Olodumare, Olorun and Olofin: The names of God
To speak of Olofin, Olorun and Olodumare is to speak of the initial vital energy. It is about the identity of God, the main superior being, unique and fundamental for existence. The manifestation of the supreme God within Santeria, the rule of Osha and Ifa and all religious practices descended from the Yoruba culture. Therefore, his figure enjoys an indisputable respect that has been inherited by all initiates of these beliefs, from generation to generation to the present day.
What relationship do Olofin, Olorun and Olodumare have?
It is necessary to establish that Olodumare is God. But, for Yoruba philosophy, this Supreme Being has three manifestations known as: Oloddumare, Olorun and Olofin.
Some analysts of Santeria in Cuba have wanted to relate this trilogy to the Holy Trinity of the Catholic religion, which contemplates a God the Father, a God the Son, and a Holy Spirit, they are three persons, but the same essence. Through this comparison they try to understand the perspective of the practitioner of the Yoruba religion on this subject, however, in that sense the Yoruba vision of the universe and of spirituality is not similar to the Christian one. The Yorubas believe that God is transfigured or manifested in three forms:
- Olodumare it is the material and spiritual manifestation, because it is God in his phase as creator, the one who gives life to everything that exists. He does not settle and has no foundations that can be received by men.
- Olorun it is the manifestation of God that emanates the intangible and sublime energy that allows the existence and continuity of life. Due to this characteristic, it is said that its material representation is the sun, responsible for providing the essential energy for life on earth.
- Olofin or Olofen, is a term used by the Yorubas to denote a great honorary title, it refers to the king. Through this manifestation, God is closer to the Orishas and consequently to humans.
Who is Olodumare?
Olodumare is an Almighty entity, he is the only God in the Yoruba religion. He is the force and the one responsible for the creation of the universe and everything that composes it. Everything that exists is due to his sovereignty, therefore his power is supreme and omnipotent.
In the beliefs of the Yoruba religion, its followers consider that there is nothing previous and much less superior to Olodumare. Its existence is eternal, and that philosophy forms the basis of its spiritual foundation, it is even accepted without any question.
Based on this definition of Olodumare, it is understood that every living being emanates from his Ashé, which of course includes the Orishas and ancestors, which establishes a kind of hierarchy that considers human beings as creatures created for the service of superior beings, establishing in Santeria a marked respect for old age or antiquity among the different existences.
The magnificence of the power or the very meaning of Olodumare is very difficult to describe with just one word, however, the original Yoruba always looked for ways to exalt its importance. His name, Olodùmarè, translates as "the Lord where our eternal destiny goes." On the other hand, some scholars of this religious practice interpret that the word Olodumare is composed of various words that are translated as: O = who; lo: that he has, that he owns; odu: position, related to divination; ma: prolongation, sequence; are: first in hierarchy, maximum hierarchy. In conclusion, it is considered to mean: "who is the owner of the position and owner of the Ifá divination and of everything that exists above everything". In addition to this, the Yorubas can use other names to refer to Olodumare:
- Alorun Alaaye: means that it is a God that lives, that exists, or the living God.
- Alaayé: It refers to the virtue from which the vital fluid emanates. Olodumare as being always alive, supreme, and that could never perish.
- Elemií: with this term the power of Olodumare as the owner of life is highlighted, since all beings that live, both on the earthly plane and on the spiritual plane, owe it to him. Also, it refers to the breathing process as a fundamental action to live in the physical world. It is said in the Yoruba culture that when the Elemií takes the breath of a living being, it dies.
- Eledá: with this term we want to highlight the creative power of Oloddumare. The translation holds that it refers to the Supreme Being responsible for all creation. Also, it indicates that its very existence is the source of all things.
- Olojo Oni: refers to the highest hierarchy that Olodumare possesses and his power to control life or light.
It has been established that Olodumare is the supreme God within the Yoruba religion. Among the main characteristics of it stands out:
- He is the universal creator. Thanks to his existence, ours is possible. He is the origin of everything.
