Chapter

1

OSA-OGBE OSA-LO-GBE-JO

He Came to the World to Live in the Midst ofEnemies
Ota'ra ta awo emi na'le, odita fun Orunmila ni igba t'o ma mba awon ota re jeun nkpo. fEbo ishegun ata lo'nru o. That was the Awo who made divination for Orunmila when he carne to the world to live in the midst of enemies. He was told to serve Ifa with a ram, and Esu with a he-goat, and the Elders of the Night with a hen and all pieces of edible foodstuffs. He was required to perform the sacrifices beca use he was going to live and thrive on earth in the midst of enemies. He carne to the world and he was very poor. He could not afford to marry a wife and so had no children. He was then operating as an unknown Ifa priest at Ife. One njght, his gu~rdian angel appeared to him, giving him the marching orders to travel to the land of lIu-eleye, that ¡s, the town of witches. He travelled almost immediately to the place, where he was warmly received. Being the only Ifa priest who had the courage to live in the town, his importance was soon acknowledged. Incidentally, every inhabitant of the town was either a witch or a wizard. As the only lay odd-one.-out, he was immediateJy slated for use in a feast at the appropriate time. Meanwhile, the people of the town joined hands to build a house for him through mutual effort. After building the house for him, he occupied it alone since he had no dependants. As soon as he occupied the house, he formally became a citizen of the town. Meanwhile, he was given en invitation to attend the meeting of the council of witchcraft. He had no option but to accept the invitation. When he eventually got 10 lhe meeting, he saw two goals tied up to be slaughtered. When the goats were slaughtered, he told the meeting that he was only interested in two parts of the goats; the heerts and their blood. Nonetheless, in addition to the blood and the heart of the 90ats, he was also given his own share of meat. When he got home with the parts given to him, he went without delay to Esu shrine, where by special incantation, he beseeched Esu that he should consume the blood and heart of the goats, if indeed they were created as goats byGod. On the other hand, if they were originally created as human beings, and were only tumed to 90ats by the cult of witchcraft, Esu should

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revert them to their original forms. Two fU" blown human beings, aman and a woman, emerged from the shrine of Esu. He did not eat the goat meat given to him as his share. He dried it up in his tire place. That was what he did on every occasion in which goats and other animals were slaughtered. Within a very short time, his house was booming with the presence and activities ot several dependents. He married the women and the men began to work tor him. The people of the town were wondering over the source of the people occupying Orunmila's house, since it was common knowledge that he carne to the town and that they were the products ot his Ifa practice outside the town. Meanwhile, he was told at the council meeting that it was his turn to feast a/l the members. He told them that he was ready provided they agreed to have the feast in his house. When he sounded Ifa on what to do, he was told to give a he-goat to Esu and to add the meat to the ones he had been drying up since he was enlisted to the club of witchcraft. Ifa also told him to add sasswood powder (Obo in Yoruba and Iyin in Sini) to the drinks with which he was going to entertain them. After the eating and drinking, all the members started dropping de~d one after the other, with the éxception of the Ojugbona and his wife who did not partake in the feast. When Orunmila observed the absence of the Ojugbona and his wife at the feast, he sent for them. They were astonished to see the colossal camage that had taken place in and around Orunmila's house. As he ordered them to eat and drinktheir share of the feast. they went on their knees to beg tor their Uves to be spared. Orunmi/a reacted by making them to take an etemal oathon the groundthat they would never harm or disrupt the aftair of his family and followers. Thereafter, Orunmila Iived a peacetul and prosperous Iite. When this odu appears at Ugbodu, the person will be told that circumstances will compel him to become anesoteric witch, but that he will have to make sacrifice to overcome his multitudinous enemies. At divination, the person will be told that he is surrounded by enemies who are mostly witches, without being a member. He should retrain from belonging to any meeting, but it he cannot avoid it, he should not eat or drinkat such meetings, beca use he would not be able to abide by the rules.

The Divination Made for Him When Three Favors Were Coming to Him Simu1taneously
Osa/ogbejo showo gede malo mude ni She orun sale degua. Kpako ko no ko ba fa fa 'ye sh~. Adifa fun Orunmila nijo ti won ni ure meta bo fun lo no. Prepare both hands to receive prosperity. Prepare your neck tosupport superfafive beauiy. Prepare your vulva properfy to receive the saviour. These were the Awos who madedivination tor Orunmila, on the day that three agents of prosperity were coming to visi~him. They advised him to make sacrifice immediately witha single ral. Incidentally, he had no rat at home and could not get any to buyo Meanwhile, Esu agreed to

(Orita ijaloko). Orunmila then hailed on Ogun to stop them from going beyond his house because he was I his way to meet them. After receiving the rat from him I Esu told him that he had already ld three agents bringing the fortune to him to return to heaven but that he could bellow on them !cause they were still within hailing distance. they replie. he came out 01his house and not long afterwards. Esu met the three agents of prosperity bringing wealth to Orunmila from heaven. Esu lamented that they had come toa late to help Orunmila. When Esu asked him whether he knew their names. they told him that they weresent by the divinity . He added the divination powder (íyerosun) of the sacrifice and shouted on Esu I receive it (Esu gbaa) and Esu received it from him and ate it. When Orunmila eventually met them. Thereafter. I The three agenls turned back to return to heaven. Meanwhile. After eating the rat. but that they met a short man on the way' who told them to :um to heaven beca use he had go'ne mad and run jnto the forest. prosperity to send gifts to Orunmila. 'hen he asked them where they were bound for. Ogun told th~m that Orunmila IS hale and hearty. With the appropriale incantion. he returned home with them and the event translated • . he left al once to actualise his reat. and that he was already racíng to meet them. Orunmila left for the torest in ~arch of a ral. Since it is nol the tradition of Esu to hold brief for anyone. They had scarcely left whenOrunmila lme panting with a rat in hand. On that reassuring note. by taking position al the heavenand earth junclion. they reed to wait at Ogun's house for Orunmila to meet them. he began to cal! on the names of the ree Awos who made divination for him. Showo gede malo mudeni Shonm jege sale degua Kpako ko no ko bara taye she. Knowing that Esu is not known for making empty threats. . As soon as Ogun heard Orunmila's voice. He quickly prepared an Ebiti lrap for catching a rat. Esu turned round to demand another rat to pay for the one he borrowed Orunmila. Orunmila raced after Esu to repay s debt. Orunmila begged Esu to exercise patience and to bear with m. and they had not reached Ogun's residence. He did so in the tollowing words: Ogun mo la du gbere Da u dan rode mi dugbere Ogun ma la du gbere. he would not :¡ve had cause to borrow one from him.. Orunmila retorted by saying that if he had a rat immediately available. met the three agenis. he lured a rat to the trap and it was caught. Esu reacted by threatening to block the lhree fortunes >ming to him from reaching him.nd one to him. ~cause he had gane mad and escaped into lhe fores1. When Ogun asked them for their mission.d that they were nt by Ala to send gifts to Orunmila.

