Ifa Religion: What is Ifa? The Odu and their Meaning
The literary body or Oracle of Ifa is made up of two hundred and fifty-six volumes (signs) that are divided into two categories, the first called Ojú Odù or main Odù that consists of sixteen chapters. The second category is composed of two hundred and forty chapters called Amúlù Odù (omoluos), these are composed through the combination of the main Odù.
What are the Odu Ifa ?
Ifa tells us that Orunmila Before leaving for heaven, he announced that he would send certain divinities (the Odù) to earth to act on his behalf, with the same principles and ethics that he professed.
When Orula went to heaven all his followers began to organize for the arrival of the divinities, they built sixteen thrones that were placed in a circular way, when the main Odù led by Ofun meji also called Òràngún Méjì began to arrive on earth. There is a variant that says that Ejiogbe, because he was the youngest, was the first to cross the door that divides heaven and earth, when the people who were waiting for the arrival of the Odù saw him, they considered him the eldest and the leader of all the rest.
Each Odù of Ifa has its own graphic representation of marks or signs, through it the fortune tellers (babalawos) can differentiate them both in the divination tray and with the divinatory chain Opele (ekuele). Each Ifa sign consists of numerous stories, verses, myths and fables that are applied in current situations to find a spiritual and personal solution to a current problem or situation. This system of divination contemplates all kinds of historical and social stories of the Yoruba people, over the years these writings have been influenced by both Christianity and Islam, so it must be understood that it is a philosophical system composed of various ethnic groups.
The signs of Ifa are a bilateral conformation between two Odù, for example: Ogbe has 16 combinations, the first would be Ogbe-Ogbe, when combined with itself it receives the connotation Meji (double), although in this case it is prepended and is called Ejiogbe , then the combination with Oyekun would come which would result in Ogbe-Yeku, the next composition would be with Iwori, obtaining as a result the Oddun Ogbe-Iwori or as it is known Ogbe Weñe, so on until reaching the combination of Ogbe with Ofun ( Ogbe-Fun). The same happens with the remaining 15 Odù, among all the combinations it gives a total of 256 oddun or Ifa signs.
The 16 Mejis, the major Odu of Ifa
It was Baba Ejiogbe who revealed how the head, who was a divinity managed to occupy a fixed place in the human body.
It is the impulse and evolution of life itself, it evokes the light that illuminates the universe.
This sign of Ifa (Oddun) represents the source of wisdom that will help us solve the difficulties that arise. It speaks of the creation of everything, the good and the bad as universal balance. It is life is its broadest concept.
Odu Oyekun Meji
It was Oyekun Meyi who revealed how Orunmila taught humans to protect ourselves from premature death.
It is interpreted in many ethnic groups as the messenger of death, it does not reveal the existence of a spiritual plane. The universal contraction and powers of darkness.
It predicts destruction, death and resurrection.
Talk about lineage and respect for our ancestors.
Odu Iwori Meji
Iwori Meji was the oldest Ojú Odù of Orunmila, efficient in all the practices related to Ifa. Although he must have been very arrogant and conceited, he lost his hierarchy to Ejiogbe and Oyekun Meji.
It represents the internal force that remains hidden, the fire in the bowels of the Earth.
Talk about good and bad intentions. It manifests destruction, curses, ingratitude, natural disasters.
Odu (sign) isalaye of Yemaya.
Odi Meyi sign
This is one of the strongest Odu (sign) of the literary corpus of Ifa, it recommends the closing of cycles to open new facets in our lives.
It tells us about sexual temptation, the formation of genders in human beings, repentance and ill-intentioned ideas.
He was better known for his bellicosity than for his priesthood, he dedicated himself to other activities in the exteriors of heaven, neglecting the practice of Ifa.
Oddun Iroso Meji
This Ifa Odu was the one who advised the 200 divinities that when arriving on earth they should be careful to implement inflexible rules and regulations, since rigid laws generate rejection and predisposition.
It reaffirms that to be successful you have to face certain obstacles. He confirms that to escape misfortune you have to make sacrifice.
Tears are born as a representation of physical, emotional or spiritual pain. The sea gods, creating the moats and hollow, manifest that the earth is round.
It refers to the clarity and objectivity that must be had when identifying problems.
Odu Ojuani Meji
This sign or Odu of ifa tells us about the possibility of turning bad luck into good fortune, letting go of the past to open a prosperous and peaceful cycle in the present. It embodies the great wisdom of the prophets.