- It is an eternal entity. His immortality is recognized as one of his greatest attributes. We can evidence it through various Ifa passages. A typical phrase of this quality exclaims «A kì ígbó ikú», which means: we never hear about the death of Oloddumare or the great impenetrable stone that never dies.
- He is Almighty. It is estimated that what has not been approved by Olodumare can never be carried out.
- His power is unimaginable. That is why there are no statues or images of Olodumare within Santeria, since, being so magnificent and powerful, it is impossible for the human being to even imagine him, much less create the correct mold that describes him.
Olodumare in Nigeria
To understand in depth the true essence of Olodumare, it is necessary to understand how the original Yorubas see him, since there have been multiple misinterpretations of this divinity over time. Some scholars of Afro-Cuban traditions indicate that sacrifices are not offered to Oloddumare like the Orishas, that they do not have specific rites, that they do not have symbols, images or temples, and that they do not ask for their help directly; in fact, there are those who affirm that only his name is known.
However, when analyzing the scriptures of the Ifa literary body we can find some passages that directly contradict some of these beliefs. An example of this can be seen through the Odu of Ifá: Iwori Obara. In that sign it is affirmed that sacrifices are offered to Oloddumare, according to the following story:
Iwori Obara performed divination for four hundred Muslims when Olodumare was upset with them.
The one who divined for the 400 Muslims who provoked the wrath of Oloddumare pronounced the following incantation: "the one who is most audacious will always beg for indulgence". The fortune teller had already warned the leader of that group about Oloddumare's nonconformity for propagating his faith through bloodshed.
Iwori Obara, who was visiting that country, realized that one of the Muslim leaders had disappeared, in addition, many died in battles being killed.
After making divination, Iwori Obara told them that for not making the corresponding sacrifices to Eshu, nor to the rest of the Orisha, each of them had to offer a ram to Oloddumare and implore him to free them from the misfortune they were experiencing.
When they prepared to carry out the work, Iwori Obara told them that Ifa said that the sacrifices would be carried out outside the house and that the blood of the animals would be spilled on the ground, that way, instead of spilling human blood with the supposed In order to impose their faith, as was being done, from now on only the blood of the rams should be shed to appease Oloddumare's annoyance in this regard. From this moment Iwori Obara was also known as "Iwori O Be Be" which translates as: the one that encourages the action of offering the father ram to Oloddumare and being forgiven at the same time.
This gave rise to a tradition in Muslim culture in which an animal is sacrificed on festive occasions. In addition, when this Odu is presented in a traditional Ifa consecration, the initiate is recommended to offer a ram in sacrifice on behalf of Oloddumare. This ritual is performed next to the tree of life known as "akoko", from which the sacred seeds of divination used by Ifa priests are obtained.
Olodumare and creation
Olodumare is Creator God. It is due to his indisputable importance and supremacy that the Yorubas keep him subordinate. All the practitioners of that culture or any other that has detached itself from its beliefs, recognize it as the primary, vital and absolute energy of all things. One of the literary passages of Santeria that refers to the moment of universal creation can be found in the following story:
Pataki: The creation of the universe.
It happened that everything was in absolute darkness. It was the time of the primitive. That was the kingdom of Eshu. However, there was a translucent layer that stood above all that darkness. Here was a piece of land that had the foundations for the coming existence.
Within the transparent terrain was a marrow of light, air, water, space, and the abode of the realm of Oloddumare (God).
When the fullness of time happened, Olodumare decided to order the light to sprout and felt: "or not me". Those words made everything primitive light up. The light was made on the darkness of the kingdom of Eshu, who immediately raised his head to see what was happening. He asked Oloddumare who are you? Amidst all that light came a voice that said: “I am Oloddumare, the darkness that surrounds us does not provide the basis for the fullness of existence. For that reason I have created light, so that life can flourish and embellish.
Eshu, a little indisposed, replied that he was the owner of the vast majority of space, because everything was darkness except for the small part that Oloddumare occupied. However, he accepted that darkness does not lead to the development of life, but to compensate he stated that he would move freely under the brilliance of light.
