The book Iwori is available!

January 6, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
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Iwori Meji plus its fifteen sub-Odus

Well now, it took us a bloody long time to produce this one, but here it is: the book Iwori, Volume #4 in the series of Ifa divination text books by Brenda Beek and myself! There were many reasons for the delay, most of which were part of daily life like the occasional illness or lots of other things to do in the area of social obligations, while a few were specific to the weird and to me increasingly repulsive habits of some representatives of Ifa/Orisha. I guess y’all know the kind of stuff I mean… everybody who happens to lift the occasional finger on behalf of Ifa, inevitably gets criticized, attacked and cursed by those who disagree. Considering that most of the established branches disagree with me, you can easily imagine the kind of discussions I got involved in… until I decided to let it all go, not to take part in any (alright: most) of the bullshit anymore, and simply concentrate on the series of Odu Ifa books and some other Ifa (book) projects Bren and I are working on.
 
Iwori-AdvertisementSo here is the result: volume 4 in a series of 16! It’s looking quite good again, so lemme use this occasion for praising Brenda Beek, who creates all the visual appearances of the books, that is the covers, the layout and all the illustrations. She also encourages me in various ways like pulling my beard, feeding me, showering inventive insults on my head, and calling me to say that she is waiting for the next bunch of texts. Yes, it’s a tough life, you can see that now (wide grin)! Seriously though: without Brenda I would not have started this series, let alone keep going with book after book! Speaking about Brenda, I can see a clear growth and development in the way she interprets the Ifa texts and subsequently puts the essence into illustrations. Both her insights and her style are evolving, making each volume better than the previous one. Image how volume sixteen will turn out (wide grin)!
 
Anyway, here it is: Volume 4 “Iwori”… having taken a long time in the making, but finally there, for your pleasure and my relief after a long, looooong birth! Yet there’s no rest for the wicked – the next volume Obara is already well on its way, planned for this summer for those living on the Northern hemisphere, and this winter for those living on the Southern half of our planet.

So here’s what I’d like you to do: hit either the picture or one of the links in this text, and order Iwori! Enjoy!


Book 3: “Irosun” is available

October 22, 2014 by · Comments Off on Book 3: “Irosun” is available
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October: we made it!

Through very hard work we managed to make the deadline of October after all: Volume #3 in our series of Odu Ifa books Irosun is available NOW. This means that presently the first three books in a series of sixteen are available to you:

Ika-Irete-Irosun

ODU IFA COLLECTION: THE MAIN ODU AND THEIR FIFTEEN SUB-ODUS

Available for purchase at www.lulu.com

Volume 01 – Ika (70 verses): http://bit.ly/odu-ika
Volume 02 – Irete (74 verses): http://bit.ly/odu-irete
Volume 03 – Irosun (93 verses): http://bit.ly/odu-irosun

The thirteen other volumes will appear over the next few years in alphabetical order, momentarily we are working on Iwori. More information and FAQ right HERE!


The Irete book is on the market now!

May 1, 2014 by · Comments Off on The Irete book is on the market now!
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Irete Meji and its 15 sub-Odus available

Irete-AdvertisementSeveral days earlier than the planned 5th of May, we managed to get the Irete book out in the open! It has been published and is available right now!

There is a confession to be made though: I must immediately admit that the proud statement “a few days earlier than the planned date” is kind of misleading, because the book was already several months overdue before we set the final publishing date. Indeed, due to lots of unexpected circumstances, including the fact that there was so much more work involved than we initially imagined, our planning turned out to be waaaaaay off. But we kinda got into our stride now, having settled into some kind of regular work schedule and having ironed out a bunch of wrinkles in the process, which means that the third volume Irosun will easily follow later this year. But for the time being: here is your long-expected Irete book! Enjoy!

Irete – The main odu and its fifteen sub-odus:

• The book contains 74 Ifa verses
• Metaphysical Observations
• The book is fully illustrated
• Arranged in alphabetical order

Number of verses:
Irete Meji (14)
Irete-Ika (3)
Irete-Irosun (3)
Irete-Iwori (4)
Irete-Obara (3)
Irete-Odi (3)
Irete-Ofun (4)
Irete-Ogbe (6)
Irete-Ogunda (4)
Irete-Okanran (3)
Irete-Osa (9)
Irete-Oshe (5)
Irete-Otura (4)
Irete-Oturupon (3)
Irete-Owonrin (3)
Irete-Oyeku (3)

You can order the book by clicking on either the illustration or the blue link higher up in the text, or simply here. The price is US$ 21.95 or the equivalent in your own currency.