He made divinationfor Ajebaye. On getting home she began to experience labor pains and before she could ask for help. Ajegbaye swore at the imp as anabominable bete-naire" (wo so fi orwo'diro in yoruba'or udiyi in Bini). He was advised to serve Esu with a he-goat to avoid the danger of being killed by his own son. he challenged the father to a throw and catch contesto Bemused. While the mother was still trying to find her bearing from her bewilderment on the speed at which events were unfolding. after which. a male child jumped out from her womb. the person should be told that some benefit5 are on the way to him. Adifa fun Ajebaye amo %fen nijo t'ema fe aya Esu. Betore !eaving the house. the child left the house and headed alone forthe forest in search of his tather. When he got tothe foot ofthe palm tree on which his fatherwas cutting his way to the bunch ot palm fruits. and stood firmly on hls feet. He carne out with his placenta in hand and put it over his shoulder as a bag and asked tor the whereabouts of his father. the crown prince of Olofin when he made lave to the wife of Esu. He told the father to cut one of them and throw it to ground for him to catch. Ajegbaye invited the girl into the house. Ajegbaye left for the forest to cut palm fruits. Unknown to anyone however. roasted yam and palm wine so that they might return to him. He Made DivnatioD. make sacrifice with a single rat to avert the misfortune of 105ing them. he greeted him as his son.his house tosee who was coming and going. when he saw an attractive young girl going to the river to fetch water. and promised to rendezvous wlth him there. The girr herselt. If it is ayeo. he saidthat he knew his father was going to fetch palm fruits in the torest. He made love to the g/rr. When the girl got to the river. readily accepted the invitation and went into the bedroom with him without any hesitation. As if to demonstrate his seriousness. When thisodu appears at divination. A few days after the divination. and she had just gone through her menstrual periodo While the girl resumed her journey to the river. he told the tather that he was the product of the loveaffair he had earlier on that day with a girl who was on herway to the river. and Ogun with tortoise. for the Crown Prince of !fe Emune mune mudi reyi. has already tumed back the favors coming to him. but he failed to do i1.116 IFlSM -The Complete Works of Oronmila him into immense fame and fortune. L L. the girl was the impish wife of Esu. she was surprised to hear the voice of a child fromher womb warning her to move softly because he was preparing to come down from her womb. He was in the habit of waking up every momlng to sit on an easy chair in front of. the person should be told that a close as sociate who is very short. He should immediately serve Esu with a rat. who was overwhelmed by the elation of being invited by the crown prjnce of the kingdom. he was sitting on his easy chair in the morning. He thentold the father that there were two ripe bunches of palm fruits on the tree. but that he should immedíately after the divination. While he was wondering where and when he had such a child. L . shecontinued her joumey to the river.

net. Before then. he began to lrink until he became throughly drunk. Before he :igured out whether to run or to wait. The diviners advised the Oba that when the mysterious war-monger Irrived. The Oba of Ijelu had one pretty daughter vho was. in addition to the new baby whose hair had not been shaved. Thereafter. seizing their belongings and . the demon threw it at him. he left forthe next town where le performed the same feat. It was the bawl generated by the astonishment of thearrival of the mysterious baby that loke up Eseku. Before any one could diagnose what was wrong with her. '.ee unripe palm fruits. as was the practice in those days. He offered at once to marry thegirl and she agreed to marry lim. a baby boy Jumped out of her 10mb. The girl went to her father and told him that she was having severe pains' in the area of her lelvis.mE ODUS OF OSA· Osa Ogbe •• I After cutting his way clear to the bunch ofpalm fruits. I • . After divination. while coaxing him with the adulation that she had long been looking for a . they told him o make sacrifice quickly to Esu with a he-goat. smashing him to death.trong man Iike himself to marry. Whilearrangements were being made to colleet all his taboos. Before getting to ljelu. he should come for a formal reception. as he was running.mashing him with ¡t. he should invite him for entertainment and ask the girl to present kola and wine to hiiTIin he nude. punch. Thereafter. After dealing with six towns in a similar manner. and a newly bom child whose hair had not been shaved. where he challenged anyone le found to a wrestling match. He heaved a sigh of relief at the prospeet of armal hospitality. He went into the palace where the Oba's beautiful daughter presented kolanuts lnd palm wine to him in the nude. After the lover making. In a state of delirum tremens.hallenge. The sacrifice had scarcely been completed when tumultuous yells were heard throughout he town as the ¡nvader was killing everyone on sight. he took to his heels. sticks. he told the :ather to c1imbdown. he climbed his way Iike a squirrel :0 the top of the tree. maize comb and a number of slippery >bjects. ripe fer marriage. butthe demon of a child held it with his left hand. 'lJonetheless. Thereaf9r. Without the aid of the palm tree climber. Whenhe got to the palace. the Oba of the town had been alerted to what had been happening in he other towns and he quickly invited his diviners to go ¡nto action. Ajegbaye was now trembling not knowing what to expect. he fell asleep. When Ajegbaye saw the imp holding the bunch of palm fruits. he jumped to the ground and headed fer the town. he went into the visitor's apartment with the girl and he made love o her while hanging his bag on a hanger nailed to the wall. all the Ither things' he forbade were Iined out eonspicuously for him to sea. he challenged he Oba to a wrestling match. the father threw it downwith a view to . That was when the girl asked him what was responsible or his invincible power. a ehild spoke lut from the girl's womb. he left for the ieventh town called Ijelu. the imp had the bunch of palm fruits in hand to throw to his :ather. The sacrifice was made without any delay. He killed whoeverwrestled with him. He destroyed every man he came across with the ~xception of these who escaped into the forest. he diselosed that he was Eseku he son of Esu himself and that his strength lay in the fact that he had not seen and should never . Without any ceremonies. but the Oba told him that much as he was prepared to accept the . After ravaging Ife.toringthem in his bag thatwas never fiUed up. That was the seene against le background of whieh the king of Ijelu accepted his earlier invitation to a wrestling contest.

