By Omo Awo Ifabunmi and Omo Awo Ifawumi
We often talk about Ifa and our tradition, leaving involuntarily some basic explanations about what we practice and to which we devote our lives.
What is Ifa?
Ifa is life, is the story of creation, of all that is animate and inanimate, of all the creatures of this earth and not.
Ifa know means to know the mystery of existence, to know the past, the present and the future of all beings.
Knowing Ifa means knowing the origin of the Orisa, their strength and their qualities.
Knowing Ifa means knowing the origin of ourselves, knowing the divinity that lives in our head and the portion that still dwells in heaven.
What do Ifa teaches?
Ifa is wisdom, Ifa is knowledge.
Ifa is the word of Orunmila, who has learned everything directly from Olodumare (Fate, he/she creator of all things).
Ifa teaches us that, for a person to have a good life on earth, they must align its own destiny, that is to know what have been chosen before incarnating in this lifetime.
This is done having ITEFA (Ifa initiation) where, through a ritual that lasts several days, you will discover in which Odu Ifa came the person. Each of us in fact born in an Odu Ifa, or vortex of energies that, when combined, shapes our destiny: who we are, what we do, what we should not do, which Orisa are near to us, which Orisa support us, how will be our lives and to which societies we belong to in the sky.
Ifa teaches the ability to shape and improve every aspect of our lives, teaches peace, respect and help people.
Ifa teaches that through divination is possible to maintain alignment with your own destiny. That’s why the importance of frequent divinations, especially for those unfamiliar with their own Odu Ifa birth.
Who are the Orisa?
The Orisa are energies, forces of nature that have contributed and are part of the same creation.
They are powers that men imagine and see how the demi-gods or anthropomorphic spirits.
Even the Orisa, like humans and animals, plants, minerals and inanimate things, are born under an Odu Ifa.
Ifa is the completeness of creation, of all that was, that is right now, and that will be tomorrow.
Those who live in Ifa live in the teachings of Orunmila, they chant the Odu Ifa and keep alive this ancient tradition celebrating festivities, holy days and constant ceremonies.