The confusion about…

July 29, 2013 by
Filed under: Brenda's mental musings 

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What to do with the Opon or Mat?

The essence is not what to do with the objects used in divination, but to understand what they represent. When you understand what they represent it is easy to understand what has made them sacred. Understanding that, makes it possible to cherish those objects for the principles they represent. And cherishing and loving will give you access and connection, not only to yourself, but also to the knowledge they are related to: Ifa Cosmology. So what does Ifa represent? All There Is. “We are all the same dot, multiplied”, keep this sentence in mind.

If someone would ask me why I treat my mat with care and dignity, while to most around me it will only appear to be a pimped up tray for serving dishes, and that I’m probably insane. I’d say “See this picture of my late grandmother? To me it is a symbol of my memory and love for her, and by looking at it, I can easily connect to her and feel her presence, as if I last saw and held her yesterday.” And like the picture of grandma, some Ifa objects represent soul food to me.

Now I can burn a candle for my grandma putting it in front of her picture, knowing that it is not really her. But for me as a human being, it is a tool to have my Ori connect to her Ori in Orun and be able to feel that in my body. The picture helped by triggering my brains (body) to remember her smell, laughter and touch. In my mind that experience is very vivid, because my body is fully aware of that, I am conscious(ness). A body needs tools, as it needs food. Tools may function as a subliminal message; however not being raised with all the objects and their intrinsic meaning, logically doesn’t do the job.

Without understanding what the objects represent it seems impossible to me to really value those objects. And in my personal view it has no spiritual value to hold these objects sacred or use them just because you were told to, to show off, or just because everybody else does.The only valid way is to feel it! And it is easier to feel it when you know it. Hypothetically, I also have a picture of my other grandma, but I never got the chance to really know her, so I can burn a candle for her out of respect as a gesture, I can have sensations but they will never be as vivid as with the grandma I did know. So, knowing is important for being able to recognize what you actually feel. Not knowing means you might want to explore, ask and share… And your feeling, grasping, grokking will ever continue to grow.

Since this kind of knowledge was poured in with mother’s milk for a lot of traditional people, for them this value of the objects is automatically embedded in their being and connected to the knowledge. Automatically triggering what they know about it, and that may be piles of books for us to read, that they just know and feel in one single second. And us Independents, most having been grown up in a totally different society with utterly different programming for thinking, we have to spend a lot of effort to try to grasp this metaphysical approach and way of thinking.

I won’t stick too much to the traditional representations, first because I don’t know enough about it. Second, because it represents so many things and yet it represents just one. I will stick to a more abstract, but principally the same concept, yet one that is probably easier to grasp for Westerners in general. When that is grokked, the traditional approach is actually so much easier to understand by heart. Brains are useful sometimes, but overall a pain in the ass when it comes to grokking spiritual concepts and metaphysical principles. Brains make good Xeroxes, but experiencing something truly new needs a soul and inspiration.

Understanding the basic formula of Ifa Cosmology makes it easier for you to understand the culture, and the people that I see as the guardians of this knowledge. However I don’t see them as the owners of the knowledge, yet they are the owners of their own traditions. As I feel that this knowledge once was accessible to all the humans on Earth, yet within their own culture, their own stage, their own ways. But that wonderful knowledge has been eradicated through the centuries by a group of people with ill means, at least that is my conviction. Yet, I regard Africa as humanity’s womb, and fortunately there have been stem cells left to inspire a world population in this universal knowledge again. Just like in some forms of cancer the cure is to use stem cells to regain health back into the body. Humanity as a whole, to me, is also a body. Fortunately, the Yoruba oral tradition has found books. And books are like the injection needles that place stem cells back into a sick body. Humanity is sick, and we need stem cell healing, also that is my personal conviction. It’s not part of my view to make Ifa a world religion, because organized it will be doomed to become as bad as the religions in power nowadays. Because in the end it is power play, and no matter who or what is in charge; power means problems.

