Monday, January 03, 2022

Letra del Año 2022 from the Babalawos "Independistas" of Cuba


Pix Credit HERE

In a prior post I noted that the short lived union of the principle collectives of Cuban Ifá practitioners was effectively dissolved in 2021 (The Orishas Speak: The 2022 Letter of the Yoruba Association of Cuba (Letra del Año para el 2022 de la Asociación Yoruba de Cuba) and My Preliminary Interpretation).  The "oficialistas" of the Asociación Cultural Yoruba de Cuba (ACYC) continue to dominate the ceremonials and production of an annual divination for the state and the world.  But its connection to the state apparatus tends to color the interpretation of the divination--though it may not affect the divination itself. The now excluded members of the Cuban Ifá community continue on as the Miguel Febres Padron Awo Odi Ka group.  They have this year also divined for the nation and the world and produced their own Letra del Año for 2022--"Preedicciones de Ifá para el año 2022. "

The production of multiple oracles reminds one that both signs and meaning are both fluid and dynamic.  It reminds as well of the nature of the connection between object (divination), its signification (manifestation of engagement with exogenous guiding forces) and interpretation (the way the recipient takes object and sign and from it constructs a meaning from within the permissible universe of meaning that may be made). In this case that universe of meaning making is the language world making of ifá itself.  That provides (like that of I-Ching; for example), the language, principles, conceptualizaitons, and signification tropes that are necessary to extract signification from objects and then invest objects signified with meaning.  The medium for the rationalization is language that both abstracts objects and then provides the bridge between what is produced (signified objects) and their rationalization within a meaning universe that serves as the discursive universe of the community of believers.  That does not make it any more or less real than anything else.  It merely suggests, and in this case in a quite revealing way, the forms that communities of meaning makers (religious communities, political communities, identity based communities, and the like) not just construct but live through their meaning universe in ways that are compelling for the community. All taken together, it might be possible to assume that the collective meaning making of all belief communities simultaneously layered might get those capable of the exercise with a more comprehensive glimpse of meaning frm the source of signification.   

All of this to say that the Letra del Año produced by the fraternity of independista babalawos is as significant as that produced by the oficialistas.  More important, read together, the combined divination acquires greater discursive power (that is its meaning becomes clearer). The resonances are also quite apparent. The ruling divinity is both is Obatala.  The accompanying divinity is different though.  The oficialistas  designate Oshanla (who is an important aspect of the secondary oddu of the independista oracles, Otura di (No. 118)). The independistas designate Oshun as the accompanying guiding divine aspect, which then inverts the ruling aspects of divine guidance from the 2020 Letra (Oshun accompanies by Obatala).  The substitution of Oshun for Oshanla is interesting in light of the divined principal oddu, Ogèwónrí ((obe juani; No. 25)) that speaks to personal choices and the need for sacrifice to ensure that the proper choice is made. The final supporting oddu, Ogunda meji (Np. 9) speaks to conflict and is in the realm of Oggun--passion, conflict, violence.  Its resonance with the final accompanying oddu of the oficialista oracle, ofun 'gbe (No. 46) is unmistakable.   

So here one is in the world of choices that must be made--and sacrifices toi ensure that they choices are correct.  That is a difficult process--but one that suggests both suiters and rejection.  Just as there will be embrace of people, things, causes, states, governments, ideals, practices and the like--so will there be rejection and abandonment of others. The choice belongs, however, not to the suitors but to those who will have the power to choose.  That choice may be violent (ogunda maji) and that in part may be a conseqeunces of the controlling behaviors of the suitors (Otura 'dí). And yet Otura di does not suggest  that the rejected suitor is alone controlling but that the choices made themselves may reduce one to dependency (the story of Adi who was to marry iyaleta (Sunrise) who was advised he would always tremble at the sight of his wife.  Adi refused the sacrifice. And the independista oracle suggests that in this context, choice may be unpalatable as well as the source of conflict. This serves as an inmportant complement to the oracular emphasis of the oficialista vision. When read together, both suggest that the emphasis for the year will be on cinflict/violence, and unpalatable choices and of the overturning of things as well.  Otura dí speaks to Orí-Awo for whom it was predicted that he would wear his father's crown, but that he was warned to make sacrifice to ensure a long life.  Whatever the movement in 2022, there will be no assurances of permanency.  For that, perhaps, both oracles imply that one will have to wait for a time beyond 2022.  

The independista Letra del Año follows, along with an English translation of parts. The analysis of the Ltrea del Año 2022 of the oficialistas may be accessed HERE.


Ruling Sign: Obe juani

1st accompanying oddu: Otura di

2nd accompanying oddu: Ogunda meyi

Prophetic prayer: Osorbo Aro Kaffetri Leri (illness is prodced from bad behavior)

Odua onire: a pleading with two halves of a dry coconut, with its juices and 2 candles; Onishe to Olokun-Awan-Otan

EBBO: three eggs for Eleggua after which one prepared Sarayeye with them which is broken up over Eleggua, 3 jio jio with which one makes Sarayaye which is used as sacrifice for Eleggua, i fish, a black handkerchief and other ingrediantes. Otan

Guiding Divinity: Obatala

Accompanying guiding Divinity: Oshun 

Flag: half white/half yellow

Illness against which extreme care must be taken:

1. cardiovascular diseases

2. Respiratory illness (Tuberculosis)

3. Disorders of the central nervous system

4. Congential malformations; issues with reproductive organs

5. Skeletal issues (cancer)

6. Skin diseases (e.g., scabies, etc.)

7. Reactions to medicines that have expired or are spoiled.

 Events of note for society

1. Substantial attention to the best hygiene possible is recommended in one's home and in public places generally, to avoid new pandemic outbreaks in addition to those already present

2. Religious practitioners and interested others should  perform a thorough cleansing making use of appropriate herns and plants

3. The education of the young must be ramped up significantly to avoid the deformation of  (or development of bad) conduct (deformaciones de la conducta)

4. Family unity in all things ought to be preserved

5. Serious mesures must be taken to avoid domestic violence and their fatal conseqeunces

6. One is advised of the danger of all kinds that may arise from criowds of people in public places

7. Conspiracy sign: where some come together to prejudice others

8. Rising violence relating to interpersonal relations

9. Parents should respect the rights of their children; and children should respect their parents. 


This sign recommends respect for diversity to achieve more harmonious social relations. 

More and better use of green medicine is recommended as an alternative (to conventional medicine). 

A call is made to the rescuing of societal ethical and moral values as the fundamental toolfor the development (socialization) of our youth.

This sign urges religious to pay due respect to tradition recieved from the ancestors.

Herbs recommended for use under this sign: hierba buena (varieties from the mint family), Zazaparilla (sasaparilla); Campana lanca (Brugmansia arborea ); and Tua Tua (bellyache bush) (but consult with one's spiritual advisor)

Sayings to Guide Behvior of this Sign (crude translation)

1. The longest path is made short when one returns home

2. Love kills love and seeds hatred.

3. The head always triumphs over bad fortune

4. The street is lit up and the house is dark.

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