Ndu bu ahia. Ahia ka anyi biakwuru iz n’elu uwa nke a
“Life is a marketplace. We have come into this great wide world to buy and sell”
Nnọọ (welcome) to the 13 steps. Each step is designed to help you rediscover yourself and remember what you came to offer to the world. A journal is strongly encouraged for you to keep track of your progress through each step.
Step 1: Ncheta
Do you remember what it was like to successfully make your first step as a baby? Well if you do not, let me take you on a trip down memory lane. After being carried in your mother’s womb for 9 moons, you arrived into this world and spent a lot of time being carried in the arms of other people or on the back of your mother.
When you were not being carried, you were crawling on all fours. Despite your situation, you knew intuitively that you had the ability to do more. As you attempted to go from crawling to walking, you fell hundreds of times.Yet, you did not let that deter you. You did not give up. One day, you finally did it…you stood upright and made your first step, and then another, and then another. Soon afterwards, walking was second nature, followed by running.
Flashing forward to today, despite being far more capable, you likely are full of more doubt than when you were a baby. You’ve probably felt crippled by fear, frequently finding yourself frustrated, and wondering what your life purpose is. You’re less likely to step outside of your comfort zone and when you do try new things, you probably quit if you don’t get immediate results. What happened to you? How did you get this way? And most importantly, what can you do to make a change for the better?
The answers to most of these questions can only be answered by you. However, for the last question, I can be of some assistance. If you’ve gotten this far, you’re ready to make another first step. And that entails that recognizing that your negative feelings of powerlessness, of limitation, of self doubt, of aimlessness, etc, are due to beliefs that are not based on reality.
Your false beliefs about yourself are due to your own forgetfulness; due to you not remembering the very things you knew when you came into this world. Maybe you forgot while trying to “fit in”, or maybe you were forced to forget due to religious and educational indoctrination. Regardless of the how or why, the key thing is that you did indeed forget what was real, and as a substitute, took on beliefs that were not. By doing so, you decided to outsource the control of your life to others.
Well today, you can take another first step, which we will call ncheta, which means remembering in Igbo language.
Step 1: I admit that my negative thoughts, feelings & actions have mostly been due to false beliefs about myself, and I aspire to remember the things I already came into this world knowing.
Action item: Seek out people, places or things that trigger some of the happy memories from your childhood. Recall your sense of imagination, your curiosity, and your intuitive confidence. Remember the things you were good at, what brought you joy, as well as some of the things that both scared but intrigued you at the same time. Take the first step and get ready for step two on the next new moon, September 17. Stay blessed.
This month marks the 10 year anniversary since I began this blog, and to celebrate, I’d like to take you on a journey through time, highlighting the past, the present and giving you a glimpse of the future.
A decade ago, I was sitting in class, halfway paying attention to my thermodynamics professor, and halfway counting down until the end of the lecture. All of a sudden something triggered a portion of a dream I had the night before, and things haven’t been the same for me since.
In my dream from the previous night, I had a conversation with a goddess. The figure was tall and very majestic looking. Her face was covered in white and she wore a regal hairstyle. I recognized her as Ala, the earth goddess, and the most important spirit to Igbo people.
In our conversation, I remembered her explaining to me that her symbol was a lozenge. I was surprised by this revelation. I had surmised that the symbol of the Earth mother would have been a circle engulfing a cross. I went home and found out that the lozenge was indeed the symbol of not just Ani…but of the Mother goddess in other parts of the planet.
After that revelation, other symbols began to make sense to me almost intuitively. I was understanding so much so soon that I felt like I’d go crazy if I didn’t share it all. Hence, that was the genesis of Igbocybershrine.
In the time since that first dream, I’ve had several other inspirations, and even managed to inspire others to write down their insights too. When the site first launched, there weren’t many resources for finding authentic information about Igbo culture or spirituality. However, now there are countless videos and articles that are related to these topics, including quite a few that directly or indirectly reference this site.
