Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Continuing: Respect, Eldership and Wisdom 2 of ?

Let us now examine a few of the appellation or praise names of Orunmila, we know and salute him as Elerii-Ipin meaning the witness of creation, and that creation goes beyond the creation of all life forms on this earth (including humanity) but also the creation of this earth and the other planets as well, some of my mentors will even go as far as saying that Elerii-Ipin even was witness to the creation of the other planets outside of this universe. But let us just examine the meaning of Elerii-Ipin within the context of this earth and all of Nature within, Orunmila was the one who had witnessed our own destiny on earth and recorded it, just as He also recorded the destinies of all the other life forms on earth. In such that Orunmila having known all of life to the extent that he will even know us better then we know ourselves, because He will know where we come and where we ought to go in life to fulfill our rightful purpose here (destiny). We also know that since Orunmila was the one who witnessed and recorded our destiny, He is the one who can advise us and direct us best, this is why the importance of following the various rites of passage we have within the tradition of Ifa, those being ikunle abiyamo (birthing/conception rites), esentaye (naming rites / welcome to earth), Isefa (one hand of Ifa), Omode-Onifa (youth coming of age in worship to Ifa), igbeyawo (marriage), isinku (final rites / burial).
It is the knowledge Orunmila has of our existence and the existence of all of Nature that He assigned the various names and secret names, for which allows us to access more wisdom & knowledge and the coded esoteric knowledge to make things manifest, it is within this coded words that once stated in a certain form and with certain preparations allows us to make ordinary words into incantations, it is by calling on the ordinary and coded words, it was those words that Orunmila gave all of Nature, that one when studies this element of Ifa, one can create and manifest with the utterance of certain words and phrases etc.

Briefly some other names:
Omoloju-Olodumare, meaning the favorite child of Olodumare, or the one that Olodumare pays closer attention to, because of his servitude to Olodumare.
IfaOlokun Asorodayo, meaning the one who can turn sorrow and problems into joy and abundance, the changer of ill fate.
Eegun Ife – Orunmila was known as the primordial inhabitant of ancient Ife town, this Ife is known to be the Ife of Heaven and not necessarily the Ife of earth, which is eastward of present day Ile-Ife, in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
Oba Ajiki – The King/Ruler worthy of praise upon waking in the daybreak, Orunmila is appropriately greeted (salutation prayer) very early in the morning, upon waking and before one does any meaningful task, Orunmila is the first you would greet to start the day correctly.
Oba Orisa – The Head of all the other Orisa, an honourary title given due to His vast wisdom and knowledge, this is not a literal title. Orunmila earned his respect not by mere presence, but his servitude to Olodumare giving him the greatest portion of the knowledge of Ifa and the influence over the Earth. It is understood that Orisanla was sent to establish the Earth as the eldest, but was advised to first go and have Dafa (consult) Ifa with Orunmila before embarking, he did so and was given advise and told to perform sacrifice, he did not heed the advice and did not perform the required sacrifice this was the reason he was not successful and drank the item Orunmila advised him against, thus his overturn, Olodumare then sent his younger brother Oduduwa to complete the task, which he was also advise to Dafa and perform sacrifice which he did fully and completely, and he and Orunmila went to earth and completed the task of establishing the Earth for living. Every important decision Oduduwa made he consulted Orunmila and Orunmila consulted Ifa for reassurance, and they were always successful. This is why Orunmila is regarded as Oba-Orisa, because beside every great person they have an advisor who makes them and then ensure their success, so Orunmila is a King maker because if his knowledge in Ifa, he supports those that seek after Him.
Olugbala meaning the Master who saves, Orunmila is the one who can save and correct any situation, because he know the foundation and destiny of every living thing, so can change thing to benefit one.
Bara mi Eriigalo meaning my great Lord, which is Ifa Orunmila, he has a grand position within the hierarchy of the Irunmole.
Elaasode meaning Ela is the one who ties Ide on my wrist for longevity, referring to the important Ide Ifa of either green and wine or green and yellow beads tied on either the left or right wrist for blessing and protection, it is not uncommon to also find worn around the waist and around the ankles namely for the Apetebi and daughters of Babalawo as another form of beautification and adorning ones with Ifa beads.
Bara Onigbanso the great repairer of broken calabash (destiny), the calabash here is referred to the container of ones lot in life (fortune), so to repair or mend the damage to ones fortune is a appellation of Orunmila, the term onigbanso can also refer to a calabash repair person not not in the context used here for Orunmila.
Baba Alaba Alase – like Orisanla, Orunmila also is known to control Creativity and power to Manifest. These are two powers sought after and can help one to affect changes in life, it is a guarded secret and one Awo of Ifa and Olobatala can aspire to learn, if they perform good works in the eyes of the Irunmole. It is an earned potential that Orunmila and Orisanla can bless a person with or take away from a person if misused.

