Abstract. The philosophy of Ifa with its origin in Africa, where it has been preserved to this very day by the people of Yoruba, contains the entire opus of understanding a human life, character, predestination, destiny and nature. One of the toughest challenges is how to treat (heal) someone, who is born with the energy of Abiku – born to die prematurely (born to experience premature death). Ifa considers the individual top priority, using all the knowledge and instruments it deals with making the individuals life good here and now, in this life. Everyone is born with some sort of predestination. It is not fate, because if something is fated, then the individual has no way of affecting that. But when something is predestinated, someone can realize that or not, because everyone is responsible for his own life. In life we have all that which we can call good luck: progress, longevity, health, luck… But good goes hand-in-hand with destructive energy, and if we wish to achieve the good, we have to neutralize the bad. We can classify destructive energy into four basic destructive elements: death, sickness, failure and confusion. When we consider a person who has the abiku syndrome, it means that these destructive energies are constantly stalking him and that he is under heavy influence in at least one area by some of these elements. When everything seems to go well, and suddenly it seems as if one of these energies got activated, and it gives out the impression of being out of the person’s control. Spiritually it is considered for people with this energy, that they have been heavily involved in a parallel spiritual world. It is considered that they have their own group in the parallel world, which constantly pulls the person back or make his life here unbearable, and make him wish to leave from here sooner. This phenomenon is in Ifa treated with using the energy Egbe – the energy of a spiritual society, with which it is necessary to stop excessive embroidery, pacts and similar connections, so that someone could live a good life. A person with this energy is not treated as problematical, but is understood and treated to maintain the positive elements of this energy. In fact, almost everyone who has this energy present, probably has an exceptional talent and capabilities which he could, with the right treatment, develop better than other people. This preserved knowledge can contribute a lot in the process of education, as well as treating people. People with this syndrome often go to doctors, but that kind of treatment does not help, and in a different extreme situation someone with that energy can live through and recover when it is no longer expected.
1. Ori Concept of a Human Being
The Philosophy of Ifa, with its origin in Africa where it has maintained to this very day within the people of Yoruba, containing the entire opus of understanding a humans life, character, predestination and nature, provides one of the toughest challenges, how to treat (heal) someone, who is born with the energy of Abiku – born to die early (born to die an untimely death) [1-5].
In order to understand at least a little about this energy, we must first look into the concept of a human being and how he is understood by Ifa as well as other spiritual practices. The time concept of life starts with the concept of a human being in his Ori. Ori is symbolized by our head and is at the same time a symbol of our fate. What is important for fate is our place in life, the cycle of life of this moment; another thing that is important, is the question of how to discover our own time. Ori is the essence of a human being, Ori is the guide and guardian of our life with one specialty – Ori has been with us since before we were even born, he follows us through our whole lives until death and beyond. Consequently, all our accidents, mishapes we encounter, are all reflections of our Ori. We can consider Ori as the source of everything, the foundation of everything we experience in life. It is the energy that motivates us at everything; it is responsible for our dynamic energy, for our achievements, our mistakes, our consistency, and all our emotional momenta. We know:
- Ori Ire – good fate, good Ori,
- Ori Buruku – bad fate, bad Ori.
This is all very visible in our life. We can recognize the people who have good luck, are in good mood,and certain people with a bad, negative fate.
For us to understand the energy of Abiku it is important to understand the basics of Ori and the concept offate. If we wish to understand why one child in a family has a positive attitude, while its siblings have a negative approach, we must understand Ori. If we wish to understand why in a certain life period of a certain person an accident, a negative turn in life occured, we must understand what Ori stands for.
Ori is an individual choice of a human life. Everybody has the right to own choice, be it bad or good, from experience or without, with risk or without it. Sadly, that same Ori can turn against us. In fact, our most vital energy is what can let us down when we need it the most. When we work for ourselves, it is actually our intelligence that can fail us. Our life resources are also our experiences, our personal security and self- confidence – all the resources we need in order to survive. All this can collapse. That leads us to destruction, to negative experiences. Accidents happen because of this; we make wrong decisions, we get angry for no reason, or we fall into a deep depression. We can regard this as failure of our Ori in a certain cycle of life.
