ESOTERIC KEYS OF IFÁ: The descent of the light and power of Ifá

[**The call, invitation and challenge of Ọ̀rúnmìlà.**]

Èlà-Òrúnmìlà aboru.
Èlà-Òrúnmìlà aboye.
Èlà-Òrúnmìlà abosise.

[1] Truth means to put into practice, to integrate and to fully assimilate the teachings of Ifá into one’s life, and to continue one’s practice of the teachings of Ifá until one has mastered and fully integrated them. This is the Great Work that Òrúnmìlà has entrusted to us. Ifá is truth, light and power. We cannot KNOW, UNDERSTAND and APPRECIATE the unexcelled greatness of Ifá independently of actual study and practice. When we open our hearts and minds to receive the light of Ifá through our practice of the teachings of Ifá, we become one with the truth, light and power of Ifá.

[Odu-Ifá Oyeku-Ogunda: Ifá is the King.] (Ifá is the crown of true knowledge, understanding, wisdom and power).

[2] The very first and most important step in Ifá is that we embrace truth as explained above. When we embrace the truth of Ifá wholeheartedly and with determined effort Ifá promises to receive us and to never abandon us. Ifá embraces to never discard the person who embraces the truth, light and power of Ifá.

[Odu-Ifá Iwori-Osa: Ifá is the one who saves humankind.] (Ifá is the supreme guiding, correcting and healing power).

[3] Ifá bestows coolness, freshness [refreshment], relief, calm [peace and serenity], strength and illumination to the dedicated student [practitioner]. Truth is the most important divine attribute, because from truth emanates friendliness and loving-kindness. From the unity of truth, friendliness and loving-kindness arises and flows trust, confidence, enthusiasm and devotion.

[Odu-Ifá Ogbe-Osa: The truthful person has peace and lives in calm. The non-truthful person lacks peace and lives in a tormented state. Be sincere, practice goodness and avoid wickedness. The way of the truthful is straight, peaceful and direct. The way of the non-truthful is crooked, wearisome and winding. Be truthful and sincere. Be sincere and truthful. Those who are truthful are blessed by the divine illuminations, lights and energies.]

[Odu-Ifá Otura-Ogunda: The non-truthful person will face a lot of unease and problems. The truthful person will enjoy relief, peace and success. Insincerity does not pay. Wickedness will punish you. The truthful will be the true leaders and achievers.]

[4] When we study and practice Ifá we make contact with the seeds of truth, beauty, strength and gentleness within ourselves and we experience the awakening of the divine qualities and interior powers within ourselves. When we study and practice Ifá we become harmonized with nature and we begin to feel and enjoy the benefits of the pure energies of creation. The divine beings, divinities and divine energies descend upon, surround [protect], assist and strengthen the sincere student and practitioner of the teachings of Ifá. When we study, practice and integrate Ifá into our lives we also merit the benefit of the assistance, guidance, encouragement and protection of the divine babalawo [celestial priests] who reside in the upper worlds of orun and dwell in the central paradise of orun. They become mindful of us, they take an interest in us and they commit themselves to helping us accomplish the great work that Ifá has entrusted to us.

[Odu-Ifá Otura-Ogunda: The divine beings will take notice of, support and standby the truthful.]

[5] Ifá study and practice connects and bonds us to the protective functions of nature and to the great energies of truth, light and purity. As we gradually come to understand and appreciate the true aims and purpose of Ifá the more of the light and power of Ifá can we receive, assimilate, integrate and share. When we come to a true spiritual comprehension of Ifá we will never want to stop studying and practicing Ifá. When Ifá opens our eyes and enlightens us by revealing to us the secrets of the heart of creation we become filled with such an inspiration, understanding, power, gratitude and delight that causes us to shine with spiritual luminosity, brightness and radiance.

[Odu-Ifá Ogunda-Irete: Ifá is the one who saves from death.] (Death is not limited only to deliverance from physical death. Death means loss and decline of the life sustaining, joy bestowing and purpose giving elements of life. When we lose our peace this is a form of death. When we are spiritually aimless and living without purpose, this is a form of death. When we lose our happiness this is also a form of death. When we lose good friendships and relationship this is also a form of death. When we lose our dignity and self-respect this also is a form of death. When we lose our good reputation this is a form of death. When we lose our hope and balance this is also a form of death).

[Odu-Ifá Ejiogbe: Those who embrace and practice the truth of Ifá by the power of their own free will and accord WILL TRIUMPH].

[Odu-Ifá Ose-Ofun: When we lack the illumination (wisdom) of Ifá and we neglect the practice of Ifá, the circumstances of our lives will become unfavorable. Òrúnmìlà and his teachings will correct, rectify and illuminate our lives. If we learn Ifá with a view to integrating it into our lives then we will experience the wonderful quick acting and quick manifesting power of Ifá.]

[6] Ifá bonds us to and brings out from the depths of our being, all that is good, satisfying, joyful and pleasant. Ifá will grant divine energy, light and vitality to the wise one’s who devote themselves to Ifá study and practice. Only through dedicated [commited] study and practice can we acquire confidence, deep-understanding, clarity and unwavering faith [trust].

[Odu-Ifá Idin-Iwori: If we have wisdom and we fail to apply it then we constitute ourselves truly into ignorant persons. If we have strength and we fail to apply it then we constitute ourselves truly into lazy, indulgent and useless persons. This is the message of Ifá for people who have the opportunity to learn from wise people but instead make the decision to make friends with and associate with unwise, irregular and ignorant persons. If you choose unwise people, people given to flights of imaginary fancy and people driven by make-believe instead of wise, realistic, enlightened and truthful people then you have ruined and blemished yourself.]

