African Traditional Religion : Odu Ifa discussion

Discussion in 'African Traditional Religion Study Group' started by awo dino, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. awo dino

    awo dino Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I am starting this thread in the hopes that it will attract those who have wisdom of Odu Ifa to share. As you probably know, in traditional Ifa, there is a four day week. Every 4 days is Ifa day. And every sixteen days Awo gather to do communal prayer. Afterwards, there is recitation and discussion of Odu. It is integral to the growth of individual as well as communal knowledge of Odu. Unfortunately, here in the Diaspora, there is no community, and so the sixteenth day passes unnoticed. So my hopes are that we can post and discuss Odu, each adding what he has learned and thus increasing everyone's knowledge. As the Yoruba saying goes, "When your life gets better, my life gets better." ase.

    Ifa says:
    Ti a ba ji
    Ogbon ni ki a ma a ko ara wa...
    At every opportunity
    We should impart knowledge/wisdom; we should seek knowledge and appreciate wisdom.
    ase
     
  2. awo dino

    awo dino Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I know that there are other threads with Odus being discussed, but they all seem to have dead-ended. Maybe if we can keep the discussion on one thread, it will be easier to follow and maintain vibrant.


    Ogbe Ofun

    Mosaa-li-o-ni-opa, Erogbonre-o-mese divined Ifa for Ogbe.
    Ogbe was going to seduce Ofun's wife.
    He was assured of success.
    A hen, a rat, a fish and 4400 cowries should be sacrificed.
    He heeded the advice and performed the sacrifice.
    Oliwowoji, Oliwowojiwo. They divined Ifa for iku.
    They divined Ifa for Arun. Both wanted to marry
    Lasunwontan, the daughter of Orisa. Orisa said he would give
    his daughter to any young man who could produce 201 fresh
    heads. They all went away to think about what to do.
    Iku went to the farm to look for 201 people, who were
    immediately killed. Their heads were collected and tied together
    and carried by him. As he was going on the way to Orisa's
    house, he heard someone singing the following song:

    If I see Iku I will fight him. Oliwowoji, Oliwowojiwo.
    If I see Arun I will fight him. Oliwowoji, Oliwowojiwo.

    When Iku heard this threat, he put the 201 heads down
    and ran away, amazed that anyone would be courageous
    enough to threaten him and Arun. He did not know that
    Arun was behind this evil act. Arun had already gone to see a
    babalawo to help him figure out a way to make Lasunwontan,
    the daughter of Orisa, his wife. The babalawo told him that he
    should produce 200 snail shells, which he did. The
    babalawo tied the shells together, put them around Arun's
    neck, and taught him the song he should sing. When Iku
    threw the 201 heads away and fled, Arun collected the
    201 heads and took them to Orisa. Orisa in turn gave
    Lasunwontan, his daughter, to Arun.
    Therefore we have a proverb that says: Death had sacrificed for disease to succeed. This story tells us that any chiming instrument will scare away
    death or other evil spirits.
    This is the reason the traditional medicine men usually
    put instruments of this nature on abiku or other sickly children.
     
  3. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Eji Ogbe

    Eji Ogbe symbolizes all that is known and unknown in the universe. It is an image of all the forces that create the day. The white hole- The light
    Eji Ogbe is the sign of life. A vigorous awakening
    Eji Ogbe rules the head---facing east
    Physical Element=Water... Water takes precedence of all other Elements. It is recognized as the "Father of the Elements."
    Physical body element= Brains and nerves
    Children would be disposed to be travelers, pioneers, sailors or heads of orgnizations

    THis odu denotes plenty of good and plenty of "evil"
    Eji Ogbe expresses a need to acquire wisdom and humility. Represent high ethical standards which will be rewarede with enlightement and abundance. Time heals the pain of any matter. We have cut off our own head to make us grow, like the banana tree. The hands belong to the body, the feet belong to the body. Victory over enemies, spiritual awakenings, long life, and peace of mind.

    In Eji Ogbe, barren women are blessed with children after sacrifice!

    Two words have spoken
    Two tasks have given themselves to me
    The road is open

    Good medicine stays,
    Told a certain person way back when tears of compassion refused the curse of barreness that she should take a long-neced jar, and when sacrifice was done go to the place where water seeps slowly, slowly until the womb is full.
    She sipped the dreaming water and they called her child Osun, generous river.
    Ifa says sacrifice is beneficial, nothing waits for nothing good. Come and see my bouncing newborn baby at the foot of the lord Orisa!

