Ifa Divination
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Ifa Divination
"the art and the practice of living the medicine"
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OLA16 Retreat

OLA16 Retreat | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it
Please check out the video chat and conference call held on Thursday, July 10 at 7:00pm - 8:30pm PST
Obafemi Origunwa's insight:

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.* You will be tempted to confront adverse situations and personalities. In fact, we have placed a high value on being able to do so. Courage, valor and strength have become synonymous with confrontation. At the same time, however, if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So, if you approach your own spiritual development as a battle then you will spend the rest of your life at war with yourself. How can you win such a battle and be healed at the same time? So, when it comes to your own learning and spiritual development - which are fundamental to ALL forms of change and healing- you cannot fight your existing reality. Instead, you must make it obsolete. Your anger, temper tantrums, laziness, procrastination, self doubt, insecurities and contradictions must all be made irrelevant. 

But let's be very clear; I am not suggesting that you ignore your weaknesses and flaws. That would be foolish. I am affirming, however, the fact that your goal is to outgrow your weaknesses and flaws. You must expand your awareness - as well as your habits - in ways that reveal how certain traits may have been useful in the past but serve no real purpose in your future. For example, once upon a time, you did not know the alphabet. You thought that ELEMENO was the letter before P, right? It would have done you absolutely no good to fight against that reality. Instead, you merely needed to learn the letter correctly. Once that happened, your prior thinking was made obsolete. And so it is that learning one lesson is fundamentally no different from another. They all require a change of perception and practice.

Please join us at the Orisa Lifestyle & Mental Health Retreat, where like minded devotees, priests and human development professionals will come together to live the medicine that will heal each of our lives and the lives of the people we are destined to serve. BRING THREE AND THE FOURTH PERSON ATTENDS FOR FREE! And if you register before July 31, you will receive a $100 discount. http://www.obafemio.com/ola16-retreat.html#.U8pknoBdVgs

Obafemi Origunwa, MA | www.ObafemiO.com

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Activation Energy

Activation Energy | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it

The New Year is in effect and you're excited about the possibilities. Maybe you're going to take a class or start a work out routine or save some money for a house. Whatever it is, please remember the first rule of orisa lifestyle: we venerate the isese before the divinities. The isese are your internal spiritual resources; the spirit of your mother, father as well as your inner spirit. Once you have them aligned, you will accomplish every goal. Therefore, everything you do in the beginning phases of an initiative has to activate the energy of your internal spiritual resources. 

The Holy Odu EjiOgbe says:

We divine Ifa in our hand
We press Ifa on the ground
Elesa a gbo gi (priest's name)
Cast divination for Ogbe
Coming from heaven to earth
They said Ogbe would enter the world
Ogbe was asked to perform an offering 
Ogbe inquired of the items to offer
Ogbe should secure a rat to blaze paths in the bush
A fish to chart a way through the ocean
A rooster to clear passage on land
They said Ogbe would reach the world
Ogbe performed the offering 
As Ogbe ventured
She met the bush first
Ogbe was perplexed
Esu whispered in Ogbe's ear:
Remember, you have a rat to blaze a path through the bush
Ogbe put down the rat
The rat blazed a path through the bush
Esu told Ogbe to follow
When she exited the bush
Ogbe met water
Ogbe was perplexed
Esu whispered in Ogbe's ear:
Remember, you have a fish that charts a way through the ocean
Ogbe dropped the fish in the water
The fish began to swim
Esu told Ogbe to follow
When she swam out of the water
Ogbe met a town
But did not know which direction to face
Esu whispered in Ogbe's ear:
Remember the rooster that clears a passage on land
Esu told Ogbe to follow the rooster
Ogbe arrived at the center of the city
She was happy and started to dance and rejoice
We divine Ifa in our hand
We press Ifa on the ground
Elesa a gbo gi (priest's name)
Is the one who cast divination for Ogbe
On the day she was coming from heaven to earth
The rat uses its Ori to blaze paths in the bush
The fish uses its Ori to chart ways through the ocean
The rooster uses its Ori to clear passages on land
Therefore, Ogbe should become popular
Ogbe's star should not fall like tree leaves
Ogbe should light a path through difficulty

Live the medicine of activation energy. Ask Ifa! 

Obafemi Origunwa, MA | www.ObafemiO.com
510.485.2336

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Ifa = Lifestyle

Ifa = Lifestyle | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it
Obafemi Origunwa's insight:

Orunmila is Eleri ipin, which means "the witness of fate" or "the intermediary of destiny". This is because only he was present at the time Olodumare created the universe. He watched as everything was created and put into place. The entire matrix of divination belongs to Orunmila, who shared portions of it with some other orisa. So, when you want to know your destiny, you go to Orunmila, who will consult Ifa. That's the protocol. 

Now, the real problem I see is the way some people are being led into the practice. Orisa is family. It's a lifestyle. We serve the orisa because they are the progenitors of our lineage, the originators of the culture. So, imagine someone says "I want to join your family." They could go change their name and wear the family hat but the real test is how they behave, how they live, the ways in which they interact with and support other family members. No matter what beads you wear or what name you use, your lifestyle either supports the ancestral mission or it does not. So, it is a devotion, a practice of relentless and tireless love to be an orisa worshipper. If you're not hearing that kind of language and feeling that kind of vibration, then you might as well be at the Lexus dealer picking out a new coupe. Check your heart before you proceed in this. 

Ifa says when we awaken in the morning we should teach one another wisdom and not lay the foundation for madness/foolishness. When you are in the presence of a Babalawo, there should be some teaching going on. Not the classroom style data dump. I am talking about "way of life" stuff: how you carry yourself, how you regard your family and friends, how you approach your life's work. In short, your lifestyle should come into question when you talk to the Babalawo. Because, if you cannot integrate the teachings into your eating habits and the infrastructure of your family, then everything remains abstract and impractical. 

 

Wisdom is the way of Ifa. When the elders were coming from Heaven to Earth - Ifa tells us - they asked "what are going to do?" Ifa said "you are going to seek knowledge, wisdom and understanding." The quest for knowledge never ends. We teach. We educate. We develop. That is the way of Ifa. 

 

Aboru aboye abosise. 

 

Obafemi Origunwa, MA

1409 35th Ave

Oakland, CA 94601

510.485.2336

www.ObafemiO.com 

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Spiritual Community

Spiritual Community | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it
Orunmila says there will be a crowd
I say, there is a crowd
In crowds we find ehan (a forest animal)
In crowds we find wild boars
We don't find "One who keeps silent" walking alone
We don't find "Greedy" walking alone

One who keeps silent is what we call the ewe
Greedy is what we call the cane rat
-Holy Odu OyekuMeji

Spiritual Community: Online social networking, parties and non-stop texting are no substitute for real life experience. People are looking for more than "busy work" and superficial entertainment, in search of deeper relationships, dedicated to meaningful change. Live the Medicine ceremonies, workshops and retreats bring together people who want to apply ancient wisdom to modern challenges. Making strategic use of dialogue, reflection, ritual and ceremony, Live the Medicine workshop is a unique opportunity to establish breakthrough relationships with your ancestral memory, with your natural gifts and talents, and with the people you serve. Live the Medicine is a call to accelerate and deepen the effects of a larger global movement that is quietly on the rise in this time of vast cultural transformation. This movement is called Orisa Lifestyle. Ifa says we will form a crowd and will no longer walk alone.   To organize a Live the Medicine workshop or ceremony  in your community today, visit: http://obafemio.weebly.com/workshopsceremonies.html   Obafemi Origunwa | 510.485.2336 | ObafemiO.com Available for 1:1 consultations, workshops and retreats

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Identity = Destiny

Identity = Destiny | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it

Joseph Campbell's mantra was "follow your bliss." He said that, "When you follow your bliss, and by bliss I mean the deep sense of being in it... and doors will open where there were no doors before, where you would not have thought there’d be doors, and where there wouldn’t be a door for anybody else... And so I think the best thing I can say is to follow your bliss. If your bliss is just your fun and your excitement, you’re on the wrong track. I mean, you need instruction. Know where your bliss is. And that involves coming down to a deep place in yourself." (Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Journey, p. 217)

My own mantra is Live the Medicine. When you live the medicine you operate from that deep place in yourself that Campbell is talking about. Living the medicine means making decisions in a way that HEALS the wounds that divide your body, heart, mind and spirit. Living the medicine means being a light, a beacon of hope and inspiration for others to learn from. Living the medicine is expressing your deepest, most authentic identity. 