However, my friends, I must confess that there was a time when I was feeling unmotivated and nearly walked away from it all, but what brought me back was getting a few emails from readers asking me where I was, and letting me know how important this site had been for them. I’ve realized that in the past 10 years, a community has been growing full of over 1000 subscribers and a couple of content creators. The site gets hundreds of views a day and we get messages from people all over the world. This cyber shrine has become the center of a digital village.
One challenge I’ve faced over the years has been presenting practical information that would be relevant to people today, especially those who live outside of a village environment. Most of what I was learning had to do with the beliefs and practices of people who lived in a time and environment that no longer exists. But I would constantly ask how many of the lessons could be applied to the issues of today, and how they could prepare us for tomorrow.
After taking alot of time to reflect, I came up with a framework that I feel can be very beneficial for people today. I decided to base it off the “12 step” programs that I had seen many people utilize to transform their lives for the better. I took time and utilized Igbo principles as well as some of my own spiritual experiences to map out each step. And to keep it in line with Igbo culture, I added an additional step, bringing the total to 13, which is the number of months in the Igbo lunar calendar.
So umu nnem (brothers and sisters), I’d like to invite you to join me as I spend the next lunar year delving into each step, and detailing how you can apply the lessons in your life right here and now. The first step will be covered during the next new moon, which will fall on the 18th of August. Stay tuned and stay blessed!
Who is Oshimmiri? (Nne Mmiri)
This video explains the Arushi of the Waters. What her powers are in the physical and spiritual world, and how to determine if you are a water element.
“First principles is…boil things down to the most fundamental truths…and then reason up from there.” -Elon Musk
But this concept has been in IGBO from the times of our ancestors. In the book After God is Dibia, it is explained that:
I have always found that proverb interesting. Simplified, it means “whatever one agrees to, their ‘Chi’ will move in accordance with.” It is a fascinating proverb that brings to mind question of what exactly the nature of this “chi” is. We have been educated to believe that ancient Igbos practiced a polytheistic religion, and worshipped idols and spirits represented by totems.
I believe “Chi” is not a religious concept, but a concept that has been seen in Western philosophies yet rejected and perverted in the forms presented in traditional philosophies of African cultures. Western culture looks at African cultures through warped, propagandized lenses. Western culture promotes the idea that historically Africans were (barbaric at best and mentally deranged at worst) people who practiced superstitious, fake magical false religions.
“It seems that as a result of Western influences, we have become caricatures of our ancestors.”
I don’t believe “Chi” is a magical statue. I don’t believe “Chi” is the concept of some “god” (in the religious sense of the word) that controls a person’s destiny. I believe that the idea of “Chi” is actually similar to the biopsychological philosophy of the “soul” that Aristotle attempted to describe in 350 BC.
Aristotle referred to it as the psyche, or ψυχή. Sigmund Freud later tried to describe it in psychological terms using the concepts of “id, ego and superego.” Ultimately, these were all bastardizations and an attempt to unspiritualize the idea of the human being. Sigmund Freud actually stole the word and idea of “ego” from Buddhism and then perverted it to some kind of weird concept of a person’s understanding of their identity.
In actuality, Buddhism talks about the “ego” as a subjective identity as characterized by who a person begins to believe they are which is shaped by culture and environment. It goes much deeper than that, but that is the extent to which I will describe it, because this is not a lesson on Buddhism and I, quite frankly, am not a Buddhist. However, that idea is important to understanding “Chi” as I understand it to be.
Neuroscience has shown that a person can be trained to believe ideas that do not serve them. A person can be trained to have habits that can destroy them. A person can be shaped to become anything using the right psychological and scientific tools (eg. propaganda, peer pressure, conditioning, etc.).
I believe, the “Chi” is that part of a person that has a sense of the way a person should go. The Chi directs a person towards things beneficial, but it also changes its course in alignment with a person’s persistence. I think some may think of it as the instinct, but it I think it is a little different from the instinct, because the instinct can be led astray. I think the Chi can not be led astray or suppressed like the instinct, but can be redirected. I think the “Chi” always knows what is best for a person. However, the person himself, his physical body, may be deceived or led into a dangerous path or a trap by his enemies.
You get a sense of it when you consider the Igbo proverb that states: “A na-agba onyeìsì egbe, chi ya a’na ezere ya mgbọ.” (When a blind man is been shoot at, his Chi/personal god avert bullets for him.)
