Saturday, January 6, 2018

~ Ifa Prayer Circle ~

The following © information is courtesy of Awo Falokun and is shared with  his permission.

Agbo ato,

Lets talk about the Ifa prayer cycle. In traditional Ifa everyone is given an odu that shapes their ori at birth. This odu changes as a consequence of initiation so either your birth odu or your ita is what I call your foundational odu, it shapes everything we do and see. All divination is done as commentary on the odu that incarnates your ori. Ifa prayer cycle is designed to support the way our ori looks at the world and to inform the way we relate to others. It is not magic to give you what ever you want it is a discipline used to show you what you need.

Whether or not you choose to act on that guidance is was and always will be a question of free will. In every moment we can either move towards destiny or run away from it. The first cycle is the daily prayer. The purpose of the daily prayer is to give us an odu that gives us guidance for the day. Spiritual discipline is about the elimination of fear. It is a process that gives us the ability to be anywhere with anyone anytime doing anything and maintain our center, meaning maintaining the alignment between head and the heart. It is this alignment that connects us with iponri or our higher self and the iponri is the altar through which we communicate with the immortals. In simple terms Ifa spiritual discipline gives us full access to our potential as spiritual beings engaging in a human experience.

The daily odu identifies the lesson for the day meaning the fear we need to confront and move through. It identifies the focus for daily critical self evaluation. The four day odu gives guidance to the entire biological family, the relationship between fathers, mothers grandparents and children. Typically on the four day cycle someone will be designated as the family medium and will access information directly from the Immortals. The traditional Yoruba week is four days mimicking the traditional cycle of life death transformation and rebirth coded into odu ifa. The sixteen day cycle involves the coming together of spiritual egbe meaning the various religious groups that support a traditional Yoruba community. This would include egbe related to Ela, Orisa and Egun. The ninty one day cycle involves the entire community and is a public ritual designed to bring in the ire or good fortune for the next season. The cycle is rooted in marking the equinox and the solstice.

The determination of these dates is based on the use of land marks in relationship to the movement of the sun and the moon and other planets. This is the basis of Ifa astrology called gede from the elision ge dide meaning female power stands up. This is a reference to the unformed light of Ala or consciousness that is released through the earth portals called igbodu from the elision igbo odu meaning womb of the forrest. At the this community ritual Ifa accessing the primal substance of the world to participate in the co creation of the Universe. The last cycle is the yearly cycle on the Yoruba new year which is the 91 day cycle in June. These cycles mean that every person who embraces Ifa spiritual discipline can access their birth odu, their family odu, their egbe odu, their community odu and their global odu any time any day depending on what type of actions they are engaged in. This means the wisdom of the ancestors is easily accessible to guide all that we do. The question was asked why is there more than one reading for the year. That is a complicated question and I will answer it in my next blog

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