[7] Ifá will bring excellence, perfection and ever-increasing satisfaction to all who make a sincere effort [firm-determination] to practice the teachings of Ifá. Make an opening for Ifá in your heart and life. Make space and time for Ifá in your life and Ifá will reward you with boundless delights, blessings and joys. Make an opening for Ifá the size of the eye of a needle and Ifá will fill you with light, assurance and power. Ifá will embrace you and enlarge your understanding and capacities. The light, love and power of Ifá will flow powerfully through that opening and flood [inundate] your life with unanticipated blessings and with endowments that are inconceivable to you at the present time.

[Odu-Ifá Ejiogbe: Ifá you organize and plan things better than anyone else can. Ifá whatever you plan ends in perfection, happiness and excellence.]

[Odu-Ifá Oyeku-Ogbe: Ifá, whoever listens to you and does what you say will unfailingly fulfill the purpose of their lives with satisfaction, abundance and contentment.]

[8] There is no need to strain yourself or overburden yourself. Just take a small but firm [determined] step in the direction of Ifá and Ifá will take care of the rest. Ifá will show you what to do, how to do and when to do. We cannot remain as by-standers and mere observers [inquirers] forever. We have to engage Ifá with our finalized resolve, determination and action. We have to make the firm decision to pursue Ifá for ourselves. We have to put complacency, lethargy and an attitude of non-commital to the side and press forward with courage.

[Odu-Ifá Owonrin-Iwori: Let everyone take hold of a hoe and cutlass and go to the farm to work because WORK ELIMINATES POVERTY.] (The hoe and cutlass represent determined effort and intelligence. If we want to reap the harvest or benefits of the fruits of Ifá then we have to go to the farm or the field of endeavor and apply our determination and intelligence to cultivate the field of Ifá in our own lives.)

[9] If you truly want to know [experience] and understand Ifá, and if you want to receive and experience the light and power which flows from Ifá then pursue the above course of instructions and Ifá will surprise, astound and mesmerize you with bounties of joy, peace, contentment, meaning and fulfillment. Ifá is with you. Ifá is calling out to you. Ifá is inviting you. What will you do? What will you decide?

[Odu Ifá Ogbe-Oyeku: Ifá is powerful and can perform wonders. If Olódùmarè wishes He can turn the sky black. Ifá is powerful and can perform wonders. If Olódùmarè wishes He can turn the sky white. Ifá is powerful and can perform wonders. If Olódùmarè wishes He can turn the sky red. Ifá is powerful and can perform wonders.]

[Odu-Ifá Otura-Irete: Ifá whatever you recommend will end with fulfillment, success and achievement. In the end we will return to you with gratitude for your wonderful doings.]

[Odu-Ifá Owonrin-Ogbe: Ifá you never fail those who approach you, and this is why I seek your protection. Ifá I cling to you tightly for health, strength and life.]

[Odu-Ifá Ose-Otura: THOSE WHO ARE ASLEEP SHOULD WAKE UP.] Àse. Àse. Àse.

Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.

~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas

THE ESSENCE [HEART] AND PURPOSE OF THE TRADITIONS OF THE IRUNMOLE-ORISA

The Essence [heart] and purpose of the traditions of the Irunmole-Orisa: The outlook you adopt will determine where you end up. Your intent will determine your quality of being, your potential [ability and capacity] for progress and your experiences. You must first know and understand the true purpose of the path of the irunmole-orisa if you are to successfully reach [achieve] the goal [the aim and purpose] of that path. You must first know, understand, choose and define your goal prior to choosing your path, then, upon choosing your path you must commit to that path. All paths will not take you to the destination you seek. All roads will not take you to the same place. The irunmole-orisa will not help you see, seek and pursue a purpose and destination that is contrary to the good, noble, satisfying and loving purpose and destination that they have in mind for you. You must understand what the path of the irunmole-orisa was really established for, what it was intended to give you, and what it is supposed to do for you so that you are not disappointed and your expectations are fulfilled.

[***A brief lesson and reflection for the sincere. May these spiritually passionate, caring and loving thoughts serve as a timely path-finder, guide and way-maker for the sincere. Àse. May you all find peace, clarity, hope, wellbeing and contentment. Àse.***]

Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.

[1] The path of the noble irunmole-orisa is not for everyone. The path of the divine irunmole-orisa is only for those who have been chosen. The path of the irunmole-orisa is only for those who want to know, enjoy and live in spiritual reality, contentment, peace, love and truth.

[2] The sweet and beautiful path of the irunmole-orisa is for those who have chosen to accept their selection. It is for those who want to press forward to spiritual maturity, clarity, fulfillment and harmony. No one really comes to the irunmole-orisa purely by their own initiative, strength and/or will-power alone. We come to the irunmole-orisa as a result of an empowered response on our part that has been made possible by the initiative, attention and direct action of the irunmole-orisa upon our lives. Fortunate, blessed and accomplished are those have been chosen by the irunmole-orisa and who wholeheartedly strive on the noble, adventurous, exciting and fulfilling path of the irunmole-orisa.

[3] Upon being chosen we must willingly, joyfully and deliberately adjust, modify and conform our heart, mind, speech, actions, behavior, manners, conduct and life, according to the loving, joy-conferring, peace-giving and health-promoting wise directives of the irunmole-orisa. The irunmole-orisa accept those who wholeheartedly dedicate and commit themselves to them.

[4] Upon finding ourselves on the path of the marvelous irunmole-orisa we must participate, and we must allow ourselves to be acted upon by the wonder-working sacred energy or àse of the irunmole-orisa. This energy is pure wisdom [intelligence], love, power, vitality, health and bliss [happiness]. This very special and unique divine energy is curative, ennobling, empowering and purifying. Our part is to deliberately choose to bring our intentions, feelings, will, manners and actions in harmony with the workings of the divine power [sacred energy] of the irunmole-orisa. We must not work against or go contrary to the wonder-working energy and power of the irunmole-orisa. We must allow ourselves to be moulded, taught, guided, developed and corrected by the divine inflow of the àse of the irunmole-orisa. This divine flow enters us, fills us, empowers us, surrounds us and shields [perfectly protects] us. Our own will [intent] and the will [intent] of the irunmole-orisa must become progressively and experientially one.