 

A circle is a dot, is the whole

Back to the objects, the opon, the circular mat, or the string of beads laid out in a circle as sometimes is used as well. What does it represent? Let me take you there gradually, so you might get a grasp of the metaphysical character of Ifa knowledge. And why it is a pity and maybe even a shame, that it is overlooked so much by so many… Because I feel it is not only the essence of Ifa, but the essence of the very existence of our reality that is held by this concept. Does make sense doesn’t it?

The essence of Ifa knowledge by itself is not unique, but the way it is expressed is. Remember the sentence “We are all the same dot, multiplied”? This is just another way of putting “All is one” or “Ifa is all there is”. A concept we see returned in many, many cultures hidden in sacred geometry, the “Flower of Life” which is found in ancient buildings everywhere around the world, from Egypt to China. Most of us must have seen it somewhere, sometime. This website shows a bit of simple information on the very basics of Sacred Geometry.
In figure 2 I find it a pity that they haven’t depicted the sole circle in that sequence the one dot started with. So that’s for the ones who didn’t read the text on the website.

In my teenage years I had an obsession for genesis myths for a while, I even found a wonderful book in which quite a few were written down and illustrated with sacred objects and all. Years ago someone told me a genesis story that for me resonated with all my being. It was actually really simple, of course it never really happened like that literally, but I liked the concept:
There was this one consciousness in space, and while it was wondering: “Who am I? What am I?” it bursted apart and became the universe, galaxies, solar systems, planets, organisms, cells, atoms, particles… And this way it became possible for this consciousness to explore itself; to experience the endless and infinite talents and possibilities it carried within itself. So in that sense we all are the same dot (consciousness).

So if you see the opon (the mat, the string of beads) as that one single dot, but also as its whole: the universe. Then you know what it represents. You can leave it to that of course, accept it for being so. But to me personally that was just the beginning.

Remember that Orisha is freely translated as the “Forces of Nature”; and one might consider the Orisha as the forces that keep all those dots in place. Our own Ori, being the most important Orisha, is also a “Force of Nature” keeping dots in place, namely yourself (the cells of your body). The concept of Ori, that all things in creation – visible and non-visible – have their own Ori: particles, atoms, cells, bodies, friendships, communities, planets, solar systems, galaxies and finally the whole universe.

 

The language of the Oracle

Understanding this concept is vital to properly understand Ifa’s teachings. It is necessary to understand the language of the Oracle before you can USE AND TRANSLATE it for your clients (whether these are friends or strangers) that is the responsibility you should commit to; because METAphysics is the language it speaks in, therefor many verses of Ifa have so much subliminal METAphors hidden in it.

The way Ifa explains humbleness; he encourages us to always find new points of view, oversee the whole (as Ifa himself is what he stands for), jump over to the larger circle, the circle you are momentarily encompassed by. That way the Opon may may function as a focal window. Looking inward it makes it easier to grok how that concept is put together. And now we know how it works, we can reverse the direction (towards the whole, towards Ifa) and grow, expand our consciousness.

All this is golden cut, Fibonacci, sacred geometry, the greater structure, law of nature, the framemaker; and metaphorically the bones of our body.

If you really want a greater understanding of what that dot represents, and what Forces of Nature (Orisha and Ori) do to dots. I’d suggest you watch the sequence of videos posted below: “Crossing the Event Horizon”. It is a lecture by Nassim Haramein, who is much more capable than I in explaining about the Awo of a dot. Exploring and sharing that insight is his destiny, mine lays elsewhere, but without his information it would have taken me a hell of a lot more time to get where I’m now. So the many times I have spend six hours watching it were actually saving me a lot of time.

Haramein uses Sacred Geometry, which in my opinion is THE abstract concept of infinity, that is explored by metaphysical science. Ifa, the voice of Olodumare (the whole), Ifa providing frequency to create reality; the second to witness creation, as the first was Olodumare itself.

