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Awo Fategbe Fatunmbi
Iba Osanyin Praise to the owner of herbal medicine Iba oni ewe praise to the owner of leaves Angberri, ewe gbogbo kiki oogun The supernatural one, one-who-turns-all-leaves-into-medicine Agbenigi, oromodie abidi sonso, One who is versed in the use of roots, one who has a sharp, pointed tail like that of a chick, Esinsin abedo kinnikinni, One who has a liver as crystal clear as a fly's koogo egboro irin, One who is as powerful as an iron rod, Aroni ja koto digun moya Aroni, the custodian of secrets who fastens medicine on his chest O gbaso okunrin ta giegie One who forcibly takes the clothes from a sick man and staggers O l'oso mo olokunrin l'orun one who forcibly grabs and twists a sick man's clothes O gbaso okunrin ta giegie One who forcibly takes the clothes from a sick man and staggers
Abanija ma jebi eni He who fights without being guilty O siso arun lara okunrin He removes the man's clothes Eegun nla a a yido fun A big masquerade for whom the mortar is rolled Ewe lowo Leaves in the hand Ewe lenu Leaves in the mouth Ko sohun to o lee se There is nothing you can't do Gbogbo ara kiki oogun One whose body is full of medicine Ko sohun to o lee se There is nothing you can't do A le pa le ji He who can kill and can revive Oko o mi My husband A le ji le pa He who can revive and can kill O foogun baku ja .
roots. The liquids within the leaves. Osanyin is the herbal cure and the poisonous mushrooms. contain powerful transformative ase. This gives us an idea of the power of Osanyin. . The plants of the forest constitute a direct emanation of the supernatural power of the earth fertilized by the rain. the Osanyin cult is secretive and somewhat mysterious. Osanyin’s pot is usually accompanied by a gourd (igba Osanyin or seere). When combined with other plants. etc. in the form of medicines. etc.He who uses medicine to fight death Ekun tii so oogun loya A leopard that prepares medicine to remove to assaults O bum u. that like that of the Iyaami. they form medicinal or magical preparations. can be extremely beneficial. These preparations are of great importance to the traditional medicine men and women as well as the various Orisa cults. Like the Iyaami cult.. This power can be used in many ways. similar to the igbadu. Osanyin possesses a power. and the abundant flora found within. o bum we He drinks some water and uses some to anoint his head Ko lounje meji bi o sataare He has no other food but ataare O so igba ewe dokan He turns 200 leaves into one Gbogbo ara kiki oogun One whose body is full of medicine Okunrin nla ti i figbo le foogun The mighty man who preserves the forest for medicinal purposes Okunrin a fewe soun gbogbo to wuu The man who uses leaves to do all he wants ase Osanyin is the Orisa of the forest (some say he is ebora). Osanyin deals with the non-surgical healing power of herbs and powders. The forest is believed to have great power. Each leaf. and an incredible amount of knowledge resides within it. He has a very close relationship with Orunmila. and it can also be equally dangerous. stem and root in the forest possesses unique virtues.
