumentado, que verdaderamente están disfrutando su fe y que están genuinamente viviendo la vida de Ifá-Orisa o de Iwa (la vida de buen, gentil y noble carácter, y la vida de buena conciencia) damos gloria a Olodumare. Eyin Odumare! Alabanzas a Olodumare!
Ifá nos enseña y nos inculca el principio universal de:
Iwa Lesin
Iwa lesin significa que su carácter defina y demuestra cual es su verdadera religión. Tu carácter es tu religión! Es atraves del carácter que demostramos nuestra fe y quienes somos. Y es nuestro carácter y su cualidad lo que determina y demuestra si verdaderamente somos creyentes y adoradores de Ifá-Olodumare. Su cualidad de carácter y sus hábitos de vida son la esencia de la adoración!
Ahora la pregunta que sigue es:
Según su cualidad de carácter y sus hábitos de vida, que revelan estos acerca de que es lo que usted verdaderamente adora y cree?
No es lo que uno habla y profiesa lo que determina si uno es un verdadero creyente-practicador de Ifá-Orisa. Es lo que uno hace y práctica de momento-a-momento y de día-en-día lo que demuestra y revela que es lo que verdaderamente creemos y quienes somos como personas individuales.
Según su carácter, su estilo de vida y hábitos personales a sí se deja ver que es lo que verdaderamente cree usted y que es lo que usted adora. Esta simple verdad? Que hermoso es la manera en la cual Ifá simplifica, esclarece y presenta la esencia de la verdad.



Por el otro lado cuando consideramos y observamos a nuestra comunidad religiosa de Ifá-Orisa, si somos honestos y sinceros, vemos que también existe un grupo no pequeño, de devotos (babalawo, babalorisa, iyalorisa y novatos) confundidos, sin fundamentos prácticos morales-espirituales, faltos de disciplina personal que están sumergidos en la decadencia moral, y sufriendo las enfermedades morales-espirituales de la arrogancia, el orgullo, la infidelidad espiritual, relacional y conyugal, la promiscuidad, la superficialidad, la falta de respeto-reverencia, la hipocresía, la corrupción y la decepción.
Tal ves también pudiéramos señalar la escasez de líderes ejemplares, compasivos, sabios e inspiradores que existe en nuestra comunidad. Hay líderes ejemplares, compasivos, sabios e inspiradores, pero son muy pocos. Nuestra comunidad está dividida entre los sinceros y los charlatanes. Y entre los charlatanes hay divisiones, controversias, peleas, argumentos y disensiones sin fin!
Al final del día que podemos decir?!
Es tiempo y hace falta que nuestro pueblo (el pueblo sincero y honesto) se unifique. Es tiempo de cesar  uno de estar quejándose por el estado de las cosas y tomar acción!
Muchos piensan y dicen, y con buenas razones,
“Adonde están los verdaderos babalawo, los verdaderos babalorisa y las verdaderas iyalorisa? Adonde están los hombres varoniles, fieles, de valores, de principios, de humildad y de carácter irreprochable en nuestra comunidad? Adonde están? Adonde están las mujeres dóciles, fieles, humildes, respetuosas y de firme carácter noble en nuestra comunidad? Adonde están?”
Bueno estás son preguntas honestas y realistas. Pero porque no vamos un paso más adelante para elevarnos de por encima de esa mentalidad de auto victimización y de escusas baratas que parece que están prevaleciendo en todos lados. Todos quieren que OTROS se preparen, que OTROS sean verdaderos líderes, que OTROS sean verdadero babalawo, que OTROS sean verdadero babalorisa, que OTROS sean verdadero iyalorisa, que OTROS sean verdadero maestros, que OTROS sean verdaderos creyentes, que OTROS sean verdaderos hombres y que OTROS sean mujeres verdaderas. Pero, y que de usted? Usted no quiere ser algunas de estas cosas? Acaso usted no se quiere incluir en el grupo de los sinceros, íntegros, dedicados, consagrados y verdaderos que están poseídos de iniciativa, paciencia, dedicación y perseverancia? Porque usted no se prepara para ser una bendición para otros y para ser una luz, ejemplo y faro en su comunidad? Todos quieren recibir del fruto del trabajo y dedicación de los pocos sinceros e instruidos de nuestra religión, pero nadie o pocos se quieren consagrar, preparar, educar y dedicar para contribuir a la elevación y transformación positiva y saludable de nuestra comunidad de Ifá-Orisa!! Se lamentan porque OTROS no hacen, no estudian, no sirven con amor desinteresado a su comunidad etc. etc. Pero, entonces porque es que se lamentan y se quejan de las condiciones que ven en nuestro pueblo, que está en etapa de transición, y no toman la iniciativa personal de llenar los vacantes de liderazgo y las necesidades morales y espirituales con sus propias vidas, trabajo, consagración y determinación?!
No cree usted que es mejor decir y determinar,



