Aboru Aboye ooooo! This is an Ifa greeting which means: May the Sacrifice as it Manifests in Heaven, be Accepted! This morning all over the world Ifa initiates will go before their shrines and honor the Orisha called Obatala. Obatala is one of several Orishas who was created by Olodumare (olo-duh-ma-rae) Yoruba name for God, for many purposes, but one of their main purpose was to assist human beings here on earth, guiding us through life as most of them are tied to elements of nature. In Africa the Yoruba’s say that Obatala is next to God, they explain that they know he is not God but he is very close in power to the creator. Many Babalawos have told me this, as Obatala is known as the third supreme being, Olodumare being the first, and Orunmila the second. Obatala stands with Orunmila as the right hand of God!
It is said that God prepared the materials to make man and the task was given to Obatala to fashion them together, making human beings. Obatala, otherwise called Orish-nla is of a very cool nature, he is not easily offended, but if he is offended he does not easily forgive. White is his color and all his devotees wears white. His Shrines are all decorated in white, from ceiling to floor. This Orisha is for peace, he does not like quarrel and he instructs us all that there is a peaceful solution to all things.
Today all initiates will go to his shrines to Honor this great Orisha, Obatala. They will, Fi ori bale (touch head to the ground in front of his shrine), this is how we salute all of our Orishas whenever we approach them. Prayers to him will be chanted;
eni soju semu
Orisa ni maa sin
Adina bo ti ri
Orisa ni maa sin
One who created both eyes and noses
I will forever adore the divinity
The creator of man and his own whims and caprices
I will forever adore the divinities
We praise him by his praise names; 1– Obatala Obatarisa, Oba patata, ti n ba won gbode Iranje Obatala
Obatarisa, the arch-divinity that lives in the city of Iranje
2--Baba Larugbo, Elderly Father
3–Orisanna Banta banta ninu ala: The arch divinity majestic white garments
4–Osun ninu ala: He sleeps in white garments
5–O ti ninu ala dide: He gets up with white grament
6–Oba Ire til gbele lfon: The God King who lives in Ifon
7–Oosa tii kola laiko eje” The divinity who makes tribal marks without touching the blood
8–Oosanla Oseremogbo mo tewo ko ko wa fun mi: The arch divinity of Osere remogbo I stretch out my hand bless me abundantly.
Today as we salute him on his day, water is given to him and hot drink (gin) , and then obi kola nut is cast before him to see if the prayer has been accepted, if not he will instruct us as to what we need to give him to complete the sacricife, often times he will even ask for Shea butter as he does not take palm oil. Obatala is an Orisha to visit early morning, he does not like to be disturbed at nights. I was told that it is because he was given the task to create human beings and when he worked he did so at night in the dark. We are warned never to open his shrine after seven o’clock at nights. However we can stand before the closed shrine and pray and even offer our offerings. Albinos and people with disabilities are sacred to him. The story goes that when he was molding man from clay, at times he would drink palm wine to keep him company, he drank and became drunk and began mis-shaping the forms he fashioned out, Esu (the divinity of Justice and God’s messenger) reported him to God, who admonished him harshly and forbade him to drink palm wine again. Devotees of Obatala are forbidden to dink palm wine because of this. Obatala is appealed by many for barren women to have babies, prosperity, for overcoming an enemies, for peaceful solutions and curing illness among other things, he is the father of all Orishas, a wonderful Orisha, King of the white cloth, he is accepting of everyone. The famed television personality, Iyanla Vanzant is an initiate of Our wonderful Obatala, her name Iyanla also suggests it, remember he is also known as Oris-nla, Iya stands for mother.
I will be introducing you all slowly to all the wonderful Orishas and to my wonderful traditional practice. Ask whatever you wish.
Ọ̀rọ̀ tó máa di akàn, bí ẹja ni í kọ́kọ́ ńrí. /
What will turn out well, often do start out as unfavourable…..Yoruba Proverb!
[Things may get worse before they get better; don’t give up.]
All religion are valid as long as it teaches peace and love…Obara Meji