When Westerners, say “trust your instinct” in a way they are talking about your “Chi,” but they do not understand what they are saying. Your “Chi” can not be destroyed by setting your family statue on fire. However, it can be suppressed if you convince yourself (via your brain) that what your enemy (or society) is showing you, is more true that what you know (or things of this nature).
Someone left the following comment for me on the post I mentioned:
“You are mistaken. The western minds understands chi more than you do. The angels you hear in the Bible is what we call chi.. the difference between them and us is that they are trying to do away with old mentality and as such they keep growing. But we are holding on to the old and yet keep complaining that we are been cheated. Political infulence apart, we are too divided within us than we are United within us. The white is as well divided but they have one common interest which we lack.”
He is correct that other nations have a common interest and vision for themselves and African nations currently do not. However, I believe that everything else this person is speaking is from his own conscience, and that this was said with shallow understanding of the Bible, the Chi and world history.
To be continued…
A guest video post via The Medicine Shell:
“Ka ekere ụwa, agwụ nọ!” (As the world was created, Agwu was there) − Igbo Axiomatic Dictum of the Agwụ Cult
Now, on Agwụ! Not very long ago, the rite of Ịrụ Agwụ in Igbo society and in Ọdịnala generally, was still very well known and understood as a rite for the ritualistic brewing and refinement of intelligence. Parents generally performed the Agwụ rite for their children at quite a young age, so as to ensure smooth psychological transition into full productive adulthood and civil progressive efficiency. The ancients, quite succinctly held that raw intelligence (Ọnatalụ-Chi/Agwụ-Onye-Ụwa) like every other component of creation, underwent a series of process called Ọnụnụ na Nshikọ, to reach an optimized favorable state of function called Elele Ọma Agwụ/Irite Ọma Agwụ. In the specific case of intelligence, this unique process was called Ọnụnụ na Nshikọ Akọnache (Brewing and Refinement of Intelligence) or as it came to be called. Ịlụ Agwụ/Ịru Agwụ lit. the marriage of the two poles of intelligence. In the human faculty of the genome with its nearly inexhuastible sequence of DNA and RNA coding which Ndị Igbo has properly called Akpụkpa Oke na Nne, along with yet another faculty of the cognitive system called the pineal gland or pituitaries (Akpa Uche in Igbo bio-cosmology), these two faculties were held by ancients to be under the bio-psychic influence of Ụmụ Agbara Agwụ – an elder race of comic entities or spirits, far more advanced than humans in both capacity and longevity. The ancient observation and principle was simply put thus: by the primordial causation factor of natural affinity, specific genetic types of creatures of certain genetic qualities. This natural affinity is then enshrined in communal memory and made symbolically manifest in those special Emume (rite and ceremonies) which highlight Ogbụgba-Ndụ-Ndi-Mbụ-na-Aja-Ana lit. the cultural foundation principle of totemism or the ritual-enabled life-force bonding procedures of the first ancestors. Emume Agwụ and Ịru Agwụ set of rituals, properly so, constitutes once of such early totemic situations of Ndị Igbo.