When this odu appears at ugbodu. six iIInesses and six cases. the person should be advised to prepare carved or moulded effigy of Esu-jelu to be kept on the Ifa shrine and to eal out of whatever is given to Ifa and the traditional Esu-'Obadara. When it appears at divination. To prevent them from manifesting. That is the originof esu-jelu which the people of Ijelu serve to this day. which sJipped him intb the other slippery objects. the Oba was told to offer sacrifice to the grave annually. 200 goats. Three days after the formal burial. 200 baskets of Eko. will not live long thereafter. and whose birth will presage his own demise. six rats (Eku-eda)six cocks. six fishes. six illnesses and six case visited him in tums and they were all driven away by Esu. L L . the person will be advised to have his own Ifa and to serve Esu with a he-goat in order to avoid producing a child who is an imp through a hit-and-run love making. six deaths. the king threw Eseku in the direction of the Esu Shrine. His body was buried at the Esu shrine. rats fishes. He was accompanied to Obaa by ona of his surrogates called Sawo-sigi. He Made DiviDationlor Dangers the Oloba 01 Obaa to Survive the Onset 01 Severa! The fame of Osalogbejo had echced throughout the known world of the time. there was an earth tremor in the town of ljeJu. After the burial. He was told to exume the bodyand to bury it properly with a COW. When this odu appears as ayeo at divination the person will be advised to make sacrifica to ward off the approach of death. and Esu got him to tread on the maize-comb. 6 he-goats and six bags of money. After divination. The two Esus. confirming that he had accepted the sacrifice made to him and promised from then on to help them in protecting the town. After preparing the sacrifice. were buried there. which was the setting in which the Oloba of Obaa invited him for divination whenhe was having problems. etc. and that he should be notified with the traditional rituals if there were any problems to be solved in the town. The Oba arranged for the sacrifice without any dEHay. iIIness and dispute. women and children. Three months aftar the eventful fairy-tale. he aked to be beheaded. He then ruled the town of Obaa in pesce and tranquility to a ripe old age. he told the Oba that gunning for him were six deaths. After conceding deteat to the Oba of Ijelu. either the Ifa patron or the fatherof the person. Thereafter. The Oba then cut tlis neck with his sword and his head jumped up to the Oba's Ogun shrine. On the other hand.118 IFISM -The Complete Works of OfUIUIlila As they began to wrestle. the cocks. failing which. 200 packets of ekuru and 200 cowries. which killed 200 men. Eseku spoke from the grave. Esu Obadara and Esu-jelu should be prepared for the Ifa within seven days.'the mother of the person willlive to a ripe old age. and he ended up in a ·oet and was tightly held in place. the king invited Orunmila tor divination and he was told that the calamily was being caused by the unburied corpse of Eseku. a grave was dug on the floor of his palace and the heads of the cow. he was advised to make sacrifice with a cow. After three such occurences at three monthly intervals.

the Debtor was ordered by the court to pay his debt to the Miser. invited each of lem to carry the "witness box" (Akpoti eri in Yoruba and Ekpetin-ose in Bini) over a distance 01 :!ven hills. the chronic debtor (Onigbese in Yoruba and .t:!. the two 01 them. On getting ) the world. and even if he had to e in the proeess. he developed the habit 01 sittjng in tront ot his house very moming to buy things on credit without ever paying for them. By the time he got to the fourth hill he was ready very tired but he vowed that he would insist on having his money. they went their separate ways. of them. they were both arraigned before the Oba. He however survived the ordeal by completing the seven hills.H. UlJU::' Vt' V. After recallíng the comments made under severe stress . he Debtor bluntly denied buying anything from the Miser.karuosa in Bini) vowed neverto pay forwhatever he bought in the world. because e was himself notarious for not selling anything on credit because he was so ordained by God. One day. His friend. he was in Jch great pain from fatigue that he regretted that it would have been easier for him to admit the debtedness and beg to repay it gradually ¡nstead of risking death over a mere three bags of oney. When the Miser retumed to demand the payment. because he was so ordained by iodo On his part. On getting· home the Debtor resolved that it was better to die than to break his etemar vows wer to pay for whatever he bought. He had a chewing stick which e always chewed in his mouth. aecused of disturbing the peace. At the end of the exploits. Their polarised stances generated a heated altereation eulminating in a physical exchange blows. at the end of which the truth would emerge.:'1\· Usa vgoe le Made Divination for Two Anonymous Friends of Contrasting ! OrientaWbS ! When two friend were leaving heaven. He however survived the ordeal by )mpleting the seven hills after which he put down the box. the Miser laughed seomfully while retorting that the Miser was joking. the Debtar ~pliedthat it was not his tradition 10 pay for anything he bought. f The Miser was the first to carry the "witness box". By the time he got to the third hill. The pad for carrying the box was a chain. they made two conflicting vows. the one shall be raferred to as the Miser while the other shall be the Debtor. nknown to each. Forthe purpose of this a5sage. He bought the equivalent 01 three bags of money and told the seller to retum later in le day to colleet the money. the judge opened the box and the parrot confirmed that the first an to carry the box had lold the truth. the Miser was hawking his wares of palm oi! when the Debtor requested to buy om him. without remembering to ask for payment. which had the effeet of charming people ¡nto selling goods to him n credit. Eventually. the box contained a talking parrot who could hear and report any )mments made by the carrier during the joumey. who swore that he sold palm oil to him Ir three bags of money. He got himself ¡nto a coffin ¡oaded with food and drinks to . It was the tum of the Debtor to earry the box. The judge who was apP9inted to determine the case. The miser (Awin in oruba and Ukhienkuen in Bini) promised never to sel! anything on credit when he got to the lorld where he was going to trade. When the Debtor got to the world. he would yet go and demand it in heaven.

