HUMILITY-BY OGUNTUNDE

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Good morning everyone, this post was written by a dear friend of mine who is an Initiate and practitioner of the Ifa/Orisha Traditional Order of the Yoruba People of South Western Nigeria. I have so far stayed clear of formally introducing this very important traditional practice to my blog of which I too am an Initiate,( although I have sprinkled it here and there in some of my posts), for one reason. I wanted to be the source of truth whenever I wrote of Ifa (ee-fah). I have realized that throughout cyber world there aren’t many truths regarding this subject. This is a sacred order, and should be regarded as such. There are no books which stands as an holy text in representing Ifa, It is too vast and therefore cannot be contained within a single book or text. So it is taught orally, handed down by Priests called Babalawos (father of mysteries), who have spent almost half their lives studying Ifa under the tutelage of  their master, teacher, often times titled Oluwo, not all Babalawos bares this title.
In Nigeria the Student begins his training as young as five years old, and will live with his teacher for most of his life, learning Ifa. Most will become independent Babalawo’s in about twenty years, depending on how well they learn.  So you can see how sacred this tradition is and that it cannot be taken lightly or be condensed or boxed or crammed for the purpose of giving anyone a slight snap shot of this very complex, elaborate, intricate and systematized oral literary tradition. Ifa is one of , if not the most valuable tradition in All of Africa, a living library of knowledge, the binary code of life, the guide for every human being upon the face of this earth. Ifa is a way of life and I have searched high and low for God and the truth to our existence, knowing that there has to be more than what I have been taught through religion and by screaming, sweating, suit wearing  pastors, and also the ones wearing their black frocks and collars. I found it among these people in Yoruba land. Although Ifa is far and wide throughout the world, Orunmila the owner of the sacred Ifa oracle built his house (meaning where it all began) in Ile Ife, a city (ill-lay, ee-feh, ) Nigeria where it is said was the first place for Orunmila to land when he descended from heaven, but Orunmila traveled the world and spread the message of Ifa, and so Ifa can be found in all cultures, but called by many names. Ifa is also present in your bible, in the book of Genesis where God commanded Light to come forth out of darkness,  He said…Let there be light:” and there was light.  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. Here, light is  Ogbe, and darkness is Oyeku! These are the first two sacred Odu’s of Ifa, and the oldest, and Orunmila with his wisdom introduced Ifa to you all, within the Pentateuch, the first five books of your bible, Oh Orunmila how wise thou art!  
My respect for my tradition goes without saying, I am an Initiate of Osun, who represent the sweet river water and more, and my name Obara Meji belongs to one of the 16 major Odu’s of Ifa, sacred binary codes of life, (Obara Meji stands in the 7th position) I have provided a link for your better understanding and also we will discuss this, deeper another time. I wanted Oguntunde to write on Ogun, the Yoruba deity of war, and who represents Iron since, he in an initiate of this very powerful and revered deity, and so when I spoke to him and the subject was brought up, he agreed, but went on to tell me that he needed time to put the materials together because like me, he wanted to provide information which was true and also he needed to give the deity Ogun as well as the Yoruba people his full respect in the material he put forward and also in how he treated the subject, for that I applaud him, as these are my sentiments exactly. He has chosen to write  about Humility instead, and his own personal reflections upon this subject. I know this post will ring true to you all, in regards to humility, and here you get to peep a little into our world as Initiates, with the use of  Oguntunde’s (Ogoon-tun-day) language and how he has chosen to explain words unfamiliar to many of you here, please enjoy.

Humility – the strategy for maintaining divine assistance.

First, I’d like to greet you all. I am called Oguntunde in Ibadan, Nigeria, where I was initiated to Ifa and the Egbe Ode (Society of Hunters). Obara Meji is more than a dear friend to me. She is a kindred spirit and essentially my female twin. I was honored but also humbled and a bit hesitant to guest write a post for her blog as I find it not just beautifully executed, but the stories and information she shares are so important for the development and healing of so many that I take this task very seriously.

I chose the subject of humility because of some personal challenges that my spiritual allies and ancestors are guiding me through. During this process, I have been reminded of some of the basic tenets of spiritual and material development within the traditional Yoruba worldview, particularly within the philosophy of Ifa.

Let me back up and briefly touch on the concept of spiritual and material development as I have been taught by my elders in Ifa. Traditional philosophy all over West Africa promotes the idea of reincarnation – atunwa in Yoruba. In Ifa, we are taught that we choose our own destiny (ayanmo, ipin) to accomplish in our life on earth. The individual’s (eniyan) success in achieving ayanmo is mainly predicated on 2 factors: How well one prepares for life on earthbefore one is born (in Ile Orun – heaven, the Realm of the Ancestors, High Astral Plane) and the maintenance of support from various communities: ancestors, divinities, family, village, professional group, etc when we get here. When one has the support of these communities, it is easier to stay on one’s path and the signs are material and physical abundance: health, children, family, wealth, friends, professional success and recognition. When eniyanexperiences difficulties, the oracle Ifa is consulted to determine not just the cause & nature of the blockage or deviation from one’s path but who will assist the individual by receiving the sacrifice made to placed back on that path. I italicized those two phrases because they are not only critical in helping us to understand how to overcome problems, but navigate issues in life in general.

Now that the principle of destiny or ayanmo has been introduced, I have to approach the most important theological principal to be understood in Ifa and the topic of our post – Iwa or Character, specifically Iwa Pele – gentle character. There are so many Ifa verses dedicated to the subject of character, in fact, as you study and read more and more of these sacred poems, you start to realize that they form a guide as how to develop one’s character. The ideal character for attaining success in life and accomplishing the highest destiny is Iwa Pele or gentle character. This is character that seeks; suuru – patience, ogbon – wisdom, otito – truth, inúunre – generosity and ìrẹ̀lẹ̀ – humility.