The ancients held that two cosmic pillars of intelligence were channeled by all cosmic beings as Akọ Nne na Akọ Nna (Intuition and Intellect; the disharmonized perception mode of which is called Ose Ọbala). It was discovered that, naturally at birth, human beings came with four basic generic type of features, two of which were more of ‘default’ and feminine in character, while the other two features which were ‘emulated’ – had a masculine character to them. These dual poles of intelligence within human beings were micro-cosmologically localized as genome (Akpụkpa) and instincts (Akọ). The default features, it was learnt, primarily defined one’s nature or speciation, while the emulated features presented an initial maneuverable take-off pad for one’s unique response and optimal interaction levels with the environment. Often these two poles clashed at points of traumatic events in the life of a human being, thereby causing fundamental distortions in the psychological field of such persons. This distorted perception resulting from the two clashing poles of the psyche is called Agbara Agwụ. But whenever the two poles were properly fused into one ritually (Ọlụlụ Agwụ lit harmonious fusion/marriage of the dual psychological force poles of intelligence), then undistorted clairvoyant perception and advanced instinctive flow of interaction with cosmic nature becomes possible for a human being. For as the harmonized instincts henceforth generated flow in synchronicity with the Ụmụ Agwụ-ritually operated, healed, or ‘attuned’ genetics of the initiate, only then dose higher interaction with nature open up for an individual. As earlier pointed out, Agwụ spirits and their various incarnations and avatars throughout the cosmos, were recognized by the ancients as a specific race of wise beings or elder cosmic entities, who, archetypally are the custodians of this cosmic instituted power called intelligence, whose unified cosmic station is called Aka Ose (Uche). These were the Agwụ race of beings, pantheonised as a cosmic extension of the Igbo communal kinship model of Nne + Nna + Nwa, where we now have Nne Agwụ + Oke Agwụ + Nwa Agwụ. Within this non-human order of spirit called Ọra Agwụ, the Nne Agwụ spirit caliber of this race are primordially designated as the governess of the Agwụ cosmic institution and his power. To be sure, the Ụmụ Agbala Agwụ constitutes an entirely sub-pantheon of tutelary beings in the greater pantheon of Igbo deities (i.e. ancestral cosmic elder entities or ancestral cosmic guardians). As Ndị Mbụ, they belong in the highest Igbo pantheon of ancestral entities and through their earlier primeval direct interactions with the later Igbo superhuman ancestors (Ndị Egede), they tutored humanity adeptly and assisted in ushering the very first templates of what we now call Omenala i.e. a grand cult of civilization = culture. This rank of entities are divinely obligated to observe the manifest cosmos through the capacity of specific celestial bodies known as stars (Kpakpando = Kpakpankpa Ndụ) and report back to Chi-Ukwu the Supreme spirit via the Aka Ose Uche cosmic station. At the same time, the Nne Agwụ simultaneously communicates with those members of the Agwụ race of beings and all affiliated with them, through specially dedicated set of instincts called Kpakpankpa Agwụ. The Oke Agwụ entities, on the other hand – are primordially designated with the status of stational tutelaries, facilitating and overseeing the quantum telematic bridging of dimensions, procurement of new information and serving as protective guarding entities of certain hidden knowledge not meant for certain time era of the universal seasons. We are to bear in mind that the ancient Igbo people also hold that the universe itself possesses a soul, which soul they aptly title and ritually channell as Olisa-Chi-Ukwu lit. the consumer of seven or the infinity defying one. The Igbo also say that Amụma si na Olisa abịa lit. all inspirations, past, present and future, have their source in Olisa the one great universal soul of Chi-Ukwu. The Nwa Agwụ or Ụmụ Inyom na Okoro Agwụ spirit are, in this light, the true messengers and the ones whose duty it is to incarnate in specifically designated terrestrial types at the beginning of each universal season for the divine purpose of prompting the characteristic inspirations that will trend or drive the terrestrial creatures of the universe into the cosmic character programmed for each cosmic season. All together, this trinity of entities in a family or sub-pantheon of spirit speciation called Ọra Agwụ are responsible for guarding and transmitting the actual undying spiritual light (Anwụ) of revelations, true knowing, original vision and wisdom.