“Como no hay suficientes verdaderos babalawo, babalorisa, iyalorisa, hombres genuinos y mujeres genuinas, líderes  etc etc. en nuestra comunidad Ifá-Orisa, yo en los personal y en este día y momento me voy a dedicar a ser un verdadero babalawo, una verdadera iyanifa, un verdadero babalorisa, una verdadera iyalorisa, un verdadero HOMBRE y una verdadera MUJER y un verdadero y compasivo líder ejemplar. Voy a ser un verdadero padrino con honra, voy a ser una genuina madrina con honra, voy a ser un genuino oluwo asiwaju, voy a ser un genuino ojugbon, voy  a ser un genuino oriate con respeto y honra, etc. etc. Voy a servir en el cuarto (lugar)  sagrado de consagración del santo orisa con honra y distinción, voy a servir en el cuarto (lugar) sagrado de consagración de Ifá con honra y distinción etc. etc.”
Cuando tomemos individualmente y colectivamente esta decision, con amor practico (demostrable), respeto (hacía uno mismo, hacia otros y hacia Ifá-Orisa-Irunmole) y humildad, entonces y solamente atraves de esto nuestro pueblo se va sanar en lo moral, ético y espiritual.
Mis amigos y amigas en Ifá-Orisa, mis hermanos y hermanas de Ifá-Orisa no miremos mas a otros y lo que ellos están o no están haciendo. Vamos a mirarnos a nosotros mismos en el espejo revelador de Ifá (La revelación universal y comprensiva de Òrúnmìlà Elerii Ipin, el vocero de Olodumare y representante de todos los Orisa-Irunmole) y vamos a mirarnos en el espejo revelador de Merindinlogun (La revelación de nuestros peculiar Orisa-Irunmole tutelar). Seamos auto responsables y prácticos. Tomemos la iniciativa para hacer algo con nuestras vidas y nuestro tiempo como individuos y como miembros de la comunidad sagrada de Ifá-Orisa que contribuirá al mejoramiento, adelanto, elevación, unificación y progreso de nuestra admirable y noble religión.
Que vas hacer? Serás parte del progreso y de la solución? O serás parte del retraso y de las causas de los problemas que existen en nuestra comunidad?
Que Ifá-Olodumare los ilumine, guíe y defienda. Asé.
Que los Irunmole-Orisa los irradien con su amor, salud, paz, inteligencia, ánimo y determinación. Asé.



Que los espíritus divinos y ancestrales les impartan la inspiración que motiva y promueve el amor practico, el respeto y la humildad. Asé.
Que los babalawo divinos Akoda y Aseda intercedan por nosotros y nos colmen de su virtud, sabiduría, inspiración, ánimo y determinación.
Que Ela (Irunmole-Orisa de pureza, limpieza, salvación, maravillas y santidad) hijo de Oyigiyigi (nombre místico de Olodumare que significa, el que es inconmovible como una roca eterna, el indomable, el inconquistable, el eterno, soberano y único todopoderoso) nos inflame del espíritu de pureza, sinceridad y santidad. Asé.



Ela ‘boru. Ela ‘boye’ Ela ‘bosise.
Su amigo y benefactor Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas.
Ifa_Love_Respect_Humility--ancestral_pride_temple

IFA: PRACTICAL LOVE, RESPECT AND HUMILITY:

Ogbo ato Asure iworiwofun. Blessings of long life, health and prosperity by virtue of the Holy Messenger (manifestation) of Olodumare, Iworiwofun.
** Iworiwofun is the majestic Odu Ifa who is the bearer of the fullness of the blessings, virtues, love and wisdom of Olodumare for every member of humanity. Iwori-Ofun is the plenary manifestation of the infinite mind, intelligence, love, kindness, understanding, honesty, humility, good will and power of Olodumare. **
When we consider our religious community and the moral-spiritual state of our people Ifa-Orisa we can point to? On the one hand there is, honest, enthusiastic, humble, studious, practical and intelligent people of sincere devotees significant being educated and prepared for their faith Ifa-Orisa. For this remnant of faithful who day by day they are increasing, they are truly enjoying their faith and are truly living the life of Ifa-Orisa or Iwa (the life of good, gentle and noble character, and life good consciousness) we give glory to Olodumare. Eyin Odumare! Olodumare praise!
Ifa teaches us and instills universal principle:
Iwa Lesin
Iwa Lesin means your character define and demonstrate what their true religion. Your character is your religion! It is through the character we showed our faith and who we are. And our character and what determines its quality and demonstrate if we are truly believers and worshipers of Ifa-Olodumare. His quality of character and lifestyle habits are the essence of worship!



