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.

TRUE INITIATION (an Ifá reflection)

Satisfying and purpose giving spiritual knowledge can be attained by a seeker only when one is initiated by a competent and thoroughly spiritualized spiritual master. This acquiring of life changing knowledge, authority and spiritual power (force and/or energy) is what is called initation.




Initiation is an act where spiritual power, grace and energy; and deep spiritual knowedge are imparted. This power and mystical knowledge (direct experiential perception) removes from one’s life the bondage of doubt, ignorance, aimlessness, insecurity, uncertainty, unclarity, fear and worry.
 
A genuine, knowledgeable and thoroughly spiritualized/divinized spiritual master is able to impart the awareness and experience of the highest divine reality. Our experience of this uplifting reality and transformative power, with all of its attendant benefits and blessings is what we called grace. This grace reveals your true divine identity and it opens, activates, invigorates and prepares your mind-spirit to receive, assimilate and comprehend deep spiritual secrets.
 
Initiation is the descent and reception of asé (grace, divine presence, new awareness, power and new intelligence) which leads us to inner freedom and moral-intellectual and spiritual growth. Our initiation is not just a one time thing that occurred in igbodu, initiation is something that we must continuously renew, refresh and re-establish ourselves in. Odu Ifá Ogbe-Ate teaches us this principle: “Now that I have been initiated now I must re-initiate myself. This is true of our initiation into Ifá, Irunmole-Orisa, Ogboni etc. etc. 




Our initiation is a spiritual life-line and a source of inexhaustible strength, courage, inspiration, knowledge, comfort and power. The descent and reception of divine asé, and our dedicated personal effort to work and live in harmony with this asé must go hand-in-hand. This is the meaning of, “Now that I have been initiated (freely received the free flow of divine asé) now I must re-initiate myself (must exert myself and must work in harmony with the peculair asé and the divine transmission of knowledge that I have received).
 
Freely given grace (power, energy, illuminating knowledge and divine presence) and personal applied effort and intelligence must work together continuously and must be always renewed and refreshed. Intellectual knowledge is very important and very necessary. but it is not sufficient to lead us to fullness of divine understanding and to fullness of satisfaction of the heart. 
 
This is why initiation, personal re-initiation and continual association with authentic spiritual masters are vitally important, because initiation, personal self-actualization and continual association with awo mimo (divine, sincere, devoted, progress-making and wholesome initiators and initiates) imparts to us the essence and spirit of devotion, love, assurance, competence and unshakable certainty. This will safeguard us from unwholesome and injurious obsessions and it will protect us from deluding ourselves and falling into a false, imaginary, unsatisfying and superficial spirituality.




With initiation comes clear and unambiguous guidance, meaning and direction. With initiation we receive the power, guidance and understanding to lead and guide our own lives without having to make ourselves dependent upon others. Innate ignorance, deep seated adverse and counterproductive conditions and deep seated lack of self-confidence cannot be uprooted and removed by intellectual knowledge alone. Neither is intellectual knowledge alone sufficient to bring complete healing, deep satisfaction and wellness to our inner lives.
 
Through initiation and personal re-initiation (self-actualization) we continuously receive and experience the grace, power, influence, guidance and inspiration of the divine spirit world. Through initiation and re-initiation, we renew and re-strengthen our intuitive connectivity with the divine spirit realm and our connection to the divine energies and divine spirit intelligences. 
 
This asé leads us to greater, more subtle and higher stages of spiritual unfoldment, understanding, insight and maturity. According to our own unique capacity, receptivity, responsiveness, dedication and interest are we then able to receive and fill ourselves up with this asé.  Your personal level and quality of purity, living, knowledge, enthusiasm and devotion will determine the amount and quality of asé that you will be able to receive, imbue yourself with and able to impart to others.
 
So, initiation means the reception of, the caring for and the cultivating of this special treasure that we call asé. This asé will make us wise, kind, strong, resilient and powerful if we follow it. When we have this asé all of our actions and doings bare fruit without the need for strenuous or excessive needless efforts. When we have this asé and divine transmission of knowledge though initiation, personal self-actualization and through continual association with our spiritual master (initiator, guide and teacher) the most difficult tasks become easy, realizable and sweet for us. Things unfold gracefully, with order, peace and harmony.



Let us value our initiation! Let us re-initiate (self-actualize) ourselves by ourselves and let us keep the continual company of kind, loving, sincere, honest, knowledgeable, humble and clean hearted devotees.
 
