Spiritual Debts In Igbo Cosmology

Spiritual Debts In Igbo Cosmology

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Since you as Onye-Igbo reverted to Odinaani, how many Dibia’s Ihu mmuo or Alusi Mba Ozo, have you approached for a favour and in exchange have promised to perpetually give one thing or another, such as yearly or quarterly killing of cows and goats as appreciation, and how many times have you kept your promise to such deity and have you asked if this is a standard practice amongst ndi-igbo, or are you just following the instructions of your spiritualist without passing through the due process of knowing your Ntonani “Ancestral roots” ?

To whom it may concern, in our cosmology, we have this concept of “Karmic Debts-Ugwo Onye Uwa Ji”. It simply means, debts owed by an individual’s reincarnator which are capable of impeding and imploding the life of an individual until such debts are settled with accompanying rituals that are capable of changing the life trajectory of an individual. Fortunately, an individual can knowing or unknowingly, be trapped in this Karmic Debts from actions such as;

Also Read: Understand the role and function of alusi in Igbo spirituality and cosmology.

  1. Constant Pledges to deities and failure to pay forth such pledge- Know that even when we do not remember, the deity does especially when it has fulfilled its own part of the agreed contract. This is because, whilst going to a deity for such a contract, we use items such as the Kolanut, Nzu na Edo and ihe obara, these items are symbolic items used for oath binding and sedimented with our shared communion.  
  2. Actions and the activities of an individual’s onye-uwa- We must have heard of “Ajo chi”, this comes from the awareness that some ancestors engaged in morally questionable activities, hence, without the prevalence of the heaven or hell ideology in our cosmology, every action has its benefit or consequence here in this reality. This is why, we have families being plagued with some sort of tragedy patterns which can be tied to the activities of their ancestors, therefore, traditional rites such as; Ikpu Alu, Ikpocha Ngwuru and restitution rituals must be performed, in order to save the family from further calamities.
  3. Loaned and unreturned items borrowed from deities- A friend of mine, suddenly has issues in his business and this led him to Okwu Uzekpe where he went through the Afa system, whilst this was going on, the Dibia paused and asked if he had picked anything from the shrine without informing him, he said, he cannot remember, so the dibia enquired more, eventually, it turned out that his Onye-Uwa who was his reincarnator took an animal as a loan from the deity Ogwugwu Solide, but didn’t pay back before his death, hence, this led to the issues he was having. The deity, through the dibia also affirmed, that she knows, he had the capacity to pay it but was wondering why he forgot his promise and therefore, she used his business as a way to again his attention but she had other plans for him, but what saved him, was the regard he had for her by always coming to her shrine to casually visit her, we call this “Ipu Olili na Mmuo”. After all said and done, he paid his debts and in less than a month, his business went back to how it was.

When we look at the various causes of these Spiritual Debts “Ugwo eji na mmuo”, it gives us an inclination to the human personifications of these deities, and this is because, their is a thin line between the physical and spiritual and some of these deities, were exceptional human beings who were deified, hence, we can occasionally see influx of human pettiness in our dealing with them,  while the latter is a universal standard of conformity which is simply targeted at providing chances for an individual to be able to learn from these various levels and situations of  life before ascending into Ikelekwu Mmuo or Obi Ndi-Ichie and by doing this, these ancestors stands in a better position to be spiritual intercessors and guilders of each member of their lineage, through the spiritual wisdom they have which we call upon in times of need. 

Also Read: Agwu Nka n’Uzu- The energy of creativity and innovation in Igbo cosmology.

Nonetheless, individuals who make pledges to various deities, need to be cautions, because once a deity is not tethered to an individual’s cosmic roots, the deity is therefore, in no position to show leniency and only through the intercessions of a person’s Chi na Ezumezu, can they be able to live out this current reincarnation and be allowed to settle this debt in their next reincarnation.

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