Black Spirituality Religion : Sista Destee, Ifa Say....

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Blackbird, Jun 11, 2005.

  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Greetings,

    Ifa says....."If we do not bear suffering that will fill a basket we will not receive kindness/blessings that will fill a cup...."

    Odu Eji Ogbe

    Blackbird (still going to :bus: )
     
  2. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Brother BlackBird ... thank you !!! ... :love:

    After reading what you've shared, my first thought is ... what else does Ifa say??!!! :teach:

    I'd love to know more!

    As a matter of fact, there have been a few folk over the years that have brought a bit of information regarding African Traditional Religions to the community. I'm believing that "Ifa" is associated with an African Traditional Religion. I'm afraid that the majority of what has been shared thus far, has been lost on me, for a number of reasons. Hmmmm ... one being that from where i'm coming from, my own understanding of things, it's probably more difficult for me to grasp. In addition, unfortunately, some exhibited behavior that would not draw a moth to their flame ... well ... it did not draw me.

    Brother BlackBird ... that is not the case with you at all! You draw me! :)

    Brother ... would you mind sharing with me in a way that even the most ignorant could understand?

    What is Ifa?

    What else does Ifa say?

    Thank you for all of your encouraging words.

    Much Love and Peace.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Nsala malecum Sista Destee,

    Firstly, let me begin by saying I am no means at liberty to define Ifa and as such, I defer to any elder if any are around. As although I am omo-Ifa (child of Ifa) and destined to be a babalawo, Ifa (Ela) controls my head, I have yet to be initiated and so I speak as an aleyo (outsider).

    Basically, in my own words, Ifa is a spiritual discipline, a spiritual tradition and oracular system at once. Ifa rests on the firm belief that we all have a destiny, that we came to this world to fulfill, achieve and do certain things and it is our responsibility to find what our destiny is and attain it. Of course, it can be argued that if it's our destiny we will follow it regardless. This is true, however, Ifa recognizes a low path and a high path - one filled with ire (blessings) and one filled with osogbo (trials). Ifa also provides a strong psycho-spiritual understanding of a person's inner composition and how to align oneself to walk the path of iwa-pele (good character). This truthfully is the ultimate goal of Ifa devotees - Iwa-pele and follow iwakeri (spiritual quest) to enhance our quality of life as we find the good place.

    Ifa consists of oral teachings, known as Odu, said to have been given by a prophet named Orunmila Bara Agboniregun who lived over 4000 years ago. Many have studied Ifa Odu (scriptures) as a literary corpus due to its stories, poems, songs and courses of action. The Odu are thought to be the primal energy patterns that translates into the universe. There are 16 original Odu meaning Ifa says there were 16 original energy patterns that made up existence. In total, there are 256 Odu (sacred scriptures) of Ifa. The Odu being energetic in nature are beyond the stale words written between the pages of books. The Odu are thought to be living and controlling the evolution of existence. They are said to issue from the mouth of Olorun (the Creator). Ifa is very complex and to begin understanding it one must be familiar with certain concepts not known in the Western world. It certain takes a thinking outside the box for us colonized by Judeo-Christian-Islamic thought to fathom like all the traditional African belief systems.

    Ifa is about balance and harmonizing with the various energies that exist in this incarnation under the dictates of one's personal Odu. Of did I not mention, since the Odu are living entities of energy, each of us was with a specific Odu (somewhat like zodiac signs but not as trivial as they in the eyes of many) guiding our life and spelling our lifes' stories. Once we are balanced and harmonized, we are able to use our ase (life-force) to effect our environs, attract ire and walk our destinys with iwa pele. We can be more present on the earth.

    Hope this is a start. I am a devotee of Ifa, however, I am an initiate of Vodou and Palo.

    Blackbird

    "Ifa says that anyone who wants to achieve anything, that person should sacrifice so that a way can be opened for them. For if a person sacrifices, Anything they wish to accomplish, whether it is work or some other important thing, that thing can be done..." - Odu Ika Meji
     
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Greetings all,

    What no elders that would like to add anything....? It's amazing how many Black people have no idea about traditional belief systems, yet we know everything from Euro or Arab centric alien backgrounds.

    Blackbird
     
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Nsala malecum,

    Ifa says "Too much kindness is repaid with wickness."
    - Odu Ifa Odi Meji

    Blackbird
     
  6. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    If I may, I'd like to add a few pieces of information regarding what is called the Orisas. The Orisa are the less-than-God, more-than-human physical representations of various energy sources who were sent to live on earth with man. For example the ocean is represented by the Orisa named Yemonja/olokun, whose characteristics reflect the ocean's nurturing and giving dynamic.


    The orisa Obatala represents whiteness, clarity, calm and the head. Again, there are hundreds of orisas who represent and reflect all the energy sources and characteristics on the planet.
     
  7. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Nsala malecum,

    Ase! Sekhemu....

    Blackbird
     
  8. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Brother Blackbird ... i have not overlooked your answer(s) to my questions.

    Thank you for responding.

    I've been having to give my energies to something else, and haven't been able to respond in full ... but i will ... just give me a little time to clean some stuff up ... and i'll be back to respond properly.