Live the Medicine workshops are designed to you make a meaningful contribution to the people you serve. Start today! Visit: http://obafemio.weebly.com/identity--destiny.html


Obafemi Origunwa

510.485.2336 | 1409 35th Avenue Oakland, CA 94601

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Moon Rituals

Moon Rituals | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it

Òrìsà Lifestyle does not place high value on any form of astrology. Still, the moon has always been a reliable calendar, whose 28 day cycles are much easier to observe than the 365 day cycles of the sun. Consequently, people who live close to nature, and depend totally on the fertility of the soil, the abundance of the rivers and the rainfall for survival, often depend heavily upon the cycles of the moon. Such people are acutely aware of the miracle of nature and its ability to rejuvenate, in terms of seasons, crops and the animal offspring, at regular intervals. In short, the moon is a strong symbol of fertility abundant creativity.

 

Live the Medicine of lunar wisdom

 

510.485.2336 | http://obafemio.weebly.com/moon-rituals.html

 

Available for 1:1 consultation, workshops and retreats

 

 

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In the Shadows

In the Shadows | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it

The shadow is everything you know, deep down inside, but cannot readily accept about yourself. Beyond the "dirty little secrets" you keep hidden from public view, the shadow is a deep, dark well of unsavory characteristics. For the sake of clarification, the shadow is much more than a few bad habits or ocassional misdeeds. It is more like a fount of bad intentions and surly motivations. It is bad for badness sake. Think Emperor Palpatine, the syth lord of Star Wars.  

 

So, it is for good reason that you and I have distanced ourselves from this dimension of our consciousness. Surprisingly perhaps, in some psychological circles, there is a growing movement towards “mainstreaming” one's shadowy character. The idea seems to be that, when you banish certain dimension of your character to the shadows, some other, valuable attributes are taken along with them. So, the idea behind exposing the shadow is that it too has something of value to contribute.  This is, quite honestly, one of the dimensions of orisa lifestyle that I have always cherished. Even the most venerable and sanctified divinities have dark, long shadows. Take Obatala, for example:

 

The Old One, with years of experience

Resolves to slow down

He says he struggled a lot

As a young man with hot blood

And bubbling energy  

 

So, Obatala was a hot head! Who knew?  It wasn't just the notorious drinking stint for which he is known that caused him difficulties in life. Here we see that Obatala was also hot tempered and impetuous. His prolonged feud with Oduduwa was invariably linked to this shadowy, stubborn aspect of his character. Yet and still, Obatala is the arch divinity, revered by man and divinity alike as the most highly respected and austere orisa of all. Could it be that Obatala's encounters with his shadow amplified his understanding and appreciation of the range of human expression? Was it this brush with his shadow that tempered him into the peaceful and serene archdivinity that he is today? To the extent that this is so, we can see the value of seeking out the shadow as a teacher and a guide. But truthfully, it’s a bit like Pandora’s box: There’s a lot of very unsavory activity in the shadows. So any benefit gained from the residents will come at a very high price. Still one has to wonder, what is the cost of ignoring the shadow?    

 

Live the medicine of shadow reconciliation. Ask Ifa. 510.485.2336 | www.ObafemiO.com. Available for 1:1 consultations, retreats and workshops.   

 

Ọbáfémi Orígúnwà, MA

1409 35th Avenue Oakland, Ca 94601

ObafemiO@yahoo.com | www.ObafemiO.com | 510.485.2336

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Addicted to Divisiveness?

Addicted to Divisiveness? | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it

A child became the head of the father's house and rejoiced 
The money we use to build a house is less important than character
It is less crucial than integrity
If a child has gentle character 
He will make the father's house sustainable 
If a child does not possess gentle character 
He will desolate the father's house 
Cast divination for an inattentive person who does not listen 
Also for a wicked person with an uncontrollable temper 
They were asked to perform an offering to take care of their father's house 
It is in a safe place that Idi confides in Idi 
Do not nitpick over little problems in the house 
Let the house be united
Do not nitpick over little issues in the house 
Let the house be peaceful
Do not nitpick over little problems in the house 
Let the house be united
Do not nitpick over the mistakes of someone who does well for you 
Do not nitpick over the mistakes of someone who does well for you 
- Holy Odu OdiMeji

Don't sweat the small stuff... Obsessiveness, bickering and nagging are hardly the building blocks of healthy communication and hearty relationships. This is equally true of personal, professional and spiritual relationships. Most people know this intellectually. But somehow, we still end up running in circles, chasing our tales, rehashing the same old arguments over and over again. Ask the Palestinians and the Jews, the Democrats and the Republicans or the Chinese and the Tibetans. They have been at one another's throats, quarrelling ceaselessly for generations, and even centuries!

So, what is it that prevents us from bridging our understanding? What is it that causes us to cling so tightly to the ideas, the words and the habits that divide us? Why do we insist upon reinforcing our differences? After 20 years working with individuals, couples and organizations, I have discovered some illuminating answers to these very important questions. But before we even begin to explore the reasons why we are addicted to division, we actually need to get clear about why unity is the more preferable option. That is, before you take on the demons of division, you have to fully embrace the absolute necessity of unity.  

Enter Niccolo Machiavelli, 16th century Florentine ambassador and author of the classic manifesto on statecraft and power, The Prince. If you're like most people, you mistakenly think of The Prince as a guide to manipulation and individualism to the extreme. In reality, however, the book was written with the explicit intent to bring stability and unity to Italy. And while many of Machiavelli's stratems and tactics are indeed unsavory, they acurately reflect the context of war-torn, unstable 16th century Europe. And it is precisely because the book provides insights into the ways in which leadership and power are synonymous with unity - especially in the face of extreme circumstances - that it is quinessential to anyone who aspires to big picture thinking and personal leadership. 

Consider, for example, the fact that in 16th century, Italy did not even exist. At that time, there were five city states that constantly battled for power and control. Under these circumstances, progress was limited by the ceaseless conflicts. As a former ambassador, Machiavelli had travelled extensively between the five power circles. He used his unique understanding of their different political agendas, military capabilities and economic needs to synthesize common ideas, strengths and weaknesses into effective practices that would streamline the variety of motivations. Part of his synthesis included a clear articulation of the thought patterns and perspectives of the most successful leaders throughout time. 


At this point, I want you to appreciate the value of synthesis, as oppossed to analysis. Analysis is concerned with dissecting things, examining each part according to some established set of laws or rules. By definition, it promotes divisiveness and separation. How many times have you been trapped in an argument with someone - your spouse, a co-worker or someone who practices another religion - wherein the more analysed one another's statements, the worse it got? This is beause analysis usually locks you into a rigid mental framework that can only accept a limited sequence of ideas and events. Anything outside of the analytical sequence is deemed illogical and thus, has to be rejected. Analysis is only good for examining information in a vacuum.


Strategic thinking, on the other hand, is all about synthesis. Synthesis is the byproduct of combining a THESIS with its ANTITHESIS. Yoruba wisdom expresses systhesis though the term ejiwapo, which is "twoness." More specifically, the ejiwapo principle teaches us that, where the masculine and feminine axises intersect, exponential outcomes result. Visually, it is represented by the crossroads, wherein the intersection of two lines creates four possibilities. In this way, synthesis creates more options and promotes big picture thinking. Consider, for example, a time when a heated debate was taken to a higher level of mutual understanding when a third or fourth option was introduced. This is because synthesis is a more creative and intuitive process. It invites you to see the forest AND the trees so that you can better understand the MEANING of informationand how it can be used.


LESSON: When powerful individuals and groups have competing ideas and agendas, the best advisors employ synthesis (ejiwapo) to enable big picture thinking. In this way, the skilled advisor helps you and opposing parties to create shared vision, combined with streamlined approaches to creating mutually beneficial changes. 