Now the question that follows is:
According to his quality of character and lifestyle habits that reveal this about what you truly loves and believes?
Not what one speaks and profiesa what determines whether one is a true believer-practicer of Ifa-Orisa. It’s what you do and practice of moment-to-moment and day-to-day demonstrating and reveals what we truly believe and who we are as individuals.
According to his character, his lifestyle and personal habits themselves be seen it is what you really believe and what you love. This simple truth? How beautiful is the way in which Ifa simplifies, clarifies and presents the essence of truth.
On the other hand when we consider and observe our religious community Ifa-Orisa, if we are honest and sincere, we see that there is also no small group of devotees (Babalawo, babalorisa, iyalorisa and novices) confused, without practical foundations moral spiritual, understaffed discipline are immersed in moral decay, and suffering the spiritual-moral arrogance diseases, pride, spiritual, relational and marital infidelity, promiscuity, superficiality, lack of respect-reverence, hypocrisy, corruption and deception.
So you see we could also point out the shortage of copies, compassionate leaders, wise and inspiring that exists in our community. There are exemplary leaders, compassionate, wise and inspiring, but very few. Our community is divided among sincere and charlatans. And among the charlatans there are divisions, disputes, fights, arguments and dissensions endless!



At the end of the day we can say ?!
It is time that our people need (the sincere and honest people) is unified. It is time to cease being one of complaining about the state of things and take action!
Many think and say, and with good reason,
“Where are the true Babalawo, true babalorisa and iyalorisa true? where men are manly, faithful, values, principles, humility and irreproachable character in our community? Where are you? Where are the meek, faithful, humble, respectful and noble character strong women in our community? Where are you?”
Well you are honest and realistic questions. But because we do not go a step further to rise above that of self-victimization mentality and cheap excuses that seem to be prevalent everywhere. Everyone wants others to prepare, others are true leaders, others are true Babalawo, others are true babalorisa, others are true iyalorisa, others are true masters, others are true believers, others are real men and others are real women. But, what about you? You do not want to be some of these things? Perhaps you do not want included in the group of sincere, principled, dedicated, devoted and true who are possessed of initiative, patience, dedication and perseverance? Because you are not prepared to be a blessing to others and to be a light, example and beacon in your community? Everyone wants to receive the fruit of the work and dedication of the few sincere and educated of our religion, but no or few want to enshrine, prepare, educate and dedicate to contribute to raising positive and healthy transformation of our community Ifa-Orisa! ! Lament because others do not study, they do not serve with selfless love to their community etc. etc. But then that is who complain and complain about the conditions they see on our people who are in transition, and do not take personal initiative to fill vacant leadership and moral and spiritual needs with their own lives, work, dedication and determination ?!


Not you think it is better to say and determine,
“As there are not enough real Babalawo, babalorisa, iyalorisa, genuine genuine men and women, leaders etc etc. in our community Ifa-Orisa, I in personnel and in this day and time’m dedicating myself to be me a real Babalawo, a real iyanifa, a real babalorisa, a real iyalorisa, a real man and a real woman and a real and compassionate exemplary leader. I will be a real honor godfather, will be a genuine godmother with honors, will be a genuine Oluwo Asiwaju, will be a genuine ojugbon, will be a genuine oriate with respect and honor, etc. etc. I will serve in the fourth (place) sacred consecration of Orisa saint with honor and distinction, I will serve in the fourth (place) sacred consecration of Ifa with honor and distinction etc. etc.”
When individually and collectively take this decision, with practical love (demonstrable), respect (for oneself, for others and Ifa-Orisa-Irunmole) and humility, then and only THROUGH that our people will heal moral, ethical and spiritual.