Ojuani is based on faith and hope, in the fight against life's setbacks. Represents the underworld.
It was Ojuani meyi who made the divination that he performed for fefe and ale (the wind and the
ground) when they came into the world.
It represents rest after having gone through a path full of difficulties, it represents betrayal, insecurity and discredit. The family bond and societies.
Confusion and misunderstanding began for the first four odus (Ogbe, Oyeku, Iwory and Odi) regardless of their sign is up or down, they always retain their identity.
It was with Obara that the fact that the inversion of the signs began to offer a new different nomenclature. If the obara marking is reversed,
would turn into Okana. So it is with the eleven remaining olodus of Orunmila.
Oddun Okana Meyi
This oddun "Sign" is the manifestation of divine justice, it evokes the processes of transformation, arrogance and selfishness.
Talk about the discovery of agriculture and commerce.
It also refers to the popular push as a response to the impositions of a way of life.
It was this Ifa odu that made divination for araba (obadan in bini) and iroko (uloko in bini) before they left for the world.
Odu Ogunda Meji
Combine intelligence and strength, iron is manifested as a mineral and technological advances in society.
It talks about the food chain, the search for truth, the law of survival. Aggression, disputes and sacrifices.
Surgical incisions are born to correct aspects of creation.
He was the one who revealed the history of the second attempt made by the divinities to populate the earth.
Ifa Osa Meyi sign
It is the representation of time, the regulation of the environment. He speaks of hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions as expressions of nature to achieve their purification.
It reflects the racial struggles between the white man and the black man, slavery, the indiscriminate killing justified by the mistaken idea that one should prevail over the other.
Here (Osa meji) states that for Olodumare there are no black and white, rich and poor, before his eyes we are all the same.
Oddun of Ifa Ika Meyi
He was the one who brought violence and cowardice into the world as a counterpart to peace and courage.
This sign of Ifa indicates the appearance of boats in ports, fish in the sea, the world that hides in the deep sea. The world of reptiles.
Ika meyi in heaven was called ikere iyansi. He was a very powerful awo and had many followers under his command.
Sign of Ifa Otrupon Meyi
Otrupon meji, also known as ologbon meyi reveals how the faculty of intelligence came into the world. The hierarchy was established between the deities, humans, plants and animals that inhabited the earth.
It was also the Odu ologbon meji who revealed how Orunmila and the other divinities returned to the world.
Otura meji was the one who made divination for baba imole, before he departed from heaven to earth.
This Odu or Sign talks about the strengthening of family and community ties, linking social justice. He talks about the rebirth and tracking of phenotypes and species.
It reflects the succession of day and night, the seconds, minutes, hours, months, years; in short, the representation of time in the past, present and future.
Sign of Ifa Irete Meyi
It warns us that everything we are going to possess as human beings will depend on our effort.
Irete meji is the odu of ifa who mocks death by resurrecting. It refers to lust, the mixture of love and joy, with hatred, crying and sadness.
It speaks of the use of force to obtain material goods. Sacrifice is the share to pay of the debt it owes to humanity
One of the most important works performed by eji elemere in heaven was that he made divination for the dove and the swamp before they left heaven.
Odu Oshe Meji
It manifests itself as victory over the negative aspects of life.
Oshe meji is not known for having done any spectacular work in heaven. He was only famous for his belligerence, however, he was the one who revealed how money came from heaven to earth.
He was the first odu or sign of Ifa that came from heaven to earth, but returned to heaven to become the last of the odus to come to the world. The "oragun" was the one who revealed that it took Olodumare six days to complete his creation works.
Divinities intervene to clarify and interpret things in a better way.
Talk about the rest we take after doing some activity. Life and death.
Ifa signs and their meaning
The signs of Ifa or Oddun in the divinatory process of Ifa, are those that reflect the message through advice, stories and taboos. These guide us to be able to solve the difficulties that are presented to us and live in Ire.
Each odu or sign of Ifa has its meaning, which is deciphered by a Babalawo experienced and versed in the corpus of Ifa, this using his experience and knowledge must determine which is the verse or patakies corresponding to the person who is performing the fortune telling.
The verses are written under a philosophical system that reflects the depth of Yoruba literature. To find the message and meaning of it, you have to interpret the different myths, legends and some fables that the odu contain.
From a religious point of view the world is divided into two, a physical and a spiritual part, both are linked and interact in a harmonious way. When there is something that interrupts or distorts that harmony, we will be warned through the Signs of Ifa, since each odu contains the experiences of it both in the earthly and in the spiritual.