Spirit has confirmed to me that Haramein is very very close in understanding how our reality fits together as far a human brain can grok that anyway. Be aware always that it is consciousness (Ori) that creates reality. Observing life, that is what Ori does, giving feedback to the whole (singularity, the one dot), that is explained as well in the videos. Remember that Haramein has spend a few decades in research and shares that exploring journey with us in a six hour lecture. That’s BUT six hours instead of a few decades. “Wow! What a chance!” is what you should feel, instead of… “Oh no, six hours, that’s sooo long… pfff”.

So when watching his videos this is a legenda you might want to keep close, so you can link what he says to Ifa vocabulary. And it will make it a nice awakening adventure of your mind:
Expansion: Ogbe
Contraction: Oyeku
Spin: Ashe
Singularity: Olodumare; 0; the one dot
Frequency: Ifa, the voice of Olodumare
Space: Eshu
Gravity: Oyeku
Electromagnetism: Ogbe

And I’m very curious what else you might recognize, and please share it in the comment section

Nassim Haramein – Crossing the Event Horizon – (1/4)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji8yXFwYxBg

Nassim Haramein – Crossing the Event Horizon – (2/4)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpWzfC7GgEA

Nassim Haramein – Crossing the Event Horizon – (3/4)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6852W-f9b7c

Nassim Haramein – Crossing the Event Horizon – (4/4)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knUXqhNtkj8

 

After watching the videos

So what happens when you keep all these hard scientific information in an easy to understand concept that is close to the people but goes much deeper for the Priest (Diviner, both are Interpreters): it is the representation of the womb as the event horizon, the point of singularity, there where creation emerges and represent it as an Opon Ifa. The Ifa tapper represents the penis, the crossing of the event horizon.

If you look at this biologically, the penis brings sperm that yet may cross another event horizon, the egg. Looking at it that way means that crossing the event horizon is a way to jump over to the encompassing circle. When conception has taken place (awakening), the baby that is conceived will one day grow past his event horizon, will be born (another awakening) making it enter another event horizon; leaving it’s universe, it’s mother, to meet it’s family. And while growing up and getting older it will keep crossing event horizons in its awareness (consciousness, Ori): family, school, town, province, country, world, solar system, universe… Until again we meet singularity, Olodumare and realize that all the time it has been us ourselves when we met one another.

Answer for yourself why odu is named odu and why it is drawn in the board?

Here is just a video I found on YouTube that shows a priest using Ifa, Ikin and Opon:

 

Practical

Now that we’ve taken a journey, what to do with that board, that mat? I think the best consecration (make it sacred, as in I GROK) as a Independent Practitioner of your “tools” is this:

  • Make or buy a simple circular mat, that for practical reason doesn’t make your cowries behave like bouncing balls.
  • Pimp up the mat yourself! Your own Ori is creating another Ori: your mat. Or you’re helping the Ori of the mat to manifest. And most probably both… Either way you are now connected. Now ain’t that wonderful?
  • While SACRIFICING your time making that mat, consider what it represents and what it can do for you and others to do good in this world. I’m sure you will be rewarded!
  • The practical use of it all is when you use this mat in divination to help yourself and others, it may function like that picture of your grandma. Reminding you about your awakening. And to always remind you that you have taken a responsibility, you made an oath to yourself when you found and decided that divination is part of your destiny.
  • Being a diviner means you are an interpreter of Ifa (frequency), you should understand the language of your oracle. And always aim to being objective… which uses the skill of observing. The better you observe the easier it is to cross the event horizon. Observing works a lot better when you are without judgement.

 

Still confused?

There are several ways to divine. Just like there are several ways to read Tarot by placing them in another shape; yet that doesn’t mean that the value of the card changes. Ifa is expressed in Odu, possible expressions of manifestation in reality, frequencies. There are 256 publicly known Odu. Actually the ways of expression of consciousness are infinite; but 256 is about the maximum a human brain can deal with. If you’d see the Odu Corpus as a tree, the Odu would be a branch, and the verses the leaves. In other words, the Odu are the core of the system, not the cowries, not the objects, they function as a phone, a communication device, a reminder of what you know, etc.

