Today I prefer to talk on how to become a qualified babalawo(ifapreist).many people who claim to be preist will after reading this article will know wether they are qualified babalawo (father of mysteries and secret or they are just babalariwo (mere noise maker).the first erroneous wildly held view to be corrected is the view that many people have that once they are initiated during their itefa in igbodu that they are already a qualified babalawo (ifa preist )or iyanifa (ifa priestess ),this view is wrong. To be initiated simply mean know your odu that create you, it mean to know your destiny.
Initiation is very important but it is just a starting point of becoming a qualified babalawo (ifa preist )or iyanifa (ifa priestess ). Some people are initiated yet they are not qualified babalawo (ifa preist )or iyanifa (ifa priestess ). For example :Agbamate (Agbamate are either male or female who is initiated and he or she received ikin sacred ifa nuts during his or her initiation in igbodu, but he or she doesn’t have necessary require knowledge of ifa training, some time they may be able to sacrifice to their ikin when it comes the full knowledge of ifa reading and ebo sacrifice the still need to consult a qualified babalawo or iyanifa. This explanation above also applied to people called Agbamaku.
I will say Agbamaku and Agbamate are synonymous. We also have people called Iyalase or eyelase (these set of people are woman who are usually devotees of ifa. They perform ceremonial function during odun ifa (ifa festival )and some function during ose ifa (day dedicated to ifa during the week ),these set of woman called iyalase also lack the adequate knowledge of ifa scripture and real ifa spirituality. All the people explain and mentioned are not qualified ifa preist (babalawo) or iyanifa (ifa priestess ).but it amaze me today these set of people parade theirselve as babalawo and iyanifa at home and abroad they mislead people because they theirselve lack adequate knowledge of ifa.
So it is wrong for any body to claim have been initiated in so so years ago, therefore I am a qualified babalawo or iyanifa. There are stages of trainings that a person must pass through before he can become a qualified babalawo (ifa preist) or iyanifa (ifa priestess ). failure to pass through all this stage, no matter your years of initiation you are still ogberi (a novice or green horn ) when it come to ifa.
That leads us to the question who is a babalawo? . The answer is simple. The words babalawo comes from two yoruba words :baba and awo. Baba mean a father or an elderly person, while awo mean a mysteries or secrets . so the words babalawo simply mean a father of mysteries or secrets. Same apply to iyanifa is just that mode of initiating women is slightly different from men. Is just that during initiation iyanifa is forbidden to see odu. Because odu herself according to my knowledge is wife of orunmila in ancient time. Now how can one become qualified babalawo (ifa preist )or or iyanifa (ifa priestess ).
The first thing is that any body wether male or female who want to become a babalawo or iyanifa must ready to to humbly submit their self to Olodumare (God )and Orunmila and Oluwo who will train the would -be babalawo or iyanifa. The person must have it that learning ifa is life times pursuit, in ifa learning never end nobody knows it all,all this is usually for those who take ifa preist hood as a profession. Like me I still learn people who practice ifa before me learn till they died despite the fact that they are verse .
The Oluwo will ask the following questions from aspiring babalawo or iyanifa.these are the questions. Se o fe ko ifa nitori eran? to ba je be wa ri eran lopolopo ( did you want to learn ifa because of meat?if that’s is the reason you will gain a lot of meat ),Se o fe ko ifa nitori owo? to ba je be wari owo ( did you want to learn ifa because of money? If that is your reasons you will gain a lot of money ),Se o fe ko ifa nitori ko le laya lopolopo? To ba je be wa ni Aya lopolopo (did you want to learn ifa so that you can marry many wives? If That is your reasons you will have many wives. )
lastly Oluwo will ask this question from the aspiring babalawo or iyanifa :se o fe ko ifa nitori otito? to ba je be,owo eran Ola ohun rere gbogbo ayika iwa yio o je tire. (Do you want to learn ifa because you are looking for or seeking the truth? It that is your reason, money, wives sounds health, long life and all the goodness of life shall be yours ).