The spiritual aspect reveals to us what each odu did in heaven, and it also reveals to us what sacrifices were recommended to them before going down to the earthly plane as the consequences of making said sacrifices or not.
In its earthly part, each sign of Ifa manifests the activities that they carried out on earth.
This concept is very important and must be understood by every practitioner and believer of Ifism and rule of Osha and Ifa, since when a sign manifests itself in the Igbodun (Room of consecration in Ifa) for a person it reflects the continuation of the cycle that began. that odu both on earth and in heaven.
What is Ifa?
The term "Ifa" can refer to various concepts within the Yoruba culture and religion, it can be said that it is the philosophical and divination system that contains historical, social and mythological references. Traditionally in African lands it is believed that Ifa is Olodumare's message for humanity, this was brought by Orunmila who spread the words of God throughout the world.
"Ifa ni oro enu Olodumare".
"Ifa is the word that comes from the mouth of the Almighty."
The Ifa religion is practiced in different regions of the world, which is why different variants or ways of practicing the same religion are generated. The rituals, sacrifices and customs vary according to the place where their believers are and especially the traditions of their lineage or house of Ifa.
The belief system is polytheistic, since it is believed in an almighty god (Olodumare), who created different divinities (Orishas) to be in charge of different tasks, both at the time of creation, and in the continuous interaction with humanity. .
The word Ifa, according to some ethnic groups or different researchers, refers to Orunmila, which means that Ifa and Orunmila they are the same deity. About this Bascom in his book says:
The word Ifa is used to refer to both the divination system and the deity that controls it; and this deity is also known as Orunmila.
Ifá also advises his faithful followers to come to him whenever they need help, nobody can do it better than Ifá, the Orí of the person and the Òrìsàs. The faithful should not fear, despite all the negative that is happening, they have to trust Ifa, because it will advise the faithful in the best way.
What does Ifá mean?
The semantic origin of the word Ifá means “the fruits fall alone from the trees”. It comes from the monosyllable verb of the Yoruba language "fa" (to pick up or pluck), this refers to an extremely important taboo in the Yoruba culture that prohibits plucking fruits from trees, as it is necessary to wait for them to fall to the ground. This marks one of the fundamental principles of the Ifa philosophy, as it teaches us to be patient, wait and understand that life has cycles that must be met in order to obtain benefits.
How to read the signs (Oddun) of IFA?
Traditionally the signs are read from right to left, this Odu or Ifa sign is the result of the divination process done by a Babalawo, this ceremony or ritual can be performed using the Divination Chain (Opele) OR through the palm seeds (Ikines).
The divination method with the Opele consists in that the priest (Awo de Orunmila) drops the chain on the divination tray, the Opele having 8 shells that can fall face up or face down, originate a combination that as a result would be a sign u Oddun of Ifa.
The divination system through the ikines consists in that the Babalawo places 16 seeds in his left hand and with his right hand he will try to grab as many as he can, if he has 2 seeds left in his hand he will draw 1 line on the board, if He has 1 left, only Ikin will write two lines. This process will repeat 8 times until one of the Main Oddun or one of its 240 Combinations is composed. This process is called Atefar.
Table to study the Signs of Ifa
Ifa signs by numbers
Each Ifa odu has a reference or representation in the oracle of the snail or Dilogun (Divination system used by the Olorichas "Santeros"). It should be clarified that although they have a certain relationship, they do not speak the same thing since they are two totally different oracles, each one with its own rules and governed by different traditions.
I leave you a list of the odu (Signs of Ifa) with their reference and number in the Erindilogun.
Ejiogbe - Unle (8), Oyekun - Eyioko (2), Iwori - Manulá (15), Odi - Odi (7), Iroso - Iroso (4), Ojuani - Ojuani (11), Obara - Obara (6), Okana Okana (1), Ogunda - Ogunda (3), Osa - Osa (9), Ika - Merinlá (14), Otrupon - Eyilá Sheborá (12), Otura Merindiloggun (16), Irete - Metanlá (13), Oshé - Oshé (5), Ofun-Ofun (10).
What are the signs of Ifa and their genealogical order?