In very ancient times, the Agwụ divine trinity stood for the sacred triad principle of knowledge, devoted and wisdom. These were called the three psychic forces whose soul-borne internal crystallization is known to birth the true spiritual light of illumination or enlightenment. These triad of entities were portrayed as seen in powerful trance-delivered visions by powerful Dibịa lineage of our planet’s first Ụga Chi world age, through which means we received some of the earliest imageries of what these subtle beings who operated the great cosmic intelligence networks – looked like. While some of the imageries were directly ‘filtered’ from the ultraviolet light frequency curtains of the ritually modified subtle space or astral portal, used for communing with these entities. One may also observe the stunning ancient global uniformity of style in depicting Ụmụ Agbara Agwụ beings. The classic Igbo quantum telematics configurations that go into the setting up, consecration and personalized synchronization of Okwu Agwụ shrine portals and its varied types – will have to be addressed at another time. So also the bio-psychic installation or initiation (lit. Ịru Agwụ Dibịa) of the true Dibịa, whose ultimate spiritual descent is traced to the Nwa Agwụ cosmic spirit rank of the greater Ụmụ Agbara Agwụ trinity, giving birth to the very ancients observation that Dibịa wụ Agbara. This is also the origin of the Eze Agwụ official ritual titular of Ndi Dibịa in ancient Igbo land, which expressed the fact that the properly initiated Dibịa was installed into the spiritual position and responsibility of an archetypal human avatar, leader and human custodian of the Agwụ Cult. Again, generally, the existence of Ụmụ Agbara beings can be better described as been in the cosmic status of immortality and superhuman prowess. With the cosmos itself infinitely needing its cumulative sentience emanated or converted into the existential state called creation, so will Agwụ beings always be needed and present to attend to and guard the processes of intelligence. To put this into a more terrestrial context, just as bees (Ańụ/Anwụ) were designed to attend to and guard the processes of fertility here within the terrestrial life network or eco-system of our planet, so do Agwụ beings dutifully attend to the processes of intelligence throughout the grand cosmic intelligence network.
Classically, Emume Agwụ rites were originally designed as easily memorisable spiritual procedures for psychically accessing one’s ancestral genius pool, establishing a personalized genius management system for such unique genetic contents and rectifying connections with the appropriate rank of Ụmụ Agbara Agwụ beings linked with one’s unique ancestral genetic signatures or genetic genius loci within the greater cosmic intelligence network order. When this ritual alignment or synchronization of intelligence is not carried out and properly installed bio-psychically into an individual’s consciousness, the ancients propounded that unending fleets of psychological distortions will rid the intelligence process of such individuals. The Ịrụ Agwụ rite therefore – was a four-ritual staged process which commenced with the quantum telematics simulation of the dual pillars of intelligence, preceding ritual interface. This is accomplished using Okpesị Agwụ Oke na Nne properly carved from Ogirishi wood (new bouldia). The two poles (Akpụkpa na Akọ) symbolically erected (psychically mirrored) and consecrated i.e telematically configured and activated – were expected to be become fused and fine tuned in operation within the initiated. The fusion was expected to produce a synthesis of the dual force in the initiate’s consciousness (Aka Nta/Aka Ijite), which expressed itself in the form of a new, original awareness perceptive harmony (Akọ si na Akpụkpa Nne + Akọ si na Akpụkpa Nna) and the truly ease-characterized primordial flow with nature called Amara Chi i.e grace of the nature state, which makes one to seem to be operating with an economy of force. In effect, by virtue of cosmic providence, as the Akọ Nne unit of intelligence controls the RNA thus Agwụ influence the DNA through this mode to produce ever-unique responses to nature’s ever-changing states of energy and events – in the initiate. The universal symbols or sign (Arịma) carved into the Okpesi Ụmụ Agwụ are classic Igbo spirit signatures or sigils (Ọwa Mmụọ/Ọwa Agbala/Mkpa Mmụọ), primordially sourced from Nkwọ-Agbara-Ọkpụ the chief spirit gate keeper of our universe’s astral dimensional gates – for purpose of spirit invocation. These universally potent sigils that are made on the Okpesị ritual devices or totems, identifies them as inter-dimensional communication device and like the electric current circuit grids carved into the electronic circuitry boards of today’s contemporary tech. devices – to basically enable a transmission of kinetic energy to “arouse” the “dormant” potential energy of the device into interface activity – the Okpesị Ụmụ Agbala and its varied set of plug-ins or components once activated, granted one the privilege of having a compact, customized multi-channel-capacity and multitasking quantum intelligence “wisdom” into cosmos.
