Ifá-Orisa: Not all problems, setbacks and life difficulties are due to witchcraft, bad spirits or divine decrees. Most problems are self-created and avoidable. There is no spiritual-curse, bad-spirit and negative-witchcraft worse than being a stingy, indifferent and unappreciative person:
Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.
One of the things that one unfortunately and often witnesses in today’s spiritual arena is that when someone approaches a spiritual practitioner to receive answers, solutions and guidance, the spiritual practitioner will tell the person 90% of the time if not more that his or her problems are due to ‘witchcraft’ or the influence of ‘negative spiritual influences’. Lucky for the inquiring person that for a nominal fee of ‘x’ amount of dollars the ‘spiritual practitioner’ always has the solution, rite and/or ritual to undo the ‘witchcraft’ and/or has the means to vanquish the unwanted spiritual energy, or has the wisdom and power to repair/fix the problem, no matter what it is! The problem can be spiritual, emotional, psychological and/or medical but don’t worry because these ‘spiritual practitioners’ always have the solution to your problems!!! The truth of the matter is that a great many ‘spiritual practitioners’ are nothing more than fraudsters and charlatans who are living in a very dangerous fantasy land of their own making!!! These charlatan ‘spiritualists, priests and priestesses’ are in the business of selling imaginary solutions to other people’s very real spiritual, emotional, psychological and medical problems! These charlatan ‘spiritualists, priests and priestesses’ are often delusional people, psychologically unwell people, and emotionally unstable people who believe in their own lies and who also believe in their own make-believe, deceptive and fantasy solutions and remedies. These crafty charlatan ‘spiritual practitioners’ are there only to make money by hook or crook. These shameless and deluded charlatan ‘spiritual practitioners’ are there to make money at the expense of your spiritual, emotional, psychological and medical health!! The default and go to answer of these fraudsters and charlatans is to ALWAYS tell their unfortunate clients that their problems are caused in part or entirely by ‘witchcraft’, ‘bad spirits’ or other similar causes! Ignorance combined with undeserved trust and a willingness to believe in such backward and deceptive people will spell disaster, grief and suffering to all parties concerned and involved, including the charlatan ‘spiritual practitioner’.
While there is no doubt that at times the lives of people can be temporarily obstructed, hindered and adversely affected by the influence of negative energies and/or by the malicious/envious/sabotaging intent or ‘witchcraft’ of others, in most cases the cause of people’s problems lies elsewhere. There is no ‘negative-witchcraft’ and/or ‘negative-spirit’ worse than one’s own STINGINESS, INDIFFERENCE and INGRATITUDE! Yet there are some people who like to be told that the cause of their problems and failures is ‘witchcraft’ or ‘bad spirits’ because as long as the cause of their problems or failures is ‘witchcraft’ or ‘bad spirits’ then they no longer have to honestly look at themselves and the wrong way in which they have been living their lives. As long as the convenient cause is ‘witchcraft’ or ‘bad spirits’, that gives them an ‘excuse’ to not take charge of their own lives and do the work of correcting, improving and reforming themselves. Such people will gladly pay a charlatan and fraudster to tell them [convince them] that the problem is not them, but that the problem and failure in their lives is due to ‘witchcraft’, ‘curses’, the ‘evil-eye’ or ‘bad-spirits’. Superstitious thinking or a superstitious mentality is a curse unto itself!!! A superstitious person is the author of his or her own fears, worries and anxieties and is easily taken advantage of, controlled and manipulated by human spiritual predators [the charlatan spiritual practitioner, priest or priestess].
Let us learn some Ifá today. Let us learn something from Ogunda Meji. This lesson is for those of us who are spiritually mature and/or for those who want to spiritually mature and grow through the power of truth, honesty, actuality and reality.
In Ogunda Meji we will learn how King Olofin was the architect of his problems through GREEDINESS, STINGINESS and acts of UNGRATEFULNESS.
Holy Odu-Ifá Ogunda Meji:
“Oju o kan won laaro
Lale, lale loju n kan won
A difa fun, Òrúnmìlà, Ifá n ro omo
Ifá o lowo ti o fi te omo re nifa.”
“They are never in a hurry in the morning. But they are hurrying up at night. Ifá consultation was performed for Òrúnmìlà. Ifá complains about Agbonnireguns son. Òrúnmìlà has no money with which to initiate his own offspring”.