- Eji Ogbe
- Oyeku meji
- Iwori meji
- Idi Meji
- Okanran meji
- Owonrin meji
- Ogunda Meji
- Bear meji
- Etura Meji
- Irete meji
- Eka Meji
- Eturukpon Meji
- Dared meji
- Oyekun Meji
- Iwori meji
- Odi Meji
- Okonron Meji
- Irosun Meji
- Owonrin meyi
- Ogunda Meji
- Bear meji
- Irete meji
- Etura Meji
- Oturupon Meji
- Ose Meyi
- Eka Meji
Cuba Osha / Ifa
- Oyekun Meyi
- Iwori meyi
- Odi Meji
- Iroso Meyi
- Ojuani Meji
- Obara Meji
- Okana meyi
- Ogunda Meji
- Osa Meji
- Otura Meji
- Irete Meii
- Ika Meji
- Otrupon Meyi
- Oshe meyi
- Ofun Meji
The differences are in the order but not in the name of said Signs in the Ifa family tree.
Legend has it that this disagreement in the order is due to the fact that the inhabitants of Oyo went to meet with a disciple of Orunmila called Ogbe Alara, since he would teach them the signs corresponding to each Odu, Ogbe Alara drew them the 16 Odu on the Ifa Boardand they proceeded to return to Oyo with the divination tray.
On the way home, those in charge of carrying the board encountered a storm, and the gale caused the divination powders to stir, disorderly the lines that were printed. They remembered the names and signs, but couldn't remember the exact order Ogbe Alara had written them on the tray.
They went to look for Orula's disciple but he had already returned to heaven, so they established the order that is currently used in Oyo.
What is the Says Ifa?
Says Ifa, is an expression that is used to refer to the advice that Orunmila gives through a divination and the respective interpretation of the signs of Ifa that were revealed in it.
Also the Dice Ifa can refer to an analysis or summary of the content of each Oddun, this was elaborated by different babalawos in order to help the new Alawos to understand the corpus writings of Ifa.
The interpretation is based on the analysis of the stories, sayings and verses of the Ifa signs, these may vary depending on whether the Odu is revealed under positive aspects (Ire) or negative aspects (Osobo or Ayewo).
Olodumare (God) created life and death, but every time death was going to take a soul, life spoiled his plans. One day Iku upset for not being able to fulfill his mission went to Orunmila's house by divination, Ifa tells him that in creation an element was missing so that she could take lives at the exact moment. He recommended doing ebbo to solve this situation, she did so.
Thanks to the sacrifice made, the motive was created (This is the means by which death does its job), from that moment on, the three fundamental factors exist: life, death and motive. These are represented by the fingers of the left hand (index, ring and middle).
- Index: It represents death, it is the trigger finger, it is the executor, which is why it is the one used to pass it through the neck when referring to someone's death.
- Annular: It is the finger of life, it is where the sacred ring is placed, it symbolizes the creation and procreation of man.
- Middle finger: It is the finger of the motive, it is the one that gives strength to the hand, says Ifa that it is the finger of accident, disease and blood. Represents Oggun, Eshu, Asojano, Oshun, the latter is the blood that when sick is not cured, Eshu is the one who guides the accident and Oggun executes it while Asojano is the disease.
This is why the babalawos during divination inquire to know if the signs of Ifa are manifested in ire or osobu (ayewo), through what Ifa says the corresponding ebbo is marked to suppress the motive and know which of the three is responsible.
When the little finger and the thumb come together they symbolize a hug, this is a reference that the older must always protect the younger. When this gesture is made, the three mentioned fingers (index, ring and middle) represent the three ways or three ways in which an action can be executed, the motive finger always remains above the others because a motive can make it fail or have Success, everything depends on the mentality and intelligence that you have to face the different situations that arise.
What is a Babalawo?
The Babalawo (Awo), is a priest initiated into the secrets of Orúnmila (Deity of Divination) or religion of Ifa, which uses different means to make divination. This is one of the highest hierarchical titles in the Yoruba or Santeria religion.
He is in charge of interpreting the Odu (Signs of Ifa) and thus giving the recommendations, duties and teachings that Ifa determines for each person. They have massive knowledge that comes from a multitude of former priests and their ancestors, versed in a multitude of things, spiritual and material.
A Babalawo is one who believes in Ifa as a religion and uses as an example the experiences, paths and decisions that our ancestors made when they had some inconvenience or imbalance at any stage of their life. People not only look for the Bàbàlawos when there is some inconvenience, but also when they need to make important decisions in their life or when there are sudden changes and they want to find the reason for this situation in order to change or improve them.