 

 

Additions

Screenshot 1:22:52 video 2/4 belonging to comment number 15  from Louis:

Screenshot-L9P2-01

 

 
>>> Lesson 10: Deciding whether a text wants to be read

Comments

23 Comments on The confusion about…

  1. louis on Tue, 30th Jul 2013 02:47
  2. Thank you Brenda for this good presentation and for sharing all of this very interesting information! It will take some time to go through the video’s, but I’m sure well worth it. So Ifa is the voice of Olodumare – thanks for that as well! I googled, meaning of Olodumare. Fasinating and very interesting results, informative articles! Definately worth reading some of them! It certainly helps to open the mind, no doubt! I appreciate your understanding and how you lay it out. Thanks again!

  3. louis on Tue, 30th Jul 2013 06:24
  4. Wow Brenda! Just completed experiencing 1 of 4, Crossing the Event Horizon! Don’t know if i can take anymore. :0))

    i’ve been studying and practicing Vedic Astrology for a while now and i’ve had viisons of Orisha’s correlating to the Graha’s/Planets and the Chakras, similar to what you describe above; in particular Eshu and the powerful Graha Ketu, of space, emptiness and liberation in the Vedic system. i’m not much of writer, but i can sense things, see things. Odus are so sacred and precious, born of the Black Caldron, the Black Hole, the Great Womb of the Great Black Divine Cosmic Mother. Thank you Brenda!

  5. Beek Brenda on Tue, 30th Jul 2013 10:13
  6. Thank you Louis! I’m glad it works for you 😉 I’m very aware this is not easy to grasp matter. Don’t try grasping it too hard, as in: don’t chase it, but let it come to you 😉 one bit at the time.

    And I know what you mean about the lecture! Your head simply is FULL after an hour. Just take it one step at the time 😉 and indeed it is very much worth it, even to repeat it every now and then. I often just put it on in stead of the radio. The lecture keeps giving me new insights.

    First time I watched it it took me a couple of days; for the manny naps I needed to make in between high focus and a pounding head ;-). I still watch it every few months and I notice I can do the whole nine yards in one session now without a headache!

    Spirit explained Olodumare to me as what in the west is known as the Akasha Chronicles; “the book with the million pages”; the database were everything past, future, other realities, etc is stored in. Actually it makes a lot of sense to me, that the one dot carries all that in itself ;-). When the dot started multiplying and expand, it could so because of frequency (voice, vibration): Ifa.

    And translating the metaphor to the Big Bang, Olodumare would be the Big and Ifa would be the Bang 😉

  7. Nanette Furman on Tue, 30th Jul 2013 17:47
  8. holograph/hologram/fractals. All contained in All.

  9. Nanette Furman on Tue, 30th Jul 2013 17:47
  10. If Ketu is Eshu- what about Rahu?

  11. louis on Tue, 30th Jul 2013 18:33
  12. Dear Brenda – thank you! I was only joking – sorry – there is a way of saying it where I come from; when we say we can’t stand it anymore; it means give me more – it means, Wow, that was great, I want more! :0))

    Rahu and Ketu were once, One Great Serpent, who have been separated Nanette, by ignorance. Rahu has no body and is the desire aspect in our charts and the cosmos and Ketu is the body or heart of the Serpent, who knows what is true. In our charts he represents what we know from many past lives. Throughout our many lives the work is to bring union/balance our personal Rahu and Ketu. That they once again become One Great Serpent! Eshu is known as the Divine Trickster and Knower of the Mysteries, the Divine Messenger and the Remover of Obstacles amaong many other things.

  13. louis on Tue, 30th Jul 2013 19:11
  14. Nanette, i didn’t answer your question. Rahu, in my opinion is an aspect of Eshu as well, since the Divine Messenger only wants us to become whole!