Olodumare agreed without any problem. The development of the creation continued and the plants, the animals and the divinities were created, they were duplicated. It was then that Eshu proclaimed that "whatever vegetation thrives under the bright light would become his labor ground and whatever being was created in the vastness of space would become his servant and attendant."
From that moment on, the beginning of existence and the balance caused by Olodumare as a representative of light, truth, and life was established; and the manifestation of Eshu in darkness, confusion, death, or punishment, as a counterpart.
Obatala and Olodumare
All the Orishas are missionaries of Olodumare alike, they are loved in the same way as any creature of creation. However, Obatala is considered a son who enjoys a special grace before God. It is believed that he is a direct intermediary between himself and beings belonging to any plane.
The high position attributed to Obatala has made him even be considered a direct representative of Olodumare on Earth, being a symbol of a very high purity, goodness and light.
Olodumare the creator of Ashé
The word "Aché" is widely used by practitioners of Santeria or rule of Osha and Ifa. But what is Ashe? And why is it directly related to Olodumare?
The Ashé is the Divine power used by Olodumare to create the Universe. The manifestation of Ashé, originally, was found only in Olodumare himself. It was an extremity or protuberance of his essence, located in the house of light, which later manifested itself through a verbal expression pronounced by Him. Later, part of that power was deposited in some attributes granted to Orichanlá (Obatala) , to Echu and to other divinities.
According to the Yoruba religion, Oloddumare granted Aché to everything that exists, even to what can be considered "bad". This happened due to the need for balance and harmony in the universe. It is believed that the world is generated from two energies, an expansive one known as light, whose character is masculine; and another of contraction known as darkness, and of a feminine character. Their connection is in perfect measure, therefore, one cannot cancel the other. From this idea, the binary perception that the Yorubas always had of the world is established, even reflected in the Ifa divination system.
Ashé is of paramount importance in Santeria. Starting from an invisible substance emanated from Olodumare that has the power to transform the spiritual force into a physical reality, with a positive and negative natural polarity, which when mixed in total balance gives rise to a third perfect and intangible substance, what is produced is produced. we know as "Ache".
It is there, where the four elements that make up the universal physical and magical presence merge, which are: air, water, earth and fire. From there, life or existence is generated, this process being supported by an Orisha, who in turn, possesses the Ashé that was granted to him from creation. This principle determines the distribution of energies, and gives rise to the formation of a new life, turning the Orisha who participated in this process into the guardian angel of the new being.
Cult of Olodumare in the Yoruba or Santeria religion
As explained above, in the Yoruba religion and its Afro-Caribbean variants, such as Santeria or the rule of Osha and Ifa, no symbols, statues or foundations are used to represent God. His condition of supremacy that identifies him as the Almighty Being, main, and creator of everything that exists in the physical and spiritual plane, makes it impossible to define.
In addition to this, the Yorubas consider that all beings, regardless of their nature, can experience the presence of God in various ways, that is another reason why, it lacks a symbol that defines it, since giving it a single form does not would make sense.
It is important to note that contrary to what some people think, Olodumare is not alien or distant from the Yoruba point of view. This is evidenced in his habitual way of expressing himself. A common phrase within the Yoruba community is "I pray that Olodumare accompany you" used to refer to someone who is going to undertake a long journey; another very common one is “may Olorun keep us until dawn”, used before going to sleep.
So, the absence of temples, rituals, or statuettes, does not diminish the importance of the belief in the existence of God as an entity of all goodness, even, each practitioner sees and feels Oloddumare as part of himself. His adoration is not foreign or absent with respect to that of the Orishas, because the initiate has him present at all times, thanks to his vital energy he possesses his existence, as manifested by the Odu of Ifá Babá Eyiogbe: «Our heart is the abode of Olodumare.
Another aspect of great importance in Santeria is the social and hierarchical organization that is the foundation of the philosophy of their religion. The value of ancestry or old age is decisive for the exercise of its activities in all senses, and obviously, Oloddumare has the first place above all, for being the oldest in existence.
Therefore, in collective thought, efforts are made to disturb Olodumare as little as possible, resorting to the Orisha as mediators between men and the Supreme Being, without this implying that God is oblivious to matters related to human beings.
