Basic Interpretation of the Twelve Olodu

Instructor: Ócháni Lele (B. Stuart Acevedo); bstuartacevedo@gmail.com.

 

Textbook: The Diloggún: the Orishas, Proverbs, Sacrifices, and Prohibitions of Cuban Santería (Destiny Books, 2003). Please note that this textbook is required of all students. I prefer that everyone have a hard copy, not an eBook copy. The eBook copy does not have page numbers and I will be referring to page numbers and columns during lectures.

 

Recommended texts: Additional reading will be given out through the duration of this course.

 

Length of course: Six months. Please note that lectures are fluid and it is possible (depending on the tangents I include in my lectures, which are often the best parts) that we might be together a bit longer. But the new course is designed to be finished in 24 weeks (ideally). It has been extended from the original 12 week presentation in the original course.

 

Cost: $400.00. I realize some of you might need to make payment arrangements. Privately (outside of class) we can discuss a deposit and final payment situation; however, monthly payments will never be considered. By the start of the class, all tuition due must be paid in full or you cannot start the class.

 

Please note that under each class you will find three sections. Those sections are labeled lecture, read, and reaction. The lecture tells you what I will be teaching in that day’s class. The read tells you what you will have to read after class for homework. The reaction topic will be assigned to each student in class. Be well-read when coming to class and take good notes from my lectures!

 

Regarding student notes and notebooks: I’ve discovered (through the dismay of students) that lecture notebooks have become “hot commodities.” Over the past 4 years at least a dozen students have had their lecture notes stolen out of their homes during spiritual masses and orisha events. If your notebooks are stolen, I cannot recreate them for you. And because I do not allow typing during these classes (it creates too much background noise in the classroom) it is not easy for other students to share their notes with you. I suggest you keep them put away, maybe even under lock and key, giving them the same security you would your itá notebooks.

 

Reaction papers are simple. After the lecture, I want you to think about my lecture and the topic assigned. Write about what the topic means to you. There is no right or wrong reaction to these assignments. I want at least 250 words (or more) written. This is an exercise in critical thinking, which is a diviner’s best tool. Along the way expect proverbs to be assigned without knowing the olodu from which these proverbs come. Reactions to these are expected as well. After the reactions are turned in, the olodu from which the proverb comes will be revealed. This is also an exercise in critical thinking.

 

Recorded Material: If recorded material is provided for your class, it is for your own use only. You may not make copies, reproduce, or store recorded material online in any format. You may not do anything that would make this material available to students NOT in your class. You cannot upload to any online server, even if that server is encrypted, nor may you download or store your recording on more than one machine. I am very serious about this: You may store one copy on one machine. You may not make backups. You may neither distribute nor play these recordings to or for others. It is for your own eyes, ears, and use only. The reception of recorded material is a courtesy and not a selling-point of this course, and recordings may end at any time at my discretion.

 

To receive recorded material, you must send me an email with the following information. In the header, type, “Regarding recorded class materials for the following class.” In the body of the email, the ONLY thing you are to type is:

 

I, [type your full, legal name], am in the following classes now and I understand recordings are a privilege, not a right, that may be pulled at any time and for any reason by our instructor, B. Stuart Acevedo, known as the “teacher” throughout this document. I understand that when a class ends and a new one begins, I must send in a new electronic agreement regarding recorded materials for that class.

 

I understand the class policies regarding recorded material. On my honor as an olorisha with [titular orisha] crowned, I will not store, reproduce, upload, email, or do anything that will compromise the security of our recordings. I will ensure that no one but I, [type your name], has access to recorded lecture material. If, through willfulness or negligence, I compromise the security of our class and our recorded materials, I understand that for ethical, moral, and legal reasons I will be removed from all classes without hope of refund, and if legal recourse is available to our teacher, B. Stuart Acevedo, or the other students in the compromised  class, they will take the legal means available to them to recompense for damages and loss. Damages and loss include mental, psychological, emotional, physical, and financial damages that could occur if recordings find their way into the hands of those not part of our class.

 

I understand that this agreement entered is not retroactive; it covers only the recordings made on or after this date, until the end of these classes that I am in. I will not try to obtain earlier recordings to which I am not entitled form other students, and I understand that such unethical actions will result in removal from all classes without hope of refund. Nor will I attempt to obtain future recordings to which I am entitled, and I understand that such an attempt will result in removal from classes I am currently in without hope of refund.

