Ibori is a very simple but powerful ritual that can be done to connect with your Ori while ritually cleansing and feeding it.
The ritual presented below has been presented in basic form. When Ibori is performed by a Babalawo or Orisa priest, it often becomes a much more involved endeavor.
However, for the sake of simplicity, the basic ritual has been presented here. It is also important to note that the ability to divine is an important part of performing Ibori, as you can determine:
- Whether an Ibori needs to be performed?
- What specific offerings your Ori needs?
- Whether your Ori has accepted the offerings after they have been made?
IFA Divination: One can determine this by learning the 16 major Odu IFA positions using Opèle or Ikin as they provide very deep and super clear from IFA.
The Ikin or Opele must be fully consecrated before being engaged for IFA divination.
NOTE: Consult a renowned Babalawo to consecrate your Ikin or Opele.
EBO AND OFFERINGS
There are many basic offerings to one’s Ori. Obviously, it is best if these are determined via divination whenever possible. The following questions may be asked through casting IFA:
- Does my Ori need to receive an offering at this time?
- Does it need to receive (insert individual items until you find what it wants?
- Are there any other offerings that my Ori requires at this time?
Some materials often used to feed one’s Ori are:
- Cool water (omi tutu)
- Honey (oyin)
- Dry gin (oti)
- Dried fish (eja aro)
- Bitter kola nut (orogbo)
- Kola-nut (obi abata)
- Sugar cane (ireke)
- Red palm oil (epo pupa)
- Efun (native chalk)
- Shea butter (ori)
- Coconut milk
Some of the above offerings are given for the following reasons:
Cool water – to cool, calm and refresh, especially to ease a “hot” situation
Honey – to sweeten and bring joy
Dry gin – to bring pleasure and strength
Kola-nut – to stimulate, give life, avert problems and bring wisdom. Kola-nut is a very important component!
Bitter kola – good for ase, also protection and longevity
Sugar cane – to bring sweetness and ire
Palm oil – to smooth, sustain & ease, also used for abundance
Shea butter – to protect and soothe
Coconut milk – to offer a very strong cooling energy
Meat – to offer strength
Fruits – to make one’s destiny fruitful and add nourishment to ones destiny
The simplest offering is pure cool water. Even when nothing else is available, we always have cool water and this can be used to cool the Ori, to ease the mind and to remove the “heat” from our heads.
Often the head (ori) is also washed in a specially prepared Omiero made by a Babalawo or Olorisa. Omiero, as most people know it, is water with certain herbs, the combination determined by the use in question. It may also include blood from an animal.
In Africa, depending on area, Omiero refers to snail blood or snail blood in water or snail blood in water with ewe ero.
Omi-ero; “Omi” is the word for water and “ero” is a plant. Snail blood is white and is Obatala’s favorite offering.
It is the most powerful cooling and tranquility inducing compound you can use on your Ori.
It also imparts the wisdom of Obatala. Ero is a powerful plant or ewe for its cooling and calming properties as well as its attraction of ire (good fortune).
We bring the qualities of Obatala and Orunmila into our heads when doing ibori.
One of the best and most powerful omiero for this specific task is one made with:
- Spring water
- Snail blood
- Ewe ero
- Coconut water
- Soft meat
- Efun (white native chalk)
- Ori butter (shea butter)
Any combination of these products will do, if you don’t have all of them. Ewe ero can be found at any botanica.
If you can find African snails in your area great, if not, local ones will do. You cut open the snail and squeeze out the blood into the water.
Get a fresh green coconut and add its water to your water. You can chop up the soft meat and add it to the omiero or use it to place on top of your head later, under your head wrap.
Add some ori butter and efun. Both are easy to get. If you have a Babalawo who can make it for you, that is optimal.
If not, state your intent as you add each ingredient and why you are adding that ingredient. This omiero can also be used as a bath.
One’s Ori is very sensitive and one should always be careful what they are placing on their Ori. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. This is why divining to determine what one’s Ori requires is very important.
There are times that one’s Ori will be stimulated “heated” but this should only be done after one has been properly trained because one must know the proper way of cooling the Ori after it has been stimulated.