My friends in Ifa-Orisa, my brothers and sisters Ifa-Orisa not look more to others and what they are or are not doing. Let us look at ourselves in the developer mirror Ifa (The universal and comprehensive disclosure of Òrúnmìlà Elerii Ipin, spokesman Olodumare and representative of all Orisa-Irunmole) and we will look in the revealing mirror Mérìndínlógún (Disclosing our unique Orisa-Irunmole tutelary). Let us be self responsible and practical. Take the initiative to do something with our lives and our time as individuals and as members of the sacred community of Ifa-Orisa will contribute to the improvement, advancement, elevation, unification and progress of our admirable and noble religion.
What you gonna do? You will be part of progress and the solution? Or you will be part of the delay and the causes of the problems that exist in our community?
Ifa-Olodumare to enlighten, guide and defend. I roasted.
Irunmole-Orisa that the radiate with love, health, peace, intelligence, courage and determination. I roasted.
The divine and ancestral spirits taught them the inspiration that motivates and promotes practical love, respect and humility. I roasted.
The divine Babalawo Akoda and Aseda intercede for us and we Colmen of virtue, wisdom, inspiration, courage and determination.
Ela (Irunmole-Orisa purity, cleanliness, salvation, wonders and holiness) son of Oyigiyigi (mystical name of Olodumare meaning, which is unshakeable as an eternal rock, the indomitable, unconquerable, eternal, sovereign and sole Almighty ) inflame us the spirit of purity, sincerity and holiness. I roasted.
Ela ‘boru. Ela ‘Boye’ Ela ‘bosise.
His friend and benefactor Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas.
understanding_with_the_mind - ancestralpridetemple

SEEING WITH THE EYES OF IFÁ. UNDERSTANDING WITH THE MIND OF IFÁ

Just like Obatala sleeps in white (purity), awakens in white (honesty) and conducts all of his affairs in white (truthfulness), the great Oluwo of all Irunmole-Orisa is eternally established in great glory, sanctity and purity. It is from Olodumare that Obatala, Ela, Òrúnmìlà and all Irunmole-Orisa derive their attractive, endearing and peculiar outstanding qualities. Olodumare is the source of all virtue, lofty personality and graceful character. In knowing Olodumare we fulfill our divine humanity and we realize that we are godlings, that we are divine Orisa in an embryonic phase -spiritually speaking- of course.
What are the symptoms and signs of a knower and devotee of Olodumare Oba Agotun? Beyond appearances, what are the true traits and characteristics of a devotee of Ifá-Olodumare?
The person who has been enlightened by the grace of Olodumare experiences and sees all things in life differently from the unawakened person. The person who has been illuminated and empowered by Olodumare understands and interprets the events, experiences and occurrences of his life from a lofty, superior and life-strengthening point of view. The devotee and knower of Olodumare gains benefit, growth and blessing from all he experiences in life especially and including painful, injurious and unjust happenings, because he has learned the secret of converting apparent poison into medicine. Just like the snail who is always consuming sand, dirt and dust which would be harmful to a human being, yet the snail is not injured or made ill by all the soil, dirt and filth that enters its mouth, because the snail is able to extract benefit, nutrients, health and strength from what otherwise would be something unhealthy and even poisonous, and then the snail miraculously keeps what is good and beneficial and ejects from its system all that is unwholesome, unhealthy, toxic and poisonous. In the same manner is the devotee and knower of Olodumare made strong by all he experiences, beholds and is subjected to.


The knower and devotee of Olodumare cannot be shaken, neither can he be broken by people, the vicisitudes of life or the unfortunate and undesirable things that sometimes happen in life that cannot be entirely avoided. Just like the sacred leaf called ela which never loses it’s verdor, vitality, freshness, potency and coolness even when it is subjected to the intense heat of the sun and the extremes of adverse climate, in like manner the devotee and knower of Olodumare is resilient and is able to endure and resist the intense ‘heat’ and ‘dryness, of adversity, conflict, blind passions and unwholesome elements. Just like the ela leaf does not wither though it is exposed to a climate and temperature that would wreak havoc on other living organisms, in like manner the devotee and knower of Olodumare has been fitted to endure, persevere and prevail in the most difficult and intense moments of life.
The enlightened and matured devotee of Ifá-Olodumare remains uncontaminated from the filth of dishonesty, ungodliness, hypocrisy, envy, lust, greed, double-dealing and strife. Just like the fish that lives in water, is surrounded by water, is filled with water, moves in water and is nourished by the water, so is the devotee and knower of Ifá-Olodumare sustained, permeated by, protected and nourished by Olodumare. Love and devotion to Olodumare is the ‘food, water, air, medicine, unassailable security and rest’ of the knower and devotee of Olodumare. The man of Ifá-Olodumare remains free from and never pursues unwholesome thoughts, words or actions. Dishonest, aggressive, misleading and dirty language are not part of the ways, practice and discipline of a bonafide knower -ologbon-, sage and knower of Olodumare. The one who loves Olodumare and whose life is filled with the love of Olodumare Oba Anu treats everyone the same, with impartiality and equal consideration.