    Thanks again.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  9. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Nsala malecum,

    As we proceed with Brother James' request to hear for the "Yoruba/Vodun camp" and to continue posting inspirational and informative messages for Sista Destee, I would like to submit some words from a powerful and profund brother on the path and in the tradition:

    "Within the Afrikan worldview there is no concept of a "devil" that is in constant battle with God. Only through colonization and enslavement have Afrikans adopted such a notion, and in some instances they have infused it into their own indigenous belief systems. Afrikans believe that the Father-Mother God created all things in the universe, but that the creation itself, through time-material evolution, becomes less perfect. Imperfection cannot help but bring about the conditions that misrepresent God's plan. Hence, there exist negating forces throughout the universe are called elinini in Yoruba. From my understanding of Ifa/Orisa theology, Olodumare did not "create" these negating forces. What Olodumare did create are humans, who are first not perfect, who then devolve further away from their original states of existence. In turn, these humans create the conditions that would allow the negating forces to germinate and then manifest within creation. Thus, these forces have found a place within the balance that Olodumare rested the worlds upon. This is what we see as emanating evil in the world...."

    (Excerpted from Awotunde Yao Zannu Faseyin's book "Iwakeri : The Quest for Afrikan Spirituality)

    The profoundness of our ancestors, be they Kamau (Kemau), Yoruba, Bakongo, Akan, Mande-Dogon or what have you, should inspire us to look within for those secrets that reside in us. Everyone has the mysteries. As our Kamau forebearers would say "when the student is ready, the teacher will enter." It is with sadness that I noticed our people reaching for those things foreign and alien to our nature and being for understanding of their surroundings. Yes, I am proudly pro-ATR understanding and I, sometimes, may wear this as a badge, but then again my flesh has been pierced and its mark I see everytime I derobe.

    As Ifa would say...... "Woman has placed you in this world, thus you are humanity. Woman is the intelligence of the Earth, prostrate for woman. Woman has placed you in this world, thus you are humanity...." - Ifa Odu Osa Meji

    Blackbird (rapping his egun staff into the sacred ground)
     
  10. Sun Ship

    Sun Ship Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother Blackbird, your thread has not gone unnoticed…I’m glad you included this excerpt about the theological approach to evil versus African traditional religion…I have several books that deal with Satan and the Devil from a historical and academic point of view. It is obvious that people devised their understanding of this supposed entity based on cultural interpretations imposed on them historically by the soothsayers of religious politics.

    The ideal of the devil in the western world is very political and also represents the frozen and inflexible dialectical thinking of Europeans, in other words like I said in another thread “either the switch is on or off”. Also like politics, this form of dialectical religiosity has influenced and caters to the most moronic level of cognitive thought. This is somewhat analogous to how an animal is breed for domestication. By feeding simple ideas and commands or “baby talk” such as, “the devil made you do it” or those “evil doers” and “axis of evil” (Bush’s analogy of the anti-western world) the most docile and immature of thinkers are endowed with power and they eventually become an intellectual “social control” and a sort of “religio-emotional” control for the overall culture (mindless and fear-based patriotism). The analogy to this approach is, that anything dealt with in this manner, such as our religious-cultural beliefs becomes unknowingly a form of spiritual domestication.

    The deity Set of Kemetic cosmogony has also been dealt with crudely in this western modality. What we view as “evil”, is really a function imbued in nature and it cannot be absolutely personified or deified. To do so, is a flaw in man’s thinking or a moronic understanding of nature and the universe. If something has a nature that is antithetical to your own than you must find your balance to it for the preservation of self. Anything, anyone or any group of people out of balance to the whole, can become cancerous or viral (first the oppressor than the oppressed). But, even in the realm of the parasite, even the parasite must operate in the balance of nature, for if the parasite dominates the host, it will also die with the host (again first the oppressor than the oppressed); or displacement and then replacement.

    The civilizing force of applied knowledge and wisdom is the cultivation of man and nature, as in a garden (Garden of Eden?). That's why it is divine, because these esoteric understandings of the forces of nature metaphysically puts man at the essence of nature (God-self) and not just an innate functioning being. Just as this realm of divinity can be related to “in balance” (harmless and reasonable action, i.e. peace) it can also be used to make man an unreasonable predator (imbalance). But this must be induced by the idea to manipulate the function of force, (force for force sake – European abstractionism married to absolutism). It is those who manipulate force in this abstract idea, that they must be superior and eventually alone in order to survive, is what we view as evil. It’s about metaphysical and divine manipulation, not a quantifiable force of evil (or as one sage said, "why fight with fire because it burns"). They (the Abstractionist) are using evil to mask the science (the Wizard Of Oz construct). Evil and the fear/inferiority complex of the manipulator go hand in hand (again Wizard Of Oz > Western Sky Gods and their bad cop the Devil).


    Historically, usually one man’s God is another man’s devil or adversary; we must find our essence of Godly or divine nature that’s congruent with our own viability and super-consciousness.

    Thanks for letting me share and thanks for the thread. I would like to converse also on what you posted that pertains to sacrifice. I’ve wanted the start a thread on that subject, but I’ll relay my thoughts here.

    Brother Sun Ship :cool:
     
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