This is beyond the concept of any religion. This is the concept of a human being. Ori is the nature of a human being, the power of fate. Ori is the personal guardian, responsible for all our noble deeds, our vitality, our achievements and for our failures. It is our essence.
Ori is the principle that serves the basic human needs in order to have a worthy life. The basic needs are: common sense, knowing our own restrictions, responsibility, and fear. Fear is also needed, because if we did not have it, we would go beyond our restrictions. Every time we go beyond our limitations, we expose ourselves to greater risks. When people with this kind of energy expose themselves to extreme risks, it often leaves them with irreversible damage. That is when we tend to say: “This was his destiny“. However, fate is actually only an aftermath of irresponsibility towards oneself. Experiences that follow usually are not satisfying. Our Ori is responsible for all the energies that are needed in order for us to protect our lives, to ensure our survival and the possibility of another life. But our Ori is also responsible for all the energies that lead us to our deaths. If we do not use all our natural resources with adding positive things into our lives, we can encounter a large number of negative experiences. The paradox of life is that a lot of people actually do not even care whether they take risks, they do not care if they are protected or not, and that they are actually digging their own graves.
When we talk about Abiku we can see that a lot of people like to suffer and they do not care that they are suffering. Their feelings and their activities are always connected with suffering. If we look at the lives of people critically, we can easily see this. This is a trend for everyone that has Abiku energy. The reality of Abiku is connected to their Ori. Abiku is someone, who does not care about their own suffering, they suffer with a smile. Sweetness and bitterness are two extremes that are present at all times. This is the energy of Abiku’s Ori.
2. Abiku’s Biggest Problem
Ori is the only deity that can never abandon us. Our character and our personality go with us to the end; our wisdom and knowledge never leave. The energy of our Ori is also the energy which hosts all things in our lives. Ori is the base of all positive and negative experiences in life. That means that we are in the center of attention, that we have the energy that is responsible for everything. Our Ori is our best friend, but at the same time Ori can also become our worst enemy. Our Ori can save us, but can also stand in the way of our salvation. Our greatest enemy is our inner conflict. When we have external enemies, we can easily deal with them: leave our friends, change our jobs, move away or break up with our partners. We have the possibility to choose, the possibility to throw away that what we no longer need. However, when my worst enemy is something within myself, the gradual process of self-destruction can start. Our inability, our exaggerated courage, our lack of restrictions, all this can create an enemy within us. These are energies that are not friendly to us.
The most dangerous thing is to have this energy within oneself and believe that it is positive. For example: “I am strong, capable and can drive fast, go on without any restrictions”. For this kind of people this energy becomes something they believe is their advantage and they are proud of it. Each behavior, each relation towards things, situations that expose the person to danger and risk, is Abiku. When something happens to this kind of person, people consider this as an accident, something that was meant to happen to him. But it does not work like that, it happened due to the fact that the person did not respect his restrictions. If a person cannot swim, or is aware that he is not a very good swimmer and jumps into a deep river despite that and drowns, this is not accidentally but is actually a self-condemnation. Sometimes, people are not aware that they are condemning themselves to death, to self-destruction, because they are risking too much. Certain people are so stubborn that everything that is normal to other people is not normal to them. Abiku does not accept normal, steady life. Abiku is stubborn and there are always strong feelings and different tastes for life present.
The fact that stands behind this is the potential of Abiku’s Ori that can bring forth destruction. Abiku’s Ori is a very increased energy that causes Abiku to have an extremely intuitive personality, to be a person with an exceptionally high intuition, high intelligence, and strong trust. And Abiku is always well aware that anything there is too much of can become negative. All positive energies can become negative if we do not find a point of balance, harmony. Learning about Abiku energies presents a great challenge on how to understand and harmonize these energies. If we have Abiku children or relatives it is a challenge to understand these energies and find the best way to restrict them within these energies or put them in some sort of at least minimal balance.
It is a fact that some people come to this world with a positive Ori and some with a negative one. To put it more clarly, Ori means that when we show the door to someone and say to him: “there is the door”, the person turns and goes in the opposite direction. There are many people like this. They see the path, they see the opened door, but they go in the opposite direction. This does not belong to any mythology, it is the plain reality.
