Ifa divination lesson 11
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 (Please become a member and/or log in to view this article.)