Ela ‘boru. Ela ‘boye. Ela ‘bosise.

DISOBEDIENCE

What is disobedience? There are many definitions for the term disobedience depending on how it applies to an individual. In my own personal opinion disobedience could be an act of proudness (vanity), conceit, arrogance and disrespect. Know that this attitude will have a strong negative impact on the disobedient (arrogant) and negligent ones.
There are various kinds of acts of disobedience. It is a known fact that Ifá disapproves of any form of disobedience to divine instructions and Ifá disapproves of disobedience to the wholesome instructions of our reputable elders.  We have learnt about it in many Odu Ifá that all acts of willful disobedience always ends in sorrow and regret. Disobedience can manifest in diverse forms. Disobedience between the children and their parents. Disobedience between junior person to their elders. Disobedience between individuals and  Òrúnmìlà.  Disobedience can take many expressions.




My main concern and focus today is on the aspect of disobedience between individuals in relation to Ifá and to all Irunmole-Orisa. Many of us don’t seem to believe in the words of Ifá. It is a known fact that the pronouncements of Ifá will always come to pass and will never go unfulfilled as far as it was been prophesized and communicated by a knowledgeable, honest and good babalawo. A good babalawo is not excessively talkative. he simply interprets and relays the clear message of Ifá. This is because Ifá is the voice of Olodumare.
Before we go to consult Ifá we must and should have clear thoughts and a precise idea of what we want to ask Ifá.  Before going to ask direction from Ifá we must have a clearly formed and precise idea of what we want and need Ifá to clarify and address for us. This is why Ifá says in Osa Iwori:
Amoran mo da o tele, ki n to da ikin.




Translation:
 “I have thought (carefully considered) already before I cast Ifá.”
This is to tell us that we have to be clear about our thoughts and that we don’t want to make a mistake. It is also necessary to know that beyond what we consult Ifá about, Ifá also sees beyond what we are inquiring about, and why we have consulted him. Ifá can see our heart and Ifá knows what is truly good, beneficial and advantageous for us. We must not neglect or disregard the prophecies of Òrúnmìlà that come up as this too will come to pass.
It is obvious that Ifá will speak on why we have consulted him, but at same time Ifá will speak further on future occurrences, or perhaps speak about someone else that is not even aware of our movement. This is just to demonstrate with what complete detail Ifá can see things and prescribe solutions for future occurrences.
Age does not determine our experiences in life but it may determine our ideas towards day-to-day occurrences, and by this I mean that experiences vary from individual to individual.
For instances in the Ifá verse OTURA AMOSUN we see that Òrúnmìlà was learning from his son. My point is that a young one may have a particular experience or outlook that an elder does not have and may never encounter or have in his life time. This does not mean however that the elder does not have an understanding and outlook that is relevant to that of the young ones experience and understanding. This is why I will not disregard a yoruba adage that says:




“Ko si bi omode se le ni aso titi, ko ni akisa ju baba e lo”.
Translation:
“There is is no way a child will have bundle of clothes and have over (more) used (rags) clothes more than his father.”
And it is same yoruba adage that says
“Bi omode ba n gegi ni igbo, awon agbalagba lo mo bi to ma wosi”.
Translation:
“If a child is doing something, it is the elders that know where it will end (where it will surely lead the child).
This is more reason why we have to respect the ideas, experiences and wisdom of our elders and we must listen to the words of Ifá, and follow the doctrines of each Orisa, especially the Orisa we are dedicated to.
Let’s hear how Ifá buttresses on this point of disobedience and how we should not be disobedient in the  Odu Ifá OBARA OFUN:
“Obara funfun niginnigin adifa fun onile ori oke to n lo re ri afopin eye, won ni o kara n le ebo ni ko se.”
Translation :
“Obara-is-whitish-in-nature  (is the name of the awo who) cast divination for the owner of hilltop house who was going to see the movement of a bird. He was ask to make ebo.”
Commentary: Onile ori oke (the one who built his house on the hilltop/mountain) went to a babalawo (an Ifá seer) and consulted Ifá on how his present wealth and riches could be increased but Ifá only talked about the future and warned him to make sacrifice to prevent eyes problem.  He was warned not to stare at the movement of bird while on flying through the atmosphere (air)  but he never listened because Ifá didn’t speak to him about what he had originally come to consult Ifá about. He was worried about his wealth and riches and Ifá was worried and concerned about him preserving his health and eyesight! Which one is more important?! Wealth or health? Riches or eyesight?
He eventually left without doing the prescribed ebo and he left wondering and thinking that since he is healthy how could he possibly develop or get an eye defect.
Well one day he was in his house and a bird flew down to the ground and picked up a stone. This behavior of watching a bird picking up stone was something new to him and he found it intriguing. He thought that is was something worth watching since it was his first time he was seeing such a peculiar phenomena.
He could not and did not remember what he had been told by Ifá, to not to monitor the movement of a bird flying and moving through the atmosphere (air). He thereby continued watching the bird pick up the stone from the ground and he traced (observed) the movement (flight) of the bird from the ground level to the atmosphere (air).




