June 20th - 26th, 2020
“We are in this together, embrace diversity.”
The Odù for this week is Ìrẹtẹ̀ Òtúrá in Ibi (Òtúrá Mejì) with a detrimental influence on relationships (Odí Òtúrúpọ̀n). You may recall that this Odù also came up at the beginning of the month with Ibi for relationships. I want to point out that in that earlier week, there was a “lunar eclipse,” and this week, we have a “solar eclipse.” If you consider that the sun is symbolic of the human “ego,” then the moon going over the sun puts emotional needs ahead of the “ego.”
A consciousness transformation is taken place now in how we relate to one another. The pandemic, together with social and political unrest, has made us acutely aware of our differences, with “social distancing,” further adding to the divide. Those of you on a spiritual path intuitively know that this is not sustainable, and something must give for we are ultimately part of a global community that needs each other to thrive.
We are desperately searching for answers, and Òrìṣà Ọṣun (Ogbè Ọ̀sá) is telling us that we need to rediscover joy and find new ways to interact with one another. It calls for social change, but that will require an open mind and a loving heart. By this, I mean that we need to look at each other differently; stop being combative and argumentative; embrace diversity without judgment; accept the fact that we each walk a different path in life.
I clearly understand that some people appear stuck in their spiritual evolution and will continue to behave badly for the foreseeable future. Perhaps you’re inclined to enlighten them to see things differently, either through inspiring dialogue or by merely being a good role model to them. However, if you find it frustrating, you may need to accept that they may not be ready or even interested in spiritual growth. Don’t let others drag you down with them. Remember that while you may have little control over other’s behavior, you are still responsible for your own. Always ask yourself, do your actions reflect Ìwa-Pẹ̀lẹ̀ (kind and gentle character.)
Ìrẹtẹ̀ always has spiritual implications; it is the type of energy that drives us to better ourselves. Ìrẹtẹ̀ is applying constant pressure on the temporal side, the conscious self, and urges you to listen to your inner voice so that you’re better able to respond to situations with greater emotional sensitivity, calmness, love, and spiritual awareness as indicated by Òtúrá. This week, we need the loving help of Ọṣun.
Ọṣun is a sensual energy, and one of her tools is the abẹ̀bẹ̀ (hand mirror) that helps us see our inner self and desires. We need to love ourselves before we can love anyone else. She uses a fan to create excitement and to cool the turbulent waters within us - our emotional energy.
The abẹ̀bẹ̀ (hand mirror) is also representative of “personal relationships” because we see ourselves in relationships. In fact, in our initial quest to find another person, we look for someone like us. It’s only as we learn more about who we are that we start looking for qualities in a person that are complementary rather than the same. We ultimately find diversity more rewarding, for they teach us about ourselves by exposing us to exciting new experiences. Beauty and physical attraction may be what gets you to notice someone, but it’s passion, excitement, mental curiosity, and emotional chemistry that keeps you together.
Ọṣun is depicted wearing five brass or gold idẹ (bracelets) that jingle like a cascade of water when she gives you her blessings, and she is very generous. She loves honey, sunflowers, oranges, and shiny objects; those are always good offerings. You can invoke her with a small brass bell and with Oríkì (praise chants) or Àdúrá Orin (prayer song); if you’re in nature, you can ring the bell at the water’s edge.
To connect with Ọṣun energy, we need to understand how Ọṣun manifests herself through “sensuality” where we experience life through the five senses, “touch,” “taste,” “smell,” “sight,” and “hearing.” When the senses are excited, it brings out your creativity that can be express in the arts, music, dance, writing, cooking, decorating, etc. The excitement of the senses is lacking now due to social distancing, so we need to find other ways to connect with each other and to express our creativity.
The Ebó to Ọṣun is “orange juice” (Ọ̀sẹ́ Ogbè), and in the context of this reading, it means to get the juice out of life and make the most of the situation.
Reminder: When making any Ebó (offerings), always offer a taste to Èṣù/Ẹlégbá first who is the divined messenger and takes your prayers and offerings to its destination.
Speaking of “diversity,” the LGBTQ community is celebrating “pride month” and we send blessings.
Traditionally, the Odù Ìrẹtẹ̀ Òtúrá speaks of “near-death experiences” that catch us unaware and unprepared; “being in the wrong place at the wrong time.” The Odù offers a solution, a type of ọ̀fọ̀ (incantation) called ìgèdè that you can cast in front of the person to ward off Ikú (death.) Used when a person has a life-threatening condition like an illness or accident; has recently fainted; or is in real fear for their lives for whatever reason, and that’s causing them deep anxiety. Of course, you perform this spiritual ritual while it’s safe to do so, and only after medical attention has been rendered if needed.
Incidentally, yesterday evening I went for a walk on a trail, the air felt cool and crisp, and it was very peaceful with no one around, yet I had the distinct impression that someone was walking behind me. I kept turning around, but there was no one there. It made me think of the incantation from this Odù, so I turned around once more and said, “Ikú (death), don’t follow me home!” and then, that unsettling feeling went away. So, it was surprising to me when I cast this week’s reading, that the Odù Ìrẹtẹ̀ Òtúrá, would come up again.
If the person is outdoors, mark the Odù of “Ìrẹtẹ̀ Òtúrá” on the ground (soil or sand) in front of the person. If the person is indoors, you can use cascarilla or Ìyèrè Òsùn (Ifá powder), sacred termite dust from the Iròsun tree that is always used to mark Odù on the divination board.
Remember that Odù is read from right-to-left, and that’s how you must draw it, starting on the top-right, then top-left, then continuing with the marks on the next row and so on.
While saying the ìgèdè incantation below, mark the Odù of Ìrẹtẹ̀ Òtúrá on the ground in front of the person or you can draw it on the afflicted part of the body (e.g. heart, head). If possible, draw a circle around the person.
The following is the Yorùbá translation of the ìgèdè incantation which sounds much better in the original language, but you need to understand what you’re saying:
Replace the word Awo with the name of the person this is intended for.
Death does not know an Awo ; heaven does not know a physician.
Death killed Ọlamba and worried the king of Ejio extensively.
It killed Eji-Ogogo-Agbẹbikọ̀pon’wọla.
The wind at the right side is troubling the coconut leaf violently.
The wind at the left side is troubling the coconut leaf violently.
Ifá was divined for Ọ̀rúnmìlà Àgbọnnìrègún, who was going to make Ikú (death) and Ifá man. He chose Ago (excuse) to be a watchman.
The death that would have killed Awo today, give way, give way.
Awo is going, give way, give way.
Awo is going, give way, give way.
The disease that would have killed Awo today, give way, give way.