Ifa in the yoruba religion encompasses everything. It is the magic, the ceremony, the forces of nature seen in multiple streams of energy.
It is the worship of the word and the energy of Olodumare, the Almighty God and the Supreme Being, and the Orishas. It is the worship and veneration of the ancestors. It is symbolism and mystery, it is the world and its historical secrets.
The legend of Ifá
And while Orunmila was swallowing the barrels, the largest of these fell and broke into pieces.
After collecting the waste, Olodumare told Orunmila that he had swallowed the wisdom and that it would enrich him spiritually in all facets of life.
He would also see beyond all his peers with spirituality.
Thus, Orunmila could see things that were happening, then he got the power to see the past, the present and the future, the gift of divination.
When the other divinities learned of Orunmila's gifts and the story of the fallen barrel, they arrived at the scene with the intention of collecting some piece of wisdom.
That process of discarding, scrubbing and swallowing originated the word Ifa which literally means “all waste”.
But Orunmila remained the only one capable of decoding Olodumare's messages and taught it to his first disciple and student, Akódá. His precepts were called by the term Ifa.
Disciples who learn Ifa today they are known as Babalawos.
What does Ifá mean?
Ifa, therefore, it is recognized today as a West African religious system, based on the teachings of the Yoruba Religion.
It is the system through which the babalawos invoke Orunmila and Eshu to predict the future and clarify aspects in the lives of those who seek his guidance and protection.
Ifá, beliefs of the Yoruba religion
Ifa It also includes the laws that were part of and were involved in the formation of the universe. That is, the phenomena and manifestations of nature, in their totality make up an ideogram of Ifa.
So it can be said that he who follows the teachings Ifa and practices them, is the babalawo, to whom people turn to raise difficulties and important decisions.
It is also known as Ifá priest and can help to overcome problems through communication, ancestor worship and devotion to the Supreme God and the Orishas.
Ifá, the priesthood and the Babalawo
The Babalawos or Ifá priestsThey are the highest hierarchy within Regla Ocha and the Yoruba Religion, as they are in charge of carrying out the consecration ceremonies within Santeria.
They are characterized by constantly studying nature and the Sacred texts or Treaties of Odu, an extensive work in which symbolism and a complex Yoruba language predominate.
Al Ifá priesthood It can be reached after doing Ocha or directly, if so ordered by the oracle.
The initiate will have to train and to become a babalawo, he will have to face a long and costly process, because it demands a great sacrifice and commitment to religion.
The life of a babalawo should be destined to the search for knowledge and characterized by good behavior.
Continue IfaIt is a way of life, although there is no single way to practice it. There are several lineages that have their traditions and their way of carrying religion.