At one time prince Olofin really needed and wanted the help, guidance and assistance of Òrúnmìlà. Long-story-short Òrúnmìlà helped prince Olofin and made it possible for prince Olofin to become the king of Ootu-Ife. Now because of the help that Òrúnmìlà gave to prince Olofin he was now a King living in affluence, luxury and abundance. When Olofin became king, Òrúnmìlà needed the help of King Olofin. Òrúnmìlà speedily approached the king because Òrúnmìlà needed to BORROW some money from King Olofin to heal his sons illness which would be remedied thru initiation. On the advice of Elegbara, Òrúnmìlà went to see king Olofin to ask him for some assistance. You would think that after all Òrúnmìlà did for him that the King would just give Òrúnmìlà what he was asking for since it was not a large sum. The King spent daily and in useless, unnecessary and unpractical things much much more than what Òrúnmìlà was seeking to borrow from him. You will not believe this but King Olofin told Òrúnmìlà that he would LEND him the requested amount, only if Òrúnmìlà could provide a guarantor as collateral! Elegbara [Esu Odara] brought one of his sons called Atapatase to serve as colateral and guarantor, and to serve the king as a servant until the time that Òrúnmìlà would pay back the borrowed money! After all Òrúnmìlà did for him he asked for collateral and a guarantor before granting the loan!!!
One day Elegbara visited Atapatase and gave him a hoe which he instructed Atapatase to be using hereafter. [***The hidden meaning of this action by Atapatase of using the hoe on the Kings land meant that the King was digging a hole for himself for his disrespectful, indifferent and inconsiderate actions towards Òrúnmìlà, Òrúnmìlà’s son, Esu Odara and Esu Odara’s son***] As soon as Atapatase began using the hoe to work the land of King Olofin immediately several catastrophes began to befall the entire household of King Olofin. One of the catastrophes was that one of King Olofin’s sons, who was called Abolowopowo, fell seriously ill. [***Because the King did not have sympathy for the illness of Òrúnmìlà’s son, his own son was also experiencing the same illness***]. The more Atapatase worked the field the more ill did Abolowopowo become. King Olofin sent for the royal babalawo and the babalawo revealed the Odu Ogunda Meji. Ogunda Meji revealed that one of the king’s servants was responsible for the bad happenings and that this servant needed to be stopped immediately. The son of Elegbara, Atapatase was identified as the apparent ‘cause’ and was told to stop working, but Atapatase, son of Elegbara refused to stop working and said:
“Oju o kan won laaro
Lalaale loju n kan won
A difa fun, Òrúnmìlà
Ifá n romo Agbonniregun
Ifá o lowo to o fi te omo re nifa
Abolowopowo n lomo Olofin o
Atapatase lomo Esu Odara o
A ki i ma maa yani lofa ka ma sinni o
A ki i ma maa yani lofa ka ma sinni
A ki i ma maa yani lofa ka ma sinni.”
“They never hurried in the morning. It was in the night that they were hurrying up. Yes. Ifá oracle was consulted for Òrúnmìlà. Ifá complained about Agbonirregun’s son. Yes. Òrúnmìlà has no money to initiate his son [and thereby heal him]. Yes. Abolowopowo is the son of Olofin. Yes. It is not possible for a servant to not serve his master. Yes.”
[***This verse of Ifá means and refers to the heart condition of some people that when they are in need of help and assistance they are quick to come to see you expecting you to help them. And without fail and with genuine sympathy for their situation you lovingly and repeatedly help them and assist them to the best of your means and ability to resolve their problems, but on the one rare occasion when you need them or are counting on their help they refuse to help, or they give you many excuses for not helping you. Or if they do help they do it with reluctance, they make you feel like a nuisance. When they needed you, you did not belittle them or make them feel that they were a nuisance. As a good friend, devotee and priest you made their many problems your priority, but they on the other hand gave no priority or importance to your singular problem or situation. They were quick to ask you for help but after you helped them their sense of gratitude and indebtedness was short lived. On the other hand when you needed them, they avoided you and left you and your situation for ‘later’ that is IF they were able to rustle up some time at all!! When they need you they will call you many times or they will show up at your home or wherever you may happen to be. But when you need them they are nowhere to be found.***]
Let us continue with the Ifá story and lesson.
After King Olofin identified Atapatase as the apparent cause of his household problems he ordered Atapatase to stop working. Atapatase refused to stop working until both Òrúnmìlà and Elegbara were invited. It was then that King Olofin realized his great mistake, ingratitude and indifference towards Òrúnmìlà and his sick son, as well as his lack of consideration towards Atapatase, the son of Esu Odara. He then and there begged them for their forgiveness, made rectification and reparations. Now the King understood that he alone was the sole and true cause of all the mishap, calamity, illnesses and setbacks which were manifesting in the palace among his family. Fortunately for King Olofin, Òrúnmìlà forgave and pardoned him. King Olofin then gifted to Òrúnmìlà two-hundred she-goats, two-hundred dried fishes, two-hundred bush rats and two-thousand cowries.
