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IBORI: PRAISING AND CAREGIVING OF ONE'S ORI

December 11, 2013

Why Practice Praising and Caregiving of One's Ori?

  • Ori worship stimulates and increases spiritual powers such as intuition, prophecy, mental capacity and inspired decision making.

  • Ori worship is an invaluable tool in preventing and treating all forms of addiction, compulsive behavior, deep seated traumas and self concept issues

  • Ori worship is the first level of teaching ethical behavior and community values

  • We can insure that Orisa worshippers evolve spiritually by mandating correct and powerful Orisa rituals and Ori enhancing exercises.

  • All worshipers should know how to invoke (thereby strengthening) the presence of Ori through recitation of Iwure and participating in Ibori.

  • All worshipers should know how to ritually appease their own Ori.

 

Ibori is a very simple, but powerful ritual that can be done to connect with your Ori while ritually cleansing and feeding it. Please note, the ritual presented below has been presented in basic form. When Ibori is performed by a priestess or priest in the religion, it often becomes a much more involved endeavor. However, for the sake of simplicity, the basic ritual has been presented here. It is also important to note that the ability to divine is an important part of performing Ibori, as you can determine:

  1. Whether an Ibori needs to be performed,

  2. What specific offerings your Ori needs 

  3. Whether your Ori has accepted the offerings after they have been made.

Cowrie Shell Divination: One can determine this by learning the five basic positions (Alaafia, Oyeku, Ejife, Etawa and Okanran) of the Obi (cowrie shells), as they provide very basic, but clear, yes/no replies. The cowrie shells must be consecrated before being engaged for use. NOTE: Please consult a professional spiritual practitioner regarding the consecration process of the Obi (cowrie shells).

 

OFFERINGS

There are many basic offerings to one's Ori. Obviously, it is best if these are determined via divination whenever possible. The following questions may be asked through casting four cowries or Obi:

  1. Does my Ori need to receive an offering at this time?

  2. Does it need to receive (insert individual items until you find what it wants...)?

  3. Always close my asking, “Are there any other offerings that my Ori requires at this time?” and continue casting to determine offerings until a negative response has been received to the above question.

A list of generally acceptable offerings have been listed below.Some materials often used to feed one’s Ori are: Omiero, cool water (omi tutu), honey (oyin), gin (oti), dried fish (eja aro), bitter kola nut (orogbo), kola nut (obi abata), sugar cane (ireke), red palm oil (epo pupa), efun (chalk),shea butter (ori), as well as coconut milk/meat and assorted light colored fruits. Some of the above offerings are given for the following reasons:

  • Cool water - to cool, calm and refresh, especially to ease a “hot” situation

  • Honey – to sweeten and bring joy•Gin - to bring pleasure and strength

  • Kola - to stimulate, give life, avert problems and bring wisdom. Kola is a very important component!

  • Bitter kola - good for ase, also protection and longevity

  • Sugar cane – to bring sweetness and ire•Palm oil - to smooth, sustain & ease, also used for abundance

  • Shea butter – to protect and soothe•Coconut milk/meat - to offer a very strong cooling energy

  • Assorted fruits - to make one’s destiny fruitful, to offer nourishment

The simplest offering is pure cool water. Even when nothing else is available, we always have cool water and this can be used to cool the Ori, to ease the mind and to remove the “heat” from our heads. Often the head (ori) is also washed in a specially prepared Omiero made by a priest of the religion. Omiero, as most people know it, is water with certain herbs, the combination determined by the use in question. It may also include blood from an animal. In Africa, depending on area, Omiero refers to snail blood, or snail blood in water or snail blood in water with ewe ero. Omi-ero; “Omi” is the word for water, and “ero” is a plant. Snail blood is white, and is Obatala’s favorite offering. It is the most powerful cooling and tranquility inducing compound you can use on your Ori. It also imparts the wisdom of Obatala. Ero is a powerful plant or ewe for its cooling and calming properties as well as its attraction of ire (good fortune). I believe we want to bring the qualities of Obatala and Orunmila into our heads when doing ibori (rogation).