There are various stage in which the aspiring babalawo or iyanifa will pass through during his or her training. According to my knowledge that as a practicing babalawo that I gained from people who leave before me. The first stage is ifoju omo awo mon ifa ( introducing the aspiring babalawo or iyanifa to ifa).this is usually done by instructing the aspiring babalawo or iyanifa to buy abodiye tabi obidiye ( a hen) otin (a bottle of schnapps or gin ) obi abata olojumerin ( kolanut with four lobes ). This would be use to do iwure (prayers ) to the ikin ifa of the Oluwo who will train the apprentice or the aspiring babalawo or iyanifa so that ifa can be with both of them in the course of the training and that their relationship should be fruitful and not fraught with controversy. This first stage is usually done on ose ifa day.
The second stage is ohunje oju opele(that’s eating spiritual food on divination chain ). The Oluwo Will at this stage instruct the aspiring babalawo or iyanifa to buy some items, I will not mention them . this item will be use with some ifa leaves wish I will not mention as well. This will be use to prepare a spiritual food call ohunje oju opele (food on divination chain )there is a certain postion wich the apprentice or the aspiring babalawo or iyanifa will position his or her hand and certain region of the world to face with his or her hand at the back and he or she will use his or her mouth to pick the divine food on the divination chain. The divination chain use at this preliminary stage of training is usually from pankara idi esu (that’s a calabash pick from esu shrine ).this improvised divination chain made from pankara idi esu (calabash pick from esu shrine ) will be use by the aspiring babalawo or iyanifa to start his or her training.
The next stage of training is isipele or sisi opele (the process or act of opening divination chain) the sisxten major odu ifa will be opens for the prospective babalawo or iyanifa. It can be open to him or her in four four or eight eight depending on his or her assimilating capacity. There respective name will be given as well. This major oju odu is called ojodu. It gave birth to the remaining 240 odu
Called Amulu. The next stage is that the aspiring babalawo or iyanifa to learn and identify Amulu. And how to handle, postion and manipulate the divination chain. The aspiring babalawo or iyanifa will practice this well under his or her Oluwo.
The next stage is ibo gbigba (the act of interpretation of ifa divination messages as either yes or know, good or bad ). The aspiring babalawo in this process will know what proposition is assigned to owo otun (right hand )and owo osi (left hand of the divination chain )he or she will learn about odu to ja ibo gba (that’s is the odu that has special meaning on it own ).the ibo is characterized by either ire (goodness ), or ki ifa kun tabi ki ifa gbin tabi ayewo, ifa ki fo ibi (bad or negative).he or she will also learn the difference between Making reading for male and female at this stage during ibo gbigba.At this stage the aspiring babalawo or iyanifa will learn on how to ask for ebo and adimu
The aspiring priest will learn about ohunte Ile ( that is how to imprint marks of odu ifa on divination tray (opon ifa ).
The next stage is okara ebo hiha (that’s is how to perform or carry out sacrifice )
The next stage is how to to learn at least two verses from each odu ifa starting from ejiogbe to Last odu. The aspiring babalawo usually called omo awo will and commit this verses to memory. The total is 256 odu in general.
Next stage is learning of herbal cure and remedies and some akose ifa. It should be remembered that this is a life time pursuit. How to use akose ipese and ayajo ifa to solve some myriads of problems. Initiation to ifa can be done before training and can be done after training it depends on finicial strength of aspiring babalawo and iyanifa. This procedure are sacred and unchanged. if you are interested in training and initiation to ifa you can contact babalawo obanifa at the contact address that will be given below
You can contact babalawo Pele obasa obanifa for the following services :ifa divination reading and ebo (sacrifice on any matters),initiation to ifa and any orisha in yoruba spirituality
. Training to become a babalawo or iyanifa. For spiritual and herbal helps of various kind. A trial will be your convincing grong.
Copyright babalawo Pele obasa obanifa, phone and whatsapp contact :+2348166343145,email :firstname.lastname@example.org,like us on Facebook :www.facebook.com/obanifa. Location :Ile ife osun state Nigeria. 12-10-2015.