Hello to you all! I have been missing for some days as I have been busy with Egbe initiations and also I was (still am) fighting the flu. Here on Embracing Spirituality, I have written on Egbe before (read here), and I have done many initiations for people here in Nigeria. I even have initiated Egbe myself and so have my children. I have video footage of the recently done Egbe initiation this past week, but the young lady has not yet agreed to me showing them, so I may post some audio in the comments instead.
Egbe is a Yoruba word which can translate to mean society. With Yoruba language, the words and their meanings are not easily translated into English, because the words and tones with it, carry a much deeper meaning, something we do not have in our English language.
As I began to write this post, I had titled it Egbe Initiation – The Excitement. But then I thought I would speak to our Oladayo (who interprets dreams here on the dream page) and get his perspective as a Yoruba man, and also an intelligent person who is deep into his culture. We had a fascinating conversation. One so lengthy I had to cut it or else you wouldn’t stop reading today, and so I have re-titled the post and have gone even further with the help of Oladayo about Egbe, which is something that affects almost every human being. Oladayo will be passing through this side of the blog, so if you have questions, you can ask them.
Egbe – The Conversation:
Oladayo: “Yoruba and Igbo people call it the “eighth grade” phase of someone’s life, this is for the word Egbe and it’s literal meaning. If we are looking at it like this, it’s like saying group or sets, but calling it a society does not do it justice because it’s like trying to fix it in by force, and Yorubas don’t speak like that. The word Egbe is a compound word and it depends on the context to determine the meaning, so you have to know what someone’s talking about. Egbe isn’t orisa. It can be looked at as “party,” for example, like Egbe Democrat and Egbe Republican or Egbe PNP or Egbe JLP. Do you get it?”
Obara: “So the groups are separated by their functions, their spiritual, physical, or astral functions.”
Oladayo: “Yeah, and a single person can be referred to as a carrier of a group or association this is what we call Ẹlẹ́gbẹ́ Emèrè.”
Obara: “Okay, so tell me about Egbe…”
Oladayo: “Let’s say, children born in 96, 97, and 98, they’ll be mates at first until they start realizing that they were born different times. When they grow older, their innocence is removed, and they may separate because of age difference, but during that young stage is Egbe. So it’s close to saying “level”. Egbe isn’t a “club,” this bends the meaning, and that goes for calling it a society as well. But Egbe is actually a set of spiritual mates, or “playmates” or “playgroup”, because there is innocence among them, there isn’t any age or any difference in that realm, everyone moves together.”
Obara: “Okay, so there are no boundaries, there is no ‘superior to you, inferior to me, or vice versa.”
Obara: “So what does Egbe have to do with children? During initiations, children must always be present.”
Oladayo: “The child is a metaphor for innocence. You know, everyone has power. Everyone has something they can do that is supernatural, this is where the group comes in, it depends on the playgroup you have, and during initiation when they create that Egbe pot, it is a portal to access them.”
Obara: “Okay, so describe a type of Egbe, I know there are many and that will be too long for this conversation, but describe them as their function in our world and in their world.”
Oladayo: “Um, okay there are a lot of Egbe, truly, and there are even some that wear rags and causes trouble, do you know? This Egbe is Emèrè Alakisa, ‘akisa’ means rags. If a child from this Egbe is born into a very wealthy and successful family, the minute that child is born, that family of wealth and success is brought down. They becomes nothing.”
Obara: “So these Egbe bring bad things to the family?”
Oladayo: “Yes, but there are some that the way you treat them will determine how they treat you. So some Emèrè bring blessings, and some bring the opposite, and some has the ability to bring both, but again it depends on how you treat them. But for those that bring blessings, Yoruba people would tell the mother that, ‘This child that you carry is special. In fact you might not have another child because you didn’t choose plenty, you chose the Sun, one that is powerful.’ But for the ones that come with gloom, many Yorubas won’t tell the woman that that child is Emèrè because some people are stupid, they’ll begin to mistreat the child which will only worsen the case for themselves.”
Obara: “Okay so, those that wear rags in their realm, they are like twins or the counterpart of a person here? So everyone here has a twin or a counterpart-”
Oladayo: “I don’t like the words ‘twin’ or ‘counterpart’ because that isn’t really what it is. While the physical walks here, they have a reflection of themselves in the realms. In the realm, it is a reflection of you, and that reflection represents you.
Obara: “That’s like what I teach, that we are all projections of ourselves from somewhere else.”
