Ifa Religion

Ifa Religion is an indigenous, earth centered African spiritual tradition which was conceptualized by the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa. According to oral literature, the practice of Ifa originated as far back as eight thousand years ago. Therefore, the Ifa Religion may indeed be the oldest monotheistic religion in the world.

Ifa Religion is balanced on three legs; Orunmila, Orisa, and the Ancestors.

The Supreme Being, Olodumare, is without gender and is not an active participant in the affairs of living humans. Ol0dumare is benevolent and has provided a Universe with all that is needed for humans to be fulfilled and happy.Ifa is characterized by a deep sense of the interdependence of all life. “Every life form and element of Nature has an inner soul force – including rivers, rocks, clouds, metals, flowers, thunder, and the wind. These natural energies that comprise the Universe are called Orisa. Each Orisa has its own specific function. Humans are in constant communication with Orisa energy, whether we’re aware of it or not.

Through Ifa, we recognize that our Ancestor spirits are always with us and must be honored, acknowledged and consulted. All people are born good and with a destiny meant to develop their character (Iwa-pele). Divination was given to us so that we could periodically check in to make sure we are staying in balance and following the path of our destiny. The mysteries and teachings of Ifa revealed in divination are contained in a body of scriptures called Odu.

Ifa practitioners do not regard their spirituality as a “religion” in the Western sense. It is instead a way of relating to spiritual energy that helps individuals discover and stay on their path (as opposed to “The Path”). The tradition is based on staying in balance with our community and with the world itself, with our ancestors and our personal spiritual energies. Practitioners are encouraged to employ common sense and personal responsibility, to appreciate the sacred everyday life, and to integrate all aspects of being, namely the physical, the emotional, the mental and the spiritual.
Ifa Today

We believe that everyone alive on the planet is the descendant of a single East African woman. This idea is supported by genetics. Therefore, in a very real sense, we are all African.

Though its roots are African, Ifa is a world religion. Its adherents are male and female, and of every race and mixture under the Sun. One can partake of the benefits and blessings of Ifa’s teachings without being a disciple of the tradition.

Like other non-western religions, Ifa Religion has been misinterpreted, distorted and suppressed here in the West. While other non-Abrahamic traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, or the Tao are (with varying degrees of comprehension) acknowledged and respected, African spiritual traditions are often dismissed and ridiculed by the society at large. Although other spiritual traditions, such as those practiced in Hawai’i and Native America, have been similarly marginalized, those originating in Africa have been particularly misunderstood. Whenever the subject of an African religion does arise, it is usually as a metaphor for the opposite of everything considered good about Western religion.

Many assume that African spirituality is nothing more than a collection of simple-minded superstitions. These assumptions are often based on the actions of some Western practitioners of African derived traditions, who persist in following a fear based system. These practices took root from the time when the knowledge of African spirituality first arrived the New World in the hearts and minds of African people brought here to be made into slaves. During those tragic days, if the religion were to survive at all, it had to be practiced in secret, hidden behind Christian icons. These secret practices became a necessary part of keeping African traditions from being completely destroyed in this part of the world.

In responding to the realities of life in the West, African spiritual traditions subsequently have been abused by some priests and priestesses who, in their willingness to use sacred energy to control and frighten others, are no different from their counterparts in other religions. There are also those who insist on keeping our tradition undercover. Keeping our practices invisible adds to the inability of non-practitioners to see who really are, teachers, farmers, doctors, lawyers, moms and dads, small business owners, engineers, and other normal people.

African spirituality, in its essence, celebrates the oneness that exists between the Creator and the Creation.

The breath of God is in all.

Tags: Ifa, Earth Centered, Yoruba people of Nigeria, Oral Literature, Orunmila, Orisa, Ancestors

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35 Comments

  1. Axe,
    On Tuesday I am giving a talk on Ifa. I would like to print out this page and distrbuted it to those in attendance, please advise.

    1. Alaafia Pelo;

      Thank you for asking for this. Yes, you are welcome to reprint my articles so long as you indicate the source of the information; such a author and website from where the article was obtained.

      Agbo Ato
      Awodele Ifayemi

        1. Alaafia Xavier;

          Thank you for visiting my site. Your interest in practicing Ifa as a Life Philosophy will be greatly rewarded. Please email me and we will explore your options. Use the following link to email me.

          https://www.ileifa.org/contact/

          Ogbó àtó Asure Ìwòrìwòfún.