In fact, when people worship their guardian angel, at the same time they worship Oloddumare, because the primary mission of the Orishas is to act as intermediaries between man and God, finally, all sacrifices arrive at their feet. .
How do you greet Olodumare?
Due to the absence of foundations or altars to represent Olodumare, you can greet him anywhere, even in any way; raising an established prayer or with some phrase that is dedicated to him from the heart. Also, you can touch the ground and kiss the trace of dust on the two fingers with which you touched (this is done at the time of mentioning it).
In the Odu of Ifá Osá Ogundá we can find a praise that can be used as a prayer to entertain and implore the blessing of Olodumare:
"You are unique. There is no other like you.
There were no living elements.
He was the priest on Earth. You were that which remained suspended but did not descend.
He was the priest in Heaven; it was just an empty place, there was no substance at all.
It was the priest in the air.
After that, it was divined for Earth and Heaven when they came into existence. There were no inhabitants, just two empty shells.
There were no birds, there were no spirits living in them.
Oloddumare, if he existed, in his supremacy he created himself and became the first cause.
This is why we call Oloddumare "the only wise man on Earth".
Olodumare, you are the only cause in creation.
Olodumare is the only sage in Heaven who created human beings.
Although he did not have any company, he used his wisdom in all matters to eliminate any chaos.
You, only you. The only one in Heaven is the name of Olodumare. The only wise. We thank you.
You are the only thought that knows. You created man by listening to only one side of the argument. You judge and everyone is satisfied. Ashe».
I pray to Olodumare in Yoruba or Lucumi
“Ibà Olodumare, Oba Ajiki ajige. Ogege Agbakiyegun. Okitibiri Oba ti nap eye iku da.
Atere k'aiye, Awusikatu, Oba a joko birikitikale, Alaburkuke Ajimukutuwe, Ogiribajigbo, Oba ti o fi imole se aso bora, Oludare ati Oluforigi, Adimula, Olofin aiye ati Orun.
A fun wen ake wen, Owen ake bi ala.
Alate ajipa Olofa gold Oba to dake dajo.
Awosu sekan. Oba ajuwape praise alase lori ohun gbogbo.
Araba nla ti nmi igbo kijikiji.
Oyigiyigi Oba akiku ati Oba nigbo, Oba atenile forigbeji, Awamaridi Olugbhun mimo to Orun.
Ela funfun gbo or Oba toto bi aro, pamupamu digijigi ekun awon aseke.
Awimayehun Olu ipa Oba Airi. Arinu circled Olumoran okan.
Abowo gbogbogbo ti yo omo re. Ninu ogin aiye ati Orun.
I was going to-to-to. Ase”.
We respect the womb of Creation; to the Monarch of the first messengers; to the greatest father of the ancestors; to the ruler who never faces death; to the spirit of the Earth. We praise him with his praise names.
You shape light to create all things.
Owner of the mystery of nature, whose words are the law of creation.
Guardian of the mysteries of the unknown. The source of all the heads of creation.
Divine light that will always be praised in the sacred forest.
The king of all forms of consciousness on Earth. First among the immortals of Heaven.
The spirit of the demonstrations and king of all kings.
You are the same creation; this is his work, and for this he receives the praise of his children. You are the one who distributes the blessings in Heaven and on Earth.
Heavenly Father, we offer you our full respect. Ashe.
Olorun: the second manifestation of God
Olorun is another name used to refer to God within the Yoruba religion and Santeria. It is estimated that it is the second manifestation of Olodumare. His name refers to his power over orun (heaven).
It is said that when we speak of Olorun we refer to a phase of God in which he is in direct contact with men. It is identified as the projection of the intangible and sublime energy of God.
It is necessary to emphasize that Olorun "is not an Orisha", being one of the names given to God, it is evident that he is at a much higher level. Olorun is far above divinities and men.
Who is Olorun?
Olorun is God with the common characteristics in all the religions of the world. He is almighty, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent.
Olorun inhabits every being created by his Ashé, which reveals his presence in absolutely every corner of the Universe. That is why the word of Olorun dictates what is good and what is bad, or what is true and what is false, and manifests itself within the human being through the inner voice that we call conscience.