Traditional West African life has always been described as communal by scholars, but very little has been written how communal living applies to African Spirituality, which is critical in its understanding. I bring this up here because if we take each of the qualities in seeking Iwa Pele, we can discern that it attracts the highest qualities of people and spiritsto us. Pursuing patience, wisdom, truth, generosity and humility will always get assistance from the Egun (Ancestors) and Orisa (divinities, angels). The journey one takes in developing Iwa Pele inevitably prepares one to not only receive blessings, but to cultivate them for the good of one’s community and provide a better situation for oneself inIle Orun and even when reincarnating back to Earth.   I questioned my Oluwo (the priest that oversaw my initiation) about why did I have all sorts of problems after I became initiated to Ifa? He answered by saying that we are born with problems due to the quality of preparation before coming into the world. Orunmila (literally: Heaven is our salvation, the Orisa  of Wisdom that brought the practice of Ifa to the Earth) was guiding me through these circumstances so as a priest I can have the authority through experience to counsel and guide others through similar issues. Getting initiated is a baby step in learning how to propitiate the Orisa and Ancestors to help us to overcome problems. To begin this, humility is needed.   The development of Iwa Pele starts with humility. When we are humble, we acknowledge that we need our community to succeed and accomplish our destiny and achieve abundance in life. If we act like we are wholly independent and have no need of friends, angels, family, teachers or ancestors, then we will not receive their support. Having humility is also accepting that we do not have all the answers when it comes to solving problems in life. Humility brings us to the feet of the Divine for guidance, strength and help to keep us on the path of our destiny. Humility brings us the assistance we need to avert loss and sustain ourselves through any difficulty.    The cliche says: No man is an island. There is an inherent illusion that we have individual spirits anyway. We all emanate from Olodumare, the Womb of Creation: Orisa, humans plants animals, stars planets, all. When we live life respecting that oneness, Iwa Pele is achieved and we experience Divinity and others around us feel that Divine presence and assist us on our journey.   Modupe. I give thanks for this opportunity and your time.

 

Ko mò mò ní torí wa bàjé o.
Ko níí torí wa bàjé o.
Ayé ò ní torí wa bàjé o.
Ifá ó tun un se.
It will not be spoiled in our own time.
It will not be spoiled in our own time.
The world will not be spoiled in our own time.
Ifa will mend it. – Wande Abimbola
All religions are valid as long as it teaches peace and love….Obara Meji!



144 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. MTH
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 12:02:51

    Havent finished reading. However, I have a question…or questions for that matter:-

    1. Who selects a child to become an initiate?
    2. If a child has started the ‘process’ of being an initiate (say at age 5) but later decides (say at age 18) he no longer want to continue, can he stop?
    3. Can a child be selected and has the desire but somehow not the ability?

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    • Oguntunde
      Jun 30, 2014 @ 15:57:28

      Just to add to question 3. If Orunmila selects someone to become a Babalawo or Iyanifa, Orunmila will always guide them if they are willing to humble themselves to learn. On the other hand, believe me from experience, if one is called to the vocation of a Babalawo and ignores it, there are many trials and tribulations in that persons life. Refer to the post under choosing one’s destiny from birth.

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  2. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 12:19:41

    #1 Ifa selects the child, and some parents desire the child to be, however if ti is not the child’s path, he will not be an apt student, please note that it is often a choice between regular school and learning Ifa, as it is almost impossible to do both, so often times the student grow up not being able to read and write, illiterate for lack of a better word but extremely knowledgeable in Ifa which transcends scholastic knowledgeable, Some will, however go to school as grown people to be able to gain the basics or further of learning to read and write.

    #2 I have answered this question in answer number one

    @3 Yes, but not one chosen by Ifa,

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  3. MTH
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 12:22:05

    Good day Oguntunde, greetings.

    I know you are a friend of Obara and for that I respect you. I also respect your position as an initiate…Thank you for explainig some terms that were foreign to me…

    Maybe it just me and this is just MY opinion, I dont think you addressed the humility aspect of the post in depth (based on the title). You didnt say what humilty is and instances when we can apply humility in our lives…While each person’s individual style of writing differs, we all want to learn…

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    • Oguntunde
      Jun 30, 2014 @ 15:45:57

      I believe I defined humility as it relates to acquiring the assistance of higher powers on one’s path: remembering that one NEEDS the assistance of community GETS the assistance of community. Community as you live it: friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and the like. Humbling oneself by acknowledging the DEPENDENCE on community should always extend to God and Her Angels and your Ancestors as well. Consciously living as one is dependent on others for one’s success inevitably leads to humility

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  4. MTH
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 12:51:34

    Where is everyone?

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  5. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 12:56:01

    dem disapera, yuh know Ty will show up later, she ah one whey evee deh yah wid wi, and Kia will pop in and out,, but ah me and yuh ah gwan par, todeh, mi parry

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  6. Ty
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 13:42:14

    Hey ESP fambily…

    Oguntunde thank you for blessing us with your words of wisdom… we can sense your humilty in your writing..I know that the wealth of your knowledge supersedes what you have written…this is a vast and complex topic as you stated about the amount of odus wriiten, yet you manged to handle it in a kind, gentle, reassuring manner…I thank you…

    to he who much is given, much is expected…

    Humility is a human trait that takes work and conscious effort.. it is one of the things I pray for daily..

