My enemy chased me
They could not meet me so they returned
As they retreated they threw a rock backwards but it missed me
They shot an arrow
They shot a gun but could not hit me
Top, top, I was
The hand of their dagger could not touch me
Cast divination for Olowo
Who will eat monkey's meat
When the whole town excluded him and he decided to travel abroad
Olowo offered 32,000 cowries
If you do not go and check on our king
The pregnant will not give birth
The sick will not find healing
Go and help me check on Olowo so he may become king
So the town may become peaceful
Give the crown of Olowo to Olowo
So that Olowo may step peacefully into our town
So that we may all have peace of mind
- Holy Odu OturaIwori
Leadership without opposition is rare, if not unheard of. People covet the spotlight. We think we know better than the experienced experts. We contest and contradict, sometimes just to be contradictory. If the deities would defy Olodumare, it is logical to expect defiance from our fellow man.
So, why consult Ifa? Why make ebo? Why practice ose? Why observe taboos? If opposition is inevitable why bother to avoid it? In the verse above, Ifa details various phases of a relentless attack. From chasing to rock throwing to shooting arrows to gun fire to dagger swinging, we see that the assault can persist and escalate. But at the same time, Ifa demonstrates how the assailants failed in one attempt after another. You can imagine the enemies' rising frustration at not being able to achieve their nefarious aims. So, while their aggression is predictable, with Ifa's guidance, their failure is also guaranteed.
Olowo means respectable. Historically, the Olowo is known to be a descendant of Orunmila himself. He was the eighth son, who was born when Orunmila had finally achieved a respectable stage of life. Hence, the title Olowo harkens back to the mythic era when Orunmila's journey was punctuated by him transforming himself into Ope, the sacred palm. And so, the fact that the Olowo is the rightful ruler of Owo kingdom is beyond dispute. In spite of what anyone else might think, feel, say or do, nothing will ever alter the historical truth, which is grounded in the sacred text of Ifa.
What matters mist here is the fact that, in the exact same way that Ifa details the Olowo's natural place as the lord of Owo kingdom, Ifa also details your natural authority. Through learning to live according to the laws of Ifa, you too can ascend the throne of your own destiny. Thus, when the inevitable opposition arises, you will be assured effortless victory again and again and again. Live the medicine!
Obafemi Origunwa, MA | www.ObafemiO.com
Bi iwin bi idin
like madness, like maggots
like madness, like maggots
- Holy Odu IrosunIwori
Insanity is the loss of connection to reality. If you have ever encountered someone who has gone insane, you know that everyone involved suffers. But what about collective insanity? What happens when groups of people, or entire nations slip into the darkness of lunacy? We look upon the history of the world and recount the episodes of genocide committed at Wounded Knee, in Rwanda and inner city America but we fail to appreciate the depth of suffering that people have endured as a result of insanity.
Today, Africans across America own 1/2 of 1% of American wealth, which is exactly what we owned at Emancipation. That is evidence of collective insanity. Today, Africans in America make up only 12% of the National population, generate wealth estimated to make us the 9th wealthiest nation on earth. Yet and still, we make up 50% of all people encarcerated in the USA. That is evidence of collective insanity. Now, as Orisa Lifestyle is growing in the African American community, it has become cliche for some to claim that Ifa will mend our broken world. Consequently, our people are scrambling all over the globe to spend vast sums of money to be initiated, under the pretense that they will be instantly introduced to their destinies and magically saved. That is evidence of collective insanity.
Divination and sacrifice only set the stage for divine intervention. If you rwfuse to change the way you think, feel, speak and behave, no amount of ritual and ceremony will improve your lot in life. Here, it is important to specify that the change I speak of cannot be glossed over with more cliches, like iwa pele or iwa rere. No! The change I am speaking of is to change our agreements in such a way that we make decisions that increase the collective vitality, prosperity and sustainability of Africans in America. More precisely, I am referring to 16 Agreements of Orisa Lifestyle, which will transform us from a unruly crowds into well-organized communities, who own, control and direct the resources in our local environments. This is what it means to live the medicine. Learn more at www.OrisaLifestyle.com/volunteer.
If the one who sleeps alone sleeps badly
Only Olorun is the only one who can wake him
This was Ifa's message to a stranger,
Who was going to a field to stay for good
So that he might get someone to help him
Lift the load to his head (to carry)
He was asked to sacrifice a hen, thirty two hundred cowries and Ifa leaves
He heard and sacrificed
The stranger got to the field
And prepared his load
He looked right
He looked left
He looked forward
He looked backward
He saw no one
He said, This is now the load of Olorum
Then, Efulele, help me carry this load to my head, Efulele
You do not know that those who have
No people will put their trust in Olorun?