Live the Medicine of big picture thinking. Ask Ifa! 510.485.2336 | www.ObafemiO.com

Available for 1:1 consultations, workshops and retreats. 

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The Unbroken Circle

The Unbroken Circle | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it

Ifa says, "Okansoso ewon kiike," which means "A single link never breaks." The foundation of personal greatness and authentic happiness is thusly symbolized as a ring, a single chain link or unbroken circle. It represents the continuous flow of energy, as it surges from the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual realms of consciousness. So, to the extent that you can prevent any form of internal division from creeping into your awareness, you will protect yourself from the conflicts, losses and sufferings that arise from false division. 

 

You may ask, "How is it possible to do that?" It starts with your world view. When you imagine divisions between your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual realities, it then becomes natural to project that division onto the world around you as well. By the same token, when you realize that the barriers between your body, heart, mind and spirit are not real, you have a greater opportunity to resolve the internal conflicts between your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual awareness. In short, the unbroken circle symbolizes internal harmony.

 

The real value of internal harmony is that it enables unbroken focus. Stated another way, one of the greatests obstacles to achieving personal greatness and authentic happiness is distraction. On a scale of 1-10, rank your ability to concentrate without distraction, without multitasking without stopping, even for a "bio break." One of my favorite verses of Ifa tells of the time when Orunmila posed a similar riddle to the Orisa by asking them"Who can accompany his child on a long journey, even across the sea, without ever stopping or turning back?" All of the deities claimed to be capable of the feat but all failed, including Orunmila himself. The only deitiy capable of completing this amazing task was, is and will always be ORI. And so we see that the nucleus of the unbroken circle is ori.

 

In Yoruba, ori can literally be translated as "You see." As such, ori is the capacity for inner vision, the ability to see yourself according to the truth of your source and divine origins. Astrologically speaking, this inner vision is called the solar principle. Like the sun itself, ori is the unifying principle of your consciousness. It causes everything in your consciousness and being to orbit harmoniously around a single, internally defined principle. This is why ori is praised as "One's cause and creator." And so, the ability to transcend physical, emotional and mental limitations will open the doors to spiritual development and freedom. Here, we come face to face with an extrememly important feature in the journey around the unbroken circle: flaws and imperfection. 

 

In the Holy Odu IrosunMeji, Ifa says:

 

Whoever feels comfortable behaves as such

Rere's priest divined for Ori

Ori was descending from heaven to earth

Ori was asked to sacrifice

Ori made the sacrifice

Should ori come to the world and refuse wealth,

Osun - the attentive listener - I tell you my destiny

Ifa, let me be wealthy in my life

Should ori come to the world and refuse a good spouse,

Osun - the attentive listener - I tell you my destiny

Ifa, let me have a good spouse in my life

Should ori come to the world and refuse all blessings,

Osun - the attentive listener - I tell you my destiny

Ifa, let me have all blessings in my life

 

The depth of this message can be summarized in the saying, "A closed mouth don't get fed!" Here, IrosunMeji is teaching you that the value of rigorous self examination is that it clearly demonstrates the weak points, flaws and imperfections in your character. It's only thorugh facing yourself that you can ever hope to improve yourself.

 

ATS is an effective method for self examination and personal development. Assessment (Dafa) can be called a "spiritual self portriat." It gives you a detailed image of who are, where you're coming from and where you're trying to go. More importantly, Assessment (Dafa) tells you exactly what's blocking your way, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. The very best thing about Assessment (Dafa) is that it's not about passive consumption of data and information: You will also learn what you must do in order to leverage your strengths and minimize the threats. These Transformative works (Ebo) will very deliberately stimulate your six senses and bring them all into focus for a single goal; continuous improvement. Finally, Sustainable practices (Ewo) will outline the subtle changes in your lifestyle that will do two things:

 

1. Keep you in alignment with the unbroken circle of continous improvement. 

2. Create small acts that have a big impact on your life's mission. 

 

To learn more about how you can Live the Medicine of the unbroken circle, ask Ifa: 510.485.2336 | www.ObafemiO.com

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Sometimes, We Vanquish

Sometimes, We Vanquish | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it
Oturuponkanran!
Oturuponkanran!
Cast divination for Orunmila
Two people were planning near Esu to kill him
Ifa asked Orunmila to offer 2 calabashes, 2 hens, and 480 cowries
He heard about the offering and performed it
He tied the 2 calabashes together and traveled to Esu to pray
As he was going the two calabashes were making sound saying:
Ma p'oturu ma p'okanran (do not kill Oturu, do not kill Okanran)
Ma p'oturu ma p'okanran (do not kill Oturu do not kill Okanran)
His two enemies heard the commotion
They became scared and scurried away
Oturuponkaran
Cast divination for two Calabashes
Performing yearly harvest
They were asked to perform an offering for the left
They refused to offer
For this reason, they make rubbing sounds
When we tie them together to bring them home from the farm

Enemies... Where do they come from? Why do they exist? These are deep, philosophical questions that produce many penetrating answers. I personally don't like the idea of enemies because it causes people to externalize the root o their problems, projecting them onto anyone and everyone within reach. No growth occurs for people obsessed with enemies.

At the same time, however, I am not naive. There are a good number of people who either set out to take what is not theirs or to prevent you from enjoying what you have worked to achieve or sustain. And to be clear, these are the people who insist upon doing so. They cannot be dissuaded nor redirected. They are real foes.

In the verse above, Orunmila faced a pair of enemies, named Oturupon and Okanran, respectively. For one reason or another, they conspired to destroy Orunmila. To hatch their plan, they went to the mighty Esu to enlist his support in the nepharious act. Unbeknownst to them, Orunmila had gone to consult Ifa earlier that day. Ifa advised him to take Esu two gourds filled with water. As Orunmila walked through the forest on the way to Esu's shrine, the gourds rubbed and collided against one another. As they did, the water inside te gourds made noises that, in Yoruba sounded like voices asking Orunmila not to kill Oturupon and Okanran.

Oturupon and Okanran were confused... "How could Orunmila know of our plan already? He's already poised to kill us? He is more powerful than we thought! Let's run!!!" And so they did! They ran for their lives!!! Orunmila offered Esu his water and continued on his way, having vanquished his enemies through sacrifice.

This Ifa is teaching us the virtue of ritual discipline. Among other things, it keeps us focused on what we are supposed to be doing instead of wasting precious time and energy on the opposition. And so it is, sometimes, in the process if dispatching our ritual duties, we do vanquish our enemies!

May you live the medicine of ritual discipline and in so doing, enjoy complete victory over your foes, known and unknown. Ase!

For more guidance, ask Ifa: 510.485.2236 www.ObafemiO.com
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Word Powers

Word Powers | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it

The wind shakes the forest
It rocks the palm tree vigorously
Cast divination for Balekale
Who was asked to perform an offering
So the wind would not overpower her
Balekale is the name for a stone
She offered ashes and an amount of money she could afford
Then Balekale said: I have offered for my place
No matter how powerful the wind
Whoever attacks me will be troubled
- Holy Odu OyekuMeji

Back in the day, we called it "get back." When your older brother or even your parent heard that other children were teasing you, but you had no response, they might say "You need some get back." And while the crude and simple minded will mistake "get back" for argument, neck-rolling and swearing, the wise know better. It's actually the ability to engage in coded word play that will help you defend against attempts to displace you, temporarily or in the long term.

One of my mentors gave me some Yoruba "get back" during an impromptu ritual. In the midst of the encantations she recited on my behalf, one of them was the declaration that "Obafemi! You have become the herb called 'what are you going to do with me? You have become the little pebbles, easy to pop into the mouth but impossible to chew!" This, along with the dozens of other encantations she recited was intended to stabilize my position in the face of adversity.

In the neighborhood, playing the dozens and trash talking over dominos, we never gave real thought to the potential of word play. Like clapping on the 2 and the 4, it was just something we did. It was common. But when you are ritually empowered, connected to the source of spiritual power and properly educated in the use of words, "get back" takes on an entirely new significance. It can serve much like an anchor in tumultuous waters.

