“When the water with which you washed your hands touches the earth, you cannot reclaim it; the earth will drink it.” From the odu Okana Meji.
Okana Meji is an excellent example of how babalawos and olorishas often work together to complete an ebó. This odu is ruled by the Ibeyi, and when it comes in osogbo babalawos and olorishas work together to restore the luck that was lost. This ebó uses a malanga leaf and the Ibeyi’s omiero. If the client has not received the Ibeyi, now is the time that they are to be received.
After washing the Ibeyi and before giving the client the dirty water to wash himself, the olorisha prepares a leaf of malanga by cutting off the three points on the leaf. This is a ritual action that destroys the influence of Eyo (tragedy), Ikú (death), and Arayé (wickedness) in the client’s life. After the olorisha cuts off the three points, the babalawo paints the Ifá odu Okana Meji on the leaf. Standing in front of this leaf, the client washes himself with the dirty water; and then, as he washes his hands with the soap that was used to wash the Ibeyi, the olorisha pours the clean omiero over his hands, letting the soap and clean omiero fall not only on the malanga but also on the earth. The leaf sits in the sun until it is dry; and then the leaf is hung up so it can dry up (a process that might take a few days). The herbs that were left on the plate should be allowed to dry as well.
When the malanga and herbs are dry, the olorisha grinds everything into a powder for the client. With this powder the olorisha adds plenty of efun; this represents Obatalá’s ashé. A small amount of this powder is blown at the client’s front door to protect it. The rest is kept with the Ibeyi so whenever the client feels his luck is bad, or that osogbo is trying to overcome him, he can again blow some at his front door to protect it. And, please note, this powder can only be made and will work only if it was done under the influence of Okana Meji in the client’s life. It’s not something that can be made at will or randomly. It is an odu-specific ebó.