The Òrìṣà Philosophy
The Òrìṣà Philosophy
The peace of mind and the peace at home, the acceptance of responsibility for one’s own life, patience, tolerance, kindness, the love of orderliness and organization, discipline, prosperity, creativity, respect for the elderly, the honouring of the memory of one’s ancestors – these are only a few of the many values leading to happiness and contentment. There is no significant difference between the amount of muscle mass and the extent of happiness in one’s life; to achieve one or the other, you have to work diligently each and every day.
Our advantage lies in the fact that we have helpers surrounding us everywhere. They are in the water we drink, in the air we breathe, in the ground we walk on, and in the sky we gaze upon.
We refer to them as the Òrìṣà – the divine energies that are manifested in nature and are an integral part of the human essence. The knowledge of them has been preserved through thousands of years as part of the oral tradition of the Yoruba, the African ethnic group that serves as the source of knowledge and experience for Slovenian followers.
In essence, the Òrìṣà are the nature. They are a symbol of piety, a philosophy, a concept of life, a distinct lifestyle; they are the essential power and energy encapsulating all meanings of life in every sense. The Òrìṣà are life itself.
It is important to understand the delineation between religion and philosophy. For us, the religious aspect is not the most important; what is important is the philosophy because it helps us understand the Òrìṣà. In the majority of religions, the entire responsibility for human fate rests on the shoulders of the god and the priests, and worshippers are merely passive observers. This is entirely different. Priests are important but so are ordinary worshippers. What is true of the priests is also true of the worshippers. A priest gives us instructions on what to do, and then we do it by ourselves. If a priest says he will pray for us, he will pray for us, but the responsibility for our lives still lies firmly in our own hands.
What we wish to emphasize is the fact that the Òrìṣà philosophy is something that directs us toward the essence of life. Consequentially, we are responsible for everything. Speaking about the Òrìṣà, remember that everything begins and ends with personal responsibility. We only have what we manage to achieve. Those who join this philosophy must understand that our life is extremely precious, and we play a crucial role in it. No one will make decisions instead of us. We have to be prepared for life and capable of making hard choices.
The Òrìṣà philosophy is very dynamic. We are simultaneously the observers and the agents of life.
All initiated and consecrated individuals keep their own altars in their home. They freely decide when to worship the Òrìṣà. Nobody ever supervises anyone, but everyone is always welcome to ask for advice if needed.
It is important for people to keep their purity. Purity means to have a calm mind, to be content and in balance with oneself. If we are not strong, we cannot be happy, and we are not pure if we fail to recognize the right path and the diversity of our problems. We all have our freedom and our joy; happiness and peace are our unalienable rights.
Of course, we inevitably encounter problems in our lives, but we have to be intuitive and wise enough to explain the problem and overcome it. We are intelligent enough to find the solutions. If there is snow outside, we put on a coat. We do not resign ourselves to saying, “Oh, it’s so freezing that I have to feel the cold.”
The concept can be applied to all other problems. As worshippers of the Òrìṣà, we have to understand the principle of Orí, which is symbolically represented by our head – the place where we shape our own fate. In our lives, a number of things will happen because they are a part of our predestination, but suffering on a daily basis is no longer a matter of fate. And even if suffering is indeed a part of our fate, we must not simply give in; instead, we must look for a solution.
Once again, we must accept responsibility. We are responsible for everything that is going on in our lives. We all have the Orí, we believe in predestination and life, but we also believe that nothing is ever static. We have to explore our own lives and find our orientation and our own personal style. If that proves too difficult for us, we go to see a priest who will give us an orientation. A priest or a priestess will show us the right direction, illuminate the truth of life, and give us support, thus enabling us to be more precise and accurate. A spiritual orientator is a very important person in our lives who can utilise his or her instruments to help us determine what is truly important for us.
The important aspect of this philosophy is the fact that everything can be manipulated and altered. Nothing is ever static; the human mind is the fastest growing energy in the universe. Our mind is quite capable of having a good idea while simultaneously bursting with negativity; it is our mind that makes our lives heaven or hell. With the help of an orientation from a priest or a priestess, we can access the solution to all our problems. A priest or a priestess tells us what to do in order to establish order, neutralise negativity, and boost positivity.
What we have in our lives is a reflection of our true selves. If someone makes us nervous for a day, our nervousness is his or her fault, and if someone makes us nervous for two days, it is still not our fault. However, if we are unnerved by someone for three whole days, the blame rests squarely on our shoulders for allowing them to wield a negative influence on us for such an extended period of time.
The Òrìṣà will manifest themselves in our lives and help us achieve our goals. We can treat the Òrìṣà as the energy that helps us lessen if not completely eliminate our problems. The Òrìṣà provide answers to eternal questions: who am I, what is my mission, how can I be useful, where am I at this precise moment and how can I make my dreams come true? These are the fundamental questions that must be answered; otherwise, our lives are hopeless. Regrettably, these things are not taught at school and furthermore, many parents fail to raise their children in a way that would enable them to answer such queries.
Sometimes, all these answers are within ourselves; however, there is often a discrepancy between what we have and what we manage to do with it. Theoretically, we all know the root of our problems and the solutions to them, but we lack discipline to realize it. This is the point where the Òrìṣà can enter our lives and give us an opportunity to lead a better and happier existence.
The advantage of our philosophy lies in the fact that with the help of a spiritual orientation we can access the source of our problems and find solutions to them that are conditioned on the performance of certain rituals and changes in our attitude and behaviour.
We cannot expect miracles to occur solely on the basis of the rituals if we are unwilling to change our behaviour.
We can ask Ọ̀ṣun (the divinity of love and fertility) to bring love into our lives as much as we want, but if we are possessive, arrogant, and authoritative, nobody will stay with us for long. If we wish to have a peaceful home, we have to be tolerant towards our cohabitants, and the same is true for our workplace. All of the qualities that can make our lives better and easier can be obtained from the Òrìṣà – but only when substantiated by self-discipline, of course, not merely on the basis of rituals and initiations.
With the help of the Òrìṣà, we acquire the energy, knowledge, and wisdom that are necessary to lead a successfully life. It is very important that we manage our lives effectively as this is the only way to pass the same positive habits onto our descendants. How can we raise our children to be stable and happy people if we ourselves are insecure and miserable?
We can only give what we have, and worshipping the Òrìṣà means to consciously acquire the positive qualities that result in a wonderful life.
We never manipulate the Òrìṣà or treat them as our servants. The Òrìṣà are the wisdom that can bless us with intelligence and make us wise. And if we possess life wisdom, we stand a better chance to be happy.