Ifa Divination Lesson 10

April 18, 2014 by
Filed under: Ifa divination lessons 


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

Cowries with bagFollowing 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.

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7 Comments on Ifa Divination Lesson 10

  1. Roberto Baglini on Sat, 19th Apr 2014 09:16
  2. Nice Babà . Kiss And go. :-) the only point you might highlight further is Etawa. In my personal comprehension I see Etawa as a subtle sign one has to reformulate the question and cast again. This in a general sense. In case of deciding whether a text should be read, I prefer to cast again. That is I see in Etawa a certain dose of uncertainty, that however indicates the text I am casting for is not Of particular importance even if Ifa answer Yes.

    BTW Thank you Baba to go ahead with Divination lessons. It is a previous gift for all us.

  3. Roberto Baglini on Sat, 19th Apr 2014 09:16
  4. Sorry, precious not previous

  5. Jaap Verduijn on Sat, 19th Apr 2014 09:57
  6. Thanks, Roberto, that is correct: Etawa is not as firm a “Yes” as Alafia and Ejife are. In fact, in the “Jaap Verduijn” system ( ;-) ) there are three kinds of “firmness” in the “Yes” answers. The strongest “Yes” is Alafia, Ejife or Etawa when preceded by one or more Oyekus: that’s “YES!” hollered via a loudspeaker attached to a 10,000 Watt amplifier. The second strongest are Alafia and Ejife: those are a firm and undeniable “Yes”. The last one is Etawa, which can be considered something like: “Oh, alright, go ahead”.

    What we have to bear in mind is that this particular lesson is essentially about one particular kind of question: “Does this text want to be read?” In this context it makes no sense to throw a second cast after Etawa, because we are not pursuing any complicated subject here: whatever complications there may be for the client, will surface in the reading itself, i.e. in the texts and their interpretations.

    In the reading itself, when Etawa appears, indeed it does require a follow-up, just like Okanran. But that’s not the subject of this particular lesson. We will get to that in a later instalment.

  7. Roberto Baglini on Sat, 19th Apr 2014 20:04
  8. Very clear Baba. Thank you.

  9. Jaap Verduijn on Sun, 27th Apr 2014 10:47
  10. Roberto, I’m working on the next lesson. It covers the more extensive method of interpreting and working with yes/no answers that can be used during the divination itself, whether by the diviner himself in the regular process of the reading or in the client’s “question hour” ;-) ! So look out for Lesson # 11!

  11. lcmascorro on Sat, 26th Jul 2014 23:28
  12. Hello,

    When casting the 4 cowries to your Esu, Oggun, Ibeji, Olokun, Egun etc. do you cast them in front of their shrines? If so, does the invocation change to just mention the Orisha, Egun etc by name?

  13. Beek Brenda on Tue, 29th Jul 2014 17:10
  14. Your question is already answerred in the last paragraph in this lesson and in the Independent group on Facebook. I’ll paste it again here:

    “When in doubt, ask (your cowries)!!!

    Oh dear, how simple is it all! When in doubt, ask!!! That’s what your cowries are for, after all! When performing Ifa divination you never need to leave the client (or yourself!) with any uncertainty, not when it comes to the practical things anyway. Ask, ask, ask! The answers will always be forthcoming!”

    Since we promote independency we also like to promote people to look for anwers oneself, the oracle is friendly enough to explain itself. For me it is not neccessary to do it in front of shrines, so I reckon it might neither be of utmost importance for you. However, when you like to do such a thing, then feel free to just do it.

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