There was no compound in Ilé Ifè that was free of problems. Some were suffering from economic problems, while others were besieged by the deaths of their children. At this time, Òsun had been a tireless advocate for women's rights. She was working constantly on behalf of children and youth as well. Somehow, her efforts were considered offensive to several influential men and women of Ifè. Eventually, they decided to confront Òsun.
They accused her of being the cause for the troubles in the kingdom. They even took up the issue with Òrúnmìlà. When Òrúnmìlà suggested that they should be patient and conduct a proper investigation, the people concluded that he was part of the problem and determined that both he and his wife should be banished from the kingdom at once.
Òrúnmìlà and Òsun decided to go consulta Ifa. The babalawo told them that they should offer sacrifice so that Òsun would be cleared of all charges and the true culprit would be exposed, shamed and dealt with. As soon as the sacrifice was made, Èsù went to work! He went to the head of the Iyami Osoroga and told her that he would like to join them in making life difficult for Òsun and Òrúnmìlà.
She invited Èsù to the meeting of Iyami, where he claimed to hate Òsun because of her arrogance. He promised to support any efforts to destroy her. It was then that the Iyami began to rant about how much they detested Òsun. Whenever they tied anyone down she would untie them, especially children and youth. And because the Iyami prefer the blood of children, they felt Òsun had absolutely no right to deny them that delicacy. She must be punished!
The following day, Èsù launched the next phase of his strategem. He returned to the head of the Iyami society and asked about how the spoils of war would be divided. That is, he wanted to know how are the blood and body parts shared. She explained to Èsù that, as the leader, she takes the victim's head and 1/10 of the blood. Èsù wanted to know who gets the internal organs. The head of the Iyami responded that her deputies take the organs for themselves.
Èsù pretended to be outraged. "That is disrespect! The organs and intestines are the most valuable parts. Why should you be cheated this way??? You deserve better. You must confront this injustice and take your share as the leader. Call an emergency conference and tell your deputies that this must change. I'll support you 100%. The leader of Iyami went into a fit of rage. Anything and everything enraged her! Then, Èsù went to the deputies of Iyami. There, he emboldened them to rebuff any and all insults from their leader. He invoked the idea that she was too self-centered and abusive. He told them that any of them had the capacity to be the head, given the present leader's lack of administrative skills. Demand your respect without compromise. I'll support you 100%.
The conference was called and the leader of the Iyami lunged into a verbal attack of her deputies. On their part, the members of the Iyami society returned harsh words and eventually pandemonium broke out. It was then that they began to expose one another. They shouted about whose crops they had destroyed, whose children they had killed, who they had afflicted with disease and whose fortunes they had destroyed.
Meanwhile, Èsù quietly went and called the people of Ifè to listen to the all out battle taking place. As the people listened with amazement and pain, Èsù demanded, "Why are you keeping quiet?" The people rounded up the Iyami and dealt with them accordingly.
Eyele pooyi ranyin lojude Apon
Cast Ifa for Òrúnmìlà
When Ìyàmi were fighting agsinst him
And they were accusing Iyewa
He was advised to offer sacrifice
Behold, Òsun Iyewa Otooro Efon
Will never fight against anyone
To the extent of harming his children
- Holy Odù IreteMeji*
Popoola, Solagbade. Ifa Dida v 1. Page 1004
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.