Meet Babalawo in Nigeria (Oba Town), Karimu Adeyemi.

Meet Babalawo in Nigeria (Oba Town), Karimu Adeyemi.

My name is Mr. Karimu Adeyemi. I am a native of Oba Town. I am an Ifa Priest (Babalawo). I'm also known as "Abore." I am equally the "Oluawo" (Chief Priest) in Akinfolarin town. I chose to be an Ifa Priest (Babalawo) to deliver people from problems, because we have Ifa Orunmila as the remaker of those with bad destinies. To deliver people from problems. I deliver barren women from barrenness in this Ifa Orunmila Religion. Ifa Orunmila was my grandfather's religion, I got the knowledge from him. One cannot just be initiated into Ifa Orunmila except it is revealed.

How does it reveal?

Some are facing spiritual problems from home (family), some destinies cannot be bright any longer because they have blocked them. If such a person got initiated into Ifa, he or she would be delivered. Likewise, some futures have been changed or destroyed. Such a person might be having financial problems. If such a person got initiated into Ifa, his or her problems would be solved. This is why Ifa Orunmila is called the remaker of bad destiny.

Ifa initiation process is of three steps. No matter how rich you are, we must follow these three steps. The first step is to ensure Ifa (Ikin Ifa) is soaked into palm oil. This process is called soaking Ifa into palm oil. This process would equally enable Ifa to be calm. Ifa can be soaked for about two weeks. After it's soaked, then we pack Ifa into a piece of white cloth called "Ifa inside Ebu." The third step is for Ifa to be uplifted, until this is done, one can become a Babalawo. This third step is down in 7 days, and until this is done before a person can be called a Babalawo. On the 3rd day of these 7 days, there's a special doctrine to be done. Then on the 5th day, an animal would be sacrificed for Ifa. When an animal is sacrificed on the 5th day for Ifa, then such a person becomes a Babalawo. There's what we call "Ase Ifa" which I'm holding, also called "Oreke Ifa."

With all these, then such a person becomes a Babalawo. Then on the 7th day, the Grand Finale rite is performed and such a person becomes a real Babalawo. Being a Babalawo in this regard does not mean that such a person can cast and interpret Ifa. All the rites performed for such a person make the person a protected Babalawo with the help of Ifa. So if such a person proceed to learn how to cast and interpret Ifa, that is when we can call such a person a practicing Babalawo. There are so many other things to know but this is how far I can go.

Ifa initiation help who is suffering from a spiritual attack such as barrenness, sickness, tribulation. It helps such a person to be freed. If someone wants to get initiated into Ifa, such a person can only be initiated by a practicing Babalawo (Ifa Priest). Some Babalawos are initiated to only help themselves and not practice, such a person can only be initiated by a practicing Babalawo (Ifa Priest) for efficient and effective initiation processes. When a proper initiation is done, such a person's problem would be solved. Ifa initiation is very good. Only practicing Babalawos can initiate an interested person into Ifa, because getting Ikin Ifa is not just packing palm kernel fruit under its tree. It is not the regular palm kernel fruit we use for Ifa Orunmila casting material - the Ikin Ifa. Only Babalawos can identify Ikin Ifa.

No one gets Ikin Ifa anyhow, except it is revealed. And whoever it's revealed to, before he gets initiated into Ifa, such a person must follow a certain procedure. There must be 3 qualified Ifa Priests on board among who Ifa would select one to initiate the person. This process would enable the Ifa initiation effective for the person. Ifa Orunmila is a good Religion. But practicing as an Ifa Priest (Babalawo) or Ifa Priestesses (Iyanifa) is not a day job. Whoever gets initiated into Ifa becomes a successful person. Not all Babalawos (Ifa Priests) cast and interpret Ifa Divination. Some are initiated into Ifa to help themselves, while some get initiated into Ifa to practice as an Ifa Priest (Babalawo). As for me, I got initiated into Ifa to help myself and help others. No one gets initiated into Ifa and still remains poor. Initiation into Ifa is like having an endless source of wealth. Because when you are initiated into Ifa and do take good care of your Ifa, Ifa would always uplift you. This is why we say in Ifa Religion that whoever gets Ifa has climbed a success tree.