Three manths later. the Debtar had no option but to pay the money. because he came from heaven with a hard-Iuck head. He Made Divination for the Rat Called Eku-Eda Osa lu lu . Odita fun Osa to'nle oweriola ni osa. When it appears at divination. the Debtor was nowhere to be found. He. after which she began to have children. Thereafter. That was the narne of the Awo who made divination for Osalogbejo when he was going to wash with four . That was the Awo who made divination for Odumibaku when death was on his traj[o He was advised to make a feast with bean pudding (Ekuru or Emieki). made divination for the rat called Eda when she was afraid. the person will be advised to make sacrifice with a duck. On getting tothe tomb. One who supported himself with a walking stick. the person should be told that five days later he should go and steal a hen and to buy kolanuts on credit. The sculptor may know how to cast or mould a pot. even if he has the money to pay for it. l 1 The Divination Made for Him to Prosper Oni íma ¡ma. to serve the new Ifa. he opened the coffin and found the Debtar still aUve. He should buy the he-goat on credit. he or she should be advised to make sacrifice with with two hens. When the odu appears al divination for a person who is anxious to have a child. but not how to mould the rack. fish. Divination and Sacrifice for Checkmating Death o te kpa ko de orun ese. but did not pay the debt of premature death. akara and ekuru. to avoid dying during the year. When he was told that the Debtor had died three months earJier. and it was buried in a tomb. oma mu ekuru ko íku je. She was told to make sacrifice with a heno She did the sacrifice. the person will be advised to serve Esu with a he-goat bought on credit in order to prosper in his work. Odita fun Odumibaku. rat. He died in the night after repaying the debt. but also of death. he decided to ask to verify from the grave where he was burted. not only of not having children'. When this Ifa appears at Ugbodu.Odifa fun Eku-Eda to ntori tomo difa nigba ti oju amo mkpan. Amo koko komo a ka. the Miser returned to demand the payment of his money. Three months after coming out of the sacret conclave (Ugbodu) he should serve the Ifa with a goat in order to live long and prosper on earth. Eventually. When the Miser subsequently carne to demand the payment of his debt. he survived the onset of death. When this odu portends the danger of death at divination.120 IFISM -The Complete Wous oE O~wnila last for a long time. eko.

two live fishes kept in a pot t¡lIed wlth water. )ivinatio:l1 and Sacrifice for Alleviating Problems Orunmila ni Osa-agbe. masa ni osa ngbe .r Ifa with the following prayers: Orunmila gba wa o-a-o. This is when Orunmila advises the wifeof an Ifa man to sweep. If he already las Ifa. A ni ganaku iwaju. it will attract b/essing. 1eaning Orunmila save us beeause. Si akpetebi ba ti kpale. two kolanuts wrapped in he leaves called ewe igi asa. masa ni osa ngbe.IHE ODUS OF OSA· Usa Ugbe 1ens. mosa ni osa ngbe. Drunmila's Advice to the Wives of Ifa Adherents fki shimi sorde. thesource of the Osa river. Si akpetebi ba ti kpa/e. tour pigeons and tour bags ot money. Oni omo eja ti o ba mora. When it appears at divination for a woman. Orunmila says water has blessing. he enumerated them as. Orunmila ni osa ogbe. When asked for the appropriate sacrifice. md should therefore marry an Ifa mano An Ifa-Ude (bangle) will be prepared for herto wear. Oni amo eku ti o ba mora. Moní osagbe. she will be told that she is the wife of Orunmils. Winrin winrin mi sedin. and to have money in hand. If it lppears for man. The /fa priest agreed. is as c/ean as water. elean and scrub the house n order to become pregnant. He said that if therat. he will be told to have his own Ifa if he does not already have one. bird arhuman being. A ní sho sha owo. masa ni osa ma ngbe. Oni amo eye ti a ba mOfa. ami ti o ba le la ni o ngba. A ni gunrun kan leyin A ni amo yayo leyín ose. the person should . • . to serve Esu-alajogun . he should be told to leam to beeome an Ifa priest. . back her own child. Akpetebi kpale ta bi ko kpale? Maní akpetebi kpale o. It is the big river that contains a big fish .be advised to have his own Ifa and that he will prosper mmensely if he lives and works in Lagos. At divination. Moni Osa-ogbe. fish. Oni omo eni ti o ba mora.

When he presented the sacrifice in the morning. He made divination for Chief Elemure when Esu dammed the flow of his fortunes. Esu rejected ií. the person wíll be advised to make a similar sacrifice while kneeling down for Ifa. l L l I . At divination.122 IFISM -The Complete Works of Orurunila When it appears at divination. He represented it at noon and Esu still refused to budge. He was advised to make sacrifice so that Esu might remove the dam and allow prosperity to reach him. As soon as Esu got up to receive the sacrifice. moved into his house. the person will go and bathe with the water. and all his problems will abate. After adding the relevant iyerosun. the person should make a similar sacrifice. He made sacrifice with akara or bean buns. the fortune of chief Elemure on which he had been sitting. Later in the evening Orunmila intervened with a passionate appeal to Esu. He Made Divination forChief Elemure When Esu Blocked His Fortunes Ki a so oko akara lu esu.

tour ligeons. le Made Divination for aMan Who Was Having Diarrhea Osa oyeku efunfun lele bale gbale aja toun toun. and white cloth. He should however refrain from drinking. When itappears at divination. provided he made sacrifice with a basket of beans. Adifa 'un Ashumi Agbale ti yi o ti ere ole je. Adafa fun Orisa-N/a Oshereigbo ni ojo ti oun ti'ko le orun bo wa si'ole aiye. He ran swiftly and killed a buffalo in the grass-/and. These were the Ifa priests who made divination for God's own representative.Chapter 2 OSA-OYEKU fle Made DiviDation for Orisa-Nla When Coming to the World Osa yeku yeku o kpa erin sinu'gbo. Oni ohun ki i sa yeku yeku te un shere a. He was required to make sacrifice with a sheep. the sicknesswas going to bring him a lindfall. was the name of the Awo who made liviriation for the man who was having frequent stool in the night. He was advised to make sacrifice in order to comma'1d universal Ind etemal honor and respect in the world. He should wam members of lis household not to venture out at night to obviate the danger ot coming in contact with night r1aral!ders. In spite of the fact that he made the . He las reassured after divination that far from taking his Iife. Ebo uyi ni won ni ki Orisa-Nla ru o. But no one runs swiftly for the (un o. 'He made the sacrifice which eamed him everlasting sov!reignty over the earth. it. He ran swiftly and shot to ki/Jan elephant in the fQTest. the person should be advised to make sacrifice in order to Irosper in Iife. Osa yeku yeku o kpa efon si eluju odan. when he was saving heaven for the earth. e went far divination when he became so dehydrated that he thought he was going to die. He should fence his house round to Ivert the risk of luring robbers to share their loot in his compound. When he developed díarrhea. The wind which swept the grounds of the market clean. eight snails.

