Èsù Òdàrà is the Èsù of Ifa from the elision Èsù Ò dà rà meaning the Divine Messenger with the power to divide and spread. This is a reference to the idea that spiritual elevation is contagious and as it emerges in one person it affects all those who come in contact with that person. Èsù Òdàrà is the son of Osun born in the holy Odu Ose’tura. The word Ose’tura from the elision o ase o tutu ra meaning the Spirit of the power of the word and the Spirit of mystic vision spreads. In Ose we have the metaphysical idea of the power of the word meaning the ability to pray in a way that our concerns are heard by the Immortals in Orun. The metaphysical principle of Otura is mystic vision so when the Immortals hear our prays they give us a vision about how to manifest that which we are requesting. The messenger for this vision is Èsù Òdàrà. In simple terms Èsù Òdàrà is the ability of humans to communicate with Spirit. This ability is a consequence of way humans are wired through the ability to access altered states of consciousness. The foundation of this acess is the ability to place the head and the heart in alignment. This alignment is made or broken in the spine at the place where the neck meets the head. That is why Èsù Òdàrà is described as living at the crossroads, it is the crossroads between mind and emotion or head and heart. This crossroad is formed by the alignment between the shoulders and the spine which literally creates a crossroad made from human bones. When the crossroads is blocked as a result of unexpressed emotion the feeling in the body is experienced as a pain in the neck. This pain in the neck is the manifestation of Èsù Òdàrà trickster meaning the moment when we confuse personal fantasy with message from Spirit. The point of abori or a head cleaning is to remove the pain in the neck and replace with fantasy with a true vision. The true vision is what gives us the motivation to implement the vision in the real world. The process of implementing the vision in the real world is called fertility or the ability to create something new. That is why when an iyawo is initiated into Ifa the elder recites the 16 meji Odu on the iyawo’s head then invokes Ose’tura causing the 16 Meji Odu to copulate in the iyawo’s head. In this moment the iyawo becomes elerin ipin meaning witness to creation. The experience of elerin ipin opens the ori of the iyawo to possession by all 256 Odu and all the various combinations there of. That is what makes the iyawo either Iyanifa meaning mother of wisdom or Babalawo meaning father of the mysteries. For this reason Ose’tura is considered the 18th Odu in order of senority and that is why Èsù Òdàrà is considered the father of all Divine Messengers.
(Praising the Divine Messenger of Transformation)
Èsù, Èsù Òdàrà, Èsù, lanlu ogirioko. Okunrin orí ita, a jo langa langa lalu.
Divine Messenger, Divine Messenger of Transformation, Divine Messenger speaks with power. Man of the crossroads, dance to the drum.
Commentary: Dancing here is a reference to the idea of being present at a ritual in a way that sheds light on what needs to be done to be effective.
A rin lanja lanja lalu. Ode ibi ija de mole. Ija ni otaru ba d’ele ife.
Tickle the toe of the Drum. Move beyond strife. Strife is contrary to the Spirits of the Invisible Realm.
Commentary: when awo us the word tickle they mean to infuse a thing with ase or spiritual power. To move beyond strife is to move from the power of tickling or ose to mystic vision or otura so this line is a symbolic reference to the power of Ose’tura.
To fi de omo won. Oro Èsù, to to to akoni. Ao fi ida re lale.
Unite the unsteady feet of weaning children. The word of the Divine Messenger is always respected. We shall use your sword to touch the earth.
Commentary: This is a request for elevation plus a promise to use the creative power of Èsù Òdàrà in a positive way.
Èsù, ma se mi o. Èsù, ma se mi o. Èsù, ma se mi o.
Divine Messenger do not confuse me. Divine Messenger do not confuse me. Divine Messenger do not confuse me.
Commentary: this is a request to open the door between the head and the heart at the crossroads of the neck and the shoulders. It is repeated three times because it is the point of the oriki and is spoken as call and response.
Omo elomiran ni ko lo se. Pa ado asubi da. No ado asure si wa. Ase.
Let someone else be confused. Turn my suffering around. Give me the blessing of the calabash. May it be so.
Commentary: The reference to letting someone else be confused is actually a call for protection as in let my enemies be confused. The blessing of the calabash is the blessing of an increase in the content of ori.
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