Oyeku Ofun Temple

Ifa and Orisha Temple in Arcata, Humboldt County, Northern California // A Peaceful Place for Divine Worship

What Is IFA?

What is Ifa?



IFA: The Answer to All of Life’s Troubles
By Apena Fagbemijo Amosun Fakayode

IFA is an ancient sacred science that has been passed down generationally for thousands of years. IFA is also known as FA or AFA in different parts of West Afrika, as it is practiced by various ethnic groups in the area. IFA is a science of divination – a means of communication and interaction with the unseen, spiritual world. Through the practice of IFA we can see what cannot be seen – in the past, present, and future – and thus diagnose problems that are beyond our scope. Therefore when we place our trust in the word of IFA, we are always ensured hope, no matter how dire the situation may seem to us.

Much like when one goes to see a modern medical doctor, going to the Babalawo or Iyanifa (IFA priest or priestess) starts off with something much like diagnosis. Instead of the doctor physically checking you out with instruments such as stethoscope, thermometer, etc. the Babalawo will consult the IFA oracle on your behalf to ask IFA what the energies in your situation are. Even if you do not reveal any symptoms or details to the Babalawo, they will consult IFA and IFA will reveal all. The Babalawo must interpret the divination and they will most usually do so with the use of Ese IFA, verses of divine poetry that has been passed down for thousands of years. The Babalawo will unravel details of your own situation from the poems and then they will help you make sense of it all and how it applies to your own personal current situation. Often the patient or client will have an internal reaction to the messages of IFA and they themselves will come out and tell
the Babalawo further interpretations and insights into their own situation or problem. The Babalawo and the patient will discuss the interpretation and there is much healing psychologically. Certain things that were before overlooked or subconsciously “swept under the mental rug” are now brought to light, by IFA and by the person’s own Ori (divine head/consciousness), and the whole issue is given a new shade of light. These new perspectives, and this outside divine word of IFA, help the patient to reexamine their situation and to look at it from an externalized view. Much like modern counseling or therapy, this helps the patient to deal with their situation and their problems.

On this IFA says:
Ogbe touches the matter for it not to break
Ogbe touches the matter for it not to bend
A beautiful bride is desirable when passing by
When she moves into the home
She becomes trouble
Cast IFA for Orunmila
When he was in debt in six different places
And IFA requested a goat from him
He then made his cry a cry of shouting
And made his song a dirge of lamentation
Now those who write one off do not know tomorrow
If one is not yet dead
One’s chances for achievement have not yet ceased
Those who write one off do not know tomorrow
Travelers to Ipo and Ofa
Join us in the midst of abundant Ire

Next, again much like a modern doctor, the Babalawo will interpret the Odu IFA to prescribe medicines and sacrifices necessary to ensure blessings and to keep away all negative forces. If the patient is sick with a disease, IFA will have revealed the sickness even if the patient exhibited no symptoms, and then IFA will at the same time offer solutions to overcome the illness. The prescribed remedy may be in the form of medicine to be ingested, topical medicine, medicine to be used in the form of a soap or other substance, and many times the prescribed remedy will include sacrificial offerings on behalf of the patient to the ORISHA, the Primordial Forces. By giving prescribed offerings and placating the ORISHA, the Divine Spiritual Energies, we are able to overcome all obstacles in life. The issue is knowing what to offer and to which (out of hundreds and hundreds) ORISHA to give the offering to. IFA oracle will reveal this information and more, and thus
help the patient to overcome their issues in life.

All of us came to Earth with certain individual EEWO, or taboos. These are things that before we came from Heaven (Spiritual World) to Earth (Living World) we decided and swore oath not to eat, drink, keep, etc. These EEWO are very close to the negative forces in the world (loss, contention, sickness, death, etc) and when one breaks covenant and eats, drinks, comes into contact with, etc. their EEWO’s, they are inviting those negative forces into their lives. The way to discover what those taboo items are is through divination with the IFA oracle. During divination and other rituals such as ceremonial initiation rites, IFA will reveal the person’s EEWO. It is through full itefa (IFA initiation) that one can learn their destiny including their EEWO (do’s and don’ts in life). Then once the person is aware of their EEWO’s, they can avoid them and follow them.