feminine medicine is principally used for healing. The herbs used to make ifa's ewe are feminine. Both are believed to co-exist in all things and are necesary to existence. the gender of herbs is very important when preparing medicine for a client. One plant might have both masculine and feminine parts.The leaves are categorized in four groups.to spiritually shoot an arrow at someone (send them sickness. like ofo ase (the power of the word).aasan . which is also what we call certain powerful deities like Osoosi. masculine and feminine. plants. Another determiner of masculinity is if the plant stings our skin. In fact. People. corresponding to the four elements. Many plants are linked to Orisa. ewe omi (leaves of the water). Their power will render the ritual ineffective. it is believed there are feminine and masculine. Osanyin has a right hand and left hand path. left is protection.to push negativity to someone. Osanyin protects against nightmares. apeta . with the attributes of that Orisa. masculine medicines are mostly negative. This is why for many ritual tasks. Osanyan is the forest and controls the power within. ajatuka . women of child bearing age are called Ebora.negative curse.to cause two people to fight. that is. ewe inon (leaves of fire). Osanyin is that aspect of energy that encompasses the medicinal and protective (charms) powers of vegetation. etc). cooling (ero) or heating (gun). and ewe ile or ewe igbo (leaves of the earth and of the forest). especially if menstruating. earth and fire. are seen as powerful spiritual beings. add power and efficacy to our communication with Orisa (Odetumbi). Osanyin protects against witchcraft. Osanyin is the repository of vast information on herbal medicines used to cure illness as well as influence supernatural powers. Herbal preparations go hand in hand with powerful incantations. ogun. Osanyin baawe Osanyin tii soko Oriseje Mogbo iraye O gbopa lowo olokunrin somi O sa kerekere gbeje Aluwee lagbo . then. Osanyin is the cool rational thinking one can attain in the quiet of the forest. So we have. Men are regarded as negative and women as positive. Ebora lso is the word for what we call in the diaspora "the warriors. Usually leaves are feminine and roots and bark are masculine. Some of these are called abilu . air. This point is lost on many who have been taught the opposite." Women. right is healing and knowledge . These masculine incantations cannot be said by women or even when they are within hearing distance. animals and everything else can be either positive or negative. Like all Orisa. every Orisa has certain plants associated with it. and positive or negative. but spiritually powerful. He is the power of mind altering drugs. called ofo ase. etc. These plants. water. they are volatile in preparation and use. or positive and negative forces in nature. Other classifications that we have related to the leaves are. women cannot be present. loss. ewe afeefe (leaves of air-wind). In Yoruba cosmology. Women are regarded as delicate physically.
the oracle. the leaf of divination. "This is your sign.Aroni ja si koto digba oogun moya ase Osanyin baawe Osanyin. In addition. People go to the babalawo for divination and healing." These beads stand for Ewe Ifa. divination priests and herbalists (they work together) went to Ifa. Orunmila and Osanyin work together in traditional Yoruba healing technology. Orunmila has a vast knowledge of plants and their healing properties along with Osanyin. iporo Okanrandin logun lohun o p'eji owuro . he also has an ileke which is shared with Orunmila. The multi-colored beads of his ileke are representative of all the leaves in the forest. o fi fo Osanyin lori iporo. In a relevant Itan it is said that: At the beginning. Odu Okanran Ogunda has a story that relates osanyin as the Orisa of Yoruba medicine: Okanrandin logun l'oun yoo p'eji ale Bee ni won o le e peji ale O mu ataare. He came into this world covered in dazzling beads. saying. he was the first to harvest medicinal leaves and roots. the husband of Oriseje The one that is very intelligent He seized and threw away the walking stick from the sick one With his steady pace he collected all the vows made to him You are the one who swims in herbal mixture Aroni fell into a ditch clutching charms to his chest ase Osanyin is also the patron of beads. the orisa of the forest and all plants. but must pay homage to Olubikin Osanyin-bikin. Ifa gave them strands of alternating green and yellow beads. which are yellow and green.
O mu ataareo fi fo Osanyin lori iporo. is used to provide that aspect of the power of sound and intention. which is a synthesis of Orunmila and Osanyin. are endowed with an instinct for survival. ofo ase. Orunmila is in charge of divination and ebo. and incantations. Osanyin is Orunmila's younger brother. This belief is backed up by modern physics which finds that all things at the cellular as well as atomic level. the son of Ajalorun ase In the accompanying story. whether organic or inorganic. the herbal preparations. so he sent people who needed herbal work to Osanyin. and ise Ifa or akose. ebo. The Yoruba beleive that all things. when divination is done. Ritual and medicine complement eachother. called ase (ahshay). osanyin of medicine. while he focused on divination and ebo. Usually. contain a dynamic force. It is said that Osanyin’s mission on earth is to help Orunmila in his work as a healer. Ogunda Meji: Oro o won soore Oro won o lewe . All divination is a synthesis of these three elements. their is the offering to be made. We always invoke osanyin's name to enhance the potency of herbal medicines before we begin the process of making the medicine and speaking the incantation. Orunmila was always busy with clients. iporo Alagabagebe lo fojoro ti A dia fun Temileke ti n somo Ajalorun ase The number 19 boasted that he was going to stop the night rain But they can't stop the night rain He took alligator pepper and used it to break Osanyin's head The number 19 said he was going to stop the morning dew But he can't stop the morning dew He used alligator pepper to break Osanyin's head The craft man used craftiness to block it Performed divination for Temileke.
