God/Olodumare is Supreme
For followers of Ifa, known as elesin ibile, prayer is a daily practice. When one understands their place in the Universe along with all the irunmole, it is only natural (or with a little practice), to give thanks for everything one has, no matter how small. Our heavenly Father Olodumare has given us the gift of life along with this magnificent planet we live on. I like to start each day praying to God, starting with giving thanks for everything I have in detail, adding prayers for loved ones, and stating: “As I take my place in your world today, I ask that I be given the ability to send and receive Divine Ase.” This is because I know that everything I do is only because of the Power of God who animates my life and who gives me breath. I owe everything I have to Olodumare.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYING TO ONES ORI
In my work as a priestess I encounter many people who are passing through difficult times, so as a basic foundation I try to instill the practice of daily prayer by my clients as a means of stabilizing the mind and generating positive thoughts, words and actions that will see the person through their day. Over time, changes do occur as the benefits of prayer, the spoken word, bring harmony. Prayer focuses and harmonizes one with their place in the Universe, God’s realm and prepares one to receive blessings.
Principle to this is our ori. Our ori is what is translated as the head, or higher self. Each person is born with an ori that guides them. Much like a bird that instinctively knows the migratory routes it must fly to reach food and their nesting grounds to lay eggs and continue the circle of life, so does our ori know what is best for us. We have both an inner ori and an outer ori. Within our own personal Odu, or road/path/destiny of life, we have innate tendencies to think or behave in certain ways. These can be both positive and negative. This is why we ask when praying to our ori: ” My Ori, do not spoil my inner wisdom, or “ori inu” . Though we might be a mild mannered and calm person, if we “lose our head” in a fit of anger and utter words that we might regret later, we are in essence spoiling our outer and inner destiny by letting our head run away with and rubbish our “good head”, our inner wisdom that knows right from wrong, good decisions from bad decisions.
While it can be difficult to understand the concept of having an ori, ori is simply our higher self that knows what it is we need and can lead us to it. Sometimes we have personality disorders, perhaps a drug habit or dependency that effectively shuts down our ori; we simply cannot “hear” it. Some people are born with impaired mental functioning, emotional problems, psychological disorders that keep them from enjoying life. The stresses of life here on earth are many, and it is our thoughts and attitudes towards these challenges that will make or break us. We are meant to be happy and there are steps we can take to improve our happiness.
Ifa is all about bringing ourselves into alignment with the Universe around us, our environment, our social, material and emotional landscape. By understanding that our ori is something to venerate, we now see that having good guidance from within is a very precious thing. Many times I tell people, “if we are not for ourselves, than who will be?. If we do not love ourselves, than who will?” We must be our own best friend and our ori IS our very best friend, protection and guidance in life.
HOW TO PRAY TO YOUR ORI
After waking I advise people to pray, even before getting out of bed. If you want to rinse your arms, legs, mouth with water first and then kneel on the ground, even better, but the main thing is to do it as soon as you wake up. After praying to Olodumare, move on to your ori. Place your hands on your head, one on the forehead and the other on the back of the head and pray out loud:
“Ori Ori Ori! You are the first and foremost, you are the King and the Head. You are the first amongst all orisa. Without ones ori, we cannot find our way, please listen and hear my prayers. It is I (state your name), the son/daughter of (state your mother’s name), who received the odu of (state your odu name. If you do not know, skip this.) My ori, please guide me to the people, places and things which will help me in life today. Bring me the people and things I need to receive wealth, health, happiness. I am asking you my ori to….(state your prayers/desires/wishes), listen to my prayers and take them to heaven Ase Ase Ase O!”.
Starting our day in this manner aligns us positively. We have clearly stated what we are looking for, and as we have spoken it, so shall it be. The Yoruba speak of ori as such:
ORI APERE! ORI, THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL!
ORI EWU! ORI, I ADORE YOU!
ORI OKUN! ORI, YOU ARE PRECIOUS!
ORI IDE! ORI THAT SHINES/IS PRECIOUS AS BRASS!
When we take the time and effort to venerate and honor God first, then our own ori, we are opening ourselves up to receiving and radiating positive energy which affects how we move in our environment. Just try this as an experiment for one week. You will be rewarded!
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