This month we’ll continue our exploration of important concepts in Ifa with divination. Divination is an extremely important part of the Ifa system and it looks very different from other things you might be familiar with.
When most of us hear the word destiny we immediately think of pre-determination. Like the Universe has handed us a fate that is set in stone and our job is to fulfill it. No free will, no option to change what’s been handed to us.
Ifa divination illuminates the energy flow that someone is in. Unlike some other systems, it is not fortune telling. We do not attempt to predict the future, but rather to understand the particular energy flowing around the client and assist them in aligning with it. We look at whether they are maximally aligned with the energies around them, as well as what area of their life that energy is likely to impact. We also provide strategies to either re-align, or deepen current alignment, by making simple offerings to specific universal energies that are intended to get the person back into balance.
The Ifa divination system is based on a set of 256 energies. You can think of them as currents in the river we call life. Through connection with the energy of wisdom and knowledge (Orunmila) the initiated Ifa priest is able to determine the specific energy around the person being read. We also have the ability to ask simple yes/no questions in order to receive guidance about important decisions the client is making. The energy flows usually impact the person for about a month. Many people will come for monthly readings to keep them selves tuned up.
Only an initiated, and trained, Ifa priest is able to perform this kind of divination using specialized tools. There are other kinds of divination, based on the same system that can be performed by people who aren’t priests. The first uses cowrie shells and can be performed by Orisa priests. Orisa priests are folks who’ve been initiated into their Guardian Orisa energy. The second uses a tool called Obi. Lay people can use Obi with their ancestors as the spiritual source of the information.
There is a second, and arguably more important, kind of divination in Ifa. It is called the Life Path Reading. It can also only be performed by an initiated Ifa priest. The intention of the Life Path reading is to assist us in understanding some of the pre-birth choices we made as part of our destinies. These include the Guardian Orisa, and Guardian ancestor that we chose at the moment of our conception. The highlight of the Life Path reading are the Odu, or energy flows that one chose in order to most likely achieve one’s destiny. The client also discovers their Guardian Orisa, Guardian Ancestor, and the energy flow in 6 major areas of their life. The Life Path reading can only be performed once in a person’s life and the energy remains with them throughout their lifetime. Traditionally this reading would have been performed on the third day after a child was born.
The areas explored in a Life Path reading are the same as those in regular divination. They are read in order of importance showing us what Ifa asks us to focus on first. The areas are: destiny; health; success; relationships; family, and victory over difficulties. I think it’s interesting that Ifa considers our destiny, which is also our contribution to the greater whole to be the most important aspect of human life.
Developing a relationship with your Ori is simple. Sit quietly, pay attention to the energy at the top of your head, then relax and see what happens. I usually have an internal conversation and wait for answers. Some people may feel the energy, others have visions. There are probably as many ways to connect with the Ori as there are people. It is a very personal practice. Your Ori has been with you since the moment of your conception accumulating information, and directing you to experiences that will help you grow.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief exploration of a very rich and complex system. If you’re curious about what Ifa has to say about you, and your unique path through life just Click Here to sign up for Complimentary Life Path Discovery Session.
I’ve been a full-time life coach, and mentor, since 2007. I’ve helped clients: find new careers or enrich the ones they’re in; discover new love or renew a fading relationship; deal with the stresses of day to day living, and of course deepen into the spiritual dimension of life..