Awonifa

Study the Teaching of Ifa and the Orisha's

Obatala
Skullcap, Sage, Kola Nut, Basil, Hyssop, Blue Vervain, White Willow, Valerian

Elegua
All Herbs

Oshun
Yellow Dock, Burdock, Cinnamon, Damiana, Anis, Raspberry, Yarrow, Chamomile, Lotus, Uva-Ursi, Buchu, Myrrh, Echinacea

Yemaya
Kelp, Squawvine, Cohosh, Dandelion, Yarrow, Aloe, Spirulina, Mints, Passion Flower, Wild Yam Root

Ogun
Eucalyptus, Alfalfa, Hawthorn, Bloodroot, Parsley, Motherwort, Garlic

Oya
Mullein, Comfrey, Cherrybark, Pleurisy Root, Elecampane, Horehound, Chickweed

Shango
Plantain, Saw Palmetto, Hibiscus, Fo-ti, Sarsaparilla, Nettles, Cayenne

Yoruba Fokelore

Yoruba Medicine

The Yoruba are one of the largest tribes in Africa, with 30 million individuals throughout the region of West Africa. Yorubic medicine is Orisha-based medicine practiced by many other groups in Africa, the Caribbean and others, mostly due to the slave Diaspora. “African herbal medicine is commonly called Yorubic or Orisha medicine on the African continent. It started from a religious text, called Ifa Corpus. According to tradition, the Ifa Corpus was revealed by the mystic prophet, Orunmilla, around 4,000 years ago in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, now known as Yorubaland. The last 400 years saw individuals in the Caribbean and South America practice the Yorubic healing system as a token of their past when the first wave of African slaves arrived in the Americas.”. Orunmilla taught the people about the customs of divination, prayer, dance, symbolic gestures, personal, and communal elevation. He also advised them on spiritual baths, meditation, and herbal medicine in particular. The Ifa Corpus is considered to be the foundation of divine herbology.
Contents

Basic Philosophies

According to A D Buckley, Yoruba medicine is similar to European medicine in that its main thrust is to kill or expel from the body tiny, invisible “germs” or insects (kokoro) and also worms (aron) which inhabit small bags within the body. For the Yoruba, however, these germs and worms perform useful functions in the healthy body, aiding digestion, fertility etc. However, if they become too powerful in te body, they must be controlled, killed or driven out with bitter-tasting plants contained in medicines.Yoruba medicine is quite different from homeopathic medicine, which uses medicinal ingredients that imitates pathological symptoms. Rather, in a similar manner to mainstream European medicine, it strives to destroy the agencies that cause disease.

Buckley claims that traditional Yoruba ideas of the human body are derived from the image of a cooking pot, susceptible to overflowing. The female body overflows dangerously but necessarily once a month; germs and worms in the body can overflow their “bags” in the body if they are given too much “sweet” (tasty) food. The household is understood in a similar way. As germs overflow their bag, menstrual blood the female body, and palm oil the cooking pot, so women in the marital household tend to overflow and return to their natal homes.

As well as using bitter plants to kill germs and worms, Yoruba herbalists also use incantation (ofo) in medicines to bring good luck (awure), for example, to bring money or love and for other purposes too. Medicinal incantations are in some ways like the praise songs addressed to human beings or gods: their purpose is to awaken the power of the ingredients hidden in the medicine. Most medicinal incantations use a form of word-play, similar to punning, to evoke the properties of the plants implied by the name of the plant.

Some early writers believed that the Yoruba people are actually an East African tribe who moved from the Nile River to the Niger area. For example, Olumide J. Lucas claims that “the Yoruba, during antiquity, lived in ancient Egypt before migrating to the Atlantic coast.”

“With Egypt at its roots, it is therefore inevitable that African herbal medicine became associated with magic. Amulets and charms were more common than pills as preventions or curatives of diseases. Priests, who were from the earliest days the forefathers of science and medicine, considered diseases as possession by evil demons and could be treated using incantations along with extracts from the roots of certain plants. The psychosomatic method of healing disorders used primarily by psychiatrists today is based loosely on this ancient custom.