These carved sigils are in-laid with the shredded powder of Nzu and Edo, which are primordially indentified natural smart essences (solar and lunar plasmic substance) capable of vibrating at very high, subtle energy sensitivity levels for at least four days and four nights, upon exposure into the atmosphere. In effect, these ancients Igbo people whose harmonious perception of the cosmos is unmatched till this day – discovered that the energy behavior or interaction of these two smart materials with the environment were exceptional and very benefits for humans, for these two substance charged the atmosphere of ritual spaces to a certain desirable frequency or energy pitch which was highly attractive to those caliber of pure spirits as are found in the Igbo divinity pantheons, the Ụmụ Agbara Agwụ included. This was done to elicit the beneficial attention of the Ụmụ Agbara Agwụ in this subtle realm, as these mythical substances have been primordially honored by these beings as a worthy form of spiritual permit or invitation into higher cosmic realms. Thus said, the second ritual stage of the Ịrụ Agwụ rite was the entity-specific “incantational channeling” and wormhole-ushering” (Ịlọ Agbala/Ịlọ Mmụọ/Ịkpọtu Agbala) of the Ọha Agwụ non-human spirit beings cosmologically affiliated with one’s ancestral genetic genius type – to be seated (Ịnye Ọnọdụ) into this 3rd dimensional zone of the cosmos in the state of Agbara Lọrọ Ụwa i.e a pure spirit being whom has ritually possessed a totemic space, creature or consecrated device, as its sacred vehicle of materialized incarnation. The Ịlọ Agbala Agwụ Ụwa ritual goal is achieved with the offering – among other things – of Okeọkpa, Nneukwu, Abụke Na Uriom Ọkụkọ Igbo, (native Igbo cock, hen, cockerel and chick) at varied stages of the Ịlọ Agbala Agwụ Ụwa incarnation ritual stage.
Foundationally in Ọdịnala, ritual signifies series of sacred actions in sacred time or a sacred moment in time. Therefore, the sacred ritual moment of blood offering in what it says: a key ritual act in series of ritual actions comprising a comprehensive Ọdịnala rite. In the simple act possessing a knowledge which made it possible that, synchronizing specific types of animal blood from ritual sacrifices with other smart mystic substances in specific modes moods, intentions based on eco-specific characters and well observed reactions in cosmic nature – the resulting meta-substance conducted or conjured-up a strong etheric force field into place which could power a temporary or constant tortus vertex for enabling interdimesional streaming of information, hyper-translocation of beings and objects between realms, among other things – this daring application of observed reality to the needs of spirituality and well-being at such an early time in the story of humanity as observed in the compressed mystic kernels of primordial knowledge (Abịa) preserved and transmitted via the core of many Igbo ritual procedures, simply gives away the glaring fact that the ancients where obviously experiencing and expounding a very subtle, unfiled system of spiritual epistemology, a glaring synthesis of scientific technique and ritual arts, now variously known as mysticism, magic, the primordial technique, the sacred arts and sciences, the ancients way, the way of the elders etc. the Okwu Agwụ where these rite were executed were really varied calibers of miniaturized quantum activity enabling stations, where the ancients employed these subtle natural agents and resources scientifically (viz. Abịa ọgwụ ka dibịa jiri bụrụ eze agwụ. Ọ afa ka e bolụ ifenine ọgwụ na eri sị ya gbabalụ ụwa. Ire ka ana achọ na ọgwụ. Ọgwụ di ire, o tuo dibịa gwọlụ ya ugo) and in very artful ritual sequences (viz. Nka ka eji agbado mmụọ. Nka ka eji agọ mmụọ. Nka ka eji eme mmọnwụ) to accomplish higher cosmological purpose, task or needs. In direct procession, the third ritual stage in the Ịrụ Agwụ comprehensive rite is called the Orịkọ Ụmụ Agwụ which sees the Agwụ initiate, Dibịa or non-Dibịa as the case may be—proceed with a ritually shared communion of seven elements presented before the naturally very flighty Ụmụ Agbara Agwụ now etherically domesticated in the Okpesị Ụmụ Agwụ. Effectively, these ritual communion elements end up in the hands of the initiate transmuted by the now very subtle etherically-vibrant energy presence of the Agwụ beings in the enshrined space. The consummated elements were ritually designed to infuse the psychic field of the initiate with vibrations of well-beings preceding the major dream-state delivered nocturnal pscyhogeetic optimization operation of the Ụmụ Abanị Agwụ nocturnal speciation type of Agwụ beings. Also, this commune marks the end of the third ritual sequence as well as the first half of the comprehensive rite.