Eventually as the word of Ifá will come to pass, the bird mistakingly dropped the stone and as the law of gravity would have it, unknowingly for him while his face was still facing up and his neck rotating around to see the circular movement of the bird in flight in the air, the stone that the bird had dropped suddenly fell on his eyes with such a force (impact) that his eyes were damaged and he went blind!
It was after this occurrence that remembered what Ifá told him through the babalawo a long time ago, thus regretting and saying to himself why did he not listen to and obey the words of Òrúnmìla!
What we can deduce from this Ifá story is that we should not disregard the word of Olodumare which is Ifá.
Ifá ni oro Olodumare. Ifá is the word of Olodumare.
This story also tells us and implies that we should be obedient, truthful and faithful in all ramifications of life.
We should not believe or think that the words, advice and counsel of Ifá are superstitious pronouncements. They are not. Ifá is the truth.
As a child we should respect our elders and their opinions.
As a child we should respect our parents and their opinions.
As followers of the different Orisa, we should respect the laid down established rules and principles attached to each of the  Orisa and their peculiar doctrine.
As Ifá priests we should not forget the slogan of Ifá in Ejiogbe that says:
“Ka se otito, ka se ododo, iye eni se otito ni irunmole n gbe”.
Translation
“We should be truthful and trustworthy. It is only those who are truthful and trustworthy that Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa will bless (support)”.
We should respect our Ifá taboos (prohibitions). We should fully respect and practice the ethical principles and standards laid down by Ifá.
By doing this we will not regret being followers of Ifá. By doing this we will not offend, hurt, injure or prick our inner-mind or conscience.




Many keep wondering and asking why it is that Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa are not working for him? The first thing he or she should do is to check himself and herself, to know and find out where it is that he or she has been disobedient to the ancestors, Irunmole-Orisa and Ifá. It we don’t live, cultivate and practice truthful, trustworthy and honest lives, then we cannot count on the support of Ifá and the Irunmole. Until we don’t adopt the principle of practical truthfulness, kindness, faithfulness and honesty, we cannot expect the Irunmole-Orisa and Ifá to take us seriously,  to hear us and to respond to our needs and requests. When we listen to and obey Ifá, then will Ifá listen to us and respond favorably and immediately to our requests, needs and wants.
~ Oluwo Fasola Faniyi
AncestralPride_orishaCalendar

IFA /ORISA CALENDAR FOR MAY, 2018

1.  Sango/Oya
2.  Obatala/Egungun/Iyaami/Sanpanna
3.  Ifa/Esu/Osun/Aje/Yemoja                                            **
4.  Ogun/Osoosi/Orisa Oko
5.  Sango/Oya
6.  Obatala/Egungun/Iyaami/Sanpanna
7.  Ifa/Esu/Osun/Aje/Yemoja                                            **
8.  Ogun/Osoosi/Orisa Oko
9.  Sango/Oya
10. Obatala/Egungun/Iyaami/Sanpanna




11. Ifa/Esu/Osun/Aje/Yemoja                                            **
12. Ogun/Osoosi/Orisa Oko
13. Sango/Oya
14. Obatala/Egungun/Iyaami/Sanpanna
15. Ifa/Esu/Osun/Aje/Yemoja                                            **
16. Ogun/Osoosi/Orisa Oko
17. Sango/Oya
18. Obatala/Egungun/Iyaami/Sanpanna
19. Ifa/Esu/Osun/Aje/Yemoja                                            **
20. Ogun/Osoosi/Orisa Oko
21. Sango/Oya
22. Obatala/Egungun/Iyaami/Sanpanna
23. Ifa/Esu/Osun/Aje/Yemoja                                            ***
24. Ogun/Osoosi/Orisa Oko
25. Sango/Oya
26. Obatala/Egungun/Iyaami/Sanpanna
27. Ifa/Esu/Osun/Aje/Yemoja                                            **
28. Ogun/Osoosi/Orisa Oko