This is of great importance, in large part because Ifa tells us that the power of the orisa is in your voice. What you say is what the deities will support. Yet and still, very few of us give proper attention to the power of prayer. Ifa goes on to tell us that the right word will bring kola from the pocket. But the wrong word will bring the blade out of the sheath.

Everything in the known world is endowed with power and that power can be accessed through the proper use of coded words, deep truths. These truths strip away falseness and reaffirm the divine order of things. In this sense, "get back" does not need to evoke destruction in any way, shape or form. The most effective "get back" simply states the irrefutable truth; small pebbles are definitely easy to pop into the mouth, but they are impossible to chew. Anyone who attempts to prove otherwise will soon make an emergency trip to the dentist!

To access and build your library of "get back" and other forms of protective recitations, ask Ifa. 510.485.2336 | www.ObafemiO.com

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Ascending the Throne of Personal Destiny

Ascending the Throne of Personal Destiny | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it
It is one's head that leads one to prosperity
It was a good head that crowned the king of Ilara
It was a good head that led Orangun to become king of Ila.
It was a good head that led Otumoba to become king of Otumoba.
It was a good head that made Ajaponda king of Akure.
It was a good head that made the Oba king of Benin.
- Holy Odu OwonrinOsa

We tend to reduce ori - the head - down to hardware; that is, the physical head. In similar fashion, it is common to think of ori as the mind, which is closer to the truth, but still is not quite acurate. Ori is far more expansive than our thoughts and is also independent of any limitations of physical space and time.

Ori is the one who goes before you to provide the resources necessary for your ascent. A very sgnificant portion of what ori provides are those attitudes, patterns of behavior and distinguishing features that identify you as an entirely unique person. These identifiers - which might have been misinterpreted as quirks, neuroses or even pathologies in the past - help to establish a sharply defined contrast between what others are doing and what you CAN do.

Here, it is super important to raise your awareness of those who you were born to serve. Because, if your destiny is tied to all of those things that you can do that nobody else can do, then it stands to reason that there must be someone who will actually NEED your talents and skills. So, know that there are people who deperately need what you have to offer.

Ori acts like your own personal sun, which creates a gravitational pull. It draws the people you serve closer to you and allows them to find a comfortable place, orbiting around you at various intervals. And as intellectually lofty as that analogy might seem, it is not about ideas as much as it is about emotion. "Your people" feel you deeply within themselves. There is a bond, a chemistry that creates a buzz between the two you. This is one of the most important signals for you to identify, recognize and respond to, if you intend to allow ori to lead you to ascending the throne of your personal destiny.

It all starts with your natural gifts and talents. You absolutely have to trust in them, above all else. They will lead you far from your comfort zone, which is scarey. But that is the only way you will be able to express something that cannot be found elsewhere. Eventually, you will discover your intuitive feel for what will work and what will fail. In short, the more you practice relying upon ori the more clearly you will know what it means to be YOU and what it does not mean.

Of course, the big question you should be asking is "How?" Where do you start the process? What is the next step in the journey? That definitely depends upon where exactly you are in your own development. Generally speaking, however, there are some basic practices that will give you the edge, so to speak.

Learn through teaching: Aristotle believed that you could not master a subject unless you could communicate and teach it to others. Teaching forces you to organize and systematize your knowledge. Identify prime opportunities to teach others who you are and what you bring to the circle.

Play: Again, we'll turn to Aristotle, who said that he could learn more about you from an hour of play than a week of discussion. Playing feels good! It's fun. But it also allows us to access what some call liminal states, in between logical and emotional consciousness. Learn to infuse your natural gifts and talents with lits and lots of play.

Observation: you have two ears, to eyes and one mouth. Use them accordingly. Extraordinary people in every discipline have well-developed powers of obsevation. They are always listening and watching. This practice will give you insights into the details about your work and the specific ways in which it effects others. This is crucial to continuous improvement. You have to know where you're struggling and where you're doing excellent work. It is not enough to guess. You have to make time to observe yourself in action. Create methods for self observation. Likewise, make it a point to step back and really read your environment. Define your impact on others. Does it acurately reflect who you truly are?

A good ori is what you need to ascend the throne of your personal destiny. The practices given above will help you to become more aware of what needs to happen before you can progress. Know that everyone who is serious about making the changes necessary to enjoy continuous improvement invests in herself first and foremost. And the best investment is the one that regularly brings you into contact with your deepest core, as well as you highest aspirations.

To learn more about how you can ascend the throne of your personal destiny, ask Ifa. 510.485.2336 - ObafemiO.com. Available for 1:1 consulation, workshops and retreats.


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olufunso's comment, September 17, 2012 1:59 AM
Sir is that why when one goes for consultations they say you need to Bo ori
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Real Solutions to Real Problems

Real Solutions to Real Problems | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it
Owonrin Sogbe
Ogbesowonrin in retaliation
Owonrin planted a foot tall Kola nut tree
Ogbe advised Owonrin to cover it with a clay pot
He loaned the clay pot to Owonrin
When Ogbe saw the Kola nut tree had matured, Ogbe demanded the clay pot back at all costs
Owonrin had to cut the kola nut tree
to return Ogbe's clay pot
Ogbe gave birth to a female child
Owonrin loaned the child a brass necklace
When the child became a young lady
Owonrin returned to demand for the brass necklace
They brought the female child of Ogbe
They beheaded her
and gave Owonrin back his necklace
Ever since, people observe:
Sombody cut the Kola tree to collect a clay pot
Somebody beheaded a child
to remove a brass necklace
The problem we created has not been resolved
- Holy Odu OwonrinSogbe

An eye for an eye just leaves both sides blind. But in the heat of the moment, when you feel as though something has been wrongfully taken from you, blind vengeance is exactly what you want! The nature of anger is that way. It clouds our judgement and causes us to over-estimate the gratification we will get from revenge.

Ifa teaches us that this is ineffective. In the verse above, two neighbors, who should be supporting one another's development, are consumed with selfish interests. Ogbe lent Owonrin his clay pot, then demanded back when he saw how well the kola tree was growing, on the premise that "the bowl that I lend you is precisely the bowl you should return." It is important to know that the kola tree takes up to 15 years to produce. So, for a farmer, it represents a long term investment that requires great patience. Still, Ogbe's jealousy was so great that, wven after the community begged him to accept a replacement, Ogbe refused. The tree had to be cut down.

Then, many years later, Owonrin found his opportunity for revenge. Ogbe's daughter was to be married, but she needed a necklace of brass beads as part of the traditional wedding rites. Ogbe did not have the beads and as it were, Owonrin was the only one in the neighborhood who had them. It was when they went to cut the beads, as part of the marriage rites, that Owonrin sprung his trap, demanding that the beads be returned in exactly the condition that they had been given. Again, the community intervened and begged Owonrin. But he would not be pacified, recalling the proverbial word that tell us "the bowl that I lend you is exactly the same bowl you should return." And so, Ogbe's daughter was beheaded.

Now, while the two antagonists - Owonrin and Ogbe - got temporary gratification and a small material gain, they paid dearly for it and even worse, they did not actually create solutions to their real problems.

Pseudo conflicts occur when people misunderstand the variables involved in a particular situation. It is very common whenever there are many people with competing interests involved in a single endeavor. In these times, it becomes essential to seek the 3rd option, which may be hard to detect because you are so deeply attached to defending your concerns.

To get help discovering and excavating the 3rd option - and creating real solutions to real problems - ask Ifa. 510.485.2336 www.ObafemiO.com


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OLA16 Retreat

OLA16 Retreat | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it
Program Overview: Healing is a primary objective of Orisa Lifestyle. When trauma goes untreated, it becomes woven into your personality, leaving mental and emotional scars. These scars will...
Obafemi Origunwa's insight:

"In much the same way that divine kingship mirrors heavenly order, so does the Yorùbá family parallel the palace structure in many ways. That is, as the kingdom is descended from Oduduwa, each lineage descends from a single ancestor. In some instances, the founding ancestor is said to have migrated from Ifè with Oduduwa or another Ifè prince. The Fon of Dahomey call these founding ancestors towiyo. And in the same way that Olódùmarè delegated to each òrìsà his or her dominion, He also determined that each lineage would be a custodian of òrìsà mysteries. Traditionally then, within a kingdom, specific families were 'owners' of different aspects of òrìsà; one family would own Ifa, while another would own Sango and yet another would own ayan. In so doing, the respective lineages not only pass down 'trade secrets' from one generation to the next, but politically, they also counterbalance the Oba’s political and divine authority. Living the medicine means delivering on your family's ancestral promise."