It is from Ifa sacrifice is offered. Take for instance, a sick person, even abroad can receive healing when necessary sacrifice is offered, because sacrifices work with air. Ifa is a good thing to have. Ifa is one of the cultures and traditions of the black race. Our ancestors made use of Ifa during their lifetime. During their lifetime, they knew nothing about all these foreign religions around today. They used Ifa to elect kings during their time, in order to ensure orderliness. Nowadays, the system has changed. Our ancestors made use of Ifa. But as for us (Babalawo), we still make use of Ifa to solve peoples' problems. Ifa Orunmila is a remaker of bad destinies. And this is what Ikin Ifa represents.

There are sixteen major Odu Ifa; each carries sixteen sub chapters and sixteen messages in each Odu. If he's a truthful priest, he should be able to praise each Odu in sixteen ways. Even though there are many Ifa Priests praising each Odu differently; we would arrive at the same meaning. If we have to prescribe a sacrifice, we would arrive at the same sacrifice for the client to offer. If peradventure someone overheard the praises of the Odu verses and decided to write a book on it or act dubiously with them, Ifa never said we should fight such person. Because what we worship is called "Igba Irunmole" - 200 Angels. "Igba irunmole" deal with such person themselves. We are not the one to fight such person, because truthful Ifa Priests don't fight for themselves. Just as we do say that God is the supporter, likewise Ifa is our supporter as worshipers.

What's the difference between Ifa casting and Ifa Sacrifice?

Ifa casting is to reveal a particular Odu Ifa while it is from the casting the Ifa sacrifice comes out. Ifa Casting is different from sacrifice in Ifa. It is the Ebo from Odu we call "Riru." The casting is the Odu revelation which would prescribe the Sacrifice to be offered. The Odu revelation is the "Ifa dida" while the sacrifice in it is the "Ifa Riru."

What does Ifa revelation means?

Ifa revelation means when one visits a Babalawo for consultation and is told to be initiated into Ifa, this indicates the Ifa revelation to such a person. Maybe such a person should offer sacrifice or get initiated into Ifa. The word of an Ifa priest is to better the life of such a person (the client).

What does Ifa initiation means?

What we call Ifa initiation is to be initiated into Ifa Orunmila which I'm holding in my hands. Such as myself. As I said earlier, one can't just be initiated into Ifa. Whoever accept ikin Ifa is the person who is initiated into Ifa. This is to better the life of such a person because Orunmila is a re-maker of bad destinies.

Are Ifa Priest only the Traditional Practitioners?

Thank you, it is not only traditional believers are Ifa priests. Some are herbalists. They are as well traditional believers. Likewise people like me who are herbalists and at the same time Ifa Priests are traditional believers. So not only Ifa Priests are traditional believers.

How can you recognize an Ifa Priest?

In the olden days... As you can see my hand, I have two different beads, the small one in my hand is for Ifa Priests, the second one is for fashion, it is not for Ifa Priests, anybody can use it. When you see someone wearing this one I'm holding, such a person must be a herbalist or an Ifa Priest, or the person belongs to another group in the path of traditional belief.

What is the punishment of fake Ifa Priests?

They are many. Some of them do understudy us, learning the knowledge of Ifa, then goes out to defend himself with it. If such a person eventually meet a real Ifa Priest, he can be dealt with by the real Ifa Priest. Because things like this is everywhere today. But in the olden days, you can't find such (fake Ifa priests). But today, civilization has taken over.

Can you be initiated into Ifa and decides to denounce it later on?