  15. Beek Brenda on Tue, 30th Jul 2013 19:34
  16. 😉 I understood the cynicism 😉 still it is a lot to digest 😉

  17. louis on Tue, 30th Jul 2013 19:52
  18. Yes Nanette, holograhic…. dreaming so called “awake”, so called real – quite amazing!!! i gues it’s important to allow our minds to be blown. If it’s blown enough, perhaps then we can stop thinking and just be…. 🙂

  19. louis on Tue, 30th Jul 2013 20:41
  20. i think in our human evolution, we are in the process of uniting, unifying our Vectors; Rahu and Ketu, performing yoga’s, union with the Divine to accomplish Vector Equilibrium. Eshu, helps us an d guides us to perform these Divine task, with his Divine messages. Eshu, the Master of Vector Equilibrium? Ogbe!

  21. louis on Tue, 30th Jul 2013 22:19
  22. i would add to Spin: Osa, Oya, the Great Winds, Change, Speed, Friction, the Great Breath/Force that Spins our inner Chakras, as well as the outer Chakras in Space. : O)))))

    During this section (Spin) of the Video, i’m drawn to Ofun (the last is the first) another of the Great Mothers, which i feel has an affinity with Oyeku.

    Olodumare: Owner of Rainbow Odus, infinate colors and shades, forms and formless; as Singularity, the Dot, feels right.

  23. Beek Brenda on Tue, 30th Jul 2013 22:27
  24. You’re making me a happy Brenda Louis ;-):

    “i gues it’s important to allow our minds to be blown. If it’s blown enough, perhaps then we can stop thinking and just be….” <<< Wonderful 😉 Interesting views 😉 I like that, it has gotten you! We should put them together and see how they line up and interact!

  25. louis on Tue, 30th Jul 2013 22:51
  26. sorry folks, i’m just loving this geometry of vector equilibrium, geometry of the vacum, geometryy of Sigularity – it’s blowing my mind into tiny particals – but at the same time tasting a little of Sigularity/Olodumare! 🙂

    i here the bells ringing “all women and men are created “equal”” hmmmmm. 🙂

    Truely Fasinating, Lovely stuff!!!

  27. louis on Tue, 30th Jul 2013 23:22
  28. This vedio has helped me not to be affaird of the Contracted side, not to be affraid of Oyeku – death is not real, i’m understanding, where the Ancestors Live.

    But, i also think, yes think 🙂 that we need to be aware/conscious that all ancestors are not enlightened, Ogbe. We must take reaponsibility in the exchnage with the Ancerstors and know who is speaking, ask who is present, know what we are asking for, looking for, what we are wanting from the Ancestors. my sense is that we would want Enlightened responses, yes?

  29. louis on Tue, 30th Jul 2013 23:47
  30. In frame 1:22:52 of Vedio 2/4, i see half of an Opon, with Eshu in the southwest, beconing us to experience Singularity, how marvelous!

  31. louis on Wed, 31st Jul 2013 00:01
  32. WOW Brenda!! Just finished Vedio 2/4 – you are certainly a channel for sharing mind blowing expereinces! My sincere thanks for bringing me in contact with this amazing work! Don’t know if i can take Vedio 3, not! 🙂 Thanks folks for putting up with me!

  33. Beek Brenda on Wed, 31st Jul 2013 00:50
  34. Oh, you really make my day Louis 😉 I can’t even express how delighted it feels after so many times I’ve offered this video for people I finally have someone getting to feel so excited! There were a few, but not many.

    WELCOME TO THE point OF NO RETURN 😉 Do you like it?

    If you find time or joy to write an essay, give your perspective of things I would like to add it to this piece if you would like that too, with your name mentioned of course. I think it’s good to offer several viewpoints… everybody has a unique one. And the more you get presented the easier it will be to get the picture. And that’s the goal… to GET the picture is primary… and the way to it is secondary 😉

  35. Beek Brenda on Wed, 31st Jul 2013 00:52
  36. louis on Wed, 31st Jul 2013 05:29
  37. Thanks Brenda for the invitation! Essay? Yipes! Let’s see what comes out? I just got very excited to also see an Ifa diviner as yourself, who loves Odu as i, with an extraordinarly open mind – guess there are others, but i’ve never met them.