    Story of how Ori was the only divinity that broke kola nuts that Orunmila kept at his shrine. Ori's wish was for a permanent abode and plenty of followers. Upon hearing the news finally broken kolanuts, all the other divinities agreed, (since they all tried to break the nuts) that the head wsa the right divinity to the kolanuts. Almost immediately the hand, feed, body, stomach, chest, nect etc, each of which before then had distinct identities, all assembled and decided to go and live with the head. Together, they all carried the head high above as the king of the body. It is on account of the role played by Orunmila in his fortune that the head touches the ground to defer and revere to Orunmila to this day.

    The Benevolence of the young Eji Ogbe made him so unpopular that his house was streaming with callers day and night. He healed the sick, made sacrifices for paupers to become rich, helped the barrent to have children and safely delivered all pregnant women who demanded his assistance. These activities earned him admiration from the beneficiares of his magnanimity. He also developed enemies that were envious and plotted against him. Eji Ogbe went for divination and was told to make sacrifices to his Ifa with a basket of snails. Eji Ogbe Awos collected Ero leaves and mashed them in the snails' liquid for Eji Ogbe to bath with. After the sacrifices he began to live a peaceful life.

    Death Held me and left me
    Sickness tried me and left me
    No one eats tortoise along with its shell
    No one eats a Ram together with its horns
    The shell of the snail is kept after eating its meat
    I have survived the evil plans of my enemies

    Serious minded people do not listen to the bird singing the songs of woe
    Difficulties and problems bring out the best in man
    Patience and sacrifice make the impossible become possible
    Give me a difficult problem to solve that doubters may believe
    Give me a war to wage that mortals may appreciate the strength of the divinities
    To learn from past misfortunes is to be wise
    Not to learn from previous mistakes is folly
    The person who fails to make sacrifice vindicates the diviner
    Just as the one who ignores advice turns the adviser to a seer
    The man who learns from quarrels and the man who does not learn from quarrels wer the two surrogates of Eji Ogbe who made divination fo the land of quarrels

    Orunmila enquires on how the situation is, I respond that it is fine. Early in the morning I met all the Irunmole followers where they were offering snails for ritual. They asked me to state what I was lacking. I said that it is wealth, I responded that it is a spouse, I said I needed children, I also needed all the well-beings of life. They told me that when I return home I should wash my master's hands cleanly I should also clean my master's divination bag thoroughly . I should offer sacrifice to Ifa with a big, matured kolanut. I should offer sacrifice to my Egun with bean cake. WHen I looked at my back, what did I see? I saw prosperity coming towards me, they were coming abundantly. And when I turned to look back, what did I see? I saw good wives coming towards me, they all looked beautiful and elegant. WHen I also looked back, what did I see? I saw many children coming towards me, They all looked healthy and strong. When I looked back, what did I see? I saw all well-beings of life coming toward me. They are all abundant and satisfying. And I declared: horses shall be mounted in the practice of our profession with Eji Ogbe as the owner of the world horses shall be mounted in the practice of our profession.

    If one is rich without good character, the wealth belongs to someone else. That which we are after is character, good character if one is blessed with children without good character, the children belong to someone else. That which we are after is character, good character. If one is blessed with houses without good character the houses belong to someone else. That which we are after is character. Good character.

    Let us not run the world hastily
    Let us not rasp at the rope of wealth impatiently
    What should be treated with mature judgement
    let us not treat in a fit of temper
    whenever we arrive at a cool place
    let us rest sufficiently well
    Let us give prolonged attention to the future
    and then let us give due regard to the consequences of things
    and that is on account of our sleeping (death)

    Ase O
     
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Aboru Aboye Abosise
     
  5. awo dino

    awo dino Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Hi everyone,
    I was thinking we could post odu and thoughts one odu at a time. I should have started at the top, with EjiOgbe. So I will go with awo Sekhemu's post and leave OgbeFun for another day. Maybe we can do one Odu a week.
    here is another ese EjiOgbe

    "Do your work"
    "I am not working"

    This was the Ifa cast for the lazy person
    He who sleeps until the sun is overhead
    He who relies on that which is possessed through inheritance
    exposes himself to suffering
    If we do not toil and sweat profusely today
    We cannot become wealthy tomorrow

    "March through the mud"
    "I cannot march through the mud"
    "If we do not march through the mud
    Our mouths cannot eat good food"