The devotee of Olodumare extends and confers a measure of trust, confidence and good-faith to everyone. The devotee of Olodumare only changes his view and perception of others only when others give him reason to, but initially the devotee of Olodumare attributes goodness, honesty and good-faith to all. The devotee of Olodumare does not discriminate. A rich person and a poor person are the same to him. A king or a pauper are the same to him. The devotee of and knower -ologbon- of Olodumare is not attracted to names, titles and high sounding nomenclatures. The quality, bearing, demeanor, actions and attitude of a person is what makes them high or low, worthy or unworthy, trustworthy or not trustworthy. Your rank, level and worthiness before Ifá-Olodumare and Irunmole-Orisa are determined by the quality of your being, your attitude, your actions, your associations and your manner of life.  This is the confirmed reality affirmed by Ifá-Olodumare. The devotee and knower of Olodumare is not affected by either the praises or abuses of others. He knows the secret of remaining in peace, happiness, contentment and joy because he has found the limitless joy, perfection and satisfaction of Olodumare who is dwelling in his heart, mind and life.
Just like fire cannot be made impure, yet fire itself removes the dross and impurities in the most obdurate metals, in like manner the noble sage, devotee and knower of Ifá-Olodumare cannot be contaminated, tainted or impurified by another, yet such an ologbon has a presence, truth, secret and power from Olodumare which reveals and burns up the impurities and dross of defilements in others. You can pour sand, dirt and all kinds of things in water yet none of them can hold onto the water. In the same way dirty, impure and dishonest people or impure spiritual energies cannot take hold of a devotee and ologbon of Ifá-Olodumare, no matter how close they may be, no matter how much close contact they have.
Oil and water can be placed in the same container and no matter how long they are there together they will never mix. Even if you shake the bottle it might appear to the undiscerning intellect that the oil and water have mixed and blended together, but in a moment by the inherent opposing and incompatible qualities and properties of the oil and water they will soon separate from each other. Godliness and ungodliness cannot mix. Truth and deception cannot mix. Generosity and hypocrisy cannot mix. A knower and devotee of Ifá-Olodumare has no enemies and he is not the enemy of anyone. The knower of Olodumare is everyone’s friend because he does all that he can to benefit and uplift others. The knower of Olodumare does not hate people but he does hate the impure qualities of deception, abuse, falsity and injustice wherever they are found. There is no pride, conceit or pretentiousness in a knower and devotee of Ifá-Olodumare, and this is why such a devotee cannot be controlled, intimidated or manipulated by others because he has no need for or desire for anything that belongs to others.



The devotee and knower of Olodumare is fearless and brimming with courage because Ifá-Olodumare and Truth are on his side. The knower and devotee of Olodumare is not gullible, servile, naive or ignorant. The knower -ologbon- and devotee -awo- of Olodumare cannot be defeated by anything or anyone. Only if someone can defeat, bribe, trick, deceive, control, intimidate and manipulate Olodumare can such a person defeat, bribe, trick, deceive, control, intimidate and manipulate a knower and devotee of Olodumare! It is impossible to defeat, trick, bribe, deceive, control, intimidate and manipulate Olodumare and it is equally impossible to do the same to a devotee and knower of Olodumare.  Nothing good can ever come from disrespecting Ifá-Olodumare. Nothing good can ever come from disrespecting a devotee and knower of Ifá-Olodumare. Only an insane, crazy, mindless and foolish person would ever think about treating Olodumare or one of his devotees in such a dishonoring way. The knower -ologbon- and devotee -awo- of Olodumare depends on none but Olodumare and this is why the devotee of Ifá-Olodumare will never perish and is always prosperous, peaceful, content and full of joy. The knower and devotee of Ifá-Olodumare is always safeguarded by, permeated with and surrounded by Ifá-Olodumare, and he is always being granted the blessings, full support, approval and protection of all Irunmole-Orisa. The devotee of Ifá-Olodumare who lives, has and enjoys the above reality is the one who truly sees with the eyes of Ifá, and understands with the mind of Ifá.
Ela ‘boru. Ela ‘boye. Ela ‘bosise
divine truth - ancestralpride