Whoever has Ifa Orunmila that I'm holding in my hands cannot denounce it, if not he would go for it (his life would go for it), nobody would kill the person other than Ifa. This is because some spirits are eating from the Ifa, such as spiritual elders, Orisha Esu eats from it, the 200 Spirits (Irunmole) eat from it. Those that are eating from something and later not able to eat from it anymore, they would turn back sucking the blood of the person. So you cannot denounce Ifa after initiation.

Does everyone initiated into Ifa has Ifa at home?

Not all initiated Ifa Priests show themselves. Because some people are Christians and at the same time initiated into Ifa. Such a person keeps the Ifa with a priest like me and whenever he/she comes back from the church, he/she ask his or her Ifa Priest to worship Ifa for him or her. You can keep your Ifa with me for me to be worshiping for you. All I need is your name and your mother's name. The more I worship it on your behalf, the more the Ifa blesses you because Ifa works with the breeze. So being a Muslim or a Christian does not stop you from having Ifa. Ifa is for protection secretly. You don't necessarily need to show it to the world.

How can you consult Ifa Priests?

Whoever wants to consult Ifa must come with money, then with the money, he can consult Ifa concerning his or her life. Then the Ifa priest would make use of Opele to consult for him or her. So with the money, he or she would have to make his or her intention known to the Opele quietly. Some people make use of pig's teeth to consult. Such a person would speak to the money, touches his or her head with it and later touch the Opele with it. After that, the Ifa would be cast and when sacrifice is needed, he or she offers it. That is if such person wants to be delivered. You need to come with money while coming to an Ifa Priest. Whatever Odu revealed determines the sacrifice.

Our ancestors used to have Orisha Esu in their homes. What our ancestors used to worship Esu (offerings) in the olden days. They use Palm oil, salt as Esu offerings. There are two types of Esu. Orisha Esu Ifa Orunmila does not accept palm oil and salt. It is the other Orisha Esu we use palm oil and salt for as offerings. That is one of what differentiates the two Orisha Esu. The offering for Orisha Esu ifa Orunmila is he-goat, yam, white cloth. Only Babalawos (Ifa Priests) can worship this Orisha Esu Ifa Orunmila. That's it about Orisha Esu. There are many Orishas in this Yoruba traditional religion.

What Odu Ifa Oturupon Meji says.

Let's say Oturupon Meji appears to a client, we would say such a person is a wise person. Oturupon Meji says the wise ones celebrate the wise fellow, Ifagoloto celebrates Tigers. The water celebrant of Orishas used to wash his face, his wife used it to wash Ojiji. This indicates that his wife is wiser than him. In Oturupon Meji, says that the wife of such a person is helping herself somehow, that is, cheating on her husband, there are many tricks such a woman might be using, such as cheating. In Oturupon, or possibly she is giving her husband money to her concubine, it means that the wife of such a client (if is a man) is wiser than the husband. There is a way we praise this Odu according to its revelation. That is if the client is a man, we would say his wife is wiser than him. Likewise, if such a client is a woman, she must be careful with her wisdom for her not to destroy herself with her wisdom. That is why we praise this Odu as the wise ones celebrate their fellow wise ones, Ifagoloto celebrates Tigers. The water celebrant of Orishas used to wash his face, his wife used it to wash Ojiji. Meaning, the wife of such a man is wiser than him.

This Odu talks about the wise ones. That is a part. If there is a need to offer sacrifice for such an odu, the person this Odu reveals to must be careful, such a person's head must be washed before Esu with a he-goat, the person must also offer sacrifice to Ogun, these are the sacrifices in Otrurupon Meji and so on. Another Odu can be revealed to support this Oturupon Meji to enhance the solution to the problem. This is the Odu Ifa Oturupon. The wise ones celebrate their fellow wise ones, Ifagoloto celebrates Tigers. The water celebrant of Orishas used to wash his face, his wife used it to wash Ojiji, this means that the wife of Oloro is wiser than him.

What Odu Ifa Otura Meji says.

