My name is Iyá Ekundayo, Iyalorisa priestess, spirit medium of the Xango tradition, Nagô nation, initiated in the religious house Ilê Oxum Monjobe in Mangabeira, Recife, Pernambuco Brazil. I am also initiated into the Ifa tradition in Yorubaland of Nigeria as Iyanifa. I divide my time between the United States, Brazil and Nigeria, Agege Kingdom and Ogun State igbodu, working in my shrine throwing cowries, making Ifa medicine, manifesting spirit guides / orisa for clients both inside and outside the countries I am living in at the time. I work principally with Esu and the waters of Olokun besides cowrie divination, which brings me great pleasure. I also perform spiritual cleansing on homes with spirits who are bothering the living, and assist in helping the dead to cross over. Please email me if you have tried everything to no avail and need help.
My root initiate Xango religion (NE Brazil diaspora religion derived from Yoruba root) has two lineages: that of the orisa and that of the spirits of the Jurema Preta. These spirits are greatly loved and revered in Brazil for their warmth, character, insight and powers. I work with the spirit guides Exu da Meia-Noite, Malunguinho (Mestre, Cabocolo, Rei and Exu), Pomba Gira and Pai Joaquim, to aide consultants in their life choices and difficulties. Please visit the testimonials page to get a better idea of the scope of this work.
People consult the spirits in person, or their situation can be presented from long distance and the appropriate spirit will then arrive to discuss at length the consultant’s concerns. These spirits are closely linked with the orisa and are used many times as mouthpieces for the orisa to pass messages or types of offerings the consultant needs to make. I know the lineage as the side of the fumaça – the side of the work with tobacco and indigenous spirits of the brasilian forests – the side of the Jurema Preta, and I am very skilled in the art of brewing Jurema for the Mestres and Mestras, Caboclos and Caboclas to drink.
My spiritual journey started at age 12 with an awareness and strong desire to understand the nature of my existence here on earth. My main wish was to not only understand and transcend my own human suffering, but to also help and alleviate the suffering of others around me. At 15 years of age, spirits began to visit me, the first being my main spirit guide Malunguinho who works inside the Jurema Preta of Brazil.
Having lived in different countries starting at a very early age, I looked to my higher self, to my ori, for guidance to light my path through the world. For a time I resisted the inevitable, which was to be a total submission and leap of faith into the world of the orisa and the spirit guides.
After my development and initiation as Mae de Santo/Iyalorixa in brasil, my orisa and spirit guides were telling me and teaching me that certain accepted knowledge, rituals and practices were not quite exactly as practiced in brasil. There was other divine knowledge being passed to me. Esu set my spiritual eyes looking towards the Yoruba homeland in Nigeria. I began to check and verify their messages and understand how, with the passage of centuries, Yoruba practices and rituals had become diverted or diluted into other rituals, rites, beliefs and practices within brasil and the diaspora. This, and my ori’s guidance to avert my own early death, is what led me on my journey back to my homeland in Nigeria, to the root source and sacred birthplace of the orisa where I initiated in to Ifa.
I have since blended and adapted the two practices, Yoruba Ifa and my Brazilian religious practices. They are both valid, yet different from each other. My main focus, of course, is to help whomever Olodumare and Ifa bring to me, to the best of my ability. I take this life very seriously and for me it is one of constant spiritual learning and striving. The one thing I remember my Mae de Santo, Mae Consuelo always saying, is that each day she learns something new from the orisa, that she never stops learning, and this is even when she was already well into her 80’s, but full of ASE and a living embodiment of orisa.
I can only hope to achieve what I have witnessed in the elders who have taken me under their wing: a steadfast devotion to serving God and Ifa above all, above money, above personal pleasures.
As I travel and work between Brasil, Nigeria and the USA, I am constantly learning more as I witness this incredible transformation between the Old World Yorubaland tradition in Nigeria, and the New World diaspora traditions. There are many differences between Ifa and orisa worship in Nigeria, and what is known as “Ifa” and “orisa worship” in the diaspora. It is my hope to make a bridge between the two worlds to help others find more freedom and spiritual truth in the honest, simple worshiping of the orisa deities as practiced in Yorubaland.
Though I am a very private person, I feel it is important to share wisdom, and so here on this aite/blog I am dedicating space to write down what I have learned from life experience and by working with my guides, the orisa, and Esu- the greatest teacher of life – as he manifests in my body passing messages of very clear and to the point wisdom to help people. Esu offers a divine vision and perspective of the problems that we humans can face in life, and as the role of Esu is greatly misunderstood, I feel it is only fair to open my world to others who might benefit from reading these words and to perhaps rethink what Esu represents.
My own path is not meant for others to follow; we are all on our own life road and must each seek out our own truth, but my desire is to demystify and declutter much of what has been put forth as orisa worship in the diaspora, far from the birthplace of the orisa in Yorubaland, as well as give insight towards any problems others might be facing at present. Each time I divine for someone, each time I pound leaves and plants into soaps, burn to powders, amulets, etc., for the benefit of someone, my wholehearted and honest desire is for that person’s healing and benefit in life. And I thank God for the life I have.
There is no absolute truth or untruth, nothing is all good or all bad. We are all on this journey of learning together, and our learning never ends, no matter our age, position in life, or spiritual attainment. We can become vessels to hold and share the goodness and blessings of the orisa and guides, and it is this that drives me in life. It is in this spirit that I offer my Self to life, to all who are also making their journey and walking a similar road.
May Olodumare, our Ori, Ifa, Esu, and all the irunmole guide us, protect us, give us health, happiness, riches, family and friends, love and long life. May we all prosper in peace Ase Ase Ase O! Assim seja!
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