[5] The irunmole-orisa choose, select and attract us by exercising, applying and directing towards us an attracting, sweet, uplifting [energizing], ecstatic, pleasure-giving and irresistible power. The irunmole-orisa move us, they awaken us to the reality of their existence, and they gently draw [attract] us to themselves by provoking a mysterious exaltation of intimate nature within us, something that can be called spiritual ecstasy, delight, optimism, supernatural pleasure, supra-mundane inspiration and supernatural confidence. We then come to know how sweet, good and loving the irunmole-orisa are and what their divine works truly consist of. We awaken to the true nature of the irunmole-orisa, and we awaken to the remembrance and recognition of our true and eternal identity.

[6] This mysterious, attracting, pleasure-giving, enlightening and enrapturing power fills us with divine pleasure, satisfaction, confidence, expectancy [hope] and delight. It satisfies us, completes us and gives us peace, serenity, abiding inner-calm and harmony. It guides, motivates and inspires us. It give us a fresh, inspiring and new vision, understanding and experience of life. This power completely transforms and revolutionizes our inner state, condition and outlook to such a wonderful degree that what we formally thought to be obstacles, we now experience as stepping stones to victory, fulfillment and greater happiness, prosperity and abundance. We look forward to overcoming the obstacles, because to us they are not obstacles but stepping stones [blessed and fortunate opportunities] to greater achievements. The àse of the irunmole-orisa awakens our inner-spiritual powers and faculties, and teaches us how to develop, use, employ and perfect them. This energy exercises a healing, correcting, calming and purifying influence upon our lives. Upon experiencing this spiritual, emotional and psychological healing, empowerment and purification, we must resolve to remain in purity and cleanliness and we must pursue a healthy and wholesome lifestyle. The àse of the irunmole-orisa imparts health, vitality, strength and wellbeing to our spirit, soul, mind and body. How wondrous is the àse of the irunmole-orisa!

[7] The path of the irunmole-orisa is a path reserved for the spiritually mature [spiritually maturing], awakened, resolute and sincere person. Humility, patience, realism, gentleness and perseverance are a must for anyone who is serious about treading the path of the noble irunmole-orisa.

[8] The irunmole-orisa desire that all of us be free from distress, sorrow, anxiety, fear and perversity. The irunmole-orisa desire and want us to know the state and condition of abiding [permanent] bliss [divine happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment, ecstasy, pleasure, delight and contentment]. It is unfortunate that many seekers, aspirants and devotees have become overcome by superficiality, arrogance, nonsense, superstition, baseless-fear, aimlessness and hypocrisy. So much so that they care not to hear about the true heart, purpose and intent of the irunmole-orisa and the sacred traditions which were founded and instituted by the irunmole-orisa for our individual wellbeing, happiness and peace, and for the wellbeing, happiness and peace of the world.

[9] Only few people can see, understand and embrace the true path of the irunmole-orisa: the path of divine morality, honesty, humility, love, moral-courage and sanctity. Only the rare, select, chosen and determined ones can receive, direct, manifest and exhibit the full and true power of the irunmole-orisa. Only the select, rare and determined few can embrace this holy, divine and sacred path. Will you be one of them?

Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.

~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas /!!!\ A.O.M.C. /!!!\

Ifa - ikin

Ifá Message Of Divine Optimism, Confidence, Assurance, Inspiration And Enthusiasm

[Ifá-Orisa]: Ifá message of divine optimism, confidence, assurance, inspiration and enthusiasm. Do not despair. Never lose hope and never give up.

Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.

Do not think or worry about who is on your side or who is not on your side while going about your service to Olódùmarè and Ifá. With great joy, enthusiasm and expectancy just think about how and in what wonderful way the àse of Olódùmarè Enitolaaye will manifest in your life.

Give space, time and occasion for the divine guiding power to manifest. When you do all things with care, love, respect, truthfulness and honesty, Olódùmarè will take personal and direct charge of all your affairs and will cause all your doings to bring forth abundant and satisfying fruit. Do not worry yourself as to how, when and where the divine àse will manifest itself in your life.

Do not see any secondary causes in your life, just acknowledge and see Olódùmarè alone, the supreme controller, master and guide of all things. Do not consider people, places, circumstances and things as the directors and/or determiners of your life.

Above all, and behind all, see the gracious and loving hand of Olódùmarè at work in you and in your life. Olódùmarè will surely bring accomplishment, peace, satisfaction, success, health [vitality] and prosperity into your life. Your patience, effort and perseverance will surely be rewarded. Just do not give up. Get up and try again. Keep moving forward.

Just be at peace, and know with unshakeable and unwavering assurance that the divine àse will unfailingly manifest. Deepen your trust in Olódùmarè and let your actions be the expression of the flow of the gracefulness, pure energy and invigorating power of Eledumare. Do your level best in all things, be inwardly still, tranquil and at peace.

Exert yourself diligently as if all depended upon you, but know in your heart that all manifests due to àse, grace, presence and will of Olódùmarè. Do not consider your actions and endeavors as something separate from the actions and endeavors of Olódùmarè. Affirm and recognize your essential and qualitative oneness with the Source Supreme, Olorun-Alaaye. Olódùmarè’s actioning is your actioning. Your actions are Olódùmarè’s actions.

Be calm, serene and at peace with yourself. You need not know how, when, in what way and where the relief and aid will come from. Why trouble yourself with what is not necessary when you can be at peace through the power of faith, trust and confidence in the Divine leading you! Having entrusting your situation, dilemma, problem and/or concern to Olódùmarè, know that the answer and solution is swiftly on its way and will reach you at the best and most [excellent] propitious time.

You are perfection in the making. All precious, shining, resplendent and finely faceted diamonds start off as a dark pieces of charcoal, but through the divinely established process of programmed tensions, pressures and stressors it emerges a transformed, beautiful, peerless, translucent, priceless and luminous gem.

