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THE GREATNESS, BEAUTY, EXCELLENCE AND POWER OF IFÁ:

To experience, ‘see’ and know Ifá depends completely on one having sincerity and faith [genuine spiritual affinity, divine attraction and confidence]. If one has sincerity and faith, one will be transformed [positively and qualitatively changed]. If one has sincerity towards Ifá and faith in Ifá then one will be able to perceive the appearance of Ifá in one’s life. This sincerity and faith are a product of the development of one’s own peculiar spirituality [natural spiritual affinity]. This peculiar and personal sincerity and faith are also enlarged, strengthened, augmented, nurtured, protected and empowered by the virtuous divine activity of Ifá.
Ifá cannot be seen by the physical eyes. Ifá can only be known, experienced and enjoyed by and through the heart [the awakened, receptive and responsive mind/spirit]. If you are sincere and your power of intuitive-connectivity [spiritual sensitivity, inner-feeling and responsiveness] is awake [active] then you will know [directly experience] Ifá, and this knowing will remove all doubts, worries, fears and anxieties from your mind and life. Ifá will heal your inner-world and correct [harmonize] your outer world. Ifá will fill, surround and inundate your life with peace, certainty, meaning and optimism.
If one is insincere, indifferent to spiritual realities and one lacks the willingness to trust in something that is greater than oneself then one will not be able to ‘see’, directly experience and understand Ifá. Ifá is everywhere. Ifá fills everything.  Ifá sees, understands and knows everything. Ifá has thousands upon thousands of feet. Ifá has thousands upon thousands of eyes. Ifá has thousands upon thousands of hands. Ifá is closer to us than the air we breathe. Ifá is like a great, luminous and radiant sun which is always emanating light, heat, life and warm. Ifá is a divine sun which never goes down and which never sets but if we close our ‘eyes’ [due to ignorance, pride, arrogance, conceit and heedlessness] and we refuse to look then all will appear to us to be darkness, gloom and suffering. We have to want to see. We have to at least must be willing to see or be willing to be helped to see. We must want to be helped by Ifá to experience and know Ifá. Ifá is everywhere, Ifá is in all places. Ifá is not coming and going. Ifá is always present just like the air we breathe.
Ifá is like a compassionate and kind mother who always cares for her children. Ifá is the one who becomes troubled when we are troubled! Ifá is kindness, compassion, integrity, courage and strength. Ifá is powerful, sympathetic, understanding, generous and kind. Ifá is always ready to manifest and assist the sincere and straightforward person who genuinely wants to improve and correct themselves. But those who ask Ifá-muwagun for help, relief and favors but refuse to abandon dishonest, unwholesome, destructive and immoral activities will obtain nothing. Ifá is the character of Olodumare. Ifá is the truth. Ifá is harmonious and honest living. Ifá is honor, courage and integrity. Those who ask Ifá-muwagun for help, relief and assistance while simultaneously persevering in the cultivation of a responsible and healthy life of continual improvement, correction and moral-spiritual growth will be helped unfailingly by Ifá.
The seed of Ifá already exists and is deeply planted within our mind. As we walk in affinity, sincerity and trust with Ifá this seed will grow and will begin to manifest the divine virtues, powers and blessings of Ifá in our lives. This seed will grow into a great, powerful and sacred tree which will bestow the fruits of peace, health, confidence, true spiritual power and deep understanding. Ifá will teach us the secret of self-control. This is what true power and mastery is. How can you control and regulate others if you are powerless in regard to your own self and you are yet incapable of exerting mastery over your own self?! If you cannot control and regulate yourself then how can you help others to control and regulate themselves. If you are an ill tempered, impatient, zig-zagging, inconsistent, negative and wavering person, then this means that you are a spiritually powerless person. If your morality, values and standards are always going up and down and changing like the chameleon changes it’s color to suit its environment, then this means that you have no stability, strength and rootedness; this means that you are a spiritually powerless person because you are unreliable, impulsive, inconsistent and lacking in firm determination. If you are a person who is controlled completely by circumstances and surrounding situations then this means that you are a spiritually powerless person. Do not despair. Ifá can and will help you remedy this if you come to Ifá-muwagun with sincerity, good-faith, sheer honesty, transparency and with the genuine desire to want to change your life condition and to improve your inner-quality of life.
Ifá is wonderful, beautiful and efficacious. Ifá is like a compassionate and kind mother. Come to mother Ifá with your problems, concerns and challenges. Approach Ifá with respect, earnestness and realism and Ifá will manifest to you and transform [improve, correct and elevate] your life. Ifá cares about you and loves you. Approach Ifá with just the simple willingness and desire to give yourself an opportunity to experience the great wonder, benefit conferring power and blessing that is Ifá. Ifá will open your eyes and heal your heart. Ifá will bring solutions to your life and give you the power and motive to apply [actualize] the solutions. Ifá will help you do what you should be doing. Ifá will help you accomplish what is beyond your honest ability. Ifá will complement your efforts and establish you on the path of success, fulfillment, satisfaction and peace. Ifá will perfectly defend, shield and protect you. Ifá will bestow upon you and reveal to you his sacred jewel, mystic power and treasure. The heart knowledge of Ifá is the greatest, most perfect and virtuous ‘talisman’.
Ela-Òrúnmìlà moyin aboru.
Ela-Òrúnmìlà moyin aboye.
Ela-Òrúnmìlà moyin abosise.
~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas
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what-is-IFA - ancestral pride temple