He is recognized as the owner of life, the one who provides energy. His energy is the sustenance in life, of light, of air, and of the vigor that drives everything.
The relevance and presence of Olorun in all the activities of initiates in the Yoruba religion, in Santeria or Ifa, is evidenced through the marked use of proverbs, prayers, promises, and in the social and religious dynamics of their daily routine. It is even more usual for the common Yoruba to invoke the name of Olorun to commend the good outcome of their affairs in general, than that of the Orishas.
However, the idea that God in his manifestation as Olorun may be far away from humans originates from the premise that his energy is very powerful and could harm them if he gets too close. This is an erroneous interpretation that is born from relating Olorun with the sun, it is also supported by the philosophy that indicates that the existence of the Orishas was planned by God to mediate between Him and men.
Certainly, the Orishas were invested with various powers, among them the administration of the different forces of nature and the protection of humanity, but that does not make Olorun, as Supreme God, disinterested in matters and beings related to his creation.
Olorun is the sun?
It has been interpreted that Olorun is a manifestation of God that is physically transfigured into the sun star. This is due to several reasons, one of them is motivated by the evident importance of this star within our solar system. The energy of it contributes to the maintenance of life. It stimulates the production of oxygen, and therefore, the growth and development of living beings. These characteristics gave rise to the belief that Olorun was the sun, due to its influence in stimulating existence, at least on planet Earth.
However, Olorun does not mean Sun. The correct term in the Yoruba language for the word Sun is "oorun". The word Olorun is simply another name given to God.
Certainly, among the characteristics that the Yorubas attribute to God, they contemplate that it is an immaterial entity, it does not have a single form and it does not want to do it either, after all, He is present and is part of everything.
What does Olorun mean?
The word Olorun can be broken down as follows for its interpretation: ol / orun. The word "orun" translates as heaven; and the word "ol" is considered a repetition of the initial letter of orun, which in company with the letter "l" is used to indicate property or possession. It could be concluded then, that Olorun means "the Lord of Heaven or the owner of Heaven".
Cult of Olorun
It is interesting to note that despite the fact that Yoruba philosophy explains that God created all existing beings, entrusting the Orishas with the protection and guidance of human beings, in some places within the African continent, even belonging to Yoruba territories, only Olorun is worshipped. No other God is known and he is related to the Sun star. He can be called "Lorun" and the description of him is the same as that maintained in other related cultures.
Even, multiple attentions are paid to it, of which some of these customs are maintained in the religions inherited from the Yoruba people in America. A very popular one is the offering known as: ñangareo. Through this ritual, it is customary to inform Olorun that an itá will take place on earth and thus have his blessing.
Greetings to Olorun
Olorun is present everywhere, no matter if it is day or night. It doesn't matter if we don't see it. He is always there. We can greet him by standing facing the sky, extending our arms upwards with open palms and asking for his blessing.
What does Olorun nagbe mean?
Olorun nagbe or Olorun ona agbe is a phrase that means: "May heaven cleanse you or find your way." This is a way to bless others. Used by parents or godparents to bless their children or godchildren.
"May heaven cleanse you" is a way of saying: may God bless you, may he free you from all the negative. A kind of imploration to the highest to ask for the well-being of a person.
"May you find your way" is a way of asking God for the person to connect with their destiny on this earth.
Some iworos also use the expression "Olorun Awe or Olorun Nawe" which means: may God bless you.
Prayer to Olorun
«When I wake up I pay homage to Olorun.
I pray that all good things come to me.
My Ori Inu (spiritual head) gave me life.
He gave me power to overcome mortality.
I will not die.
May all good things and blessings belong to me as the light belongs to Olorun. Ashe».
Work to save the person at the foot of Olorun.
This work is done when someone is going through a very difficult situation, in which their life is at risk. It must be officiated by a Babalawo.
- 1 set of Oya tools.
- 1 rooster.
- 2 pigeons.
- 9 color fabrics.