29. Sango/oya
30. Obataala/egungun/iyami/sanpanna
31. Ifa/esu/osun/aje/yemoja

 

**   = Ose Ifa (Ororun-un)
*** = Itadogun

Oluwo Fasola Faniyi Babtunde

THE TRUE AND SPIRITUAL MEANING OF BEING AN OLUWO

Being a master of iwa: The true and spiritual meaning of being an oluwo – a master, expert practitioner and owner of iwa.

Everyone can be a superior person, a moral person, a person of good character, but a great many are unwilling to be. Most people are seemingly ‘good’ for convenience purposes, to maintain appearances, to comply with social pressure or due to fear of loss due to public disapproval. There are few authentic men or women of iwa in today’s world. Iwa is the spirit and power that sustains, nourishes and governs the creation and iwa is the power that connects us to and gives us entrance to the divine spiritual world. Iwa is a divine, progressive, eternal energy, primordial intelligence and power that has no beginning and no end. When we are connected to this eternal power, energy and intelligence, we express this reality by good thoughts, good words, good actions, lofty demeanor and trustworthy behavior. These are the signs and symptoms of the presence of iwa in the life of a human being. The morality of a great many today is like the rise and fall of the mercury in the thermometer, it is like the changing colors of skin of the chameleon. Instead of being actually good, sincere, genuine and honest; people today feel virtuous and great pride in themselves by merely acting and pretending to be good, sincere, genuine and honest! Few people today know what real honor, divine knowledge, iwa and integrity are. No one needs to be a petty person, a self-seeking person, a fake-person, but that is what many are and want to be. To be sincere, faithful and respectful, to be amiable, harmonious and upright, to promote the worthy and praise the good, to benefit beings according to what is appropriate: all such things are the deeds of a superior person, a moral person, of a person of iwa. Such deeds are not hard to do. But people are unwilling to pursue this noble path from the heart — why?




To be devious, tricky and arrogant; to be coarse, rough, violent, lustful and deceptive; to speak of the shortcomings of others, to speak of the flaws of others while not acknowledging the excellent qualities in others. To elevate oneself at the expense of others. To hide ones own many flaws and shortcomings and to praise ones few virtues before others; are not such things the deeds of a petty person, of a hypocritical person, of an arrogant person, of a fake-person and of a self-seeking person. What is the benefit in practicing such a petty, hollow, superficial and meaningless life? Yet people are determined to live in this useless and meaningless way — why?

If you are a superior person, a person of genuine iwa, compassion and humility, the people will irresistibly be pleased with you, the irunmole-orisa will help and support you, and misfortune will not occur. You will seek and secure spiritual fulfillment, prosperity, fortune, and riches and you will gain much, because the spirit of honesty, kindness, iwa and good-will will support you and will cause your honest efforts to yield satisfying results.

But if you are a petty person, a manipulating and controlling person, an unfeeling person, a zig-zagging person, a person lacking iwa, integrity and honor, the people will mistrust you, the people will hate you, the people will see right through you and will not trust you and support you. The irunmole-orisa will be angry with you and will detest you, the irunmole-orisa will not take you seriously and will not listen to anything you have to say, your name will stink to the irunmole-orisa, the irunmole-orisa will withdraw themselves and their benefits from you, your person will be a taboo to them; and disaster, shame, dishonor and calamity will come to you. Your good fortune and your life span will be cut short, and you will suffer many losses.