TIME TO PERFORM IBORI
Ibori is best performed in the morning, before talking to anyone but then you would have to spend the rest of the day indoors, which is not practical for many people so you can do it in the evening, at a time when you will not have to leave the house again for any reason.
You should also make sure that you will be relatively undisturbed after the ritual takes place, as you will need to remain “cool” for the rest of evening.
Before starting the actual offering, take a bath or shower. If you have any consecrated black soap (highly recommended), you may use that to cleanse your head of any negative energy that may have accumulated.
Another reason why it is best to have divination done is that you may need to do some work to remove negative energy before you do Ibori.
Relax and wash away the physical dirt, but also try to release some of the emotional/spiritual dirt that we all pick up each day.
Take as much time as you need for this part, as it is very important to be relaxed when you begin working with your Ori.
After your bath or shower, dress in the lightest color clothing you can find – ideally an all white outfit, including under garments.
Avoid anything very bright or dark. Go to the area you have designated for the Ibori ceremony. Some people choose to do this before their Ancestral shrine, if they have not ritually received Igba’Ori.
Wherever the ritual is performed, it is important that the area be neat and clean and free from any disturbances for the duration of the ritual itself. The space should be consecrated with Holy water.
Washing – sprinkle the water around and say; omi tutu (cool water), Ile tutu (cool earth), Esu tutu (if you have an esu sprinkle it), Egun tutu (ancestors), Ire Orunmila, ire, ire, ire o!
Anointing – the tongue or mouth is the source of ofo ase – the power of the word. Most of the time, ataare pepper, palm oil or kola is used. In this case, you would use the one for Obatala, which is efun. Just lick it. I like to say this oriki when I do anointing: Ase Orisa enu u mi o. Ase Orisa enu u mi. Eyi ti mo ba ti wi. N’Irunmole o gba. Ase Orisa enu u mi. The ase of Orisa in my mouth. The ase of Orisa in my mouth. Whatever I say, is what the divinities will sanction. The ase of Orisa in my mouth.
Invoking – Chants and prayer are an important part of any Ifa ritual, no matter how simple or how complex. Before beginning the formal ritual itself, one should chant iba (homage), oriki and in this case chants to Ori.
Feeding – offer the sacrificial items listed above to your Ori.
Reading – cast IFA using Ikin or opele to verify acceptance of offerings.
We must say our “Iba’s” (homage) which are used to start all ritual.
IBA’SE – IFA PRAYER OF PRAISE
Ope ni fun Olorun
Gratitude to the owner of the realm of the Ancestors
Oba ajiki Homage to the Creator, the King who we praise first
Iba Ogege, Oba ti ngb’ aiye gun
Homage to Mother Earth, who sustains the Universal alignment of all things in nature
Homage to the Spirit of the Earth
Homage to the Spirit of purity
Iba’se ila Oorun
Homage to the power of the East
Iba’se iwo Oorun
Homage to the power of the West
Homage to the power of the North
Homage to the power of the South
Iba atiwo Orun
Homage to all things that live in the invisible realm
Homage to the Spirit of Consciousness
Iba Ori inu
Homage to the Spirit of the Inner Self
Iba Iponri ti o wa l’Orun
Homage to the Spirit of the Higher Self who lives in the Invisible Realm of the Ancestors
Orun Ori nile, e oo jiyin, e oo jabo oun ti e ri
The Invisible Realm of the Ancestors is the permanent home of the Inner Self, it is there that the Inner Self accounts for what it has done during the Journey to Earth
Iba Orunmila, Eleri ipin iku dudu atewo, oro to si gbogbo ona
Homage to the Spirit of Destiny, Witness to Creation, the averter of Death, the Power of the Word that opens all doors
Iba Awo Akoda
Homage to the Diviner named Akoda, the first student of Orunmila
Iba Awo Aseda
Homage to the Diviner named Aseda, the one who taught Ifa to the world
Iba Egun, Egungun kiki Egungun
Homage to the Ancestors, I give respect to the realm of the ancestors
Iba Awon Iya Wa, Eleiye
Homage to our Mothers, Owners of Birds
Iba Esu Odara, Okunrin ori ita, ara Oke itase, ao fi ida re lale
Homage to the Divine Messenger of Transformation, the Man of the Crossroads, from the Hill of Creation, we wil use your sword to touch the Earth