    Obara, thank you for blessing us with our new celebrity…

    Liked by 2 people

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  7. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 13:43:32

    Hey TY, how are you?, I am here putting together a post, mi soon come

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  8. toy7318
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 13:54:29

    I have to finish reading, but from what I am reading so far and I love Is that there is so much respect for God, ancestors, and spirits it isn’t a joke thing. Like how you see pastor’s on TV making a mockery of God. Ok let me continue reading

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  9. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 13:56:42

    hey Toy!

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  10. toy7318
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 13:56:46

    Oguntunde, thank you and blessings.

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  11. toy7318
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 13:57:44

    Obara, how are you doing? I am still reading soon come

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  12. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 13:58:05

    ok

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  13. Lalibela A Nile (@Lalibela_Nile)
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 14:10:11

    Now that the game–Nigeria v France–let me do some reading 😦 Brain/talent drain is killing formerly colonized nations… The French is really another African nation in a colonial disguise…

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  14. kiabubblez
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 14:57:13

    Obara ES family bless up I R here…in an out lol I read the post and i thank you Oguntunde for blessing us with your presence an thoughts on humility. Family an community play a key role in one’s life journey along with many principles including humility.

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  15. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 15:00:03

    hey Kia

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  16. MTH
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 15:58:14

    Oguntunde, thank you for responding…Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?

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  17. MTH
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 16:08:08

    Cool. Here goes:

    Ogunrunde, say for example there is a doctor, whilst that doctor remains very humble in every sense of the word, he wishes people to call him ‘doc or doctor’. Is there anything wrong with that considering he worked hard to get to where he is…

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  18. Lalibela A Nile (@Lalibela_Nile)
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 16:23:14

    Such a great read–I am beyond grateful; thank you very much…

    Please expound on the scope/capacity of a deity in the context of the Yoruba reference? Do respective individuals self select their path of initiate? Or are initiates initiated by a deity’s solicit or does said individual get selected by an intermediate?

    When I think of divine, I conclude that is only one [Divine], as divine means that which was not created; is that the case within the Yoruba context?

    What percentage of those who descend Yoruba ancestry practice the Yoruba way of life as oppose to Islam or Christianity. Better yet, if applicable, how does the Yoruba way conflict with organic [not orthodox] Christianity and or organic Islam?

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    • Oguntunde
      Jun 30, 2014 @ 17:20:57

      Whew! That’s a lot! Well to start at your last questions, I apologize because I don’t really understand the difference between ‘organic’ Judeo/Christian religions and what I have studied (and experienced) them to be. Ifa & Orisa devotion is described as a religion by West African slavers and colonizers, but as practiced it is really a system of spiritual development or ‘metaphysics’ as you will. The great fraud unfortunately that has been been sold to the masses is that the divine agencies that the Creator made to create, support and maintain the universe can only called upon by priests. This is not what indigenous spiritual traditions teach: Shinto, Hinduism, Native American systems and of course Ifa. When people seek to integrate their existence in harmony with Nature and live in a Natural environment, they seek guidance from the Earth Herself and not remote Sky gods like Jehovah or Allah. When communities interact with the forces of nature on a continual basis then the energies that were set up to maintain the Earth are worked with to provide guidance, protection, healing and abundance. The reason I believe that Yoruba traditions survived the physical and cultural genocide of slavery and neocolonialism is that Yoruba people have been highly urbanized for thousands of years. So their systems of spirituality remained relevant and highky effective in the “New World” and our “modern” era.

      Orisa are almost the equivalent of angels in the Judeo/Christian/Islamic sense. Ifa teaches that Olodumare/Eledaa/Olorun created not just the universe, but a self sustaining SYSTEM that we call the universe. Science measures and describes HOW planets and stars and the electromagnetic spectrum interacts with us, but now WHY hydrogen and oxygen are the most prevalent elements in space or iron is the most prevalent metal in the Earth’s crust. Ifa teaches how to navigate this system for the accomplishment of destiny and how to acquire the assistance of these angels or Orisa.

      The difference between Orisa in Ifa and angels in Christian thought is that Orisa have incarnated as humans and lived at various times on Earth. They lived among us as midwives, healers, kings, queens, hunters, artisans, herbalists and the like. They all came trying to show mankind how to thrive on Earth. Of course people don’t like to listen. A lot of drama of course ensued. These teachings passed mouth to ear forms the basis of the initiation system.

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      • Oguntunde
        Jun 30, 2014 @ 17:34:17

        In Nigeria a lot of people experience discrimination and dehumanization of their traditional beliefs from Islamic slavers from the north (Boko Haram is still here) and European Christians from the Southern coast. Yoruba people who seek to have Western wealth go to churches and mosques and some over time have lost the knowledge of their Ancestor’s beliefs. However the Babalawo’s sitting rooms are filled with Christians & Muslims when they have major problems. I guess they know what works.

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      • Ty
        Jun 30, 2014 @ 21:09:09

        Such a pity, they have this wealth of knowledge at their back door and only approach when trouble hit…yet here was are in the diaspora, searching for everybit of info we can get our hands on…wantie wantie cannot get it, and gettie gettie no want it

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      • Lalibela A Nile (@Lalibela_Nile)
        Jul 01, 2014 @ 10:36:53

        Oguntunde, again, much appreciated. I am beyond grateful for the insight–I am in debt to you!

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  19. MTH
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 16:23:29

    Oguntunde (sorry to have misspelt your name earlier). Sometimes when you ar humble, it is often mistaken for being soft.Once people believe you to be soft, they try to walk over you…What is your view view on that.

