Proverbs express literal truths, but also have symbolic meaning. This one talks clearly about transitory power and reminds us that we're mortal. No matter how important we think we are, one day we won't be around anymore, and someone else will take our place. There's always someone - a student, a junior colleague, an assistant, an apprentice, an understudy, a son or daughter - who's going to step in and replace us. They don't necessarily wish us harm - maybe they even love us - but, they know there's going to be a day when we're not around anymore, and they're going to occupy the vacant spot we leave behind. That's the nature of life.
Ocana (1) is an odu (sign) that talks about birth and death, or beginnings and ends, as part of a natural cycle. This proverb, in particular, reminds us not to take ourselves so seriously. In what area of our life are we thinking of ourselves as the king or queen? Work? Home? In a relationship? Do we act like we can't be replaced? Do we think we need to devote ourselves heart and soul to some enterprise because it won't succeed without us? When this odu comes up in a reading, the client needs to sit back and take a good look at his attitudes and behavior. In all likelihood, he feels irreplaceable in some way, and he's obsessed with whatever it is that makes him feel so important. He might be a workaholic who neglects his family and homelife because he thinks his business would fall apart without him. He might be a controlling parent who's alienating his children because he won't allow them to make a move without his permission. When Ocana comes with osorbo (misfortune), the client can be seriously out of balance. He can be extremely stubborn, willful, and short tempered. He feels he has to be right all the time, and he can't stand to be corrected. He truly believes he knows better than everyone else; this makes him difficult to live with and, eventually, it drives people away.