The fourth stage in the sequence is the ritual Anya, which is carried out on the next Eke or Nkwọ day, at the Igbo cosmological diurnal time beacon called Amani Aka Egbe Anyanwụ i.e. Midday or high-noon hourly moment (Amani) when the sun is set to shoot off its bitting arrows of heat into space. In this rite, the initiate having had their Akpa Agwụ operated by the Ụmụ Abanị Agwụ spirit beings the previous night, now has Akpa Uche (pineal gland and pituituary bodies) operated upon by the Dibịa by orally administrating a mild psychedelic portion brewed from dried Ogirishi Leafs, Ọjị Igbo (Igbo Kolanut) and Nkwụ Kwere Izu (4-days fermented palmwine). This is followed by the administering of a second, third and fourth set of portion jointly called Ọgwụ Nshikọ Akọ na Uche. These are properly mixed with blood of a pure white native cock (Egbenu/Okeọkpa Igbo) and administered eyes and nose using fresh Ogirishi leave to funnel the liquid. Some are then cut as incisions into the palm, wrists, ankle and shoulder blades, if the initiate were on the path of initiation towards officiating as a Dibịa. Lastly, some of the portions are administered into ears of the initiated employing a white feather from the offered fowl, soaked in Ogirishi-infused water or alcoholic schnapps. This is called the ritual act of Ịtụwa Ntị and opens up the initiate to vistas of previously inaudible sounds surrounding them, as well as distant ones from other realms. Upon completing these psychotherapeutic administration, the Dibịa merely exist the stage as the fifth stage (Isemalụse Agwụ) where Agwụ becomes manifest to the initiate dawns upon them, as the now perceptually sound and heightened new consciousness of the initiate launched them into full-spectrum, cosmic intelligence interface, knowing and seeing beyond space and time, seeing through the subtle frequency curtain or dimensional veils of the cosmos, which prevents Ofeke and other kinds of being from seeing or interacting with the beings of such subtle realms.
Thus, the ancient Ịlụ Agwụ/Iru Agwụ rite was classically designed as a rite for the transmutational optimization of the human perceptual power system called intelligence, the spontaneous fruit of a wild, primordial, infinitely active two headed serpents called Oke na Nne Agwụ. When genuinely executed, this rite is intended to unlash upon one’s awareness a unified expansive vision of life and ever increasing higher vistas of knowledge. Through the ritual perfection of the perception powers in a human being i.e. Ọnụnụ na Nshikọ (Brewing and refinement of Intelligence), the initiate directly realizes Elele-Ọma-Agwụ state of perceptive blissfulness which comes from the calm, inner knowing of the harmonious mind; a fair rarity in our time. A rarity which is however said to be immortally enjoyed by Ụmụ Agbala in their essential nature. This authentic bare perception of reality as it is – is called the truth principle, and this force of authenticity called truth acquired through undistorted exploration of cosmic nature holds within it, the real the power of intelligence. The wizened Ogirishi trees and its ritual complementing tree known as Okwe Ụmụ Agwụ both stood as the primordial totemic Igbo trees of wisdom and knowledge respectively, since the dawn of Igbo culture; enshrining the essence of the two cosmic pillars of Intelligence, Akọ Nne na Akọ Nna (Intuition + Intellect). As primordially, the grand principles of intelligence as an independent cosmic power is proven to rest on two pillars, the ancients Igbo people sought to leave their footprint in the sands of times, by their effort to preserve the very answers they discovered on the mystery of intelligence by encoding them into the same rituals designed to respectively “brew” and “refine” the intelligence processes of a human being. By ritually classifying the Ogirishi trees as Ogirishi-Ụmụ-Agwụ and scientifically denoting it as Osisi-Akọnauche-Ndị-Mbụ, among other feats – the ancients were ritually engrooving and mnemonically patenting their discoveries for easy access to future descendants, making some of the very earliest classic Igbo ritual procedures bearers of intangible time capsules, designed to infuse our wary minds of today’s lesser world with ancient memories of hope, truth and other cherished qualities, preserved as an auspicious vision of what the earlier harmonious eras of human advancement and prosperity in times far gone looked like, as well as what it could potentially always be.