    Also, sometime people are ‘humble’ because they have no choice..However, once a little fame and fortune come their way…different person all together…

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    • Oguntunde
      Jun 30, 2014 @ 16:42:44

      That’s the crux of the problem. Displaying humility is the ultimate show of strength. When one has no need to prove to others how tough they are and has no fear of others actions deterring them from continuing on their path to destiny, who cares if those people think they are weak? I learned at an early age what the Bible passage: “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord” meant. My guardian Orisa and spiritual Father always observed me fighting. My response to racial slurs and curses in Catholic school as early as 6 years old was to fight. We look at that as childish behavior and rightfully so. Why is it that we still practice that attitude as adults, then? If I strive to display loving kindness even in the face of wickedness: betrayal, manipulation, abuse, my humility before Olodumare Awon Orisa ati Egun (The Creator, Orisa and Ancestors) gives me the faith they will guide me away from evil machinations. As well as if those negative people need correction, the Divinities will be the one to provide it. How well can I correct someone as opposed to Ogun, the Spirit of Iron? Humility brings you to seek the advice of a priest instead of a lawyer, and the counsel of your mother instead of a hitman. Being loving, content and mindful are the most powerful expressions of Divinity within a person. Humility keeps us on that focus despite what others do around us.

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    • Lalibela A Nile (@Lalibela_Nile)
      Jun 30, 2014 @ 17:53:12

      Well stated; thank you very much–Oguntunde!

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  20. Oguntunde
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 16:25:16

    In my experience it’s a matter of context and intention. I’ll get to that. First, Pride (satisfaction in accomplishment) is not the opposite of humility, HUBRIS is. Self-pride that is forced down other’s throats is a form of ingratitude and that leads to a similar absence of support.

    Hubris is when someone thinks that they are independent: They need no-one and nothing, and their achievements and accomplishments are entirely due their own effort and work. This leads to the neglect of propitiation to the community that supports one on their path. Eventually that support starts to fade and the individual experiences difficulties such as loss.

    When one enforces that others apply the title of ‘Doctor’ when referring to themselves, it helps to examine where that need comes from and how it affects the people around them. If I forget to call someone a Doctor, it doesn’t invalidate their PhD or their medical license.Their income, respect, education and level of colleagues still remains. If the blessings that come with the amount work to acquire that level education are enough, why does that title of ‘Doctor’ matter?

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    • Lalibela A Nile (@Lalibela_Nile)
      Jun 30, 2014 @ 16:41:06

      The sad part about being called a doctor because one had to work hard for said degree is silly. Worst when said doctor(s) function in a manner where they conflict with their Hippocratic Oath.

      When Castro and Chavez sought to build a medical school where the impovorish from around the world could attend for free–given that they serve the world community, no matter where they are or from whence they came, one of the primary motivating factor had to do with so-called doctors being comsumed with being addressed by their title and busy doing noting socially productive–all hubris and misguidedness…

      Per Obara’s refernce that an initiate is not alway able to gain a western education; however, is still able to attain a height of knowledge that is greater than the western educated individual… This clearly is the anththesis to those who contend that if the one’s are not able read or write in the clasical sense, then such a person is less than the so-called educated and definately less than the [smart doctors]

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  21. toy7318
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 16:34:33

    Oguntunde, how are you? When someone gets where they want in life and forgets humility what happens then?

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  22. MTH
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 16:34:47

    Wow, I am flabergasted by your response… I like, I like…I have seen (with these two large eyes of mine before) at a social gathering, one was introduced as Mr. & Mrs. and he corrected the person, it is Dr. & Mrs. Inspite of him being very humble.

    Oguntunde/La Bella/Teach any one can answer…I have had situations in my life where I have been down and out…While in the ‘down & out’ stage, people have ridiculed me. Once I get back up, I always feel the ‘need’ to show them that I have bounced back…Sometimes, not to really show-off but I think unconsiously to prove to others that I am not worthless (stems fromhaving a child early and being written off as worthless).

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  23. toy7318
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 16:39:54

    Ok, you answered my question. Ogun society of hunters is that only for men?

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  24. MTH
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 16:45:26

    Lailbela sorry for how I have been speeling your name…But you hit a very good point…Some professions deem themselves to be far too superior and it is usually the profession that serve people (lawyers, doctors etc).

    Che was a doctor and he in his wisdom, choose to fight for the greater good…Not for the esteem…

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  25. Oguntunde
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 16:47:16

    The Egbe Ode is open to both sexes, but I believe that women do not go on hunting parties (I have never observed this), but still learn the arts of preparing medicines for protection and personal power. I have a Trinidadian sister in my Ile (Ifa family) that was initiated to the same an Egbe Ode in Ibadan

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  26. toy7318
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 16:48:24

    Lalibela you asked most of the questions I was thinking. Lol in a more articulate way.

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  27. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 16:51:14

    Oguntunde, hi my dear friend, greetings Lalibela, MTH , toy, Ty, and all, Oguntunde, please explain you name to my bloggers, and what led you to the path of Ifa

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  28. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 16:51:52

    Lalibella
    A we are All teachers

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  29. toy7318
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 16:52:58

    Ok

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  30. toy7318
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 16:55:08

    Did Oguntunde feel something was missing in his life, what led you on this path?

