Monthly Archives: August 2018

Ịlọ Chi na Ịlọ Ụwa: The Cosmic Journey of the Soul in Igbo Cosmology & Spirituality


Uli designs by Igbo women

To the point, Ịlọ Ụwa is soul re-manifestation process also known as reincarnation, just as Ịlọ Chi is the original pre-birth divine soul manifestation act of Okike the supreme creator, which originally emanated the individual soul from the divine one cosmic soul (Ọma Ụwa/Ele Ụwa) at the moment of universal creation. Igbo proverbial lore expounds that Ugwu nyịrị anyị makana ọkwerọ ọfeke ngala for time is a special universal element of our realm and therefore precious. The universal cycles which generates this time currency stops to wait for no one, so that one must reap and sow in harmony with them. Ịlọ Ụwa is further still that cosmological stairway of spiritual maturity which is descended and ascended by the soul in the universal worlds with the final aim of transcending the universal worlds and returning back to its original source in the realm of Chi, for existence in the universal worlds is existence in temporality and limitations. Igbo spirituality and lifeworld as a whole is an intricately engineered journey towards this grand destination of humanity and a mirrored extension of the divine ordinance and cosmological principle of egbe na enu unyo na ana.

With this grand level of involvement anticipated in its wisely simplified processes, it is only proper that, access to our cosmic (i.e. non-temporal) memory in consciousness here in the universal world should naturally grant us a great lift from the pits and rungs of our previous climbs of the spirit, and this is what Ọdịnala aspires to with nature as its direct bridge in this realm of universal worlds. As the universe itself is destined a life in grand cycles culminating at the seventh viz. erete ụwa dị ịsaa eji alọ ụwa na ịsaa-ịsaa, so also is the cycle of reincarnation cosmologically capstoned at seven, with the exception of where ọghọm ụwa na ọmetalụbulu (i.e. karma) causes a delay and brings about more subsequent returns. In our present material well-being obsessed world, this exception has become the rule, so that people now assume that infinite reincarnation is the norm which is the fantasy to stay in “sin” or ignorance while “grace” or time is abundant, which is just that – an illusion. The complete reversal of this mode of being called The Fool.

Fool Tarot Cards

(Ọfeke) is what The Wise called Ọmalụ strives to accomplish. This is called Ịme Ọdịnala Chi Ụwa (soul cultular spirituality) or Ịme Chi Ụwa for short, which universal journey is socially celebrated and mystically counted or marked and capstoned with the original Ichiri Chi Ụwa titular rites and ceremonies which the natural Igbo person gravitates to in their universal trotting of accomplishments hunting. As the arch-nomads of the ancient world, movement and traveling is a fairly super instinct in the Igbo person. For having circumvented their present planet in the earliest far deem eras of their presence here, Igbo people naturally became propelled to channel and transform their hyper nomadic instinct and advanced spiritual wisdom gained from their intense nomadic experiences in primeval nature towards an industrious propensity and successfully became technology nomads. At this, they excelled beyond match among their original ancient clan siblings till their much recent decline in spirituality & creativity. Only thus recently have this advanced instinct been blunted and watered down to the trivial economic nomadic consciousness it is familiarized with as of today.

As with reincarnation, the Igbo nomadic instinct is also acutely practical of the Eje Ana Bụ Isi Ije cosmological principle i.e. going forth to life and returning seasoned with wisdom; the journey of incarnation and transcendence. This is to illustrate the reason for the characteristic proactivity of Echichi orders and lodges in Ọdịnala, such as Igbu Ichi, Ichi Iyom, Ichi Ọzọ, Ichi Ekpe, Ichi Eze, Ichi Ekwe, Ichi Lọlọ, Ichi Ọdụ Ichi Ebiri etc. For originally, within these ancestrally established orders and their lodges, were cultivated some of the most advanced Igbo spiritual techniques of enlightenment and cosmic principles or powers of accomplishment. When properly examined in the realm of energy, the memory of these descents and ascents in beings are captured by the soul in a shell-like spiral characterizing its revolutions in energy as would be seen at the center of a tree’s core, for instance.