Obafemi Origunwa, MA | www.ObafemiO.com

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Magnetism

Magnetism | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it
Obafemi Origunwa's insight:

The New Year reading never disappoints. Never. I am always astonished and a little bit intimidated by the opportunities and their accompanying challenges. This year is no different. And while there are many important messages, the key word is MAGNETISM. As you know, the magnetic field is completely invisible. Still, it creates a force that constantly attracts or repels other materials. In this regard, you'll note that there is an unmistakable interplay between the drum and the dancer, between the teacher and the student, between masculine and feminine. But these are still superficial aspects of the principle of magnetism. Let's concern ourselves with pathways of complete transformation through mastery of magnetism. Naturally, we must begin the journey by exploting the magnetic field that links your inner vision and outer manifestation. 

 

The most universal symbols of your internal and external experiences are the sun and the moon. Ifa says: 

 

Ofunsaa
Cast divination for the sun
And for the moon
They asked the day to offer bunches of straw 
The month should offer a calabash of Shea butter
They both heard about the offering and performed it
Since then we cannot look directly into the sun*

But we are able look into a full moon**

- Holy Odu OfunSaa

 

*(i.e., the sun's rays are like bunches of straw that poke the eyes)

**(i.e., the full moon is like a calabash of shea butter that is easy to view)

 

Here, the sun represents the solar principle. It is the light of your soul, which is your own portion of the Ultimate Reality. Scientists tell us that we only use a tiny fraction of the brain. The babalawo will go on to tell us that the brain is just a tiny fraction of the soul, which we call Ori. So, you can appreciate why Ifa likens the sun to bunches of straw, that we cannot look upon directly without damaging ourselves. The soul is vast, raw and even wild. You must approach it patiently, methodically, so as to not be overwhelmed by it. For this reason, you will benefit from looking to the moon for guidance and insights. The moon represents the lunar principle. It is that dimension of your experience that not only reflects the light of your soul, but also softens the light so that its effect soothes like pure shea butter. Here, Ifa outlines the pathway of transformation that results from deep - but gentle - introspection and self examination. To the exent that you master this form of inward contemplation, your outward expression of it will be equally profound, but gentle. 

 

Here, it's vital to underscore the importance of MAGNETISM as the active principle of transformation. By delving deeply, but gently into your soul, you master the art of genlte, but clear manifestation. This is essential to your ability to provide superior SERVICE. What is the purpose of refining the soul, if not to improve and enhance the quality of your contribution? Ifa says:

 

An elder accompanies you on a trip
You insist you will accept the voice of wealth 
Ogunda is not capable of venturing alone 
Ogbe is the elder 
It is so Ogunda will not suffer 
It is so Ogunda will not be frightened

that Ogbe followed Ogunda on the journey 
Observers sought to cause conflict 
By saying Ogundaborogbe (Ogunda covers Ogbe) 
He responded that this was the incorrect name 
Ogun is not capable of living in the house alone 
Ogunda is not capable of traveling all by himself
Ogunda did not overcome Ogbe 
It is all lies
It is so Ogunda is not afraid
That Ogbe accompanies

- Holy Odu Ogundaborogbe

 

Here we see Ogunda, the creative principle, which is a function of ori. Ori is synomymous with Eleda, the lord of creativity. To create is a distinctly human characteristic. We cannot refrain from creating, in fact. The entire reason for human existence is to create, through reporduction, artistry and building. Still, in the same way that the sun depends upon the moon to reflect its light, "Ogunda is not capable of venturing alone." So Ogbe accomplanies him on the journey. Make no mistake about it, the journey in question takes place on the pathway of transformation. It is an extension of the inward quest towards self exploration that enables outward expression (i.e., creativity). Ogbe is literally "the supporter." He supports Ogunda's introspection; "Ogun is not capable of living in the house alone." Ogbe also supports Ogunda's manifestation of his natural gifts and talents; "Ogunda is not capable of traveling all by himself." It is the principle of MAGNETISM that informs you of the need for support on the inward journey of self examination, as well as the outward expression of your creative genius. 

 

Live the Medicine of MAGNETISM!!!

 

Obafemi Origunwa, MA | www.ObafemiO.com | 510.485.2336

Available for 1:1 consultations, workshops and conferences. 

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Dark Moon, Subtle Influence

Dark Moon, Subtle Influence | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it

Generally, the moon represents the mind and the emotions. Unlike the orisa, who have elaborately defined rites and rules of engagement, the moon signifies your intuitive relationship to the divine. One popular song for ori declares that "in the same way that the stars do not depart from the moon, my ori, you must not depart from me." It signifies a natural relationship between you and your spiritual essence. It is not subject to the scrutiny and judgement of others, who would have you conform blindly to their standards. In this way, the moon has a very personal significance to each individual. Of course the sun is very important to us too as it our main source of light, but its light is too intense for you to survive direct exposure. It was because of this reason, in fact, that the moon and stars were chosen to be Orunmila's regents here on earth. And so it is that the moon, who has no light source of its own is the gentle reflection of the soul’s blinding energy. The moon embodies iwa pele, or gentle character. Therefore the Moon indicates our emotional and psychological patterns and tendencies, commonly known as emotional intelligence (EQ).  

 

EQ implies maturity, an ability to excercise patience and reflection, especially in tenuous situations. It is the ability to "read" an individual or an entire room, and adjust from one moment to the next, without losing focus and direction. Great salesmen, public speakers, teachers and performers are steeped in EQ. This is what allows them to engage auduences over extended periods of time without forcing or cajoling them into participation. This subtle influence is the domain of the moon, whose unseen power quiety pulls the waters of the planet from shore to shore. The Orisa Lifestyle Moon Rituals make use of this subtle influence to draw out the optimal energy necessary for you to enjoy breakthrough relationships with your inner spirit, your ancestors and your immediate future. 

 

Live the Medicine of subtle influence: http://obafemio.weebly.com/moon-rituals.html

 

Obafemi Origunwa | 510.485.2336

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Initiation & the Ancestral Mysteries

Initiation & the Ancestral Mysteries | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it

Morals & Dogma is a classic introduction to the Western Mysteries. According to its author, Albert Pike, "Anciently, everyone was initiated into the lesser Mysteries; but few attained the greater. The veil of secrecy was impenetrable, sealed by tremendous oaths & penalties. It was only by initiation that knowledge of the Hieroglyphics could be obtained. This knowledge was believed to have been communicated to the Priests by the celestial deities & the youth of all ranks were laudably ambitious of deciphering." (Morals & Dogma pg359)


Likewise, initiation is an indispensible aspect of orisa lifestyle. According to William Bascom, there were numerous designations and grades of Ifa initiation. The diviners are most commonly called babalawo or "father of the masteries." They may be distinguished form devotees of Ifa, who are called baba onifa or "fathers who have ifa." And then there is simply onifa, or "one who has Ifa," who are all devotees of Ifa, of every grade and rank. Bascom goes on to tell us that "some, but not all, of the worshippers of Ifa learn to "recite Ifa" (kifa) without becoming diviners. As a matter of individual choice, they may memorize Ifa verses by studying with the babalawo, after which they may be referred to as "those who recite the deity" (akisa, a-ki-orisa). (Ifa Divination pg 81)


A very similar pattern of engagement is equally true for the other orisa, like Osun, Sango or Obatala. There are always varying layers of initiation and corresponding invilvement in the spiritual workings of the society. At every level of specialization, a person is required to demonstrate ritual discipline, as well as capacity. Where does one develop this kind of capacity? It does not begin "all of a sudden." Quite the contrary, an individual is marked from childhood to participate in the orisa lifestyle in a highly specialized way, based upon various factors, including circumstances of birth, family lineage and divination.


