Disclosure: What follows is my own highly opinionated, intensely felt, not necessarily correct, and perhaps at times alienating view of Odu, and what they mean.
In the eastern quadrant one finds the Otun-Opon. This is the region that governs the world of the Self – the diviner, their home, immediate family and intimate surroundings.
The Otun-Opon is the “I” of the “I/Not-I” equation. This is the region of life whose symbol is the element of fire. The seed that was sown in the Ese-Opon springs forth in the Otun-Opon. It is further represented by the rising sun and signals the beginning, marking the dawn or a new realm of the Otun-Opon that the kinetic energy moves within the individual’s private world.
Anatomically this region relates to the portion of the body from the neck to the sternum, located at the base of the rib cage. This region also deals with the visible realm and those forces that are in plain view. The sacred Odu Ogbe represents the Otun-Opon.
To this group I will assign the Jungian function of consciousness called intuition since intuition is really quite miraculous. It is a way of knowing that has nothing to do with reason and very little to do with perception. It is knowing without having learned. Something has come to mind that is totally new. It is not the result of study or of inductive or deductive processes. If we had scoured our brains, all our ideas, and our entire conceptual framework, we would never have come up with what has suddenly come to us in a flash. What we experience is a miraculous entry into consciousness of something that seems to come from somewhere else. All at once we just know!
It seems appropriate to me that the element of Odus grouped in Otun-Opon should be fire, with its quickness, suddenness, and dissimilarity to its source. You begin with a match and a matchbook, and all of a sudden – in a flash – you have a flame, which looks nothing at all like either the match or the matchbook. There’s no way to figure out how you can get fire from these two inert little pieces of cardboard. That’s the way intuition flashes into consciousness.
The Fiery Odus also represent life energy of all forms, what Freud called libido. It is the animal energy that drives life, the vital force that we feel surging up withing us. And although those two – intuition and libido – may strike us as totally different from one another, they really are related as suggested by the word sublimation. Sublimation clearly means “to make sublime.” So if we take that basic life energy and express it, not in its most positive way, not in terms of frank physical sexuality, we can eliminate it to a point of artistic expression. By moving the energy to that creative place, we make it sublime.
Ogbe is a sign of new life, opportunity and new beginnings. It assures you victory, evolution, success and strong support. It is a sign that marks a state of alignment – all elements in the equations are in harmony at this time. Awakening unfolds as life begins. The energy opens wide and unveils a myriad of options to explore.
Ogbe is the senior of all the 256 Odus. This Odu is the sign of intelligence, both cosmic and personal. Ogbe supports a holistic comprehension that involves the whole being and not merely the mind Order and illumination are common themes in this Odu.
The energy of Ogbe lends remarkable strength and vivacity to all that it touches. This can be both a blessing and a curse, as the energy Ogbe invigorates without consideration of the orientation of the circumstances.
When Ogbe comes in “Ibi,” a state wherein the more unproductive aspects of the Odu’s energy are present, this sign can signal a scattering of energies, a state wherein there are too many options that distract the individual. The mind has overruled all else resulting in imbalance. Order has shifted to a state of disarray. One’s focus is diminished and this is causing great problems.
Blindness or radical obsession may even occur, rendering you unable to see anything but that which rest directly under your nose. Egos burn out of control and issues of supremacy surface.
When Ogbe comes in a state of Ibi it may likely mark reckless behavior resulting from blindness. The over abundance of energy created hypersensitivity leading to distractions and loss.
Irosun calls for homage to be paid to one’s Ancestors. By honoring those that have gone before us, one maintains a sense of balance and perspective with and within the universe.
Irosun calls for cautious behavior. You may find that you are at a key point in your process, a place wherein each step is critical. Moving vigilantly will insure not only safe passage, but also blessings.
Careful reflection on one’s path is necessary in order to move ahead. One must struggle to maintain clarity and understanding. This Odu advises that even during times of adversity you must remain true to form.
When suffering betrayal from one’s environment or the world, one should not betray oneself. In order the avoid the pitfalls of selfishness and shortsighted behavior, extend the parameters of the self. Logic and common sense should be one’s traveling companion on the journey.
Ogunda is an Odu that clears the obstacles that impede progress; a physical and metaphysical clearing that makes a path where none preciously existed. Ogunda, with its obvious ties to the Orisa Ogun, represents the never ending search for Truth and offers an opportunity to objectively view reality.
This Odu represents Truth as it actually exists, free from the distortions imposed on it by the individual. Brutal honesty is an element of this Odu’s energy. Ogunda is the impulse to evolve, the internal push to forge ahead that guarantees the evolution of the individual and the community.
Victory over one’s enemies (both internal and external) is forecasted and Ogunda signifies the struggle that ends in success.
In a state of “Ibi,” this Odu warns of deception, possibly from those closest to you. There is a risk of trusting someone or something rooted in dishonesty and this misplaced trust could lead one into trouble.
Ogunda admonishes one to avoid compulsive behavior or needless acts of aggression. Senseless acts of physical, mental, emotional or spiritual violence can become deadly. Stubbornness, lack of patience and an unwillingness to compromise are the hallmarks of Ogunda’s energy when it is out of balance. Unhealthy cravings for power and the presence of conflict, anger and struggle are also signs of Ogunda when in a state of Ibi.
Otura represents the qualities of a peaceful spirit, a calm emotional state and a cool head. Tranquility and equanimity grace the individual resting in a state of Ire with this Odu. Such peace is found through a strong inner knowing that validates the correctness of life and the course one is taking. There is an incredible purity inherent in Otura.
This Odu is the salve that eases anxiety, pressure and tension. Otura marks the metaphysical energies of speech and communication; words as building blocks of creative power capable of creation or destruction depending on the intent of the speaker.
Otura, when id a state of “Ibi,”reveals a condition wherein the serenity and composure of the individual or situation is being disturbed. The inner knowing that offered affirmation has been transformed into a state of disruption that guides one strongly off path as Otura rears its contrary head. Speech becomes a weapon of dissection and division.
You are either speaking or hearing words that lead to separation or dissension. Lies are being spread and webs of untruth are being weaved. Be careful not to get caught in these webs. Measured communication is necessary in order to retain or restore good fortune.
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