Black Spirituality Religion : Elehan: Priestly initiation in Ifa

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Sekhemu, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Jul 9, 2003
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    Elehan is the stage at which the initiate is proclaimed ready (by the means of Dafa) to serve as priest/priestess of the religion. They have demonstrated their degree of commitment and have stood the test set upon them by the Orisa, Egun, and god-parents alike. There are different reasons why one is called into priesthood. Some are called for spiritual reasons that involve only themselves and they work very little with others; some are called to be as messengers (Ojise Olorun); others are called to serve the orisa in order to save themselves or loved ones from grave illness.

    Elehan may last from three to seven days. During this time the initiate (Iyawo) is set to undergo a series of trails and teachings so that the priestly abilities and understandings are crystallized. She/he must reside in the temple during the entire time. Fasting, abstinence, internal study, learning about the Orisa, divination, and daily sacrifices are all focused upon during this period. Drumming, religious dance, communal worship are also parts of the initiation. Images of the Orisa that will own the head of the o'lorisa adorn the temple. On the 3rd day divination is performed. This is the day of the Ita. The ita reveals, through the Odu, the messages to be seriously contemplated and acted upon by the new priest for the entire time of their priestly involvement. The period of apprenticeship lasts from three months to one year depending on the will of the Orisa., as determined through divination.

    Onlyl those who have made elehan can preside over those making elehan. The presiding priest/priestess is responsible for the development of the initiate through the period of elehan, or to a greater degree, when the Iyawo is able to establish and maintain their own temple and God-children. Another priest/priestess is deemed Ajubona or instructor. The Ajubona has the responsibility of teaching the Iyawo the constructs of Ifa and of breaking down the revelations of the God-parent to more applicable workings.

    On the final day of Elehan the Iyawo receives the odu-orisa, which is a wooden or clay container holding the ashe of the specific orisa. Inside, the ashe is symbolized by the religious objects consecrated to the Orisa. The objects have been consecrated by means of omeiro, blood sacrifice, cleansing by incense, fruit offerings, song, and prayer.

    The function of the initiation rituals are to make the orisa essence stronger within the devotee. THe more rituals that are done, the more this essence is solidified and actualized. The essence then impacts on the being of the devotee who now becomes an active element of it with the family, community, nation and world. Those who pass through the various levels must intensify their lives through constant prayer, devotion and sacrifice to the Orisa. Those who become priest must understand their position as seen through the eyes of heaven more so than the eyes of earth. The priestly have the sacred duty to assert and re-assert the divinity of all human beings. That is, they work to elevate the base human nature to divine nature.

    Ase, Ase O Ase!