Yemaya
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Proverbs

Ifa says:
If one says that a matter now lies in the hands of the Ifá priest the Ifá priest says it lies in the hands of Ifá

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Orunmila

Orunmila is an Irunmola and deity of destiny and prophecy. He is recognized as “ibi keji Olodumare” (second only to Olodumare (God)) and “eleri ipin” (witness to creation).

Orunmila is also referred to as Ifá (“ee-FAH”), the embodiment of knowledge and wisdom and the highest form of divination practice among the Yoruba people. In present-day Cuba, Orunmila is known as Orula, Orunla and Orumila.

Orunmila is not Ifa, but he is the one who leads the priesthood of Ifa and it was Orunmila who carried Ifa (the wisdom of Olodumare) to Earth. Priests of Ifa are called babalawo (the father of secrets)

Olodumare sent Orunmila to Earth with Oduduwa to complete the creation and organization of the world, to make it habitable for humans.

A woman will not be allowed to divine using the tools of IFA. Throughout Cuba and some of the other New world countries, Orula can be received by individuals regardless of gender. For men, the procedure is called to receive “Mano de Orula” and for women, it is called to receive “Kofa de Orula”. The same procedure exist in Yoruba land, with esentaye (birthing rites), Isefa (adolesants rites) and Itefa coming of age. Worshippers of the traditional religious philosophy of the Yoruba people all receive one hand of Ifa (called Isefa) regardless of which Orisa they may worship or be an Orisa Priest, it is that same Isefa that will direct all followers to the right path and their individual destines in life.

The title Iyanifa is in suspect since it is not used by either the Cuban or most of the West African practitioners of IFA.

Among West Africans, Orunmila is recognized as a primordial Irunmole that was present both at the beginning of Creation and then again amongst them as a prophet that taught an advanced form of spiritual knowledge and ethics, during visits to earth in physical form or through his disciples.

Yoruba Fokelore

The Warriors

The Guerreros (warriors) are a set of orishas that an initiate receives usually after having received their Elekes and it is usually an indication that the person is on their way to Kariocha. The warriors consist of Elegba, Ogún, Ochosi and Osun. The warriors are received in a person’s life in order to protect them, strengthen their spiritual framework, teach them the importance of hard work and to open their spiritual road.

This is strictly a Lukumí initiation in that it evolved out of the environment that the Lukumí people were subjected to when they were brought to the new world as slaves. Originally, in the motherland, these orishas were worshipped and propitiated in communal outdoor shrines that belonged to the entire village or tribe. The exception would have been Elegba, which was received as an Eshu (a stone) by individuals when they were crowned, along with their crowning orisha. Elegba’s shrine was a large stone or collection of stones, Ogún’s shrine contained his iron implements, Ochosi’s included animal horns and the like, and Osun was a special staff that was much taller than today’s version and it was kept outside the home, staked into the ground – yet its function is still preserved in the modern version. All of the modern warriors are usually kept behind the front door, near the front door or facing the front door – indicating their importance in opening a person’s spiritual path, protecting the home from negativity and intruders, and still hinting at their closeness to the outdoors.

The modern Lukumí version evolved because the tribes of Lukumí people were split up and intermixed with other tribes and there was no possible was of having an outdoor public shrine at which offerings could be given without making it known to the slave masters. Thus each individual was to receive their own Elegba – which consisted of an otán (stone) and usually a cement head packed with magically charged substances that is essentially used like Elegba’s tools with which he can affect the physical and spiritual worlds. Here is a typical depiction of an Elegba to the right. But Elegbas vary from road to road, and each is unique and personal to the initiate in its own way. Usually Elegba that is received with the warriors is not a complete Elegba in that he does not have diloggún shells – usually these are added and empowered at the Kariocha. (But I have heard of ilés where they give diloggún with the warriors version of Elegba, but the diloggún are not yet fully empowered to speak.)

