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See also  Appendix G – Images of Ifa: Hermeneutics / Divination

Chapter 1 – Orientation and Overview

chapter-1-–-orientation-and-overview

Photography: Will Coleman, Ph.D.

The opon ifa (divination board that is used that is used during the process of dafa [interpretation]).  Also, it represents interactions between the macrocosm and microcosm of spiritual and physical realities. The ubiquitous presence of esu around the circumference of the board demonstrates his essential role in communication between all realms of life.

ORIENTATION AND OVERVIEW

This text and course is an introductory presentation of one of several sacred West African spiritual traditions.  It is commonly known as Ifa. More specifically, it is called Isese. It originated in modern day Nigeria among the Yoruba people.  It is a spirituality that spread during the transatlantic slave trade throughout parts of the African Diaspora in the Americas (Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico) in different forms (e.g., Candomble, Lucumi, Santeria, Haitian vodou, etc.)

My (Dr. Will Coleman) journey began 67 years ago within a home and community where respect for ancestors and elders was important. We was born in Memphis, Tenn.

***

PRAYER

Photography: Will Coleman, Ph.D.

Osun eye kan. This “bird” is associated with special esoteric knowledge of and Ifa priest or Babalawo (“father of the mysteries” of African wisdom).  It has been placed on this opon ifa for illustration only.  This is not its ritualistic location.

DARAJI

Orunmila mo pe, Orunmila mo pe, Orunmila mo pe.

Spirit of Destiny We are greeting you, Spirit of Destiny We are greeting you, Spirit of Destiny We are greeting you.

Ifa mo pe, Ifa mo pe, Ifa mo pe.

Wisdom of Nature We are greeting you, Wisdom of Nature We are greeting you, Wisdom of Nature We are greeting you.

See also  "Unlocking the Power of Orisa: A Holistic Approach for Lasting Solutions"

Oduduwa mo pe, Oduduwa mo pe, Oduduwa mo pe,

Parent of our people We are greeting you, Parent of our people We are greeting you, Parent of our people We are greeting you.

Igi nla subu wonakankan d’etu, Orunmila ni o di adariji.

The Light that precedes appeasement. Spirit of Destiny relieve me of my obligation.

Mo ni o di daraji.

I ask you to relieve my obligation

Ase.

May it be so.

***

ATTRIBUTION

This Ifa textbook was created by Will Coleman, Ph.D. (Baba Esuyemi Ifayemi), Associate Professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center, and Awo Fa’lokun Fatunmbi with assistance from Brad Ost, Head of Reference Services and Theological Librarian at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library. Funding for this project was provided through a generous grant from Atla, Collectors and Connectors in Religion & Theology.

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