So I believe the best and most powerful omiero for this specific task is one made with:

  1. Spring water

  2. Snail blood

  3. Ewe ero

  4. Coconut water (and soft meat)

  5. Efun (white chalk made from seashells or the Diaspora one called cascarilla made from egg shells)

  6. Ori butter (shea butter)

Any combination of these products will do, if you don't have all of them.. Ewe ero can be found at any botanica. If you can find African snails in your area great, if not, local ones will do. You cut open the snail and squeeze out the blood into the water. Get a fresh green coconut and add its water to your water. You can chop up the soft meat and add it to the omiero or use it to place on top of your head later, under your head wrap. Add some ori butter and efun. Both are easy to get. If you have someone (priestess, etc.) who can make it for you, that is optimal. If not, state your intent as you add each ingredient and why you are adding that ingredient.(This omiero can also be used as a bath. Just add it to the bath water with white rose petals and some florida water, say oriki Obatala and light a white candle, and relax – a great spiritual bath). One’s Ori is very sensitive and one should always be careful what they are placing on their Ori. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. This is why divining to determine what one’s Ori requires is so important.

 

Generally, one works to keep the Ori “cool” energetically, which allows one to remain inbalance and at peace. However, there are times that one's Ori will be stimulated (“heated”) but this should only be done after one has been properly trained because one must know the proper way of cooling the Ori after it has been stimulated.In addition to the items selected for an offering, you will also need the following items:

  • Consecrated black soap (ose dudu), if available•Light or white colored clothing

  • A piece of clean white cloth large enough to wrap your head

  • A small white candle (tea lights/votives are fine)

  • Some people like to spread a white sheet or cloth over the working area, or on the mat from your Orisa shrine.

 

BEFORE THE RITUAL 

The Ibori is best performed in the morning, before talking to anyone, but then you would have to spend the rest of the day indoors, which is not practical for many people so you can do it in the evening, at a time when you will not have to leave the house again for any reason. You should also make sure that you will be relatively undisturbed after the ritual takes place, as you will need to remain “cool” for the rest of evening. Before starting the actual offering, take a bath or shower. If you have any black soap (highly recommended), you may use that to cleanse your head of any negative energy that may have accumulated. You can get soap for this purpose at a botanica, or make your own with the right herbs and black soap. Another reason why it is best to have divination done is that you may need to do some work to remove negative energy before you do the ibori. Relax and wash away the physical dirt, but also try to release some of the emotional/spiritual dirt that we all pick up each day. Take as much time as you need for this part, as it is very important to be relaxed when you begin working with your Ori. After your bath/shower, dress in the lightest color clothing you can find – ideally an all white outfit, including under garments. Avoid anything very bright or dark. Go to the area you have designated for the Ibori ceremony. Some people choose to do this before their Ancestral shrine, if they have not ritually received Igba’Ori. Wherever the ritual isperformed, it is important that the area be neat and clean and free from any disturbances for the duration of the ritual itself. The space should be consecrated with water and smudging.

 

PERFORMING THE IBORI

In the Oracle, all ritual follows the same five steps:

  1. Washing – consecrating space. Water and incense. Sprinkle the water around and say; omi tutu (cool water), Ile tutu(cool earth), Esu tutu (if you have an esu sprinkle it), Egun tutu (ancestors), Ire Orunmila, ire, ire, ire o!

  2. Anointing – objects, or in this case the tongue of the awo and/or person. The tongue or mouth is the source of ofo ase - the power of the word. Most of the time, ataare pepper, palm oil, or kola is used. In this case, you would use the one for Obatala, which is efun.  Just lick it. I like to say this oriki when I do anointing: Ase Orisa enu u mi o. Ase Orisa enu u mi.Eyi ti mo ba ti wi.N’Irunmole ogba. Ase Orisa enu umi. The ase of Orisa in my mouth.The ase of Orisa in my mouth. Whatever I say,is what the divinities will sanction.The ase of Orisa in my mouth.

  3. Invoking – Chants and prayer are an important part of any Oracle ritual, no matter how simple or how complex. Before beginning the formal ritual itself, one should chant iba (homage), oriki and in this case chants to Ori (see appendix for oriki – praise poetry and iwure - chants).