Ogún that is received in the warriors set is actually a smaller, less complete version of Ogún. This does not mean that Ogún is less effective, merely that he still has room to grow. He is received in an iron cauldron, with his otán, his tools that quite literally look like the tools that a blacksmith or a warrior would use and other iron implements. He does not usually come with diloggún either – these are usually received either in a separate ceremony, or at the time of Cuchillo. Inside of Ogún’s cauldron living with him, is Ochosi (his best friend or brother depending on which version of the legend you have heard.) Ochosi is also received in a very scaled down form, with the warriors. He is merely a metal crossbow that is empowered and lives within Ogún’s pot. Ochosi is received in complete form, in a separate ceremony. Often when Ogún is made full – by giving him diloggún and feeding him four legs, Ochosi is given full at the same time. Often this occurs at Cuchillo if it has not yet been done for an individual to that point.

Osun is a small staff that is packed with magical substances that acts as a person’s personal guard or watchdog. Many people say that he is your spiritual head, or the foundation for your higher self or Orí. He is lidded and sealed metal cup with a stem and is about 9 inches tall. on top of the lid is a metal rooster – the symbol for Osun. Hanging from the lip of the cup’s lid, are four jingle bells hanging from little chains. Osun is supposed to be placed in a high place in the house – preferably above the initiate’s head with the rooster facing the front door, so that he can watch for danger. He is supposed to remain upright at all times, and if he ever falls over, it is an indication that something very bad has either been thrown at the initiate or is on it’s way to harm the initiate. Osun should be immediately turned upright and the primary godparent should be notified of what happened. This is the scaled down modern version of the original that was found in Africa. There are human-sized Osuns but they are received for different purposes and in a separate initiation.

The warriors, when received into a home for the first time, or when the initiate moves into a new home, have to go through a special ebbó called the ebbó de entrada (the offering of entry.) This involves eyebale to Elegba, Ogún, Ochosi and Osun at the door to the house (Shilelekun.) This not only empowers and strengthens the door to the house for protection, but it also strengthens the presence of the warriors in that home and in effect lets them know that it is their new home and they are bound to protect it from any enemies or negativity. The initiate is then to tend to his new orishas in his home by cleaning them from time to time, coating them lightly with epó (palm oil), and a bit of honey, offering them rum, and occasionally cigar or a candle. Some ilés offer candies to Elegba, or fruits and toys. In my ilé we do not give candy to Elegba until he has completed something for us, as a reward.

Now that the initiate has received Elegba, the orisha can guide them spiritually, open their psychic senses and their doors to evolution and in general assist them through life. Many ilés call the initiate an Aborisha (follower of the Orishas) after having received the warriors.

Ifa Related

Dictamentos Para Los Siguentes de Ifa/Ocha

Dictámenes para nuestros asociados practicantes de la Regla de Ocha y el Culto a IFA cubano.

1- No permitir que nadie les cambie lo que con tanto sacrifico en ceremoniales se les realizan en Cuba o por sus descendientes en cualquier latitud del mundo.

2- Comprobar si las personas que comparten con Uds. en realidad están iniciada bajo esta línea de religión cubana de origen africano, o si están iniciadas de alguna otra forma que no sea la que nos fuera legada por nuestros ancestros.


3- No hacer iniciaciones ya sean de IFA o de Ocha en menos de 7 días rituales, ni compartir con personas que se les inicie de esa forma.

4- Cuando el Oba (Oriate) diga en ita de Ocha, por mediación del odu que lo expresa, Absuelto por falta de pruebas, hay que desmontar el trono, y la persona que se está iniciando deberá permanecer en la casa los 7 días reglamentarios que exigen este tipo de ceremonia.

5- Se ruega no entrar en contradicciones ni estimular los cuestionamientos ni las inconformidades con personas que deseen seguir otras líneas de ceremoniales.

6- No permitir en nuestras casas en los días de rituales, opiniones ni personas que no comulguen con nuestra fe heredada de nuestros antepasados.

