FAQ

Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions about the Yoruba Tradition/Culture and Ifa Orisha Unveiled for your perusal.

Who are the Yoruba People?

The Yoruba people are an ethnic group of southwestern and north-central Nigeria, as well as southern and central Benin. Together, these regions are known as Yorubaland.

Source: Wikipedia

What is Yoruba Tradition?

“Yoruba Tradition” or Iṣeṣe (ee-sheh-sheh) refers to the indigenous spiritual and cultural practices of the Yorubas. The tradition involves the worship of Ifa and Orisha, or the worship of nature and all within. Yoruba tradition is vast and deep and also involves Metaphysical wisdom.

What is Ifa?

Ifa is a divination system used by the Babalawo and/or Iyanifa. The oracle is owned by the Yoruba God of Wisdom and the Witness of Fate, Orunmila. To be a follower of Ifa is to be initiated into the practice. Becoming initiated means having protection and guidance (please see posts that will explain more in depth about becoming initiated).

What is Orisha?

An Oriṣa, or ‘Orisha’ in English spelling, is a deity or demigod which reflects the manifestations of God in the Yoruba Spiritual System. The Orishas are masculine and feminine energies that rule over forces of nature and all the endeavors of humanity. There are 400 + 1 Orishas. To be a follower of Orisha, is to be initiated to a particular Orisha that ‘rules your head’.

For foreigners, to discover which Orisha rules your head is often done through Ifa divination.

For indigenous Yorubas, Orisha rulership is known through familial lineage.

Please see our posts for more information on Orisha initiations.

Does any of the information on Ifa Orisha Unveiled apply to Candomble, Lucumi, or other forms of Tradition in the diaspora?

No. The information provided on Ifa Orisha Unveiled is only from the Yoruba prospective, unless otherwise stated.

How do I know if I need to be initiated?

A Reading or Divination! Divination is always the pointer of the way. A reading can be other forms of oracles that provide clarity / or you can have an Ifa Divination. Initiation is not a must for everyone, but it is extremely beneficial for anyone. However, there are some that initiation ismust for. There can be many reasons for this: a chosen destiny, to save a life (or lives), healing, to collect a great blessing, to stop an ill fate, to rewrite a destiny for the better, for protection, etc.

What is the average price for initiation?

There are no “average prices” for initiations or any other form of spiritual work. Spirituality is very personal and so are initiations. What one person may need, you may not. Also, prices in spiritual work vary on a lot of factors:

  • Experience and competency of the spiritualist/traditionalist
  • The difficulty of your work or the reason you are being initiated (some people are often under heavy spiritual attacks, and helping you out of these problems are risky for those who choose to help you, as your burden will often be left with the spiritualist if he does not know how to protect himself or remove it).
  • Items needed for a successful work, sacrifice, or initiation
  • Payment for others who wish to lend a hand (i.e. drummers, other Babalawo/Iyafa who offer Ase, prayers, deliver messages, etc.)
  • Sacrificial payments (in other words, money offered as sacrifice)

And Most Importantly: In terms of initiation, prices mainly vary depending on what your Odu will require (“your Odu” means your own Destiny Book). Some will require a lot of sacrifices to cut and clear negativity or to bring forth goodness, some may require you to have a lot of Akose Ifa (medicines/protection/spiritual power), some may require the initiation into another Orisa (which may be a must with that particular Odu) or some may even require additional work to be done.

This is all determined by your own Odu and the requirements needed for the opening up of your Destiny, which is what helps determine the price.

My best advice is to try as much as you can to be able to afford your initiation. You want to avoid giving less than what is asked of you, so that your initiation, too, will not be shortened, which can cause issues instead of progress if the Babalawo omits something required because of lack of funds.

Can I reproduce Ifa Orisha Unveiled content?

Yes, but you must cite Ifa Orisha Unveiled as the source, otherwise the material can not be used. If you would like to reproduce our content into print, please contact us for permission.

How do I get in contact with you?

The author of this website is Obara Meji. If you would like to contact her directly, visit this page.

Skip to toolbar