Being an oluwo in the truest and highest sense is a rare and extraordinary attainment. It is a rare attainment and achievements reserved for the dedicated few. A true oluwo does not become an oluwo by mere socio-religio exercise. A true oluwo does not become an oluwo by the power of the purchasing power of money or due to the connection with worldly friends. A true oluwo is formed not only due to divine steps and activities in this life, but is formed due to the momentum and continuity of spiritual progress and efforts carried over from past existences. The true oluwo is one who is able to successfully guide and heal others. The true oluwo is able to win people over with his simplicity, love, honesty, wisdom and straightforwardness. The genuine oluwo does not lord it over people. The legitimate oluwo is not moved by the praises, flattery or verbal abuses of anyone because an oluwo is not conceited or self-absorbed. The destiny of an authentic oluwo is to selflessly serve others without arrogance, conceit, corrosive pride and airs of superiority. Oluwo is not a superficial title but is an earned state of being. Oluwo is the spirit of divine wisdom, grace, kindness and intelligence manifested in our world in a human form. Oluwo is more than human, the true oluwo is a divine being who hides his divine identity and glory and is only interested in illuminating others and in delivering people from their doubts, confusions, sorrows, sufferings and afflictions. The bonafide master, practitioner and owner of iwa is permeated with divine ase, gracefulness, serenity, contagious enthusiasm and the sentiment of the divine irunmole-orisa. A divine oluwo knows how to install and activate the spirit of wholesome self-esteem, confidence, kindness, hope, gentleness, and clarity in people. An oluwo abides in imperturbable peace, serenity and clarity. An oluwo sees things from the root and is not taken in by appearances. An oluwo is empowered to inspire trust, confidence and love in people. Oluwo or master, expert practitioner and owner of iwa is the embodiment of wisdom, power and compassion. Oluwo is a state of being, consciousness and manner of life. This divine state and condition of life is what gives elegance and attractiveness to ones knowledge of Ifá. This divine state and condition of life is what gives effectivness, power and authenticity to ones spiritual activities, rites and rituals. This divine state and condition of life is what attracts the irunmole-orisa and their blessings, guidance and power into ones life. The state and condition of oluwo is what makes makes a babalawo a babalawo, a babalorisa a babalorisa, an iyalorisa an iyalorisa and a genuine human being into a true divine human being. The status and condition of oluwo is not only related to Ifá practices, methodology, chants, priestly services and oracular practices. A person can know much Ifá, can know how to conduct and officiate all the mysteries, rites and rituals of Ifá and yet not have the oluwo state and condition of divine spirituality. There is many oluwo in name only but not in the actual reality and power of what oluwo means and stands for. Oluwo state and condition is what gives these practices meaning, power, credibility and efficacy. The oluwo state of being and inner condition of life transcends all religious practices, religions, sects, mysteries, names and titles; and is the heart and core of true saving knowledge. An oluwo does not have to go out to seek of anyone, nor does an oluwo need to promote himself, because his mastery and accomplishments in iwa ase will go out far and wide and will speak for him and will attract all good and auspicious things to him. Oluwo is not a temporary title that one earns or purchases from other human beings, but it is a spiritual attainment, condition and state of being that one has earned and that one discovers; and that others discern that one is firmly established in. Everything that such an oluwo blesses, oversees, institutes and approves will unfailingly prosper. Aspire to be such a master, expert practitioner and owner of iwa. Aspire to be a master of yourself and not others. Learn how to discipline, master and control your own life and you will be well on your way to true mastery, advancement and divine attainment. An oluwo exists to serve and not to be served. An oluwo does not praise himself to himself or before others. An oluwo delights in and glories only in displaying and exhibiting the eternal spirit and power of iwa in extraordinary, original, beneficial, practical and wonderful ways. An oluwo loves humility, meekness, moral courage, truthfulness and holy living. An oluwo is a being of few words but of great, meaningful and magnificent actions; and when an oluwo does speak, he speaks according to the truth of things, he speaks with depth and gracefulness, the oluwo speaks to benefit, uplift, encourage, admonish and empower others. An oluwo does not deliberately draw attention to himself. An oluwo does not speak about himself but about the ways of truth, kindness, harmony and holy wisdom. The words of such an oluwo penetrates to the depths of the hearts and minds of his listeners and brings about a great change and transformation in their attitudes, perceptions and manner of living. This is the true, confidential, spiritual and transcendent meaning of oluwo, a master practitioner of iwa and a true lineage holder and child of the primordial and all embracing iwa.

what-is-IFA - ancestral pride temple

IFÁ MEANS FAMILY, IFÁ MEANS LOVING COMMUNITY, IFÁ MEANS YOU ARE NEVER ALONE!

Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun.