Oladayo: “Yes and some people don’t know that they are Emèrè Alakisa. They can take their families from riches to rags, and not even just their families, if they just go anywhere. Some know what they are doing and others don’t. Some can go do good and some can do bad, it depends. If someone in the family is active in spirituality they can find out where that child is from. That is why in Yoruba land they tell pregnant women not to walk at night, or to wear a pin on their clothes, because it is at night that malevolent children walk about, and malevolent children can replace the baby within the woman. So for the Egbe that wears rags, in that realm they may misbehave which affects the physical here, and the physical person will misbehave too.
Obara: “Well, I know that there are many different realms, some owing to nature as we know it here in the physical realm. So where do we find Egbe amongst nature in our realm?”
Oladayo: “Umm… it depends on the Egbe, but within the realms, where ever a banana plant is, that is where these children play, the Emèrè Alakisa, I mean. The banana plant is a very spiritual plant, it’s very important. Look at the leaves, it’s like a rag, do you know? When a banana becomes ripe, it starts to rotten, but it is still sweet. This has a lot to say. It has something to do with wastefulness, so these Emèrè can waste things, and spiritually that is what they do when they are born into a family and that family becomes nothing.”
Obara: “Wow. What about Abiku? What about that Egbe?
Oladayo [laughs]: “Abiku! Abiku is a form of Emèrè, do you know?”
Oladayo: “Yes but they don’t usually call them Emèrè, but underneath, we know that’s what they are. Abikus love the realm they come from, so when they come to earth, they come and die. They may die at birth or they’ll die at a very young age. But when they come, they’ll give the mother clues of what they are. The earth is nothing to them. They won’t care about anything. So before coming to earth, they will tell their playmates that their mother will be rich, successful, and happy, or they will wait for the mother to party, or to celebrate, and as soon as she does, that is when they’ll choose to die. They’ll choose their mother’s happiest moment for them to die.”
Obara: “That’s wicked.”
Oladayo: “It’s not wicked. You are the one with emotions.”
Obara: “That’s true, because I always teach that emotions are blinders. Once they’re removed, people can have access to wisdom and see reality and what is before them. We come to earth to learn a lot of things, but two of those things are emotions and limitations, because that doesn’t exist in the realms we come from.”
Oladayo: “Exactly. So a spiritualist will tell a person, ‘Don’t party. Don’t celebrate,’ and that spiritualist will not even know why, but that is the message, and it is because that child made contract that on that day when the mother celebrates, is when they chose to die.”
(Abiku - Yoruba word meaning 'Born to Die')
Oladayo: “The Abiku world is different. He or she will decide that on the happiest day is when they’ll choose to die. And immediately on that happy day, his spiritual mates are already there celebrating that their mate is about to come back home.”
Obara: “But Abiku can be avoided or stopped and the child live a long normal life, right?”
Oladayo: “Yeah, for example, there are some cases where a mother will get a divination, and the diviner will tell her ‘Your child is getting married, but don’t celebrate.’ So the child gets married, but doesn’t die because of the warning the mother adhered to, even though the child will keep proposing and proposing to have a wedding celebration.”
Obara: “So a person in the physical form will keep having dreams, because Egbe speaks through dreams.”
Oladayo: “Yes – but it depends. They will even come in real life, do you know? It depends on that persons spiritual level. You might even catch a person speaking to themselves, and you’ll ask them who were they talking to, and they’ll say ‘Was I talking? Nobody,’ and then they’ll act normal again. It’s different levels. But for example, the mates who were celebrating that child to come back, they will visit the child because the promise has been broken. She was supposed to celebrate. So now the child is an adult, and she, herself, wants to have children… but now she can not. That Egbe is now disturbing her life, because you know the promise was to leave on her wedding day, but there was no wedding celebration, so she has broken that promise.”
Obara: “Ok so now they’re going to try to disturb her in a way of trying to bring her back to their side.”
Oladayo: “Yeah, in fact there are even cases where some people will decide that it is the day that they come to this earth that they will die. So the doctor might tell the mother she can’t give birth to this child except by cesarean section, and they’ll do incision. So maybe a spiritual person now says, ‘this belly, no matter what–
Obara: “–Don’t let them cut her”
Oladayo: “Don’t let them do it. If the doctors say there is a problem, come. Come locally. So that is when things are altered. The mother brings the child to the spiritualist. The child wants to die through incision, so while they want to do the incision, those mates will be there and things will start to happen. The doctor will make a mistake. Something will just go wrong. Some will even say they want to kill the mother as they are going too.”