Tree rings

The soul uses this memory to build a suitable and meriting body for its self in the womb of the universal worlds. When it has achieved this peak of ascent, it reincarnates no more and departs the universal worlds and its cycles of temporality and boundaries of limitations. Since very ancient times in Igbo land, it is known among Igbo seers of varied calibers who could directly see energy without the aid of any tools (Ndị na afụ ịkpa chi/Ịfụ ịkpa chi) that at the expiation of a material body whose in-habiting soul had actually completed its last cycle of returns to the universal world and was now ready to merge with Ọma the one cosmic soul of the androgynous supreme cosmic divinity Chi na Eke, at this point, it takes on the semblance of a feathered or a winged serpent upon its release from the body shell. Such a soul is regarded as having attained the angelic ancestral status of Ushi Egwurugwu i.e. hallowed ancestors of glorious transcendence or rainbow ascent).

The natural cymatia sign of the Chi at fulfilment or rest (which is captured in the Nshịbịrị script) enshrines within it the original mystical architecture of the Tree of Life revealing the completed cellular memory map of what the Chi’s finalized journey in the universal spheres looks like:- a rainbow feathered serpent coiled on a tree pole with its head raised above the pole in victory, illuminated with the golden hallow of enlightenment, sporting the rainbow colors of accomplishment and bearing the grand jewel of wisdom. In truth, Nshịbịrị script has layers of subtly engineered functions and purposes, one of which is to reveal the infinitely unique Chi signature vibration frequency geometry from the moment of its incarnation from Okike as it travels as energy in the spirit realm towards the externalized universal world where it will continue to travel in varying less-subtle phases. The script further uses these signatures in a set of multidimensional configurations to communicate and elicit the same signature vibrations from the Chi using the human psyche as a bridge. This first sign, the primordial sign of the Chi at fulfilment or rest, is the oldest symbol of enlightenment in the ancient world, from which original form it was much later miniaturized in many stages into the triangle with the all Seeing Eye symbol of lesser potency.

Nsibidi symbols on Ukara cloth

In reality, the living human proofs of the culmination of Ịlo Ụwa in Ọdịnala is made-manifestly observable in the life of Ndị Gburu Ichi na Ala Igbo. The ancient dictum goes that “onye gburu ichi na mgbe gboo bu onye ga emeri ọnwụ makana igbu ichi bu mmadụ ịdị ndụ kwa onwe ya”. This observation gave rise to the more generalized aphorism that
“onye gburu ichi emerigo onwu”. How is this so, that the culmination of reincarnation also meant the cessation of death? The answer is deceivingly simple but grave: birth gives rise to death as a crack in the human fate and yet death can be defeated whilst one is alive by the highest type of death in which one dies seven times and is resurrected seven times i.e. IGBU ICHI. This been the core mystic act underlying the original Igbu Ichi rite. The great Igbo ancestor Ọlaụda Ekwealọ of extraordinary bravery and genius, observed accurately many centuries ago that originally, Ichi title bearers in Igbo land were regarded as the most enlightened and wise among their peers where ever found, having undergone the mapping of the cellular memory of their Chi’s ascending current onto their face for the whole world to see and bear witness to the ultimate act of worldly denouncement and impeccable devotion to the Chi as codified in Ọdịnala and simultaneously the conquering of the power of temporal memory, they have forever sacrificed their human individual ego, with their own blood as the proof of death and their living body as the sacrificial alter.

They become living human mirrors of enlightenment and rare living proofs to the reenactment of the covenant of reincarnation cessation between the Chi and the soul,  made flesh. Having died before all, they resurrect to never die again, for every Igbo person who beheld them after this, witnessed to a soul who was now in a conscious blooded covenant with their Chi and this state of being is called Ugo Ebe Na Aja (taboo-restored state of innocence) which is why such persons are naturally excluded from doing all forms of manual work. And finally, when they decide that they are contented with life, they simply eject their souls from their bodies at will. They literally defy death and attain Ibi Ụwa i.e. reincarnation cessation. This is who we are.

Igbo Ukwu bronze