In most states, the priestly role has been transformed. But it is useful, as one examines the priestly role in modern western states, to consider a more traditional relationship between the priest and the state. One of the more interesting manifestations of the role of religion within political life is that of the priests of the practitioners of the old religions of Africa as re-established in the Western Hemisphere, particularly in Marxist-Leninist Cuba. (here)
For the last six years I have written of the annual letter of the Cuban Council of the High Priests of Ifá (Consejo Cubano De Sacerdotes Mayores De Ifá), the practitioners of traditional religion brought over from West Africa with the slave trade and now naturalized as a powerful indigenous religion throughout the Caribbean and growing in the United States. (e.g., 2017, 2016, 2015; 2014; 2013; 2012).
La Letra del Año comenzó a emitirse en Cuba a finales del siglo XIX, sin poder precisar la fecha exacta. Por datos y documentos se revela que babalawos procedentes de las diferentes ramas religiosas existentes en el país comenzaron a reunirse para efectuar con todo rigor las ceremonias establecidas, que concluían el primero de enero con la apertura de la Letra del Año. (EcuRed, Letra del Año) (The Annual Letter was first produced sometime near the end of the 19th century. Existing evidence suggests that the Babalawos of the different branches of the faith in the nation started to gather together to invoke with all rigor the appropriate ceremonies that concluded on the 1st of January) with the opening of the Letter of the Year).
Probablemente uno de los acontecimientos más importantes y que une tanto a religiosos como ateos en Cuba es la salida, en los primeros días de enero, de la Letra del Año, interpretación del oráculo de Ifá con las predicciones para el año que comienza.El cuerpo de la Letra del Año lo conforman recomendaciones, sugerencias, advertencias, etc, para pasar tener un año provechoso y sin grandes percances. Casi todas las áreas quedan cubiertas entonces, desde la salud hasta la familia, sin dejar de pasar por acontecimientos de índole política y medioambiental. (CiberCuba, Letra del Año) [In all likelihood, one of the most important events that unites both religious and atheists in Cuba is the delivery, in the first days of January, of the Letter of the Year, interpretation of the oracle of Ifá with the predictions for the coming year. The body of the Letter of the Year is made up of recommendations, suggestions, warnings, etc., to have a successful year and avoid major mishaps. Almost all areas are covered then, from health to the family, without avoiding events of a political and environmental nature]
Oración Profética: Iré ariku Yale Tesi timbelaye Lese Orunmila. (Un bien de salud completa, siguiendo los patrones de Orunmila).
Onishe: Aladimu (Rogativa a Orunmila con 16 frutas en una canasta, y sus velas).
Divinidad que Gobierna: YEMAYA.
Deidad Acompañante: ELEGUA
Bandera del Año: MITAD BLANCA MITAD AZUL, CON RIBETES NEGROS.
Ebbo: UN CHIVO MAMON, 7 MACHETES, 7 BANDERAS, TIERRA 4 ESQUINAS, ROPA SUDADA, Y DEMAS INGREDIENTES.
Refranes del signo:
-Toda persona es digna de respeto.
-Si no sabes con la ley que se vive en este mundo, tienes que ir a vivir al otro.
-Los padres no piden bendición a los hijos.
-Si no sabe el camino del derecho que le pertenece, el muerto sí.
-El hijo sigue la tradición del padre.
Código ético de Ifá: El osorde es un acto secreto que el Awó no debe divulgar.
En este signo nace:
Obras del signo:
Onishe Orunmila: Aladdimu ni opolopo asogi fun Ifá, ofrenda de frutas variadas (dieciséis partes de frutas) ofrecidas en una canasta y dos velas blancas para Orunla.
Plantas del signo:
Flor de agua
Pico de pato
Nota: en aras de esclarecer cualquier duda, se recomienda, acudir a los mayores.
Osa-Se is here relevant--but perverse. In a year long context of revelations and of revolution on that basis, Osa-Se warns against false accusation. But these are false accusations built on a pattern of falsity, that of of the manipulation of revelation for other purposes. I would expect that this is a year in which data itself become corrupted--not that information is false, but perhaps falsely used. It will be the accusations that are false not the information on which it is made. This can apply to the conduct of institutions as well as of individuals ("A difa fun Owa. Owa nfi oju ole wo enikan tokose"). And it will require sacrifice as both revelation and the falsity of accusation will complicate communication ("won niki o wa rubo ki Esu ma baa tiilo dunrunmo eniyan kan saa ti ko see").
Ogbe-Sa amplifies the perversity of communication, revelation and disruption. It warns against deceit from friends (not enemies) and of the need to finish what is started. But the warning is for both the deceived and the deceiver--for the former who is to be sacrificed might by a presence of mind escape the consequences of deceit, while the deceiver might wind up the sacrifice herself. One is warned against the game player who invokes rules of play (in a game of death, of sacrifice) with which one is nor familiar but for which there is trust because the rules are said to be old. Here the story of the ram seeking to sacrifice Iki by playing a game of hiding inside a bowl reminds us that knowledge of deceit may come too late ("Emi ko mo pe're iku l'Agbo nba mi se"") but that in the end it is the deceiver who is deceived.
Otura-Tiyu (or rete or irete) points to the excess inherent in the use or misuse of talent but also of the growth of new from old. It speaks to preparation and moderation--to planning and preparedness. Yet that suggests that old is being swept aside, perhaps as a consequence of its inability to manage its tendency toward excess. It speaks to the regularity of the waves but also of their destructive effect on the land. It speaks to new solutions--it is a movement away from repetition and into unknown space. And the intimation is a warning about the consequences of the revelation-shocks that the year will bring--the consequences of which will be both unexpected and untimely.
All of these warnings apply to states, to enterprises and to the relationships (power relationships) among people. It is focused on women--or the culturally female but suggests that female inter-relations are as subject to its general warnings as those in the dialectic among the culturally male and culturally female. The Oddu do not appear to be speaking as much to gendered wars (physically manifested) as to the manifestation of gender dynamics within relationships and the consequences of exposure, of deceit, and of the arrogance of power (which is not gendered at all). This is a period in which trust ought to be in shorter supply and in which things are made to appear in particular light for specific effect, and where ultimately those efforts will produce disaster and the overturning of power hierarchies in the face of talent and need.
And especially there is an undertone here--it cautions about the reflex to admire the great and powerful for what they do, when their talents do little to meet the needs of those who power serves. It is a warning to the powerful that sometimes their efforts to impose a hierarchy of worth on the basis of size and power will undo them where talent and specific skills are needed. A further warning--power when used to cut and separate--to destroy--will produce nothing; it is only when the small and nimble are able to cobble the pieces together that something useful can be made.