The following morning he left forthe forest where he shot and killed an elephant. the night with rabbit. by telling him to advise his father to feast them. They offered tocome to terms with him. he ran hometo call for help to butcher and carry the meat home. some thieves had gone on a robbery expedition and brought their loot to the back of his house tor sharing among themselves. Thereafter. the person should be advised to make sacrifice to the Elders of the Night after serving Ifa with a goat. which foretells goods tidings. Meanwhile. the person should be advised not to go out in the night to prevent the danger of being killed by armed robbers. buffalo and /ion. He immediately removed them into his house which made him become wealthy because the thieves were meanwhile. buffalo and an elephant. and a lion. At ordinary divination. includíng crushed yam and eggs. apprehended and executed. he was still going. He was told to serve Esu with a he-goat and he did i1. if it is ayeo. they agreed to relent and asked for a goat. which they were ínstantly given. hewill be told that he is going to have a stomach upset which will become a blessing in disguise. it which case it torebodes danger. a buffalo. While the animals were still bleeding. ~t Those were the Awos who made divination for the hunter who delivered his father from the wrath of the club of witchcraft. the person should serve Esu with a he-goat. The leader of the witches' delegation called Ifayemi pleaded for an annistice after seeing the bellicose mood of the son of their proposed vícitim. they initiated the son into their club and hebecame he helped to save his father's life . killed in the torest. Odifa (un ode nijo fo roa gba babare lowo awon iyam. Osa yeku yeku okpa efon si eluju odan. he intervened and took aim warning them to desist from their morbid intentions because having succeeded on that day in killing a /ion. When he subsequently carne out of his house to go to the latrine. the diarrhea did not stop because he continued to move his bowels. ~ . adding the meats of elephant. When he prornised to feast them out out of the meat of the three animars he had. Meanwhile. He met his father playing the Ayo game and told him about the three games he shot in the forest. egg5 and crushed yam.. At nightfall. When this odu appears at divination. When he saw that the witches were poised to attack his father.cock and tortoise.124 IFISM -The Complete Works of O~a sacrifice. his emergence startled the robbers and they escaped in fright abandoning all the goods they had stolen. the witches would be easy targets tor him if they provoked hím into combat.to the toilet frequently. the Elders of the Night trooped to his father's house to eliminate him. osoronga. If it comes out as Ure. The Divination Made lor the Hunter Who Saved His Father From Witches Osa yeku yeku okpa erin si nulgbo. Thatwas how 1 1 l L I 1- When it appears at Ugbodu. and Ogun with. one of them.

the Night. Igbo ni o gbe egigun asheku jade. On his part. Neither the Oloja northe lunatic made the prescribed sacrifices. He should also a told that he has a madman in his family. the mad man was )Id to serve Esu with a he-goal.okpa erin si'nu igbo. When this du appears at divination. rat and goal.okpa efon si odan. God. "Id te Made DivinatioD fol' Jogbo. He also heard the goat crying that the house was full. but insisted lat befora looking for ¡t. because of the length he went to save the life of is son who was already slated to die. Orunmila subsequently went to heaven to appeal to God. He made divination for the Head chief of the town of Ado who was told to make sacrifice in ¡rder to Uveand occupy his throne up to a ripe old age. and the divinity of Death to oare the lite ot his son. the nutcase prayed to God to let him see the feces discharged by the Iython (Iyin esumare in Yoruba and isan Oghi'kpin in Bini). akara. but that before Iistening to the tidings f the goat. The person should also use <'0. The Oloja was told to serve. •l'UnmUa's Care fol' His Children Orunmila said that he heard the sound of a rat running up and down in the bush. He should make sacrifice in ord~r to live and prosper to a ripe old age. - . When this odu appears at divination the person should be told that death is hard on his trail that he should make sacrifica hurriedJy with fish. He also said that he saw the fish Nimming back and forth in the river. Eventually the sobriquet of Akpe ojo iku da (one who can alter the ppointed date ot death) was given to Orunmila. he would save his' own children first. On his part. and Esu with a he-goat. the Huntel' Osa yereku . Egigun asheku jade Ta ni ko mo wi kpe enia asheku ti o yi wo. he would save his own son first. le was also advised to change his habit of praying for his kingdom without praying for himself. abufun asi iwere. but decided to give salvation to his children befare looking )r it. and a chicken to promise a he~goat to Esu if he survives the wrath of death. Esu. When God heard his prayers. The following morning. Osa yereku . le was told to pray first for himself before praying for the state. Not long afterwards. That was when Orunmila's son was sick and dying. the person should be told that he eares more for others than for imself. He also divined for the lunatic to make acrifice in orderto getwell. who should also make sacrifice to get well . the Oloja prayed for the peace and prosperity of his subjects and ot for himself. he fondered why the lunatic prayed for something that was bound to be useless to him instead of raying to get well. the aloja died and another one was appointed in his place. Enia sheku yi wo igbo.le Made DivinatioD 101'the Oloja 01 Ado and a Lunatic Osa yekutu yekete lo'ndifa fun Oloja ule ado.

became rich on the day that prosperity moved to their respective home. his friend l/u voluriteered to go in search of him. nonetheless beforefeeling its toxic effect. and trampled him to death. The sacrifice is prepared by grinding the leaves with the blood of two of the pigeons and the other materials and mixing them with the black soap. but that in turn. Alara. ojo o wo ile loja •. When this odu appears at divination. After waiting in vain for Jogbo to return from the forest. . Oni ojo t. banana. and 200 bags of money (igba-oke-owo). lIu found the corpse of Jogbo and the elephant he shot. When he got to the forest. in order to return home safely. ti o si wo ile loba-loba. He was advised to make sacrifice in order to retum safely from the expedition. left for hunting. promising to do ít on his retum from the forest. The pigeons will use their wings to fly prosperity ¡nto the house. Orongun-IIIa. Ojo na ní gbogbo won si di eni n/a. ojo ti o wo ile akakpo. Although the bullet hit the elephant. On. whitebean pudding or ekuru fifun. provided he makes the above-mentioned sacrifice. Oni egigun ashe kuda. Oni ojo ti o nwo ile atara oni ojo na ni aJara di eni n/a. he . He came home to report that Jogbo had killedan elephant in the forest. en. other Obasand head chiefsand his adherents. Moni o fin yereku. meji awiseni akakpo di anlnla. On gettingto the forest. his family became worried and were arranging for a search party to look for him. the person will be told that prosperity is poi sed to move . the person should be advised to make sacrifice before embarking on a joumey he is contemplating. He was required to make sacrifice with a big he-goat. Special Sacrifice for Prosperity Orunmila ni osa yereku. Without performing the sacrifica. egígun ashe kude. he saw an elephant and shot it. On. o wo ajero ni ajero d. He presribed that sacrifice should be made with eight pigeons. the elephant tumed round and pursued Jogbo. After adding' the divination powder of this odu (iyerosun) the person will be using the soap to bath all from time to time while rearing the remaining pigeons in the house. ewe-aje. When the Ifa appears at divination.nto his house. Oni ojo o wo i/e Orongunile~i/a nio dieni n/a.126 IFISM -The Complete Works of Orwunila They made divination forJogbo before he left for hunting in the forest. beca use. the elephant also killed him. ewe-ego and black soap. Orunmila is saying thata person becomes wealthy when prosperity moves into his or her house. loja. On. The elephant subsequently also fell down and died. n/a. Meanwhile. Ajero.

