On the Necessity of Sacrifice…
“The Ifa divination system condemns in very strong terms those people who evade the sacrifice stipulated for them. It is believed that such people open themselves to the attack of the ajogun without any help or protection from the divinities. A man can, therefore, never hope for success in any endeavour on which he has consulted Ifa unless he has performed the prescribed sacrifice. Offering of sacrifice means that the divinities have sanctioned whatever the client plans to do and the client himself derives immense psychological satisfaction from the realisation that the divinities and the ancestors are in support of his plan. Furthermore, sacrifice provides the Ifa priest with a good part of his daily bread since he is allowed to retain certain parts of the offerings made by his clients for his own purposes. Whenever he is in doubt as to what part of any sacrifice he can reserve for himself, he can always just use his ibo to achieve clarification.
Sacrifice is therefore central to Ifa divination and to Yoruba religion as a whole. Sacrifice keeps the belief system going and link the client, the diviner, the divinities and the ancestors together through a system of service and reward. When a client refuses to perform sacrifice, he makes it impossible for this system of action and reaction to be completed. Such a client therefore commits a rape of the belief system since he has exploited the divinities by inciting them to identify and solve his problem and for him without providing them with their stipulated reward. Hence, not only will the divinities cease to support him, they may also punish him for his shameless exploitation.”
-Awise Agbaye Wande Abimbola
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