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