Delight in your trials, glory in your challenges and thrive in your moments of adversity because that means that at any moment the mystic, pure and holy gem within you is soon to emerge and be revealed! Your true divine identity, greatness and power is to be manifested! Do not exasperate yourself. Practice patience, gentleness and kindness towards yourself. You will surely attain [obtain] benefit and advancement beyond your personal hopes and expectations, of this there is no doubt.

Olorun Alaaye [the master of limitless, immeasurable and boundless life [vitality] is with you! Àse.

Olorun Alaaye [Enitolaaye] [the supreme absolute truth and power] is with you and within you! You will succeed! Do not give up! You will surely break through the barrier of resistance and achieve your sincere goals! You will defeat and transcend all negativity, pessimism, hindrances and obstacles! You will be made stronger by your experiences and you will unfailingly triumph! You will surely advance, triumph and succeed because your iponri and ori will not abandon you and will not allow you to give up! You will be a better, new and more advanced you! Àse.

Do not dwell on the past. Let go of the past [past mistakes, past errors, past offenses, past hurts]. Let it go and your present and future will become light, joyful, serene and new [refreshed]. Àse.

Forgive others and forgive yourself. Do not repeat what has caused you regret, sorrow and pangs of conscience in the past. You have been created for great, marvelous and wonderful purposes, so have no fear or worry. Àse.

Dignity, honor, peace and abundance are yours. Àse.

Blessings, honor, success and prosperity will follow wherever you go! Àse. Peace, joy, abundance and happiness will be your constant companions. Àse.

Make a fresh start. From this day forward do not allow any palm-oil [negativity, impurity and pessimism] stain your [spiritual] white garments. Àse.

Do not despair. Never give up and do not lose hope. Àse.

Oruko Odumare ni ka fi iyin fun. Àse.
Oruko Odumare ni ka fi iyin fun. Àse.
Oruko Odumare ni ka fi iyin fun. Àse.

May you be comforted, strengthened and empowered by these truths. Àse.

Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.

~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas /!!!\ A.O.M.C. /!!!\

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[Ifá-Orisa]: What Forgiveness IS and What Forgiveness is NOT

Don’t ruin, Destroy and Lose a Good Friendship and Relationship.

Forgiveness is the divine path to freedom, peace of mind, happiness and progress. Forgiveness blesses the forgiver and the one being forgiven. Forgiveness clears, unclogs and removes the muck of bad feelings, enmity and tension that are blocking up the channels of friendliness, love, harmony and peace.

Forgiveness frees the forgiver from feelings and thoughts of anger, irritation, revenge, hurtfulness and it removes the heavy load or burden of awkwardness and indifference. When we forgive others we release them from the heavy weight, unease and pain of a bad conscience, and we release them from the grasp of the ‘ghost’ of ill feelings and regret so that they can [with greater ease and freedom] make forward progress again.

Forgiveness establishes harmony and feelings of amity. This is what forgiveness is and what it does. Having said this let us be clear, direct, honest and realistic. The heart can forgive completely but the mind will always remember and recall the harm, deception and hurtfulness inflicted by another. Just because we have honestly and wholeheartedly forgiven someone that does not mean that trust and confidence has been restored. Just because someone has sincerely forgiven us that does not mean that trust and confidence has been restored. Trust and confidence will have to be earned again, that is if it can be restored [recovered] at all!

Just because we have forgiven someone that does not mean that we have to have anything to do with that person again. Forgiveness is about gaining and giving release from past wrongs, ill feelings, pained and agitated emotions, and offenses so that both parties can go on with their lives. Sometimes the relationship can be saved and restored and sometimes it simply cannot be even though sincere and wholehearted forgiveness has been given.

Your forgiveness to another does not mean that that person now has the right and expectation to relate to you like if nothing happened! You do not have to interact with that person at all.

Just because someone has sincerely forgiven you that does not mean that you have the right and expectation to think that that person will continue to relate and correspond with you like if nothing happened!

Forgiveness is about freeing oneself from weight and burden of past wrongs and about healing ones own heart and mind. Forgiveness is about freeing others from the weight and burden of past wrongs and about bringing healing to their hearts and minds. Only Olódùmarè and accomplished holy, mature and virtuous people can completely and deeply both forgive and forget from the heart and mind. You cannot realistically expect this high level of forgiveness from the everyday common person.

In addition for another person to be eligible to be forgiven by you they have to have a genuine change of heart and life and must ask you for your forgiveness. You cannot really forgive them without their request in the abstract, or in their absence because such a forgiveness is not entirely real or complete. Such a kind of forgiveness might give some small sentimental or mental satisfaction or relief, but it is nonsensical because it is not complete. You cannot expect others to forgive you in the abstract or in the absence of your sincere request for forgiveness.

So if you have forgiven another that does not make everything okay like if nothing happened, and you do not have to have anything to do with that person again. If someone has forgiven you that does not make everything okay and that does not mean that everything is like it was before. They no longer have to have anything to do with you.

This is what forgiveness is and what it is not.

It is better and ideal to not offend, deceive or hurt another to begin with so as to avoid the loss of trust and friendship. Do not hurt others and do not allow others to hurt you. If you offend, deceive and hurt another then be prepared to forever lose what good have been a good, lasting and meaningful friendship and relationship. Forgiveness does not guarantee that things will be or can be as they were before. Live and relate to others in such a way that you have no regrets and that you will not require the forgiveness of another.

May the blessings of Òrúnmìlà Awinrin be with all sincere readers [students] of this message. Àse.

