Study the Teaching of Ifa and the Orisha's
Shan-kpanna is old and lame, and is depicted as limping along with the aid of a stick. According to a myth he has a withered leg. One day, when the gods were all assembled at the palace of Obatala, and were dancing and making merry, Shankpanna endeavoured to join in the dance, but, owing to his deformity, stumbled and fell. All the gods and goddesses thereupon burst out laughing, and Shankpanna, in revenge, strove to infect them with small-pox, but Obatala came to the rescue, and, seizing his spear, drove Shankpanna away. From that day Shankpanna was forbidden to associate with the other gods, and he became an outcast who has since lived in desolate and uninhabited tracts of country.
Temples dedicated to Shankpanna are always built in the bush, at some little distance from a town or village, with a view to keeping him away from habitations. He is much dreaded, and when there is an epidemic of small-pox the priests who serve him are able to impose almost any terms they please upon the terrified people, as the price of their mediation, To whistle by night near one of Shankpanna’s haunts is believed to be a certain way of attracting his notice and contracting the disease. As is the case with Sapatan, the small-pox god of the Ewe tribes, who have perhaps adopted the notion from the Yorubas, flies and mosquitos are the messengers of Sbankpanna, and his emblem is a stick covered with red and white blotches, symbolic, it seems, of the marks he makes on the bodies of his victims.
Tortoise was delighted with this arrangement, and at first he duly placed the sum of money on the ground every time he asked the Cloud for fine or wet weather.
One day, the occasion of a Chiefâ€™s wedding, the sky was very cloudy, and it seemed likely to rain. Tortoise heard the Chief complaining: â€œWe have promised the drummers a great deal of money, but if it rains nobody will come to see the maidens dance at my wedding!
Tortoise went to the Chief and said: If you will give me a certain sum, I will hold up the clouds on my hard back and there will be no rain.
The Chief readily agreed to pay the cowries Tortoise demanded, and Tortoise stood at the back of his hut and cried to the Cloud: Pass! Pass! The Cloud rolled back, the sun shone brightly, and the wedding took place with much rejoicing.
But Tortoise did not lay any money on the ground, and instead, he kept the whole amount for himself.
The next day a man came to Tortoises house and offered him much money if he would cause the rain to fall. For, he said, my fishing-stakes are too high, but if it rains the river will swell and the fish will come into my baskets.
Very well, replied Tortoise. I will throw a spear into the clouds, and the rain will fall.
Then he stood at the back of his house, where he could not be seen, and cried to the Cloud: Fall! Fall! It began to pour with rain.
But again he neglected to lay money on the ground and kept it all for himself. Soon, in this way, he grew rich and famous, and almost every day someone asked for fine or rainy weather. He stored many bags of cowries in his house and gave nothing to the Cloud.
When two people asked him for rain and sunshine on the same day, Tortoise pretended that he had grown tired with holding up the clouds on his back, and so the rain fell.
But after some time, seeing how rich Tortoise became, the hard-working Cloud was angry and decided to punish him.
One day Tortoise wished to set out on a journey with his family, so he stood outside his house and cried: Pass! Pass! Let the sun shine on my journey!
But as soon as he had set out, the Cloud rolled back again and rain poured down in torrents, causing a great flood in which Tortoise and all his famiIy were drowned.
He foolishly decided to try the effect of the charm first of all on his own palace, which was at the foot of a hill.
Ascending the hill with his courtiers, the King employed the charm: a storm suddenly arose, the palace was struck by lightning and burnt to the ground, together with Chango’s whole family.
Overcome with grief at having lost his possessions, and above all his sons, the impetuous King resolved to retire to a corner of his kingdom and to rule no more. Some of his courtiers agreed with him, and others tried to dissuade him from the plan; but Chango in his rage executed a hundred and sixty of them—eighty who had disagreed with him, and eighty who had agreed too eagerly!
Then, accompanied by a few friends, he left the place and started on his long journey. One by one his friends deserted him on the way, until he was left alone, and in despair he decided to put an end to his life, which he rashly did.
When they heard of the deed, his people came to the spot and gave him an honourable funeral, and he was ever afterwards worshipped as the god of thunder and lightning. So, among all the Yorubas, when people see the flash of lightning followed by the sullen roar of thunder, they remember Chango’s rage after the destruction of his palace, and exclaim: Kabo Kabiosile “Long live the King!”
One morning on the seashore they decided to fight to see which was the stronger, but, as both of them are protected by a hard shell, neither could succeed in injuring the other.
Finally they came to an agreement that they were equal in strength.
We are so well protected by our armour, said Tortoise, that no one can harm us.
And thus, said Crab, we are the strongest creatures in the world.
But at this moment a boy passed by and picked them both up. Tortoise was boiled in a pot and his shell was made into ornaments, while Crab was cooked in a stew for the boys supper. Since that day the descendants of the two boasters have always been ashamed to meet, and that is why they always shun one another.
Orunmila is also referred to as Ifá (“ee-FAH”), the embodiment of knowledge and wisdom and the highest form of divination practice among the Yoruba people. In present-day Cuba, Orunmila is known as Orula, Orunla and Orumila.
Orunmila is not Ifa, but he is the one who leads the priesthood of Ifa and it was Orunmila who carried Ifa (the wisdom of Olodumare) to Earth. Priests of Ifa are called babalawo (the father of secrets)
Olodumare sent Orunmila to Earth with Oduduwa to complete the creation and organization of the world, to make it habitable for humans.
A woman will not be allowed to divine using the tools of IFA. Throughout Cuba and some of the other New world countries, Orula can be received by individuals regardless of gender. For men, the procedure is called to receive “Mano de Orula” and for women, it is called to receive “Kofa de Orula”. The same procedure exist in Yoruba land, with esentaye (birthing rites), Isefa (adolesants rites) and Itefa coming of age. Worshippers of the traditional religious philosophy of the Yoruba people all receive one hand of Ifa (called Isefa) regardless of which Orisa they may worship or be an Orisa Priest, it is that same Isefa that will direct all followers to the right path and their individual destines in life.