IFÁ IS THE PATH OF TRUTH, REALITY AND FULFILLMENT

Ifá is a path. A path implies a road which leads to a predetermined, desired and sought out destination [objective]. A path implies that there is someone who intends to walk this path with diligence, perseverance and determination until arriving at the destination. There are some who say, “The journey is the destination” or some say “It’s not about the destination but about journey”. What do you think about these ideas or statements? What would you say?

In regard to the above sayings, Ifá disagrees with these kinds of sayings. The journey is important, there is no doubt about that, but what gives meaning, purpose and significance to the journey is the destination or final aim/purpose. The exciting journey of discovery and its destination [attainment of purpose] are equally important.

When the irunmole descended and made their appearance upon this earth they did so with a purpose and with a sense of mission. The purpose/ mission and its expected fulfillment is what gave meaning, value, significance and satisfaction to the journey, their toil, their effort and their sacrifices.

What is the aim or purpose of being an Ifá devotee? Can you give me a definitive, precise and exact answer to this question? Who determines what this aim or purpose is? Do you determine this or does Ifá determine this? What is happiness? What is fulfillment? What is power? Who determines in what consists happiness, fulfillment and power?

If you are not an enlightened devotee or follower of Ifá then that means that you determine or attempt to determine for yourself in what consists true happiness, fulfillment and power.

If you are an enlightened devotee or follower of Ifá then Ifá reveals, explains, defines and determines for us in what consists our true happiness, fulfillment and power. The devotee of Ifá is not left to himself or herself to guess or try to figure out who he/she is, why he/she is here and how can he/she live a fulfilled, meaningful and successful life. Ifá clarifies and explains these things to us in clear, precise and plain details. We can verify and know the truth of Ifá by doing what Ifá says, and by our experience of the salutary results of obeying Ifá we come to personally know the truthfulness, goodness and efficacy of Ifá, and thereby our faith in Ifá becomes confirmed and our confidence, happiness and success increases by leaps and bounds.

If you feel, think or believe that you are capable and competent in yourself, to determine for yourself, independently of superior divine guidance, what true happiness, fulfillment and power is, then why are you here reading these words, why are you approaching Ifá and seeking for solutions, possibilities and answers in Ifá?

The path of Ifá cannot be walked in theory. Continue reading “IFÁ IS THE PATH OF TRUTH, REALITY AND FULFILLMENT”