          O dábò!
          Chief Awodele Ifayemi
          Atunwase Awo of Ilobuland

    1. Aboye Abo si se;

      Thank you for your interest and request for permission to reprint. You may republish any of my articles so long as you indicate where you got the article from. this is done by adding a credit to author/site either at the beginning or the end of the article. you may use the following code for this:

      This article was Originally published by Awodele Ifayemi at:
      https://ileifa.org

      Again, thank you for your request.

      Ogbó àtó Asure Ìwòrìwòfún.

      O dábò!
      Awodele Ifayemi
      Follow Me on:
      Twitter: https://twitter.com/IfaBabalawo
      Blog: https://ileifa.org

  2. Stumbled into this site by chance but I’m sure glad I clicked on that link. You definitely answered all the questions I’ve been dying to answer for some time now. Will definitely come back for more of this. Thank you so much

    1. Hi!

      Thank you for your visit. I appreciate your comment, and you are very welcome.

      Ogbó àtó Asure Ìwòrìwòfún.

      O dábò!
      Chief Awodele Ifayemi
      Atunwase Awo of Ilobuland

    1. Hi!

      Thank you for your visit. I appreciate your comment, and you are very welcome.

      Ogbó àtó Asure Ìwòrìwòfún.

      O dábò!
      Chief Awodele Ifayemi
      Atunwase Awo of Ilobuland

  3. Thanks for the spiritual information. I first heard of this religion on a TV show called “Ready for love”..

    Where else can I learn more.

    Thanks in advance

    1. Alaafia Joan;

      Thank you for your visit and interest in Ifa. This site is a good start. I’ve written much about Ifa, and if you want to learn more regarding the Fundamentals of Ifa, a good place to go is my online academy omoawo.org

      https://www.omoaw.org

      In the online academy, you will find a video course titled “Fundamental Keys to Understanding Ifa”

      Again, thank you for your visit and interest in Ifa. You will find Ifa to be a very liberating, and empowering Spiritual Philosophy.

      Ogbó àtó Asure Ìwòrìwòfún.

      O dábò!
      Chief Awodele Ifayemi
      Atunwase Awo of Ilobuland

  4. I have been looking for a way to continue my path on Ifa, after leaving a toxic Ile with abusive elders. Do you have any resources for this? Thank you.

    1. Alaafia Faseye;

      Thank you for visiting my site. I’m sorry you had such a bad experience and on behalf of all the Babalawos and Iyanifas as well as Babalorisas and Iyalorisa whose life is modeled after the Morales and Principles of Ifá I apologize.

      I recommend you contact me so we can take this discussion offline in order to respect your privacy. Please use the following link to email me;

      https://www.ileifa.org/contact/

      Ogbó àtó Asure Ìwòrìwòfún.

      O dábò!
      Chief Awodele Ifayemi
      Atunwase Awo of Ilobuland

  5. Alaafi,
    I used the above link to mail you about some important issues concerning IFA Spirituallity, but it wasn’t going through.
    It shows error

  6. I tried that link above to mail you privately to discus some important issues with you but the link wasn’t going through… it says error

    1. Alaafia;

      Thank you for your visit and alerting me of your experience with the site contact form. The problem has been corrected. You may now use the contact form to email with no problems.

      Ogbó àtó Asure Ìwòrìwòfún.

      O dábò!
      Chief Awodele Ifayemi
      Atunwase Awo of Ilobuland

    1. Alafia;

      You typed it incorrect it should ‘omoawo.org’ not omoaw.org

      Ogbó àtó Asure Ìwòrìwòfún.

      O dábò!
      Chief Awodele Ifayemi
      Atunwase Awo of Ilobuland

  7. I desperately need IFA in my Life. My dreams are telling me this and one of the most boldest message in my dreams is “REMEMBER”
    Thank You

    1. Alaafia Sylethia;

      Thank you for your visit.

      It appears your dreams are trying to give you an important message. Please feel free to call me. You can schedule an introductory call at your convenience by using my online appointment book. The introductory call will reserve 30 minutes of my time at no cost to you. Please use the following link to schedule your call.

      https://www.ileifa.org/book-appointment/

      Ogbó àtó Asure Ìwòrìwòfún.

      O dábò!
      Chief Awodele Ifayemi
      Atunwase Awo of Ilobuland

  8. Chief Awodele,

    Thank you for this article. It beautifully explains Ifa. I was not clear of the meaning of Orisa and you clarified this for me. I appreciate your selfless giving and look forward to continual understanding.

    Vikki Jenkins

    1. Ogbo Ato Vikki;

      Thanks for your feedback, I really appreciate it!

      Ogbó àtó Asure Ìwòrìwòfún.

      O dábò!
      Chief Awodele Ifayemi
      Atunwase Awo of Ilobuland

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