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On the edge of the sword, how the Lukumí Yearly Odú shapes daily life

Oloshas at Odu of the Year in Cuba, 2018
Oloshas at Odu of the Year in Cuba, courtesy of archives from AFP, by Adalberto Torres 2018.

Since 2010, I have been following closely the yearly odú readings done in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Spain, Venezuela, Panama, the United States, and wherever there is a reputable group of awó Orunmila gathered to determine the Letra del Año. I have posted several of those years and will include links to those stories once I repost them.

Indeed, some italeros also do Yearly Readings, and they too are useful.

However, I am going to focus on Odú Ifá. Whereas some Oluwos and Olorishas favor the Cuban yearly odú, it is not my business to validate or criticize anyone. Each person should be free to determine what is best. My blog post aims to gather historical data and allow awós, Olorishas, and Aborichas to make up their mind as to what guidelines to follow. However, I do stress, do not live at the edge of the sword. There is no need to fret over one particular reading versus another; what is crucial is to be analytical.

Without a doubt, readings are geocentric, and odú interpretation will be guided by the diviners' mores values and biases. In my experience, diviners are rarely informed of issues globally, with the granularity required to provide an all-encompassing reading for every single country in the world.

When the Lukumí religion had not expanded to a global level, I could understand why Cuban awós would stake the claim that their reading was the ONLY reading valid. Globality dictates otherwise. The needs of one country are not the needs of the rest of the world. Commonalities may be found, which is the core of this paper, to look into the common ground and then allow people to inform their opinions with a cosmopolitan and a regional perspective.

The following table gathers the core elements of readings by country. Analysis of the yearly odú reading has been provided by the groups who originated them, and where possible, I have included a link to the source. It is up to you to look at patterns and figure out what Odú is saying globally. I will do so privately; however, in the spirit of allowing people to grow by doing their analysis, I will leave onto each reader to flex their mind muscles and think on this. You have a year to figure it out.

I will offer one word to the wise, be extremely careful of those recommended to get Olokun willy-nilly. Yes, it is ruling in Cuba, but so are other Orishas elsewhere. Also, look before you leap. Not everyone is worthy of touching your head. And that is all I have to say about that!


Oní Yemayá Achabá

PS. As more information is available, I will update this story.

Link: DCubanos

Link: Facebook page with video

Archive of Odú Ifá by year as previously posted on the blog The Mystic Cup:

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