According to Ifa cosmology, the Source of Creation is Olorun. The word Olorun translates as “Owner of Heaven.” Owner is used here in the metaphysical sense of owning a secret or being the Source of a Mystery.
Heaven in Ifa cosmology is that invisible realm that guides evolution. Olorun is the Mystery of Source which is considered to be beyond human comprehension. When Ifa describes Forces in Nature, it refers to those invisible manifestations of Creation that are believed to flow from Olorun. All of the spirits that are recognizeds by Ifa are considered to be knowable aspects of Olorun, while the essense of Olorun remains a Mystery.
“All of the spirits that are recognized by Ifa are considered to be knowable aspects of Olorun, while the essense of Olorun remains a Mystery.”
When the universe came into Being at the moment of Creation, it was Olodumare, who was given the task of sustaining all that is. Olodumare comes from the root Olo Odu, meaning “Owner of Odu” or “Owner of First Principle.” Mare is a contraction of Osumare who is the Spirit of the Rainbow. In Nature, the rainbow is one of the purest manifestation of light.
Olodumare could be translated to mean “The Source of those Forces in Nature that generate the spectrum of light.” As the Owner of Odu, Olodumare can be described as the Mystical Cauldron that contains all the potential forms that manifest from Creation.
“As the Owner of Odu, Olodumare can be described as the Mystical Cauldron that contains all the potential forms that manifest from Creation.”
As a Spiritual Force, Olodumare exist in polarity with the Spirit Ela. There is no direct translation for the word Ela. Some Ifa elders say it means “Purity.” Others would say that Ela means “He who creates.” When those forms that exit in potential within the womb of Olodumare become manifest, it is Ela who sustains that manifestation. In symbolic terms, Ela brings the light of Creation out of the darkness of the Womb of Creation.
The task of molding Creation was originally give to Obatala. The word Obatala means “Chief of the White Cloth.” The term “White Cloth” is a reference to the primal substance that forms the foundation of the physical universe. Physics teaches that the first manifestation of dynamics in the universe was light.
From a Western perspective, Obatala could be understood as the essence of light. Modern science teaches that evolution is the process of transforming sun light into planetary environments. Evolution is the reorganization of sunlight into multi-dimensions of life on Earth.
“Ifa myth says that the task of molding Creation was given to Oduduwa by Olodumare after Obatala got drunk.”
Ifa myth says that the task of molding Creation was given to Oduduwa by Olodumare after Obatala got drunk. The polarity between Obatala and Oduduwa is a symbolic expression of the Western scientific theory that light forms matter and that matter dissipates into light.
Ifa expresses the same concept by saying that light comes from darkness and that darkness comes from light. The reference to Obatala’s drinking is a symbolic expression of the observation that movement from light to darkness and from darkness to light does not always take place in a smooth progression.
“The image of drunkenness is a symbol of imperfection as a condition of manifestation within Nature.”
The images used to represent Odu can be considered blueprints of the ways in which the transition between light and dark or expansion and contraction takes place. The essence of Odu is an expression of the scientific idea that matter is neither created nor destroyed, it simply becomes transformed.
Tags: Ifa cosmology, Olorun, Olodumare, Ela, Obatala, Oduduwa