Afomo soore Afomo won o le gbo Ojo mi i ojo rere K'eni ma tun soore mo Ero pese opee A dia fun Orunmila Baba nsawo lo si igbo Oni-korogbojo (igbo adete) Ori obinrin adete O gbe wa si ile Wo ni ko ma o rubo Won ni adete to mu wa le yi o Igba to o rubo Ise di se Ifa ase Their oro (strophantis hisidus) was kind And it has no leaves The afomo (tapinanthus dodoneilolius) was kind And it has no root Next time Let no one be kind Ero pese opee Performed Ifa divination for Orunmila When he went to Onikorogbojo's forest (where lepers are kept) .
Ifa medicine was prepared ase In Odu Ogbe Odi is an itan regarding Orunmila and Osanyin. A kii bo Eegun lai loti Eeyan e e boosa lai lobi Enikan kii bo Sango lai lorogbo ko seni tii bofa lai lopo eku ateja Awon lo sefa fun Orunmila Nijo oun ati Osanyin baawe Ti won n wadii aye ati orun lo Won n wadii aye lo odo Ede Ede tii sojise Olodumare l'orun ase One cannot make offerings to Egungun without gin One cannot give offerings to Oosa without kola No one can make an offering to Sango without bitter kola . They spent sixteen years in Orun receiving instruction in all facets of healing. In this itan they travel together to see Olodumare and receive further instruction on healing.he met a woman with leprosy He brought her home He said ebo must be done Ifa said the leper he brought home would be cured After the ebo was done.
When Orunmila got back to earth. the messenger of Olodumare in heaven ase At that point. They noticed that the tree Osanyin had removed was already starting to sprout anew. Spirit Osanyin. Oduduwa. forest sprite of the Gods Dance bell of power messenger of heaven . He asked Osanyin to come with him back to Ile Ife. some of the people went to see if the tree had been removed. “His adept is better than him!” after 28 days. However. Orunmila stayed in Orun another sixteen years. Orunmila said the tree would be gone in 28 days. the people were very happy. including the use of Ifa verses and iyerosun which were permanent solutions superior to charms and leaves alone. Osanyin was able to uproot the tree with his incantations and with a big show. During the first sixteen years. he was amazed at all that Osanyin had done in his new settlement. Osanyin decided to return to earth. Everyone was amazed at his power. Oduduwa asked them to show some of what they had learned. The tree Orunmila had blown the iyerosun on had dried up. they greeted the king. They were shown two giant trees and asked to remove them. Nothing happened and they asked him what happened. It was perfect for use as firewood. chanted a short verse. and explained why they had been gone so long. Orunmila and Osanyin had learned all about charms and medicinal uses of leaves. Orunmila simply marked odu. sent it flying some distance. closed the odu and blew some of the iyerosun on the tree.Nobody makes an offering to Ifa without plenty of rats and fish They are the ones that cast Ifa for Orunmila On the day he and Osanyin reflected They were looking for the secrets of earth and heaven They were going to meet Ede Ede. Osanyin didn’t go back to the same place they had come from but settled in a new place. When they got there. It was from that day on that people say. Everyone laughed. Osanyin was very successful with his new vast knowledge. “Ebo je ju oogun lo” Ifa is more potent than charms (Ayo Salami). but during the following years Orunmila learned much more.
