MAIN ODU: OSA OSE
This Odu leads us to come to grips with an important truth - there is nothing so essential or irreplaceable, or so fixed or off-limits, that it can't be impacted - even uprooted - by the winds of change. Changes, at first, may seem a bit unnerving or difficult, but it pushes us to explore and experiment even further. These changes need not be perceived as disappointing disasters but rather disruptions that lead to different and deeper discoveries. Displacement of relied upon thoughts, actions, and people feels like a loss initially. However, ultimately, we're able to pursue and align ourselves with what life is offering to us in a new form.
Osa Ose introduces us to changes, acting as catalysts, propelling us beyond old "truths" to search out new "truths." "What is" becomes "what was" so that "what can be" becomes "what is." And it's these types of changes, leading to transformation, which are part of the mysterious powers of Osa Ose.
Osa Ose carries within it a natural momentum. On the practical side, we’re open to change, even inviting change into our lives. And on the spiritual side, we’re persuaded, if not convinced, that beyond these changes is life in another form. Openness to change is not merely a preparation for loss but rather the beginning to finding the corresponding gain life is offering us.
In Osa, nothing needs to be “nailed down.” All of life – our goals, our habits, our beliefs – are ready to be “shaken up.” Nothing, including ourselves, needs to be as it has always been. “Business as usual” gives way to a readiness to attain a better positioning in what really matters most in the long-term. We learn here that changing course is the first step in moving from a one-dimensional focus to a multi-dimensional perspective.
This, at first glance, may seem unsettling. However, in Ose, we realize a beautiful, yet humbling truth. We exist in an illusion if we believe that life must or will unfold in only one way – our way. Ose encourages us to trust – adopt as our worldview – that life is multi-faceted, layered, and nuanced. Life is dynamic and fluid. It is not a dogmatic march; it is a melodious dance.
And life has many more joys, creativities, opportunities, and wonders than we thought. In other words, Osa Ose is about “blowing” away our “one way” approach to uncover the many ways we can think, act, progress, grow, and be that’s beneficial for the long-term. In Osa Ose, change is not just a discomforting disturbance but an appeal to seek out and find the other ways life can unfold. In this sense, Osa Ose is the gift of different and new experiences that transforms our lives in meaningful ways, giving us a richer and fuller life before it’s all said and done. Now is the time to acknowledge and embody the fact that we aren’t just settlers, we’re explorers.
IBI: OSA MEJI
This fact might be challenging for many of us to accept, if we live in Osa Meji. Why? Because we’re inclined to hold on to what we’re accustomed to. We’re often too reliant on the routines that make us feel safe and comfortable. Too often, we’d rather avoid than address a situation. The results of our action don’t fare well if we constantly dismiss needed changes or unravel when changes occur. Resisting or poorly managing change renders our decisions and actions ineffective and directionless. Not to mention, our emotional/spiritual selves remain in a state of anxiety.
Feelings of vulnerability and helplessness take over. Why? Because we’re more concerned about the short-term discomfort than the long-term results of the transformative process. Where a total shift in approach is called for, fixation and habit are employed. And whenever and wherever reinforcing is prioritized, when and where life calls for reimagining, we’ll miss the benefits of Osa Ose. And if we aren’t disciplined in our alignment with Osa Ose, Osa Meji can overtake us. And we’ll miss the benefits that come with using changes to achieve total transformations.
KEY SOURCES OF SUPPORT for OSA OSE: OYA, OGUN, and ELA
There are ancient sources of support that can empower us to transcend any misalignment in which we may find ourselves. Firstly, there’s Oya. Oya represents a formidable feminine force that topples all systems of disharmony and imbalance. Oya rips up the rules that hold us hostage to our comfort zones.
Conformity to stagnation, stupidity and negativity are the targets of her power. And in 2018, Oya brings to bear an intensity that demands that we release and let go of useless and detrimental approaches.
