By means of Esen’taye, newborns are given their formal names. These names reflect the newborn’s hereditary characteristics, predestined future, and metaphysical relationships with guardian or patron earth spirits, deified ancestors, and/ or deities.
For example, the male name Ogundiipe literally means “one who grants support.” It can also be transliterated to mean “one who has taken on the burden of providing relief to the grieved and afflicted.”
An infant with the name Ogundiipe signifies, among other things, that the child will be a hot-tempered, deep-thinking, and physically strong male who is blessed with the special patronage of the god of iron called Ogun. To attain happiness and prosperity, Ogundiipe should lead a meditative, contemplative life. This child must live in a remote rural or suburban area and practice the solitary professions of blacksmith, sculptor, or metallic jewelry designer in adulthood.
Another poignant example is found in the name Fagunwa. Fagunwa is a very ancient male name of a warrior avatar or earthly incarnation of the divination divinity Ifa. Fagunwa is credited with launching an important, albeit unsuccessful, insurgency against the Muslim Hausa marauders in the late 12th century in a period of unrest throughout West Africa. Etymologically speaking, the name Fagunwa alludes to the following-“one who fights using Ifa medicine.”
In West African culture, Ifa medicine suggests the use of powerful amulets, talismans, and incantations by a special class of warriors that defended the oba’s (king’s) palaces and shrines in times of war. The name Fagunwa indicates that the child is a very intellectually gifted, physically aggressive male blessed with the aid, guidance, and support of the divination divinity called Ifa, Afa, or Fa. For this male child to attain everlasting material success, Fagunwa must become a high-ranking military officer, politician, or political strategist.
Esen’taye also analyzes numerous factors including the position and conditions of the newborn in the womb
For instance, when a male child is born with a thin membrane over his head or with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, he is considered to be born in a caul (ala, oke). This is an indication that this male child must be initiated to the priesthood of the deity of creativity, Orisanla. If a female child is born in a caul, then she must worship her father’s lineage of ancestors and become an initiate of a fertility deity called Oba.
In addition, Esen’taye provides a family with a detailed analysis of the newborns’ predestined character, moral strengths, ethical flaws, ambitions, major life transitions, and age-specific needs in an effort to avail parents of the best ways to raise the child in the midst of a volatile, hyper-capitalist, and intolerant society.
Esen’taye also gives children a much needed reservoir of self-esteem, self-respect, and dignity. The psychological and sociological effect of Esen’taye on children is very, very positive due to the positive impacts of knowing the path to prosperity and success throughout various stages of one’s life. This self-knowledge is absent from the lives of the vast majority of the world’s population, which lead chaotic lives of doubt, self-deprecation, and perpetual apprehension.