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Why The Guardian Orisha Should Be Taken Out by Ifá

The fact that it is the Babalawos who must find out the identity of each person's Orisha is a truth that comes from Odu and is not mere rhetoric. Below is the itá or history that shows why Ifá should be used and not the meridiloggún or shells used by the Olorishas. This is not an attempt to diminish Olorishas or the merindiloggún in any way, but to clear up confusion regarding one task among many in the consecration of a new Iyawó:

The Big Cambio de la Cabeza (Change of Heads)

One time Elegguá went to a land where he saw that the Olorishas were finding out who people's tutelary Orishas were. As Elegguá was a Babalawo, he immediately went to inform Olofin and to level a formal complaint regarding what the Olorishas were doing against Olofin's mandates.

When Elegguá arrived at the palace, he told Olofin that the Olorishas were taking out people's Guardian Orishas and were doing the matanza in the Osha consecration ceremonies without taking Orunmila into account as had been ordered by Olofin.

Olofin was deeply angered and he ordered Ogún to go forth and to take off the head of each one and to switch their heads one for another.

Ogún grabbed his machete and went forth to the country to fulfill Olofin's mandate. Upon his arrival he came upon a Ocha initiation being performed and he entered and began to cut off the heads of all those present.

While Ogún was cutting off all the heads, Orunmila was making an osode consultation of himself and this Ifá which speaks of a head switch came up. Orunmila immediately went out to where they were making the initiation. When he arrived he saw the devastation Ogún had already caused and the bodies of all the Olorishas lying in their blood with their heads switched one for the other. The Iyawó was the only one still alive when he arrived.

Orunmila stepped forward to ask clemency for the Iyawó. Finally Ogún allowed Orunmila to go ahead and save the Iyawó's life.

When they appeared before Olofin, he asked why the Iyawó still had his head attached. Orunmila replied that since he had been given the aché to put the affairs of this world in order. "I found he was the last to remain and without him no one will be left to tell people how to do things right and you yourself gave me the aché to put the world in order."

Olofin, convinced of the truth of Orunmila's words proclaimed, "Orunmila, you were the one I commissioned to put all the things of this world in order and, if you wish to save the life of this Iyawó I approve it. To iban Echu."