This being said, to modern westerners the medicine practices of the Yoruba may seem to be too magical/mystical, in fact the word medicine and magic are the same. But it must be recognized that to the Yorubas it is a system; Yorubic medicine is not merely medicine, such as it is in modern times, it is a medicine, the magic of a religion and a science.

Orishas in Yoruba Medicine

The Yoruba religion has a multitude of Deities, the major of which are called Orisha. Osain is one of the most important Orisha’s. Osain rules over all wild herbs, and he is considered the greatest herbalist who knows the powers of all plants. In the Yoruba tribe a sort of staff is given to the herb gatherer of the community, to make clear their position. In Africa there are so many herbs and plants that are used in healing, that only someone trained for life can competently perform the function. The plants and herbs of Osain have their purely medicinal value as well as their magical value. The Osainista knows how to correctly gather the herbs and plants. Some plants have to be gathered at certain times of the day or night. Certain plants have to have certain prayers said to them and certain offerings made in order to correctly work. As said before there are a multitude of Orisha’s. In diagnosing illness each one of the orisha’s has physical qualities and herbal attributes, each affecting one another. See the diagrams below:

Orishas Attributes Physical Correspondences Herbs (Ewe)

Obatala Deity of Creation and custodian of the Ifa Oracle, source of knowledge. Creator of Human Form, Purity, Cures illness and deformities. His priests are the Babalawo Brain, Bones, White fluids of the body Skullcap, Sage, Kola Nut, Basil, Hyssop, Blue Vervain, White Willow, Valerian

Èshù or Elegua Gateman of the Heavens. Messenger of the Orisha, he is prime negotiator between negative and positive forces in body, enforces the “law of being”. Helps to enhance the power of herbs sympathetic nervous system All Herbs

Ogun Orisha of Iron, he is divinity of clearing paths, specifically in respect to blockages or interruption of the flow vital energy at various points in the body, and he is the liberator. heart, kidney (adrenal glands), tendons, and sinews Eucalyptus, Alfalfa, Hawthorn, Bloodroot, Parsley, Motherwort, Garlic

Yemaya Mother of Waters, Primal Waters, Nurturer. She is the amniotic fluid in the womb of the pregnant woman, as well as, the breasts which nurture. She is the protective energies of the feminine force. womb, liver, breasts, buttocks Kelp, Squawvine, Cohosh, Dandelion, Yarrow, Aloe, Spirulina, Mints, Passion Plower, Wild Yam Root

Ochun Sensuality, Beauty, Gracefulness, she symbolizes clarity and flowing motion, she has power to heal with cool water, she is also the divinity of fertility and feminine essence, Women appeal to her for child-bearing and for the alleviation of female disorders, she is fond of babies and is sought if a baby becomes ill, she is known for her love of honey. circulatory system, digestive organs, elimination system, pubic area (female) Yellow Dock, Burdock, Cinnamon, Damiana, Anis, Raspberry, Yarrow, Chamomile, Lotus, Uva-Ursi, Buchu, Myrrh, Echinacea

Chango Kingly, Virility, Masculinity, Fire, Lightning, Stones, Protector/Warrior, Magnetism, he possesses the ability to transform base substance into that which is pure and valuable reproductive system (male), bone marrow, life force or chi Plantain, Saw Palmetto, Hibiscus, Fo-ti, Sarsaparilla, Nettles, Cayenne

Oya Tempest, Guardian of the Cemetery, Winds of Change, Storms, Progression, she is usually in the company of her counterpart Shango, she is the deity of rebirth as things must die so that new beginnings arise lungs, bronchial passages, mucous membranes Mullein, Comfrey, Cherrybark, Pleurisy Root, Elecampane, Horehound, Chickweed

