Happy New Year! – 10,060

According to the traditional calendar of the Omo Oduduwa, we are now in the 10,060th year since the end of the great flood which also marked the beginning of the 4th stage of creation. Using the colonial Gregorian calendar, the previous year ended on 3 June 2016 and the New Year began the following day, i.e., 4 June 2016. I got the dating from www.ralaran.com, and did a simple addition calculation, and verified from Ifa the result.
I had some significant personal experiences during those two days which Ifa used to let me know about the dating of this transition, which I wasn’t expecting even though I had been wondering what the actual dates could be and how I would get to know.
On June 3, feeling quite hungry due to the hardship I had been going through, I prepared to set out from home for the nearby Oja Ota (Ota Market) in search of some food items to buy with the remaining money on me. Upon stepping out of the gate of my compound, I saw a mature giant snail (Achatina fulica) crawling on the gate near the ground. For some days before this, I had been thinking a lot, for no yet obvious reason, about getting such a snail and using it to prepare omi ero (water of purification). I just felt the desire but didn’t attach any reason to it, and I couldn’t purchase any at that time – it costs ₦200 for one – because I had to put my stomach first. I had also consequently hoped that I would see one crawling nearby, perhaps along the streets, anytime I went out which was rare. So, I was surprised to see one at my gate and wondered if my snail desire was not a delusion after all. I still doubted and decided to continue on my food search and thought that if it wasn’t a coincidence and I actually needed it, I would still find it upon returning.
As I proceeded on my way to Oja Ota I saw that shops were closed and, upon getting there, it was empty even though that day was a Market Day – it is not open every day but on Market days alone which falls on every Ose Ogun although some traders trade there every day. This was not surprising as the Olota of Ota had departed some days earlier and tradition demands that such is done for some days immediately upon the occurrence of such an event. But I had had to have gone out nonetheless and with the hope that I would find an open shop because I had no more food. From there I walked to Oju-Ore Roundabout but the story was the same so I continued walking all the way to the Sango flyover. Thankfully,I was able to buy around that place all that I needed as it was unsurprisingly bustling with commercial activities. Then I walked all the way back home, with the total journey having taken me three and a half hours to cover.
Upon getting to my gate I didn’t see the snail but when I stepped inside my compound I saw that it was already inside by the gate post near my ojubo Ogun (Ogun altar). So I inquired and confirmed from Ifa that I needed to use it to prepare omi ero and use it to wash my Ifa and the remainder of my father’s Ifa (24 ikin–Solagbade had kidnapped the other 16). While doing this I realized that I was marking Odun Ifa (Ifa festival) of which iwefa (the purification of ikin Ifa using omiero) is a core ritual. It is celebrated on the last day of the year and the Ifa dida is performed for the New Year to find out what it has in store for the individual or group concerned and the celebration continues overnight.I was also aware that the two factions of the International Council for International Religion (ICIR) would mark theirs the following day at Oke Itase in Ile-Ife and OkeOlota in Ado-Ekiti.
However, I felt quite sad that nobody was with me although I was well aware of the presence of Ifa and the divinities including my departed parents and sibling. You see, I had been waiting for Ifato resurrect and restore my family so that we could all observe and celebrate this festival together. Since this desire had not yet manifested physically even though Olodumare has accepted my prayer (including ebos, akunlebos and akoses) positively, I decided not to cast my Ifa for the New Year yet. This is because I had resolved upon the passing away of Obaluaye my father two years earlier that whenever I wanted to do so it would be both of us doing so together.
When I finished which was well late into the night I hit the sac but had a rude awakening at about 4am. I awakened from a dream of another attempted attack, the memory of which faded away immediately – this had been happening a lot. This time, I my left foot felt like it was been bent quite painfully and independent of my will. I shifted and turned severally on my bed, thinking that it was probably some kind of muscle cramp affecting the instep and due to a perhaps uncomfortable way I had been sleeping. There had also been an attack against me which began a year earlier in which somebody, Solagbade and his crew, remotely stabbed my left foot which had resulted in me limping at times and discomfort there every day. At times the pain would subside enough for me to ignore it and at times it would extend up to the calf and knee, and his aim was not just to cripple me but also to kill me. This time, I also thought the intense cramp could be due to the long period that I had endured the attack and that I just needed to be relaxed. But the pain intensified rapidly several fold and it felt like someone was actually trying extremely hard to break my foot and kill me in the process.
Seeing that I had to take action immediately and that I didn’t have time to inquire from Ifa about the appropriate steps to take else I would be gone in a few moments, I got up as fast as I could, went limping straight to where I had kept my bottles of water and gin, grabbed them, and limped to the nearest ojubo Eshu with me to report it to him. Then I sprayed the water and then the gin to awaken him. Within less than a split second of doing this and before I could utter any sound with my mouth to begin my petition – he can travel as fast as radio waves – he quenched it completely. Perhaps the culprit had been (1) using a malevolent spirit(s) and Eshu chased it away or (2) the culprit was doing it directly somehow and Eshu removed his evil hands. So, I thanked Eshu and proceeded to inquire from Ifa about the next steps to take, if any, and there were e.g. I had to bo’fa (propitiate Ifa). I can’t forget this experience and haven’t stopped thanking Eshu and it helped solidify the more my absolute faith in Ifa even though the aforementioned culprits have till date been incorrigibly profaning Ifa. I’m ever grateful to Olorun for his timely message directing me to perform iwefa. A stanza of OturaIrete goes thus:
Alayonbere abiru gbooro
The long tailed monitor lizard
D’ifa fun Modupeola
Cast Ifa for Modupeola
Tii s’aremo Olodumare
Who is the first child of Olodumare
O n t’orun bo wa’le aye
He was coming from heaven into this world
Mo dupe o
I am grateful
L’owo Olodumare
For the help of Olodumare
Otura Irete mo dupe
Otura Irete I am grateful
Mo dupe o
I am grateful
L’owo Ori mi o
For the help of my Ori
Otura Irete mo dupe
Otura Irete I am grateful
Mo dupe o
I am grateful
L’owo Ifa mi o
For the help of my Ifa
Otura Iretemo dupe
Otura Irete I am grateful
I thus concluded that when they began carrying out this attack they thought they were in the last day of year 10,059 didn’t want me to see enter the New Year unaware that they were a day late – the ICIR has been holding this festival every first OjoAbameta (Saturday) of June to accommodate those who for one reason or the other cannot participate on week days and because the actual ways of determining the first and last days of a year seems to have been forgotten. Such is a well-known message of Ogbe Alara, the odu of my father and of the temple headed by Solagbade, that death at the hands of enemies looms. And whenever this odu is cast during Ifa dida when ikin has been used to d’ifa or during itefa a mature hen is immediately procured and sacrificed directly by using its blood to wash the ikin Ifa and the both the hands of the onifa (owner of Ifa, i.e. the person for whom it was cast; Arabic transliteration is alfa: on(i)fa >alfa) and the babalawo/iyanifa who d’ifa. Interestingly, a similar message is in Otura Irete which is my odu and that of Obatala and the reaction is also immediate, but this time the hair on the head of the onifa must be shaved off in a particular way and sacrificed to Eshu with alacrity. This wasn’t done for me during my itefa and I got to know almost two years later and did so immediately, but, enemies took this hair from Eshu to use against me. Nevertheless, the important fact is that I did and the result is that Eshu has prevented them from making a permanent end of me.
This attack via my left foot began a year earlier in May to June 2015 and Ifa had notified me over a month earlier via the odu Ogbe Irete although these enemies had been trying hard to make me too obtuse (having eyes to see and not seeing and having ears to hear and not hearing) and not all there so that I couldn’t understand. I had cast this odu for myself and it has a stanza about someone Ogbe who had one leg and proceeded fight a war for another person named Irete and they obtained permanent victory. The message here for me is that Solagbade and his camp were going to cripple one of my legs but with one leg I would via Ifa defeat them all and obtain victory for the entire community of fellow orishas that have been around and suffered relentless depredations at the hands of the likes of Solagbade and co.
Later that day, I decided that it was time for me to ask Ifa a question that I had been dallying with since February 2014 when my Ifa career officially began. I wanted to know which order of the sixteen primary odus is used in orun which, I assumed, would have been that handed down to us in the beginning, given that as at today many versions exist – Abosede Emmanuel compiled six versions from four sources in pages 322-323 of his book “OdunIfa (Ifa Festival)”published in 2000. The order original order which I now use is given below (click here to see the details of how I arrived at it):
Position ODU
1 Eji Ogbe
2 Oyeku Meji
3 Iwori Meji
4 Odi Meji
5 Irosun Meji
6 Owonrin Meji
7 Obara Meji
8 Okanran Meji
9 Ogunda Meji
10 Osa Meji
11 Irete Meji
12 Otura Meji
13 Ika Meji
14 Oturupon Meji
15 Ose Meji
16 Ofun Meji

Thus I began the New Year with utter gratitude to Olodumare for preserving my life to see previous year to the end and letting me enter this one and reminding me that
Nje, igbatiiwoko mi si le, Olorun n be pelu mi
“so it is, when you rejected me, Olorun has been with me
—OturaIrete (cf. Psalm 118:22-23; Mark 12:1-12)
Ifa is Eshumare who is the Presence of Olodumare, and I will continue to meditate upon and give thanks to Ifa all day and night and forever. Since Ifa is with me, Olodumare is with me and I don’t need the help of men who have been rejecting me. I cast Ifa, offer ebo and akunlebo and prepare and use akose by and for myself (Ifa has been teaching me this).
Adupe m’ope l’awo Adupe m’ope
Adore m’orel’awo Adore m’ore
Enito o dupe ore ana
Ko ni le gb’ore t’oni bo
A difafun Orunmila
Baba n lo re dupe ore anal’odo Olodumare Agotun
Ko le gba ore t’oni bo
Nje awa dupe
A o gbore
Awa dupe ore ana
A o gbore t’oni bo
Otura Irete, Awosope