This is all that we try to achieve with the Abiku phenomenon – to soften the tough, problematic, hard (heavy) Ori so that someone would become less stubborn, loose passion for provoking death or being exposed to danger. Our Ori is the foundation of everything in life, because the source of everything in life is formed since from the beginning. When we accept our Ori, our fate is somehow decided. There are many resources that can help us change what is negative into positive. A human being can be completely renewed. We do that with the phenomenon of Egbe, Abiku and Ibeji.
3. What Does Abiku Mean?
Literally Abiku means: born to die, born for premature death. In life, there exist two extreme points – birth and death; same as happiness and sorrow, positive and negative. They present a one of a kind feeling for the truth because the only truth is that we are all born to die. This is logical. But it is not logical to die before our time, that we experience a tragic death, that we have a miserable life, full of suffering, sadness and worries.
We will all die some day as we are all Abiku. The only difficulty here is that we do not accept and do not acknowledge a premature death. We all know that life is a big challenge; we are also aware that we are all capable of facing with the challenges of life and become the winners in life. We all have the right for happiness, joy, peace and satisfaction. The challenge to create this is how to get to it. When we talk about natural energies and manipulation of energies of a parallel world, we use the energy so that we neutralize or completely destroy our inner enemy, which destroys our humor, our courage, our self-confidence, our passion for life, our wish for peace and pleasure in life. At the same time, this has to become a daily celebration. Things that give us good luck and happiness are firstly our ability to understand life. If you donate a car to me, my happiness cannot be any bigger because of this, I can only be more satisfied. My good luck, happiness, my feeling of joy is the supreme energy within me and has nothing to do with things I do or receive. My achievements are solely my satisfaction and are not a foundation for happiness. If it were any different, than those who do not have money, love, those who are ill or live in poverty, would not be able to show a happy, smiling face. Some Abikus are depressive or prevent themselves from being happy. They deny themselves the right to be happy and they really are not happy.
When a child is born to a “normal” family; in a healthy family birth represents a moment of joy, presents something we can call a demonstration of love. A child is born, everyone is happy and satisfied. Although often we make mistakes as we do not detach ourselves from the joy and satisfaction. The child grows and starts to disturb us, the severity is based on the level of our understanding. They begin to show their individuality. At this point grown-ups start to restrict them. And so it happens that with time we persistently destroy the childs’ personality, because the word “No” is the word that the child hears most often. When we grow up the reality of life is still telling us: “No, no and no”. As if we actually do not have the right to a life, as if we do not have the right to make mistakes, to risk. The word “No” nests itself deep into our personality, definitely to the extent where none of us want to hear the word no. We always want to achieve our dreams; we want our dreams to become reality. We are not prepared to hear the word “No” and do not even try at least a bit to understand its meaning. When our partners tell say “No” – that is a problem; when our boss says it – also a problem. This is the systematic destruction of a persons’ personality.
A child that is not a “radical” Abiku is born normally after 9 months of pregnancy. If it belongs to the “real” Abikus which do not want to be born, it will be born before time, before the end of normal pregnancy (after 6-8 months). After the birth of the child many things start happening; the forming of its character, its personality. In this period of growth the child recognizes the people who love it and reject it. But it begins to understand the definition of its life. It begins to distance itself from people and begins to fear the life. When we look at a person within our family or among our friends we sometimes fear for him – what is their life going to be like in the future? Will this person even live long? We know people who get ill from different diseases every six months and it is normal that we ask ourselves this question at that time. What is that thing, which makes some people get ill over and over again while others do not? Why do some people like risking and yet others never want to risk anything in their life? What is it that leads people into tragic experiences on special dates or in special cycles in life (just before graduation, marriage, on honeymoon)? Why in this period and not in another? All this is what creates the universe of Abiku.
If we go back to pregnancy and birth: some experiences of spontaneous abortion, premature death, constant illnesses or mothers decision to make an abortion – these are all actions that only Abiku can afford. There are Abiku actions that are called Emere. Emere is a child with a hidden behavior: at times very stubborn, rebellious, disobedient, with a passion for accidents, bold, constantly provocative, takes risks, a child who loves revenge, often gets ill (always with a high temperature or hypothermia), often cries without reason, always talks with itself, plays alone or simply does not want to play with other children.