Titles and Processes

An Onisegun is an herbalist, Oloogun is one of several terms for a medical practitioner, and a Babalawo is a ceremony priest/priestess. An Oloogun practitioner in Yoruba, in addition to analyzing symptoms of the patient, look for the emotional and spiritual causes of the disease to placate the negative forces (ajogun) and only then will propose treatment that he/she deems appropriate. This may include herbs in the form of an infusion, enema, etc. In Yoruban medicine they also use dances, spiritual baths, symbolic sacrifice, song/prayer, and a change of diet to help cure the sick. They also believe that the only true and complete cure can be a change of “consciousness” where the individual can recognize the root of the problem themselves and seek to eliminate it. Disease to the Yoruba is seen as a disruption of our connection with the Earth. “Physicians are often priests, priestesses, or high priests, or belong to a guild-like society hidden within tribal boundaries, completely secret to the outside world. In their communities, even obtaining an education in medicine may require becoming an initiate of one of these societies. The world view of a priest involves training and discipline to interpret events that are indicative of the nature of the patient’s alignment internally with their own conscious and unrecognized issues, as well as with a variety of external forces and beings which inhabit our realm and require the inner vision and wisdom of the priest to interpret.” The Yoruba tribe are large believers is preventative medicine. They are obvious criticizers of modern western medicine where we try to mask problems with drugs, rather than cure the whole of the person. According to the medicine men of Yoruba, if we listen to our bodies they will provide us with the preparation and appropriate knowledge we need to regain our balance with the Earth.

Orisha Attributes

Obatala
Creator of Human Form, White purity, Cures illness and deformities.

Elegua
Messenger of the Orisha, Holder of Ashe (pover) among the Orisha, he is prime negotiator between negative and positive forces in body, enforces the “law of being”. Helps to enhance the power of herbs.

Ogun
Orisha of Iron, he expands, he is divinity of clearing paths, specifically in respect to blockages or interruption of the flow vital energy at various points in the body. he is the liberator.

Yemaya
Mother of Waters, Sexuality, Primal Waters, Nurturer. She is the amniotic fluid in the womb of the pregnant woman, as well as, the breasts which nurture. She is the protective energies of the feminine force.

Oshun
Sensuality, Beauty, Gracefulness, she symbolizes clarity and flowing motion, she has power to heal with cool water, she is also the divinity of fertility and feminine essence, Women appeal to her for child-bearing and for the alleviation of female disorders, she is fond of babies and is sought if a baby becomes ill, she is known for her love of honey.

Shango
Kingly, Virility, Masculinity, Fire, Lightning, Stones, Protector/ warrior, Magnetism, he possesses the ability to transform base substance into that which is pure and valuable.

Oya
Tempest, Guardian of the Cemetery, Winds of Change, Storms, Progression, she is usually in the company of her counterpart Shango, she is the deity of rebirth as things must die so that new beginnings arise.

The Parrot

There was a grey parrot which knew how to speak and had the habit of correcting anybody who did not tell the truth.

The parrot was the pet of an untruthful woman, and she found the birds habit so inconvenient, that she at length decided to get rid of it.

One day a neighbour was passing her house, and the woman called out to him from the threshold to come and see the beautiful tame parrot which she intended to give him as a present.

The man asked her why she desired to part with so beautiful a bird, and to this the woman replied: Because it eats a great deal, and I am poor.

The parrot cried out. She lies!

The neighbour took no notice, thanked the woman, and returned home with the bird on his shoulder. When he reached his house, his wife asked him where he had found the bird.

As I came through the forest, it flew down and perched on my shoulder,” replied the man, but the parrot quickly cried out: He lies!

The man soon discovered how awkward it was to have such a truthful pet, and he was often tempted to wring the birds neck.

It happened that this man was dishonest, and stole a great many articles which he buried in a deep hole, unknown to anybody. He would have been quite secure but for the wonderful parrot.

When the thefts were discovered, a search was made in the manâs house, but nothing was found there. The searchers were therefore forced to consider that he was innocent. As they went out, they said to him: Are you sure you have not stolen these things?

I am sure! said the man indignantly; but the parrot cried out: He lies!