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    • oguntunde
      Jul 01, 2014 @ 12:04:31

      Like most Awo (Yoruba traditional priest[sess]) in the Diaspora, I was drawn into this tradition through circumstances in my life. Obara Meji can attest to this and has described her own path here in ES. After my first divination at 18, that explained my childhood, adolescence and my ‘strange’ life, I initially accepted the path to Ifa/Orisa priesthood. Initially…

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  31. MTH
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 16:56:47

    Lalibella I learn from you all. I heard the very well learnt lawyer, Bert Samuels doing an interview and he said (and I quote/paraphrase) he said he prefers a case with a jury as the minds of 12 people no matter how lowly there are better that the mind of the best judge in the world…All this to say, Mr. Nile, collectively we all teach & learn from each other…(btw, yu know sey yu know bout)…LOL

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  32. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 17:09:19

    And I still struggle to accept that someone can say to me, Obara thank you, you taught me this r that, as I believe that I am forever a student. I use my life’s experiences to teach people, and I am conflicted if I small doing the right thin, but I love human beings, regardless of their imperfections, and I believe that this, however scandalous and painful is one of my life path, in respect to teaching, I remain humble

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  33. MTH
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 17:09:38

    Laibela, Ihardly believve that I have taught you anything…LOL…

    Since being on the site, my fellow blogger TY, taught me about the power of wearing a pair of blue shoes to an interview…Cami taught me to put a nut meg under your tongue before speaking about your dreams (now mi full a nut meg)…Some lessons are taught so simply, but it does not take away from the magitude of the lesson…

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  34. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 17:15:48

    Yet there are those, Doctors, lawyers, engineers, et al, who are humble and know that they are learned but do not believe that their profession or achievements entitles them to look down on others

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  35. Lalibela A Nile (@Lalibela_Nile)
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 17:21:28

    Esteemed Oguntunde, I don’t believe that you’ve addressed my initial questions as I erroneously did not address them to you–my emphatic apologies:

    “Please expound on the scope/capacity of a deity in the context of the Yoruba reference? Do respective individuals self select their path of initiate? Or are initiates initiated by a deity’s solicit or does said individual get selected by an intermediate?

    When I think of divine, I conclude that is only one [Divine], as divine means that which was not created; is that the case within the Yoruba context?

    What percentage of those who descend Yoruba ancestry practice the Yoruba way of life as oppose to Islam or Christianity. Better yet, if applicable, how does the Yoruba way conflict with organic [not orthodox] Christianity and or organic Islam?”

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  36. MTH
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 17:23:10

    Thats true. Do you know Ragga Shanti…He has a phd and him nuh behave like him even did dun high school…LOL. Life…What we choose to put importance on..

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  37. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 17:23:50

    MTH, you are quick to disqualify yourself, and I do not like that, we learn in all areas of our lives and through different Mediums, you have taught me, to find a jokes everywhere, I knew this, but you reminded me, eg, the bible stories, and also there are times when new bloggers come here when you email me quietly and remind me to welcome them, now you say it is a reminder, but how I see it, it is reiterating something to me to take the time out and make someone who has come to sip tea with us comfortable , where in that I may have seen them and been to busy to acknowledge their presence, we cannot take people for granted, I knew this, but you reinforced it, on more Than one occasion, honor your spirit and never disqualify it, again this and more are my testimonies of you, and for these thing I appreciate you

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  38. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 17:26:18

    Lalibela Oguntunde just answered, but for some reason the answer is up top, please scroll up

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  39. Oguntunde
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 17:28:35

    I appreciate all of you and your responses. I have to leave for a few, but will return later. Just to answer my sister Obara Meji: I received the name Oguntunde when getting initiated, my name means Ogun returns. I have to re-establish the veneration of his shrine within my family for our mutual progression. I.E. Ogun has returned to my family.

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    • Ty
      Jun 30, 2014 @ 21:01:22

      Such a wonderful name and meaning…so sad that we in the diaspora lost our names…we also lost the value of naming our children…some of the names of black children are questionable at best…we swung from pure European names to made up syllables…

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  40. MTH
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 17:30:45

    Teach, I am humbled by what you just said…I didnt even realise that I was doing all that…Thanks again Teach…It brings to mind the song, do not scatter roses after I am gone…

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    • Ty
      Jun 30, 2014 @ 21:05:41

      Mth you are the life of the party…even peepers wait for your posts…we love you here…we all bring something to the party and have different gifts…you are gifted with bringing laughter, when mi get my Yoruba up to speed, me will name you, she who brings laughter…

      I love your spirit Mth…you mek mi spit out mi lunch everyday a laugh…no pill or medicine can bring dat…

      You wear your heart on your sleeve and we love just the way you are…

      Big up mi sis Mth…

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  41. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 17:30:54

    Excellent Oguntunde, as to my question on your name and what led you to Ifa

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  42. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 17:33:26

    Thank you Oguntunde, as the evening people will soon roll in with their questions, and the night ones will leave theirs while we sleep to be answered upon our waking, may Ifa orunmila and a Osun may mother bless you always, aseeee

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  43. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 17:34:42

    MTH , we all walk a path, we are all equal, some may be older than some, but even a child can teach an elder

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  44. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 17:37:01

    Major problems? Oguntunde you are too kind, they are on our compounds before the first drum knocks, singing and dancing with up and saying Àṣẹ wa!!!!!!!

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  45. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 17:37:40

    Then they go out into the world and condemn us, o ma se o!

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  46. Toy
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 18:01:41

    I had to get on the computer. my phone is acting up. Obara people are so afraid of spirituality and I don’t understand why? I told my friend read and everything we need to know about are history is there and she told me don’t read to much how it will pull me away from God. I feel black people are brainwashed. Obara, because of you I have looked more into books. Why do they come to compound and the condemn your beliefs.