the witches.the vulture is a symbol for the Aje). used to turn away evil. In Odu Ogbe'Fun. to hang chimes by their beds for basically the same reason. agogo igun (vulture's beak .bows down for father evil penis with blade to cut evil vagina. and links this world to the other) evil penis with blade to cut evil vagina. who knows no master. he dances on one leg. Spirit Bird) or “eleiye”(owners of birds) . the sound of the agogo communicates immediate aural pleasure to Aje . it is prescribed for anyone "born" of this sign. O. better referred to as awon iya wa (our mothers). “Iyaami” (my mother. medicine rubbed . Ase Spirit Osanyin. messenger of heaven (Like Esu.calming there destructive powers. medicine rubbed visible and invisible body of palm tree. which is linked with a leaf. forest who collects the debts of men. bearing thorns from the beginning one-legged man running faster than two-legged men evil forest. forest sprite of the Gods Dance bell of power Osanyin's name is linked with the sound of the agogo gong (dance bell of power).
Osanyin has needed a diviner to collect his leaves for him. he has the power of astral travel) body of palm tree.” is that Osanyin admitted and learned from his mistakes. In addition. O. It is also symbolic of the idea that astral travel is a function of right brain activity or half the body. He further suffered (the loss of voice) when he arrogantly refused to follow Orunmila's advice. redeemed himself (iwa pele). The diviner told Esu what had happened. He is powerful and not to be messed with) one-legged man running faster than two-legged men (redemption) Here we get into the story of how Osanyin was crippled. let go of ego and was re-born (the whole point of initiation). There was once a talented diviner who couldn't find work. Worried about feeding his family. in odu there are references to Osanyin without the deformities.(Osanyin can cure sickness of a sexual nature) visible and invisible (like the Aje. the reference to the diviner and Osanyin working together is another reminder of the symbiotic relationship between Osanyin and Orunmila. because of his extraordinary talents had gained wide fame. who asked him why the sad face. The diviner pleaded with Osanyin to share some work. diviner ran into Esu. On the way home. but Osanyin told him to take a hike. Ifa symbolism more often than not contains several layers of meaning. bearing thorns from the beginning (the palm tree is sacred to Ifa. The “moral of the story. forest who collects the debts of men . so Esu caused Osanyin's house to collapse on top of him. so perhaps different incarnations). In this story is the idea of knowledge of herbs coupled with humility leading to altered states that include astral travel. he went to Osanyin. Osanyin was hogging all the work. In Osanyin we have a warning against arrogant behavior. From then on. Some interpret the Osun (staff) as a symbol for Osanyin who in the above itan (story) becomes arrogant and learns humility by losing an eye an arm and a leg. So now he is stronger than before (one-legged man running faster than two-legged men). The pole represents Osanyin with one eye one arm and one leg or Osanyin after he has learned the lesson of humility (however. who.
They begged Orunmila to protect them since it is remembered that Esu found out the mother's secrets and told Orunmila. some honey. The bells and the bell like cones of the Opa Osun represent leaves. Before picking we say. However. If you are familiar with Pierre Verger's book on herbs (available at www. which brings us to another story of how bells protect (in addition to their sound pleasing the mothers)." It is custom to leave some sort of payment. the indigenous spirits. with the help of Esu. many cannot be obtained. and agogo igun so that everything he asks for by means of a bell (agogo) shall be obtained. who actually confronted the . the conquering by Orunmila of the Aje. a parrot feather. Regarding Awo Fatunmbi Verger’s book. you would start with an herb. at the base of a tree in the dirt. obi kola.blackmadonnaenterprises. Opa Osun are Osanyin staffs and are big staffs with 16 small birds encircling one larger bird. you can connect with the ase to communicate with plants. Ogun lives in the forest. So. ojushaju that they respect (shaju) him. Awo can too. So. For example. "ewe oyoyo. then you (awo) can activate the ase of the herbs by simply putting it together.) and then chant the oriki Osanyin. first they consulted the Indigenous inhabitants. the oyoyo leaf certifies that the witches are pleased (yonu).This last line refers to the fact that we must ask permission and pay tribute when we enter the forest to collect foliage. In addition. They will tell you what they are used for and the plants in your neighborhood will identify themselves. to neutralize the ajoogun and the Aje’. If you mark Okanran Oturupon on your opon (or on a tree. and the playful play on words. Besides his powers of healing and clairvoyance. Some have these materials rubbed into small incisions in the top of the head at initiation. oyoyo. pray over it saying. Osanyin's herbs have the power to neutralize the