IFA AND THE IFA FAMILY:
THE CLAN OF IFA

By Fayomi Falade, Iyanifa


Olodumare 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 Through the auspice of Ifa we are given historical references on how we begin our relationships of family base upon respect.

In the 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.

I began 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.

Particularly 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.

We may 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 home.

So I 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?"

Ese 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

If 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 farmer
Who says,
If there had been rain fall throughout the year
The world would have been so enjoyable.

Ifa 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 of Ifa.
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.

Ese Ifa Otura Alaraba speaks:

Owo 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

The hand of children cannot reach the altar
While the hands of elders can not enter the bottle calabash (gourd)
The errand which children send elders
Let the elder refuse not
There are assignments, which parents carry out for their children
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

Through 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.

We must 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.

As we 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 people-Ifa people.

As worshipers 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.

How 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?

Okanran Sode speaks as such:

A 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.

A 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

 
   

Who is a child of Okanran Sode (Okanran Ogbe)?
When I hear that Awo is being initiated
I joined them and got myself initiated.

We should 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.

We have 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 origin- First.

We should 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.

It is 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.

Ifa says as such:

A 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

 

Ifa 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.

All our efforts in this resolve will be rewarded in healthier children and communities.

In Eji 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.