Sometimes Emere creates a stage for himself and also plays all the roles himself. Those who have this sort of energy often talk to their imaginary friends, complain to them and fight with them. Such manifestations are possible. When they reach the school age most of the time they do not have a traditional way of life. They stand out of the traditional system. That is why we say they are stubborn, rebellious. It is not true, however, that they are rebellious only out of malice, because Abiku loves to be different than his peers. At the same time Abiku presents a set of many positive characteristics. We need to understand the following: What counts is not what we have, but what we make with what we have. That is the problem of Abiku. Those who have this energy, which we consider supernatural, need a spiritual grip so that they could turn this energy to their own advantage. Abiku is highly intuitive and the question is how to prevent him from using this intuition for self-destruction? When someone has too much energy, too much power, it is not good because he comes to the point when he does not know what to do with all these resources.
4. Abiku Phenomenon and Egbe
There exists a society of Abiku, the universe of Abiku actually. One of the most dangerous Abiku aspects is the one that Abikus are always highly connected with the spiritual world. They are in the visible and invisible world at the same time. They live in both these worlds at the same time. They have nightmares, some always sleep with their eyes open, they can sleepwalk, can go to the kitchen in the middle of the night to drink water… etc.
At night Abiku can manifest itself in a way similar to a dream, but in their being they do not dream anymore, they actually travel into another world where they meet their friends. Sometimes when they return into this world, they remember this when they wake up, but they also often do not. Sometimes they have many confused information about what happens to them at night. But that actually are not dreams but rather Abiku transformations, because Abiku always lives a parallel life. Sometimes they wake up on the other side of the bed, sometimes they even keep falling off the bed. Abiku is in both worlds at all times. Just like children, adult Abikus can also wet their bed.
There are many nightly and daily manifestations, that is why we call them Emere which means supernatural relationship – simultaneous communicating with the visible and invisible worlds. That is a positive peculiarity in a being although there are always difficulties about what Abiku does with his energy. If we do not support Abiku with enough energy, with a resource of knowledge big enough, it can come to the abuse of his abilities. That is why we try our best to understand the Abikus. Theoretically speaking there exist two groups of Abiku and they are both members of Egbe, because Abiku is the physical aspect of the Egbe phenomenon. People who are born with tendency towards fear, challenges, supernatural energies, mysterious energies, which have a mysterious, different relation towards the world, some sort of mysterious forms of life, are not like that because they are trying to hide something, but are like that because of everything that is happening in their lives. A group of this kind of people form a society called Egbe. Abikus always have some sort of agreement with their families. Some of them have a pact so strong that they actually already have a date set for their death, the leaving from this world and returning to the universe of Egbe.
If we look at a circle of our friends when some have died, especially if they died young, we will see that a tragic death is in question; sometimes the reason for it is also complete nonsense, stupidity or it is illogical. Somehow they left this world too easily.
Sometimes they do not die but live with the consequences of the moment that should have taken them to the other world. Abikus very often tend to have signs on their bodies and it is common that children like this are born with a lot of birthmarks on their bodies. Some get the marks on their bodies only after an accident has occured.
Abiku experiences periods where negative experiences are more intensive. In most cases this happens during important periods of an Abiku’s life. Imagine that someone dies the night before his wedding, graduation, moving into a new house, on some important date. All this happens with the intention to prevent happiness in the life of the Abiku and all the people around him. Abiku’s age is a very decisive factor. Before the Abiku is even born, he accepts his fate or chooses it. Before he is born he somehow separates himself from his family that is somewhere else, in another universe.
Abikus have a pact, an agreement with their families, that they will in a certain period bring suffering into the lives of their parents in the visible world, have an accident, fall ill, disappoint them, commit suicide or die from some disease. At the same time they have an agreement to be in constant contact with the spiritual friends in their families. Egbe is a society of spiritual friends and the Abikus are always in their debt.