Ajogun (negative forces). oyoyo'nu may you please the Aje" or whatever. they consulted Osanyin. The solution is.com). eru. There is a deep connection between the Opa Osun and the mind or Ori of the initiate. It is always better to use local herbs. If you know the Odu that incarnates the Opa Osun. there is a strong connection between Osanyin and Orunmila and also to Ogun. they are in effect the same thing. Orunmila consulted Ifa and made the prescribed offering (this is the medicine inserted in the cones or inverted agogo bells of the opa osun): the leaves of ojushaju. after you summon Osanyin and state your intent. say. All the Orisa were afraid of the power of the mothers. aanu that they will take pity (shaanu) on him. you will recognize the structure of how the names of the herbs have meanings that also relate to their purpose." which drives away the Ajoogun and the Aje. There are different types of staffs. they were confronted with the same problem. Again. through his staff (opa). The sixteen birds surrounding the one bird is obviously a reference to the itan of when Orunmila entered the town of the aje. Osanyin has the power. or through Osoosi. As mentioned earlier. oyoyo. but it was Orunmila. and agogo igun. aanu. a magically healing leaf of iron. ofun and camwood. "Osanyin eboda. The iron beak of the bird (igun-vulture) and agogo bells of the Opa Osun have deep meaning. Ifa staffs usually have one bird and of course the inverted agogo bells. The iron beak represents the herb "vulture's beak. hence his connection to Osanyin. "Evil forest" simply reminds us that the forest can be a dangerous place. when Africans traveled to the New World. How do we know which herbs and plants to use as replacements? Well. tushe and osun (camwood) are placed within the Opa Osun. In Lucumi. the plants are all from West Africa. etc. for the Opa Osun is made out of iron.
Orunmila makes ebo of ekujebu. and has the function of maintaining the male awo's state of possession as a female. Experiencing possession by female ase balances the Ori of the male awo transforming that awo into a man of wisdom. "Ha! the soup is here" – the one they want to eat has arrived. Being possessed by a female Orisa gives a man the ability to astral travel. representing the ase of Oshun. has given up their secrets to Orunmila. “I have a bird too. The staff represents "oso" .Eleiye. He tells them. which signify. The bird on the Osun is not a chicken it is a vulture. This is the disguise of being a bird. Orunmila goes to look for the secret of Iyami in Ota (Iyami town). After that. the Ifa iyawo places his left foot on the osun staff. Osun is the male aspect of Oshun. Orunmila is more powerful than all of you combined. That is the reason why when a male awo enters igbodu he wears a mariwo ede and beads dangling from his knee. This state of possession protects the Ori of the man who is experiencing the land of the Mothers. a white pigeon and a calabash. don’t fight me. and thus knows everything. so Ifa teaches that a male awo goes to the land of the Mothers disguised as a female bird. he has his bird. In Odu Irete Owonran (Irete Olota) is the itan (story) of Orunmila walking into the village of Iyaami (astral realm) protected because he also had a bird (on his staff).” which is a chicken that can’t fly.the ability to astral travel. disheveled chicken with clipped wings . This is an often overlooked symbiosis of Orunmila and Osanyin. The symbolism of the bird is of the ability to astral travel. The Osun is a staff that is traditionally only given to awo who have Odu pot. The left foot is our connection to our ancestors. The brutal Aje cannot eat ekujebu. The mothers say. a large and very hard grain (which birds can’t eat) and a chicken “opipi. you can’t hunt me down. a power given to women by Olodumare. the spirit of the river.” He arrives at the market on Ota. The Iyami wish to attack Orunmila but they can’t because of the ebo which is a secret message that says. They bring their birds. But Esu. in order to effectively divine for others you have to experience empathy with your client. In addition. but they are very angry that Orunmila is about to reveal their secret. When a man is in the astral realm he is in the land of the Mothers. This process guides the male into the land of the Mothers through the ase in the staff. Odu Ifa says that oso comes to women via their menstrual cycle as a birth right passed from mother to daughter. Being presented to Odu during Tefa gives men the ability to be mediums for female Orisa (among other things). He makes ebo of a white canvas sack. It is not given with warriors in traditional Ifa. Ifa says that men can develop the ability of oso as a consequence of receiving Ifa initiation. bring him yours (submit to his power). and to go to the land of the Mothers is challenging as a man. Awo do this for female clients by going into possession with female ase. The Iyaami are also known as owners of birds – eleiye. who resides in light and dark. Both staffs represent the triumph of consciousness (Ori) over the forces of illness and destruction. Men are presented to Odu during Tefa.
