AND THE IFA FAMILY:
THE CLAN OF IFA
By Fayomi Falade, Iyanifa
gave us life, breath, and existence. This is our first family,
our first experience of Iya and Baba in our existence beginning
in the Spirit. And through the Prophet Orunmila we are shown
how to behave in our relationship as family. Through the
auspice of Ifa we are given historical references on how
we begin our relationships of family base upon respect.
Odu Ogunda Bede (Ogunda Ogbe) the Ese speaks as such: I
greeted them at Ire they did not respond, They chose to
be silent towards me, I asked them why, I greet them at
Ire without their answering me, And for them to be silent
to be silent towards me? They responded that there was a
quarrel between Onife and Orunto. They asked me to wait.
And adjudicate over their case. I responded that youths
cannot adjudicate over the case of elders. Had it being
that it is possible for youths to do so I would have declared
that Onife is right while Orunto is guilty. Onife says'
"Thank you son," He asked me where I had known
him before and I responded that I knew him at Ido the home
of Ogun. I knew him at Idoro Mawuse. I knew him in the home
of Iyanda, the blacksmith. Where the shell of the snail
is being molded in anticipation of its creation. Where the
shell of the tortoise is being molded in anticipation of
its arrival. Where fresh skin is being prepared for the
snake. I knew him at the very peak of the new palm frond
I knew him where the new palm frond was at its peak. I knew
him at as the male ape. Which uses its head to ward of death.
I knew him as the male ape to ward off affliction. I knew
him as the male ape. Which uses its head so to block off
evil spirits. These were the declaration of Ifa to Orunmila
when living in the midst of wandering ghost.
pondering and meditating about how do we as Ifa devotees
and practitioners not only worship but worship in the way
of Our Ancestors. Not all us were privilege in having a
community compound environment such as the one started many
years ago by his royal highness the Oba Ofuntola Oseijiman
Adefunmi in Oyotunji village. Or are privileged to go home
to Nigeria even in these troubled times to sit at the feet
of our elders to study Ifa as the Olubikin Fasina Falade
and other prominent Babalawo/Iyanifa's
have done in the past. And become a part of the educational
and family process in becoming a priest or serious student
of the cosmology in the Ifa Spiritual system and cosmology.
with new devotees and practitioner, we need to seek out
more innovative ways to serve Olodumare and our community.
To formulate more cohesiveness in our families to protect
them from the onslaught of worldly negative intervention.
individually teach our children the legacy of Ifa but we
are constantly embattled with the Terrible Ajogun in our
everyday endeavors to keep our children safe from the dangers
in school, on the streets, and in some cases even in the
am posing the question, "how do we as Ifa worshiper
in the United States or the African Diaspora teach and take
care of the traditional values not only with our children
but also within in our extended families?"
Ifa Irosun Iwori
Bi a ba je adun titi
Laije ikoro die si I
Aye a maa su ni I je
Eniti ko je iponju ri
Ko le mo adun oro
Aadifa fun Onyagbe
Ti nwipe Gbogbo igba aye
I ba je kiki ojo
Aye I ba dun aduntan
we enjoy sweetness for long
Without tasting a little bit of bitterness
The world will tire one easily
He who never tasted difficulty before
Can never appreciate the sweetness of opulence
These were the declarations of Ifa Onyagbe, the big time
If there had been rain fall throughout the year
The world would have been so enjoyable.
enjoins us to during turbulent times with out family Ifa
to fortify ourselves with perseverance, faith, humility
and love. These are the elements, which we must build the
foundation of our community Ifa. We must give our children
the lessons that are center on respect, cooperativeness,
hard work, and no quick fix magic. As we extend ourselves
in our daily activities in life we apply the principles
We ourselves as devotee's must find the value in living
a traditional lifestyle in Ifa as one that is a worthy pursuit
far better than the current examples of Urban progressiveness.