7- Respetar todos los ceremoniales que hemos venido realizando por enseñanza de nuestros mayores.

8- Deberán guiarse única y exclusivamente por sus mayores y a la falta de ellos por aquellas personas que uds. designen a tal fin.

9- Es importante que todos nuestros asociados tanto nacionales como extranjeros conozcan que ninguna de las gestiones, como son recibir información, cartas para transportación de animales, cartas para solicitar cambio de visa en inmigración, constancia de asociado para distintos trámites que se soliciten ante los representantes de la institución en cualquiera de los Ilé ocha de las distintas provincias incluida Ciudad de La Habana (sede nacional), no tienen que ser remuneradas, se insiste en que ningún miembro, ni ejecutivo de la asociación está autorizado para pedir dinero a ningún asociado para estos fines y los asociados nacionales deben estar actualizados en su pago como miembros y al igual que los residentes en el exterior, los que deben ser inscritos y actualizados en la sede nacional única entidad autorizada para llevar a cabo estas funciones.

10- Cualquier duda pueden escribir o acudir a nuestro centro para consultar a cualquiera de los 7 Consejos de Sacerdotes Mayores de la República de Cuba con los que cuenta nuestra institución.

11- Aconsejamos a todos los queridos hermanos, que los ceremoniales y consultas que les vayan a realizar deberán ser directamente con las personas que uds hayan escogido y que sea de frente, personalmente, es decir se deben evitar la intervención de computadoras con adivinaciones falsas y analizar bien a quien escogemos como futuros padrinos, porque de eso depende en gran medida el buen desenvolvimiento de nuestras vidas, ya que la adquisición de estos padrinos debe ser para toda la vida, una mala elección traería consigo la decepción y la confusión, por lo que no nos apresuremos al hacer esta elección de la que podamos lamentarnos el día de mañana.

12- No pretendemos hacer cambios, sino usar lo legítimo del legado dejado en nuestras conciencias, y no aceptemos que nadie pueda inmiscuirse en nuestras decisiones que son una realidad.

13- Sólo roguemos porque se nos permita llevar este legado sin que pretendan hacernos el más mínimo reclamo de algo que por derecho propio pertenece a los cubanos y a sus descendientes religiosos.

14-No queremos que nadie en particular se sienta en la obligación de estar con nuestra
institución, y nuestros consejos de mayores, lo que pedimos que cada persona se sienta segura de donde quiere estar, que analice y que piense, pues para estar con nuestros mayores lo único que ellos exigen es el respeto a los lineamientos emitidos por ellos, que no son otros que los de humildad, amor y lealtad a nuestra fe legada por nuestros antepasados.


15-Es bueno aclarar que el Presidente de la Institución y su Junta Directiva, solo son un órgano
Ejecutivo el cual deberá hacer valer y ejecutar las decisiones de los distintos consejos de mayores con que cuenta la institución, sin que está junta pueda revocar ninguna sanción o decisión, que fuese emitida por los distintos consejos de Mayores con que cuenta la asociación. . .

Rogamos a Olodumare y sus panteón de Orichas, que les proporcionen, salud, tranquilidad, desenvolvimiento y una larga y feliz vida en compañía de sus seres queridos.


Firmado.
a) Consejo de Sacerdotes Mayores de IFA de la República de Cuba.
b) Consejo de Sacerdotes Obateros (Oriaté) Mayores de la República de Cuba.
c) Consejo de Sacerdotisas Iyalochas Mayores de la República de Cuba.
d) Consejo de Sacerdotes Babalochas Mayores de la República de Cuba.
e) Consejo de Sacerdotes Jefes de Cabildos de la República de Cuba
f) Consejo de Sacerdotes Mayores Arará de la República de Cuba.
g) Consejo de Sacerdotes Presidente de los Ile Ochas (casa de santo) de cada Provincia.
 
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