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ifa

IFÁ TRUTH FOR TODAY: SUPPRESSED SPIRITUALITY CAN CAUSE DEPRESSION AND MENTAL-EMOTIONAL DISHARMONY

Ogbo Ato Asure Iworiwofun
In life sometimes we all experience sufferings, dissatisfaction, sorrows and inner turmoil of all sorts and for different reasons. This is something that we all experience. But there is a dissatisfaction, a sorrow, a prolonged sadness and an experience of inner turmoil that is a sign of inner growth! I am fully aware that what you have just considered is something that is counter-intuitive, but it is a fact and true.
The experience of dissatisfaction, sorrow, depression, melancholy and/or inner turmoil can be a positive development in ones life. Experiencing dissatisfaction, sorrow, depression, melancholy or inner turmoil does not always mean that things are wrong. One can in fact experience these things as a sign of growth and as a sign of needed growth, spiritual space and expansion. Let me explain.
There are experiences of dissatisfaction, sorrow, inner turmoil, restlessness and even periods of sadness/depression that are a product of spiritual growth. That’s right! They are called growing pains.
We are know what a snail is. A snail lives in a shell. When the snail grows too large to fit its shell, it begins to feel uncomfortable, uneasy, congested, dissatisfied and unhappy. Buy why? Because it has grown! To be more accurate it has outgrown its shell, and what is needs to do is to move out of it and find one that is larger enough to accommodate its growth and development. The smaller shell was okay when it was compatible with and suitable for the previous developmental growth level of the snail, but now it has grown, it has developed and matured.
So you might be thinking: “What does all this snail and shell talk have anything to do with me?”
Well it has everything to do with you. Not all sufferings in life arise because of something wrong we have done or because something is wrong with us per say etc… There are certain kinds of turmoil, suffering, pain and discomfort that are in fact signs of progress and which are indicators of our need to move on with our spiritual life. It’s time to move out of the shadow of others peoples opinions, expectations, approval or disapproval. There is a need to commit to our own chosen and intelligently selected spiritual path.  There is a need to move out of spiritual-moral and ideological ambiguity, unclarity and haziness. There is a need to acknowledge, define and embrace our spiritual calling. We must bring out, cultivate and manifest our interior spiritual gifts, powers, enlarged intelligence and abilities which have been deliberately or inadvertently ignored, suppressed or repressed. When we deliberately or inadvertently suppress, ignore or repress our interiors powers, faculties, spiritual affinities, longings, peculiar spiritual aspirations and desires we will experience pain, turmoil, discomfort, sadness and depression. When we, out of fear or concern for the approval, disapproval or opinions of  others we decide to halt our progress and we decide to hide our true convictions we will invariably experience inner turmoil, depression, sadness and dissatisfaction.
This is where honesty and courage come in. Your life is your own. Why are you trying to gain the approval of others in regard to your own chosen spiritual path? Why should you care if other disapprove of your chosen spiritual path and conviction? Why are you living your life to maintain appearances and to satisfy the opinions and supposed conclusions of others when you are supposed to be living to satisfy and please your own inner sense of truth and honesty. Why are you waiting for others to accept you or to give you permission to pursue what you know is right for YOU?! Why are you looking over your shoulder, looking to the left and right, worrying and fretting over others who add nothing to your life and trying to squeeze your enlarged and expanded vision of life into the small shell that others are living in?! Why are trying to hide who you are and what you really believe in?! Why should you be made to feel ashamed because of pursuing your honest and beneficial convictions and belief?! We do not have to apologize to anyone or explain ourselves to anyone for being devotees of Ifá and devotees of the Irunmole-Orisa! Be courageous, be brave and be true to yourself!
When we have grown morally, intellectually and spiritually this shows that we have outgrown the small, petty, disjointed, unsatisfying, naive beliefs, practices and conceptions that we previously might of had. We need to embrace a larger view of life, we need to confidently, without shame and without regret to courageously define who we are, what we really believe and what we will practice. We need to move out of the small shell and into the larger shell of actuality instead of trying to stubbornly or inadvertently remain in a small one which cannot accommodate us any longer. The small shell is suffocating and injuring us! These growing pains are signs of growth and are indicators that it’s time to let go of the small shell of the past and move on.
When we do not live according to our present callings, inner gifts, honest spiritual likings and affinities we will experience aches, pains, sufferings, turmoil, sadness and depression. This is nature’s law! When we go against our inner urge of truthful and honest affinity we will experience suffering, melancholy, dissatisfaction and depression. We must courageously and independently decide to be true to our own inner self, then these pains and sufferings will begin to wane and disappear, and peace, happiness, harmony, contentment and fulfillment will replace them. You cannot live to satisfy the opinions, convictions or path of others! Until we begin to live accordingly, this ache, sorrow, sadness and turmoil will be with us. We cannot hold back the law of growth and progress. We can no longer live in the past. We can no longer force ourselves to live in the small and inadequate shell of immature, naive and unsatisfactory spiritualities and conceptions.
We have to move forward and begin to live our own true and honest life independently of whether others agree with us or not, or whether they approve of us or not. We must actualize our own spiritual reality. We have studied. We have researched. We have searched our hearts honestly. We have tasted and experienced. We have discovered our true power, identity, path and affinity. So now it is time to take the higher road and commit ourselves to our peculiar power, path and affinity. Otherwise we will continue to feel the unease, anxiety and dissatisfaction that comes from the need to move forward and to enter new terrain in our lives.
We can no longer live off the old and stale bread of memories of our past spiritual infancy. We have grown and it’s time to eat real food and drink refreshing water, it’s time to live and embrace our newer and much more evolved understanding of life. We must be true to who we are today and what we honestly believe today! We cannot suppress our inner affinities, callings and powers anymore for anyone, anybody or any reason. Like the earthbound caterpillar which enters the chrysalis and emerges as a sky bound butterfly, so must we endure the transformation process and then we must emerge different from where we begin and from what we were! We need to step out and begin to practically live and cultivate our present, new and transformed personal convictions without regard to the thoughts and/or opinions of others. A butterfly cannot ever become a caterpillar again. That would be a big step back! A butterfly would be foolish to try to force itself to go back to its caterpillar and/or cocoon stage! Like the butterfly we have broken out of the chrysalis (cocoon). Like the snail we have outgrown our shell! We have outgrown our shell. Like the caterpillar that has entered the cocoon, has exited and has experienced transformation into a butterfly so have we. We cannot go back to the caterpillar or cocoon stage. We cannot live or wait for the approval of others!
Courage, strong determination and honesty are all that is needed. The disapproval of others cannot hinder our choice, our growth and mature decision to embrace the truth as it honestly appears within our hearts. The moment we take our first real and practical step out of our old ‘shell’ and continue walking into the new, improved and enlarge one, in that singular moment we will begin to experience relief, joy, emotional-mental-spiritual harmony/health and empowerment. In that moment the built up strain, stress, depression and turmoil will begin to wane and lose its grip until it  dissipates and evaporates all together; and in its place will be found joy, satisfaction, delight, relief and renewed enthusiasm and optimism.
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ASCENDING TRUTHS TO IFÁ REALIZATION (IFÁ CONSCIOUSNESS)

