Friday, June 18, 2010

The seven African gods, Ib

Before reading this article it is recommended that you read the previous articles titled (1) The Seven African gods, African, Hispanic, Religion (2) The seven African gods, diloggun,divination (3) The seven African gods, oracle of the orishas.
The Ibo are the eight items that are selected in pairs to indicate Yes or No to questions asked by the client or the diviner. One is placed in the left hand of the client and the other is placed in the right hand of the client and both hands are clasped closed. The Ibo are selected according to the nature of the consultation, and the type of question asked.

Ota: This Ibo is a small black stone that can be clasped in the palm. This ibo represents the immortality and stability of the soul, and spiritual truths. Ota always answers negative or No and can be paired with any of the other ibo. It is usually paired with efun.

Efun: This Ibo is compacted, powdered chalk made of crushed and powdered eggshells. It always corresponds to a yes answer and is owned by the orisha Obatala.

Aye: This Ibo is an elongated small seashell. It is limited to questions pertaining to relationships, marriage, and questions relating to illness, and questions relating to water orishas.

Owo: This Ibo is two cowrie shells tied together with mouth sides. They relate to Olokun and Yemaya, the orishas of the sea. This Ibo represents questions pertaining to money and financial matters. When paired with efun it means the negative, when paired with ota it means the negative.

Apadi: This ibo is a broken china or pottery and it is used in matters concerning war or arguments.

Gungun: This ibo is a bone from the hind leg of a goat. It means a yes answer to questions pertaining to the dead or those spirits that dwell in heaven. It is always paired with ota.

Ewe ayo: This ibo is a seed from the guacalote tree. The seed refers to one’s children, and illness.

Eri aoran: This ibo is a tiny doll head and it is used in matters concerning the clients head. It always answers yes.

Now that the appropriate pair of ibo has been selected and given to the client, the sixteen shells are gathered into the Italero left hand and gently tapped on the mat three times. After the third strike the hand is brought up and opened so that they may gently roll out on the mat. The odu is counted and marked and the Italero must determine whether an elder our younger odu has opened. Letters with elder status are Okana (1), Eji Oko (2), Ogunda (3), Irosun (4), Eji Ogbe (8), Ofun (10), Ejila shebora (12), Metanla (13), Marinla(14), Marunla (15), and Merindilogun(16). If one of these eleven signs is present the left hand is chosen. The client must display what is in the left hand and this is the answer to the question.

If any of the five remaining odu opens upon casting the shells both hands are to remain closed while the diviner gives a second casting to the shells. The five remaining signs are considered the younger odu and the order of seniority are oche (5), odi (7), obara (6), osa (9), and owani (11)
When the younger odu falls, the diviner picks up the sixteen cowries once again in the left hand, strikes the mat three times, letting the shells fall after the third strike. The rule for opening the hand is as follows. If the first throw is younger than the second throw the right hand is opened. When an older opens first and a younger odu opens second, the left hand is chosen.

There are circumstances that among the younger, two are of the same age, twins. These two signs Obara and Osa. Obara will always rank younger then Osa, because it was created after Osa. If the Odu marked either 6-9, or 9-6, the left hand is always chosen out of respect for the two letters. There will be times when a younger odu falls twice and becomes a meji, or twin of itself (5-5, 7-7, 6-6, 9-9,11-11). When any of these occur the left hand is always chosen. There are two additional rules pertaining to Elleinle (8) and Irosun (4). When Elleinle or Irosun falls the answers is always yes.

There are circumstances when casting the cowrie all sixteen cowries fall with their mouth down, and it is said Apira is in the house. The divination must then stop, for circumstances with which this letter deals with are natural disasters, insanity, mental instability, famine, death and general calamity in the clients life. In this case the divination must stop and not proceed further, for evil stands in the door.
The sixteen shells are then picked up and placed in the jicara of water. The water of jar is then carried outside of the house, and the gourd is turned upside down allowing the cowries to fall out into a new pattern. The number of shells that have face up are then counted and called out to the Italero. The cowries are then picked up and put back into the jar with fresh water. The shells are given back to the Italero, and he determines if the marking of apira is for the client or for himself or for any one associated with the client.

Once the opening odu has been extracted the diviner picks up two of the ibo, efun and ota, holding them in his left hand, the diviner asks “ire ni”?, which means “Is a blessing predicted through this letter, keeping the negative securely behind the positive ibo, he touches the positive ibo to each of the mouths open on the mat, keeping the negative secured behind, hidden in his hand.
He then hands the pieces to the client, giving him the efun first and the ota second saying, “Efun lo waya, ota beko, efun ke ibo”, ( affirmative ibo) answers yes (negative ibo answers no). Affirmative ibo is blessed. The client is then asked to shake both ibo in the hand and separate them one into the left hand and the other in the right hand closed.

Summary Analysis

This type of divination seem to be most precise for it does not leave room for vague answers. A response is either Yes or No with no surrounding circumstances. Unlike tarot reading that leave room for vague answers and speculation. By comparison the oracle of the orishas is the best form of divination ever devised so far apart from having direct communication with angels, which is a more complex system. The oracle of the orishas is so well organized that I am inclined to think that it was not originated by mankind but by elemental spirits, particularly those of the forest known as gnomes in collaboration with the elementals of the sea. It is either from one of these sources or I lean my suspicion to the elemental spirits of the sea. The whole ritualistic process is so spiritually accurate that it is impossible for a human being from ancient Africa to invent it. I am aware of the spirits used by the herbal medicine priest in Africa to do their work , and I am also aware that it is the spirits that give instructions to the priest as to what remedies to use. I am no doubt inclined to belief the same, that this system of divination was originated by elemental spirits taught to mankind, and that they are the powers behind this whole system of the seven African gods.

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