Ifa Otura Alaraba speaks:
ewe o to pepe tagbalagba o wo keregbe
Ise ewe be agba
Ko ma se ko
Oni oun ti baba omo nse fun omo
Adifa fun Otura oun Obara
Won nsawo lo sile kisi
Won ni ki won rubo
Ki won ni ife ara won
hand of children cannot reach the altar
While the hands of elders can not enter the bottle calabash
The errand which children send elders
Let the elder refuse not
There are assignments, which parents carry out for their
These were Ifa's declarations to Otura and Obara
When going on a spiritual mission to Kisi land
They were advised to offer ebo
And to love each other
out my development in our tradition the words of love were
not often spoken if at all. Yet it is through Olodumare's
love that we are in existence. And it is through our love
that we work tirelessly to walk this chosen path. Risking
ridicule, ostracizing from family and friends, evening more
dangerous encounters of the general public in the Diaspora
who will go to physical extremes to prove that our tradition
of spirituality is devil bound Satanic. Yet, it is with
love of Olodumare that we do have the support of spirit
to move forward and grow.
begin to "stand and do", instead of focusing our
attention on more conversations on "how too" and
lose our way again. Actively work in the principles given
to us by mandate of Olodumare and Irunmale.
go through our prayers we must ask for Irunmole support
in stronger ways of manifestation. We must prepare more
programs in the communities at large. More help orient initiatives-food
drives- clothing- pension- care for our elderly- cooperatives
in global pursuits in Nigeria or African period, funds to
provide monies for initiation for those who cannot afford
them and scholarship for education pursuits and work cooperatives
in Afrika. Work to move dangerous elements out of our communities.
Find the Ifa medicines for healing our people from our elders.
And have a check and balance system for reform and strengthening
our priesthood in solid Ifa doctrine to better serve our
and devotee's of the oldest tradition in the history of
mankind we are compelled by this history to raise our families
with the same value system that Orunmila Olomo Abopeiwa
spoke of in Ancients time. And the same Divine Spirit speaks
now as the voice of Olodumare.
many of us upon waking teach Ifa to our children? How many
of us ring the bell of dawn to wake our families to pray
and invoke the divine spirit to joins us and give us guidance
for each day we live? What will our families become if we
follow this concept?
Sode speaks as such:
kii s' omo Babalawo ka binu
A kii omo Onisegun ka saigboran
A kii omo Baale ka ba lu je
Dia fun Adekanmbi
Tii omo Okanran Sode
Mo gbo wipe Awo N sode
Mo awon so o.
Babalawo off spring must not display anger
An herbalist's offspring must not be recalcitrant
The child of the community head must not create chaos
in the community.
These were the declarations of Ifa to Adekanmbi
is a child of Okanran Sode (Okanran Ogbe)?
When I hear that Awo is being initiated
I joined them and got myself initiated.
begin to look at "change" of our outlook and perspectives.
How we train our families particularly in the Diaspora is
why as a people we can either grow or become statistics.
so many obstacles that beset us and besiege us with media
ravages targeting our children. We are set upon to make
compromise in our belief system to soothe the egos of those
who disagree with out tradition in favor of their own. Not
understanding nor wanting to understand our value and moral
system that have been in place for thousands of years. We
have been conducted and regulated to the backyard and regarded
as pagan. And in those poor spirited people not knowing
or understanding that etymologically the word pagan or primitive
is in the language of this country rooted in the word of
continue to have classes, lectures, programs, but more than
this we must have prayer and libations to our Deities and
Ancestors at the beginning of waking if not already.
at this time that we put a firmer mindset on and re-orient
back to becoming Omoduduwa back to reconnecting to Olodumare.
Walk, talk, live daily in affirmation of Ifa and the attributes
that still save us to this day.
says as such:
child must study Ifa with seriousness and dedication
A child must not struggle about proceeds with elders
It is in order to enable him to get the root of Ifa
These were the declarations of Ifa to them at Idin-yeku
When all the good things of life had left their home
The lack of money with Omo-Awo had suffered from
Ifa is coming to back to repay him
Ifa repays all its followers in fold
The lack of spouse, which Omo-Awo had suffered from
is coming back to repay him
Ifa repays all its followers in fold
The childlessness, which Omo-Awo had suffered from
Ifa is coming back to repay him
Ifa repays all its followers in fold.
our efforts in this resolve will be rewarded in healthier
children and communities.
Ogbe. Ifa speaks specifically that we are all of the same
stomach and what we do in the world will impact of each
and every individual in existence.