The man was so enraged that he seized the bird and twisted its neck, but the suspicion of the searchers was aroused, and eventually they discovered the hole, which was marked with a little stake, and all the stolen articles were found. Had it not been for the truthful parrot, the secret would never have been revealed.

Ifa Related

Opinions to Our Asociated Practitioners

Directive issued by Cuban Ifa/Ocha Cuncil's

Opinions to our associated practitioners of the rule of Ocha and the Cuban IFA cult.
1. Do not allow anyone to change what was achieved with so much sacrifice in any ceremony performed, Whether in Cuba or our brothers anywhere in the world.
2. Make sure the people who you share knowledge of the secrets of Ifa have actually been initiated under the Cuban religions traditions which are of African origin, or if they have been initiated in some other method which is not what was bequeathed to us by our ancestors.

3. Do not perform or participate in initiations whether IFA or Ocha that are less than 7 days of rituals.

4 When Oba (Oriate) says during an Ocha ita, acting as the intermediary of the odu, "acquitted for lack of evidence" you have to immediately dismantle the throne and the person who is being initiated should stay all 7 days normally required for ceremony.
5 Please do not enter into discussions or raise questions that will cause disagreement with people who wish to follow other methods of initiation.
6. Do not allow in our homes in the days of rituals, opinions or people who do not agree with our faith inherited from our ancestors.
7. Respect all the ceremonial which we have been doing for our higher education.
8 Only be guided by your elders and in the lack of them by those people you designate for this purpose.
9. this section and those following pertained to Cuba and are not worth translating, if you wish to read it. It appears fully in the Spainsh Version.

Signed:

(a) Council of priests of IFA of the Republic of Cuba.
(b) Council of priests Obateros (Oriate) of the Republic of Cuba.
(c) Council of priestesses Iyalochas elders of the Republic of Cuba.
(d) Council of priests Babalochas elders of the Republic of Cuba.
(e) Council of priests heads of Councils of the Republic of Cuba
(f) Council of Arara older priests of the Republic of Cuba.
 
This article is reprinted with the permission of the Cuban Yoruba Cultura Association. I invite you to visit their website directly at CubaYoruba

Counsel of Yoruba Elder Ifa Priests

Document of the International Council of Ifa in Nigeria
For: The Ifa World Order

This counsel has been up to date with the growing worries generated by the
current controversy that surrounds the report that is found circulating and that
alleges that a Mrs. D' Haifia who is also Yeye Araba, affirms to be in
possession of Orisa Odu (Igba Iwa) which was given to her OLo-Irese, The Araba
of Ife, and Chief Makonranwale Adisa Aworeni.

This fact has generated an anxiety and unprecedented uneasiness inside and out
of the community of Ifa World. The counsel, with a view to clarify the facts, by
this manner gives the following explanations;

1- It prohibits that any woman of any religion or spiritual extraction be in the
possession of, management or vision of Orisa Odu. This is not by any means
discriminatory against the woman, but is in pure and strict harmony with the
dogmas of Ifa according to itself expressly train in Ofun Meji 16:4, in Irete
Bear 221:8, in Irete Ofun 226:18 and in Otrupon Irete.
194:11.

2- Any woman that affirms to be in possession of or manipulate or see Orisa Odu
has consequently broken a fundamental dogma of Ifa and she will be responsible
for physical as spiritual consequences of her actions.

3- The council likewise reports that neither Mrs. D' Haifa nor her associates
are registered or recognized as members of the International Counsel of the
Religion of Ifa, the governing body and uniting power of all the followers of
Ifa everywhere.

The Council makes the following statements.

1- It warns all women in interest of their spiritual and physical welfare to
never acquire, touch or to see Odu (igba iwa). This will do them no well, since
to not possess it does not deprive them of its spiritual essence in any form.

2- If some woman affirms to possess Odu (Igba Iwa), said woman does it against
the commandments of the dogmas of Ifa. In this manner those women in possession
of Odu (Igaba Iwa) in any manner or aspect should consider it as something that
is lacking of spiritual value, since those people which affirm to have received
it, are aware of the inexorable fact that is an abomination for a woman to
possess or to see Odu (Igba Iwa)..