- Cocoa butter
Execution of the work:
On a white plate the Odu of Ifa are painted: Oshe Tura, Ogbe Sa, and Otura She. Oya tools are placed on them, cocoa butter and husk are sprinkled on top. A little water with indigo is poured into the plate and Olorun is informed of the work to be carried out.
Then, sarayeyeo (cleaning) is performed on the interested party with the rooster and the dove and the plate and the earth are fed. This work must be done outside the house because at the end, the elements and animals must be buried immediately behind the interested party's back.
Pataki: The worshipers of the Sun. Odu of Ifa:
It so happened that there was a fortuneteller named Oshe Bori Boshe. He lived in the land of Borobole. That fortune teller had a very sad life because his land was very poor and he was unable to obtain any development.
Awo Oshe Bori Boshe all he did was look at the Sun every day, holding his Ifa in his hands while singing: "Baba Olofin Oya loleo, Baba Olofin Oya Baba odeo, Ifa laye shibaba ni Olorun foribale, layebi awo".
Olorun listening to him constantly, one day leaned out and gave him the blessing, saying: «Your prosperity is on your way and in your hands. See yourself with Orunmila». Listening to Olorun, Awó Oshe Bori Boshe got very scared, it was 12 noon and what was happening to him was something he had never seen.
That day at nightfall, he bathed with the herbs: ashibata, Oshun imo, orosún, romerillo flower, paradise and honey, put the hat on his head and went to bed. The next day, at 4 in the morning, he sat at the foot of his Ifa and looked at himself, the Odu Oshe Iwori coming out. Ifa repeated to him what Olorun had already told him, to give a river fish to his Ifa, next to his head.
That is why, seeing that sign, he got scared and quickly left with his Ifa for the mountain, on the banks of a river and at the foot of a paradise bush, he fed his Ifa, as he was instructed. While he was throwing a lot of fish scales and honey, Oya appeared in that place, who sang: Ifa nile awo Ifa nile, awo Oshe Paure Ifa odara, Ifa nile awo bi Olorun.
Awó Oshe Bori Boshe was scared when he saw her and when he heard her singing, but she told him: I am Iyanzan. So Awo Oshe Bori Boshe performed divination for her, telling her that he had great secrets and powers to solve many things. At the end, Oya told him: Pick up your Ifá and come with me to my land, there they do not know Orunmila. And she took him to the land of Obashire, which was the kingdom of Oya.
She called all the people of her town and introduced them to Awo Oshe Bori Boshe, and told them: Just as I have taught you to worship Olorun, you also have to worship the secret of Ifa that Awó Oshe Bori Boshe will teach you, who from that moment on would be called Awó Obari Boshe.
History: Ilogun, the wise doctor blessed by Olorun.
It happened that at the beginning of the creation of the world, there was a very intelligent and good Awo, known as Ilogun. He was a very wise healer doctor, who knew perfectly the use of herbs.
Once, he had to run away from the forest where he lived. He embarked in a hurry, managing to take with him a large number of secret herbs and medicines, known only to him. He sailed a long voyage. During his trip, he found a fish that he had been looking for a long time, giving that fish the right treatment, he could produce a medicine capable of curing practically all diseases.
Over time Ilogun saved many lives, he always cured or relieved many conditions thanks to that little fish. But, one day Ilogun realized that the animal was beginning to shrink. This amazed him and he was very worried, because he did not know how he could replace it, due to how difficult it was to find that specimen. He thought that he would have to return to the sea, until he reached the place where he found him, but he would put his life at risk again, without being sure of being able to achieve it.
While analyzing what to do about it, the okpele fell out of his pocket, and his Ifa, which was the Odu Oshe Paure, was seen. The most surprising thing was that when the okpele fell, a fish scale also fell, from which a new fish was born spontaneously.
His growth was very rapid before the astonished look of Ilogun, who thought that this was the solution to his problem, since he could continue performing his cures. But, when trying to take the fish, it slipped away. He tried repeatedly but was unsuccessful.