What does this lesson teach us. This lesson teaches us that there is no worse ‘witchcraft’, ‘bad spirit’ and/or ‘spiritual curse’ that one’s own stinginess, indifference and lack of gratitude. An unappreciative attitude will ruin your home and relationships and make everything dear to you ‘sick’ and ‘ill’. Our own ungrateful and thoughtless actions will surely catch up to us, bringing sorrow, shame and affliction to ourselves and our household. It is better to be appreciative, grateful and generous. It is better to remember the kindness of others and compensate them [help them] when they are in need, especially when we are in a position to help and give relief. May we in a timely manner wake-up, open our eyes and correct [rectify] ourselves. There is no ‘witchcraft’, ‘bad spirit’, ‘evil eye’ or ‘spiritual curse’ worse than being a stingy, indifferent and unappreciative person.
May Òrúnmìlà Ajana Ekun be pleased with us. Àse.
May Òrúnmìlà Ajana Ekun protect, defend and illumine us. Àse.
May Òrúnmìlà Ajana Ekun grant us forgiveness and pardon, as he did to the people of the land of serenity [tranquility]. Àse.
May Òrúnmìlà Ajana Ekun envelop us in his love, sympathy and strength. Àse.
Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.
~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas
In devotion to Ifá and the irunmole-orisa iwure [prayer] holds the place of greatest importance. Nothing in Ifá and irunmole-orisa devotion can work and/or be successful without iwure. Without iwure no ebo will be received, accepted and approved. In the absence of iwure no connection can be made with the irunmole-orisa. Ifá recitation is an expression of iwure. Our traditional songs of praise are also expressions of iwure. Our personal requests and petitions before Ifá and the irunmole-orisa are an expression of iwure. Our sacred rites and rituals are expressions and extensions of our iwure. Iwure is that which sustains you and gives foundation, stability and rootedness to your life. Iwure is that which attracts the blessings of goodness from the unseen realm and causes them to become manifest in our realm of action.
In our wonderful Ifá tradition the experience, quality and concept of iwure is very different from that of other traditions or faiths. Iwure is not begging the divine to help us out or do us a favor. Iwure is not attempting to bribe, barter and negotiate with the divine. In Ifá and esin orisa ibile we do not practice iwure from a position of fear, worry, guilt, coercion or anxiety. We begin our iwure by understanding and knowing that we are greatly cherished and loved by the divine, and that we are fully accepted by the divine as we presently are. We begin in a state of fundamental goodness, dignity, innocence and worthiness.
Iwure is an invisible, unassailable and very real meeting place between two or more friends who love, respect, understand, appreciate and accept each other as they truly and honestly are. No guilt. No fear. No worry. No anxiety. No pretense and no pretending. Just genuine friendship, acceptance, love and trust. Iwure is our longing for and affinity with the divine. Iwure is the manifestation of our response to the attracting power of the divine realm. Iwure is our sensitivity, responsiveness and receptivity to the divine àse. Iwure is the opening up of our hearts and our desire [willingness] to entrust ourselves to the irunmole-orisa who in turn are the expressions of Olódùmarè. Iwure is the vessel that is able to receive unto itself and retain the energy, love and strength of the irunmole-orisa. Iwure is also the sentiment of awe, love, attraction and respect that we have for the divine.
Olódùmarè and his emanations the irunmole-orisa only desire our friendship, nearness and confidence. Once the love of the divine pierces and enters our hearts our trajectory to assured success, happiness and victory is set, and nothing can obstruct or hinder us any longer. Many people ask me from where do I get my understanding, knowledge, wisdom, strength, inspiration and sublime feeling for things. My answer to this question is iwure as explained above. Everything is included in iwure. Everything needful and good flows from and comes from iwure. In iwure there is power. In iwure there is comfort and wisdom. In iwure there is sweet communion and empowerment. In iwure their is clarity. In iwure there is unassailable protection and safety. Iwure is not only the spoken words but the intense feeling, longing and attraction to the sacred, awe-inspiring, holy and divine. Iwure is the intense desire to clearly understand and apprehend the divine reality and to pattern one’s life according to that understanding. If you carefully observe and analyze all the things that we practice in Ifá and in esin orisa ibile you will discover that all we do exists as a support to iwure or as an expression of iwure. Without iwure there is no Ifá, no isese and no esin orisa ibile. Iwure is the sincere, honest and pure heart that is reaching out in hope to make contact with the sublime, beautiful and joy conferring energies of creation. Iwure is our intention and effort to take hold of the rope of life that has been extended to us. Iwure is our response and reaction to the great and wonderful love, comfort, strength and encouragement that we receive from the orisa. In iwure immediate and direct contact is made with the sublime energies, powers and intelligences of nature.
