The Philosophy of Akose
Akose is as much an art as it is a science. Either way, a master hand is necessary to bring out the best qualities of akose preparations. Each combination of leaves, roots and tree barks has its individuality, its own special relationship to water, fire and soil. Thus, in order to fully appreciate the nuances of akose, you need to be sensitive to the delicate balance of elements required to produce it.
Akose takes many forms and has even more functions. In my own practice, I make use of three main types of akose; soap, powder and cream.
More important than the type of akose, you need to understand the philosophy of akose. The Yorùbá recognize supernatural, natural and cultural causations of illness. Regarding the supernatural, it is believed that the orisa and certain spirits can cause illness when they are not propitiated. For instance, Ògún can cause a fatal road accident while desecration of Sonponna, can cause mental illness.
Likewise, regarding natural causes of imbalance might include weather exposure. For instance, fever can be caused by exposure to heat of the sun.
Cultural causation pertains to human conduct that leads to illness. People who are steeped in witchcraft, for example, can cause sickness, financial blockages or nightmares.
While babalawos rely on Ifa verses to guide their healing knowledge, herbalists do not. Instead, they mostly engage the use of herbal elements in the healing process. Here, it is important to note that, while their disciplines are distinct from one another, when it comes to actual practices, Yoruba traditional healers are interwoven into an aggregate of healing methodologies.
An herbalist may utilize both Ifa and metaphysical modes of healing and
the babalawo will definitely make use of herbal medicine. The distinction is however marked by the predominant mode used in healing.
Òsanyìn is universally recognized as the source of healing wisdom. It was he who taught Òrúnmìlὰ the art and science of plant medicine. While Òrúnmìlὰ is steeped in Ifa wisdom, Òsanyìn is reputed for his knowledge of herbs. The Holy Odu OgundaMeji tells us how Òrúnmìlὰ and Òsanyìn traded wisdom in order to empower one another. The outcome of their combined wisdoms is what we might call the philosophy of akose.
On the one hand, Odu Ifa are essential for diagnosis, which enables the practitioner to take a holistic approach to healing. For example, observances are derived from Odu Ifa; what foods to eat and to avoid, what colors to wear, when to speak out and when to remain silent.
On the other hand, which plants to use, how to harvest them and how to combine them is the specialized knowledge of the herbalists. It is their insights into the healing properties of plants that enables the herbalists to optimize their powers.
Weekly chant for prosperity, protection and blessings:
Taken from the Holy Odu OgbeAte, this akose calls for two yellow baby bananas, sea salt, palm oil, one white plate, Osun (camwood powder).
Instructions: For use on Mondays
Mash the 2 bananas onto the white plate. Add a pinch of sea salt and few drops of epo. Mark the Odu Ifa in Osun then recite the following verse. Sprinkle the powder over the bananas. Recite the incantation:
Once the banana has a child she protects it
Orunmila, put me under your protection
I come with palm oil
I come with salt
I have OgbeAte support Oooo
Everything is complete
Orunmila grant me prosperity, wealth, spouse
Children, good health and all the good things of life
Pray for wealth, comfort and protection. Breathe onto the preparation three times before eating.
In order to optimize this akose, there are certain observances and best practices to also take into consideration. Firstly, chasing money is like trying to chase the wind. You will be much more successful if you know the nature and patterns of the wind. That way, you can position yourself in a way that allows you to capture it when the time is ripe. Likewise, this akose works best when you have positioned yourself in a way that is conducive to prosperity. In other words, you need money to make money. The akose will just help you make more money!
Likewise, orisa aje is the spirit of wealth. Her nature is delicate. She will study an environment before she enters. If she detects strife, conflict and discord, aje will not linger. So, you must keep your environment neat and peaceful if you want the akose to be most effective.
Learn more about the philosophy and the power of akose: CLICK HERE
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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.