Today’s message is a timely and special one. May the tenderness and love of Ifá-Olodumare and all the positive loving thoughts of all sincere devotees permeate this message with power, comfort and strength. In today’s world there is so much stress, strain, pain, sorrow, and pressure of all sorts. Some of us are in sorrow, strain and excessive states of stress due to the pressures of the environment which surrounds us. Others are suffering mentally and emotionally due to unhealthy conditions in the home and dysfunctional relationships. Others suffer due to inherited congenital defects. Some of us are suffering from physical, psychological and emotional illness and disorders. Others suffer from loneliness, melancholy, depression and from the sensation of feeling out of place or misunderstood. Many suffer from many things that are not their fault and which they did not cause. Life can be difficult. Life can be hard. Even though we know that there is supreme person, Olodumare, who loves us and cares for us, it is hard to accept certain situations in which we find ourselves in. During times of great pain and suffering, speeches about Olodumare somehow are not sufficient to heal the pain and wounds in our hearts and lives. We need to see Olodumare manifested in and through flesh-and-blood people to derive comfort, hope and confidence. We cannot always fathom the plan and purposes of Olodumare in our lives, especially when we are are the ones who are personally being overwhelmed with suffering, pain and anguish, which seems in all honesty senseless, meaningless and purposeless in our lives. It is easy to speak about the love of Olodumare and His wonderful plans for us, the love of Ifá and the love Irunmole/Orisa when we are enjoying health, opportunities and a success sustaining environment. But when pain, mishap, great suffering, anxiety and fear comes in person knocking at our personal doorstep, it can be hard, difficult and even impossible, to see, feel and acknowledge the reality of Olodumare, His love and His glorious plans for us. How can we accept, feel, see and find love in suffering, in worry, in anxiety and in fearful times?! It is hard if not impossible to convince ourselves of the existence, goodness, wisdom and perfection of Ifá-Olodumare, when we are personally and individually undergoing a great crisis and a prolonged period of worry, anxiety and depression due to illness or other upsetting events. Human beings of all faiths, traditions and no traditions, including many Ifá-Orisa devotees are suffering from diverse illnesses and ailments because they are simply human beings who are susceptible to sicknesses and ailments like all other human beings.




Whether we are at present healthy or not, the fact of the matter is that we are all subject to mortality. Not a single one of us will live forever in our present bodies. We will all in one way or another succumb to sickness, old-age and then death. Even when we are healthy and life seems to be smiling upon us, our lives can be taken from us, due to time and unforeseen circumstances. Our bodies and lives as far as the human body is concerned are limited, transient and impermanent. We are all dying…with every breath we take we are getting closer to the grave. This is a sobering but strangely comforting fact if we understand that we are all undergoing and experiencing this process TOGETHER. There is a reason and good purpose for everything that Olodumare institutes, even if we cannot at present comprehend or accept this fact. What often makes our pain and suffering unbearable is not necessarily the fact that we as human beings are mortal and that we will die someday from one thing or another, but what injures our minds and feelings is when we have to endure these things alone. There are hard and difficult things to accept or comprehend in regard to the divine arrangements of Olodumare that we cannot at present understand, and to be quite honest there are things that are hard, difficult or impossible for us to accept. The only comfort that we have is in knowing that somehow or other everything is tending towards our ultimate good and happiness, and that we are not alone and that we have friends, companions and family who loves us, who will be with us and there for us. Our friends, companions and family might not be able to do anything about our illness or ailment but it is surely easier to enjoy life, to cope and to live with hope and gratitude when we have friends and family who are with us from moment-to-moment and day-to-day, who are able to impart strength, comfort, love and hope to us, by which we can live one-day-at-a-time. The fact of the matter is that there are things for which a solution will not be found in this world at the present time. Only trust in Olodumare, resignation to His will and the comfort and company of beloved friends, companions and family members will be able to give us strength to live and courage to press forward. Ifá is about community, this means to come together in unity with care, affection, sympathy and concern. Ifá means family, friends and associates bound together by mutual love, respect, care and concern. How wonderful it is when we are not well, when we are fearful, worried or sick and a true friend, brother, sister or family members arrives to comfort us, to laugh with us and to cry with us! How wonderful to have someone or many people to come around you and they throw their arms around to tell you they care about you and that they are going to be with you come what may. These people are veritable Orisa to us! They are bearers and emitters of life, strength and hope!!! They are a life-line to us. We see and feel Olodumare in them, thru them and because of them. This compassionate and sympathetic feeling, sentiment and attitude is the all consuming disposition of Òrúnmìlà, of Ifá and of Olodumare, and of all genuine devotees of Ifá-Olodumare. No one here can go at it alone. We all need each other. We are all in part strong and weak. We are all in part resilient and vulnerable. We all experience periods and moments of fear, doubt, worry and insecurity,…oh…but how wonderful it is when during these periods of struggle and challenge, a friend, brother and companion in the faith comes alongside you, to stay and be with you, until all things unfold as they must and as they will! Do you know that there were moments in the life of Òrúnmìlà when he completely felt alone and misunderstood? Do you know that there were periods in the life of Òrúnmìlà that were intense in pain, worry, suffering and anxiety in which he was only able to make it solely through the assistance, comfort, relief, encouragement, nearness and dedication of loyal friends and companions?! We are all subject to suffering, fear, illness, worry and anxiety. We are all subject to impermanence and decay, no matter how our bodies feel at the present time and no matter how our bodies look at the present time. We are all ‘sick’ with mortality. We are all ‘sick’ with aging. We will all succumb to illness, decay or dis-ease of one form or another. We are all in this together.




