Understanding Ayanmo and Living
in Peace Through Ifa
by Awotunde Ifaseyin Yao Zannu © 2001-2004
It is taught (by all religions including Ifa) that when Olodumare originally made human beings and placed them upon our sacred Earth (Onile), they followed the will and divine map of the Creator unadulterated because they possessed an unparalleled respect for their Creator. Their was profound respect for Olodumare because Man knew that Olodumare did not place her/him upon the Earth arbitrarily. It was know that if all things in existence came from Olodumare, and that It was the ultimate divine cause; and that that Divine Cause created the then, of course, that made the Earth itself sacred - the very place that Olodumare provided for human habitation. By extension, this would mean that Man's mission upon Earth had to have a degree of sacredness or divine purpose to it. Simply put, Olodumare put us humans here upon Onile to serve It through the divine Orisa - the sacred functionaries of the Creator.
Within the Ifa spiritual ontology we find the word ayanmo which is the conceptual term for "destiny". The human Ori is that part of our inner makeup that contains the ayanmo, or blueprint for your life incarnation. Olodumare created all human beings with their own individual Ori. Ifa teaches that one's Ori is one's closest connection to the Creator Essence called Olodumare in Ifa. For the human to live it's true Creator consciousness, one's individual Ori has to be in alignment with the divine plan. That divine plan, the very will of Olodumare, is contained within our Ipori- the "Higher Self" of the human. But as was to be expected, humans began to prove vulnerable to their own frailties and flawed intellects, or what I like to call their unconditioned Oris. They began to allow their desires, their wills, and their misplaced wishes to rule them. Thus, the human being began to change allegiances. Of course, when this happens humans fall out of the view and favor of Olodumare, and become easy prey for the delusions of the warriors against mankind called ajogun in the Yoruba language.
Anytime we are out of favor with Olodumare this means that we are either ignorant of what it is that the Creator requires of us or we simply do not want to be in Its service. In either case, one cannot expect assistance when we remove ourselves from the service of Olodumare. This is what we are doing when we do not listen to Olodumare, and the will of Olodumare as expressed through the sacred scriptures of Ifa - Odu Ifa. When we do not listen to the Orisa we tend to want to listen more to ourselves, that unconditioned Ori, while at the same time not realizing that damage that we are doing to our spiritual constitution and violating what Olodumare has envisioned for our success on Onile.
Thus, the human becomes more vulnerable to temptations; temptations often facilitated by the great Orisa Esu. Yes, Esu will be the one to lead you further away from Olodumare even when your destiny orignally spelled success in life. But keep in mind that this is simply how Esu works. But as long as we are doing what we are supposed to be doing spiritually, Esu will be our best agent in the plan of life. Doing the opposite makes Esu seem to be our enemy when in all actuality we have become our own enemies. This is why Ifa scripture sometimes refers to Esu as an enforcer and sometimes as a trickster.
So, many who come to Ifa with common Western misunderstandings of spirituality will often say that Esu has done this and that to us. But no, it is our own flawed intellects; it is our own wrong understandings and actions. You see Esu cannot and will not thwart any human progress unless he sees a necessity to help set the world order straight in the first place. So, the energy has to at least be there for him to operate in that manner. A simple understanding of this is saying that as long as we are understanding life from the perspective of Spirit then Esu is with us to block out all the negating forces.
Olodumare has given us a prescription to deal with all issues of life and that prescription is found in the vast corpus of sacred Afrikan scripture.