The sacred texts of Ifá teach us the importance of feeding the Òrìsà to obtain their favor and to achieve positive changes in our lives. A verse of the Holy Odù Irosun Ose clearly demonstrates the before mentioned. In this instance, Òrunmìlà was sent from heaven to earth to serve as a counselor, to interpret Ifá and to help humankind experience the Good Condition by avoiding life’s dangers, pitfalls and perils. He was carrying out divination and sacrifice to redeem the lives of humanity. He also performed good works for men and their children. He cured to the sick, giving them hope, and bringing harmony to the areas of discord in their lives. All this he did without asking anything in exchange. Èsù noted that nobody thanked Òrunmìlà for his good deeds. Thus, he devised a plan with the Iyaami Osoronga - the powerful mothers.
During his own personal divination, Orúnmìlà learned about the pending arrival of some powerful people on earth. He consulted the oracle and determined that the Iyaami Osoronga would be sent to the world to wreak havoc in the lives of people who offered nothing in exchange for Òrunmìlà’s work. This prompted Òrunmìlà to pay Olódùmarè a visit. En route, he met Iyaami Osoronga. Upon recognizing them, he asked the Iyaami about what he had seen in his divination. “Is it true that you are going to trouble the lives of humans?” When they confirmed, he ask them why. They replied “It is on account of the fact that you have refused to collect any payment for your services to the children of man, and that on account of this other divinities have been suffering hunger.” Òrunmìlà recognized the gravity of the Iyaami Osoronga’s words. He became perplexed because he did not want that the sons of men to be punished. He did not want his work on earth and all his efforts to be destroyed. But at the same time, how could he allow the deities to go hungry? The powerful mothers notified Òrunmìlà that he should tell the inhabitants of earth that they should offer something to appease to the deities and to eliminate the hunger they had been suffering. They assured Òrunmìlà that if people complied with this they would be forgiven for their prior neglect.
Òrunmìlà returned home to consult Ifá and ask what could people offer to appease to the deities and to avoid losses. He was advised to offer obì – kola nut – which each person should place on the shrine of her respective deities to avoid calamities. Orúnmìlà began with his campaign, informing all of humanity to offer obì to ward off death, sickness, curses, losses and defeat. Thus it was that people began to offer obì to their deities and ancestors. This is a custom from ancient times that thrives into the present. Offering obì to the deities is a gesture to be forgiven for misdeeds, to pacify the deities and to avert attacks from the Iyaami Osoronga.
For more information on offering obì and performing the ose ritual, please visit: www.OrisaLifestyle.com/communityworship