~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas /!!!\ A.O.M.C. /!!!\

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TWO INDISPENSABLE REALITIES [NEEDS] IN THE LIFE OF AN IFÁ-ORISA DEVOTEE

The importance of self-effort and the importance of having the guidance, blessing and support of a genuine spiritual-master. We must honor, value and support those who have upheld, taught, helped, empowered and sustained us.
[***If you take the time and make the effort to read this message that will take you 5-10 minutes to carefully and slowly consider then you will be greatly benefited and spiritually enriched. If you cannot invest 5-10 minutes of your time to take in good information that will help, encourage and benefit you, then this means that you are not a sincere and determined seeker, student and practitioner. If you cannot invest 5-10 minutes of your time to apply yourself to qualitative effort, study, reflection and practice then how do you expect to acquire, correctly-direct and retain genuine spiritual power? Who will give and entrust spiritual power, influence, responsibility and authority to a person lacking in motivation, determination and commitment? If you cannot muster the determination to read, think, study and internalize a brief 5-10 minute module of instruction then I am afraid that you will not be able to make genuine forward spiritual progress in anything that you set out to do or hope to accomplish. This lesson is for the sincere and determined who want more from their Ifá-Orisa experience and who want spiritual substance for their lives. This lesson is for those who want to rise above the nonsense and are determined to enter into what is real, satisfying and fulfilling. Those who listen to their ori and who enjoy a genuine connection with Ifá and irunmole-orisa will joyfully read, ponder, study and apply this information. Remember that a true-student will one day become a true-master with students of his or her own. If you are not a good student how then will you be able to teach others to be good students. You cannot really encourage others to become what you never were.  You can never become a true-master if you were never a true and respectful student. Spiritual rewards, powers, supramundane abilities and intuitive-perceptivity are the products of ones spiritual exertions. Exert yourself spiritually for at least 5-10 minutes and your effort will be amply rewarded.***]
[1] There are two indispensable needs in the life of a spiritual aspirant-devotee. For us to be able to realize, recognize, actualize and manifest our individual orisa nature, our divine self-nature or iponri [true-self] we need the blessings of (1) consecrated, continual, steady and progressive self-effort [self-renewing initiative] and spiritual study; and (2) we need the àse [grace, power, support and power] of our spiritual-mentor, teacher, initiator and/or guide. The àse, blessing, support and grace of our spiritual mentor will infuse us with inspiration, authority, divine understanding [direct experience], confidence and a powerful self-sustaining motivation of divine origin that will hold us up and see us through our spiritual path and journey until we arrive at fullness of achievement, deep-understanding and well-rounded [fully developed] maturity.
[2] In my previous writings I have amply highlighted the need for a devotee to be persevering, industrious, self-reliant, practical and studious in regard to Ifá-Orisa spirituality and Ifá-Orisa practice. But while we must be self-reliant we cannot be entirely independent. We need the experience, help, benefit, guidance and training that an expert and mature mentor, teacher and/or empowered [graceful, accessible and àse filled] spiritual preceptor or master can afford us. Please do not let the word spiritual master throw you off. Let me explain and/or define what is meant by a spiritual master and/or preceptor. The word master simply means an experienced, knowledgeable, empowered and graceful teacher. A spiritual master is the one who lives the truth of Ifá-Orisa and is able to communicate the confidential teachings of Ifá-Orisa together with the living presence of Ifá-Orisa to others. By spiritual we mean a person whose wisdom, àse and conduct are one inseparable and indivisible whole. What he teaches he consistently and reliably lives, demonstrates and exhibits. A spiritual master or preceptor is not the owner of your life. A spiritual master is the one who will, with your consent, dedication and commitment, train you up, build you up, encourage you and will open your eyes to the true depth, ways and mysteries of Ifá and the irunmole-orisa. In other words a true master, mentor or preceptor is simply a mature, experienced, reliable, trustworthy and highly developed practitioner and fellow companion who is much further along the path of attainment than you and who has already attained much, and thereby is able and qualified to assist you, and is able to impart his spiritual strength, virtue and power to the sincere, teachable, intelligent and receptive student.
[3] This teacher, mentor and guide may not be popular or greatly known because true and capable guides [spiritual masters] do not go about announcing themselves or publishing themselves. A genuine preceptor and master cannot be known or identified by his external attire or appearance. One has to draw near to the teacher, spend time with the teacher and serve the teacher so as to receive the grace or àse of this teacher and the blessing of discerning the great mystic virtue and treasure of knowledge and gracefulness that this teacher has. This master will be simple and unpretentious. Many rub shoulders with him or her everyday and they don’t know or see the greatness of the person that they are frequently coming in contact with. A spiritual preceptor will not ‘lord it’ over you. A spiritual preceptor does not want and will not accept your ‘worship’ but will accept your willingness to learn and apply the truth, and will also accept your respectful attitude and your diligence.