The title Iyanifa is in suspect since it is not used by either the Cuban or most of the West African practitioners of IFA.
Among West Africans, Orunmila is recognized as a primordial Irunmole that was present both at the beginning of Creation and then again amongst them as a prophet that taught an advanced form of spiritual knowledge and ethics, during visits to earth in physical form or through his disciples.
Dentro del oráculo del diloggún, se emplean objetos que son manipulados para obtener las respuestas e indicar si la persona va a recibir un bienestar (iré), o por el contrario, se le esta señalando un mal (osobbo), así como todas las demás preguntas que se realicen. Estos objetos tienen por nombre igbo, es decir, agarre, camino o alternativa.
Existen diferentes clases de igbos, pero los más comunes se han concentrado en cuatro de ellos, como los más utilizados:
Cascarilla (efún). Símbolo de pureza, de paz y bienestar. También se utiliza para marcar larishe o remedio para cualquier osobo. Es utilizada para sacar el iré, para preguntar al pié de quien está y si es yale o cotoyale, también para hablar con Obbatalá. Como contraparte se utiliza el otá o el aye que siempre dan una respuesta negativa (no).
Piedrecilla (otá). Simboliza la inmortalidad, larga vida, ya que proviene de la naturaleza y no se corrompe. Se utiliza junto con la cascarilla para marcar ire y responde en negativo en ese instante. También se utiliza para los demás osogbos.
Caracol de babosa (ayé). Se utiliza para preguntar todo lo relacionado con enfermedades, matrimonios, para hablar con Oshún puesto que fue a ella que orunmila le regalo el caracol, su respuesta es positiva (si), usando como contraparte el otá que como significa vida contestará (no) a las preguntas. En osobo representa enfermedad.
Hueso de chivo (orunkún/egungun). Simboliza la muerte, ya que es lo que queda de nuestro cuerpo después muerto. Se utiliza para preguntar Ikú o cualquier pregunta que se refiera a egungun (espíritus).
También se encuentran los siguientes igbos optativos:
Semilla de guacalote (sesan/osan). Simboliza los hijos, pero también enfermedad, cuando viene osobbo. Generalmente se utiliza para preguntar por los hijos del consultante en particular para el iré omo.
Cabeza de muñeca (ori agbona). Representa la cabeza. Se utiliza para preguntar por la cabeza de la persona.
Pedazo de loza (apadi). Según algunas creencias simboliza: vencimiento, matrimonio y pérdida. También se pregunta con todo lo que tenga que ver con discusiones. En iré, representa el vencimiento del enemigo y en osobbo, perdidas para siempre.
Dos cauríes atados (owo). Simboliza dinero y desenvolvimiento cuando viene en ire. Cuando viene en osobbo: pérdida, pobreza y problemas.
Within the Oracle of the diloggún, use objects that are manipulated to get the answers and to indicate if the person will receive a welfare (go), or on the contrary, are you this pointing out an evil (osobbo), as well as all other questions to carry out. These objects are igbo name, i.e., grip, road or alternative.
There are different kinds of igbos, but commonly have been concentrated in four of them, such as the most frequently used:
Quinine (efún). Symbol of purity, peace and well-being. It is also used to mark larishe or remedy for any osobo. It is used to get the go to ask to the foot who is and if it is yale or cotoyale, also to speak with Obbatalá. As counterpart uses the otá or the aye which always give a negative answer (no).
Pebble (otá). It symbolizes immortality, longevity, and that comes from nature and is not corrupted. Used together with quinine to mark ire and responds in the negative at that moment. It is also used for other osogbos.
Slug snail (Aye). Used to ask everything about diseases, marriages, to talk to since Oshún that was her that orunmila gave her the snail, his response is positive (if), using the otá as a counterpart as it means life will answer (no) questions. Osobo represents disease.
Bone of goat (orunkún/egungun). It symbolizes death, because that is what is left of our later dead body. Used to ask Ikú or any question that relates to egungun (spirits).
Also include the following optional igbos:
Seed of guacalote (sesan / dare). Symbolizes the children, but also disease when it comes osobbo. Usually used to ask for the children of the consultant in particular for the go omo.
Head of wrist (ori agbona). It represents the head. Used to ask for the head of the person.
Piece of earthenware (apadi). According to some beliefs symbolizes: maturity, marriage and loss. She also asked with all that it has to do with discussions. In go, represents the maturity of the enemy and osobbo, lost forever.
Two tied cauríes (biqi). It symbolizes money and development when it comes in ire. When comes in osobbo: loss, poverty and problems.
Death (Iku) was gathering humans before there full time on earth had passed.
The Orishas worried about this, until Orumila said he would resolve this matter.
One day when Iku was busy, Orumila went and took his hammer
Iku became furious when he discovered the Hammer missing.
He rushed back to Orumila’s house, and demanded the hammers return.
Orumila said, Oludumare had assigned you the task of gathering humans when thier time had come,
but you are gathering them when you want, prior to thier predetermined death.
Iku answered, if humans do not die, the earth will die.
Orumila answered “you are not right to take humans before their time.
After a long discussion, Orumila began to see the logic of Iku’s task
Orumila aggred to return the Hammer, But Iku must swear not to take any of Orumila’s
children before there full time has passed.
Iku answred, When I see the Irde Ifa on a persons left wrist, I will pass over them, unless it is there predetermined time to die. Orumila and Iku aggreed, and from this day, Ifa devotees wear the Irde on the left wrist, as a sign of the pact between Iku and Orumila.