Orí… Although the word literally means ‘head,’ when we refer to orí (or erí) we are referring to a combination of consciousness and destiny. For us, everything around us has consciousness and has a destiny – a beginning, a middle, an end. Therefore everything has its own orí, whether it is a person, a plant, an animal, a mountain or a river.
The state of our orí defines the state of our being: As goes our orí, so goes our health, happiness, luck as well as the ability to achieve the greatest facets of our destiny.
Our orí is also associated with our Alagbatorí Oricha (literally “the orisha who is the elder who accompanies the orí) who accompanies each of us to this world to help us fulfill our destiny and to guide, bless and defend our orí.
Which brings us to Orí Acueré. Orí Acueré is another manifestation of orí: it is the archetypal Orí, the consciousness and destiny of the entire universe. And as everything has an orí, including the universe itself, Orí Acueré rules over everything. In fact, it is said that this archetypal Orí is responsible for creating all of the Orichas and placing them in the towns that became their capitals. This deified archetypal Orí can only be received by the most elder babalawos who have already received Olófin/Odun, illustrating Orí’s immense power and importance in the scheme of things.
One way of understanding this is to consider our personal Orí as our innermost consciousness, and this archetypal Orí as a kind of Cosmic Consciousness or Absolute Consciousness from which all consciousness emanates and which spans the universe itself. When our personal Orí is fully in alignment with the greater Orí in Orun, anything is indeed
possible and we become capable of playing a much bigger part in the day to day creation of the universe around us. A person whose Orí or innermost consciousness is in perfect alignment with Orí Acuere can affect the universe around them by properly focusing their consciousness. This is one of the deepest meanings of the refrán or proverb from Baba Eyiogbe that tells us, “Wisdom, understanding, and thought are the forces that move the world.”
Our own personal Orí is a tiny portion of that pure consciousness that is Orí Acueré and our orí is our connection to that ultimate consciousness that rules the universe and everything in it, the Creator. The better our orí is aligned with Orí Acueré, the better our lives, as every single aspect of our life is affected. One of Orunmila’s greatest roles is as Elerí Ipin, the Witness to Destiny at its Creation, and was their when we chose our orí. So, by consulting Ifá, we are consulting our orí as well as the Orichas through Orunmila’s wisdom…