Ifa divination lesson 9

July 26, 2013 by
Filed under: Ifa divination lessons 

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10 Comments on Ifa divination lesson 9

  1. Roberto on Fri, 26th Jul 2013 14:39
  2. Thank you Baba. That is all very clear and educational. I would like to get this occasion to ask you for a specific information about quadrants of Opon (or of whatever be used as a circular tracing) and Obi. In the classic Obi divination female and males Obi lobes are said as out of balance when pointing from 3 to 6 o’clock (males) or from 12 to 3 o’clock (females). So, only the part of Opon going from 12 to 6 o’clock is considered as significant in determining the benevolent or malevolent message of male and female lobes. The rest is considered as neutral. I absolutely don’t know nor I’m able to grasp the reason of this. Have you any idea?.

  3. Jaap Verduijn on Fri, 26th Jul 2013 15:10
  4. I have absolutely no idea, Roberto, Obi Abata is not part of the syllabus I teach. I guess people like my friend Ochani Lele who teaches and specializes in Obi divination, might be one of many persons who can help you out.

  5. Nanette Furman on Fri, 26th Jul 2013 18:38
  6. Ok, one place I read you just use the tray for marking, and throw the nuts/shells/trouser buttons on a mat- then I read- throw the shells on the tray. Now allowing as how one can do any damn thing one wants, curiousity would like to know which is the common and traditional use?

  7. Jaap Verduijn on Fri, 26th Jul 2013 19:24
  8. There is no common or traditional equivalent of the way I cast Ifa, Nanette, at least not in the Orunmila system. Awos within that system use ikin or opele, not cowries, for casting Ifa. These awos mark the signs of the Odu on the opon (Ifa tray), but they don’t actually cast anything on them. The division of the opon in four quadrants serves other purposes with these traditional babalawos, like invocations and sacrifices.

    I prefer using cowries, and I don’t cast them on an opon either… on the hard wood they will jump all over the place (wide grin)! I either cast them on the same mat I sit upon, or on a round woven tray similar to those that Merindinlogun/Dillogun diviners use. My own round tray you see below, the top, as you see, is indicated with a few licks of colored paint on the rim… kind of equivalent to the Eshu head on an opon Ifa.

    The Odus that appear there can be written down (“marked”) simply with a pen on a piece of paper which I prefer, or if you are inclined to make some more of a show of it, with the fingers in powder thrown on an opon Ifa.

    Frankly, I don’t know any other word in English to describe that round woven thing of bamboo or reed than “tray”. Over here Bren and I call it our “tampah” or “tampat” which is Malay, because over here you buy those things in Indonesian shops or toko’s.

    Anyway, when I refer to “tray” in a general way, I refer to whatever round thingummy I cast my cowries on. Hope this helps 😉

  9. Beek Brenda on Sat, 27th Jul 2013 14:41
  10. Hmmm… I understand Nanette’s confusion, I used to have the same confusion. Anyway to be able to make you really understand I will write a piece, can’t put that in just a few words. But I think I can pull it off!

  11. Nanette Furman on Sat, 27th Jul 2013 22:00
  12. thanks. Essentially, it depends on what you are throwing 🙂 I have a tray (or flat basket) just like that- actually several- Mexican made, or Pueblo made, or possibly Indonesian made, depending on where we got them- use ’em for displaying veg at market, and yes, I have one for throwing, but usually do it on a cloth on the bed, or some such. And write it down with pen and paper ! grin. And since the tray can be as quadranted (not! a proper dictionary word) just as easily as an opon… I see the use. hmmm. I saw the quadrant stuffs originally in Falokuns book, and it just made my head ache. Too, way too,much overlay. Thanks again and take care of you. You too Brenda!

  13. dedra on Fri, 30th Aug 2013 18:37
  14. hey n9w, that’s an herb gathering/drying basket ))))))))

  15. Veronique on Sat, 7th Sep 2013 14:09
  16. We call that round tray with Ejiogbe Odu on it ”atete” in Yorubaland. We don’t get it to buy again. In one of the lesson, after seeing you cast on the mat. I went to the Elewe Omo market where I was sold a used, old one at an exorbitant price. It helped me in defining the position of the cowries. I don’t use it again because I can clearly define the position of the cowries on the mat. Thanks Baba!

  17. Jaap Verduijn on Sun, 8th Sep 2013 12:04
  18. Pretty soon one learns to define the relative positions of the cowries on whatever background. The woven horizontal and vertical strips on the tampah (atete – thanks Veronique!) just make it somewhat easier, but they’re certainly not absolutely necessary! These things cost only a few euros here, how come they’re so expensive “over there”, Veronique?

  19. AnnaB on Tue, 9th Dec 2014 08:34
  20. I’m so glad that you brought up position on the tray. When I learned Obi with coconut, an Ifá priest just grinned, passed me a book and said, “well, study this traditional style. Everyone can access Ifá if you understand the quadrants.” Going from 9 possible outcomes to the full 256 proved too much for me at the time. Just getting back to this, 20 years later.

    The layers of “locations” over the quadrants created the legs of Odu. In your version, this would be an unwarranted intrusion, I think, since the goal is to arrive at an Odu as cleanly as possible. That said, the quadrant stories behave almost like determinants. Are the yeses essentially determinants in your style of casting?