    These were the declarations of Ifa to the lazy person
    He who possesses strong limbs but refuses to work
    He who chooses to be idle in the morning
    He is only resting for suffering in the evening
    Only toiling can support one
    Idleness cannot bring dividend
    Whoever refuses to work
    Such a person does not deserve to eat
    If a lazy person is hungry, please let him die
    Dead or alive, a lazy person is a useless person


    dino
     
  6. awo dino

    awo dino Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Chant from Eji Ogbe
    *
    He, who shines light on aje (wealth) is what we call Ifa
    He, who disperses people so he may kill a lion (ekun), is the name we call Esu Odara
    Mother of Children*(Iyaami) who uses her spiritual eye (mystical power) to take home money
    from diverse sources, is the name we call the mothers (awon iya wa, eleiye, aje')
    He who shines light on aje, that is you Ifa, go and shine your light of aje (i.e. money, financial blessings) in my path, so*I may be blessed with love and*lots of money
    He who disperses people so he may kill a lion is the name we call Esu Odara
    Esu Odara, let me meet with good people, who would in turn love and bless me, and direct me
    in the right path of honest money or livelihood; so*I may in turn have enough to take care
    of my responsibilities
    Mother of Children*who uses her spiritual eye (mystical power) to take home money
    from diverse sources, that is you, the Mothers
    Mothers, wherever IRE of money might be, shine your mystical power there
    So that the people (i.e. employers, clients) may reach for me (consider me for...)
    So that they, the people, may in turn love and bless me with the abundant IRE of money
    So that they may care for me, and handle me, with the good offer of employment (or business, etc.)
    Because Fowl's eggs must be handled with care,
    Handle me with care
    Cherish me
    Lead me to the domain of aje (financial success, wealth)
    Make me prosperous
    Of all of the sweet tastes in the world, none surpasses that of honey
    Eji Ogbe, you are primal in Ifa
    Bless me with Ire, etc.
    Ase
     
  7. awo dino

    awo dino Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Birth, death, transformation and rebirth. Like all things in the universe, Odu follow this cycle. Eji Ogbe is Birth. It is the substance that flows from the Godhead. It is light; it is expansion. It is growth without resistance; hence known as the open road. I have an English language school called the Open Road Language Academy (had to get in the plug!) Eji Ogbe is the open road.
    ase
     
  8. awo dino

    awo dino Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Part of EjiOgbe verse speaking to the question of women in Ifa

    It is Agbagiwo who is the chief priest of divination
    In the heavenly abode
    Ifa said, “look” at Orunmila
    The day he was coming to the earth from heaven
    They told him he would marry a woman
    They said the woman would deliver children
    Two children in a day
    Just as the Ifa predicted
    Orunmila had a wife
    She was pregnant and delivered twins
    One was male while the other was female
    From the tender age, they both
    Watched their father in the act of divination
    Just as the male could divine
    So could the female
    When human beings go to the earth
    To live with the diviners
    One individual said, you Awawonlaseri [a human character]
    Your child does not practice Ifa
    Awawonlaseri answered, she is female
    They told him that is not taboo
     
  9. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Great Post Awo.

    I agree, posting an Odu and their ese, on a weekly basis is a great idea. I'm down for that.
     
  10. awo dino

    awo dino Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    EjiOgbe - the expansion of light from source outward. Movement without opposition. "I'm not skeered" (no resistance). For the client, basically this odu in ire means that the person is in alignment with destiny. So then the only thing they need to worry about is getting off track. Good character is key. In ibi, the client is a victim of his/her own arrogance.

    there-is-no-place-on-earth-i-can-go-where-I-will-not-meet-happiness cast Ifa for Odunku'n (sweet potato) on the day he was going to make the journey from the land of Ishu (yam) and Agbado' (corn). Ifa advised Odunkun to make ebo so his life would be sweeter than Isu and Agbado. Isu and Agbado were tasted by the people of earth and they weren't as sweet as Odunkun. It was on that day that Odunkun danced and sang for joy saying he would do the ebo over and over again. Ifa advised there was no value in repeating the ebo. Odunkun sang and danced in praise of the Awo, while the Awo praised Ifa, while Ifa praised Olodumare. When Odunkun started to sing, Esu put a song in Odunkun's mouth. Odunkun started singing;

    Aye' Senren ti dun, odun ju oyin lo.
    Aye' Senren ti dun, odun ju oyin lo.
    Orisa je aye mi o dun, Alayun Gbalayun
    Orisa je aye mi o dun, Alayun Gbalayun

    Sweet Potato Life, sweeter than honey
    Sweet Potato Life, sweeter than honey
    Immortals, let my life be sweet, o Alayun Gbalayun
    Immortals, let my life be sweet, o Alayun Gbalayun

    Ifa says this person is about to go on a journey. Ifa says this person is will receive blessings of ire (long life, abundance, children). Ifa says this person will be succesful. This person should eat sweet potatoes as medicine for good fortune.

    (from DAFA by Awo Falokun)
    The odus that I post here come from diverse sources, some in books, some from friends, and some from my godparents. sometimes i note from where i got them, sometimes i don't. I don't feel it is necessary, really, as odu are an oral corpus and belong to no one. But i will post the origin if I think it is a good book, such as the one above.

    aboru aboye,

    dino
     
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