An Awo must save Olodumare, nature and their ancestors every morning. There is no difference between the way an Ifa priest honors and prays to the Supreme God compared to another priest of some other religion or tradition.
The Bàbàlawos guess the facts by dedicating themselves to the subject and its harmony with the energy of the whole world. Divination and exploration of future events is closely related to energy stability and the actions of the person.
The first task of the Bàbàlawo is to detect, through the divination of Ifa, the harmony or disharmony of a subject with this energy.
Ifa Religion rules, commandments.
- They, the 16 greatest priests of Ifa (The 16 Mejis) went to Ile ife to ask to have a long life, they asked Ifa if they would live a long life as Olodumare had declared. They were told that they should not call esuru (type of name) esuru, that is, not to call one thing for another.
- They advised the elders not to call the esu-ru the ileke (Necklaces), that is, ceremonies should not be practiced without having a firm and extensive knowledge of it.
- They warned that the parrot (odide) should not be called a bat (oode), that is, it should not mislead people, since a babalawo should not send anyone down a false path.
- They advised not to call the iroko leaves for oriro, that is, not to deceive people.
- They warned against trying to swim when you can't swim, that is, not pretending to be wise when you don't.
- It was recommended to be humble and not be self-centered.
- They warned that you should not enter the house of a King with bad intentions, that is, not be false or malicious.
- They announced that the parrot's feathers should not be used to clean its seat, that is, to break the ewo or taboos and that the texts reflected in the signs of Ifa should not be used in a bad way.
- They warned not to defecate in the epo (palm oil), it means to keep the food of the Orishas Ifa, pure and clean, just as all the Ifa tools must be clean: iruke, irofa, board, tray, etc.
- They warned that they should not urinate inside afo (the factory where the epo is made), not to adulterate the ceremonies or traditions.
- It was said that you should never take the cane from a blind person, that is, always respect those who are weaker, do not steal and treat everyone with respect and humility.
- It was stated that they should not take the cane from an old man, that is, regardless of the rank of babalawo, we must respect people of legal age or religious elderly.
- It was said that they should never sleep with the wife of an Ogboni, that is, keep oaths.
- They warned that babalawos or religious people should never sleep with the wife of a friend, that is, never betray the trust that is given to us.
- They said that you shouldn't be gossiping, that is, not to reveal secrets.
- They warned that they should not sleep with the wife of a babalawo. You have to behave with honor and respect before society.
- When the elders arrived on earth they began to do everything that was forbidden, they began to die one after another and for no reason they accused Orunmila and Ifa for what was happening to them.
- Orunmila said that he was not the one who was killing them, that everything happened because of them, because they did not comply with or respect the rules or commandments of Ifa.
It is mistakenly thought that these commandments and rules written in the signs of Ifa are only for the babalawos, because it is not like that, since these are ethical codes that anyone must follow in order to lead a prosperous and peaceful life.
What is an odu toyale?
The term "Oddun Toyale" refers to the main sign of a query or Divination, this is the one that governs the astral, ebbo and recommendations that Orunmila or the Osha to which we turn. This sign represents the person in the present moment and identifies their problems.
It is from this sign that the babalawo extracts the different stories, sayings, patakie and verses, which he will recite to the client until the identification of his problems and possible solution.
Ifa divination consists of three signs, the aforementioned main sign (Toyale) and two witnesses who are called Oddun Okuta Kula and Odu Tomala belashe. Each one has its importance and function at the time of the Osode (Consultation), as they help the Awo to better interpret Orunmila's message.
Odu from Ifa Okuta Kula:
It is called the first witness, since it is said that the odun who observes in detail the problem and the reason why the toyale was revealed. It also indicates the reasons why the consulted went to the Babalawo's house.
Odu Tomala belashe:
This is the third sign of the scheme used in the Ifa consultation, it is called the second witness and has the function of marking or requesting from Ifa the ebbo (Sacrifice) that the person needs to improve their current state and be able to solve the problem identified in the Toyale and in the first witness.
In addition to these three signs, the babalawos also use the combination between the toyale and the second witness and thus make up a fourth Oddun that they call "Secret Odu”or“ Amotorun Iwa”. This sign in theory is the godfather or representative of olofin in the consultation and serves for the Awos to expand the message or mark a complementary ebbo.
An example of this would be the following: If in a query the Toyale sign is iroso Obara and the second witness is Ogbe Ka, that Osode's secret Oddun is Iroso Ka.