  4. Feeding – in this case the Ori.

  5. Reading – throw the obi or opele to verify acceptance of offerings.

 

Once steps one and two have been accomplished, we must say our “Iba’s” (homage) which are used to start all ritual.

 

Iba’se - The Oracle Prayer of Praise

 

Ope ni fun Olorun 

Gratitude to the owner of the realm of the Ancestors

Iba Olodumare 

Oba ajiki Homage to the Creator, the King who we praise first

Iba Ogege, Oba ti ngb’ aiye gun

Homage to Mother Earth, who sustains the Universal alignment of all things in nature

Iba Onile

Homage to the Spirit of the EarthIba ElaworiHomage to the Spirit of purity

Iba’se ila Oorun

Homage to the power of the East

Iba’se iwo Oorun 

Homage to the power of the West

Iba’se Ariwa

Homage to the power of the North

Iba’se Guusu 

Homage to the power of the South

Iba atiwo Orun

Homage to all things that live in the invisible realm

Iba Ori

Homage to the Spirit of Consciousness

Iba Ori inu

Homage to the Spirit of the Inner Self

Iba Iponri ti o wa l’Orun

Homage to the Spirit of the Higher Self who lives in the Invisible Realm of the Ancestors

Orun Ori nile, e oo jiyin, e oo jabo oun ti e ri

The Invisible Realm of the Ancestors is the permanent home of the Inner Self, it is there that the Inner Self accounts for what it has done during the Journey to Earth

Iba Orunmila, Eleri ipin iku dudu atewo, oro to si gbogbo ona

Homage to the Spirit of Destiny, Witness to Creation, the averter of Death, the Power of the Word that opens all doors

Iba Awo Akoda

Homage to the Diviner named Akoda, the first student of Orunmila

Iba Awo Aseda

Homage to the Diviner named Aseda, the one who taught Oracle to the world

Iba Egun, Egungun kiki Egungun

Homage to the Ancestors, I give respect to the realm of the ancestors

Iba Awon Iya Wa, Eleiye

Homage to our Mothers, Owners of Birds

Iba Esu Odara, Okunrin ori ita, ara Oke itase, ao fi ida re lale

Homage to the Divine Messenger of Transformation, the Man of the Crossroads, from the Hill of Creation, we wil use your sword to touch the Earth

Iba gbogbo Orisa

Homage to all the OrisaIba gbogbo Irunmole Homage to all the IrunmoleIba baba,

Iba yeye

Homage to my father and homage to my mother 

Ibashe, Ibashe, Ibashe, O

 

Next, we say Oriki to invoke our Ori:

Oriki OriOri san mi, Ori san mi,

Ori san mi.Ori san igede,

Ori san igede,

Ori san igede.

Ori oto san mi ki nni owo lowo

Ori tan san mi ki nbimo le mio

Ori oto san mi ki nni ayaOri oto san mi ki nkole mole

Ori ni ma sin,

Ori ni ma sin,

Ori ni ma sin

Oloma ajiki, iwa’ ni mope Ase

Ori guide me, Ori guide me, Ori guide me.Ori support me, Ori support me, Ori support me. Ori support my abundance. Ori support my future children. Ori support my relationship. Ori protect my house. It is my Ori whom I shall worship, it is my Ori whom I shall worship, it is my Ori whom I shall worship Protector of the children, my inner character is thankful. Ase

Ire gbogbo maa’ wa’ba’ me, Ori mi da’mi da’iye.Ngo ku mo. Ire gbogbo ni t’emi.Imole ni ti Amakisi Ase

Let all good things come to me, Ori give me life. I shall never die. Let all good things come to me. The Spirits of light belong to Amakisi Ase

Ela ro Ela ro Ela ro Ori mo pe o Ori mo pe o Ori mo pe o!

Orunmila, please descend Orunmila, please descend Orunmila, please descend Ori, I call on you Ori, I call on you Ori, I call on you!

Iwonran Olukun Abara le kokooko bi ori ota Difa fun Ore Apere Omo atakara sola Nje ibi ori gbe ni owo Akara Ori je won o ka mi mo won Akara Nibi ori gbe nni ire gbogbo Akara Ori je won o ka mi mo won Akara.