Oladayo: “Yeah. So when they take the child to any spiritual place that can handle it, then they will do what they are supposed to do, and the child will come. But the child might become the stubborn child or the angry child. He says ‘Okay! I didn’t want to come, and you made me come by force?‘ He’s now here and he has no reason to be here. That’s when the child starts to act out, and become problematic.”
Obara: “Wait, wait, wait! Listen to me. You’re telling me about my own life, especially with my youngest child. She took 3 days to come. I wouldn’t dilate, and the doctors kept sending me home. And it was the night before she was born, that Padrino came into my dream in full white and cleared me, and when he finished he said “Now go and have your baby.” And when I did, I was awake during the whole C-section. Can you believe someone being awake while they were cutting me? When she was born, the anesthesiologist said he will not charge me. He said I prayed the whole time that they cut me, I prayed for everyone. They couldn’t believe that they couldn’t put me to sleep.”
Oladayo: “There are some that just wants to give you a sign that they are very different children. Their journey is very very long because they are coming from a different world. So that is the Abiku. But the Emèrè have their difference, there are some that even know they are Emèrè.
Obara: “You’re breaking Emèrè down right, but tell me, for the word Emèrè -”
Oladayo: “They are just spiritual children. They can be negative, they can be positive, or they can have the two, but we are the ones looking at it from this perspective.”
Obara: “Because we have limitations.”
Oladayo: “Exactly. But they, they don’t care. It depends on what they choose to do. There are some that bring light, there are some that can not be cheated. There are even some that already know who they are, they can control the power they have. Some are even the ones causing the things that affect them in their life. Their own self, if their life is not stable or whatever, they are the ones causing it, but they don’t know. And some will know, that is just the way they’ve chosen to live their life.”
Obara: “There are so many people like this, but it can be fixed spiritually-”
Oladayo: “Yes, and usually with any spiritual work that you do, you have to dream, except it’s not original. I don’t know if I have said this before. And the dream you will have it depends on the work and the time. That dream will show you a very good sign that you used something. Or the first dream that you would have, if your problem has to do with people tying your enemy down and all those things, then you will see them come to release you. The release may not be that they’ve cut a rope or cut something. They will just talk, and you’ll see it that they let go. You’ll feel it. And how to know when it wants to come, you will just feel that the sleep descends heavily on you.
Oladayo: You will even see it that if you want to wake up, something is just forcing you to stay asleep. So if you use work, naturally don’t even wait for the dream or force it, just go to bed early, and go with the mind that you want to pay attention to everything. You will have a dream that will tell you that you can now move forward and you will feel it.”
Obara: “Alright, so let’s leave from the part of Egbe children. Let’s go to the part of Egbe that affects so many people, even myself.”
Oladayo: “Spiritual husband.”
Obara: “Yes, spiritual husbands or wives.”
Oladayo: “Um… I don’t know why they call it “spiritual husband.” Most of the spiritualists say Oko Orun, ‘Oko’ is husband and ‘Orun’ is heaven, but the heaven is astral. Then I don’t know where we get the sexuality, maybe it’s because of our thinking, that’s why some people with this Egbe will have dreams of having sex with this person. But it’s not actually “husband” so to say, but it is, you see we always interpret everything-”
Obara: “But then what do you explain about me? I’ve told you about my experience with my spiritual husband and how much I used to see him, and how much love I felt for him in those dreams and when I woke up, how much I would miss him, but I haven’t dreamt him in years-”
Oladayo: “Don’t see him again. Don’t talk about him passionately. If you are enjoying him in whatever way, even reminiscing about him, your enemy might not be able to have somebody here on earth. You have to divorce that person.”
Obara: “But there’s something within my spirit that juks me when you say that.”
Oladayo: “You see? You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. It’s like saying you want to have two husbands, and one is more powerful than the other. You can’t. It is you. You have to be the one to make your decision.”
There is so much to talk about with this phenomena that so many people are affected by. Our part of the world does not understand it well, but one of the reasons why I am here is to break things down for our better understanding. I thank Oladayo for his knowledge. The conversation isn’t over, there is still much to learn about Egbe. What Oladayo has shared with me is even more fascinating because he goes deeper into the explanation. So many people are affected by things they don’t know of, and I am hoping that within these posts that they may get a better understanding of their lives, or the lives of others.
Obara Meji is a spiritualist, Ifa-Orisa practitioner, and teacher of metaphysics. Since 2011 she has used her online platform to share her personal experiences to those seeking answers about spirituality. Her teachings will expand into short stories, novels, and public speaking to continue her mission of bringing enlightenment to the world.