[4] A spiritual preceptor builds up his students upon and around the foundational mysteries of Ifá and not on his person or personality. A SPIRITUAL master will not ask you for money and does not make money [your money] a requisite for acceptance and training. A genuine preceptor will impart to you a living awareness of the character, personality and presence of Ifá, Òrúnmìlà and of the irunmole-orisa. A spiritual master will treat you as a friend and will not make you feel inferior to his or her person, but a spiritual master or preceptor is still a spiritual master or preceptor, and one should recognize this reality, accord him or her due reverence and act respectfully. The spiritual preceptor will reveal and make known his greatness without having and displaying arrogance and conceit to the sincere, persevering and disciplined student. The revelation of the masters greatness is not for the purpose of making himself or herself appear great to the student, to show-off or to impress the student but to establish faith, respect, confidence and trust in the student towards his or her spiritual teacher, guide and mentor, so that this serves as a spiritual bridge or channel through which spiritual energy, divine-vision [experience], knowledge and enlightenment can be successfully imparted and communicated.
[5] The function and aim of a spiritual master, mentor and teacher is to establish you in a living, indissoluble and unbreakable connection with Ifá, Òrúnmìlà and the irunmole-orisa. The spiritual master, oluwo or ojugbona will reveal to you the path that is best suited to your affinity. He will successfully guide you along the path, and he will spiritually nourish you, bringing healing [correction] to your life. You will experience, discern and see the reality of Ifá in the character, personality and ways of your spiritual master and teacher. The teacher will come alongside you in the spirit of Òrúnmìlà, to forewarn you about the pitfalls and to safeguard you from fruitless and sorrowful paths. He or she will assist you to overcome hindrances and obstacles and will impart spiritual power to you, to enable you to persevere and prevail during trying and difficult times. The grace, àse and power that the spiritual master imparts to you in no way absolves you of the need to put in your effort, your study, your practice and your toil. The grace and blessing of your preceptor will add sweetness and joy to your efforts and labors no matter how arduous or challenging they are or may seem. A genuine spiritual preceptor will continually earn your trust and confidence.  Trust and confidence are not on demand and they are not ready made. They must be consistently, perseveringly and continuously earned and merited. A ‘teacher’ who does not and cannot inspire trust, confidence, awe and respect in you should not be accepted as your spiritual preceptor or teacher. A true teacher is never fake or pretend and thereby has nothing to hide. A genuine spiritual master is afraid of nothing and no one and always enjoys the respect of his community and the full support of a pure and clean conscience. A genuine teacher is not hiding or doing things in secret. A genuine teacher and preceptor can stand up to the scrutiny of anyone because he or she is more transparent than glass and lives a clean, respectful and blameless life. A true teacher does not try to hoard his students and does not restrict his students from meeting with and learning from other legitimate spiritual preceptors, mentors and teachers. No single teacher or spiritual preceptor is a one stop center who has it all, and/or who knows it all. A true spiritual master, oluwo or ojugbona does not treat or consider his students as if they were his personal property to do as he pleases with them. A true spiritual master considers his students as the children and personal friends of Òrúnmìlà and thereby accords them the corresponding respect and relates to them with an attitude of non-attachment.
[6] The àse of your oluwo, ojugbona or spiritual master and teacher, or masters and teachers will ensure that your toil, effort, study and practice will bear abundant and satisfying fruit. There is a great power, virtue and grace that is imparted by the spiritual master to the student as a result of the student frequently associating with the teacher, learning from the teacher and patiently applying the instructions of the mentor.  Once the spiritual master enlightens you, leads you to spiritual maturity and empowers you through the face-to-face transmission [by frequent and direct personal contact, and spiritual association] then he will then remove himself and you will now be led by the grace, knowledge and àse that the teacher trained you up in. The master will entrust you to the workings of the àse, grace and power that he or she communicated to you and trained you in. You are not to be a follower and worshipper of the personality of the  master, but of the truth, science, àse and power that you were established in by the spiritual preceptor. The master loves and cares for his pupils, and just like a loving father and mother behaves towards their child, a genuine preceptor will apply corrective discipline and stern correction when necessary and if necessary so that immaturity, superficiality, foolishness and ignorance are pruned away from the student. Just like a good father or mother does not let their children do whatever their undeveloped, immature and untrained minds suggest or lead them to do, in like manner will a caring and true spiritual preceptor discipline, correct and train up his or her spiritual children. A spiritual master and preceptor may or may not outwardly be a highly educated person according to mundane standards, but they are masters in matters of the spirit, practical living and true divine gracefulness or àse. They will undoubtedly possess and have an unquestionable spiritual intelligence, truth, presence, self-authenticating authority and power. A legitimate spiritual master, mentor and guide may or may not be an intellectual person according to everyday standards, but they will have and possess divine genius and an uplifting spiritual peculiarity uniquely their own that all can personally experience, perceive and attest to, and that no one can deny.