Secondly, there’s Ogun. Ogun represents the skill, persistence, and effort required to make an impact. Ogun is the intersection between imagination and work that brings about innovation. Recklessness nor a disregard for the “truths” of “what we’re working with” will be allowed in Ogun’s workshop. And in 2018, Ogun ignites a cleverness, an ingenuity, a dexterity of mind that sets in motion a new reality.
Finally, there’s Ela. This is primordial energy. It is the formless foundation from which all forms emerge. Ela is the creative vibration for existence. It strips all to the essentials and frees all from its acquired complications. And in 2018, with Ela, one may use even the smallest things, make even the smallest changes – at the most fundamental level – and experience a “big picture” one never imagined.
The energies of Oya, Ogun, and Ela will be quite important as we align ourselves to receive the benefits of Osa Ose in 2018.
VICTORY: IROSUN OGBE
In 2018, aligning ourselves with Osa Ose will be most important as it relates to our overcoming challenges. Why? Because the challenges faced require that we stay grounded in reality as we discern which opportunities are best for us in the long-term. That’s easier said than done. Why? Because the challenges we face may be so intense that we get stuck in wishful thinking or clouded judgement. Osa’s change is rooted in the reality/realizations of Irosun. And the transformative discoveries of Ose aid us in achieving the new beginnings of Ogbe. The truest victory in 2018 is changing the realities we currently face so that we can begin to fully explore the best available realities for the long-term.
An additional supportive energy for victory in 2018 is ESU. Don’t panic! Very often, with the energy of Esu nothing is straightforward. However, the energy of Esu, in this case, empowers us to realize more keenly that changes appear as both beginnings and endings, simultaneously. As well, Esu, keeps us “on our toes” by enabling us to realize more clearly that life is a lived experience of “both/and” – not “either/or.”
So don’t take everything too seriously. Because life’s experiences have endings built into its beginnings and beginnings built into its endings. Esu will help us see that. And perhaps we’ll see some irony and laugh at ourselves on the way.
BENEFIT: IROSUN OWANRIN
If we successfully align ourselves with the energy of Osa Ose, we can look forward to the long-term benefits of Irosun Owanrin. A heightened level of perception and piercing insight into our reality leads us to healing, repairing, and evolving. Our ability to more clearly see thru the matters in front of us empowers us to confidently discard what is no longer useful for the long-term.
The mind and spirit become in tune and breaks negative and outdated cycles of living. We come to see matters clearly and place life’s concerns in its best order for long-term progress. And this is truly a benefit!
FAMILY – OGBE IKA
In 2018, being “family” is more than blood-relations. It’s about discerning when, how, and with whom there is an opportunity to “start over.” As we grow out, we mustn’t forget to grow up. No family is perfect and how to be “family” must be relearned over and over again.
Find reasonable – even unusual - and healthy ways to begin moving beyond mishaps and misfortunes. Employ a new approach that gives room for you and others to learn from mistakes and achieve what “second chances” remain available.
The energy of the Nana – the primordial mother of all – should be sought. In other words, respect and seek the counsel of wise women/mothers. For the Nana energy is available to show us how to better navigate the phases of family life.
RELATIONSHIPS – OWANRIN OBARA
In 2018, it’ll be wise to change – “shed” – the negative inventory that sits on the shelf of your relating to others. We have a choice regarding what we’re not going to do or be in our relationships.
We have a choice in what’s acceptable and unacceptable, knowing when, and for what reasons, to move forward or be still. Take stock and prioritize what works best and determine whether your strategy to get there requires a bold move or a principled stance.
The energy of Ososi – the great hunter – is best for our relationships here. Ososi’s energy can aid us in discarding the “extra baggage” and calmly and competently getting to the heart of what’s most important in our relationships
. And with Ososi’s energy, there comes an activation of skill, especially in how we communicate, in word or deed. And this is important. Why? Because we’ll need to know exactly what to do and how to do it no matter the environment of our relationships, whether earthly or spiritual.