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  47. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 18:16:27

    Toy As oguntunde said up top, these nowadays Africans who have abandoned their ancestral way of worship beliefs did so I guess to remove from them the barbaric stigma which have been placed on the Africans since the beginning of time, by media and through propaganda, so missionaries were sent to Africa to enslave the minds of those as they did to us during the trans Atlanticism slave trade, our hollocaust, , but they know the truth, and many of them have abandoned it publicly but privately they seek out the knowledge, bring their olive oil for us to place on our shrines, which they will use to heal in their church, while they curse abuse and scoff at us. They are the ones who will meet you and tell you to plead the blood against me, because I am the living she devil, and when your back is turned they seek assistance, you friend Toy, I is in a dead sleep, from which she may never wake in this life time, do not try to convince her, because you have flown way pass her, she will have to comeback to earth over and over again until she learns

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  48. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 18:25:15

    The wickedest thing is that what their bible teaches is not what Jesus taught, Jesus was a Jew, he believed in bold sacrifices,this is why he was offered up for sacrifice, contrary to what the so called Christians believed he did not asked to be sacrifice, he was chosen, because in his religious practice, sacrifice was the only way to appease God, in those times human sacrifice was done when the crime was heavy, remember God tested Abraham and told him to offer up his son? Christianity is fear driven and it divides and controls, do I condemn the religion, I certainly cannot, do I condemn its followers, I certainly do!…… All texts and dogmas have their place, because they speak to us individually, but we must find correct toon where it ought to be and stop allowing ourselves to be fooled

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  49. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 18:27:05

    The benovelent Christ was about love and for this I will always live him, the rest I have no time for!!!!!!!!

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  50. toy7318
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 19:40:46

    Everything you are saying is so true.

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  51. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 21:02:43

    Hey Ty

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  52. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 21:15:13

    He will comeback later so pose your questions he will answer, MTH ah sample

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  53. Ty
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 21:31:27

    Oguntunde, thank you for taking time to answer our questions… There are so many of us who are here in the west trying to embrace spirituality and trying our best to get on our path…it is hard for us because of being immersed in western culture and it takes a brave heart and bold step to start the journey…I respect and honor all who have committed with their mind, body, and spirit to initiate and embrace Ifa as a way of life…

    Thanks to you and Obara for showing us that it is possible and doable…

    Here are my questions :
    1. What has been the hardest thing to give up after being initiated?
    2. What is the best advice you would give to someone who is thinking of becoming a part of an Ile or getting initiated?

    The sense of community among traditional worship is what I admire the most about Ifa…

    I thank you for your time, patience, and understanding…May you continue to be a blessing to many and may Ogun and all the Orishas continue to bless your family…

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    • oguntunde
      Jul 01, 2014 @ 12:19:28

      The hardest thing for me to give up is what most people find challenging: changing my behavior to make my personal success easier. The blessing is that Ifa & the Orisa spell out the eewo or taboos. For me the difficult taboos are being patient and not getting upset. I’ve evolved so much past my angry emotional youth, but Ifa requires more and I have to do the hard work of confronting the traumas and pain of my past to grow past it. Luckily I have human and divine support. That leads me to your second question. The most, MOST important thing to do in your path to get initiated is to select priests to guide you that you have a great rapport with. An Awo that you can trust, that has good character and has your development as their main priority. Just like any religion, there are a lot of charlatans (I call them hustlers and other things when not in polite company) that take advantage of the lack of knowledge of this tradition. So study, study, read, read and ask many questions. Travel to Nigeria, Brazil, Trinidad and meet people but do not trust your Ori, your head with someone until you have prayed to your own Ancestors and guardians and have certainty within your spirit that you are following the right people. Then the true struggling begins.

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      • Obara Meji
        Jul 01, 2014 @ 12:34:13

        I agree with that,Oguntunde, but I give the simplest advice, trust your own head, you ori, your guides, when I was going to Africa, on the day I was to go a black cat ran across my car. There I should have said no, I went and Look who I met, the Osun woman, you know who the one who died, who did me so wrong for the kindness I showed her, so I say trust your spirit and guides and your head, they will never lead you wrong

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      • Ty
        Jul 01, 2014 @ 14:10:04

        Modupe Oguntunde…

        Thanks for your follow up to my questions…I wish you all the best on your path and that you will continue to grace us every now and then with your presence…

        Thanks wholeheartedly…

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  54. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 21:39:33

    Good questions, Ty, how come it tek Oguntunde fi oonuh ask these questions, and mi deh yah everyday, an oonuh nah ask mi nutten, lmaooooooo, cho man lol,

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  55. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 21:51:08

    Lol, yuh si oonuh

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  56. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 21:54:23

    Kiaaaaaaaaaa, mi vex, mi nah Ansa nutten, lol

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    • kiabubblez
      Jun 30, 2014 @ 22:02:22

      Hush Obara lol mi did waa ask yu from whey day bout ur initate. My interest did peak wen yu seh ur not allowed coconut r pets. Tru mi tink id a secret u cyaa reveal mek mi nuh ask. Lol

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  57. Ty
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 22:06:47

    Ok for you my teacher, Obara…

    As we move in this age of increased enlightenment, are there measures to preserve Ifa in its true form? There are so many faux Ifa and people trying to leech off it …likewise there are so many who seek Ifa for perceived power and hidden knowledge …

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  58. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 22:16:53

    Ifa has been around for over ten thousand year old, it is the oldest monesthesic religion ever, the preservation of this great tradition will forever be, Orunmila is wonderful and in Nigeria, he keeps his priest humble and care for them by providing what they need, as oppose to theirs desires. In Nigeria, babalawos serve their community and are bound to the land, even if they travel out, they must not abandon Ifa, a learned Babalawo who is seated in his position as orunmilas representative never seek material wealth, rather they are driven by what they know to train upcoming Awo’s and continue in the foot steps of their ancestors

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  59. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 22:18:01

    Oguntunde will answer when he comes back

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  60. toy7318
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 22:26:21

    Obara, wondering how come we don’t ask her. Lol I know you busy mummy, so I don’t want to overwhelm you. Is the difference between Oshun and Ogun? I know one is water and the other Iron do people come to you for different purposes?

