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
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
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