[7] When you meet, find or discover such a spiritual teacher or master you will have a feeling or sense like if you were associating with an irunmole-orisa in person. You will feel peace, wonder and contentment simply by being with this person and spending time with him. A spiritual master imparts a special grace that causes many of the problems or doubts that one had had to simply correct themselves and/or disappear. A spiritual master reveals your true dignity, value and purpose. A spiritual master makes you dependent on Ifá and not on his person or personality. When we come in contact with a genuine teacher and mentor a renewed and elevated faith and confidence arises in us towards Ifá and the irunmole-orisa in a natural, unforced, marvelous and spontaneous way. We begin to value and appreciate ourselves in new ways and we begin to understand and appreciate the true depth, beauty, sweetness and power of Ifá. This is the kind of effect that Òrúnmìlà produced in others. Akoda and Aseda were also able to inspire, empower, heal and elevate others simply by the power of their divine presence, personality and character alone, not to mention their teachings and spiritual works. Just to behold Òrúnmìlà, all fear, worry, anxiety and doubts would melt away and disappear. This is why Òrúnmìlà is called the one who miraculously transforms our sorrow into joy. This is said of Òrúnmìlà because the worries, fears, anxiety and doubts of people would literally disappear at the sight of Òrúnmìlà or merely by them hearing about Òrúnmìlà. This grace, virtue and power is also had, enjoyed and shared by Òrúnmìlà’s true followers. This is a special boon granted by Òrúnmìlà to those who tread his path with sincerity, straightforwardness, courage and honesty.
[8] If you have a good oluwo, a good ojugbona or spiritual guide and instructor that loves you, that rightly instructs and trains you, that cares for you and who discliplines you for your own good, wellbeing and benefit, thank Olódùmarè for such a gift and treasure. If you see or notice that your teacher is in need of some basic necessity or life-essential, then help him or her to the best of your means and ability without causing injury, loss or strain to yourself. A true master will not demand or ask from you this kind of service, but if you have a human heart and your teacher and preceptor has been selflessly caring for you and helping you, then how can you withhold your relief and assistance when you discern a need in his or her life, and it is within your means to confer a good measure of aid and assistance? Do not embarrass your teacher by asking him if he needs something, when you can clearly see a need for something relating to basic necessities in his life. If you teacher is in need of food, clothing, medicine, shelter or some other basic need, and you have the means to help and contribute to his uplift, then do so without making a big deal about it. Just give what help you can in a simple, unpretentious and natural way. It could be that the teacher is just testing you. Do not underestimate the greatness, virtue and power of your spiritual master just because your teacher is humble, unassuming and perhaps because he or she jokes around with you in wholesome humor just like if he or she were just an ordinary everyday person. A true spiritual master, oluwo and ojugbona is far from being an ordinary or common person. Express gratitude, appreciation and love towards your teacher in Ifá, in Orisa and in Isese by your actions, support and reliable heartfelt appreciative words. Do not embarass your teacher. Make others to be proud of Ifá and of your teacher by your conduct, demeanor and wisdom. If you do not have a teacher or guide yet then begin to search for one under the guidance of Òrúnmìlà and the irunmole-orisa. A true teacher and guide is indispensable to a devotee, just like self-reliance, effort, dedication and practicality are indispensable to a devotee. Your ori will guide you but your ori cannot be a substitute for a spiritual teacher, and a spiritual teacher cannot be a substitute for your ori. They will work in union and harmony with each other. Remember: A legitimate teacher or preceptor is not arrogant or conceited. An arrogant and conceited ‘teacher’ has nothing to give you or offer you. A legitimate teacher will not ‘lord it’ over you. A legitimate teacher will not attempt to control your life or manage your life for you. A spiritual master is not a crutch. A spiritual master is not there to pamper you, baby you and flatter you. A spiritual master is not there to extract money or personality worship from you. Divine knowledge, practical understanding, spiritual power and true spiritual satisfaction cannot be had in isolation. It can only be had and enjoyed in the company or constant association of devoted and spiritually mature and knowledgeable persons. Any devoted, spiritually-mature, honorable, consistent, caring, intelligent, sympathetic and knowledgeable person can serve as ones spiritual master, mentor or teacher.
[9] A qualified and genuine spiritual master or preceptor does not think himself or herself as such, and they will not be posting adds online promoting themselves as such. Qualified students simply gravitate to a natural, unpretentious and sincere teacher, and this is how spiritual mentors becomes mentors and not because they are intentionally promoting themselves as mentors, spiritual preceptors or spiritual masters. One more thing: To be able to find and secure a genuine, dedicated and empowered preceptor one must as an aspirant be genuine, dedicated, wholehearted, teachable, receptive, practical and motivated. A genuine aspirant must be able and willing to call a spade a spade. A genuine seeker must have an attitude that refuses to put up with any nonsense and foolishness in himself/herself and/or others.
[10] May Ifá bless all who have taken the time and exercised the patience to carefully read, consider and think about the above teaching. May you all be benefitted, encouraged and motivated by what has been shared in sincerity, love and good-will. May these guidelines and considerations serve to adjust and correct misunderstanding and may they serve to establish correct perception and clear-seeing awareness. May these teachings sweep away superficiality, make-believe, fantasy, ignorance, stinginess, insensitivity and deception in all its forms. Àse.
~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas
orunmila-awirin