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  61. Ty
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 22:27:06

    Humility and a sense of community is lacking from the American culture…here it is self preserverance, every man for himself, bragging and boasting…sadly my Jcans people have also embraced this…

    Oh if we could get back to our old ways and know that humility is a strength…

    Just made notes of the Yoruba words, still trying wid the language…

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  62. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 22:28:37

    No, it depends on you odu, the odu which come out at initiation, this is what points your path, your life’s path, if a man so choose to study Ifa, he can, I believe, but bares to see if he can apply the discipline it takes to do so. For a woman the same, but if it is their divine purpose, coming from heaven during initiation Ifa will point it

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  63. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 22:32:36

    Osun and Ogun are both Orisha, none of the Orishas are more than the other, although I must confess Osun being water which is the source of life and we cannot live without it, but Ogun who is the black smith, god of iron is needed, because without him where would the tools come from for us to build, war among other things, Toy, I was joking

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  64. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 22:34:21

    Lol, I was joking when ah spry oonuh ask me, but it is the truth, I am here to share oonuh must ask

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  65. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 22:43:03

    The preservation of our great tradition is a must and so far Awo’s have done a great job, unfortunately many of the Orishas and how they are worshipped have been abandoned, there are 240 imole’s, Orisha, and yet only a few names are called, in Nigeria, each town has an Orisha who they serve, for example babaluaye the deity of small pox is worshipped in the town where I am, it is the responsibility of the king of that town to make sure his shrine is cared for by priests and also the government pays certain babalawos to keep the tradition thriving, great measures are taken for its preservations albeit, families do abandon the deities which have been their family Orishas for Christianity and Islam, which seems to be destroying Africa. However I am confident as Orunmila is the embodiment of wisdom

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  66. Tw/Yw
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 23:06:03

    Good night ES crew… Obara Meji and Oguntunde, thanks for this great opportunity.
    I would like to especially thank you for this post and introduction into the concept of Iwa Pele and its qualities. I would like to ask:
    1. Do you have to become initiated in the Ifa tradition to develop or achieve Iwa Pele?
    2. In the Western world, the concept of community is diminished. Can a person develop Iwa Pele (being that community is so important) in that world?

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  67. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 23:12:43

    Hi Yw, I will answer and Oguntunde also will answer when he returns,

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  68. Tw/Yw
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 23:16:16

    Big up, teach. Thanks and I apologize if there is anything offensive (out of ignorance) in my questioning.

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  69. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 23:24:46

    Iwa pele, good character or gentle character is a quality innate in every human being, it is the core of our very existence, unfortunately we lose the sense or rather the the essence of that quality as we grow from infancy and into adult hood as we are influenced by many things and the innocence which we entered the world with begins to wane. Orunmila’ s doctrine, his teachings compels us to find what we believe may no longer be there or we think we have to build our Iwa pele, as it is futile to our spiritual growth and personal development. You do not develop Iwa pele, you reconnect with it, no child was ever born with a bad nature, it is learned it along the way. To find ifa and embrace it is to understand that this, Iwa pele is the core teaching of his doctrine, one should strive to perfect it.

    While community is important in its consequent connection, we know that within the diaspora we will have to work harder to be able to do what is right and not get lost in all the chaos, this is why in this side of the world, in my humble opinion, meditation is key

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    • Tw/Yw
      Jun 30, 2014 @ 23:41:18

      Thank you for the clarification and tremendous thanks for the below comment.

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    • Ty
      Jun 30, 2014 @ 23:51:52

      I really needed this posts…it clarifies the concept of Iwa pele… It also makes it seem more attainable…additionally one of my prayers is that I reconnect with my true self …thank you…

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  70. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 23:25:32

    Yw, no not at all, you are ever respectful and I welcome you always

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  71. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 23:35:33

    While support in everything that we do is needed, often times some of us were not born to connect with blood relations, or even friends, of that opinion Oguntunde and I differ, there are many things needed to reconnect with what is innate, and it begins with you, Ifa has structured it, it take each individual to build upon it, it may sound simple but it is not, self discipline takes a lot of work

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  72. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 23:44:43

    Me too Ty

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  73. toy7318
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 23:49:11

    Thank you answering my question, Obara. Let me continue to read.

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  74. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 23:49:55

    You welcome Yw, some people find strength within community and some find it within or around their immediate family, the Africans have mastered community togetherness , and ifa is a community based tradition, we here have been dis connected from that when we were torn from our land and brought to a strange one, so we, some of us find it hard to build a community group with the same like mind as ours, so we must do what we must to achieve this without that system of support

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    • Ty
      Jun 30, 2014 @ 23:56:32

      This is what me and hubby was just talking about…it’s is harder for us here but we have to find a way because the alternative is dismal…iba Ogun for tools of technology to let us have sites like this, so that we can form an internet community…

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    • Tw/Yw
      Jul 01, 2014 @ 00:02:21

      I remember growing up in JA and respecting and loving the elders because they always had some wisdom to share. Yah suh ah different place. Ah nuh elders yah suh; Ah old people. Bitter people full of anger and hate. I understand and appreciate the value of community but recognize the difference in social philosophy.

