Blood or Bloodless?
In order to make a wise choice regarding which makes the most sense for you, a genuine understanding of several things are necessary:
Virtually every major world philosophy/religion recognized, and utilized, the power of animal sacrifice as a powerful bridge for humans to connect with the Divine Energy of the Creator, or the divine energy of the Creator’s Creations.
Ifa, singularly among all great philosophies, was built with the understanding that this was a benevolent universe, created by a benevolent God, and that all our needs were already contained within that Creation. Our task was not to continually be seeking God’s help, but rather seeking the knowledge, direction, solutions, protection etc. that were already here for us to use. It is this reality that explains that every ceremony, prayer, divination, ebbo or sacrifice is made to the Earth in which all answers are contained.
The energies that comprise the matrix of the Universe, which we call Orisa/Orisha, ALL form parts of the Whole in which we live. It is through accessing the specific energy that we need at any point of development in our life’s that we receive the energy to go forward towards our selected Destiny.
The overwhelming percentage of offerings or ebbo to make the necessary connections is inherently bloodless. Fruit, liquor, oil, cool water, cigar etc. have been identified as vibrating in sync with specific energies, and capable of making the needed connection.
Major issues, tools and ceremonies have historically used blood sacrifice as a potent connection to larger amounts needed of sacred energies.
But…is it necessary?
To intelligently answer this question for yourself you must understand the purpose, and the reality, of any connection with the Orisa/Orisha for any purpose made by you, or for you. The purpose is to create a bridge between your energy matrix and the matrix of the Orisa/Orisha you wish to connect with. The indicated ebbo creates that bridge. For smaller issues you can learn to make this connection by yourself. For larger issues, ceremonies and initiations, you will need the abilities of a genuine priest to make the connection for you. The reason is simple: Larger events require larger, more potent, energy to alter or create them. Much like the difference between 110 electrical current and 220, you can correctly screw a new bulb in your table lamp, but you will need an electrician to install your central air or heating system.
But…what tool does the Priest need?
To understand this, you must understand “tool.” The applicable dictionary definition is:
“Something (as an instrument or apparatus) used in performing an operation or necessary in the practice of a vocation or profession <a scholar's books are his tools>”
The fruit to Osun/Oshun, the cigar to Esu/Ellegua, the liquor to Yemonja/Yemoya or the ram to Sango/Chango are ALL TOOLS! Tools designed to make the connection.
The carpenter will always need his hammer, the Dentist his drill, the potter their clay…BUT the priest builds through being a conduit for pure energy, so it is logical to presume that through decades of hard work, experience and accumulated wisdom the priest should no longer need to be “helped” by tools…BECAUSE THE PRIEST SHOULD HAVE BECOME THE TOOL!
That was my personal experience. After more than a quarter of a century I became increasingly uncomfortable in doing either ebbo or sacrifices. Initially it was because my life path demands absolute honesty, and to perform Workshops or teaching by demonstrating things I no longer needed for the process seemed dishonest. Later, particularly in the area of larger animals, it became almost unbearable, as I had to confront the reality that I was taking a life needlessly. That all the bridges to all the energies had been imprinted in my own matrix after 40 plus years of working with them, and my ability to connect with them was automatic and precise.
The logic of it is undeniable, and it is clear to me that this should be the goal of every initiated priest. Most are still hampered by their view of Ifa as something frozen, or fixed in time, as the Catholic would view the “word” of the bible. They fail to understand the living, eternal, ever adaptable Truth of the Ifa World View.
We also recognize that for many individuals, still burdened with this concept of fixed/frozen truth, that they will not yet be able to fully accept and utilize the energy placed, without sacrifice, in their tool, or their head. For those the Foundation has no issue with using sacrifice to give you the most beneficial opportunity you are currently capable of. We also know that if you KNOW that the goal is to become the tool, the ebbo you offer, the sacrifices you give, will ultimately take you to the highest connection.
The Ultimate understanding of: it is acceptable to take an animal’s life to help a human being, (just as we eat beef, chicken etc.) logically implies “if taking a life is not necessary to that help, it must be spared.” So, if you need that help we are here to provide it. If you do not, we are here to provide that as well. The choice is yours.
- Being the recipient of a bloodless tool or initiation will provide you with the highest order of Orisa/Orisha energy by virtue of its having come from literally decades of wisdom and experience of a dedicated priest.
- It will not provide you with the ability to perform bloodless initiations. That process will take place over a number of years. Certainly, it should not take the time it took me. You will have the defined understating and the goal that should lead you there more quickly.
Oluwo Philip John Neimark