Otura according to our ancestors... As-salamu alaykum, Wa ʿalaykumu s-salam, this cast Ifa for the father of a Muslim, Otura talks about saying the truth for us to be saved. Otura: the person who met a stingy person to acquire wealth. Because a hole was created for the people of this earth and that of heaven, Otura is the Ofin of the past being used by the people of the earth and heaven to kill animals to feed. This is the reason for initiation into Ifa Orunmila. This is why we call this Odu As-salamu alaykum, Wa ʿalaykumu s-salam. We say this Gin looks like a case issue while this Kola nut looks like a troublesome one, this cast Ifa for plenty of truthful people, whoever this Ifa reveals to must ensure he or she initiated is into Ifa Orunmila. This is the Odu Ifa Otura. Otura: the person who met a stingy person to acquire wealth which we call As-salamu alaykum, Wa ʿalaykumu s-salam, this cast Ifa for the father of a Muslim, this indicates that one should be initiated into Ifa Orunmila, this Ifa talks about saying the truth.

What Odu Ifa Irete Meji says.

Irete Meji... I pressed it, just like yesterday, a he-goat was forgotten on Orisha, the he-goat used its head for sacrifice. This Ifa says one should not lie, because whatever lies such a person must have lied to would be paid for by such a person. There are many ways I can interpret these Odu. I just gave you insights into them. This is the Odu Irete, I pressed it, just like yesterday, a he-goat was forgotten on Orisha for sacrifice. This Odu talks about what goes around comes around.

Who can have an Odu Ifa?

Whoever is not initiated into Ifa cannot have odu which is given on the third day inside Igbodu by his Babalawo because such a person's face must be covered, this is called "Odu Igbodu." Yes, only initiated Babalawos have Odu.

What if someone who is not a Babalawo twists messages of Ifa?

In this present dispensation, each 16 Odu Ifa has another 16 subchapters and messages. A truthful Priest should be able to praise an Odu Ifa in 16 ways differently from another Babalawo which would end up to the same meaning. Whoever is manipulating the messages of Ifa, Ifa doesn't say such a person should be fought. Because what we worship is called 200 Irunmoles. The 200 Irunmoles judge such a person, not us. Truthful priests do not need to fight for themselves. Ifa supports whoever worships Ifa.

Why is Kolanut so important in Yoruba Religion?

Kolanut is important to all Orishas, why? Because Kolanut dies for whoever is about to die. Because Kolanut was told in those days to offer sacrifice but refused, this is why Kolanut is being used as a sacrifice to all Orishas. Because it was told to offer sacrifice in the olden days, this indicates that Kolanut dies for whoever is about to die.

Tell us the use of these items in front of you.

As you can see that I'm sitting in front of some things. This one I'm holding is called Ase Ifa. This is called Afose Olugbohun, it is used for saying prayers for the prayer to be answered. This one is called Idabo, it is used to sacrifice to Ifa as parts of the materials on the ground. This is called Ajija for worshipping Orishas such as Obaluaye. This is also Iroke Ifa also known as Ase Ifa. This is Opele, used for Ifa consultation. This is Ate Ifa covered with a white cloth being for revealing Odu Ifa. This one is the main Ifa Orunmila - Ikin Ifa the remaker of bad destiny. This is alligator pepper, it's being used for prayers.

We use animals to worship Ifa. How big your Ifa is, determines how you worship Ifa. We use goats, elephants, cows to worship Ifa. We use pigs to worship Ifa. Ifa worship ways are many. Likewise, apart from Ifa worship, if you want to pray for yourself early in the morning, you can get cold water, cold gin, alligator pepper, then pack cutlass, guns somewhere outside your house. This is called Orisha Ogun prayer. To pray early in the morning, likewise, our ancestors used to put Yangi somewhere in the house. This is called Esu. They use to drop palm oil on it. That's another way to pray to yourself. All these ways are different from one another, but Ifa is the umbrella for all. As I am, I have Ifa, I have Ogun, I have Esu that I accepted as I got initiated into Ifa. I have all the 16 Orishas right here.

