The odu Ifá Ìkáwónrín says: Ìká ènìyàn kìí wòn ohun tire kí ó tóó seé
This was translated by Karenga in the following way:
“The wicked do not weight their conduct before they act”
Now, the idea of wickedness must be addressed. In this context wickedness is a direct reference to the yoruba word Ìká. Well, the dictionary translates this into wickedness and cruelty, and in Ifá theology we know Ìká as the principle of control as it relates to Obaluwaye. Further, the word ìkálára simply means ‘emotions’, but imbalanced emotions. It is the upsurge within to control your environment in conformity with what pleases you. It is interesting to see that the odu Ìká meji is an odu manifesting Obaluwaye, the spirit of infectious disease that rules the hottest hours of the day. If Obaluwaye is out of control, the result is cholera, malaria, smallpox and hot feverish deaths all over, due to a lack of controlling or containing the emotional centre of this power. So, the wickedness Ìká speaks about is a wickedness that rises from an uncontrolled emotional centre that is focusing only on the immediate gratification of the individual itself.
I see this all the time, Ìká in action in the world, this lack of control and consideration everywhere that takes shape in one person’s action making other peoples life more complicated. This can be everything oriented from purely self centered goals, such as stopping your car in the middle of the road to chat with somebody, to sneak to a more advance position in the queue. It can be about your lack of control of your children making the environment of other people unpleasant as it can be to focus on your own pleasure being exalted in any way before any others.
The message is simply one of controlling one’s immediate emotional impulses. Rather, let us keep in mind that if your life gets better, my life gets better. By making other peoples life easier we make our own life easier and by this kind of consideration we reflect Ìká in ire and it will give to us good fortune as we enter into a positive circle of mutual aid and caring.
Ìká is also an odu that in the diaspora denotes hexing and curses, but few seems to take into account that gossip, lying, lack of consideration and general malice are the essence of a curse and ultimately it will cloud your perception of your true inner self – and in the final instance you will lose appreciation of yourself and act in manners inconsiderate and rude, not realizing that it is your own self hatred that moves you. You make yourself into a vibrant walking curse upon everyone you meet.
This sounds alarming, and it is – but the solution is so simple, be considerate and realize that by helping others, you will be helping yourself. By doing this, a return to Ile Ifé, ‘the city of Love’ is opened by Ogun’s machete…