OSA-IRETE: LA ILUMINACIÓN Y DESPERTAR DE ÒRÚNMÌLÀ AWINRIN. PORQUÉ YO AMO Y ME DEDICO A ÒRÚNMÌLÀ.

Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.
La iluminación y la inspiración divina es una dádiva de Olódùmarè. Para entender a Ifá y para impartir mensajes de parte de Ifá tenemos que vivir en armonía con Ifá, estudiar Ifá, practicar Ifá y contemplar Ifá. Todos los días es necesario que nos reunamos con Òrúnmìlà y que consultemos a Ifá.
Ifá me ha concedido grandes manifestaciónes, dádivas y bendiciones. La razón por la cual logro estas manifestaciones, dádivas y bendiciones de Ifá es porque yo no me promuevo a mi mismo. Me dedico a promover lo que Òrúnmìlà quiere, y solo comunicó lo que Òrúnmìlà me revela y me indica que debo compartir.
Doy gracias a Òrúnmìlà por el privilegio que tengo de disfrutar una amistad íntima con el. De ser su alumno, devoto e hijo. Yo amo a Òrúnmìlà. El que camina con Òrúnmìlà camina con Olódùmarè. El nombre y la persona de Òrúnmìlà nos hace siempre recordar a Olódùmarè y nos acerca hacia Olódùmarè. El nombre Òrúnmìlà significa: Òlòrún [Olódùmarè] sabe cómo salvar.
Cuando confiamos en Òrúnmìlà estamos declarando y afirmando que tenemos confianza y fe en Olódùmarè, en su sabiduría y poder para resguardarnos y protegernos de todo aquello que no es provechoso para nosotros. Òrúnmìlà tiene porción en y participa en la omnisciencia de Òlòrún [Olódùmarè]. Òrúnmìlà es el único irunmole-orisa que recibió la dádiva de gustar, de tener porción en, y de participar en la virtud de la omnisciencia que es una virtud intrinsica de Olódùmarè.
Cuando caminamos con Ifá con sinceridad y amor, esta omnisciencia divina nos ilumina, nos irradia y se difunde en nosotros. Según el deseo de Olódùmarè, Ifá nos revela muchas cosas y nos enseña que hacer, como hacer, cuando hacer, cuando hablar, como hablar y de que debemos hablar y aún cuando debemos callar. Òrúnmìlà nos revela lo que las personas verdaderamente traen escondidos en sus corazones. Vemos y percibimos las verdaderas intenciones del corazón. Òrúnmìlà es la manifestación pura de la omnisciencia divina manifestada y de la virtud.
Esta gran virtud la recibió Òrúnmìlà de parte de Olódùmarè en el sagrado Odu-Ifá Osa-Irete. Òrúnmìlà nunca pidió esta dádiva. Olódùmarè se la regalo a Òrúnmìlà por la humildad, la sencillez, la buena-fe y la honestidad que había y hay en Òrúnmìlà. Osa-Irete es el Odu-Ifá de la omniciencia, la sabiduría y la espiritualidad peculiar de Òrúnmìlà. Osa-Irete revela el secreto de la virtud, poder y autoridad de Òrúnmìlà, como también sus responsabilidades y obligaciónes. Osa-Irete es el Odu-Ifá que explica y revela la iluminación y despertar de Òrúnmìlà Awinrin. Osa-Irete contiene la esencia y corazón de la energía única, carácter sin-igual y personalidad carismática de Òrúnmìlà. Osa-Irete es la manifestación de la sabiduría, conocimiento y entendimiento de Olódùmarè.
No fue fácil para Òrúnmìlà cuando recibió esta gracia de parte de Olódùmarè, de emplearla con facilidad, porque en conjunto con la dádiva también vino la carga, el peso, las obligaciones y responsabilidades que experimentó Òrúnmìlà cuando empezaron a llegar irunmole-orisa y seres humanos sin número para compartir sus problemas y dificultades con Òrúnmìlà. Experimento Òrúnmìlà el inconveniente de que a todas horas llegaban irunmole-orisa y seres humanos que querían conocerlo y hablar con el. Todo aquel que quiere recibir la sabiduría abundante de Ifá tiene que estar dispuesto a experimentar inconvenientes y tiene que estar dispuesto a simpatizar con otros y ayudarlos a sobrellevar sus cargas, los dolores y sufrimientos de la vida. No es facil seguir el ejemplo y las pisadas de Òrúnmìlà pero si es posible y necesario.
Nosotros que somos creyentes y devotos de Ifá tenemos una fuerza que nos sostiene, nos apoya y nos da paz, aun en momentos difíciles como los que estamos atravesando. Sentimos y tenemos un gozo y una alegría contagiosa que otros no pueden sondear.
Todo lo que es ordenado, aprobado e instituido por Olódùmarè es para nuestro bien y provecho. Aún cuando Olódùmarè ordena e instituye cosas que son duras para nosotros aceptar o comprender, tenemos que saber que el amor y la sabiduría de Olódùmarè está guiando todas la cosas. La voluntad de Olódùmarè es lo único que triunfa, permanece y prevalece. A travez de Ifá nos vinculamos a la voluntad de Olódùmarè.
Todo alumno, devoto e hijo de Òrúnmìlà debe hablar frecuentemente con su Ifá. Reúnase con Òrúnmìlà. Ifá no hace acepción de personas. Ifá no tiene hijos favoritos. Ifá es imparcial y ecuánime. Yo no tengo mas privilegios con Ifá que usted. Yo no tengo mas cercanía con Ifá que la que usted puede también tener. Quiero que usted experimente en mayor medida la eficacia y cuidado personal de Òrúnmìlà en su vida. Òrúnmìlà le ama. Cuéntale todo a Baba Ifá. Cuales sean sus problemas, retos y dificultades entrégale su pesar a Òrúnmìlà. Déjalos allí con el. Òrúnmìlà resolverá y traerá paz, remedio y alivio a su vida.
Mis amados hermanos y hermanas, todos los días comience de nuevo. Renovase todos los días. Si se cayó, entonces vuélvase a levantar. Todos nos caemos, todos nos pelamos las rodillas. Pero no nos podemos quedar en el suelo. Nos levantamos y seguimos caminando hacia adelante. Sigáse levantado y no tomes en cuenta las caídas. No importa las veces que uno se caiga. Lo importante es volvernos a levantar. Viva un día a la vez. Cada vez que nos levantamos nos ponemos mas fuertes y resiliente hasta que llega un día que no nos volvemos a caer. Àse!
Espero que estas palabras sean útiles y provechosas pasa su vida. Espero que hayan servido de estímulo y que le hayan impartido ánimo, esperanza y confianza. Que le traigan paz, confortamiento y satisfacción. Fun Olódùmarè. Gracias a Olódùmarè.
Ifá tóó yangàn. Ifá ni lagba ti ngbaye. Àse.
Nunca debemos sentirnos abochornados y avergonzados de ser devotos, creyentes e hijos de Ifá. Debemos sentirnos orgullos de ser devotos de Ifá y de tener a Ifá. Ifá es el que sana, rectifica y salva el mundo [de nuestros pensamientos, voluntad, sentimientos y emociones].
Una cosa más: No permítas que la ingratitud, la hipocresía, las malas-obras y la indiferencia de otros, que aveces nos pagan mal por los bienes que le hacemos, que nos inclinen a considerar valernos de prácticas espirituales o tipos de espiritualidades que no son aprobadas por Ifá. No necesitamos inclinarnos en esa dirección. Ifá es más que suficiente para resolver los conflictos y malos entendidos. Ifá sabe mejor como dispensar equitativamente la medicina dulce o la medicina amarga.
Dejémonos guiar siempre por el consejo y guianza de Ifá. No todo el que nos hace un mal es porque necesariamente sea una persona mala. Muchas personas sencillamente están enfermos del corazón. Muchas personas están quebradas, fragmentadas y destrozadas en su interior. Necesitan el amor, la ayuda y la simpatía de Ifá y no del enojo o molestia que se puede levantar en nuestros corazones. No podemos molestarnos con una persona enferma porque se esté comportando como una persona enferma. No necesitamos añadirle más dolor y sufrimiento a nadie. El que mal hace, mal termina. Seamos pacientes con otros así como Olódùmarè ha sido paciente con nosotros. No permitas que ningún corojo manche sus vestimentas blancas espirituales.
Todo lo que estamos viendo y experimentando hoy día es con el propósito de que las personas se vuelvan humanas otra vez. El perdón, la comprensión, la paciencia y simpatía [amor] es la solución.
Ifá gbe wa ooo. Àse.
Ifá nos sostendrá. Àse.
Oruko Odumare ni ka fi iyin fun. Àse.
Solamente el nombre de Olódùmarè merece reconocimiento, alabanza y homenaje. Àse.
Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.

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