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Okana says: Stagnant water does not move a mill. What does this saying mean?

Stagnant water does not move the mill

Sayings not only instill in us teachings, but they treasure an immense cultural and historical legacy coming from the syncretism that unites the Cuban roots to those of the peoples whose habitabefore they arrived in our lands.

An example of this are the proverbs that make up the compilation of sayings of the Ifá oracular subsystem. It consists of 1218 sayings that cover the 256 odun of Ifá.

These sayings are used in consultations by the babalawos, to advise and help practitioners and believers of the Rule of the Ocha-Ifá and open the path of good, health, love, prosperity and all blessings.

Tip: Don't look to the past. What done is done.

One of the most popular sayings related to the letter Okana, of the Ifá oracular subsystem, is «Past water does not move the mill» and it means that it is useless to look to the past, because what is done is done.

The version: "Stagnant water does not move a mill" is also known in this sign and has the same meaning.

Meaning of this popular saying:

This particular saying is intended to prevent a person from spending their life regretting a bad decision from the past, and instead focus on future plans.

It is useless to spend time regretting, not having taken advantage of an opportunity that is no longer within our reach, we must accept the cycles of things, let go and move on.

The proverb is also used as a way to encourage someone to stop complaining about an inconvenience or to forget an offense, as it will be of little use to us in life.

The phrase, as we see, compares the lost opportunities, with the old water of a channel, because none of them is useful, and no matter how hard we try, we will not be able to recover them. So it is useless to remember them uselessly.

A similar saying that is also used with the same meaning is "There's no point in crying over spilled milk."

Examples of situations in which the proverb is used:

There are numerous situations in life in which we regret the decision we made, and to overcome them as soon as possible, we must remember that "Old water turns no mill."

For example:

  • A friend was given an excellent offer to buy his house, but he did not accept it and today he regrets not having done so. But he's already there, old water doesn't move the mill.
  • A woman decided to leave her job because she hardly had any free time. Although she regretted her impulsive decision, she realized that "gone water turns no mill" and moved forward in searching for a new job.
  • In love, if someone left us, or we make the decision to separate, we must accept that certain people go our way, becoming part of our past.

What to do then? The most important thing in these cases is acceptance, living in the present, and beginning to create from this a new reality that makes us happy, instead of longing for a past that no longer exists.

Learn more about the oddunes of Ifá and their wisdom:

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