Irregardless of the variables, however, there are some universal criteria for spiritual grounding and foundation. The most important criteria is knowledge of the Ancestral Promise. None of us has sent ourselves into the world. We have all been sent here by our ancestors to deliver on the promise that was made in the time before time, when even the world was young. Today, we have become seperated from the Ancestral Promise and our spiritual development has suffered as a result. More specifically, we have forgotten who we serve and why we exist. The first step in spiritual learning and development is to restore the consciousness of and connection to the Ancestral Promise. 


To find out more on how you can live the medicine of Ancestral Promise, visit: http://obafemio.weebly.com/ancestral-healing.html

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Essential Power of Reciting Oriki Awon Orisa

Essential Power of Reciting Oriki Awon Orisa | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it
Since the beginning of time, eniyan (the chosen) has been at work, struggling to bring about the good condition (Holy Odu IrosunIwori). In this struggle, the orisa have been our greatest allies and guides. They help us to overcome the malevolent forces of the ajogun and to discover the path of destiny. For this reason, we constantly invoke and appease them with oriki awon orisa.

It is safe to say that worship, ritual and prayer are incomplete without oriki awon orisa. Furthermore, the recitations are performed not only for the sake of personal benefit, but also enable others to achieve the good condition by eliminating all destructive forces, even to the point of removing the need for sacrifice!!! How can anyone overlook something so essential as reciting oriki awon orisa? Surely, the wise and sincere devotee makes appeasement her highest priority. Oriki Awon Orisa is an indispensible tool in fulfilling your spiritual duties.

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Energize the Ancestors

Energize the Ancestors | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it

Do you ever wonder how some families only seem to get stronger with every generation? Every election season, I am amazed by the legacies of America's presidential families. From the Kennedy's to the Bush's, it's clear that there is more to this than the birds and the bees! Some families are clearly channelling more and more energy. At the same time, the average American family is losing energy, evidenced by the more than 50% divorce rates among certain populations! So, how is it that some lineages with energy have been able to resist the decline?

 

When you think about the legacies of people like Conrad Nicholson Hilton, William Randolph Hearst, and John D. Rockefeller, it's very clear that they have not only resisted decline, but have actually increased their ability to drive financial performance. What is it - beyond the obvious possession of large sums of money - that enables these high-energy families to increase in energy and influence?

 

Adherents of Orisa Lifestyle need to give sincere thought to this question. Because, while we may not be in possession of billions of dollars, we do have a special relationship to energy, which we call ase. Ase is the life force. It animates everything in the universe, both animate and inanimate. More importantly, the mysteries of ase is passed down, from generation to generation, in a familily line. Think about it, money will come and go. But what is your lineage without command of its ase? So what is family ase (energy)?

 

Interesting: There are reasons to talk about the family, its activities.  Involvement: Members are active; the family creates activities that directly effect the members' lifestyles. 

 

Innovative: The family is not stagnant. The leaders actually... LEAD! They like to be innovative. The familiy is always doing something creative to communicate or to solve family problems.

 

Purposeful: Quite simply, your family is on a mission! You're aware of the Ancestral Promise and you're actively recognizing and rewarding people who deliver on that promise. 

 

The BEST way to energize the family ase is to energize the Promise. Now, quite honestly, if your people are like most, the elders are probably mature and boring!!! This makes it hard to imagine new ways to energize the extended family. So the challenge for most of us is to look beyond the family, as it is, and seek out new ways to make the Promise known, to make it interesting, and accessible to more and more family members.

 

Some suggestions:

 

Create or energize an online presence. Set up a family group on Facebook or even build a smart phone app and invite family members to upload pictures and videos for things your family does well. It could be dance competitions, flower gardens or name that family member.

 

Go retail. Sounds kinda sketchy, I know. But maybe your family has a graphic artist in Texas, a marketer in Chicago and an accountant in Oakland. With unemployment so high, why not design some choice family swag and get everyone to literally buy into promoting the family name. (I have personally done this and it is very well-received! Once, we all went to a Pow Wow in our Origunwa hoodies and someone asked where the Origunwa tribe is from!)

 

Bring the family to the members. Maybe you have the bandwidth to actually go or send someone to various family outposts, just to visit, talk and take pictures. You will be amazed at how much energy that generates! "Cousin Josephine visited us from Houston!" (I'm glad she gone now, but it was really NICE to see her! LOL!!!)

 

Support the higher purpose. Just telling the family story is powerful! A simple timeline with pictures and names can do a lot when you consider the different phases of life your family members are in right now. For the young to see their namesakes at their age it creates a vision of the past. For the elders who see the names of people they once knew as children with children of their own gives a sense of accomplishment and greater responsibility.  

 

The most important option, however, is to identify something with eternal energy, a timeless link to power and purpose, and understand how every member of the family draws from and contributes to that power, the Ancestral Promise!!! Live the Medicine of Ancestral Promise. Ask Ifa. 510.485.2336 | www.ObafemiO.weebly.com 

 

Available for 1:1 consultations, retreats and workshops. 

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Pleasure & Pain: The Deviant Path

Pleasure & Pain: The Deviant Path | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it

Oyeku looked at Ose, they felt peaceful 

But they decided to look for displeasure on their own

Cast divination for Oluponju (afflicted person)

Who woke up early in the morning

Oluponju went sneakily into the bush in search of wood

She was asked to offer 480 cowries and osuka

(a pad used in supporting a load on top of the head)

So her neck would not be in pain

Oluponju refused to perform the offering 

She went into the bush and finished gathering wood

But Oluponju could not carry it away

As she was trying hard to leave with the wood

A branch suddenly dragged the wood from her head 

Oluponju's neck twisted

- Holy Odu OyekuOse  

 

To what extent are you a "glutton for punishment"? Think it over a few times. How often do you knowingly do what you ought not do, either because it feels good, it's easy or just to prove that you can? Many times, you can even anticipate, with great accuracy, the negative consequences of your behavior, yet you will do it anyway. At other times, however, you might unconsciously turn your world upside down, just when everything is most orderly and peaceful. Perhaps, your loved ones have remarked that you seem to be deliberately "looking for trouble". The burning question is "Why?" What is it that drives you - and millions of others - to look for trouble?  

 

Sabina Spielrein was a younglady of means. Born of Jewish ancestry into Russian high society, hers appeared to be a life of great comfort. Under the surface, however, Sabina was given to intense emotionalism and self destructive behavior. Consequently, she had travelled to Switzerland on a journey to ease her troubled mind. But on August 17, 1904, she was abruptly dropped off at the Burgholzli psychological clinic in Zurich by her uncle and a medical police officer, after she had made an unbearable scene at a luxury hotel. Coincidentaly, perhaps, Carl Jung had just recently started his professional career under Dr. Eugen Bleuler at the Burgholzli Clinic. 

 

Early on, Sabina revealed a key element of her emotional affliction: Her father had fallen into the habit of insulting and terrorising the family. He would frequently burst into wild, emotional tyrades and threaten to commit suicide. In his notes, Jung noted that Sabina is "always afraid that he will kill himself". More importantly, when she was younger, Sabina's father frequently spanked her "on her bare buttocks" in a "special room" away from the family. Sabina eventually confessed to Jung that she felt sexual excitement when her father spanked her this way. Gradually, this experience distorted Sabina's perception and contributed to her associating both physical and emotional pain with love. 

 

In an instance like Sabina's, a person cannot separate one from the other; so, when they find pleasure, they will not be fully satisfied until they also experience some kind of pain as well. And in those situations where pain is not offered up, a person in this frame of mind will sometimes go to great lengths to create painful experiences, either by picking a fight with their partner, missing an important date, anything to "push people's buttons" and create some kind of conflict. 

 

In the verse above, Ifa says that "Oyeku looked at Ose, they felt peaceful. But they decided to look for displeasure on their own". Here, Oluponju, the afflicted person was advised to sacrifice in order to avert her suffering. For whatever reason, however, she refused to sacrifice an osuka, which is specifically designed to prevent pain when carrying heavy objects, and then went out to lift heavy objects... For the mere expert, whose job is to correctly advise the afflicted person on what to do, this is where the work ends. But for the advisor, this is actually where the real work begins. In other words, it is at the point of deviance that you have the greatest opportunity to learn about yourself, who you are and what you're REALLY made of.