 

Electronically signed:

[Type your full government name and your name as an olorisha]

 

Should you not want to send an email in with the above-mentioned phrasing, you may still attend class; however, you are not authorized to receive recordings, nor are you authorized to make them. Unauthorized recording of class material will result in harsh legal and civil penalties. And you will be removed from all classes without hope of refund.

 

Class 1 and 2:

 

Lecture: Okana (1), one mouth on the mat. There will be two lectures total. Before class one you are required to read chapter two of the textbook in its entirety (even the mini-essays on the composite odu).

 

Read: Chapter three, “Opening Eji Oko – Two Mouths on the Mat.”

 

Reaction: Proverbs to be assigned in class.

 

Class 3 and 4:

 

Lecture: Eji Oko (2), two mouths on the mat. There will be two lectures total.

 

Read: Chapter Four, “Opening Ogundá – Three Mouths on the Mat.”

 

Reaction: Proverbs to be assigned in class.

 

Class 5 and 6:

 

Lecture: Ogundá (3), three mouths on the mat. There will be two lectures total.

 

Read: Chapter Five, “Opening Irosun – Four Mouths on the Mat.”

 

Reaction: Proverbs to be assigned in class.

 

Class 7 and 8:

 

Lecture: Irosun (4), four mouths on the mat. There will be two lectures total.

 

Read: Chapter Six, “Opening Oché – Five Mouths on the Mat.”

 

Reaction: Proverbs to be assigned in class.

 

Odu assignment: Ogundá Okana (3-1), iré (2) elese eledá (3), yale (2) timbelaye Olódumare (4). As an additional challenge, identify which had was picked for each orientation.

 

Class 9 and 10:

 

Lecture: Oché (5), five mouths on the mat. There will be two lectures total.

 

Read: Chapter Seven, “Opening Obara – Six Mouths on the Mat.”

 

Reaction: Proverbs to be assigned in class. Odu Notebook exercises begin!

 

Class 11 and 12:

 

Lecture: Obara (6), six mouths on the mat. There will be two lectures total.

 

Read: Chapter Eight, “Opening Odí – Seven Mouths on the Mat.”

 

Reaction: Proverbs to be assigned in class.

 

Odu assigned: Oché Ejioko (5-2), osogbo (3), ano (5-2), elese otonowá (4), larishe si (5-4), adimú (4), elese Oshún (5-5), obi y omi tutu (2), eboda (3). As an additional challenge, identify which hand was picked for each orientation.

 

Class 13 and 14:

 

Lecture: Odí (7), seven mouths on the mat. There will be two lectures total.

 

Read: Chapter Nine, “Opening Elleunle/Eji Ogbe – Eight Mouths on the Mat.”

 

Reaction: Proverbs to be assigned in class.

 

Class 15 and 16:

 

Lecture: Eji Ogbe/Unle (8), eight mouths on the mat. There will be two lectures total.

 

Read: Chapter Ten, “Opening Osá – Nine Mouths on the Mat.”

 

Reaction: Proverbs to be assigned in class.

 

Class 17 and 18:

 

Lecture: Osá (9), nine mouths on the mat. There will be two lectures total.

 

Read: Chapter Eleven, “Opening Ofún – Ten Mouths on the Mat.”

 

Reaction: Proverbs to be assigned in class.

 

Odu assigned: Osá Ogundá (9-3), iré (5-5), elese eledá (3), kotoyale (2), ocha onire (4), elese Oyá (9-9), adimú (9-2), obi y omi tutu (3), eboda (9-9). As an additional challenge, identify the hands picked for each orientation.

 

Class 19 and 20:

 

Lecture: Ofún (10), ten mouths on the mat. There will be two lectures total.

 

Read: Chapter Twelve, “Opening Owani – Eleven Mouths on the Mat.”

 

Reaction: Proverbs to be assigned in class.

 

Class 21 and 22:

 

Lecture: Owani (11), eleven mouths on mat. There will be two lectures total.

 

Read: Chapter Thirteen, “Opening Ejila Shebora – Twelve Mouths on the Mat.”

 

Reaction: Proverbs to be assigned in class.

 

Odu assigned: Ogundá Owani (3-11), osogbo (11-5), arayé (3), elese obini (4), egun onire (11-11), ebo misi (9-9), eboda (3). As an additional challenge, identify the hands picked.

 

Class 23 and 24:

 

Lecture: Ejila Shebora (12), twelve mouths on the mat. There will be two lectures total.

 

Read: there are no further reading assignments.

 

Reaction: Proverbs to be assigned in class. A final take-home exam will be given. You will have one week to complete it. You may use notes.

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