New covers of Jaap Verduijn’s Odu Ifa Collection

August 28, 2013 by · 1 Comment
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Here we present to you the new covers of Jaap’s Odu Ifa Collection. Next month – September 2013 – the reprint of the Ika Book will be available.

Odu-Ifa-Covers small


Small Gods…

August 23, 2013 by · 1 Comment
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Orisha worship simply explained 😉

Small GodsAs most of you know, I am fully aware that Orishas don’t make man, but that man makes Orishas… in Yoruba culture an Orisha can be compared to a “Big Man”, who is only big as long as he has a range of followers. I’m not the only one who thinks this way: Karen Barber in “Oríkì, women and the proliferation and merging of òrìṣà” explains it better than I can.

Especially in the Diaspora, where many Ilés and Elders insist more on maintaining a re-enactment society with an extremely rigid (and mercilessly enforced) hierarchy than on helping their practitioners develop spiritually, some of the beliefs and worship seems to have shifted away from the Orishas towards the largely imagined “sacredness” of rituals and ceremonies. No ritual is sacred by itself… it is a means to a purpose, and the less bullshit the better. I notice much of this bullshit in the simplest of things, like opening a divination for one or two quick questions: I’ve seen “established” practitioners preparing, mojuba’ing and invoking for close to an hour(!!!) before they finally got around to the divination itself. “Form” has become more important than “function”

But thank (any) God that we have Sir Terry Pratchett! His Discworld novels allow us a mirror view into our own lives, and since our Good Knight isn’t a stranger to spirituality there’s always, in every Discworld book, the odd piece of wisdom that we as Ifa-Orisha practitioners can apply to our own lives.

In Small Gods Pratchett confronts us with many practices that are also wide-spread in Ifa-Orisha, and he does it in such a way that we manage not only to laugh about ourselves, but also promise to do better in future!

This Discworld novel is set in the previously unheard of locale of Omnia, where the Quisition, led by Deacon Vorbis, tortures into its heretical citizenry a belief in the Great God Om. But the central question in the book is: what happens when belief dissipates, and is replaced by simple routine? Following the rituals of a religion is not really the same as believing in the power and glory of a God.

And on the Discworld, like in Orisha worship, there’s not exactly a lack of Gods to choose from. There are billions of them, and they’re all likely to strike you down where you stand if you insult them in any way. Great God Om used to be the greatest of all Gods, but he’s fallen on tough times. The brand of belief favoured by Vorbis is not the kind of belief Om needs. He’s losing true believers in the process, and has become quite ineffectual. Om and his one true believer Brutha follow a Pratchett tradition of teaming a wide-eyed innocent with a cynical curmudgeon, and watching as the two personalities eventually meet in the middle. Brutha is a true believer in the face of pure evil, and it’s this innocence/ignorance that allows him to survive. Om is a perpetually pissed-off little dude, angry at his new lot in life, and unsure how to get his powers back. All he knows is that Brutha is his only hope, for Brutha is the only one that can truly hear him. Their joint quest is a joy to follow. Small Gods is great fun, but it is also a great book in its seriousness. The book takes a witty look at the perils of making religion too organized – in paying more attention to the priests rather than to the Gods. This book really is “Orisha worship simply explained”  ;-)!

Note for the easily bored: The book takes off a little slowly, but hang on for a few pages and you’ll be gripped!


Africans, Europeans, Native Americans…

August 22, 2013 by · 2 Comments
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Causes of worldwide inequality explained

Guns, Germs and SteelWhy did Pizarro capture Atahualpa and conquer the Inca Empire, instead of Atahualpa capturing Charles I and conquering Spain? Why didn’t the Ashantis conquer the British and capture Queen Victoria, instead of the British conquering the Ashantis and capturing king Prempeh? Rabid racists will be sorely disappointed with the answers to these and many related questions, but since I’m pretty sure there ain’t no rabid racists visiting this site, I guess y’all will delightedly read the book that explains it all!

In his book Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion – as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war – and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California’s Gold Medal.

A few years ago I read this book for the first time, and presently I’m reading it again. I like it, and I believe it’s mandatory reading for everybody who deals with different cultures, peoples, histories and traditions (don’t we all?)! Is Jared Diamond correct in everything he states? I dunno. But I do know that he makes sense. And that’s much, much more than what racists do!