Wednesday, January 10, 2018

~ The Third Principal Of Iwa Pele ~

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

Agbo ato,

The third principle of iwa pele as it is taught in traditional Ifa spiritual discipline is speaking with integrity. The idea of speaking with integrity is the idea of speaking your truth while objectively stating the facts of the matter. This principle is incarnated in the Holy Odu Osa Tura. This Odu literally says state the facts tell your truth; sotito sodido, the only truth is the word of Olodumare. This is a fundamental expression of the idea that there is no absolute truth in the disagreements among humans. There is personal perspective related to the interpretation of facts and there is the possibility of consensus and agreement over the consequence of given events. There is no discussion of right and wrong in the Odu Osa Tura.  The Odu Osa Tura is used in Ogboni to swear oaths, it is invoked when awo come together to settle disputes and it is used during initiation when the initiate is asked to honor the idea of being honest with their elders.
Being honest is not the same thing as tell everyone your business all the time. It is also not blanket permission to constantly express an opinion. In conjunction with the admonition to state the facts and speak your truth there is a taboo against expressing an opinion about another person’s personal concerns unless you are asked your opinion. That means when a self-styled elder comes to you at a bembe and says you have evil ancestors and need a cleaning they are in violation of taboo. That means when a self-styled elder comes to you at a bembe and says you are being hexed by an evil woman and need warriors they are in violation of taboo. That means when a self-styled elder comes to you during bembe and says you will die if you don’t get initiated they are in violation of taboo. 

Personally I would not trust information from someone who does not understand Ifa Orisa protocol.
Sometimes Spirit will speak at a bembe and in traditional Ifa possession by Spirit usually involves Spirit answering specific questions. The protocol is that when Spirit speaks to someone the message is actually directed to that person’s elder who can then clarify the message through divination at the request of the person who receives the message. This idea carries over throughout traditional Yoruba culture. If you and I have a difference of opinion that is problematic I will ask your elder to arbitrate the settlement of our disagreement.
When a self-style elder says my Orisa says you need to do this and that, at best the elder is speaking to Spirit and that is not the same thing as being in possession. If an elder has a message for you they can make the statement; I have a message for you and then ask the question; do you want to hear it? That is an acceptable form of receiving permission to speak. Simply being your elder does not give the elder automatic permission to address personal matters, it does not give the elder the right to tell you what to do and it does not give the elder the right to pass judgment.
If you agree to assist an elder at a ritual you are giving your implied permission for the elder to tell you what kind of assistance they need and how to best provide that assistance.
The definition of truth and the taboos associated with the truth are clear indication that Ifa is not a dictatorship. It is not based on the right to control others and while in the scheme of things elders can assist us in communication with Spirit, the reality of human experience is that Spirit can speak to anyone, anytime regardless of whether or not they are initiated.   In English we call the ability of Spirit to speak to anyone, anytime Grace. In Yoruba the word for grace is rere from the elision ire ire meaning the eternal source of goodness. Initiation does not give us permission to speak with God. 

The idea that initiation or ordination gives us the right to speak with God is a Catholic idea it is not an Ifa idea. The right to speak with God is a birth right. What initiation does is give us access to tools that can potentially improve that communication, it does sanction that communication. The idea that an elder speaks for God is total nonsense. When the Immortals speak through an elder in an altered state it is the higher self of the elder in communication with external sources of information. These external sources are fragments of Olorun but they never represent Olorun in its entirety. To know God or Olorun is to be God and the idea that we can be God is called ori buruku in Yoruba meaning consciousness that brings death. In English it is called arrogance. The path of Ifa is the path of humility in Yoruba that would be ire lona ori suuru.
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