But only those who do not care about life can be Abikus. Abikus wake up in the morning and say: “Today, I am not leaving the house”. This way they deny themselves the possibility of life. Abikus are only those who deny themselves the possibility of life. Imagine someone who punishes himself, who condemns himself, who says “no” before he even heard the end of the sentence, will not do it, even though he knows that it would bring him joy, happiness and satisfaction. He accuses himself and condemns himself. Abiku is capable of this. They deny themselves the right for joy and happiness. He is capable of destroying anything that is good and if he does not have a problem, he creates one. If there is no unpleasant situation, he will create one. When something good is happening, like a celebration, he will prevent it or avoid it. Abikus tends to be revengefull. If someone loves to revenge, likes to make fun of it. It is different from a mere joke, it is cynicism.
All of these are possible forms of Abiku, the Abiku energy manifests itself this way. That is how we spot them; and it is important that we cut their roots by changing their energy, that we cut the pact before it is too late. Fact is that parents can devote time to an Abiku while still a small child, but when he grows up with all his abilities that are not used correctly he will be regarded as problematic. People do not have the knowledge to understand and to point the right direction to someone who has this energy.
5. Abiku Action and Qualities
When we treat an Abiku we must also treat the parents and the entire society, otherwise there will be no results. Abiku has his way that can lead to many unpleasant occurances because of the pact, which he has with the spiritual world. This pact can be broken.
At the same time people have a lot of understanding toward destruction. We believe that destruction is something normal, although it is not. Spirituality, it is the only way to protect the bad actions of an Abiku. Abiku is someone who is very faithful and loyal to his group that is called Egbe. Egbe is a spiritual community, they are his spiritual friends. Abiku has an agreement with Egbe about what he will do in his life, about everything that he will provoke in his life, about the cycle of life – how he will begin it, live it and how he will end it. We know that death is something that awaits everyone. If someone decides to die today, he can do so. And if he fails, he will not succeed just because it was badly executed. To gain the courage to commit suicide is nothing more than to lose fear of it. If a person keeps saying how we would like to die and we do not do anything about it, one day he will wake up and that day will seem like the perfect one to die, especially if that person is emotionally unstable. This is part of what Abikus love to do. Only an Abiku laments by saying that he got sick of everything. At the same time we need to be careful with another Abiku action: those who commit suicide and survive have their lives devalued by their beings. They did not commit suicide physically but in a way that they stopped living. They have no ambitions, no dreams whatsoever, no challenges, no risk – they are dead although they are still alive. They only breathe. To be a living dead means to be active without caring about results or achievements. Some kill themselves despite fear, not caring that they will also kill themselves physically.
Our life is full of expectations. While we are still children the expectations from the universe towards us are still minimal. The risk of the Abiku energy to show itself is minimal. A small child still has not been introduced to a single challenge. The only risk it faces is illnesses to which the child is prone to, if by chance it is an Abiku. Afterwards there are the so-called home accidents: falling over, collisions and such which are dangerous for children. The childs’ energy is the one that leads to accidents. When we grow up we have all the justification to put the Abiku energy into action. We begin with feelings of inferiority, disobedience, fear or exaggerated courage. We have many such positions towards life that weaken our attitude toward life, which always shows itself through illness. When they wake up it is normal for some to say: “Today, I do not want to do anything, I do not care about anything, there is nothing to encourage or that interests me, and it is not even worth it to try”. No one else can love you. Fact is that you are the only one required to love yourself. If I cannot make myself happy, I cannot make anyone else happy either. Because I do not even know what it is like. This is the foundation. I can only give others what I have; and if I have too much of it and if it is something that I know.
We are talking about human destruction at this point, about the illogical aspect of life, about surprises in life. These are situations where many negative things happen to someone who is Abiku. This always leads to suffering and illness. The less we understand spiritually, the more we suffer.
Abiku is always active. Abiku Agba always has critical moments in life and makes sure that these critical events occur exactly in the important moments of our lives, often on our birthdays, just a bit before the birthday or a bit after, on graduation, on weddings, at some important achievement, maybe at birth; most commonly when it is about some kind of social event: In short, at the most important moments of our lives.
