Tradition must express some particular facets to be rightly referred to as tradition, or else it is a pretender to tradition, a pseudo tradition. A tradition needs to express a traditional world view and it also needs a succession of knowledge ultimately revealing connection with spirit, most commonly through the human intercessor that serves as the intermediary in the chain of transmission. As for the latter, the chain of transmission, it would be sufficient to point to the extent of quarrels and battling egos happening between so many African derived faiths in the New World to at least suggest that the connection with source is at best faulty given the purely profane presentation given to the timeless mysteries. This is further revealed in how people in assuming the role of priests and priestesses automatically institutionalize dysfunction of various kinds. This dysfunction reveals itself in plays of power ranging from lies, deceit and the use of control mechanisms of various forms, where fear seems to be a main factor. In Ifá theology this is known as ibi Egun. Ibi Egun does not mean that death (Iku) is after you, as is an often seen modern interpretation, but that the ancestors are bringing misfortune simply by the last living ancestor displaying the dysfunctional patterns of behavior characteristic for his family. It means that we are threading a path that is useless for achieving our goals, but we hang on to this useless path because we identify ourselves with this particular way. What happens is that the useless patterns are individualized and we continue a family curse, but curse in the sense of misfortune, and become ‘owners of the curse’, Ol’Ibi simply. So much for the chain of transmission of the light from source, more critical is perhaps the misunderstandings and misrepresentations of Orisa and how they work in our lives. In the New World the Orisa is often referred to as an angel, and this is quite right, insofar as we understand the nature of the angel in conformity with Traditional doctrine. Traditional doctrine concerning the nature of angels in a way that makes it applicable on Orisa is found in Böhmes Mysterium Magnum where we read:
“the creation of the angels has a beginning, but the forces from which they were created never knew a beginning, but were present at the birth of the eternal beginning… They are born of the revealed Word, out of the eternal, dark, fiery, and luminous nature, from desire for divine revelation, and have been turned into “creatured” images, or as the sage and prophet René Guénon said: “fragmented into isolated creatures”.
This means that angels represent ideas in the divine reason that has become revealed. It is also interesting to see that Böhme clearly expresses a similar view upon creation as we find in Ifá, where the “forces” he speaks of is clearly synonymous with the fabric of creation, namely Odù. Odù are the energy patterns of Creation that causes the spiritual existence known as Imole (houses of Light) to be brought forth into a invisible state that gives birth to its visible condition in Irunmole, which shows itself in the light of stars and planetary bodies and on earth these energetic patterns of Creation, all 256 of them expresses different types of consciousness. The different types of consciousness express themselves in different personalities that express a relationship with a particular Orisa. From this we have the often heard comments that we are sons and daughters of this and that Orisa.
In our modern society that thrives upon useless classification and erroneous ideas of value and quantity also Orisa is often given horizon from a too human perspective. Even if we do now see it or accept it as such, man does tend to measure the world using his own ego and mundane station as ruler and compass. This is an error in light of traditional doctrine that anchors its point in the un-manifest and simply sees in the matter a contraction of the divine that is so great that the illusion of fragmentation is assumed as a reality amongst humans.
The goal of Ifá theology insofar as it concerns with Orisa is found in the word Ìgòkè, which Baba Falokun translates into ‘ascension’. Ìgòkè refers to a transgression of individual consciousness towards source. This is accomplished when orí inú or your inner self, not the conditioned egoistic masque you believe to be self, is forming a link with Ìponri, the higher self. When this occurs the link with orisa is made on a supreme level and the OlÓrisa becomes a manifestation of one’s Orisa. In metaphysical terms, this means that the Ol’Orisa is looking upwards towards source and form a link with the tangible expression of the divine ideas. By turning towards source a rebirth of matter, so to speak, is also occurring, as the spirit animating the matter will be from source and not from ones selfish self construct. The Ol’Orisa becomes a natural expression of a pattern of creation, a consciousness brought by Orisa and expressed in unique ways through ones alignment with source. It is like the merging between the Love r and the Beloved. It is at this point one can truly say that one is Ol’Orisa, owner of Orisa, or that you own your own consciousness. Ase O O dabo!