This is a deep, wonderful and glorious mystery. [***In our Ifá tradition the word mystery does not mean something unknown or unknowable. The word MYSTERY in Ifá and esin orisa ibile means something that can definitely be known by us but only through our own direct and personal experience of it.***] This direct or personally known [directly experienced] reality is what we call mystical experience or mystical knowledge. The knowledge here refered to means experiential awareness [direct perception] and not intellectual information. This knowing is the knowing of the heart. This mystical experience and mystical knowledge [understanding] is what people are really looking for and needing when they initiate. This mystical experience and mystical knowledge [understanding] is what sincere students want to receive [and need to receive] from their study and practice of the secret [confidential] teachings of Ifá and esin orisa ibile [the noble way of the orisa]. This mystical experience and divine knowledge [direct experiential comprehension] is what sincere students and initiates are expecting to receive, looking to receive and experience as a result of their personal association and interaction with their mentors [initiators]. When the mentor and initiator is mature and experienced in this mystical knowledge he or she can communicate this experience successfully to his or her students with understanding, depth, inspiration and clarity. If the mentor [initiator] has not had or experienced this mystical knowledge or has not matured in his appreciation, understanding and comprehension of this knowledge assuming that he or she has had the experience, then he or she will not be able to communicate satisfying truth, strength, hope and spiritual meaning [reality] to sincere students. He or she will not be able to satisfy the spiritual needs and the legitimate expectations of the student in any measure.
This truth explains why many initiates quickly lose their spiritual respect for their initiators and elders. Over time many lose much of their fervor for the tradition because they find that there are in fact relatively few people who have and share the sincere fervor and lofty goals [thoughts] that they had when beginning their journey. They discover very early and very quickly that they made many assumptions that proved to be false and disheartening. Many good hearted people come to Ifá and to Orisa with great expectancy and hope as they should. They come with great trust, enthusiasm and faith in their mentors, elders or initiators but soon after initiation many discover that their chosen or recommended mentor is himself or herself in need of mentoring. They discover that their chosen or recommended mentor or initiator is not spiritual at all and has no spirituality and no divine knowledge to impart!! This happens more often than not! These sincere people came looking for people whom they took to be wise people, who might be able to answer their questions and help them resolve their life problem only to discover the people that they took to be wise elders know nothing of true spirituality, that they have no answer for themselves much less for others, and that instead of helping them to find relief from their troubles they only added to their problems, troubles and worries!!! This is why one must take ones time in seeking out a mentor and initiator. One must first get to know people well over an extended period of time before making any type of spiritual decision in regard to accepting someone as a mentor and/or initiator. Let us continue with our topic of iwure.
The true understanding and purpose of things can only by apprehended by this direct experience. This direct experience can only be had by constant association with the divine and divine people. The connecting link between us and the divine and divine people is iwure or divine conversation, communion and fellowship. Love blended with iwure equals true-faith and authentic spirituality. Iwure is the bonding of the spiritual and invisible hearts of two or more persons.
Cultivate your iwure. Recite your Ifá prayers with feeling and clarity of understanding. Speak frequently, honestly and truthfuly with your chosen Orisa and trust fully what you receive from that contact. The Orisa will enlighten, guide and instruct you with gracefulness, sweetness and comfort. Eliminate the middle man. Go straight to the source. Perfect yourself in iwure and you will know and experience wonderful and extraordinary blessings and divine manifestations. Strengthen your bond with the Orisa and with genuine devotees and your life will be filled with satisfaction, contentment and understanding. Be the kind of devotee that you wish others would be or should be. Do not allow others or what you see around you to set the standard of spirituality, excellence and acceptability. Set a higher standard than the mediocre one which you see in most places and abide by that higher standard by the strength of iwure and noble conduct and you will become a true leader eligible to assist, guide and empower others.
Erin ja, erin won loluso
Agbo momo ja, won mu so loja ejigboromekun
Adifa fun orisa nla Oseremagbo
Ni ojo ti iku yio gbodo ti yio si ma pani
Erin ja, erin won loluso
Agbo mo mo ja, won mu so loja ejigboromekun
Adifa fun Orunmila ti yio je oni magba, to yio si ma gba ni Kaye.
Nje ki lo to ni gba nijo ogun
Erigi alo ifa lo to ni gba lojo ogun
The elephant escaped been tie down with rope
The ram was been tied at the market of ejigboromekun
Cast divination for orisa nla oseremagbo
When death will dominate everywhere and taken lives
The elephant escaped been tied with rope.
The ram was been tied at the market of ejigboromokun
Cast divination for orunmila when he will became the messiah on earth and keep saving life
What is it that can safe us during spiritual war.
Erigi alo, it is IFA that can safe us.
As we embark on the journey of this new month of April, May Olodumare grant us success in all our endeavors and may our ori, IFA olokun Asorodayo guide our path to success. Ase’ntedumare
From: Ancestral pride temple, Ota
Oluwo Fasola Faniyi
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