Iba gbogbo Orisa
Homage to all the Orisa
Iba gbogbo Irunmole
Homage to all the Irunmole
Homage to my father and homage to my mother
Ibashe, Ibashe, Ibashe, O
Oriki Ori (Prayers To Ori)
Ori san mi,
Ori san mi,
Ori san mi
Ori san igede
Ori san igede
Ori san igede
Ori oto san mi ki nni owo lowo
Ori tan san mi ki nbimo le mio
Ori oto san mi ki nni ayaOri oto san mi ki nkole mole
Ori ni ma sin
Ori ni ma sin
Ori ni ma sin
Iwa’ ni mope
Ori guide me
Ori guide me
Ori guide me
Ori support me
Ori support me
Ori support me
Ori support my abundance
Ori support my future children
Ori support my relationship
Ori protect my house
It is my Ori whom I shall worship, it is my Ori whom I shall worship, it is my Ori whom I shall worship
Protector of the children, my inner character is thankful. Ase
At this time, you should begin to present the offerings to your Ori. The offerings are always presented to the head starting with the “third eye” area, moving to the top of the head and proceeding to the base of the skull.
As you present each offering, you should tell your Ori the reason for making that particular offering.
For instance: “Ori, as I give you honey for sweetness, please make my life sweet and full of joy.” “Ori, I give you this gin to bring strength and pleasurable experiences to my path.”
This should be done for each offering as it is presented to the head. If the offering is something liquid or creamy like shea butter, you use the middle finger on your left hand starting between the eyes around the eyebrows and over the head to the base of the skull.
If it s a solid object, place it against your forehead. The offerings are not only presented to the head, but also to the navel (the place of the Ori Inu) and the big toe (a connection to one’s Ancestors).
Use the same finger for the navel and your index finger for your right big toe. While touching the navel with the offering(s), one may say the following prayer:
May my Ori Inu always work in harmony with my Ori. The offerings are then touched to the right big toe, and one may say the following prayer: May my feet not lead me astray. May the wisdom of the Ancestors guide me toward my destiny.
These offerings will ultimately be placed on the head, but if giving a lot of loose items (pieces of kola, orogbo, sugar cane, small bits of fruit, etc.) one may place the items on a white plate until they have all been presented.
CLOSING IBORI CEREMONY
At this point, divine using Ikin or Opele to determine if all of the offerings have been accepted or to ascertain if your Ori requires anything else.
Sometimes Ori may require additional offerings, increased quantities of a particular item, repeated recitation of prayers (Oriki) etc.
One should make sure that the ceremony is not closed until Ori has accepted the offerings made during the Ibori.
Once all of the offerings are accepted, some (like the coconut meat, honey, ori butter, gin, etc.) may be placed on the crown of the head one at a time (if any items remain on the white plate).
After all of the offerings have been placed, the head should be wrapped with a clean white cloth used specifically for this purpose.
The cloth should secure the items on the head and prevent them from spilling out.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The white cloth on the head is very important, as it deflects energy away from your Ori. Your Ori is in a delicate state at this time and must be protected. The white headwrap or hat must be worn all day or all night.
After doing Ibori, one must remain calm and cool for the rest of the day or evening (this is why it is best to do at night, before bed).
It is important to make every effort to keep one’s head “cool” and to avoid any heavy work load. Additionally, engaging in any form of sexual activity is strictly prohibited for the remainder of the evening.
It is important to rest and allow the ase presented to Ori to settle appropriately. The offerings are left on the head overnight and are generally discarded the following morning.
Most people remove the offerings before showering in the morning. You can divine to ask where your Ori would like the items left – a river, forest, four junction…. etc. It is possible to simply discard the items in the trash if this is confirmed through divination.