top of page
  • Writer's pictureAwo Ifasola Sangobolade


To clarify a bit this particular story of IRE and OSOGBO! Is coming out of the Afro Cuban system of the leg of odu OFUN via the 16 shell cowrie divination system better known as DILOGUN! Is where this particular story comes form. I make specific reference to this to leave out any possible confusion form where this story or "pataki" is coming form.

As there is various traditions that may have different versions of the stories surrounding these two energys. Which become pointers to the general orientation to a odus casted via a consultation rather with cowrie shells or ikin or opele etc.

IRE is a term that is universal across all traditions within the realm of ifa and orisa .This will be a constant anywhere you go or choose to practice . Now the word Osogbo on the other hand might be said or termed differently depending on the tradition your in. They can also term it IBI or Ayewo or Osogbo wich is a term mostly always used by the Afro Cuban diaspora traditions. But in essence they all mean the same exact thing . When referring to an odu energetic field etc when in the process of divination .

“The story of Iré and Osogbo”  (Pataki of Ofun) Iré and Osogbo were twin brothers, yet they lived as rivals. Both coveted supremacy over the earth and neither desired parity. In the beginning, they argue as friends, they chose there words carefully , each not wanting to hurt the other’s feelings. Time impassioned their words, and they were harsh. The passage of centuries brought battles and wars for power, each epoch bringing more chaos until there was no peace on Earth. Olofin could take no more, and from Heaven he commanded “Enough”. The skies rumbled, the world trembled, and every living thing hid in shadows. Never before had Olofin raised his voice. As its sound echoed and waned over Earth, silence ensued. Even the air was still, but thick with anticipation. Iré and Osogbo were hushed, neither brother dared defy Olofin in his anger.

Taking form in their midst, Olofin demanded, “This war ends now, He raised a powerful black fist, withered by age, as he gestured at both.”Brother should raised hand agains brother. Taft, each of you will make Ebó, and when you are done making Ebó, you will come see me. I alone will decide which of you is greater on the earth”. Olofin’s form wavered in the air before dissolving like a desert mirage. The twins, still stunned, looked at each other with wide eyes. Then they retreated to opposite ends of the earth.

Once alone, smugly, Iré smiled to himself. He looked up at the skies, and spoke into the air, “I do not need to make ebó. No one on earth desires death, no one desires sickness, no one desires any of life’s misfortunes. Every living thing invites me into their homes and their lives with each prayer they offer to heaven. All of the world’s hopes and dreams and desires begin and end with me”. Satisfied that Olofin would make him supreme regardless of his disobedience, Iré settled into a comfortable peaceful sleep. 

Osogbo knew his brother and knew his arrogance. To himself he though, “When goodness is away, I, misfortune, am all that remains. I am everywhere in the world, it is the natural order for things to fail and decay. I will make my Ebó, I will make it twice, I will make it three times over. This I will do not because I desire to be greater, because already I am the greatest, but because Olofin himself has ordered it”.  Osogbo made Ebó as Olofin mandated, and while Iré continued to sleep, he did it again and again. Obedience was pleasing to Olofin, and obedient was what Osogbo wanted to be. Satisfied that he had done his best, Osogbo gathered himself and flew into heaven, knocking at Olofin’s door.

Olofin was surprise when he saw Osogbo so soon, and he was concern that Iré was not with him. “Where is your brother ?” He asked. Osogbo’s face cracked in an evil grin and said, “My brother, Iré , did not feel he had to make Ebó. He was tired, and he went to sleep after you left. He still sleep down on the earth; he sleeps while humans and Orisha’s alike pray for his blessings. He sleeps while I, tirelessly, do the work that o was born to do.”

Olofin’s all-seeing eyes scanned the earth for iré, and he saw that it was true. Iré was sleeping, smugly convinced that goodness, in spite of  his refusal to make Ebó, would be supreme on the earth. Olofin looked at Osogbo and saw, in spite of all the evils he embodied, that he was the one brother who was obedient and did when he, Olofin asked. With a mighty wave of his hand, Olofin conjured Iré to appear before him; he wiped the sleep and confusion from his eyes as Olofin pronounced, “To end the eternal warring between you and your brother , I demanded that you both make Ebó. After making your Ebó’s, I demanded that you both come before me for my final decree. Iré, you slept while the world begged your blessings, and your brother, Osogbo, made his Ebó not once but three times over.”

A horrible expression of fear and confusion crept over Iré’s face as  Olofin continued, “Osogbo, because you made Ebó, you are first in all things.  You are not that which is desire, but you are that which fills the world. You are not that which is called, but you are the one who will come. For being obedient you are the greatest, and the most powerful. Humans will get but one chance to ask for a blessing, and if a blessing does not come, you will be all that remains. Humans will get but one chance to hold onto that blessing, and if they are not obedient, it will melt away as if it were never there. You will be all that remains.” 

Olofin took a deep breath, and looked lovingly at Osogbo, “And for your obedience, my son, know this: That although you think all you bring to the world is evil, with your misfortunes wil come much good. For it is human nature to seek out blessings, to grow and evolve into something greater. Because of you, civilizations will grow and flourish as they try to be created. The weak will be destroyed, and the strong will become stronger. Each generation will grow into something greater and more powerful because tragedy encourages human nature to grow and persevere, while undeserved blessings make the heart grow weak and lazy. You will be both the catalyst and motivation for my creations to achieve great things.”

Iré was silent. His disobedience cost him much.  So it has been: since that day, misfortunes follow humanity always, and those who hope to achieve anything great in life must do it with great suffering and sacrifice. Osogbo became the first and the greatest, not because he was sought by those living on earth, but because of the two brothers, he was the only one who made Ebó. This was the beginning of the world’s evolution. That’s why it is so important in a reading , when the Orisha says we are in Iré or Osogbo, “We hace to do Ebó, and we have to do it fast.” We always have seven (7) days to do Ebó after a reading, that is how long, Osogbo took to do his three Ebó’s. The idea that we have being imposed over the years, that we have twenty-one days, to do an Ebó after a reading; it is false. We have seven days to carry out the Ebó. Obedience will always be the best Ebó ever. “That is the reason why we are alone when we sleep, and it is also the reason that when we sleep nothing positive happens, no money arrives, nor do we talk to anyone, everything is slow and we do not know what happens around us. It is also the reason why when death comes to look for us, we fall into a deep sleep from which we never wake up, because when IRÉ was told too do Ebó, he confided and went to sleep.” Cerdit goes to to the write up goes to : Obá Oriaté David Alá Aggayú P.S if you can read Spanish i recommend the Obas books they are very informative. They are written in a afro cuban lens . But they are worth the money in my opinion. Soon it seems more books translated in English will be made for English speakers .


483 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page