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The sacred oracles of the Babalawo ≫ Ékuele, Até and Yefá

Ifa oracle

The religious consecrated in the Sacred Rule of Ifá They are called Ifá or Babalawos priests, these dedicate their lives to worship and work with orunmila, being men the possessors of this great privilege.   

The Oluos, as they are also called, do not use the oracle of Diloggun to establish their divinations as this process is achieved through the use of the Ékuele, the Board, the Até and the Yefá.

The Ékuele is made up of the links of destiny.

The ékuele It is one of the ritual elements most used by the Babalawo, it is made up of the union of two chains made up of links, between which metals, shells and vegetable seeds are interspersed.

The presence of this consecrated chain called Okpelé is fundamental for the Ifá priest who with his help consults the religious, marking them odunes, establishing predictions for them and later ebbó.

The Até represents the plane of divination.

The Divination Board that Orula uses is known in Yoruba under the term Até, this is represented by a wooden circle that has a carved edge on its same body.

It can have various engravings and ornaments, being the mark of the four points marked at its ends a great source of power and religious invocation.

These points represent:

  • The four corners, a place that is guarded by Eleggúa,
  • the four Cardinal points, the north is Obatalá, the south is Oddúa, the east is Changó and the west is Echú,
  • the four seasons of the year: winter, autumn, spring and summer and
  • the four natural elements: earth, air, fire and water.

The Babalawo board It behaves like a plane, since the corresponding signs with the letters of Ifá and other lines that correspond to invocations and rituals of power are drawn on it.

The até de Ifá is not used in bad weather days, it is owed respect and devotion, its use is the last resort to have a response to a certain situation in the Yoruba Religion.

The Yefá knows the secrets of Ifá.

The Yefá It is the brown powder with a fine appearance that is arranged by Oluo in the form of a thin layer on the Orula board.

With the help of this, the previously described tracings are made.

This is made with various ingredients, among which I cite yam as the main element because it is its base, many of the other resources used in its preparation constitute religious secrets.

It should be noted that the Yefá can only be created by the Babalawos, who consecrate it through rites and prayers. 

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