Faced with such a situation, Ilogun, not knowing what else to do, raised his thoughts to Olorun, managing to communicate with him. Olorun responded to his call and Ilogun begged him to call the fish. Olorun agreed, and the fish came to the feet of the Creator, becoming a man, since every animal that sees God becomes a man. But his body was battered and sick as a result of the struggle he had had with Ilogun. Olorun called him Baba Agroniga, becoming a son of Ilogun Awo Oshe Paure, with the power to cure diseases. Thanks to Olorun, together they helped heal countless people in the world.
You can read: What is Ifa?
Olofin: Who is it? The third manifestation of God
Olofi the third manifestation of God. It is considered the most sensitive aspect of him. His power is capable of directing, controlling and transforming Universal energy. The term Olofin is one of the many ways to call God. However, among so many terms, this is one of the most popular in America.
The word Olofin is confusing in some cases, and controversial in others, because it has been subjected to multiple interpretations, many of them erroneous, which has caused practitioners of Santeria, or the rule of Osha and Ifa, on many occasions have a misconception of its meaning.
Olofin is an honorary title that is used to exalt God, unique and creator, responsible for existence, for everything we know and what we do not know as well. Using this term to address God is a way of acknowledging his might, his kingship, or his supreme rank in Yoruba society.
Meaning of Olofin
There are multiple interpretations for the word Olofin, some of them are:
- Olọ̀fin: this name can be broken down as: olo / ọ̀fin = possessor of the palace. It refers to God being the lord of the palace or the lord who lives in the castle, alluding to his hierarchy as absolute monarch (the king's house was the most important building in Yoruba cities). This term can also be used to refer to the Ọọ̀ni (king of Ilé Ifẹ̀) or any king within Yoruba territory. What is wanted to highlight with the use of this word is the importance of the position or power of it.
- Olóòfin: the legislator, the one who creates, imparts, and owns the law. He is the one who established the universal laws that define the functioning of existence in its entirety.
- Ọlọ́fin ayé: the one who rules or directs the world.
- Ọlọ́fin ọ̀run: the one who rules or directs the sky.
What is receiving Olofin?
Receiving Olofin is an expression used by the Babalawos to refer to a ceremony in which they receive the foundation of the deity Odu. Although this term is commonly used, it does not mean that Olofin (God) is worshiped directly as a material entity within the Ifa rule, due to the fact of "being received". This foundation has nothing to do with God Almighty, as has been made clear above, Olofin in any of his manifestations does not have physical representations due to his magnificence.
Why is the deity Iwa Odú confused with Olofin?
Odù is the legendary wife of Ifá. Her energy is considered an important secret in the cult of Ifá. Therefore, she constitutes an invaluable heritage for the Babalawos. In Africa she is called Igba Odu.
The confusion between Olofin and Odu originates from the use that is given to the word Olofin, to attribute hierarchy and importance to the person or deity to which one wants to refer. That is why in Cuba the custom of calling Odu under the name of Olofin was acquired, without that expression having to do with Oloddumare.
Odu for its part, if it has foundation. Its secret is reserved in a sacred pot that can only be seen by those consecrated in Ifa, and under no circumstances can it be exposed to the sight of any woman, since that constitutes a taboo that, when broken, can bring quite unfortunate consequences.
In Cuba, the foundation of Odu is made known during the beginning of the XNUMXth century. It is from there that it becomes popular as Olofin. His delivery was limited only to the awoses who performed the functions of head of religious families of Ifá. In order to receive it, you had to inherit it, which made it limited to a few. Only the elders of each lineage could access it.
It is said that this custom was transgressed by Miguel Febles Padrón Ifátọ́lá, upon receiving the foundation of Ọlọ́fin from his father Ramón, when it really corresponded to Panchito Febles, as he was the firstborn. From there, he began to hand over that power to other Awos, considerably increasing the existence of this secret pot in Cuba.
Prayer to Olofin
The best way to get in touch with God will always be prayer. Through this meditation, a totally honest communication is made, since Olofin is able to see the truth of what we keep in our being. A prayer to ask for Olofin's blessing and to thank him for having given us existence is as follows:
“We praise and adore the root of creation.
Olofin, the great King of the first to arrive, father and greatest of all ancestors.