Orunmila goes by many many praise names all depicting His greatness and resourcefulness in our lives, Orunmila as Bara mi Arenilekun (my great comforter, in life) is He who we all should ensure we make a routine of appeasing and propitiating on a continuous basis so as to enjoy the benefits of comfort and contentment in life, it is Ifa Orunmila that will bless one accordingly. All you who worship this tradition Ifa, cling to Arenilekun (the comforter) and live in accordance with His instructions to live a blessed life here on Earth.

I will conclude here and may need to follow up on another blog very soon

Awoyinfa Ifaloju
Oct. 2006

Monday, October 9, 2006

Respect, Eldership & Wisdom

The position of Orunmila (and his Priest) and the respect due to Ikin (the Holy Palm nut), is a scared matter contained within many Odu Ifa for our understanding.

First let us explore the matter of Orunmila, the devoted Prophet of Olodumare-Oba Olorun, Orunmila which is also referred to as Ela and Ifa.

Ela is the most ancient names of Orunmila and in some circles is considered his rightful name with Orunmila as an appellation highlighting his ability or responsibility within the realm of the Divinities and Olodumare, thus Orunmila means only Ela knows who will be saved in Heaven OR Ela is the way to salvation in Heaven.

Ifa on the other hand is not Ela nor Orunmila, but is the specific word of Olodumare sent to earth for humanity to learn, incorporate and understand as a way of living and interacting with one another, Ifa wisdom is a complete and total way of living – ancient philosophy of life.

Having said that, Ifa was given to Orunmila or earned from Olodumare after the later witnessing Orunmila’s humility or gentle character coupled with Orunmila’s wisdom, which in some cases predated the creation of this Universe for which Olodumare is in charge, and it was Orunmila who helped Olodumare organize this Universe in the manner for which it operates today.

Ifa is the means to help organize things and put them in order, calling on the most ancient wisdom from the most ancient of times, perhaps outside of this very universe or likely this Earth. This is why the wisdom of Ifa speaks for yesterday, today & tomorrow, since History (Ifa) says everything we are seeing today has happened before, albeit somewhere else but everything moves in cycles and will continue until we as the Divine Creation get it right and live in support of Nature, thus occupying our rightful place in the ancestral realm.
This is saying it was Orunmila that deployed the wisdom of Ifa in helping Olodumare in situating the Universe and even helped the other Irunmole (Orisa and Divinities) in completing their assigned duties on this earth, as forces and manifestation of Nature.

Does Irunmole also have Ifa ? the answer is absolutely yes, every aspect of the emissaries of Olodumare incorporate Ifa (Divine Wisdom) in what they do, and this wisdom is revealed when utilizing the scared divination tools of the Orisa and Divinity, it is the unquestionable wisdom by Olodumare’s authority each Irunmole is employing when revealing the scared messages while utilizing the divination tools. It was Orunmila who managed to acquire the bulk of this ancient wisdom of Olodumare, however all the Irunmole share in this wisdom. Meaning Orunmila’s specialty is revealing the most complex intentions of ones Ori (personal god) which is the spark of Eleda from Olodumare – thus the intent of Olodumare for that person, Orunmila uses the wisdom of Ifa to deliver that message to keep one on course and in sync with ones higher destiny and purpose.