Treaty of the 256 Odu or Signs of Ifa
At Oshaeifa.com we are pleased to bring you the encyclopedic Ifa treatise totally free and digitally so that you can always be reading and learning about the signs of Ifa.
Esé o pataki: The stories with a moral in the odu of Ifa
The Esé or Pataki as they are known in the Afro-Cuban tradition, are stories that are found within each of the Ifa signs, in them Orunmila tells us about the different processes that took place during the creation of the universe, nature, humanity. It also tells us about the deities and their different stages both in heaven and on earth.
These stories are recited in order to teach us some important aspect of the life and philosophy of Ifa.
Cada story, verse, esé or pataki, they leave us a moral or message to be able to understand a problem or a concept that Orunmila considers important for us at the time of divination. These stories are sometimes difficult to understand due to the Yoruba grammatical structure and the complexity of their dialect.
To give you an example of this, we relate a story from the Oddun Ejiogbe, where Orunmila teaches us that old and new things are linked on a physical and spiritual level.
Òrúnmìlà ni "Hmmm"
Mo ni, "Kilo de ti nkùn Bara'lésín Oyán?"
Mo ni, "Kilo de ti nkùn Bara Adagba Ojùmú?"
Mo ni, "Kilo de ti nkùn, Òkínkín A-téyín-erin-i-fon?"
Òrúnmìlà neither òrò lo pò nor ikùn òun ti òun o reni ba so ó
Òrúnmìlà sang "Hmmm"
I asked, "What happened Baba, the elephant rider?"
I asked, "What happened Baba, the old man in the village of Ijimu?"
I asked, "What happened Baba, the one who blows the elephant's trunk like a trumpet?"
Orúnmìlà said that he was worried about some things, but that he had no one to discuss these matters with.
The Orisha Oggun was going to the market to buy clothes, but as he passed Orunmila's house he stopped to say hello. When he sees him, he invites him to come to his house to share and play an Ayo game (traditional Yoruba game similar to chess).
While they played, Orunmila was very thoughtful and Oggun asked him: What's the matter, baba, elephant rider? Orunmila replies: “I have many concerns and I am disturbed because no one seems to know what the beginning and the end of all things are. .
Oggun answers him saying that he did know the answer, at that moment Orunmila decides to put him to the test and asks him where he was going, he answers that he was going to the market, that he needed to buy clothes, Orula invites him to come to her throne and look for Obi Abata. He did so, but upon entering he sees that there are completely new iron tools on the throne, he automatically goes out and tells Orunmila that he could give them to her.
Orula tells him that at the end of the game he could take them as a gift from him. Ògún deliberately lost the tutor's game to finish as soon as possible and be able to take the tools, he entered the room where the throne was with the intention of looking for his gift, but he automatically left disappointed, Orunmila asks him what happens to him and this to him He answers that the new tools were no longer on the altar, but that there were some old tools in their place.
Òrúnmìlà reminded Ògún of the initial conversation where he had said that he knew what the beginning and the end of things were. The new and old tools I had seen confirmed that things change from new to old over time and that life changes too.
Time makes you evolve, grow, prosper, but at the same time it makes you age and deteriorate.
Obàtálá was the second Irúnmolè put to the test by Òrúnmìlà. He, too, was invited to the altar to take obi. Obàtálá also ran from the throne in panic. He asks Orúnmìlà why he had not warned him that one of his apetebi (Wife) was naked on the altar. He replies that she is not his wife, but his daughter. Orishanla listening was happy and he also allowed Orunmìlà to win the game.
He asked Orúnmìlà if his daughter had already been courted. Orula said no and asked Obàtálá if he was interested in her. Baba said yes and decided to enter the altar once more to see the woman. What he saw the second time was something he would never have imagined. In the place of finding a beautiful and young woman he met an old and wrinkled woman. Orúnmìlà solved the puzzle by telling Obàtálá that he used the “Young” and “Old Woman” to show him the reality of life. That new things always become old. The aging process transforms the new into the old.
In this way "continuity" means "new" that comes out of the "Old".Baba Ejiogbe
Signs of Ifa for Mooring
The Oddun of Ifa in their literature recommend some specific works for different situations, just as their energy can be used for a specific purpose. In the case of moorings and loving domains We leave some examples where Ifa through its signs makes reference to them.
- Oyekun Bara: This Oddun de Ifá is in charge of making moorings and unmoorings.
- Edibere: It is done ebbo to free oneself from love ties.
- I hate Iroso.
- Odi Sa.