You are the governor who will never have to face death.
It is You, the spirit of the cosmos.
We praise you Olofin, with your name of praise.
Owner of the light that has created all things.
It is You, in yourself, the owner of the mysterious nature.
The Universe only responds to its laws. The law and creation.
They have the power over all the most unknown mysteries.
From its invisible substance emanates the existence of all heads and of life.
There is no doubt that the divine light will always prevail in the sacred forest.
You hear and know all forms of consciousness that exist throughout the firmament.
I praise the first of the first, the King of Kings, the immortal of heaven.
You are the energy that lives in all manifestations.
You are your own creation, because you created yourself.
We are grateful to be part of his work.
Therefore, all his offspring overflow with praises in his name.
You are the one who sends us the blessings in all planes of existence.
Supreme Fathers, Heavenly King, Olofin, we name you to pay our deepest respect, so be it. Ashe».
History: The secret of how Olofin granted the Ashé de Santo.
It happened that at the moment that Oshe Tura arrived in the world by order of Olofin, he realized that all the people were on Earth without being able to utter a word.
Eleda lived in shadow, he remained observant, because he couldn't speak either. Then, alarmed Oshe Tura went again to see Olofin to inform him that the Orishas, indeed, did perform the worship rituals that had been indicated to them, but that they could only speak through the oracles of Ifá or Dilogún, such as Olofin had arranged it.
However, only the Ebora (the Egun) were the ones who had the ability to speak. Even Eleda Orisha could not gesticulate a word either. Oshe Tura, very concerned, explained to Olofin that this was not good at all, since it was a great injustice that Eleda, despite being so great and powerful, did not have the virtue of speaking.
Olofin after hearing all that, called orunmila and asked him the details about what was happening on Earth. Then, he told him that when Boshenshe had come down to Earth, he had rejected the human's head to speak.
Faced with such a situation, Olofin sentenced: “Okay, we will respect for you and your omos (the awoses) the pact that Boshenshe made, but it is imperative that Eleda can speak. I will send Oshe Tura back to Earth, he will be the commissioner who will prepare himself so that he can modify the situation, from now on he will be entrusted with this task».
Immediately the ebboses corresponding to the foot of Ifá were made to Oshe Tura. To do this, it was used: a guinea fowl, a knife, a tongue; the Ashes: ero, obi, kola; lots of honey, fish, smoked jutia, and roasted corn. At the end, it was explained to Oshe Tura how he could use the power that he had just been given, since the use of it was new to him.
As the days passed, Oshe Tura mastered the virtues he had acquired and once he was prepared and knew all the functions of his position, he came down to Earth again. Upon reaching the land of Ile Ife, he gathered all the Orishas and told them: “I am Oshe Tura, you already know me. I am the owner of Ashé by virtue of Olofin, who has called me Ashéda. I am the one who gives Eleda the power to speak».
In that meeting all the Orishas were present, with the exception of Olokun, Boromi, Borosia, Orisha oko, Obba, Ozain, and Ayao, who couldn't make it because they were too far away. However, the attendees agreed to prepare everything necessary to receive the Ashé from Oshe Tura.
All the deities were arranged in a row, one after another they passed by. Oshe Tura told them: omi lenu (stick out your tongue), and with his knife he made a sacred mark on their skin, then placed the Ashé prepared with honey, roasted corn, fish and smoked jutia, telling them to swallow all that.
To finish, he took a guinea fowl, and took off its head, giving each one of them to suck on the neck, pronouncing the words: umpele Orisha umpele Osha ashela dideo, which means: Orisha speak, speak Holy, arise immortal spirit .
The dry head of each of the guineas was offered to each Orisha, so that they would keep it as a witness of that work. From that moment on, Eleda is known by the name of Asheda Orisha, and has the ability to speak as Orisha for every human being.
That is why all the Orishas except Orunmila go down to the heads of humans, nor those who did not attend the ceremony, which, thanks to Olofin's mandate, was carried out on Earth by Oshe Tura.. Orunmila stayed out due to the Boshenshe oath, because Ifa oaths are never broken.