SUCCESS – OTURA OWANRIN
In 2018, we have the opportunity to reconsider our definitions of “success.” No matter how many issues we come across, it’s important that we not “lose our heads.” A constant state of worry, tension, or fear is not the price we should pay for “success.” If we keep our “peace of mind” and “centeredness” – as difficult as that might be - we can better make informed decisions, less the negative inputs.
Know the situation you’re in very well, it’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This leads to better understandings of what turns matters around favorably. The “class” we display within our situations and insight with which we use to perceive of our situations help us realize we are fully capable of bringing order to chaos.
The ancient and transcendent energy of Onile is quite helpful here. Why? Onile sits in the center as an ever wise mediator. Representing the meeting place where potentials meet manifestations, and the abstract meets actuality, Onile crystallizes as the earth in its entirety.
Onile embodies the full landscape and layout of what is closest to us, what touches us, what impacts us, what’s in us and around us. As a result, Onile can empower us in 2018 to (1) use Ifa, and its earth-based ebbos, to mediate our situations more calmly/evenly, finding the smoothest path and (2) give us the emotional/spiritual “land” for us to cultivate what we choose to make life better for ourselves in the long-term.
DESTINY: OGUNDA OSA
In 2018, we’ll start to see and feel what we really need to start doing in order relieve “the pressure.” There’s quite a bit we’ve been frustrated about and dissatisfied with. Using our energies aimlessly or recklessly, in the short-term, only brings about those changes we’ll regret in the long-term. Just get out of the way. Intelligently clear away the obstructions and distractions.
Watch and see the positive changes that occur because we’ve prepared and worked toward them coming through. Discern the work that needs to get done and just do it, diligently and sensibly. And we do realizing that the goal of our “work” isn’t to be change-resistant but rather a change-agent.
Here the energy of Iyaami – supreme guiders, owners and bringers of Ase – will do us well. Iyaami represent the deepest knowledge – the powerful “knowing” of the Feminine. It is the “Feminine Knowing” that is beyond the five physical senses. Lean on and seek the insights of this guiding feminine energy. Why? Because in 2018, the Iyaami add additional impact to our work by guiding it beyond any limiting threshold.
This energy is so significant and powerful that Ase can be made available in many/countless forms to us, even in the midst of extraordinary life changes.
HEALTH: OFUN OTURUPON
In 2018, we’ll have to nurture and protect our physical, emotional, and spiritual health. How so? We can do two things. One, let’s remember to be attentive to those aspects of our health that are often overlooked or dismissed. That just means pay close attention to what really holds you together, taking care of what really makes us and keeps us “healthy” – both the on outside and the inside. Two, let’s be vigilant about setting needed boundaries. Why? This ensures that only what’s best for the “bigger picture” is secured within and whatever’s not best isn’t allowed to intrude our “healthy” space. Our healthiness is more than just feeling “okay.” It’s about bringing ourselves into a unified alignment so that we can achieve wholeness.
And where there is wholeness of mind, body, and spirit, anything can be carried to term and brought to fulfillment.
“The Mothers” play a central role here in 2018. By “the Mothers” we mean the energies that influence any and everything by giving life to something new. These energies are by nature ingenuously creative, fiercely caring, deeply intuitive, and can influence any outcome. But why is this helpful for our healthiness? This year, the energies of “the Mothers” can be sought to help align us with the perfect timing for “shifting” to what’s happening in the “shadows”, impacting our healthiness.
And this is important. Why? Because it is from within the “shadows” the light of potentiality can and will eventually burst forth.
The Ifa Foundation would like to acknowledge and thank Oluwo Ifasunlade- Stephen Epps
for the wonderful explanation of the "Reading for the Year". We also thank Oluwo Philip Neimark and Iyanifa Vassa for casting the Odus for the year.
BREATH IS LIFE!
by Oluwo Ifajuitan - Javier Lujan