    My essays if you would call them that, will always bring Odu, Ifa and Oludumare back to Love, Compassion, Wisdom and Joy, which you don’t hear much about. My feeling is that Singularity Is only Love and all flows in and out of That until we finally get it. Sounds simplistic, however, as extremely complicated the geometry of Vector Equilibrium appears to be in the Videos, it all comes down to Love, the True Nature of Singularity. How else could it be?

  38. louis on Wed, 31st Jul 2013 23:08
  39. Dear and Precious Sister Brenda, i finished 4/4 last night, but i need to expereince it again today – too much dozing goin on last night! 🙂

    But, today i noticed that i hadn’t read your final statement, under the heading “After watching the Vedios” Pretty powerful stuff! All of it! Especially “….”until we meet singularity, Olodumare and realize that all the time it has been us ourselves when we met one another.” Absolutely brilliant ! How does one embody this profound exclamation?

  40. louis on Fri, 2nd Aug 2013 04:48
  41. i’ve been contemplating frequencies and vibrations as they relation to the video that you shared with us Brenda, showing that the planets do not circle the Sun, but move in space along with the Sun, reminding me of sperms in space, moving, circling, rotating, spinning – moving to where, penetraing what?

    Is our entire universe in a Balck Hole. i use to contemplate this when i was younger and then i let those contemplations go. And here we are, Nassim, discussing that very possibility; us imagining, dreaming, so called awake in a Black Hole – amazing, mind shattering! 🙂

    As i contemplated the planets moving through space, my mind focused on the cowries, when we release them; as they spin and rotate and move throught space before they land on the mat/opon and i wondered about it being a timeless moment – the past, present and future spotaneously ocuring – All at once, everything is being communicated, as the cowries are suspended in mid air/space for a fraction of a second, like the planets appear suspended in space. Everything is present; Olodumare, Ori, Eshu, the Orishas, the Ancestors to bring us Odu – an entire Divine message for our eyes to see and our inner being to know – how marlvelous, how sacred, magnificent! All appears to stop – after the impluse to form a question, be still and dafa, release and the cowries fall/settle in place. An answer to our quiery is revealed. What a mystical entry into Odu and yet, we ourselves are Odu. What a paradox! Interestingly; para, in the ancient Sanskrit language of India means beyond. Just some contemplations. 🙂

  42. Beek Brenda on Sat, 3rd Aug 2013 20:21
  43. Hi Louis, I agree on what you write. It’s like the quote mentioned in the book “If it ain’t fun, it ain’t Ifa”… I feel it is all about simplicity, but fact is that it often takes a lot of complex experiences to finally grok all is actually simple. And a lot of things work through the same metaphysical principles, but are just dressed in a different fashion. It’s all about being able to recognize that I guess…

    Good question on how to embody that exclamation. I think embodying that is living life. The levels of consciousness to achieve are as infinite as the universe itself, and we just took our first steps. Reality fits together much stranger and weirder then we can possibly imagine, so not taking it all too seriously is as well a way to observe reality and life as it is better. The better we observe, the more we learn, the more event horizons we may cross…

    I don’t know if Nasim is right about our universe being a black hole… I’m not too sure about it… But conceptually I like his suggestion ;-), which is as well a paradox I guess! I thank you for your contribution in sharing how dafa feels for you, your contemplations were interesting to read and well put. 😉

  44. shangochild on Thu, 8th Aug 2013 01:34
  45. WOW…..been away for 2 weeks and missed all this wonderful discussion!!!

    It is really nice to have you on board Louis, Vedic Astrology and the multiple directions your mind goes in integrating it all with Singularity-Olodumare is awesome.

    Looking forward to more of this exchanges of ideas that open our minds, expand our consciousness, and ultimately make of us better diviners.