can’t fly up to the roof. the word irosun meaning menstrual blood. a cock is offered. Orunmila. The Osun staff represents the power of the Awo to conquer death. Orunmila. kooo. is an instrument for maintaining a balance of power between men and women (Awo Falokun). Odu Irosun Meji starts. The Awo touches the head of the cock to the heads of all present and then mounts it or smashes it atop the head of the bird on the staff. then it is quickly killed and offered to the staff. The odu irosun speaks of the need for protection because irosun brings a blessing from the ancestors and every increase in ire or good fortune requires an equal amount of protection because every force for good in the universe has an equal and opposite reaction. The Sounding Osun. Igbe kakaka . Menstrual blood is the source of the genetic inheritance which gives everyone the spirit of Osun meaning the spirit that protects the head.” or "protection descends. So. The bird at the top of an Ifa Osun is referred to as the "bird of Ifa. Once. "koo. went to another diviner who told him to offer a cock to iku. The Osun staff is fortified in a couple of ways. when a babalawo receives an opa Osun. Orunmila and Osanyin are united. There is another story that explains why." and is said by some to invoke the power of the hawk (asa)... in fear. The cock cried. symbolizing the diviner's ability to address problems expediently and effectively. The Sounding Osun. Irosun from the elision i ro osun meaning “I come with protection. In this way. the Odu that invokes or incarnates Osanyin. as with the yellow and green beaded ileke. death will be sent away. The following chant comes from Okanran Oturupon. three warrior deities. some of the tail feathers are plucked to get the cock to sound out. The opa Osun then. Ogun. he was pleased and went away. you are unable to bring me death Ase This is how Orunmila obtained the secret of the Iyaami. This idea of positive and negative balance is referred to in Ifa as the right and left hand path of Ifa. if one offers a cock to the Osun. This can be done during the Itefa ceremony or afterward. "Irosun. whose ebo skills at the time were not so good." The sounding Osun from Odu Irosun Meji. plucked some feathers off the cock's tail. The right hand omo otun meaning hand of good fortune and left hand omo osi meaning hand of protection. It is placed in front of his house. Osoosi and Ija went to Iku (death) and told him to kill Orunmila because they suspected he wanted to steal their wives. Irosun. First. kooo!" When death heard the suffering cries. Irosun. we see that. it is translated as: The Sounding Osun. one is with the elements of the ebo in the above verse." “The sounding osun” means protection is needed.
Okanran Oturupon – on your tray in irosun powder. Additionally.Irele kakaka Parakun awusa ni nt' aja l'enu ewe omo ajija oogun omo ajisa ewe o gentle. medicine) that must be cast early mornings I hail you. Rub the contents of an egg on Osanyin. herbs (Osanyin) Now you proceed with whatever it is that you summoned Osanyin for. or another way. Osanyin food: Ataare (alligator pepper) Oti (gin) obi abata (kola nuts) ekuru (bean cakes) oyin (honey) eyin (egg) Rooster and he-goat Ataare seeds (7 or 9)) and obi abata should be chewed and sprayed on Osanyin. easy lift cool-headedness walnut shell cuts the dog's mouth herb that must be cut early morning oogun (charm. . and chant the verses from said Odu. is to mark Osanyin's Odu .
. You can throw obi abata for status of feeding.Honey may also be rubbed on Osanyin.
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