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Now what does an Ifa reading entail. Firstly an Ifa reading will tell you things that perhaps you should have known from the time you could speak. Let me explain, in Yoruba culture when a child is born after a certain amout of days the Babalawo (that is what I am called) comes and does Dafa (an Ifa reading) for the child. This will tell the parents etc what is this child's destiny, why they came to earth. It will tell the things that this child needs to avoid ie taboos, such as certain foods etc. And the parents relatives etc will begin to groom (so to speak) this child to fulfill their destiny. This child will continue to get readings done during his/her life, to keep them inline with their destiny. In Yoruba thought, we all came here from Orun (heaven) and knew our purpose for coming, however when we pass through the birth canal we forget. And hence the Dafa will tell us. The purpose for an Ifa reading again is to put and guide you on the path of your destiny which You choose before coming to earth. Now the thing about an Ifa reading is this. Before man was established so to speak on the earth there were what is called Irunmole. These Irunmole are primordial beings that in essence came to establish and make earth habitable for humans, In their sojourn here they also experienced all that humans would experience, and what is recorded is known as Odu. There are 256 Odu again Odu can possibly be described as Irunmole. They experienced all there is to experience. In their experience, they experienced the positive as well as the negative, and what was left for us or recorded so to speak were their experiences what they did to overcome obstacles also what they did to have what would be called a good or balanced life.I said their are 256 Odu but with each Odu there are over 1000 what we call verses that expound on their experiences. The verses can be a few lines long or pages long depends on what was the experience. So in Odu an example The following is an example of Odu. In this particular verse of Odu Orunmila (who is also called Ifa) wanted to marry a particular one, However his enemies etc conspired against him, but in this verse of Odu we see what he did to overcome the situation. Eji Ogbe l l l l l l l l 1-11 Ejinrin fa gburu-gburu wo lu a da fun Orunmila ti o nlo fe eye Toro omo Olokun Nwon ni ki Orunmila ru bo ki o ba le fe, akiko meji, ayebo kan, eku, eja, oke meji, ati egbafa; o ru bo. N'igba-ti Orunmila nlo si ile Olokun, o ko oke meji dani, ni gba-ti Orunmila fi ma de ile Olokun, Esu se ju mo l'ara, ni gba-ti Toro ri Orunmila, o ni on ni on o fe. Olokun ni gbogbo Irunmole ti o ti nfe Toroti ko gba. nibo ni Orunmila mu Toro gba? Orunmila ni on yio mu lo bayi ni Olokun bere si ke Orunmila o ni lati ojo ti gbogbo Irunmole ti nfe Toro o jaja ri eni-ti yio fe Ni igba ti awon Irunmole ri pe Toro fe Orunmila inu bi won, nwon mu-ra n'won fi otun se aye n'won fi osi se iran, n'won fi okorokoro se ajinjin d'orun
Ni gba ti Esu ri eyi o mu okan n'inu akiko meji ti Orunmila fi ru bo o so si nu aye otun o di o so okan si nu iran osi, o di o so ayebo si nu ajinjin d'orun okorokoro o di awon Irunmole si ti so fun olodo to yio tu n'won pe bi n'won ba ri Babalawo kan ti o ba mu obinrin kan l'ehin ko gbodo tu won; ni gba Orunmila fi ma de odo olodo o di obinrin re Toro si nu oke kan o da okan de l'ori, o di o gbe ru, ni gba ti o de odo olodo, olodo ko mo pe Babalawo na ti awon Irunmole wi ni, o si tu won gun oke ni gba ti Orunmila de oja Ife o so ka le, o tu oke l'ori obinrin, obinrin na si yo jade ara ta gbogbo awon Irunmole inu si bi won Orunmila njo, o nyo, o ni: O soko Bani O shoko Bani Ejinrin fa gburu gburu wo-lu o a da fun emi Orunmila Ti nlo fe Toro omo Olokun Awon Irunmole f otun se aye o Awon Irunmole f osi se ran N'won fi okorokoro se a jinjin d'orun N'won le f otun se aye o Ki n'won f okorokoro se a jinjin d'orun ko ni onile ma re le gbain Orunmila bge mi si oke gbe mi si ororo re Ki a jo ma lo gbere gbere ni bi o da li o da ki a jo ma lo Ifa ni a o fe obinrin kan, gbogbo enia ni yio ma doyi yi ni ka, ti n'won yio si ma di rikisi si ni ki a ma foya, a o fe obinrin na. " Ejinrin spreads and spreads until it enters the town" was the one who cast Ifa for orumila when her was going to marry narrow, child of the Sea Goddess. They said Orunmila should sacrifice two cocks, one hen, a rat, a fish, two bags,and three shillings so that he might be able to marry her.He made the sacrifice. When Orunmila went to the Sea Goddess' house, he took two bags with him. When he arrived, Eshu blinked his eyes at him, making him very handsom. WhenNarrow saw Orunmila, she said he was the one she should marry. The sea Goddess said all the Four Hundred Deities had wanted Narrow, but she had refused them; where then could Orunmila take Narrow to escape their anger? Orunmila said he would take her away. Then the Sea Goddess began to be hospitable to Orunmila. She said that all the Four Hundred Deities had wanted to marry Narrow; but finally she had found someone she was willing to marry. When the Four Hundred Deities saw the Narrow loved Orunmila, they were angry; they got ready to dig a pit on the right side; they dug an abyss on the left side; and in front theydug a hole as deep as heaven is high. When Eshu saw this, he took the two cocks that Orunmila had sacrificed. He threw one into the pit one the right, and it closed; he threw the other into the abyss on the left, and it closed; he threw the hen into the whole in front, which was as deep as heaven is high, and it closed. The Four Hundred Deities had already told the ferrymen at the river Orunmila had to cross that if a diviner traveling with a woman should come to them, they must not ferry them across. When Orunmila was approaching the ferrymen, he put his wife, Narrow, inside of one bag and he put the other bag over her head. He tied her up, and carried her. When he came to the river, the ferrymen did not know that this was the diviner of whom the Four Hundred Divinities had spoken, and paddled them across the river. When Orunmila arrived at the market in Ife, he put the bags down and untied them; and his wife stepped out. All of the Four Hundred Divinities were disappointed and they were angry; but Orunmila was dancing and rejoicing He said:
