The Yoruba, as most Earth based cultures, used their intimate connection with the Earth, as their science. It was their way of understanding the natural way that natural energies worked…and could be worked with! While the Western world looks down their nose at such “primitive” behavior, the simple fact is that it worked, and did not harm the planet in the process.
This is a critical message: Do No Harm! The ancient Yorba understood the delicate balance and relationships between all living (energy) things.
They identified, and named, these energies which we call Orisha.
One of the least understood, but enormously potent energies, is referred to as Ela.
The energy itself is more abstract in form than the majority of Orisha.
For example it is quite easy to observe the energy of Osun – to see conception, joy, attractiveness etc.
Ela, is not so easily expressed.
Ela can best be understood as the principal of divination, the mathematically elegant
system used by the Yoruba to forecast and alter the likely results of future energy
Ultimately, that which sets Ifa, and the ancient Yoruba culture, head and shoulders above the vast majority of other historical Earth based cultures.
Yet, when we think of divination, we think of Orunmila (Arula), and for most the understanding, connection and power of Ela is absent in their practice and understanding. To leave out Ela, is like throwing away the moral compass that steers the boat on the open ocean.
In reality the Orisa Orunmila, who in modern times has been our sole energy in understanding Divination, is actually the partial anthropomorphic ( and thus more easily understood )facet/ expression of the primal energy pool Ela.
“Ela is the youthful and virgin infinity of thought on its safari into time – space – psychic relative dimensions of the oracular act: the penetration of the realms of the respective matter or person in question which are inaccessible to reason as well as the five senses.”
For those looking to put a handle on a simple explanation, Ela is the primal partner of Orunmila who adds the component of reason, of doing no harm, in the solutions she presents..