Olodumare arranged things like this so that we might learn to value our lives, our health, our friends, family and each other. Olodumare arranged things like this so that we might learn to discern and value what it truly important in life. What would we give to have another moment with our father, or mother, or friend or brother or son or daughter who passed!? How would we treat them and speak to them? How much more time would be have dedicated to them? What would we do different if we could go back in time to our youth with the experiences, maturity and knowledge that we now have? Olodumare arranged things like this so that we might learn the highest and greatest values. Olodumare arranged things like this so that compassion, generosity and sympathy might arise in us towards others. It is a fact that those of us who have been through the fire of pain, affliction and suffering are more sensitive, understanding and responsive to the pains, sufferings and ailments of others. When we are in true need we really discover the value, blessing and preciousness of our genuine friends, relatives and companions of faith. Through these unwanted but necessary processes of alternating pain and pleasure in life, we are developed, matured and perfected by Olodumare. His purpose is that we might grow, develop and bond together. His purpose is that we might simultaneously learn how to unpretentiously serve others and that we might learn how to receive humbly the generous service of others. This is what Ifá reveals and teaches to us. Friend you are not alone. Olodumare loves you and is caring for you no matter how things may seem. He is not upset with you or angry with you. Your pain, ailments and/or sufferings are not existing because you have done something wrong. You are not alone. There is a community of faithful devotees who reach out to you with their means, time, resources and strengthening prayers. Our bodies are transient, impermanent and subject to decay and decline. We are spirit beings who inhabit and utilize these physical bodies to connect us with the physical world through which we experience lessons which purify our lives and which causes our spirit to gain intelligence, maturity, knowledge, values and advancement. We are all on our way to the higher states and higher worlds of completion and perfection where all suffering, pain, illness and worry will exist no more because they will have fulfilled their training purpose in our lives. If we consider our lives, this world and our bodies as a divinely established temporary school and as a temporary practice vehicle for training and developing our mind, spirit, will and emotions, it will be more easier for us to resign ourselves to the plans of Olodumare with courage and without fear. Ifá teaches us to achieve clear-seeing consciousness and a sympathizing heart. Let us reach out to one another in a realistic way with compassion, understanding, patience, practical love and steadfastness. Let us help each other as best we can, each one contributing what he can to benefit and comfort his brother or sister who is enduring a difficult and painful time. Our love and sympathy may not instantaneously rid them of their illness or ailment, but it will contribute to their healing, it will relieve their suffering, it will give them hope and strength to endure one day at a time. It will minister to them moral, emotional and psychological health, strength and courage which will surely have an impact in the overall improvement of their health and situation. This is the message and understanding that Ifá would have us understand, appreciate and assimilate. You who are well, remember that a day will come that you will not be. You who are not well, do not lose hope and courage. You will make improvement. Things will get better. And with the activity of the fellowship of devotees near and far, you will gain strength, fortitude and courage to cope, while you receive continual healing, comfort, support and strength.



Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun.

Olodumare = ancestral pride

THE KNOWER OF OLODUMARE

Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun.

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 man of Olodumare extends a measure of trust, confidence and good-faith in everyone. The man of Olodumare only changes his view and perception of others only when others give him reason to, but initially the man of Olodumare attributes goodness, honesty and good-faith to all. The man 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, defeat, 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 in this way. Nothing good can ever come disrespecting a devotee and knower of Ifá-Olodumare. Only a 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.

Ela ‘boru. Ela ‘boye. Ela ‘bosise.