By complying with the directives of IFA such as following taboos, and by offering the necessary prescribed sacrificial offerings, we can ensure ourselves that the blessings which we have selected to receive in life will come to us, and at the same time we are assured that any misfortunes which lay in our path can be avoided, that any obstacles can be overcome.

On this IFA says:
IFA is the master of today
IFA is the master of tomorrow
IFA is the master of the day after tomorrow as well
Orunmila is the master of all the four days
Established here on earth by the divinities
Cast IFA for Orunmila
On the day that all the malevolent supernatural powers
Were repeatedly haunting his household
Death disease loss paralysis affliction
Were all glancing at Orunmila
They were saying that
One day they would be successful at killing him
Orunmila then consulted his Ori
Ogunda Meji was divined
He was advised to offer sacrifice
He offered the sacrifice
After he had completed the sacrifice
His Ori provided protective shielding for him
Death could no longer kill him
Nor could diseases affect him
He was dancing he was rejoicing
He was singing the praises of his IFA priests
His IFA priests were singing the praises of IFA
He opened his mouth
Joyous IFA songs came out
He stretched his legs and found himself dancing
he said it is exactly how his priests predicted:
IFA is the master of today
IFA is the master of tomorrow
IFA is the master of the day after tomorrow as well
Orunmila is the master of all the four days
Established here on earth by the divinities
Cast IFA for Orunmila
On the day that all the malevolentsupernatural powers
Were repeatedly haunting his household
The day death comes looking for me
IFA spread out and provide protectionfor me
Just as ewe nla spreads out to shield oori
Just as a big river spreads out to shield the sands of its bed
The day all the malevolent supernatural forces come looking for me
IFA spread out and provide protection for me
Just as ewe nla spreads out to shield oori
Just as a big river spreads out to shield the sands of its bed
It is etiponola that spreads out and shields the soil
IFA spread out and provide protection for me
Just as ewe nla spreads out to shield oori
Just as a big river spreads out to shield the sands
Of its bed



Ifa teaches us in the Holy Odu Ifa OSA ALAWO:

OSA ALAWO asks what is Otito, Truth?
I also ask what is Otito, Truth?
Truth is the hierophant in the Heavens that protects the Earth
ORUNMILA declares that Truth is the unseen force that protects our world
Truth is the wisdom which OLODUMARE (GOD) applies
OSA ALAWO asks again what is Truth?
I ask again what is truth?
ORUNMILA declares that truth is the character or OLODUMARE
Truth is the unchanging word
IFA is the Truth
Truth is the indestructible word
Truth is the power above all powers
The everlasting blessings
These were IFA’s declarations to the inhabitants of the world
They were advised to be truthful at all times
Be truthful
Be honest
The one who is truthful is the one who the IRUNMOLE will support


21 thoughts on “What Is IFA?

  1. My wonderful appreciation to oyeku ofun temple.

  2. I love to learn ifa and possibly become a baba alawo

  3. pls i want to know about ifa and oriki odun merindinlogun,ifa recitation

  4. Am beginning to get in tourch with my root and I will love to learn more about IFA so as so progress in life help the people around me. May IFA bless and protect me.

    Ase .

  5. can u explain more abt otura alayo ?

  6. can u give me full lesson on eeji ogbe

  7. can u teach me each of the 16 odu oju ifa

  8. I want to understand about OWONRIN SOGBE &ITS TABOO Pls help me on it IFA MOJUBA OOO

  9. I would like to know more about OGBE ATE/OGBE ALAARA and the concept of re initiation by oneself after been initiated (igbodu)…..thank you

  10. I what to no ifa

  11. I will like to know the Taboo of ITURA ORIRE and his leg on IFA

  12. Pls can u type your website.

  13. I try and explain this to the american blacks and they say its devil worship. The whole world was built off our ancient spirituality system and i really wanna learn the truth through IFA IWA & Voudon

  14. How and where can I learn about IFA

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