THE DIVINE TRUTH OF MORAL-SPIRITUAL PROGRESSION

The authentic devotee of Ifá is easily identified by his or her moral-spiritual transformation. Ifá comes into our lives to bestow divine grace, peace, resolve, meaning, intelligence, inner-strength, purity and love.
These divine blessings and powerful endowments are given to us to enable and embolden us in our effort to pursue and gain Ifáyelele (divine awakening, harmony, fulfillment and moral-spiritual-emotional-intellectual maturity). The [true] follower of Ifá can be discerned by the efforts he or she makes to uproot unwholesome tendencies and habits and replace them with divine and wholesome habits.
The enlightened Ifá devotee is never content or satisfied with his or her present moral-spiritual level but is always laboring, pressing forward and exerting himself or herself to acquire new moral-spiritual terrain (continual inner growth, virtue, understanding and purer love). An Ifá devotee delights to strive to attain ever increasing and higher levels of divine grace, sanctity, purity, character, wisdom and power.
To remain stagnant or stationary in ones moral-spiritual unfoldment is to retrogress and lose spiritual ground. A river that somehow or other becomes stationary or stagnant soon becomes the breeding ground of disease, weakness, illness, stench and death, but a dynamic and ever flowing river maintains tenacity, health, sweetness, life and vitality.  Continual advancement and unceasing joyous effort is the clarion call of Ifá to its initiates.




Until we reach the state or condition of non-retrogression (firm, solid, stable, unwavering, abiding and consistent moral-spiritual maturity) there will always be the risk, chance or possibility of losing what level of moral-spiritual advancement we have made due to negligence, complacency, lack of perseverence and lack of strong determination. Only when we run the race legitimately and cross the finish line can we be considered true (spiritual) athletes, winners, champions, warriors and masters (masters of our own self, not other people).
The mature and illuminated devotee understands that to continually grow morally and spiritually is the root, foundation and aim of all Ifá studies and practices. This spiritual process of growth and development cannot be had by proxy. Inner growth and development is obtained by personal determined effort, continual engagement, honest self-analysis and consistent exercise.
No one can give you their well and hard earned intellectual-spiritual divine capacities, intelligence, character, gracefulness and inner spiritual-powers. These things cannot be bought, sold or simply given. They must be earned and acquired through personal consistent study, continual reflection and patient practice. One must qualify to obtain them. Each one must do his or her own work.
Moral-Spiritual progress is the continual fruit of diligence, hard work, self determination and personal conviction. Divine grace empowers us and Divine Wisdom informs us but we must do the work. There are no short cuts and no possibility of skipping steps or side stepping divinely arranged lessons.


Ifá shows us the path to follow and walk upon. Ifá gives us the just measure of instruction and provides us with provisions (diverse kinds of asé) for the journey, but we ourselves must perseveringly, patiently and determinedly walk the path from its beginning to its ends by the strength and power of continual self-initiative.Ifá   will walk with you but Ifá will not carry you on his shoulders and do your necessary work for you.
Ifá has one part and you have the other. You work together. Your personal effort, consecration, sustained enthusiasm, self-renewing initiative, thoughtfulness and participation is essential. This is why there is no need and no point to be made in comparing oneself to others. You do not know and cannot know the inner life, spiritual history and trajectory of anyone. You can only truly know and discern your own. We are all on our own unique and individual path.You alone are responsible for your moral-spiritual progress. You alone are responsible for your lack of moral-spiritual progress. You alone carry the responsibility to promote your own spiritual well being, health and happiness.
Other qualifed, empowered and mature people can help and assist you but the responsibility rests upon you. It is your choice whether you will progress or not. It is your practiced determination which will advance you forward. It is your choice and action that determines  what kind of person you are and will become. Yours alone.
Imitating others on their personal spiritual path will not help you. You have to find, discover  and discern your own authentic, original and correct personal spiritual path and you must follow it wholeheartedly irrespective of whether others approve of it or not, and irrespective of whether you will be accompanied by others or not.  No person can limit you except yourself.
The greater your personal aspiration, inspiration, ideal and insight, the more you can and will attain, if you so choose to actively pursue YOUR DIVINE IDEAL. One of the greatest secrets or greatest spiritual discoveries that all sincere aspirants eventually make is:
‘That all times, situations and/or circumstances are ideal, just right and perfect to make genuine progress and to acquire purity (singularity of purpose), understanding, virtue, divine power and deep wisdom. It is not our environment or circumstances that determines who we are and what we can and will become. It is our attitude, disposition, personal chosen outlook, determination and quality of personal self-confidence that determines our inner and outer achievements and success.’