and to háve honor and dignity. they isolated a portion of it and began to bail out the water in order to :move the fishes. odita fun ami nijo ti ounti kole orun bo wa si'kole aiye.of a tree by the side of the river and he " 11 ~ . the dog saw a tiger on top. On getting to the river. They made the :tcrifice. Cut and heal up. ' That is why. When it appears at divination. They were told to make sacrifice with a he-goat and a cock. [e Made Divination for the Dog and the Ewe (Sheep) . and so that the myth urrounding him remains a mystery. He was advised to make sacrifice so that no one will ever be able to iscover the secret of his source and origin. He has so many children who are ever lacking in food and sustenance. baba/awo omi. le made all the sacrifices. the secret of the river is not known to anyone. were the namesof the two Awos ho made divination for the dog and the sheep (ewe) when they were going to the river for aterbail fishing.i Ki ato Kete si eti ami. the person will be told to make sacrifice with he-goat to Esu lcluding all edíble foodstuffs.Chapter3 OSA-IWORI OSA-AWURE OSA-OLAWURE le Made Divination for the River Wheu. and stand at the river's head. Meanwhile. Jump by the side of the river. to avoid being in want. was the name of Ifa priest who made divination for the river when he was oming to the world. in order to gain universal honor and respect. ki ato kisi si be be le re. Adifa fun aja abufun agutan. Coming to Earth Abudi.

while praying as follows: Iwo ori mi. He advised them to make sacrifice in order to succeed in a common venture without Josing their lives. As the he-goat swam to retrieve the bowl. invofving serving his head with a kolanut each consecutive day over a six day periodo On getting home. On his part. beca use of the aphorism that it is the one who minds his business that succeeds in any combat. lwori ya. Look! look! look!. the he-goat. that he had found an eternal source of food . dried granulated pepper and cock. That provided the he-goat an opportunity to escape from the scene. The dog preferred to rely on his agility and alacrity for surviving any calamity. Not long afterwards. Sugbon eyo kon so so TI mo ti ri niyi. e kun meta ni won ni ki Emi tí bo ori mi.128 IFISM -The Complete Works oE Orunmila began to shout to draw the attention of the sheep by yelling wo! wo! wo!. . When the tiger saw that the he-goat had escaped to safety. Esu went under the water to snatch the bowls of caJabash from the he-goat's hand flinging it farther away from him. However. While the two friends were still arguing between themselves. I was told to seIVe you with six kolanuts (which he mistakenly called Ekun. which required a second sacrifice. Jowo jeki mi ti marun ti o ku. When the he-goat gol home. The dog however suggested that they should mind their business while ignoring the tiger to mind his own. Unknown to them. They were required to make sacrifice with broken calabash. they went with bowls of caJabash to begin water-bail fishing. as the dog was strolling in search of food. He Made Divination for the Dog and the He-goat Osa ya. It wa~ only the he-goat that made. When they looked up. they saw the tiger gloating contemptuously at them. As soon as they both saw the tiger. they heard the unmistakable growl of the tiger. The following day. the Ifa priest told him that there was yet another hurdle to scale. Esu threw it to the other end of the embankment. Meaning My head. where he saw many fishes moving up and down. he pounced on the dog to devour him. the person should be advised to make sacrifice in order to survive a sudden confrontation with death. the sacrifice. he bought a kolanut and proceeded to serve his head with ¡t.. the dog and the he-goal. After the discovery. they quietly sneaked away. he wentto thank the Ifa priest forthe pleasant manifestation of the sacrifice he made for him. that ¡s. At divination. made divination for two friends. the he-goat retorted that it was not enough to concentrate on their fishing business beca use it is the use of one's brain that gives rise to success. the dog rah home to inform his friend. One day. the river belonged to the tiger. he carne across a river.

the person should be told to serve Ogun in arder to loid losing a member of his family to an accident. The following moming Alazi. Esu used his wand of authority to command the tiger never to hunt for the heoat. the head of the gorillas took out members of his tamily for a romenade. Meanwhile. the lazi.made divination for Elegbede (the gorilla) advising him to lake sacrifice to avert the danger of losing a soul to Ogun. That was when he remembered the words of the diviner.in it and he eld on to it and began to make jest of the Ifa priest by drumming: Ora ge-ge-ge. whileproclaiming that the day the tiger prepares to kmthe he-goat. he (the tiger) shall die on "lat day. he carne across a tree with a hole . He was thus boasting that in spite of the predictions ot the Ifa priest. As soon as he entered the torest.. The giant ape fell to the ground. Thereafter. After touring the forest for som'e time. He was told to serve Esu with a heoat. When it appears at divination. he decided to escape to prevent the he-goat from using him to serve lis head. Please let me find the remaining five to seNe you with. the Alazi took stock and discovered that 1e of them was missing. Unknown to the he~goat.lwori ge ge ge . When they gol to base.Ere mi ke mi. the tiger does not dare the he~goat. le Made DivinatioD for the Gorilla Osa ge ge ge. the tiger had taken a vantage position at the back of his house from ihich to launch an attack. He later . theperson will be advised to make sacrifice with a cO. But I have so far seen only one. Esu directed the hunter to a portion of the forest where he ¡(er-heard the familiar drumming of the gorillas. /wori ge~ge-ge Ere mi ke mi . 3ad while the others ran away. The hunter took aim at one of them ánd pulled the trigger. the hunter's wife had just delivered a baby and he went Ito the forest in search of meat with which to feed his family.ade the sacrifice. 1 When this odu appears at divination. That is why to this day.ckto :su and to serve his head with six kolanuts in order to survive the death awaiting him in aventure ) which a friend will invite him. •• . When the tiger therefore overheard the prayers of the he-goat to his lead to serveit with one tiger while. U.UU::. he could not imagine ny danger to worry about. ut' U::'A· usa lwon meaning tigers).t:LJ:. the tiger thought that the le-goat was referring to him as the sacrificar victim for serving his head.looking to find the remaining five. and to serve Ogun with a dog and a cock. He did not make the sacrifice. Since he did not know le strategy of the he-goat. he saw the entire herd dancing to the drumbeat of their leader. When the hunter trailed the direction from which le apes' sound was coming.

