THE 256 ODU LABYRINTH
The Ifa Foundation Labyrinth of the 256 Odu
Have you ever experienced what it is like to take a journey into your center core one step at a time?
Right now, the Universe is letting us know...It is time for this experience to be created in our lives. The Ifa Foundation will now open the gates of Ola Olu, the world renown spiritual retreat for the path of Ifa in central Florida, for such an opportunity.
Experience a walking meditation. Experience the concept of a metaphor. Experience the mirror to your soul. Experience truly learning about yourself through a subtle deep movement.
There are exactly 256 steps to the center of the one being created at Ola Olu. Each one presents you with each of the unique ancient symbols of the energy matrix’s inside the path of Ifa...that are known as Odu. It is the life work of an Ifa Priest to understand each one of these Odu. As a labyrinth walker...you will begin a journey of tapping into a layer of what these symbols represent and offer to our life...each with an important message to put into your mind.
Before you come to become a labyrinth walker...you should know more about why a labyrinth has come to be at Ola Olu..after all, knowledge is power too. It is a blessing to know and understand some of the very important information around the history of the labyrinth. I’ve have truly enjoyed my journey with regards to the research I am now unveiling to you in this format.
I know that it is one of the more important creations I have become involved with...as I am sure my guardian ancestor in Greece was a labyrinth builder and walker too. He has been with me all along the way of “seeing” this project...from vision to execution. As an Ogun Priest myself...I love creating and building...this Labyrinth of the 256 Odu is one of the largest spiritual tools i have been involved with...and besides the enormity of its size...it is one of the most powerful experiences I have had personally. So enjoy what has been revealed inside this writing. And come to enjoy what is going to be one of your more magical moments with yourself...for it is totally personal.
The history of the Labyrinth:
Written By Iyanifa Vassa Neimark
Clay tablet found in Pylos, Greece
First documented from a clay tablet found in Pylos, Greece about Circa 1200 B.C.E. ...then somewhere between 400-500 BCE another discovery made on the island of Crete. This one was connected with the Royal Minoan Palace of Crete.
Christians were found using the Labyrinth as early as 1000 BCE...most likely to have been used for the Easter Dance as well as for a number of other ceremonial experiences. Some labyrinths were believed to trap negative spirits...while others believed they were the pathway to God.
For those that were unable to travel to the special Holy Land...they created a labyrinth closer to home ...as to recreate a similar experience. They used them for teleporting their thoughts and prayers from within the center core chamber of their labyrinth.
Now here is something to ponder about...there were many locations around the globe that depicted the exact labyrinth layout....called the 7th course. (see below) They discovered them from England, Greece, Scandinavia to Russia not to mention India and we can go on and on...
So I ask you this...how did these countries come to use the same labyrinth design? No one was communicating in the way we do now....I welcome your theory!
We can find paintings from the 16th century....depicting labyrinth symbols on breast plate shields and landscapes...Chapels and Cathedrals too. You could find labyrinth designs in the works by contemporary artists such as Picasso, Juan Miro, Piet Mondrian, M.C. Esher, Jean DuBuffet to name a few!
Here is an example of one in existence right now at Boston College.
Labyrinth at Boston College
And another....the Edinburgh labyrinth....
George Square Gardens, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
The meaning of a labyrinth...A labyrinth can mean many things to many people...here are some ideas to bring into your mind.
Modern mystics find walking a labyrinth leads one to salvation...and forms a state of enlightenment. While others believe they are the sacred pathway to home of ones guardian spirit.
When you walk the “Labyrinth of the 256” at Ola Olu with intention...You will be letting go of your inner obstacles...stress, sadness, negative thoughts, negative feelings, fears, and whatever distanced you from connecting purely inside your daily destiny path.
Each step you take is leading you through the energy matrix’s that Ifa has to offer.
Diviners from the beginning of time have used each one of these sacred Odu’s for understanding life.
It is a lifetime of study for the high Priests of Ifa to find greater understanding through the subtle nuances of each and every one of the 256 Odu.
Each step you take... will prepare you for reaching the center. While you take the physical walk...your mind takes a mental walk as well. While your mind is busy thinking all of this through...your emotions will most likely move through a gambit feelings as well. From what is going on in your outer world to what you have going on in the inner circle of your life!
As you walk in...you will sense the movement within. As you walk out...you will take not only what was revealed inside the center...you will also gather what you need...as you walk a step at a time upon the ancient energy symbols of the 256 Odu stepping stones.
You will become so much more aware. You will learn. You will be a part of a new experience for your new journey.
The labyrinth will mirror what it is you need to see at this time in your life. You may return at another time and walk the labyrinth and experience something else totally different...and of course trust that this was what you were ready for then.
The return journey back out—offers a time for integration in which we take the insights that we gained on the labyrinth into our lives for implementation. By applying them through aligned action, we are able to create transformation and bring about change.
The purpose of the labyrinth:
Facilitates movement from outside in and inside out.
Increases ones productivity in daily life as well as the spirit world connection.
Empowers a person while calming them at the same time.
Illuminates and refocuses ones intention.
Moves you through your stuff as you move through it.
A labyrinth walk is what you make it...it can be....
A place to learn about yourself.
A giant mirror to reflect with.
A place that could bring you in between two worlds...and find your source of true power.
Walking a labyrinth can benefit your health...both spiritual and physical!
Walking a labyrinth will improve your concentration as well.
The experience change you through this personal silent meditation
How do I prepare for my Labyrinth walk you ask....
We recommend doing several rituals outside the labyrinth entrance. Bath the morning of... with the sacred black soap. You can also remove any negative energy surrounding your body with white eggs...And you can rinse with the fluid inside a fresh coconut....and when you come we will bur some sage around you.
Become in touch with where you are now...and let go...
Notice your breath...
Find your own pace.
What to pay attention to....observe yourself...observe the subtleties.
Are you coming in with expectations...
or are you open minded to let what is to be...be?
Are you patient with the walk
or finding yourself becoming impatient.
Do you find yourself wondering how much longer it will take to get to the center or are enjoying each step along the way?
Are you breathing in the presence of each step?
Are you coming with anxiety and tension?
Are you excited about what the possibilities could be?
Are you entering with an inquisitive mind?
We welcome you to come and enjoy a day with us at the Ola Olu retreat and experience the benefits of being a labyrinth walker.
We have special workshops around the concept of “Centering”. Each person attending will have this experience with the labyrinth as part of that workshop. Please see Our Events
Would you like to sponsor one of the Odu tiles?
Every step counts...so take one and...support your favorite odu.
Click here to learn more.
I look forward to sharing the journey with you.
Love and Blessings, Iyanifa Vassa