Olodumare created us with the power of will and the ability to think and choose the path we will follow. Our will, choices and actions determine whether we are living our lives with a progressive mentality or a retarding (retrograde) mentality.
Olodumare has given us the power of self-dominance if we choose to exert it or we can relegate ourselves to the self imposed status of victims of circumstance. Do not victimize yourself and subject yourself to self-pity which is nothing more than a subtle manifestation of selfishness and laxity. Be strong. Be resilient. Know and honor your true divine pedigree and identity! We are not strong or weak by artifice. We are strong or weak by our own will and choice. By our own will we decide if we are going to be determined, successful, persevering and enthusiastic or not.
Through self dominance we have grace, wisdom, freedom and power to master the negative and destructive emotions that arise within us. These negative, destructive potentialities and defilements that arise within us are represented by Oyeku.
We must know that we are able to receive the light, love, power and life of Olodumare within us as represented by Ogbe.
This principle of moral agency, choice and self-determination is seen in Holy Odu Ifá Ogunda Meji:
‘The Core Of The Tree Does Not Call For Water (was the name of the awo) who consulted Ifá for, When All Men Will Give Account In Heaven (before Olodumare).’
‘If it is good you do then continue to do good. If you engage in evil deeds immediately desist from them because the hand will speak (reveal your actions) and the leg will give account (will reveal your activities).’
‘You will account (before Olodumare) for ALL YOUR DEEDS which you practiced on earth.’
Holy Odu Ifa Otua Aira:
‘It is what Ifa expects of us that we should say. Let us speak (and practice) the truth.’
‘It is he that speaks (and practices) the truth that Olodumare will uphold. Let us speak (and do) the truth.’
‘It is he that speaks (and practices) the truth that Irunmole will uphold.’
‘It is he that speaks (practices) the truth that the Earth will uphold.’



