What is Ifa?

What is Ifa?. Ifa is Enlightenment

What most people don’t understand when they embark on the path of Ifa is what Ifa’s true purpose is. All too often, as with most religions, people turn to Ifa in their time of need seeking comfort and solace, or a solution to those problems which plague them. If a solution is found, the adherent is drawn deeper into the system of belief. However just as often, if they are unable to find what they seek, they wander and drift looking for some path to provide them with a solution. Those who remain often do so from a sense of relief that they have found something to provide them with the answers they seek. Certainly Ifa can provide this. But more often than not, the deeper meaning of Ifa is hidden, ignored or simply misunderstood.

I believe the true path of Ifa is one filled with reflection, self-analysis and contemplation of the difficult questions left when one tries to understand how we can live harmoniously as one community. Ifa can help you to see the world and yourself for what they truly are. It’s through this understanding that we are able to decipher the roadmap given to us by Olodumare and the true nature of our Ori/Head chosen at the house of Ajala. Ifa is a storehouse of knowledge that acts as a key, opening an understanding of the true nature of any given situation.

So why is it that we know that enlightenment through Ifa requires self-reflection? This excerpt from the Odu Iwori Meji tells us:

Iwori take a critical look at what affects you
If you undergo Ifa initiation
Endeavor to use your wisdom and intelligence

Awo when you have been given Ifa initiation
Initiate yourself again by using your wisdom and intelligence
Iwori take a critical look at what affects you

Two critical sections of the Iwori Meji text point to this interpretation. By reminding us over and over throughout the Ese to “look at what affects [us]”, we are reminded that it is our responsibility to constantly reassess the world around us to see how it is affecting us. Further, there is a reminder to those members of Ifa who have been given special access to the wisdom of Ifa. It is our responsibility to use our wisdom and intelligence, i.e. don’t assume Ifa will provide the key simply through initiation.

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