The Osanyin (Osun) priest was the next to confirm that he too was sleeping. He also enumerated the names of the members of the association who conspired to unsettle him by alluring his wives into becoming unfaithful to him. the establishment of the association was the strategy of his enemies for emasculating him. . He turned out to be a highly proficient priest on earth. he made divination and Ifa told him to prepare a feast of eating and drinking for all the members of his association after giving a he-goat to Esu. Ogun with a cock and a tortoise. Those were the Awos who made divination for this Odu. As soon as they all woke up from their delirium. He disclosed sarcastically that Orunmíla no longer had any wife because his two wives used to visit him regularly for love making. He was required to serve Esu with a he-goat. Soon afterwards I the divination powder began to take its tOll on those who had offended him by profaning his masculina dignity. Hedid so well that the other divine priests proposed to him that he was to be their leader in an association of all divine priests. and the venue of the meetings was to be his house. awon lo'ndifa fun Orunmila nijo tí o ounti ko/e orun bo wa si kole aiye. His enemies were the other divine priests Who were not as effective as himself and who were envious of hís unparalleled corppetence. he was to use granulated sass-wood (Obo in Yoruba and Iyin in Sini) as the divination powder 01the feast.getting involved in an association of his rivals. when he was coming to the worfd. That marked the endof theassociation. Meanwhile. Since the enemies realised that the easiest way of destablizing a powerfui man is by dishonoring his marriage. his guardian angel wíth a guinea-fowl. He should however make the necessary sacrifices. Afterpreparing the food and drinks. Sacrifices are tobe made with a he-goat to Esu. Oroke mi la awo le'turuye. He accordingly prepared the feast. He had two wives. Thereafter they a/l fell asleep. He was advised to make sacrifice to forestall the risk of destroying himself on earth. Unknown to him. He should refrain from becoming pompous on aceount of his wealth. Whatever he predicted carne to pass. He was flattered by the proposal and he readily acquiesed to it. they began to drink in earnest. he had a dream in which his guardian angel admonished him for doing what he was advised not to do before leaving heaven. and rabbit and three eggs to the Elders of the Night. because he will prosper immensely. and Osanyin (Osun)with a dogo He left for earth after making all the sacrifices. cock to Sango. with his wives regularly. An Ogun priestwas thaJirst to start confessing openly. One after the other all his enemies confessed their stratagem for destabilizing him.130 IFISM -The Complete Works of Opznmila The DivinatioD Made lar Him Before Leaving Heaven Uroke mi lawo li gonrin. he announced his withdrawal from the association after using the appropriate ¡ncantation to curse all those who conspired to destabilize him. . the person should be advised not to join any meeting to avoid exposing his wife to the risk of infidelity. After eatíng to their heart's content. The following morning. When this Ifa appears at Ugbodu. a guinea fowl and sixteen snails and gorilla meat to Ifa. dog to Osanyin (Osun). torto/se to Ogun. He was warned not to get ¡nvolved in any association or meeting while on earth. they began to seduce his wives.

1 Awo On hi5 way home. and. Eventually. e Divined for T\voBabalawos lkun awo loju ido. They did not make the sacrifice. ofí agrikpa obuko bo esu. When he made divination before traveling to sn unknown destinatíon. Iwori wo odífa fun Orunmíla baba shawo losí ílu Aíma. with electric fish. He dived into the water and killed On getting home. he told them to make sacrifice with a he-goat and a club to oid being clubbed to death. she had s slightly better than ever chance of having a child if she was able to make acrifice with the meat of bush pig. . and to avoid any problems involving women. She lost no time in producing them and Orunmila used them to prepare soup far her to eat. After divination he told the woman that afthough she had reached menoEluse.declared her to be permanently barren. . his first client was a fairly elderly barren woman who was still Dping to have a child. who was happy to kno\rYthat such existed because. Oru ebo na. he scovered that the leakage was caused by a giant electric fish. incaable of producing s child. He should also servehis head with a cock and ¡rve the Ifa with a big bat to avoid vomiting what he has eaten because he will b~ an Ifa priest. When it subsequently became obvious that she was pregnant. When they met Osa-Olawure. he was advised to lske sacrifice with a rabbit not to get ¡nvolved in som~oneelse's probJem. the persan will be advised to serve Esu with a he-goat in order to gain adIncement in his work. When he got to the place. ewe ekunkun leaves (ebe ebo in Bini) guinea-fowl and the aves of sogun-osegen. He was 50 overwhefmed with joy that he began to wonder how to 10W his appreciation to the Awo who made it possible. He made allthe sacrifices before setting out for the joumey. she observed changes in her breast and ::1 :>dy. At divínatlon. He was also required ) serve his head with a goat.HE ODUS OF OSA· Osa Iwori DI 'he Divination He Made When He Was Trave11ing to an Unknown Destination Osa WO. the wives in his own haremhad no children. The woman gave birth to female child who was forbidden to eat electric fish. ofí ewure bo ori re. Ifa lawo ewi la'do. he used the fish to serve his Osun. Aní kí ofí okete kpelu ewu orunreru ebo nitori uyí ati gbogbo ire. where he will epare one Osun to be serving.Were two Ifa priests who operated together in partnerlip. At the end of the fbllowing month. he made a gorgeous dress r Orunmila in addition to a paree! of fish becausehe was a fisherman. The husband went to announce the miracle to the Oba. he noticed that his canoe was leaking. the Oba's Ives did not become pregnant and he subsequently retumed home. When heexamined it carefully. Try as he did. the person will settle near a sea or river. When this Ifa appears at Ugbodu. her husband could not bewe it becauseallprevious divínations had.

