odu: the phoenix of ifa
Her imminent rise:
There is a parallel shared by all ancient philosophies. Basic Truths were expressed in metaphorical tales. One of these, which has enormous significance to the ancient African philosophy of Ifa, is that of the Phoenix.
"A mythical bird that never dies, the Phoenix flies far ahead to the front, always scanning the landscape and distant space. It represents our capacity for vision, for collecting sensory information about our environment and the events unfolding within it." - Master Lam Kam Chuen
In ancient Egyptian mythology the Phoenix is a mythical, female, sacred bird said to live for 500 years. At the end of its life cycle, the Phoenix builds itself a nest of twigs that it then ignites. Nest and bird proceed to burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes - from which a new, young Phoenix arises.
In todays world, the accepted ideas that have driven Western culture for hundreds of years are not only growing old, they are increasingly being proven incorrect. A world where global warming threatens our way of life, where the economy is beginning to fail from the thoughtless diminishing of natural resources, where social stability is threatened by rampant crime, overflowing prisons and ancient tribal conflicts, the “World is ending” feeling can become overwhelming. Be it the Apocalypse of the bible, or the destruction predicted by the Mayan Calendar, it can be easy to give up hope and feel, at the very least, that the best is behind us.
Ifa’s imminent rise:
What we see is the ending of one era, and like the mythical Phoenix, or the very real Odu, it portends the beginning of the birth of a vibrant new stage where the new values cast out the old. Where the flaws of Newtonian physics are replaced with the endless possibilities of Quantum reality; where the disproved absolutism of our being controlled by our RNA/DNA is replaced by the reality of spiritually programmable cells that can relate to, and work with, other communities of similar cells in harmony, rather than through supremacy. Where the practicality and rewards of good character and long-term thinking replace the destructive focus on instant gratification and self-absorption. Rather then the end, it is the beginning of the next evolutionary imperative.
Program for the new era…
The most difficult thing for most people is change. People stay in bad relationships, unrewarding jobs, and failed philosophies not because they do not understand they are bad, but because they are afraid another situation might be worse. The old ways might not be satisfying, but the new ways? Too scary!
So, year after year, generation after generation, people stay stuck in the old ways, growing increasingly less rewarded, increasingly less empowered, but comforted by the familiarity of the process. They parrot proverbs such as: “Better the Devil you know than the Devil you don't” to rationalize their failure to change. Yet, change is the ONLY constant in life…and the philosophy of Ifa was designed to recognize, adapt to, and ultimately embrace that change through the inherent flexibility and adaptability of the eternal living energies it is composed of.
Every significant advance of civilization was ultimately the decision of someone, or some group, willing to challenge the flawed or diminishing results of the past. Ultimately, they found the world was not flat, man could fly, and communication across thousands of miles could be as quick and clear as speaking to someone across the room. Each and every one of these and almost every other advance were met with huge resistance. For example, in the spring of 1633, Galileo Galilei, an Italian scientist, was delivered before the dreaded Roman Inquisition to be tried on charges of heresy. He was denounced, according to a formal statement, "for holding as true the false doctrine . . . that the sun is the center of the world, and immovable, and that the earth moves!" the statement went on to read that "the proposition that the sun is the center of the world and does not move from its place is absurd and...heretical, because it is expressly contrary to the Holy Scripture!" Galileo was found guilty and forced to renounce his views. Ill and broken in spirit, he was sentenced to a life of perpetual imprisonment and penance.
Today the same resistance meets any logical, pragmatic and thoughtful change that threatens the fixed position of any entrenched group.
The Ifa Foundation has spent more than thirty years in research, analyzing, testing and presenting thoughtful, logical energy observations and techniques that have often flown in the face of those who claim the same infallibility the Church used to silence Galileo. Yet, almost without exception, after the hostility, attacks, and fury have subsided, the vast majority of Ifa priests have begun initiating women into Ifa, performing Divinations via the phone and Internet, becoming aware of the existence and significance of Ori, initiating men and women regardless of race nationality and sexual preferences.
Today, as we observe the currently painful exit from 500 years of fixed beliefs and self-indulgence and enter the dawn of a new era in scientific and spiritual understanding and partnership, the Foundation is once again comfortable presenting the next logical evolutionary energy step in the living energy of Ifa.
Unlike many of our previous conclusions, this opportunity presents itself only as the result of years of intense study, good character, acquired wisdom and enormous spiritual growth. Under these conditions many will eventually grow into the ability to perform this step. To deny its reality is to remove you from the possibility of expressing and benefiting from it.
This step offers individuals, for the first time, the opportunity of genuine initiation in either the traditional system utilizing animal sacrifice, or through an equally powerful, yet bloodless Orisa or Ifa initiation!
The Ifa Foundation, as it has for more than a quarter of a century, will continue to work with logical, open minded men and women that seek self-empowerment through the guiding principals of Ifa. Individuals who understand the time to be tethered to the past is over, that as the Phoenix of our previous behavior bursts into flames, the eternal living Truths of Odu will rise from the ashes, fresh, powerful, adapted to the realities that must now be observed and worked with if all – our selves included – are to reach our Destinies.