An Ancient Shamanic Tradition and Nature-Based Philosophy
Ifa is an ancient shamanic tradition first practiced by the Yoruba people of West Africa around 8,000 years ago. It is a nature based philosophy. The thing that we have most in common with the Yoruba is that they were urban. They lived in large settlements. They understood concepts like money, market places, and other things that are of concern to modern people.
We have taken Ifa in a direction that we believe honours the original Yoruba teachings, but reflects more modern cultural understandings and embraces findings from many diverse sources including quantum physics. It is our belief that Ifa is meant to grow and evolve along with the people who practice it. In its homeland there was great diversity between the Ifa practiced from village to village. It is hardly to be expected that the Ifa we practice today would look a lot like that practiced in ancient Africa. The concepts that set Ifa apart however, are still in place. Our understanding of them, and our approach to the Universe they describe, is different.
In our interpretation of Ifa we are not trying to resurrect an ancient truth but to understand, and practice, it from a modern, Western, perspective. At its root Ifa has always been about good character. It is the sole basis we use to judge people or situations. You will find many people who disagree with this approach. We feel it is the best way to preserve the beauty and power of this tradition for generations to come.
What is Good Character?
Of course good character is also heavily influenced by our culture. It is partly based on how define what is of value. What it really comes down to is doing the right thing. Almost as importantly we need to be doing the right thing for the right reasons. It includes things like being true to your word, having respect for others, and not doing intentional harm to the Universe of which we are a part. It also means seeing ourselves in a context that is lager than us. Understanding that we are responsible for the consequences of our actions so that we consider our impact on the greater whole before doing anything.
Part of good character is what we would call long-term orientation. It is a value that we promote as a critical factor in improving the conditions that our culture has created. Thinking long-term is very challenging for many of us in our instant gratification society. But, in order to grow we must commit to things that require sustained effort, over time. You must be willing to make consistent effort in order to see powerful results. . Your Guardian Ancestor may be male or female regardless of your own gender. Your Guardian ancestor is a blood relative, yes even if you're adopted, who passed away before you were conceived.