|Randomly refreshing bits of Ifa wisdom:|
"By not knowing what we have to do, we finish up doing exactly nothing; by not knowing what we should not do, we make the same mistake over and over again"... those were the ones who cast for Oshoosi, on the day that he was worried about his path.
Should he or shouldn't he try again, what in the past had only given him lots of trouble?
They told him that not even the donkey stumbles over the same stone twice, so why
would Father be more stupid than the beasts?
This site will be revived!
Although in the background things never came to a standstill, superficially seen this site has been in coma for about a year. That ain’t true though – for those who have the right subscription and went to the trouble to look, there was a quite considerable growth of the Odu Library, where lots of texts have been added and are still being added. So the building was quietly going on, while the re-building is starting right now with me sorting out the various Lego bricks.
It is the sad truth however that, as far as fresh postings and lessons go, there was a great big pause. This was due to several factors, one being the need to work on Brenda’s and mine Odu Ifa books, of which the fourth volume “Iwori” will be published before the end of this year. Another factor was my shaky health, which is being dealt with and henceforth improving. Old bahstuds never die – they just smell that way (wide grin)! There are more factors, but I will not bother you with them – I won’t even let them bother myself too much.
Anyway, a few things that are about to happen is the resuming of the series of Ifa Divination Lessons here, and the ending of free memberships. The former is about bloody time, and the latter turned out to be too much bother. In the next few weeks, among other activities on the site, I will delete the option for free memberships. For those who held such memberships this is not a disaster, there’s always the Independent Ifa Practitioners group on Facebook.
Behind the scenes there is a lot of work going on here, the added picture taken this summer of your host relaxing with a nice hookah/shisha/nargileh was a rare caption of an even rarer moment of leisure 😉 !
So let’s wrap it up… what’s gonna happen? The Ifa Divination Lessons will be continued, the free memberships will be discontinued, before the end of this year the fourth volume in our series of Ifa Texts books (“Iwori”) will become available, more and more texts will be added to the Odu Library here online, and when Olodumare, Ifa, Eshu and a few others of our remarkable pantheon of worthies give us time to live and a bit of energy, my seventieth birthday that I celebrated last month will be the start of en elderly but active life. Be well, the lot of you!
October: we made it!
Through very hard work we managed to make the deadline of October after all: Volume #3 in our series of Odu Ifa books Irosun is available NOW. This means that presently the first three books in a series of sixteen are available to you:
ODU IFA COLLECTION: THE MAIN ODU AND THEIR FIFTEEN SUB-ODUS
Available for purchase at www.lulu.com
The thirteen other volumes will appear over the next few years in alphabetical order, momentarily we are working on Iwori. More information and FAQ right HERE!
Odu books cheaper for members
Good news for the faithful members of this website! To show my appreciation for the paying members of this Ilé Dafa website, I have decided to make my Odu Ifa books available to them with a considerable discount. I consider this only fair: by having a paid subscription to this site you help make it possible to write, design and publish the books which, apart from a labor of love, is also an extremely time consuming and damn expensive business.
I am not sure yet what the exact amount of the discount will be, although I guess I’ll probably settle on US$5 off each volume, possibly slightly more. I aim to keep the default (full) price of each volume at the present US$21.95 which, on account of some volumes having (a lot) more pages than some others, seems to be a fair overall average. With five bucks off, the discounted price will then be US$16.95 or I might even decide to fix the discounted price at let’s say the nice round sum of 15 dollars. Although with the thinner volumes this will leave me with very little profit indeed and with the fatter volumes with none at all (or even a loss), I think that in all fairness the monthly contributions to this site from the faithful subscribers warrant this discountly gesture of appreciation.
At present we’re figuring out the technicalities of supplying this discount for our paying members, and when that’s done I’ll post the results here, including how you need to go about ordering your pleasantly discounted books.
The Independent Group is open again!
If you lot would like to have an easy platform to discuss all kinds of things pertaining to Ifa and Orisha, you might want to join our recently re-opened Independent Ifa Practitioners group on Facebook.
What to tell those who don’t take Ifa serious
Every now and then I grow tired of explaining to people what Ifa is, and why I’m sufficiently interested in it to be a practitioner, and to invest decades of my life in collecting texts and publishing them in books. In such a tired moment I advise people to look up the connection between Ifa and Unesco – after all, in 2005 Unesco has recognized Ifa as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”. Click on the pic to go to the Unesco site.