 

That is, the ego causes you to project an image of yourself out into the world, in the hopes that people will see you the way you WANT to be seen. But in those instances when you deviate from your projected ego identity, the veil of pretense is lifted and you have a unique opportunity to make startling discoveries about yourself, your real personality and the impact your behavior really has on your loved ones. With proper guidance and support, deviant behavior can be a signal of meaningful change on the pathway of character development. 

Live the medicine of meaningful change. Ask Ifa today! 510.485.2336 | www.ObafemiO.com

Available for 1:1 consultations, workshops and retreats. http://obafemio.weebly.com/workshopsceremonies.html ;

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Systems Thinking & Trusted Advisors

Systems Thinking & Trusted Advisors | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it

I've been woodshedding lately. If you don't know, woodshedding is what jazz musicians called it when they would retreat to some secluded place in order to hear the music from within themselves, as oppossed to responding to what they heard from other musicians. In my own seclusion, I have been hearing the sounds of dischord. More exactly, it seems that more and more people are displeased with their priests, be they babalawo or olorisa, American or Nigerian. At first glance, it would be easy to simply chalk it up to incompetence on the part of the priests. But Ifa teaches us; 

 

K'a má fi kánjú j'aiyé.
K'a má fi wàrà-wàrà n'okùn orò.
Ohun à bâ if s'àgbà,
K'a má if se'binu.
Bi a bá de'bi t'o tútù,
K'a simi-simi,
K'a wò'wajú ojo lo titi;
K'a tun bò wá r'èhìn oràn wo;
Nitori àti sùn ara eni ni.

 

Let us not engage the world hurriedly.
Let us not grasp at the rope of wealth impatiently.
That which should be treated with mature judgment,
Let us not deal with in a state of anger.
When we arrive at a cool place,
Let us rest fully;
Let us give continuous attention to the future;
and let us give deep consideration to the consequences of things.
And this because of our (eventual) passing.

 

So, when I apply mature judgement to the situation at hand, I do see instances of incompetence, insensitivity or narrowmindedness on the part of some priests. We are all learning and developing. More importantly, however, you have to remember that the general competence level of the priesthood is outside of your circle of influence. There is very little you can do about that. But there is a great deal that you can do about the ways in which you approach the priest for services and support. Furthermore, the more clearly you define your needs, the easier it will be for you to optimze your relationship with the olorisa or babalawo. So, first things first: You must properly assess and define your real need.

 

If you're like most people I see in my own practice, you have been conditioned to think in fragmented ways. As such, you see your life in compartments; your house, your family, your job, your religion, your entertainment, your car and your health are all seperate compartments. So, when something goes wrong, you naturally seek the assistence of the appropriate specialist, like a lawyer, a doctor, a therapist, a trainer, and so on. In addition, you are probably interacting with several specialists at once; and each of them is bombarding you with a barrage of highly specialized knowledge and information. To complicate matters even further, these specialists have nothing to do with one another. And, as they saying goes, when the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing, calamity lurks around every corner. Consequently, any progress you enjoy will likely be overshadowed by the chaotic method by which you achieved it.

 

I hope that, by now, you're asking, "So what's the solution?" The solution is to free yourself from compartmentalized, detailed thinking by expanding your capacity for patterned, systems thinking. Systems thinking helps you to see and understand the relationships between things. This is what Carl Jung calls synchronicity. It is the logic behind divination. Synchronicity teaches you to move away from cause and effect thinking so that you can explore the ways in which certain things "like to occur together." The value of systems thinking is that it helps you to gather the various streams of knowledge and information -the details-  and integrate them into a single, harmonious system. This requires more than mere expertise, more than the accumulation of knowledge.

 

This runs counter to the common misperception that "knowledge is power." Knowledge is NOT power!!! Knowledge is potential. Action is power. Action is the dynamic application of knowledge. The limitation of knowledge is that, by itself, it causes you to draw conclusions. Conclusions close you off from the full spectrum of possibilities. Conclusions, therefore, contradict exploration, creativity and ideation. This is why investment bankers, policemen and even lawyers make poor advisors. Their training and thinking make them obsessed with details. Another limitation of knowledge is that it is quickly becoming reduced a commodity, like rice, gravel or manual labor (Not there is anything inherently inferior about commodities. We need them to run civilizations). But in the same way that industrialization has greatly reduced the value of labor, for example, so has internet and cell phone technology reduced the value of mere knowledge and expertise. 

 

So, it comes as no surprise to me that, in spite of the fact that more people are finding priests with highly specialized ritual knowledge, more of you are also coming away from the experiences dissatisfied. The problem is not that the priests lack knowledge. The problem is that, instead of a knowledge broker, you actually need a trusted advisor; who will help you to do three things:

 

1. Put your issues into proper perspective: This requires that the advisor can draw pertinent analogies from many disciplines and vantage points.

 

2. Help you streamline your decision-making process: This requires that the advisor be gifted at asking penetrating questions that will help you move beyond WHAT you see, so you can discover HOW you see. 

 

3. Co-create real solutions to real problems: This requires that the advisor will not rely exclusively upon "canned solutions" that come out of the textbook. Instead, he will work with you, hand-in-hand, to integrate all aspects of your life and bring more of your consciousness into action.  

 

This is not what you get from an occasional reading. This only results from cultivating of an on-going relationship with a trusted advisor. Live the medicine of systems thinking and integrate your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual genius into a single expression of your personal greatness. Ask Ifa how. 510.485.2336 | www.ObafemiO.com 

 

Available for 1:1 consultations, workshops and retreats. 

 

Obafemi Origunwa. MA
1409 35th Avenue
Oakland. Ca 94601
510.485.2336
www.ObafemiO.com

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Authentic Happiness

Authentic Happiness | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it
The snail has two horns on its head
But cannot use them to ram
If the snail uses them to ram a tree
We will see mucus on the tree
If a snail uses them to strike a bush
We will know
Therefore, the snail uses its whole body to soften things (i.e., make peace)
A thief cannot enter a snail's house to steal goods
Unless the thief decides to remove the entire snail
- Holy Odu IreteOgbe

Be yourself. Authentic happiness is a result of vision, discipline and courage. Vision - especially inner vision - permits you to see yourself and the world you live in with clarity and truth. Discipline enables you to do all those little things that make a big impact on your vision. Courage empowers you to face yourself - your fears, your weaknesses, your foolishness - and overcome them. This is an infallible formula for authentic happiness, today, tomorrow and forever. Love the medicine of authentic happiness. Ask Ifa. 510.485.2336 - www.ObafemiO.com
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Speak Truth to Power!

Speak Truth to Power! | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it

Whoever eats and does not give food to a priest
Obarafun will visit her house
Bold Obarafun eats pounded yam with you unashamedly
Obarafun was cast for Orunmila
On the day that Olofin's child had a headache
All the Irunmole said he would not die
Despite all the Irunmole's effort, the child passed away
Olofin was furious
He cut off the child's head
And cooked with it
Olofin sent for all Irunmole
To come and eat with him
Orunmila took his Iponri to ask Ifa
He was told to arrive late to the party and to abstain from food
All the Irunmole arrived and ate
Only Orunmila did not eat
Olofin remarked that among all the Irunmole
Orunmila is the only Orisa worthy of being worshipped
He said all the rest of the Irunmole were worthless
And told them to leave
- ObaraOfun

Speak truth to power! Many of my clients are more influencial, more wealthy and many times, more powerful than I am. Under these circumstances, it can be challenging to point out their weaknesses, flaws and contradictions. After all, powerful people are usually the ones pointing out what OTHERS must to in order to improve. And so vanity will prevent one from embracing constructive criticism.

So it was in the verse above. The irunmole were reluctant to tell Olofin the truth about his child's condition. Instead, they sugar-coated the message and told him what they thought he wanted to hear. Unfortunately, their reluctance to sacrifice their fear cost Olofin much more than his vanity.

