IFA is not an acronym as such. It is used in some cases by those who have organizations and recognize the easy association in a case where the language is not indigenous to the region where it may be encountered. Ifa is the Spiritual Lifestyle, Philosophy, Study and Practice of Living in Harmony with the Universe around Us. Some may choose to call it a “Religion” for that reason. It is also by no means limited to that definition alone, but I rest that definition is not in disagreement with any practitioner, even though it might be a “smaller stroke of the brush.” The Ese Ifa is the body of work expressed and taught to Humanity by the Agent of the Creator known as Orunmila, whose practice was so perfect that the terms “Ifa” and “Orunmila”are interchangeably used to this very moment. The “Ese” (literally “feet” or trans-literally “foundation”) are verses that prescribe Ways of Behaving in a broad range of circumstances that include conflict, marriage, birth, death, business, love and others. A verse of the Sacred Odu “Irete ‘Yeku” says “Ifa will always teach you how to conduct yourselves and that will turn Death away from you.”
When matters are out of balance, it is Ifa (Orunmila) that is divined/consulted or “opened” to determine what that individual’s own Head (Ori) needs in order for balance to be restored. That word “opened” is important because from it we can trace back the root to the Yoruba word “Fa” which means “to open.” When we consider the name of the Elemental Force of Divine Guidance, Orunmila – we can find that His name is made up of the words “Orun” “mi” and “(o)la” which trans-literally means “Heaven is my Honor (or Wealth).” This speaks to the importance of this World as being a Marketplace, where We trade, buy and sell – experiences, goods and services in order to facilitate the Growth that will bring about the Good Position. It also sanctions Heaven as the Home of All, the place we must all Return, in the Traditional Saying “Orun a n’ile, A(i)ye l’oja” – Heaven is Home, Earth is the Marketplace.
These articles may be of interest:
- Those Who Practice African Traditional Religions are NOT Devil Worshippers!
- 222.9 The Mothership is the Future of Radio! BEAM UP!
Check out the latest in-depth interview of Oluwu Baba Ifalade on 222.9 The Mothership by iiiYansaje. T. Muse: