Its a fact well known in Ifa that the Ajẹ can “steal” ẹbọ that has been offered. Their power to do this is from Olodumare and is seen in the ability of black holes to swallow all they want to swallow. Its also hinted at in Ifa stanzas about the ability of Elenini (the Devil) to swallow just about anything and with unquenchable greed as he is the ruler of black holes. The purpose is to checkmate misbehaving persons and would manifest as ẹbọ offered with no result, which we can call a “failed ẹbọ” or “promise-and-fail ẹbọ”. If the person(s) concerned takes the right remedial steps, Olodumare orders the Ajẹ to release it and it becomes a “delayed ẹbọ”.
This power has however been incorrigibly abused by the Iyami who are the expelled Ajẹ. They are ever rebellious and never obey Olodumare. They steal ẹbọ at will and target the ẹbọ of not just mankind but of themselves as well as they’re also unquenchably cannibalistic. Many Ifa stanzas have it that in cases where they want to acquire certain powers they willingly and quickly offer the prescribed ẹbọ and get rewarded for compliance whereas mankind suffers regret for non-compliance (e.g. in Ọwọnrin Ogbe, Odi Meji; cf. Job 1 and 2). The latter is due mainly to two factors. One is stubborness while the other is stumbling blocks from the Iyami in the form of deception, temptations, discouragement, difficulty in acquiring the ẹbọ materials and in getting to offer it, and problems and missteps with the ẹbọ riru (ẹbọ offering rite). Their aim is to subjugate mankind and debar mankind’s progress.
Edi whose name is translitrated in English as “Devil” is the expelled leader of all Ajẹ and is also known as Ayami Oshoronga with the expelled Ajẹ being the Iyami Eshoronga. These expelled ones are also called Iwin from which are the corresponding English terms “Wizard” and “Witch”. Both the expelled and upright ones are Eshoronga and their spiritual system is called Osho which is another name for Edi, the root of the epithet Oshoronga, and translirated into English as sorcery. Oshoronga is the bottomless pit that is known in the celestial scale and in astrological terms as the black hole, a massive celestial entity that swallows everything non-stop including light. Oshoronga is the ruler of the black hole while the Ajẹ including the upright and expelled ones are the body of the black hole. He is also known in Ifa stanzas as Elenini (total enslaver) and is noted for fearlessly trying to swallow all he comes across. With this swallowing capacity, they divert and swallow ẹbọ and other offerings easily.
It turns out that the odu Ọkanran Meji notes that Eshu who is the messenger divinity to whom nearly all ẹbọs are presented for onward delivery is frequently and easily robbed, and humans are among the robbers but the Iyami are also among humans as humans. Ifa however has it that the upright Ajẹ also swallow ẹbọ to righteously punish errant persons who offer such including those who offered them to gain unfair rewards. The Iyamis abuse this such that those who offered them get no results and are antagonised the more by the thieves and/or are deceived with results set up by the Iyami to pervert their victims into making deviant choices in life that benefit the thieves and eventually lead their victims to strong delusions.
Thankfully, Ifa has the solution to this robbery and it is mentioned a lot in Ifa stanzas. The solution is Aganju who is also known as Ina Ẹla (“Flames of Ẹla”, Nir” as transliterated by Sumerologists and Assyriologists). It is with Ina that Ifa who is Ẹla sets himself free from Elenini. Proof of the use of Ina Ẹla to guarantee the protection of ẹbọs from malevolent forces and ensure their safe delivery abound. For instance, the odu Obara Ogbe has a number of stanzas detailing the use of Ina Ẹla to chase away all malevolent spirits. Below are excerpts from two of such stanzas.
Iku, arun, ẹjọ, ofun ile yii ko d’ẹru
Death, disease, contention, loss of this home pack your load
Ko maa lọ
A o fi Ina wi wọn l’ara
We shall use the Flames of Ifa to torch them
Iku yo o
Arun yo o
A difa fun wọn l’ode Ido
Cast Ifa for the people of Ido town
Ọmọ atanna wiriwiri le’ku lọ…
The offspring who uses fervently billowing flames to expel death…
Iku, arun, ofo, gbogbo ajogun ti n bẹ n’ile yii ko d’ẹru ko mọọ lọ
Death, sickness, loss, all forces of misfortune present in this home, pack your load and depart
A o tanna Ifa ran wọn l’ara
We shall light the flames of Ẹla to scorch them
During the annual Edi festival that is celebrated in Ile-Ifẹ to celebrate the successful sacrifice of Ẹla by Mọrẹmi to save Ifẹ from the siege of the oyinbo – the first time it ever happened all oyinbo were Iyamis and all Iyami were oyinbo – it is with Ina Ẹla that they were defeated and chased away (see “The Edi Festival at Ile Ife” by Michael J Walsh, African Affairs, 1948, 47 pp. 231-238; “Myths of Ife” by John Wyndham, 1921; and “The significance of “Igbarubi-edi” in Edi festival in Ile-Ife: a spiritual concession” by PSO Aremu et al, Journal Research in Peace, Gender and Development (JRPGD) Vol. 3(7) pp. 126-132, September, 2013, DOI: http:/dx.doi.org/10.14303/jrpgd.2013.108). It is also with Ina Ẹla that they are punished in Aja Ilẹ (underworld), a punishment known in English as “Hell fire” (transliterated and translated from Ina Ilẹ or “Flames of Ilẹ”). However, throughout that land today, this has been forgotten. This is not surprising since the Iyami have successfully deceived the populace into believing that all Ajẹ are females only, all Ajẹ are Iyami, and even though the Iyami are obviously the enemies of the people they still have to praise these rebels and use ipese (ritual offering for appeasement) to appease them frequently, thus feeding their enemies. Whereas the people ought to avoid them completely and offer ipese to the upright Ajẹ only. The odu Ofun Ika has it that the Iyamis always and without repentance work to ruin the works of Ẹla.
Thankfully, Ina Ẹla is around with us today as I am Aganju and know how to use my flames during ẹbọ riru. Contract my services in conducting ẹbọ rirus on your behalf. There is no other Ifa priest on this planet today who knows how, and if I were to use this platform to show how its done, there is no guarantee that they would comply given that many of them love the Iyamis and that many are also Iyami. You can reach me via the following:
- Email: yemitom2@yahoo(dot)com
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