And herein lies the lesson for the power brokers and their supporters. Excellence is attained by establishing a delicate balance of key elements, including focus, determination and responsiveness. Likewise, it is sustained and enhanced by one's devotion to continuous improvement. No matter how experienced and seasoned you are, the moment you stop learning failure will soon follow: Not mistakes. Failure.

As a service provider, an integral part of my mission is to constantly discover ways to SEE my client; to understand her psychology, her appraoch to life, her preferred mode of communication, what she aspires to and what she is afraid of. Because circumstances constantly change and shift, this creates an eternal learning curve.

The babalawo is notoriously bold and cool at the same time. We must maintain deep feeling of relaxation but not to the extent that we refuse to respond to the despest needs of our clients. When they are dancing with peril, we are obliged to reveal the dangers, even when the client will be hurt or even offended, remaining ever-focused on our mission to heal. For people who are truly committed to continuous improvement, personally, professionally and spiritually, this is the greatest asset available because it assures a journey characterized by continuous improvement.

For more information on how you can live the medicine of continuous improvement, ask Ifa. 510.485.2336

Available for 1:1 consultation, workshops and retreats

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Above the Law

Above the Law | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it

Gbenagbere
The child of Olofin
Who was asked to offer an axe and 660 cowries
To obtain immunity from his problems
Gbenagbere heard about the offering and performed it
Gbenagbere began to act without consequences
- Holy Odu IkaOturupon

A woman once asked me, "What if you could act with total impunity? What would you do?" Impunity, if you do not know, means that you're beyond punishment, above the law. I liked the idea, quite honestly. America - in spite of its tagline as "the land of the free" - has become an extremely controlled and increasingly policed place to live.

In my own life, my first taste of police brutality came at the tender age of 11. I was a scrawny fellow, riding my bike in the summer when an Altadena sherrif - the same unit that would end up beating Rodney King to a pulp - pulled me over and forced me to put my hands on the burning hot, black hood of the car while he "Checked me out." I have been attacked numerous times by the police since then. So, the idea of finally being free to act with impunity struck a deep chord within me.

The spirit of freedom cannot be surpressed. Even when the body is totally controlled by external forces the mind will create an alternative reality, made up of pure imagination, if need be. And so, the prospect of being free to do whatever I wanted and escape all consequences made me wonder, "What WOULD I do?"

When you're young and free from any real responsibility, the range of possibilities is almost endless. You could go far away and stay as long as you like. Chances are, nobody depends upon you for monetary, moral or physical support. But as a father of many and a husband, if I left, some people would be lost without me. I could take them with me, but that might be more trouble than it's worth, given the age ranges and present activities of my children. The little ones don't need much more than the family, but the older ones have social networks that are very important to them. Clearly, acting with impunity becomes increasingly challenging when you become a man or woman of consequence.

Still, the truth is that each of us chose our destinies alone and we will return to those destinies alone as well. What Jung calls the journey towards individuation is one that is made meaningful by the relationships we build, but each decision is actually solitary. More importantly, each decision reinforces our personal truth and defines our individual place in the cirle of life. So, this "I-We" polarity cannot be escaped. One always acts upon the other. The I and the We continuously influence each other.

Acting with impunity then, can only benefit you to the extent that your actions energizes BOTH: individual and collective identities. And here is the real importance of strategic planning. The wise Africans say "I am because we are." This serves as a reminder of the true value of your natural gifts and talents. You are undoubtedly talented in many areas of life, but the greatest, most profitable talents are those that satisfy some deeply seeded need of those you serve. Stated differently, where your greatest talents meet the greatest needs of the most important people, therein lies your highest calling to serve. Ultimately, this is the area in life where you are authorized by destiny itself to act with utter and total impunity because you are in absolute compliance with the will of Olodumare.

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The Path & the Journey of Superiority

The Path & the Journey of Superiority | Ifa Divination | Scoop.it
We divine Ifa in our hand
We press Ifa on the ground
Elesa a gbo gi (priest's name)
Cast divination for Ogbe
Coming from heaven to earth
They said Ogbe would enter the world
Ogbe was asked to perform an offering
Ogbe inquired of the items to offer
Ogbe should secure a rat to blaze paths in the bush
A fish to chart a way through the ocean
A rooster to clear passage on land
They said Ogbe would reach the world
Ogbe performed the offering
As Ogbe ventured
He met the bush first
Ogbe was perplexed
Esu whispered in Ogbe's ear:
Remember, you have a rat to blaze a path through the bush
Ogbe put down the rat
The rat blazed a path through the bush
Esu told Ogbe to follow
When he exited the bush
Ogbe met water
Ogbe was perplexed
Esu whispered in Ogbe's ear:
Remember, you have a fish that charts a way through the ocean
Ogbe dropped the fish in the water
The fish began to swim
Esu told Ogbe to follow
When he swam out of the water
Ogbe met a town
But did not know which direction to face
Esu whispered in Ogbe's ear:
Remember the rooster that clears a passage on land
Esu told Ogbe to follow the rooster
Ogbe arrived at the center of the city
He was happy and started to dance and rejoice
We divine Ifa in our hand
We press Ifa on the ground
Elesa a gbo gi (priest's name)
Is the one who cast divination for Ogbe
On the day he/she was coming from heaven to earth
The rat uses its Ori to blaze paths in the bush
The fish uses its Ori to chart ways through the ocean
The rooster uses its Ori to clear passages on land
Therefore, Ogbe should become popular
Ogbe's star should not fall like tree leaves
Ogbe should light a path through difficulty
- Holy Odu EjiOgbe

According to the philosophy of orisa lifestyle, life is a journey. Ajo laiye, the journey of life, is marked by many gateways of initiation. Each gateway requires a seperation from the past in favor of what is and what will be. And, as mysterious as it might seem, the fundamental journey, as well as the gateways of initiation are as natural as life itself. From birth to adolecence, adulthood and beyond, we all experience very natural rites of passage along the path of life.

Still, the path does lead us through some perilous territories, during which very important decisions must be made if we hope to not only survive the journey, but to actually thrive. In the verse above, Ifa uses the metaphors of forest, ocean and land to exemplify the range of adaptability and preparedness necessary for successful navigation.

When I was younger, single and childless, I managed to travel the world on a shoestring budget. I had become well-acquainted with France, Costa Rica, Zanzibar and many other places before I reached 30 years of age. At the same time, I became fluent in 2 languages, attended three world reknown universities and earned 2 degrees. And while all of those experiences taught me great lessons about myself and the world we live in, they were the accomplishments of a single, ambitious individual. To borrow the metaphor given in EjiOgbe, the successes of my young adulthood would represent the forest.

When I acheived full adutlhood and started my family and career, I was able to make good use of the momentum gained from my young adulthood, but I was hardly able to transfer everything directly from that bank of experience into the situaltions and demands of full adulthood. In other words, what it takes to be a great student, traveler and artist has little or nothing to do with what it takes to be a phenomenal husband, father and professional. Like travelling in the forest, then on land, they are extrememly different endeavors.

And here is the difficulty of success. When you have failed, you are forced to adjust, to seek new methodologies and make new alliances. But whwn you have been successful, it is tempting to try to apply the same practices that once worked so well to new circumstances. Unfortunately, it seldom proves efficacious. You have to try all new practices but at the same time maintain a clear sense of personal truth and identity.

In the verse of EjiOgbe, cited above, it was Esu who repeatedly reminded Ogbe of the sacrificial items he was carrying and when to make use of them at different phases of the journey. And this is the secret of long term success: every one of us, without exception, is where we are in life because somebody believed in us and gave us the proper guidance we needed to meet the ever-changing lanscape of life's journey. Sometimes, in spite of our knowledge, talent and experience, we just need someone to tell us what to do and when to do it! Our ability to recognize those moments and take good advise will make the difference between being flashy and being unforgettable, between being competent and being excellent, between being competitive and being superior.

To learn more about how to establish a relationship with a trusted advisor that will help you to optimize your natural gifts and talents, ask Ifa. 510.485.2336 www.ObafemiO.com

Available for 1:1 consultation, workshops, retreats and seminars.
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