Holy Odu Ogunda-Bede:
‘Falsehood will cause the death of a liar.’
‘Treachery will cause the death of the deceitful one.’
‘Whatever we choose to do, even if it is beneath the earths surface (hidden from people) the (limitless) eyes of Olodumare will see them all.’
‘These were Ifá’s declaration to, ‘He who stole at midnight and said the kings of the earth would not see him.’
‘Even if earthly kings (human authorities and agencies) do not see you, the eyes of Olodumare are surely watching you.
Holy Odu Oyeku Ofun:
‘Honest people are rare. Good people are rarer still. Ifá sees the intentions of the heart. Those who practice what is good, Olodumare knows who they are.’
We have been endowed by Olodumare to a remarkable degree with the ability to choose our course in this world and the quality and kind of person we will be. The essential and fundamental  nature of human beings is Ogbe (light, clarity, increase, progress, fluidity and life). But in His wisdom Olodumare has provisionally introduced the training element of Oyeku (darkness, unclarity, decrease, decline, resistance and death) as a sort of spiritual weight or sparring (training) partner so that we can exercise, develop and strengthen our moral-spiritual muscles and our intellectual-intuitive faculties.
Through the interaction and interplay of Ogbe and Oyeku; moral agency, choice, satisfying selection, achievement and intelligent effort is made possible. Through the interaction and interplay of the Ogbe and Oyeku principles the arena is set for the will to be able to exercise, develop and realize itself.
So, who are you? You are what you pursue, practice and associate with inwardly and outwardly. You are your cultivated and nurtured affinities. Our fundamental nature or essence by creation is Ogbe. This means that the root, core and foundation of our being is of the essence of actual fundamental and potential goodness. While our inner essence is goodness itself this goodness means nothing if it is not challenged, cultivated, tested or proved and intentionally appreciated and desired.
You have to want to be and actually be, by your own decisions, thoughts, choices and actions, demonstrably good. It is a fact that from apple seeds new apple trees are born and from the trees new apple fruits are obtained. But if this seed is not cared for, protected, watered and nourished it will not even become a young creeper much less a fruit bearing tree.
Not only the seed but the soil upon which it grows must be prepared. Weeds, stones, fungus and harmful insects must be continuously removed. Even when the tree grows and matures it has to be pruned so as to ensure future productivity. The apples you eat do not reach you by chance or accident. Someone intentionally took care of the soil, of the seed, of the tree, nurtured and cultivated it.
In like manner you have to intentionally and responsibly nurture and cultivate your innate fundamental Ogbe nature. It needs to be said the Oyeku is not our enemy but a veiled friend. Oyeku can seem like a harsh and hard taskmaster but this is not the case. The heart of Oyeku is pure compassion. Oyeku holds out noble prospects for us but these must be worked for and earned. Oyeku comes along aside us and within us to challenge us and to offer us countless opportunities and occasions for moral-spiritual growth.
When we at times feel the sting of Oyeku is only because we are looking and drifting away from Ogbe. Oyeku is the strict and unwavering disciplinarian who trains us up and leads us to true freedom, the freedom of being mature, enlightened, disciplined and responsible people. Without enlisting the support of Oyeku, Ogbe cannot fulfil its task in regard to our moral-spiritual and emotional-intellectual training, development and education.
The manifestations of Oyeku like adversity, challenges, stressful situations and difficulties are for our ultimate good. It is not the fact of adversity, challenges, stressful situations and difficulties which injures us but it is our attitude, outlook and response to these that determines whether we gain benefit and advancement or experience loss and decline in our moral-spiritual development. These moments of challenge, difficulty and endurance reveal to us who we presently are and where we are in our spiritual unfoldment. They don’t make us who we are. We choose who and how we are by our attitudes and responses towards life challenges as well as by our developing perception of our own selves.
Moral-spiritual unfoldment is not glamorous or flashy. In fact one will experience many dry seasons and seemingly unfruitful seasons in ones spiritual career of divine ascent. To achieve deep inner transformation, divine gracefulness and god-like character is a work in progress which requires steady commitment, patience and perseverance especially during the dry and seamingly uneventful seasons. Steer away from superficiality and superficial (morally-spiritually uncultivated) people. Steer away from attitudes of laxity, complacency and laziness. Don’t try to jump steps or side step necessary lessons. Don’t fall into the contemporary practice of being a jack of all trades but a master of none.
Honor your life and calling. Resist the urge to be impulsive and the habit of being a people pleaser. Stop jumping here and there and develop strong, firm and deep spiritual roots. You lament and wish there were more real and genuine spiritual devotee’s. Well become one. Be one.
Achieve this for your own advancement and for the benefit of those who are seeking for the truth and its genuine representatives. Do not complain, bicker or lament, instead take steps to elevate your life condition above that which is mediocre, superficial (fake), insubstantial and unsatisfactory.
No one can give you a superior and sublime status and inner condition. You have to develop it, work it in and cultivate it in the laboratory of your own life over many days, weeks and years. You will experience and have many highs and lows, ups and downs, and many moments of ecstasy and tears in relation to your moral-spiritual progress and development.
This is a normal occurence but you have to be persevering and look to the finality of your struggles and challenges. You have to recall what it is that you are working towards. A divine quality of life has to be cultivated, divinely appropriated and earned otherwise it would hold no true meaning or value. You have to earn it, work for it, to have a right to it.
Don’t look at others but instead look at yourself and what you are or are not doing with your life, privileges and opportunities. Don’t spend your time and energy assessing and criticizing others, instead fairly assess yourself and honestly criticize yourself constructively. Ifá puts before you two choices. You can choose the way of the genuine, honest and diligent aspirant (awo) or you can choose the path of the hypocrite (double minded), zig-zagging (unstable) and willfully uninformed (ogberi). The choice is yours alone to make.
Do not blame others or find fault with others for your own choices and decisions. Allow no one to take advantage of you but also ensure that you do not take advantage of anyone. Do not ask or expect from others what you do not ask or expect from yourself. Do not make demands on others to practice and do. what you yourself neglect to practice and do.
You can only give what you have. You can only suggest and ask others to do and practice the principles of truth and noble character only if you have been firmly established in them yourself for some considerable and observable time. Your words will lack moral-spiritual power, authority, healing gracefulness and uplifting potency if you are not a well cultivated embodiment of those moral-spiritual principles you espouse.
Minimize the need for excessive verbosity, instead convince and win others over by the power of your actions, behavior, attitude and conduct. How can you teach others if you have not taught yourself? How can you offer others a hope and standard that you do not have for yourself? This is the teaching and standard of Ifá.
Ela ‘boru. Ela ‘boye. Ela ‘bosise.
Your friend and well-wisher Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas.