A Spiritual Path That Respects YOU.
Ifa is a spiritual path. Most of us talk about it as a philosophy rather than as a religion. Ifa was an oral tradition. Even in it’s homeland there was a great deal of variety from community to community. I do not claim to have the full, or only picture Ifa. But, the community I’m part of is strong and diverse. As a gay or bisexual man you are fully welcomed into this community. The only criterion we use to judge people is good character. Your character has nothing to do with your sexuality.
There are people who do not agree with this position. Ifa was powerfully influenced by Christianity and Islam when they swept through its native Africa. We don’t claim that the original Ifa practitioners embraced homosexuality, and bisexuality, the way that we do. In fact given their cultural reality these things were probably never discussed. At the end of the day that really doesn’t matter. Ifa is meant to evolve as our culture evolves. That includes accepting all people of good character and making the highest possible connections, and initiations, available to them.
How Gay and Bisexual Men Fit.
In our group, we believe that the equality of all human beings is a given. Each of us has a destiny to fulfill that contributes to the whole of our lineage, and humanity. It is unthinkable that something as inborn, and culturally significant, as our sexuality would not be an important aspect of our destinies. As gay and bisexual men our sexuality powerfully colours our perceptions. It provides unique perspectives that form part of the lessons of our chosen destiny. We are creating an Ifa that is in keeping with the cultural and ethical understanding of the times we live in. It is also our belief that Ifa was meant to develop in this way allowing it to be relevant in any culture, at any stage of human development.
The only thing that limits your growth is your character. As a gay, or bisexual, man you are free to practice as you like and should you decide to proceed further along the path initiation to the highest level is available to you.
There are a significant number of gay and bisexual men involved to different degrees within our community. Many of us have received high level initiations. Several of us are senior members of the community. This is a spiritual community in which you will find the respect, openness, and opportunity, that you’ve been looking for.
How I fit.
I am an Oluwo, which is the highest level of initiation available to men. I am part of the Ifa Foundation International community. I partner with Iyanifa (priestess) Vassa, co-founder of the community, in an online learning opportunity Wednesday nights and occasionally teach with her at their retreat centre in Florida. I am a respected elder, and community member. My husband Jack and I had had a beautiful Ifa wedding at the foundation retreat center to celebrate ten years together in 2015.
I’ve been involved with the Ifa Foundation since 2005. In all these years I have been embraced by everyone I’ve met in our group. Sometimes a bit nervously, but never with anything but respect. Any time that someone has been the least bit uncomfortable with me I, and the the other people around me, have always treated it as an education issue. It took some time for me to completely trust that there were no double standards. I eventually saw that the people who are members of the Ifa Foundation community were walking the talk in terms of believing in equality.
After many years as a spiritual seeker, and being part of many groups, I finally feel like I’m home. I’m part of a group of people that love and honour me exactly as I truly am with no need for any kind of closet.