Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Odu

Happy New Year everyone! All the best for 2014.

The Odu are the energetic building blocks of the Universe. They are also the energies we work with in Ifa divination. In this series we’ll explore the 16 primary energies.

The Odu are represented with a series of single and double strokes, or open circles and lines. As long as 8,000 years ago, the Yoruba people of western Africa were working with a binary number system. The system is similar to what we use for digital media.

We can look at Universe is an infinite, organic, computer. Olodumare, or God,  is its  creator and power source.

The Odu combine with each other creating the 256 energies used to create the Universe. We believe that everything that is, was, or ever will be, is manifested by these energies. Even the Orisa were born out of the Odu. It is possible to develop relationships with them.

In this series I’ll describe the essence of the sixteen primary Odu. We’ll look at them as building blocks of reality. You’ll see how the essence of each leads to its use in divination.

Olodumare existed before creation, at rest for infinite aeons. When we describe creation we use temporal language. We understand it as an event that happened at some point before now. The truth is, that God exists beyond time and space.  Olodumare is everywhere, and nowhere. God is completely empty, and perfectly full. The creative force is beyond all opposites. It cannot be described. The closest we can come is to imagine perfect peace, quiet, and stillness. 

When you have a moment, get as still as you can. See if you can drop below your thoughts, emotions, and sensations. Find the perfect stillness that is Olodumare as you. Were you able to taste a bit of infinity doing this short exercise? I’d love to hear why, or why not.

In my next post we’ll look at the moment of creation. I’ll explore the first energy. 

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