This is the Orunmila’s specialty and in so each other Orisa also has his or her own specialty, but can also divine. Ogun can be approached for matters of war and overcoming obstacles but can also bless one with children, in so every Irunmole has a specialty but can be utilized in other ways. Orunmila’s is divination and accessing the total vastness of Ifa’s wisdom, but can also be approached for other matters. The other point that makes Orunmila unique is his deep knowledge of Ifa can be used to learn and gain deeper insight into any other Irunmole (more on this topic in a future blog).

All the various Divinities on occasion and during their annual festivals would have Orunmila and his followers consult the Ikin to know the intentions of Olodumare through Ikin-Ifa the highest and most complex form of divinatory practice of the Yoruba people. Up to this date in Yoruba land (and most of the Diaspora) the various Priest and Priestess of every Divinity would consult Ikin-Ifa for this same purpose, this was not a recognition gained lightly and was earned by Orunmila himself, as seen in the Odu Ifa OwonrinSindin as follows…

OwanrinSindin Sindin begot insects
and those very insects birthed more and more sacred beads
beads that will one day adorn a crown of an unsuspecting person
These were the divine priest who made divination for Orunmila
When Orunmila was shown a grave disrespect from all the other deities (and their followers)
Orunmila was told to make full sacrifice and etutu (appeasement) to command the respect of the Deities
Orunmila asked what have I done to attract such blatant maltreatment?
I have done nothing but support and assist these various Deities, the same assistance I gave was what made them to become so great, what have I done to be treated this way?
More and more each Deity would forgo Orunmila, some would even ask for his assistance under the cover of night, but most attained their positions and forgot to recognize the position of Ela and found no need to appease Ifa again, they forgot the help and directing they received to their position of greatness
Orunmila made the ebo and etutu,Orunmila showed how he can make a simple being into an item worthy of veneration and appeasement, he made simple things into greatness
he started to get the honor & respect of all and sundry, he continued to help the Deities and the Deities vowed to never forgo the position of Orunmila.
Orunmila started to dance and rejoice he praised his Ifa Priest and they praised Olodumare saying:
OwanrinSindin Sindin begot insects
and those very insects birthed more and more sacred beads
beads that will one day adorn a crown of an unsuspecting person
These were the divine priest who made divination for Orunmila
Orunmila was told to make ebo and etutu
Orunmila perform the rituals,
Ifa has been placed in a high position, let us openly adorn Ikin-Ifa,
for the person who chooses to adorn Ifa, it will be that same Ifa that will make them great in life, let us adorn Ikin-Ifa
it is only Ifa that can make someone to attain the pinnacle of greatness
let us adorn Ikin-Ifa

This is one story that highlights how even the Royal Deities of Olofin-Aye had shown honor to Orunmila, because of his great wisdom and humility, not his age or eldership, but his deep knowledge and wisdom of turning sorrow into opulence.

End of part one of a two part blog on this topic:

Awoyinfa Ifaloju
Oct 2006

Sunday, October 1, 2006

The Holy Messengers - Odu Ifa - A Basic Understanding

The Odu Ifa (a binary system of ancient knowledge) are arranged in 16 major chapters with an additional 240 minor chapters making a collections of 256 Odu Ifa chapters or the wisdom of Olodumare (God the Creator) in 256 containers of sacred wisdom/knowledge delivered to mankind in the form of ancient parables. It is said that each of the containers has no less then 1,500 stories per container in 256 places (thus 1,500 x 256 = 384,000 legends), the wisdom / knowledge of the Yoruba Traditional Religious Philosophy called Ifa, is vast and beyond any one humans mind capacity.

We are told that these Holy Messengers called Odu Ifa - of Olodumare was brought to earth by the wise servant of Olodumare called Ela (Orunmila) in the form of ancient parables, profound liturgy and coded language that is both philosophical and practical, and teaches the moral, ethics, values and code of conduct for all humanity, ever since the ancient times up until today.
Ifa Philosophy is still very much an oral tradition with a collective of knowledge dating back over 18,000 years from the creation of earth, Humanity and even the creation of this Universe.
Ifa is the container of ancient wisdom for creation, from the vast universe to the micrscopic insects on this earth.

see video about the recitation of Ifa from Yoruba land at,

Kori Awoyinfa Ifaloju
Oct 2006