Aboru aboye gbogbo babalawo. In light of the recent demonstration of social consciousness, the World Peace and Healing Initiative has invited devotees around the world to participate in a week-long campaign to wear white clothes and conduct orisa ceremonies for world peace. I am very happy to have accepted the invitation to organize activities in Oakland in support of the initiative. Today, in accordance with the worship calendar of West Africa, I consulted Ifa on the matter and, as is to be expected, Ifa advised me on the deepest significance of white cloth for world peace.
Once, as Orunmila was coming from heaven to earth, he consulted Ifa. He was advised to sacrifice in order to overcome hardships on earth. More specifically, if he wanted to enjoy a long life, Orunmila would have to appease Ogun, Esu, Awon Iyami Osoronga and Olodumare. He made the required offerings and descended into the world. He became a very proficient babalawo and eventually heard of a town called Imure, which was completely inhabited by witches. Anyone who visited the town was bound to become a human sacrifice. Orunmila decided to visit Imure. Before departing, however, he consulted Ifa for guidance. He was advised to offer a he-goat to Esu, three pieces of cloth; one white, one red and one black, a dog, tortoise and rooster to Ogun, and to carry two live pigeons with him on the journey. Again, Orunmila made the sacrifice and departed, this time for Imure.
When he arrived at Imure, it was the holiday season. This was the time when they would typically receive a stranger and use him as a sacrificial victim. When Orunmila arrived, the people of Imure gave him lodging in a remote part of town, where they planned to apprehend and sacrifice him. But by this time, Esu had taken up his portion of Orunmila's sacrifice, which caused him to spring into action himself. He transformed himself into a local townsperson and proposed that they should perform a little test on their unsuspecting victim, just to make sure he was not a powerful adversary. He proposed that the very next day, all the inhabitants of Imure should prepare three outfits; white in the morning, red in the afternoon and black in the evening. If the visitor could not match them, he should be an easy kill. The witches of Imure agreed.
Immediately, Esu appeared before Orunmila. He combined the cloth that Orunmila had sacrificed with something special of his own and told him the next day, he should study the style of the Imure people and follow suit. Essentially, "When in Rome do is the Romans." The next day, Orunmila waited and watched as the people appeared in Imure dressed first in white, then red, and finally black cloth. Orunmila followed suit and, as fate would have it, his cloth was much more beautiful than anything the people of Imure had ever seen. They were convinced that he would not be an easy prey. So the next day, the witches sent two ambassadors to welcome Orunmila with kola nuts and an apology for not properly receiving him the day before, on account of the holiday festival. Orunmila accepted the apologies. As the ambassadors were about to make prayers and split the kola nuts, the pigeons inside of Orunmila's flew out carrying two more kola nuts to give to the ambassadors. Because the pigeon is emblematic of the witches, the ambassadors were so startled by the birds that they never split to kola nuts. Instead, they hastily left Orunmila's guest house, convinced that he was actually a powerful wizard himself.
Finally, Orunmila went to visit the elders of Imure, carrying his bag along with him. When the elders met him, they told Orunmila that they were members of the Iyami Osoronga. Right away, Orunmila challenged them, while alluding to the birds which he carried in his bag. This was a suggestion that he was beyond their abilities, as he was able to contain their powers in his bag, while at the same time carrying on his other duties. The Iyami of Imure conceded that Orunmila was too powerful an adversary to be taken lightly. They installed him as a chief of Imure.
After some time, Orunmila decided to return home. He consulted Ifa before leaving. Ifa advised Orunmila that the Iyami or Imure would test him again, in an attempt to prevent him from leaving. Ifa advised Orunmila to leave town dressed completely like Obatala. That is, he was to wear immaculate white cloth, a red parrot's feather on his head and to rub himself completely in white chalk. He was further advised to carry the traditional staff - Opa Oje - in his right hand. As Orunmila was leaving the city of Imure, Esu preceded him, exclaiming to all and sundry that the very representative of Olodumare himself had arrived on earth. The people mistook him for Obatala and gave him a wide berth.
Orunmila brought peace to a troubled environment by meeting the challenges and transcending the difficulties. His sacrifices did not prevent him from having to face difficulties. Instead, they set the stage for Orunmila to demonstrate the healing powers of sacrifice.
Ifa says that we should put our minds at rest. The task before us will yield to our will. The path will open and we will enjoy a safe journey. Touch the ground, then your chest three times and give thanks for the blessings that the earth will provide.
Please join us on December 21, to close out the year with prayer for world peace. Bring with you a specific place where you would for us to PHYSICALLY go to offer prayers, songs and iconic symbols of peace.
When: 12.21.2014 9.00 am - 11.00 pm
Where: 1409 35th Ave Oakland, CA 94601
Please wear white.
Visit http://www.orisalifestyle.com/communityworship.html for details.
Live the Medicine
Obafemi Origunwa, MA
Thought leader, Ifa priest and author of four definitive books, Obafemi Origunwa inspires metamorphosis through living the medicine that will heal your life and heal the lives of the people you're destined to serve.