There is Olokun (Orisha). It is Yoruba Traditional Religion. We use white things as offerings to Olokun, such as coconut, white pigeon, kola nut, and several other sweet things, such as coke. These are what we use as offerings to Olokun. Likewise, we have an Orisha known as Obaluaye. For this, we use to mount a pole. We use cock and palp as offerings to Obaluaye. Beans cake, gin, kola nut, these are what we use as offerings to Obaluaye. Orishas are many. Like sixteen of them. It all depends on how far you can worship them. The more you worship them, the more you get help from them. There is an Orisha called Imole, also known as Oluweri. This Orisha deals with bad people. We use gin and kola nut as offerings to this Orisha. In fact, all of these Orishas accept gin and kola nut as offerings. This Orisha Imole accepts chicken as an offering, we use duck as an offering, also goats. This Orisha punishes bad people. Some people are possessed with a bad spirit, this Orisha can deal with these types of people. And such person would be able to confess. All of these Orishas are meant for self-defense.

Just as Ifa is a traditional religion, likewise, Ogun is also a traditional religion. One can be worshipping Ogun. Before one can worship Ogun, you have to make the shrine available somewhere outside at the corner of one house. Cutlass must be there, the local gun must be there, and any other irons. Dog is part of Ogun's offerings. Palm wine, kola nut, I'm mentioning Ogun offering materials. Fried beans, fried corn, palm tree, and kola nut (obi abata). We can also use tortoise as Ogun offerings. Palm wine, kola nut, alligator pepper, palm oil, salt. These are Ogun's offerings. We can also use cock (male chicken) as an Ogun offering. All these living things (animals) for Ogun offerings must have kola nut in them to worship ogun. This type of kola nut is called obi abata. Must be inclusive with palm wine. Also, the snail can be used as an Ogun offering but must include obi abata. Palm wine and alligator pepper, fried beans, fried corn, palm tree, and smoked yam all are Orisha Ogun offerings. Whoever worships Orisha Ogun is already in the line of Yoruba Traditional Religion which is also part of Ifa Religion.

How you can become Ifa Religion follower... The first way, you can be initiated into Ifa. If such a person can't be initiated into Ifa, Odu Ifa Irete Meji says: I stepped on it. Just like yesterday, when a he-goat lied to the Orisha. It used its head to repair the ground. They say you can't give palm wine and kola nut to the death and die. Our ancestors say it's not possible, if you can use gin and kola nut (Obi Abata). Why we use kola nut to pray is this: (You can use gin and kola nut to pray in Yoruba Traditional Religion) you can use gin and kola nut to pray early in the morning. Say: Gin doesn't fail, don't let me fail. Kola nut is the one used to plead with death and sickness. Say: Kola nut, remove death on my head; remove sickness for me and remove failure for me. By doing these, you are on the Ifa Religion path. This is because kola nut (obi abata not obi gbanja) refused to offer its sacrifice yesterday. Abidun offer sacrifice yesterday (Point of Correction) and was accepted. Up till today, we don't use Abidun for sacrifice any longer. Today, it is kola nut (obi abata) that dies instead of us. This is obi abata. You should not pray with obi abata with 3 pieces. You should only use the ones with more than 3 pieces (obi abata) with gin to pray early in the morning. The kola nut would die instead of us and falls sick instead of us. With this, you are in Ifa Religion.

Gin from the bottle with the cup on top of it. Fetch from the gin, pour it on the floor, then hold the kola nut. One can worship his or her head with the kola nut. Say: My head, support me to fight this battle. As you are touching your head with the kola nut, then pour the gin inside the cup on the floor simultaneously. Then you begin to say, gin doesn't fail, kola nut doesn't spoil, henceforth, kola nut, erase death for me. Gin, don't let me fail among my friends. Kola nut, don't let me fail in the presence of elders. Then continue with the prayer. We can equally use the kola nut and gin to pray to our dead parent. It's also Ifa Religion path. If we want to pray to our dead father, touch your right big toe with the kola nut. Then the left thumb is for the dead mother.



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