Author Archives: aje

Our Word is Our Character

In the Yoruba tradition of Ifa, words are what bring to us the messages of Orunmila and the orisa. Words are the vehicle to impart wisdom and the means to alleviate our life struggles. By following the word of Ifa, we are guided to solutions. Looking beyond all the other parts that make up a successful outcome, words, and our faith and trust in those words, stand alone as the most important glue that holds together a sacrifice. They are ASE in action, power in action, containing all of the knowledge, Read more [...]

THE ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

When people reach out to me for help, I am obligated to act to the best of my ability as an ambassadress of Ifa. I am responsible for my vision, words, guidance and actions, and I take that very seriously. I strive daily to lift up others, give counsel, guidance and I work for their alignment within the tradition of Ifa and the irunmole. After decades of dealing with the psychology and spiritual makeup of people from many parts of the world, I have come to learn some of the major stumbling blocks Read more [...]

Eledumare, Ori, Orisa: The Puzzle of Ifa in Western Society

If you have not read any of my previous posts, my name is Iya Ekundayo. I was brought up in the Brazilian spiritual tradition of "Xango", a diaspora offshoot of the Ifa tradition of the Yoruba people of Nigeria, and am a fully initiated Iyalorixa. I am also a Iyanifa, a priestess of Ifa of the same Yorubaland. My days are spent talking to people, divining with cowrie shells, pounding out soaps and medicines which are within the oral Ifa divination corpus, making offerings, writing emails with advice Read more [...]

The Odd Pairing of Esu and Joan Rivers

I am always fond of saying that I learn something new in orisa everyday and this week was no exception. For those of you not familiar with me, I work as a Iyanifa and Iyalorisa priestess, a cowrie shell diviner, a maker of Ifa medicines using plants and leaves and also as a physical medium of spirit and orisa. A large part of my work is attending to clients who come to sit “face to face” with a spirit guide, or, most often, Esu, the “most human” of all orisa, for a one on one about their Read more [...]

Eewo-Taboos and Living Life Within the Tradition of Ifa

The Yoruba tradition of Ifa is very clear about eewo-taboos-and every person initiated into Ifa, Itelodu, or who has a naming ceremony at birth, is given their taboos to guide them in life. These go beyond the Christian Ten Commandments of “Thou Shalt not…”. The taboos are very specific to your own special life path and destiny, and are put in place to assure that you achieve iwa pele, perfection, in all aspects of your life. While the Yoruba of old made it very clear that Olodumare is watching Read more [...]

Of Negative Thinking and the Leopard’s Spots

Not so long ago I was contacted over the internet by a client who requested a session with Esu to deal with a serious problem in his marriage. As he would not be able to attend in person I have my helper set up a laptop inside my shrine, ready to take down dictation as Esu settles into the business at hand. After about 9 long pages of advice, all relative to the situation both spiritually and materially, Esu began to speak of the differences between humans and animals, specifically to the pitfalls Read more [...]

Wake Up Your Life with Prayer

Prayer is an often forgotten ally in our modern world, even for traditionalists who call themselves orisa worshipers or followers. Certainly we all pray when ebo is being made, when we are bowed standing or on our knees in a shrine, but what about when we first wake in the morning? How many people can honestly say they pray, or even know how to pray? While this is easy for those who are initiated into Ifa, if one is not initiated into Ifa with a hand of ikin (the sacred palm nuts of divination which Read more [...]

​The Passage

Beads fall across your face pearl water drops hidden dark beauty radiant beneath Queen that holds the iruke Owner of all mysteries deep I thank you for dressing me in your clothes Mo dupe O Mamae Your body moves glistening foam steel blue under moon slivered ships rock tossed as you spray salt fury to the heavens churning below you roar undeniably Who is foolish enough to challenge you? Centuries ago branded, beaten, forced the last step from land your people entered darkness Mother Read more [...]

Praises to the River Goddess

Bright Mother who flashes fire reflecting yellow sun Owner of countless riches below shell pearl river stone throne you are seated like a crown diamond-filled and flowing you spread your ribbons cross land to kiss sweet with salt sea tang. Queen Mother who carries a fan you plait your hair quick fingers mid-stream showing supple back glowing gold onto the sand. Blue-silver ice-green frothing white your arms soothe beads of fever dry throats we drink coolness with our Read more [...]

The Importance of Prayer and Ori

God/Olodumare is Supreme For followers of Ifa, known as elesin ibile, prayer is a daily practice. When one understands their place in the Universe along with all the irunmole, it is only natural (or with a little practice), to give thanks for everything one has, no matter how small. Our heavenly Father Olodumare has given us the gift of life along with this magnificent planet we live on. I like to start each day praying to God, starting with giving thanks for everything I have in detail, Read more [...]