- Odi leke: The mooring and dominance of one person over another is born.
- Iroso Ate: Beware of spells by women.
- Ojuani Odi.
- Ojuani Beautiful.
- Ojuani Alakentu: Mooring through the Dead (Quimbisa).
- Obara Kuña: The person does not live in love with his spouse, but he cannot leave because he is tied up.
- Okana She: Supreme sacrifice of love, It speaks of dominion over the virile member.
- Ogunda Yeku: For a Woman.
- Ika fun: Works are made to disrupt this type of works.
- Otrupon Birete: A person wants to tie another for evil.
How Ejiogbe became the first of the Ojú Oddun of Ifa.
After the sixteen Olodus (Ifa signs) had arrived in the World, it was time to appoint a chief among them. Eji ogbe had not been the first Olodu to come to the World. Many others had done them before him. Before them Oyekun Meji, who was the King of the Night, had been claiming antiquity. They all turned to Orishanlá (God the son or representative on Earth) to appoint the King of the Olodús.
Orishanlá invited them all and gave them a rat to share. Oyekun Meji took one leg, Iwori Meji took the other leg, Odi Meji took one hand and Obara Meji took the remaining hand. The other parts were shared according to the conventional seniority order. Ogbe, being very young, was given the head of the rat.
In order of sequence, Orishanlá gave him a fish, a chicken, a guinea and finally a goat, which were shared according to the order established with the rat. In each case, Eji Ogbe received the head of each of the sacrificed animals.
Finally, Orishanlá invited them to come back to see him for the decision after three days had elapsed. When Ejiogbe got home he made divination and was told to give a goat to Eshu Elegba. After Eshu Elegba ate his goat, he told Eji ogbe that on the appointed day, he should roast a yam tuber to keep in his bag along with a güiro of water. Eshu-Elegba also advised him to be late for the meeting of the Olodus at the Orishanlá Palace.
On the appointed day, the Olodus came to invite him to the conference, but he told them that he was roasting yams on the fire to eat before going to the meeting.
After they left, he took out the yam, peeled it and put it inside his divine bag along with a güiro of water. On his way to the conference, he met an old woman just as Eshu had told him and, in accordance with the advice that Eshu gave him, he carried the woman the pile of wood that she was carrying because she was so tired that she could barely to walk. The grateful woman accepted the help and complained that she was terribly hungry. Instantly, Ejiogbe took out the yam from her bag and fed her. After eating the yam, she asked him for water and he gave her the water güiro that he also brought. After this moment, he carried the firewood while the old woman walked beside him. He did not know that the woman was Orishanlá's mother.
Meanwhile, when the woman saw that he was pressed for time, he asked him where he was going in such a hurry. He replied that it was already late for him to arrive at the conference in which Orishanlá was going to appoint a King among the Olodus. He expressed to him that he was going to take his time anyway, since he was still too young to aspire to the reign of the sixteen Olodus or Apostles of Orúnmila.
The woman reacted and assured him that he was going to be named King of the Apostles. Upon arriving at the old woman's house, she told him to put the wood in the back door of it. By identifying Orishanlá's house, it was that he understood that the woman he had been helping was none other than Orishanlá's mother. Then he sighed with relief. She told him to accompany her inside the house. Inside, she took out two pieces of white cloth, tied one on his right shoulder and the other on his left shoulder. Then he placed a red parrot feather on Eji Ogbe's head and put white plaster on the palm of his right hand.
He then showed him the 1460 (ota legbeje) stones that were outside in front of Orishanlá's house and directed Ejiogbe to go and stand on top of the white stone in the middle. In his new dresses, he went and stood there while the others waited in the
outer chamber of Orishanlá.
After some time, Orishanlá asked the others for whom they were still waiting and they replied that they were waiting for Ejiogbe. Orishanlá then asked them to tell him the name of the man who was standing outside.
They could not recognize him as Ejiogbe. Orishanlá instructed them to go and pay their respects to the man.
One after another they fell down and touched the ground with their heads at the foot of where Ejiogbe was standing. After this, Orishanlá formally proclaimed Ejiogbe as King of the Olodus of the house of Orúnmila.
Almost unanimously all the other Olodus muttered in annoyance and made no secret of their disapproval at the appointment of a young Olodu as chief among them. At that point, Orishanlá asked them how they had shared the animals he had been giving them during the seven-day trial period. They explained to him the way in which they had done it. He asked them who had been receiving the heads of each of these animals and they confirmed that in each case they had been giving the heads to Ejiogbe.
