King Chronicles: Embrace the Hate
EMBRACE THE HATE
If you really want to be the king, let's start with a good reality check. Kingship is not a popularity contest. It's about rulership and governance. So, know this; it is better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you pretend to be... It's one thing to intellectualize the idea of embracing the hate, but it takes a considerable amount of resilience, courage and focus to endure hatred over time.
According to an early 1968 Harris Poll, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr died with a public disapproval rating of nearly 75 percent.  That means, that even though Blacks and Whites were as divided as humanly possible, many found themselves strangely unified in their hatred for Dr. King. In fact, it was a Black woman, Izola Curry, who tried to kill Dr. King by stabbing him in the chest with a letter opener.
In spite of the intense hatred he experienced from others, Dr. King remained devoted to his mission to ascend the throne of destiny.
PRICE OF THE CROWN
Sometimes, the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us. Being hated by the people you serve is one of the worst experiences a king can endure. For this reason, the installation of a Yoruba king actually begins with ritual humiliation.
When the prince of Orangun Ila (a Yoruba kingdom) is poised to ascend the throne, he must first endure a hardship along the way. He goes before the Obaale, with whom he swears an oath to govern with wisdom and, if necessary, sacrifice his life for the well-being of the kingdom.
Next, he journeys to the shrine of the Ebora (deities) of Ila, where is installed as the ALANWO, which connotes something forbidden, that which is taboo, or a place that cannot be entered. For the next three months, the would-be king lives in limbo.
He will travel to a new house by night and become a stranger to his kin. Not only that, once he is formally installed as the Orangun of Ila, he will never be allowed to return to his family compound.
The entire ordeal is captured in a verse of the Holy Odu OgundaMeji, which details the painful journey to becoming the king:
Benevolence is not futile
Wickedness is not forgotten
The act of benevolence without showing appreciation in return
Is like one has lost valuable things
Cast divination for Àgànná
Who will be enthroned as the King of the town of Òkò
after the death of his father
What made Àgànná become the King?
Benevolence made Àgànná the King
- Holy Odu OgundaMeji
The Olókò is the King of Òkò. But he was childless, which meant he had no heir. His senior wife feared that she would be blamed for the absence of an heir. So, she convinced the Olókò to take a slave as his consort, hoping to embarrass the king and absolve herself at the same time.
The slave, however, became pregnant and gave birth to a boy. The king named him Àgànná, which means 'Joy of the barren.' In quick succession, all the kings wives became pregnant, including the senior wife.
Now, since Àgànná was the heir apparent of the Olókò, the senior wife was displeased because she wanted her own son to ascend the throne. So, she conspired to have Àgànná and his mother banished from the palace on the grounds that they were actually slaves. And so, Àgànná and his mother were forced to live in the forest.
Years later, during the king's annual festival, the Olókò died. And when the kingmakers queried Ifa as to who would replace him, all the princes in the palace were rejected, one by one. Finally, an elder chief said, "What about Àgànná?"
As soon as the babalawo asked, Ifa confirmed; Àgànná is to become the next Olókò. The royal guard went to the forest, where Àgànná and his mother lived. They brought with them a royal insignia, which they planted inside of Àgànná's bag. They then demanded to inspect the bag and pretended to have found the insignia. The guards shouted out loud, "THIEF! Àgànná is a thief!!! He has stolen the royal insignia from the palace!"
They dragged Àgànná through town, shouting, "We have captured a thief today! Àgànná is a thief!" Soon, the entire town had gathered. The people hurled insults at Àgànná. He wept bitterly in the face of the public humiliation.
They then dragged Àgànná into the palace, where he assumed he would be executed. They blindfolded him. They ripped his clothes from his body. They abused him. But then, to his surprise, they bathed Àgànná. They draped him in fine cloth. Still blindfolded, they lead him to a place where he could hear many voices. They sat Àgànná in a large chair. And when they finally removed the blindfold, he could see the entire kingdom had gathered. The kingmakers placed the crown upon his head and everybody knelt before him and proclaimed, kabiesi (your royal majesty)! And so, after ritual humiliation, Àgànná became king.
SACRIFICE FACILITATES MATURITY
Ritual humiliation is an experience that a king must suffer, for ‘The head of the elephant is not a load to be carried by a child’. (Atari ajanaku kiise eru omode). This is a proverb that is recited to remind you that power requires sacrifice; sacrifice facilitates maturity. A king's head must be specially prepared to carry a heavy load.
Let us consider the teachings of the Holy Odu OturaEguntan:
They did much evil to me
I am not tarnished; they cannot overcome me
They are cursing, swearing and wishing me evil
OturaEguntan said that I should not be afraid, nor fear them
He promised to mend my ways so that I may have a better life
He said my life will be prosperous
It is OturaEguntan who washed my head for me
So that no curse, imprecation, charm or spell will affect me
- Holy Odu OturaEguntan
Here, we see the importance of preparing one's ORI for rulership and governance. Traditionally, the king’s authority reflects the divine will of Olódùmarè. As such, he is crowned with a power like that of the gods i.e., Kaabiyesi Alase ekeji òrìsà.
“Among all Yoruba people the Ade (Crown) is the principal symbol of a king's authority. The Crown is an Òrisà when it is placed upon the head of the king. His Orí inu (inner head) becomes one with those who have reigned before him and who are now Òrisà. There is an ancient story that says that before he died, Oduduwa, the founder and first king of Yoruba people gave a beaded crown (Ade) to each of his sons and sent them forth to establish their own kingdoms. Another version, with many variations, states that when Olofin Oduduwa was old and almost blind, his sons adopted their father's crown (Ade) knowing that with the authority of Ade, they can establish their own kingdoms.” 
Ori is the one that performs prenatal choice, which we call akunleyan. Washing the ori signifies the restoration of your destiny. Thus, when you are aligned with your prenatal choice, you are beyond the reach of those who would attempt to harm you.
Suffer as you may, focus relentless upon your destiny and you need not fear ten thousand curses. Ultimately, your prenatal choice becomes your life experience.
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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.