To serve the Great Powers [irunmole-orisa] we must first cleanse and purify our lives. This cleansing and purification is not a one time thing. This cleansing and purification is a continual process which must be daily renewed and undertaken. Ritual cleansings and ceremonial purification’s [like spiritual washing’s with omiero, propitiation of ori and spiritual reinforcement through Ifá incantation science etc.] are one part, a necessary part and a very important one in this process, but ritual cleansings and ceremonial purifications alone are not sufficient to cleanse and purify us to the innermost core of our being. We cannot achieve an understanding of our lives purpose and the power to realize it by the above means alone. Neither can we reach our fullest potential by the above means alone.

We have to cleanse and purify ourselves daily from doubt, selfishness, arrogance, self-pity, impatience, self-deception, dishonest attitudes and less than honest practices.

When we are served drinking water we like to be served clean water in a clean drinking glass. In the same manner the asé of the irunmole-orisa is like a cleansing and purifying water which should be poured into a clean vessel. This vessel is us.

In life we experience basically two kinds of inner impurities, hindrances and obstructions. There are impurities that we just pick up, just like pick we pick up and collect dust on ourselves without intending to. And there are impurities that we pick up because we intentionally accumulate and cultivate them. So we see that that there are intentional and unintentional impurities, hindrances and obstructions that accumulate on us (within us) and impinge upon our lives.

We should do our honest best to remove deliberate and intentional impurity and wrongdoing from our lives. In other words we should regulate our words and conduct so that our words and conduct are in harmony with iwa. Iwa is the representative of the irunmole-orisa and it is iwa who conveys to the irunmole-orisa our desires, needs and wants in such a way that the irunmole-orisa will grant us their support and relief. Iwa is also the representative, witness and authenticator of our inner state and condition before the irunmole-orisa. Iwa is a catalyzing power and energy whose aim is to bond our inner energetic life with that of the irunmole-orisa.

When we remove the impurities, disorderliness, clutter and soil from our lives that are within our power and ability to do so, then the asé of the irunmole-orisa will remove those inner impurities, disorders, clutters, hindrances and obstructions that are beyond our personal ability to remove.

When we experience this dual cleansing then are we in an optimal position to render aid, relief and assistance to others. When we are poised in balance by the salutary effects of these two complementary means of cleansing and purification then are we in a condition known as holiness, cleanliness, harmony, wellbeing, clarity, optimism (enthusiasm) and purified happiness.

Inner-cleanliness and purification are achieved when we by our personal effort, spontaneous determination and intentional inner-work apply ourselves to remove and correct what we see (discern) in our own lives that needs to be removed, adjusted and corrected. When we are doing our honest and consistent part then the asé of the irunmole-orisa becomes bonded, fused and blended to our inner work and labors, so that we achieve a transcendental state of purity, clarity, understanding and strength. This asé that we receive from the irunmole-orisa is like food and medicine to our inner being. This asé heals, purifies and strengthens us and then it flows out from our being towards others to bless, comfort, heal, purify and strengthen them.

This asé enters our lives to assist us in becoming the great and wonderful being we should and can be, according to Iponri or the divine blueprint. This divine asé is mediated to us by Iwa. By this union of iwa and asé, our lives then become one with the activities, powers, energies and workings of the irunmole-orisa. We become emerging living orisa of the earth, to serve, benefit, comfort and uplift others. We become whole and we become agents of healing and divine power. This sublime state and condition is known as Ifá consciousness, Ifá realization or Ifáyelele. By following the above ascending truths of Ifá with dedication and commitment we will surely be established in Ifáyelele and thereby fulfill our lives mission, purpose and destiny.

~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas

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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
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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 “ORDER IN TRADITIONAL BELIEF SYSTEM”

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