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Ogbe Ika

Ogbe Ika: The importance of non-verbal language.


Ogbe Ika indicates Ofo Ase expressed externally like light and focused behavior. To state Ogbe Ika is related to the inner Ofo Ase means to explore the fantastic world of unconscious language, coming from inside and manifesting outside with words and behaviors. Unconscious left side of the Odu expresses Ika Ofo Ase: it means we have inside words which are not pronounced as words but expressed externally anyway. This external expression is the non-verbal language. The non-verbal language is binary: Ogbe Ika in ire expresses the non-verbal expressions of consent while in ibi it expresses the non-verbal reactions of repulse and denials.


From a symbolic point of view Ika is made by air which insists over water which insists over soil. In ire it expresses the potential fecundation of the earth by the rain that is an elegant and metaphorical way to express the emergence of expansive and creative force. It is related to the neurovegetative sympathetic activation. In ibi it means metaphorically the rain which creates mud insisting over the earth: in this case it indicates the feminine contraction force which is related to parasympathetic neurovegetative tone.

Ifa says therefore Ogbe Ika expresses an active force in ire and a passive stagnation in ibi. From a non-verbal point of view, it relates to the fight/flight reaction during a stress. Eustress (ire) will evoke a sympathetic activation and a fight reaction that translates into antegrade movements. Distress (ibi) will evoke a parasympathetic activation and a flight reaction that translates into retrograde movements. Therefore, all what the body says antegrade (Ogbe in ire) is related to consent and acceptation, all what the body says retrograde (Ogbe in ibi) is related to refusal.


This simple explanation of Ogbe Ika meaning in relation to non-verbal language is subtly related to Otura which instead expresses the verbal-language: so Ifa says to us non-verbal behavior may be found into verbal language as paralinguistic expressions (tone of voice, volume, pauses, lapsus and so on). Ifa says we cannot separate totally non-verbal from verbal language as human beings’ unconscious mind influences also the verbal communication.

The implication is Ofo ase is related with unconscious expression of speech. This information is relevant because it may explain why the power of word IS NOT CONTAINED into their logic meaning: it is contained inside their analogic expression. Ifa says when this analogic expression is in ire may evoke consent, when it is in ibi may evoke repulse. Ifa says individual Ofo ase may be potentiated when the communication is analogically and unconsciously well directed hitting the unconscious ofo ase of the interlocutor, recipient of communication.

To maintain the ire of communication one should evaluate the non-verbal response of the interlocutor, if in ire (antegrade movements) or in ibi (retrograde movements) and behave accordingly. By implication, Ifa refers to the importance of instinctual reactions to communication, which are different from emotional reactions. Emotional reactions are slower than instinctual ones and may appear several msec after the retrograde or antegrade body movements.


These emotional expressions may be in ire or in ibi depending on the orientation of their emotional meaning and are transported by intermediate neurological centers (emotional paleo mind) after the sympathetic or parasympathetic neurological activation. This particular side of non-verbal communication is referred to Okanran Ika.

Says Ifa:
The razor does its job going up and down
One goes up and down to ascend the palm tree
Women always move their children up and down
These the names of whom cast Ifa for Orunmila
Who was going to receive blessings for children during his adulthood
They said to him to sacrifice
He complied
That is the reason why Ifa comes and blesses me
Up and down like we blow the dust.

This Ese express the concept of binarity that is related to the automatic responses of instinctual reaction in ire or ibi: up and down like the razor, like the mother, like who ascend tha palm tree. These subtle allusions refer: to Ori (razor) where non-verbal communication get its shape through the creativity of Ika, to the spiritual communication (palm tree) that by implication Ifa describes as a binary form of communication which comes from our ancient mind, creativity (women) that express the relation between instinctual reaction and emotional reaction in non-verbal communication. The continuous allusion to creativity (women, children) refers also to the third part of our mind that is the neocortex with her creative abilities. Ifa speaks about binary language and creativity, implicating our spirituality comes from the perfect coherence between our three minds: the ancient, the intermediate and the modern one. Orunmila was told to make sacrifice and he complied. It means we have to model our three mind one over the other to obtain coherence and through the coherence obtain a spiritual result. So Ifa put in relation the inner Ofo Ase ie non-verbal communication, to coherence and spiritual expression of our mental possibilities. It means non-verbal binary communication is the KEY to open up the door of spiritual sacrifice, ie to remodeling our minds in order to shape their surfaces into coherence and spirituality. This observation coming from Ifa must be taken in serious consideration as it is speaking about communication and internal Ofo Ase, ie how one may heal from inner thought of self-devaluation, lack of creativity, impulse to self-destruction.

Interesting fact is that, if ogbe ika expresses non verbal language, its contrary, ogbe oturupon with hidden irete expresses the verbal language. The verbal language is made by words in their logic expression, that is filtered of any non verbal nuance. Ogbe Oturupon in fact speaks about internal resistance which comes out as overt energy. In ire it refers to the logic expression of analogical needs. It says to us there is disagreement or at least a trend to disagreement between logic and analogical minds. That disagreement confirms the presence of an energetic gradient of logic/analogical contrapposition. It means empowering Esu (inner gradient) so reaction, activity and change (by Ogbe). Instead in ibi Ogbe Oturupon expresses lack of resistance that is denouncing an agreement or at least a trend to agreement between analogical and logical needs. It confirms the absence of a significant energetic gradient so it means depowering Esu with inhibition and stagnation. In a certain sense, verbal language may express the contrast between Esu and Obatala symbolically representing analogical and logical needs. In physiological conditions, they have to be counteracting to allow the development of the energetic gradient Freud called “libido”. It is from that inner force that movement and change may be allowed (through Ogbe). If that gradient does not develop, it means the inner agreement to logic needs translates into stagnation and arrogance. The hidden irete express the internal force, lacking in ibi, active in ire.

In other words, Esu represents the analogical needs, the Dream, while Obatala represents the Conscience in opposition to Dream. The gradient that may exist represent the impulse to action. This impulse may manifest externally through the active energy of Ogbe only if one has the Freedom to manifest. Freedom is represented by Ogbe Okanran where the Orisa who is speaking and representing freedom is Osoosi. Dream, Conscience and Freedom are the 3 non-negotiable Principles of human beings’ life. Their binary relation reveals the way to progress to Happiness, that is following one’s Dreams in full Freedom and in peace with one’s Conscience.

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