" Oooooh shoko'."Bani" "Ejinrin spreads and spreads until it enters the town; o, "Was the one who cast Ifa for me, Orunmila, "When I was going to marry Narrow, the child of the Sea Goddess. "The Four Hundred Dieties dug a pit on the right side; "The Four Hundred Dieties dug an abyss on the left side; "In front they dug a hole as deep as heaven is high. "They can dig a pit on the right side oh; "They can dig an abyss on the left side; "They can dig a hole in the front, as deep as heaven is hugh; "They didn't say one can't go to his own house, 'gbain' "Orunmila, carry me in your bag; carry me in your purse, "So that we may go together slowly; "So that whereever we may be going, we may go together." Ifa says we will marry a woman. Everyone will try to twist us and turn us, and they will conspire against us; but we should not be afraid. We will marry the woman Ase ase ase o *Ifaleye note* Whatever, whoever conspires against us they will not succeed as long as we have Ifa, as long as we follow his footsteps, his injunctions, his instruction. ase o Now something else about Dafa, these verses of Odu we do not just pick out of a hat. When we do Dafa there are a series of prayers etc that are done then we go to Ifa (Orunmila) He is the God of wisdom He is called the Elerii Ipin witness to creation, witness to fate. Remember I said that we all chose to come here and knew what was our destiny before coming, well Ifa (Orunmila) was there when we chose to come, therefore he knows what is our destiny And he is the God of divination, so we go to him, and during the divination process he gives us the Odu that pertains to the person who is having the reading done. The Irunmole (Odu) experienced everything that we could ever experience, so the solutions are in the Odu. When I do a reading an Odu will come, this Odu will speak of what is going on in this person's life past present and future. Ifa (Orunmila) is also the one who knows the beginning as well as the end of all things, therefore we can find the answers and solutions to whatever is going on in life. When a person gets Dafa it will come in one of 2 ways in what is called Ire (good fortune) or Ayewo (opposition) if it comes Ire, we will determine what is the Ire (Money, Long Life, Victory, Marraige, Honor etc) If it comes in Ayewo we will determine what is the opposition to obtaining blessins, (all Odu contain blessings) but sometimes there is opposition to the blessings (death, sickness, poverty, loss, etc. etc.) However which ever way it comes, there is a remedy. If it comes in Ire, there are things that have to be done to secure the Ire, If it comes in Ayewo there are things that have to be done to circumvent the opposition. This is called Ebo (sacrifice) it could be anything from a cool glass of water to .... The ebo goes to the Orisa who will take care of whatever it is, Oshun I mentioned before is an Orisa (diety) She is a river diety, but she concerns much more. so if you had Dafa done and it said this and that, we would determine to which Orisa do we go to either secure the blessing or to remove the opposition, hence the ebo goes to the Orisa. There is a saying in Ifa "There is no problem on Aiye (Earth) the Ifa does not have a solution for"
That being said, we do not have to guess about what is happening in our lives or why. And the answers to our prayers do not have to be hit and miss, there is surety in what we do. With all that being said, there are obligations to getting Dafa, Once you know you are responsible. If you get a reading, you are then responsible to have the ebo done, If your reading says ie you have untold wealth coming, but you need to do this and that, you are then responsible to have it done by the priest, or what could possibly happen is just the opposite. The God of the crossroads, or the one who brings all things together the Messnger of the Orisa is called Esu and when one gets a reading He is present, and if you do what is told he will make sure what is supposed to be done gets done, however on the other hand if you get a reading and then refuse to do what is to be done he will also make sure whatever is the misfortune to come he makes sure it comes. With that being said it is important to know that Esu does not do this out of malice etc, it is designed to teach us character, Esu's job is to build us and to teach us what is right etc. So when we fail to do what we are to do he reminds us in sometimes not so pleasant ways. Last thing said, an Ifa priest is supposed for the most part if possible to be just that an Ifa priest, so there are certain monies that are exchanged so that the priest can eat, be clothed, pay bills etc. So dafa has a fee as well as ebo Hope that helps you understand. There is much more that could be said, but perhaps at another time that will be shared Ire Ifaleye
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