Orishanlá then exclaimed that they had been the ones who, unconsciously, had designated Ejiogbe as their King, since when the head is separated from the body, the rest no longer have life. With this, they scattered.
When the Olodus left the house of Orishanlá, they decided to keep Eji ogbe at a distance. Not only did they agree not to acknowledge him, but they also decided that they weren't going to serve him. Before they dispersed, Eji ogbe composed a poem which he used as an incantation.
OJA NII KI OWO WON JAA
OWUWU ONI KOO WO WON WUU.
IKPE AKIKO KIIGA AKIKA DEENU
IKPE ORIRE KII GUN ORIRE DEENU
ETUU KII OLO WON NI MO
INU LO OTIN IRE EFO EBERI WAA
With this special enchantment, he hoped to neutralize all evil machinations against him. For this purpose he used special blades.
After that incident, they told him that before they could accept him as King, he had to eat with all of them with:
200 CRUSHED YAM GUIROS
200 POTS OF SOUP PREPARED WITH DIFFERENT MEATS
200 WINE GÜIROS
200 BASKETS OF KOLÁ NUTS ETC., ETC.
Giving him seven days to prepare the food. Needless to say, it seemed that the task was impossible to accomplish because they knew that Ejiogbe could not afford a meal of that magnitude. Eji ogbe sat and lamented his poverty and the prospect of remaining a shepherd without a flock.
Meanwhile Eshu approached him to learn the cause of his melancholy and Ejiogbe explained that he did not have the funds to pay for the detailed food demanded by the Olodus before they could agree to subordinate themselves to him. Eshu replied that the problem could be solved if Ejiogbe could give him another goat. Eji ogbe wasted no time in giving him another goat, Eshu advised him to prepare only one of each of the items required for the meal and to obtain an additional 199 containers for each and to line them up in the enclosure where the celebration was to be held. meal on the appointed day.
Ejiogbe followed Eshu's advice. Meanwhile, the Olodus had been mocking him, knowing that there was no way in which Baba Ejiogbe could afford food.
On reaching the seventh day, one by one they came to visit him asking if he was ready for lunch. Since they were not hearing the sound of the pestle from the kitchen, they knew there would be no food after all. Meanwhile, after having lined up the empty containers, Eshu went to the compound where the meal was to be held and ordered the single preparation to multiply. Instantly, all the güiros, pots, baskets, etc., were filled with fresh preparations and the food was ready.
As soon as Oyeku Meji arrived at the venue where the food was to be held and found out what was happening, he was surprised to see that the food was finally ready. Without waiting for a formal invitation, he sat down and helped himself to the food. It was followed by Iwori Meji, Odi Meji, Iroso Meji, Ojuani Meji, Obara Meji, Okana Meji, Ogunda Meji, Osa Meji, Ika Meji, Otrupon Meji, Otura Meji, Irete Meji Oshe Meji, Ofun Meji. Before they knew what was happening, they had all eaten and drunk their fill.
After the meal, everyone carried Ejiogbe above their heads and began to dance in a procession, singing:
They danced in the procession through the town. When they reached the seashore, Eji Ogbe told them to put him down and sang in praise of the Awos who made divination for him and the sacrifice he made. With this, he was formally crowned head of the Apostles of Orúnmila, with the title of Akoko-Olokun.
At this point, he sacrificed four snails obtained from the seashore and this was the last sacrifice he made before he became prosperous and the kingship began to flourish.
Frequently asked questions related to the Oddun of Ifa
What is the best sign of Ifa?
All the signs of Ifa have positive and negative aspects, so that we can live the positive aspect of each Oddun, we must take care not to break any taboo and follow the recommendations that Ifa gives us in each sign. The best sign of Ifa is that of ourselves, as long as we know how to live in Ire it will be the appropriate Oddun for us.
Although there is no Odu better than another, if there is the Hierarchical or Genealogical Order of Ifa, this represents the Order by which the Irunmoles came down to earth.
How many Odu of Ifa are there?
There are 256 signs of Ifa or Odu, these are divided into 16 main Odu (the 16 mejis) and 240 Omoluos that are the result of the combination of the 16 major ones.
How do I know what my Ifa sign is?
To know the sign that governs the life of a person, he must start in the religion of Ifa, specifically he must receive the hand of Orula, there they will perform their Ita in which they will identify their Odu and guardian angel or Tutelary Orisha.