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Yoruba Ifa Creation Story - Stages 1 & 2


COMMENTARY

Every society and every culture on this earth has a creation story drenched in deep symbolism and mysticism. When you want to know about the spirituality of a people, it's best to examine their story of creation. It is the foundation of, not only their spiritual tradition, but also a glimpse into their understanding of the powers of the universe. In these next few blog posts, I will be sharing the Isese (traditional spiritual culture of the Yoruba) stages of creation of the universe and the Holy Odu (oh-doo) that gave forth this information. Specifically, these explanations are from the perspective of Baba Chief Solagbade Popoola. Please enjoy the wisdom of this Elder.


With divine blessings,

Rev. Mignon (aka The Empress Ming)



IFA'S CREATION STORY

This is the creation story as told by the Holy Odus (oh-doos) of Ifa (ee-fah). Odus hold the esoteric wisdom of the universe and meaning of life. There are 256. Each Odu has sacred text associated to it that provides insights and narratives (verses) regarding all aspects of life and existence. Given in the blog are the exact verses in both Yoruba and English translation that explain the order of creation.

STAGE 1: OSA OGUNDA

(pr. Oh-sah Oh-goon-dah)


According to the Holy Odu of Osa Ogunda, there are five parts of creation that were meant to achieve the Earth’s perfection.


In the space of no time and nothingness, there was only one being. Akamara. A being with no flesh, no blood, no human form. Neither overly masculine or overly feminine, Akamara exists just as. Akamara is the consciousness of the entire galactic universe, the living universal spirit.


How Akamara came to be in itself is a mystery. According to the odu of Osa Ogunda, when Akamara emerged, the first thing they created was sand. Akamara blew a mighty breath into the sand. And from the grain of sand turned into a bag of sand. And then the bag of sand became hot with gases and dews, leading to a mighty explosion that lasted for quite some time. This is Ifa’s Big Bang. Everything that you see around you was the creation of Akamara’s cool breath. Through their breath, it gave us all life.


Yoruba

Iri tu wili tu wili

Iri tu wili tu wili

Iri tu wili-wili

Koo nterga-reke

Dia fun Origun

nterga s’eda ibu orun ati aye ni’gba ijinji

Iri tu wili tu wili

Iri tu wili tu wili

Iri tu wili-wili

Koo nterga-reke

English

May the dew burst out quickly

May the dew burst out rapidly

May the dew burst out continuously

And be so vast throughout the expanse

These were the declarations of Ifa for Origun

When going to coordinate the creation the vast expanse of the Universe

In the very dawn of time

May the dew burst out quickly

May the dew burst out rapidly

May the dew burst out continuously

And be so vast throughout the expanse


The second assignment Akamara did was the creation of the Origun (oh-ree-goon). Which are intergalactic universal beings who are higher than the Irunmole (primordial beings). Origun was assigned the responsibility of coordinating all the gases and dews to create the stars. The Origun was responsible for star formations and constellations which still continues to this day as per Akamara’s order. This is how we are able to find new stars and galaxies every second... they are constantly at work!


STAGE 2: OSA OGUNDA


The gases and dews were solidifying into stars and other heavenly bodies nicely, but a problem ensued! It was found out that the stars and other bodies were too hot and couldn't complete the assignments Akamara gave them because of it. The stars had to be cooled down to a normal temperature! The lower temperature would allow them to solidify with greater ease. This is why Akamara created another higher-being named Olu-Iwaye to cool down these bodies... and it succeeded allowing them to rapidly form.

Yoruba

Dia fun Olu-Iwaye

Ti nloo p’ero si ibu orun ati aye in kutukutu owuro

Iri tu wili tu wili

Iri tu wili tu wili

Iri tu wili-wili

Koo tu reke-reke

English

It was also declared for Olu-Iwaye

When going to sooth and pacify the hotness of the universe

In the dawn of life

May the dew burst out quickly

May the dew burst out rapidly

May the dew burst out continuously

And be so vast throughout the expanse


Within the verses of this odu, you can see that the Origin (creator) of all existence is not directly involved in the creation process. The Origin tasked certain Beings with carrying out the formation of existence.


Content courtesy of: Iya Ifayemi Sangodosu Adeola

Interpreted and Combined By: Chief Baba Solagbade Popoola

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