3- For having stained the name of Ifa and of the women and by dragging in the
mud the venerated name of Ifa, and by generating a controversy that could have
been avoided, the International council of the Religion of Ifa, (of which the
Arabaof Ife is President, board of directors) in this manner withdraws the title
of Yeye Araba from Mrs. D¡Haifia effective immediately.

4- The Counsel in this manner warns all charlatans, impostors, false and
unethical
practioners of Ifa to desist since we will no doubt be invoking all the
necessary corrective
measures on anyone regardless of their position in the community of Ifa.

5- To all the temples and associations dedicated to the worship of Ifa all over
the world, in this manner it is advised to be registered officially and as quick
as be possible with the Council and so avoid having rights and privileges of
said membership are denied to them.


Nigeria, March 25 of the 2003 Signed by:

Profesor Idowu B. Odeyemi Balogun Awo Agbaye & Presidente.
Chief Solagbade Popoola, secretario General
Chief Fasina Falade Olobikin Of Ile â€"Ifa

Member (board of directors, depository:

Chief Aworeni
Chief Prof.. Wande Abimbola
Chief Oyewole Obenmalcinda
Chief Prof. Odutola Odeyeni
Chief Iquyikwa Odutola
Chief Adeboye Oyesanya
Chief Awodirian Agboola.
.

El Primer Babalawo en Cuba

El primer babalawo que hubo en Cuba fue Addeshina (Obbara Meyi), este nació en
Africa Occidental a principios de los 1800, otros Yorubas compraron su libertad ya que reconocieron su rango de rey, Addeshina significa "Corona abre-camino". Se dice que Addeshina logró tragarselos ikines antes que lo capturaran y los defecó en el barco.Unos años despues de el llego otro babalawo conocido como Ño Carlos Addebí (Ojuani Bocá) que logró su libertad en camaguey gracias a que la apostó a su amo a que le adivinaba a los amigos de su amo y estos quedaron sorprendidos. Lo hizo con el primero okpele que existió en Cuba hecho con una soga de majagua y con cascaras de naranja secas.Addeshina y Addebi se encontraron luego en la Habana, en Guanabacoa. Addeshina le hizo ifá a solo dos personas, una se fue para estados unidos y no se conoce su nombre y el otro fue Bernardo Rojas (Irete Tendi). Bernardo cuidó a Addeshina hasta su muerte, y junto a el aprendio todo lo de ifá.De Bernardo Rojas surge la rama mas grande de babalawos de Cuba. Bernardo fue el que mas ahijados consagró. El otro gran pilar fue la rama de Taita Gaitán (Oggunda fun), nacido en matanzas, su padrino fue otro babalawo traido como esclavo llamado Lugery (Oyekun Meyi) que regresó a Nigeria y allá murió, pero antes de irse mandó a Taita Gaitán con su hermano de consagracion que estaba en Matanzas, llamado Ño Cárdenas, que nunca consagró a nadie pero leenseñó todo a Taita Gaitán. Y otra rama famosa fue la de Asunción Villalonga.El primero criollo que se hizo Ifá en Cuba se llamó Cornelio Vidal y de el surge otra rama.Todas estas ramas al final se cruzaron una con otras. Nuestros mayores en ifa en Cuba son Addeshina (Obbara meyi), Addebí (Ojuani Bocá), Bernabé Menocal, Babel Babá Ejiogbe (Ifá Lolá), Taita Gaitán (Oggunda fun), Bernardo Rojas (Irete Tendi), Cornelio Vidal, Asuncion Villalonga, Guillermo Castro, Alfredo Rivero, Joaquin Salazar (Osá Forbeyo), Ramon Febles (Ogbe tua), Panchito Febles (Otura Niko), Miguel Febles ( Odi Ka ), Sevilla Baró (Oshe Yekun), el Chino Poey (Oshe Paure), Felix el Negro (Osa Rete) y Andres Bombalier (Oggunda Biode) .

adechina remigio herrera