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  75. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 23:51:06

    You are welcome Toy

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  76. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 23:56:38

    It is attainable Ty, because it has never left you, take your small children as example, they are innocent to the ways and wiles of the world And human nature, as they grow it is the responsibility of you and your husband to instill in the goodness, morals and principles , if god forbid and they grow away from it , but realize that they must re connect with it for their benefit or for whatever reasons, it would not be hard because they had it at one time, the just have to simmer down and re connect

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  77. Obara Meji
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 23:58:42

    Aseee, I love Ogun, god of technology

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  78. Obara Meji
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 00:02:00

    Exactly, ah suh me attain Iwa pele, interoection, through meditation and other mediums, growing up spiritually and realizing that the greatest power given to man is love and we must pay it forward, Osun taught me that

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  79. Obara Meji
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 00:04:05

    Absolutely, Yw, there is a difference in community and elders depending where you are, I agree wholeheartedly

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  80. Obara Meji
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 00:04:31

    Oore yeye osun ooooooo

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  81. Obara Meji
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 00:07:34

    Oh by the way, I have a message from spirit for all of you, they say to keep away from process cheese, like cheese doodles, box macaroni and cheese, fake cheese and processed foods on a whole, they say pretty soon, we will hear a report of something horrible and the deaths of people in droves young and old from heart attacks and other things, they possessed me a week ago and gave this message

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  82. Obara Meji
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 00:08:37

    Take heed!!!!

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  83. Obara Meji
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 00:17:34

    Me too caws a friend of mine who blogs here at times is a babalawo, and I told him last week and he phoned me today and told me that he went to a bembe ans six women were possessed by a Osun and gave the message of processed foods, almost the same as what I told him, the only difference during my possession, the singled out the processed cheese, cheese trick doodles kraft singles and such likes

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  84. toy7318
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 00:25:46

    I am going throw away the cheese I have right now.

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  85. MTH
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 10:36:50

    Ty and Teach, thanks for the kind words. Pringles, cheese ever bady so gone from mi cupboards…

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  86. Obara Meji
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 12:13:05

    Aboru aboye oooo, Oguntunde oooo!!!!

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  87. Obara Meji
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 12:19:17

    “strange Life”, all Ifa’s children have their own story

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  88. MTH
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 12:23:52

    Teach what is a bembe?

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  89. Obara Meji
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 12:26:37

    MTH, bembe is a lucumi (the Spanish people who have a similar practice to Ifa, their own variation of our tradition) terminology, it is a party given in honor of he Orisha or a particular

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  90. MTH
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 12:31:27

    ok cool. They had a weekly party/dance here in Jamaica called Bembe…

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  91. Obara Meji
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 12:35:07

    Yes, lol I know! it is a spiritual party, named so by Cubans

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  92. MTH
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 12:36:09

    Teach/Oguntunde say for example a child is studying to be an initiate is he allowed to have a regular life i.e. play football/cricket or whatever sport he is interested in? Or does he have to give up that part of his life…As it relates to relationships, does he get to date regular girls or a partner is chosen for him i.e. (or he has the free will to choose whomever he wants but that girl has to be from a certain calibre?

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  93. MTH
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 12:40:53

    Another question, say for example people in HollyWood, it is widely believed that the more arrogant you are, the better you do i.e. do not include people in your circle and when you act up/out you do better as controversy sells. Therefore humility is not really embraced…

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  94. Obara Meji
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 12:47:30

    an initate can do whatever he likes, date girls have sex, play and otherwise, but when the Oluwo/Bablawo is doing sacrifce and chanting Ifa, he must be there, when it is time to prepare medicine or go to the bush, he must be there, when person come for divination he must be there, when the teaches is doing anything concerning Ifa, HE MUST BE THERE, there are no books to study from, he must pay attention, you learn from repetition, we all do, this is how Ifa is taught Orally and by repetition, if there are ten students, all are treated equally, but the teacher will soon realize one with an exceptional talent for Ifa, it is this one who will know in time most of his masters secrets, Ifa will point it

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  95. Obara Meji
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 12:56:49

    The practice went to Cuba during the African holocaust, when some Yorubas arrived there, some were babalawos, while some were worshipers of Orishas, they all could not practice how they wanted because Christianity, mainly Catholicism, was forced upon them so they collect from each other what memory they had with them in way of worship and hid the Orishas behind the Catholic Statues, Sango became Santa Barbara, and Osun became La Caridad de Cobre, My gripe with them however is that Slavery has been over for some time now, but they still continue to worship the same way and even abuse us Africans, and try to sway people away from us, and from going to Africa, the do not practice the same as us and they have refused to Acknowledge us, the place where Orunmila built his house. Wisdom has allowe us not to fuss with them but to leaven them alone instead, lol, it is really sad

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  96. Obara Meji
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 13:00:51

    Unfortunately The Cubans are now bringing it to Jamaica and are deceiving the people there, steering them away from Africa, O ma Se OOO!..Oguntunde commented for you to travel to Brazil, Trinidad and where ever else, I do not agree, No one prepares Ackee like the Jamaicans, nor a great pizza like the Italian, the Chinese have Chinese food pon lock, so if you want the real deal go to Africa!!!

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    • Lalibela A Nile (@Lalibela_Nile)
      Jul 01, 2014 @ 13:09:48

      Obara, where is Oguntunde leaving these comments? I don’t see them… Afro Brazilian studies does provide an insight into the Brazil’s African essence and it would be nice to know that outside of Nigeria, Brazil has the largest concentration of Africans and African descendants…

      Now, I have read prior, that even native Africans themselves had actually visit the likes of Cuba, Haiti and Brazil, with the hopes of re-learn their actual culture that was lost to them…

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  97. Obara Meji
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 13:15:30

    he seems to be replying under the questions up top, they are under Ty’s question Lalaibela

    Cutty deal wid it wicked, but mi buss ah stitchie pon yuh, juss ah sneak peek for Saturday Lalibela, start fret from nung

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