Nze Chukwukadibịa E. Nwafọr (Omenigbo Nwa Anwụ Ushi Odirimatachi) is a native of Ụmụnze in Agụata Clan of Orumba South LGA, Anambra State. He is a writer, philanthropist, technologist, artist, Dibịa and advocate of indigenous African knowledge systems and spiritual heritage. A lifelong-learner and advanced practitioner of Igbo medicine and sacred teachings, he is also a fully-investitured culture bearer and spiritual lineage holder (Eze Aka Ji Ọfọ Ọdịnala) of Ụrụrọ-Ụmụnze descent. His dedicated efforts towards the total awakening of Igbo contemporary humanity have propelled him to introduce and teach the first comprehensive cyber course on Igbo Cosmology on the Udemy Universal Courses Digital Platform. His general publications on the cosmological knowledge and extensive wisdom heritage of Igbo culture are widely read. His first book, Leopards of the Magical Dawn: Science and the Cosmological Foundations of Igbo Culture was published in the United States in 2014 and is available in bookstores worldwide. He lives and works in Nigeria.
Why is it important to explore traditional Igbo concepts that are considered to be Taboo?
There are many reasons including:
- Freedom from fear and shame
- Self confidence through identity
- Awakening your Creativity
- Empowerment through Authenticity
Just to keep things short I will discuss two of these benefits:
Self confidence through identity and freedom from fear and shame
Number 1. Self-confidence through identity
Imagine a world where Africa stops fearing, demonizing, fetishizing it’s past, and begins to look at it with eyes wide open; freely taking elements of it’s past and laughing about it, crying about it, chatting about it…putting it on their key chains, and bumper stickers and backpacks.
Did the Salem witch trials stop Americans from creating the show “Sabrina the Teenage witch?”What progressive culture do you know that has ever been so terrified of their past that they pretend it didn’t happen…I’ll wait. The answer is none!
Even America, no matter how much they say slavery and racism does not exist, they still acknowledge it was their past and are making conscious decisions about how to deal with it and even incorporate it into their framework. Why? Because doing so is part of their identity, and feeling shame about any part of your human identity denigrates your humanity and diminishes your self confidence.
Acceptance is key to the psychology of recovery, because it re-establishes a sense of accountability in the individual, and empowers them to take responsibility of their own actions.
So, accepting our heritage wholesale without attaching excessive emotional bias to it one way or another, will give you a sense of empowerment that will be exponentially beneficial to your sense of self.
Number 2. Freedom from fear and shame
Fear kills relationships, opportunities, morale and chronic fear destroys your quality of life.
Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self, withdrawal motivations, and feelings of distress, exposure, mistrust, powerlessness, and worthlessness.
The two emotions exist solely in the mind, and are linked to many addictions and other mental illnesses.
Science teaches us that fear and shame can be changed by changing the association.
Psychology Today has a great article online called 5 Ways to Silence Shame. Some things listed include:
- Acknowledge the shame
- Analyze what you are feeling and compare it to what you really should be feeling
- Know the difference between what you do and who you are
Changing the association of what you fear and are ashamed of, can be very instrumental to accepting Africa’s past. If you stop associating Africa’s indigenous symbols with something to be ashamed of, like witch craft and devil worship, and start associating with them something like a curiosity or scientific discovery, you will find a greater sense of pride in your heritage.
Much of Western scientific symbols and language comes from occultic symbols. Using symbols to pay homage to the past are not the same as engaging in worship of those symbols.
It is all about reframing your mind. So, looking your ancestors square in the eyes through education and reframing your beliefs about who they are and what that says about you is key to empowerment.
When we run away from concepts such as Odinani, Osu, Ogbanje, Amadioha and so on, we are effectively refusing to deal with their implications and shying away from using our thinking faculty as human beings. All progressive societies advanced through transforming their understanding of the world around them through education and reasoning. Let us begin to ask questions about these symbols from our past and use them to design our future.
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.
(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.
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.
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.