 

Iwonran Olukun [Oracle babalawo] cast divination oracle for Ori-Apere It is certain that Apere is the quintessence of well-being. Wherever Ori is wealthy, let mine be included. Wherever Ori has many children, let mine be included. Wherever Ori has all good things of life, let mine be included.

Ori wo ibi ire ki o gbe mi de Ese wo ibi ire ki o sin mi re Ibi ope agunka ngbe mii re Emi ko mo ibe Difa fun Sasore Eyi to ji ni Kutukutu owuro Nje ti o ba tun ku ibi to dara ju eyi lo Ori mi ma sai gbe mi de ibe.

Ori, place me in good condition. My feet, carry me to where condition is favorable. Where the Oracle is taking me to, I never know. Cast divination oracle for Sasore In the prime of his life If there is any condition better than the one I am in. at present May my Ori not fail to place me there.

Ori mi gbe mi Ori mi la mi Gbemi atete niran Gbemi atete gbeni ku foosa Ori nii gbe ni Ajawo, kii se oosa.

Support me, my Ori. Make me prosperous, my Ori. Ori is humankind's supporter before deities. Ase! Remember, it is the intention of the prayer and the character of the individual that determines the effectiveness of the prayer.

 

After finishing your oriki, chants and prayers, a general prayer should then be said to your Ori, explaining the general reason for the Ibori (coolness, alignment, fulfillment of your destiny, an opening of the way, peace, etc.) and asking that the offering be accepted.

At this time, you should begin to present the offerings to your Ori. The offerings are always presented to the head starting with the “third eye” area, moving to the top of the head and proceeding to the base of the skull. As you present each offering, you should tell your Ori the reason for making that particular offering. For instance: "Ori, as I give you honey for sweetness, please make my life sweet and full of joy." "Ori, I give you this gin to bring strength and pleasurable experiences to my path." This should be done for each offering as it is presented to the head. If the offering is something liquid or creamy like shea butter, you use the middle finger on your left hand starting between the eyes around the eyebrows and over the head to the base of the skull. If it s a solid object, place it against your forehead. The offerings are not only presented to the head, but also to the navel (the place of the Ori Inu) and the big toe (a connection to one's Ancestors). Use the same finger for the navel and your index finger for your right big toe. While touching the navel with the offering(s), one may say the following prayer:

May my Ori Inu always work in harmony with my Ori. The offerings are then touched to the right big toe, and one may say the following prayer: May my feet not lead me astray. May the wisdom of the Ancestors guide me toward my destiny. These offerings will ultimately be placed on the head, but if giving a lot of loose items (pieces of kola, orogbo, sugar cane, small bits of fruit, etc.) one may place the items on a white plate until they have all been presented.

 

CLOSING THE CEREMONY

At this point, divine using the Obi to determine if all of the offerings have been accepted or to ascertain if your Ori requires anything else. Sometimes Ori may require additional offerings, increased quantities of a particular item, repeated recitation of prayers/Oriki,etc. One should make sure that the ceremony is not closed until Ori has accepted the offerings made during the Ibori. Once all of the offerings are accepted, some (like the coconut meat, honey, ori butter, gin, etc.) may be placed on the crown of the head one at a time (if any items remain on the white plate). After all of the offerings have been placed, the head should be wrapped with a clean white cloth used specifically for this purpose. The cloth should secure the items on the head and prevent them from spilling out.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The white cloth on the head is very important, as it deflects energy away from your Ori. Your Ori is in a delicate state at this time and must be protected. The white headwrap or hat must be worn all day or all night.

After doing Ibori, one must remain calm and cool for the rest of the day or evening (this is why it is best to do at night, before bed). It is important to make every effort to keep one's head “cool” and to avoid anything too mentally or emotionally taxing for the rest of the night. Additionally, engaging in any form of sexual activity is strictly prohibited for the remainder of the evening. It is important to rest and allow the ase presented to Ori to settle appropriately. The offerings are left on the head overnight and are generally discarded the following morning. Most people remove the offerings before showering in the morning. You can divine to ask where your Ori would like the items left – a river, the woods, a railroad track, etc. It is possible to simply discard the items in the trash if this is confirmed through divination. 

Ire Gbogbo - Dr. Kongolini Zulu Mau-

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