Irete Meji and its 15 sub-Odus available
Several days earlier than the planned 5th of May, we managed to get the Irete book out in the open! It has been published and is available right now!
There is a confession to be made though: I must immediately admit that the proud statement “a few days earlier than the planned date” is kind of misleading, because the book was already several months overdue before we set the final publishing date. Indeed, due to lots of unexpected circumstances, including the fact that there was so much more work involved than we initially imagined, our planning turned out to be waaaaaay off. But we kinda got into our stride now, having settled into some kind of regular work schedule and having ironed out a bunch of wrinkles in the process, which means that the third volume Irosun will easily follow later this year. But for the time being: here is your long-expected Irete book! Enjoy!
Irete – The main odu and its fifteen sub-odus:
• The book contains 74 Ifa verses
• Metaphysical Observations
• The book is fully illustrated
• Arranged in alphabetical order
Number of verses:
Irete Meji (14)
You can order the book by clicking on either the illustration or the blue link higher up in the text, or simply here. The price is US$ 21.95 or the equivalent in your own currency.
Several levels of “Yes/No” answers
A fair part of every Ifa divination consists of the asking and answering of questions. In fact I strongly encourage my clients to ask concrete questions, because Ifa has the uncanny knack of coming up with equally (or even more!) concrete answers!
The core of my questions-and-answers system is of course formed by the familiar system that in the Diaspora is often cast with pieces of coconut called “Obi”, its African predecessor that is cast with kola nuts called “Obi Abata”, or with any set of four flat objects can can fall either side up… in Africa I have seen people successfully divine with coins, trouser buttons, and of course my own favorite four cowries – which are used in this whole series of divination lessons anyway. We’ll stick to them, and below you see the five basic patterns with their names that the four cowries can fall in, when we are only concerned with “yes” or “no”. This should already be familiar to you by now, but hey: nothing wrong with a little bit of overkill every now and then!
But there is much more to answering questions than just “yes” or “no”! In this lesson I will guide you through various levels of answers, from the very simple basic “yes” or “no” without any bells or whistles, via yes but…” and “no but…” replies, additionally via “yes” or “no” with one “underlying” leg of Odu Ifa, to the even more complicated “yes, but…” or “no, but…” answers that are clarified by two “underlying” legs of Odu Ifa AKA a full double Odu. For yes indeed: if necessary we can read underneath initially unstable and unclear answers a double Odu Ifa which offers us its full range of texts (Ese Odu Ifa) to help us understand what’s the matter!
The first level: basic “yes” and “no”
The most basic way of interpreting the five patterns is by considering Alafia, Ejife and Etawa simply a “yes”, and Okanran and Oyeku simply a “no”. Nothing more, nothing less. Often, in utterly uncomplicated questions like “Does this text want to be read for the client?” this basic interpretation is sufficient. Nothing complicated (Members: click to read on)
Not sure? All you have to do is ASK!!!
One of the questions that reach me regularly is: “When I am divining, how exactly do I decide what texts from my Ifa Corpus are applicable to the client?” The answer is of a beautiful, almost devastating simplicity: since you are already in the process of working with (the paraphernalia of) Ifa, all you have to do is ask!
Deciding whether a text wants to be read
Following my system you work with four cowries that can be read as either half a leg of Ifa, or as the answer to “Yes/no” questions, or both. In the case of deciding what texts to read, you go for the “Yes/no” answers and simply cast the cowries while asking: “Does this text want to be read?” The reply will be given as either Alafia, Ejife, Etawa, Okanran or Oyeku. I advise you to keep it simple, and consider Alafia, Ejife and Etawa a “Yes”, Okanran a “No”, and Oyeku an “Ask again, because this is very important!”.
Alafia, Ejife, Etawa and Okanran are very straightforward, providing the answer immediately. Oyeku instructs you to ask the same question again, and when either Alafia, Ejife, Etawa or Okanran appears you have your answer. Fairly often, however, the initial Oyeku will be followed by a second and even a third Oyeku before eventually a clear yes or no comes up.
Just as a reminder, here are (Members: click to read on)