anyone.. which could cost him his life . On hearing about Igun's death. When it appears at divination. When his friend Ifalawo heard of the death of Igun. He made the sacrifice and his life became more stable. That was why he went for divination at which he was told to make sacrifica with rat. Esu transfigured into a rabble"rouser and incited some local thugs to mug him. there was no rain in the town of lJu~ldo. eja ali eye/e mejí. • I L • • ~ . He should also make sacrifice to forestall t~e danger of becoming the victim otan armed robbery attack. he still did not consider it necessary to make the sacrifice he was tord to do. The two delegations remained at the three road-junction cemetery until it developed into a fuI! blown town which became known as Ifaki (or lIu-ltaki) to mark where an Ifa priest was murdered. two pigeons. He made divination for the man whose life was undulating between opulence and penury. He Made DiviDatioD for the Man Whose Fortune Was Not CODsolidated /wori Lere moní jijo laja. two he-goats and various precious gifts including money. When it was time for him to return home. he remembered the prediction forwhich they were advised at divination to make preemptive sacrifice. at. seize his gifts and club him to death. Oni kí nlo fí majo? Moní eku. the person will be advised to beware of getting involved in any partnership business with any friend or indeed. Eyi ni Bofí ro ebo kií oro en. ko ni akojo. fish.132 IFISM -The Complete Works of OrunmiJa Meanwhile. ati ekpo. Ikun was rewarded with two rams. the Ewi of Ado sent a six man vigil to watch over the grave to prevent his killers from exhuming it. and he did it so successfully that it rained non-stop tor three days. The pendulum of his lite was oscillating between two extremes otsatisfaction and destitution. He quickly went to make his own sacrifice. Ikun was invited to procure rain. two hens and eight or sixteen bags of money. agba merindilogun. The Oba of lIu-ldo also sent six representatives for the same purpose. atí abo adiye meji. Nonetheless. because his fortunes were not consolidated. atiobi.

he should have his own Ifa and serve his head with a pígeon a. adifa fun Arawo tí'nshe yeye Asa. after his enemies had hreatened that he would not retum home alive. He was advised to makesacrifice with a cock md a pígeon. after which he had no difficulty in feeding himself. the mother of the hawk when the Drtunes of the hawk were flagging. When this odu appears at dívination. Oru la agba/agba jo mu lele'di.fter completing the ¡nitiaon ceremony. the person should be told that his life is not fui!. He did the sacrifice after which he left for the farm. Odita tun Lamu foto. He did so well in the tarrn that year that he recorded a bumper harvest and returned home llive with his gains from the tarm. nigbo ti on lo si oko aloro odun. The hawk was advised to have his own Ifa and he did so. because the battle of the waist is fought in the night. Orudi. was the name of the Awo who made divjnation for the grass lopper when he was going to the farm at the beginning of the farming year. le Made DivinatioD for the Father oí Orofo Osa di. his life became prosperous again. -le Divined for Arawo the Mother of the Hawk Osa di. After taking his lfa.Chapter 4 OSA-IDI :le Made DivinatioD for the Grass-Hopper She she murele. Ani ki Asa gba ifa. That lIas the name of the Awo Who made divination tor Arawo. adita (un baba eyeorofo to'n/o fe Tiku shaya. He made divination for the father of a bird called Orofo when he was going to marry a wife •• . oru. "hereafter. When it appears at divination. Won ni ki oru ebo tori omo to/ma bi(un Tiku. Osa and the Night should tie ¡t. the person should be Idvised to make sacrifice before travelling anywhere in order to retum home aUve. the Awo told him to make Inother sacrifice with a pigeon and he did ¡t. No one goe5 on a Dumey without retuming home. If he is to Irosper.

She denied the charges and vowed to destroy Orunmila for daring to level false accusations againsther.134 IFISM -The Complete Works of O!). the Olofin decided to put her on trial by ordeal at the instance ofEsu. The woman Tiku gave birth to Asa (hawk). After cursing her. he should be told that his wife is respansible for his problems. Meanwhile.. but that she had also cohabited with another manin her home town. The DivinatioD He Made Before LeaviDg Heaven Osa Kandi. he gave orders for the woman to be bundled back from her home town. she confessed that she was responsible for all the probler. He made the sacrifice beforecoming to the world.When the hawk grewup. Olofin gave a handsome reward to Orunmila. Whén this odu appears at divination for a man. the Olofin invited him for divination when his household was in turmoi!. Oruebo nao Wh~n he was leaving heaven. Awon ni won lo'ndifa fun Orunmíla nijo ti outi kole orun bo wa si kole aiye. he was advised to make sacrifice with a he-goat and spoilt and rotten materials. When this odu portends danger at divination. He became a success story on earth as an Ifa priest. When the Dlofin refused to take her back as his wife. Won niki oru ebonitoriobrinrin yío ma kpaa kaiye. She however failed at the trial beca use in a state of delirum as if possessed. After making divinationhe told theOiofinthat fue problem in his household was being caused by one of his wives who was at that time away to her home town. . and that the wife in question is not onlya witch but also an infidel. the Olofin compelled her under torture to undo the havoc she had done.UlIllila called Tiku. At the height of his popularity. before marriage the man should be advised not to marry the woman because she is a witch who would give birth to a witch who would be destroying the other children bom before him or her. oro mi lere bodi ola. She also confirmed that without any thought ofretuming tolfe she had gotten a lover in her home town. he used his Ase toproclaim that never . andthat Esu had driven the woman out of his house becauseshewas a destructivewitch. Baba Orofo did not make the sacrifice. again would she be able to have sex with any mano She was expelled from thekingdom of Ife and she subsequently developed piles in her genitals which closed her vagina far gaod. As soon as the Olofin heard the revelation. He was told to make sacrifice on account of a child the woman was going to bear for him. he or she should be told to make sacrifice because his or her sickness was caused by a brother or sister who is a witch. When it appears for an invalid. Ori kandi. FOllowing her denial. he began to feed on his elder brothers and sisters who were bom before him. Orunmila served Esu with a he-goat to checkmate the evil intentions of the woman .ns in Olofín's palaee and that sheleft for her home town after foementing the havoc. When she was brought in she confronted Orunmila who confirmed notonly that she was responsible through witchcraft for upsetting the peaee and tranquility of her husband's home.