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Ogbe Rikusa ifa Divination

An extract from the book “Ifa: An Exposition of Ifa Literacy Corpus” by Wande Abimbola.

In Yorubaland, lfa priests (babalawo) are usually very poor. This is because no babalawo uses his position to enrich himself in any way; he must not refuse anybody his service on account of money-if any person is too poor to pay the customary pittance for divination, the babalawo must divine for him free of charge; or if the person cannot afford the prescribed sacrifice, the babalawo must take whatever he can afford and translate the will for the deed.

 

It seems, in fact, that the babalawo is under a vow of poverty, to spend himself in the service of the community, making just enough to keep himself, his real reward being in the service of Orunmila.
One important attribute of all lfa priests, is humility.

 

Humility is manifest both in their appearance and their manners. This, is an outcome of the great discipline and perseverance involved in their training. It can hardly be gainsaid that the Ifa cult, comprising as it does properly disciplined, humble and well-informed priests, is one of the most important and most useful cults of the Yoruba people.

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