With Abikus it is important to understand their struggles for life. Some people renounce themselves from their life, they do not want it. They will find some sort of excuse, be it depression, nervousness or something else. When we have such an excuse we do not have to do anything, we do not have to trouble ourselves. I am not talking about natural restrictions. Sometimes depression and nervousness are something natural, a biological phenomenon, sometimes these terms are mistaken for foolishness. It is easier to bring someone into balance that has a true mental problem than those who are incapable of having a good attitude toward themselves. Such a person has no will left for life. A surprise is the only risk that we can have with this sort of people. We can consider ourselves “normal” but still act destructively toward our friend – some day he does something that we do not like and we decide that it is necessary to destroy him. How am I any better in this case, why would I be more normal than those who have mental difficulties?
Abiku destruction has many faces, many aspects. Wherever there is a tendency toward destruction we can find the Abiku energy. The only difficulty is that there is no scale to measure the level of destruction. In many cases we cannot do anything by ourselves, but we need someone who will show us the reality, someone who will keep us under control. We can only do this with love and patience. Otherwise we cannot comprehend that what is different from us.
With Abikus it happens very often that something similar depression appears – lack of taste and passion for the things they do in life. Sometimes they have a wonderful home, a house, from a material point of view they have everything they need to lead a good life, but they are not happy, and we call it “depression”. Abikus are often tagged like this, although it is not a depression. It is a fact that if someone wants to deny everything good he has in his life, he needs some sort of excuse and depression is a very convenient excuse in times like this. In certain cases, if we are on the opposite side towards the interests of an Abiku, we have to know that Abikus have a very determined mind. Most of them are very determined people. That is where Abikus get their good qualities from. It is good to have a strong personality, it is good to know how to say no, even if we say it for no reason; it is very positive, because it builds up our self-confidence. Most Abikus are very confident, that is why they risk too much. Because their confidence is too big, they often forget about restrictions and that leads them to risk.
The next Abiku quality is intuition. Abikus know when they will have an accident, they often know that they will break their arms or legs before it even happens, they know they will die, some of them can tell the exact date of their deaths. They have unusual qualities that give them the possibility to manipulate life. Because of that, most inventors or people that achieved something very special in their lives are Abikus. Some of them have the blessing, the ability to compensate for too short of a period of life through achievements that they reach very quickly, and in relatively short time achieve a lot, as if they would actually live too fast. The characteristic of an Abiku is that if he wants, he can punish you or bless you. They can wish you good or bad, you can believe anything you want, it will happen.
Abiku, from a spiritual aspect, is constantly maintained, supported by Egbe. Fact is that Egbes are always friends with Abikus, just as they are with everyone else. There exists another parallel life, a parallel spiritual world. Every one of us has a parallel life in the spiritual world. Our spiritual friends have a decisive impact on our lives, positive or negative. They affect our good and bad behavior, make it easier for us when certain difficulties occur and prevent us from falling into new ones. We work together with these spiritual friends so that we are balanced with ourselves and with the energy that leads us and has an impact on our lives. These two worlds are strongly entwined with one another. Each of them has an impact on the other.
If someone wants to be happy in the visible world, he must be in balance with his friends from the spiritual world. Without that, he cannot be happy. In life, many logical things you talk about do not bring any results, because a tree can only stand if its roots are deep enough. A human can survive only because he has spiritual energy that supports him, that maintains his time. That is why each and every one of us must discover his spiritual energy, care for it, support it and nurture it.
- S. Salami, A Mitologia dos Orixás Africanos: Coletânea de Àdúrà (Rezas), Ibá (Saudações), Oríkì (Evocações) e Orin (Cantigas) usados nos cultos aos orixás na África (Em iorubá com tradução para o português), Vol. I: Sàngó/Xangô; Oya/Iansã; Osun/Oxum e Obà/Obá, Oduduwa, Sao Paulo, 1990, in Portuguese.
- S. Salami, S. Ogum, Dor e júbilo nos rituais de morte, Oduduwa, Sao Paulo, 1999, in Portuguese.
- S. Salami, R. I. Ribeiro, Exu e a ordem do universo, Oduduwa, Sao Paulo, 2010, in Portuguese.
- S. Salami, Oriša Egbe, Egbe Oriša Slovenia – Duhovna skupnost energij narave, 2009, in Slovenian.
- http://www.orisa.si; http://www.akengen.si; http://spiritualno-iscjeljivanje.com.