Lonliness is a silent killer. When you feel isolated and alone, your problems seem insurmountable and your blessings only seem to offer short term enjoyment. We need other people to help guide us into deeper levels of humanity. This is why they say People are people because of other people. Yet and still, you have to resist to temptation to externalize your experience. That is, in the same way that you chose your destiny alone, in the presence of Olodumare, there are many other decisions that you must make alone. Live the medicine."
Obafemi Origunwa, MA | www.ObafemiO.com
Living the medicine means personal sacrifice. That doesn't mean you always take a loss. It means you continuously have to adjust in order to improve your position. If you're an introvert, it means you will have to "turn up" from time to time. If you're an extrovert, you'll have to "tuck your wings" every now and then. If you're a hopeless romantic, you're going to have to sober up sometimes. And if you're a dry pragmatist, you'll have to be more emotive in some situations.
Basically, living the medicine means moving out of your comfort zone when the situation dictates. Timing is everything. Moving out of your comfort zone can feel like merging onto the freeway, in the sense that the flow of traffic can be so relentless that you almost feel like you're under attack. It can be like awaiting the birth of a child, in the sense that your anxiety, anticipation and excitment have absolutely no influence on the due date. Moving out of your comfort zone can be like dancing salsa the first few times in the sense that you might find it difficult to figure out when to start. In all cases, timing is essential and everything you have to do until the time is ripe represents your personal sacrifice.
Some years ago, I was a founding parent at a brand new charter school, where my children were students. It was a diverse, urban school that had a sizeable Black population, which infortunately, wasn't necessarily reflected in the faculty and staff. I am not very comfortable in political roles, but after the first year, the president of the PTA left the school and we really needed leadership that was representative of the community. Reluctantly, I leaned into the idea and took the position. And as much as I'd like to tell you that it was smooth sailing after that, the reality was really quite different: Just about everything I dreaded about school poilitcs cropped up that year! It was really a drag at times! I had to ask myself many times what I had gotten mysrlf into. But in the end, I was useful to the parents, the students and the school as a whole. I earned a respectable place in the school community. People liked me. They trusted me. And they knew I was committed to everybody's well being. So, when the time came for me to step further out of my comfort zone and start my own business, in the form of a summer camp, it was easier for people to accept me as a leader in that regard.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is not easy and it does not promise to make your life easier, more fun or more profitable. But if there is only one benefit to doing so, it is that you have the opportunity to learn about yourself, what you're made of and what is really possible for you if you're willing to make the personal sacrifice.
Love intensely, but live holistically. The passions and desires you feel so deeply are blessings that illuminate your soul like bright light from a distant star. You can use the light as a point of reference, but you will need much more to reach your destination. Here are three questions you might consider as you respond to love's calling out to itself. Ask yourself;
As you live passionately, these questions will help you to live holistically. Orisa Lifestyle is not one that denies the desires. Nor does it condemn the richness of intense self expression. In romance, business, athleticism and spirituality, living the medicine meansvigorous participation, balanced by far reaching pragmatism. Learn more at www.ObafemiO.com"
Obafemi Origunwa, MA | www. ObafemiO.com
one who has descendants quickly
- Holy Odu OturuponOse
How far are you willing to go? How much are you able to withstand? What, exactly is the limit of your commitment? Naturally, it depends, right? I mean, you're not going to risk life and limb for a bag of flour or a couple of raisins. But for your parents or your children, you wouldn't think twice.
The question is, if you know what is really important to you, why do you even entertain anything else? Immediately, some people respond with something like, "But I have to go to work to pay bills." And while that may be very true, it doesn't mean that your work has to detract from your passions. Can you imagine what life would be like if you were passionate about everything you do? Can you envision a life wherein you are intensely focused and relentlessly committed to everything you do? Can you imagine wasting absolutely no time on thongs that just don't matter?
The very idea scares most people so much that they immediately dismiss the possibility as if it were as outlandish as living on the moon. But the truth is, you were not born to be mediocre and just fit into somebody else's plan. You are uniquely qualified to make a contribution to your own life and the lives of the people you serve. It does not depend on how much money you have, how many initiations you perform or any other external element.
Your ability to surround yourself with meaningful activities that produce greatness starts with three things:
Together, these three elements compel you to greatness. Direction, service and accountability, when adhered to with true devotion, will produce personal greatness. This is what it means to live the medicine. Learn more at www.ObafemiO.com