|HISTORY THE ANCIENT ART OF DIVINATION|
|Nigeria West Africa Ifa Divinity||Home Introduction ± 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ±|
came to this world to be born, to live and to die. The obvious comes to
play as he did not witness his being born nor would he witness his death.
The two are done either in his subconscious state or lifeless state; leaving
the stage of adulthood for man to hold on to. Actions within which would
thereafter serve as a yardstick for measuring his success or failure in
life. Because of the chauvinistic nature of man, he wants have everything
good in life to make him be seen as a prototype of success to his fellow
man; but for the unknown, man could not ordinarily know which article to
buy or which work to do that would fetch him peace, wealth, good wife, children
and therefore good life.
As a Yoruba adage says "O ribi oja gbe ta, o o beere lowo Ori" You jump at a profitable outlet for commerce, you should first enquire, if it matches your destiny. This is where Ifa divination process comes in. On consultation by the clientele, articles of divination are brought out, which upon simple oratory prayer and casting by a versatile Babalawo, readings of the distinct signature of Ifa, (which can be cast using the opele or the Ikin are done, with the Ibo which is then used to narrow the bone of contention.
By reflex and inspiration, the Babalawo would then chant matching verses attached to that particular Odu. Sacrifice would be prescribed. By chanting the appropriate verses, the bone of contention would have been deciphered, and timely observation of the sacrifices and impending doom would have been averted. This process is called Ifa divination. Therefore through divination, man could know what would bring him success and what would bring failure.
Deaths: Many of the great-priests we have around die before being able to teach their subjects the totality of what they know in terms of the verses and their applications.
Lack Of Documentation: As said before, all verses of Ifa have to be memorized and the chanting is only on inspiration and reflex. However, it would seem almost impossible for an ordinary being to memorize all these verses without having any document to fall on to as to refresh the memory. This would be found to be a major factor, which contributed to the variance in number and fullness, of the names of Oluwos that are found in poems, even if it is under the same Odu.
Exposure and Appearance of Odu: Because of the fact that the appearance of any Odu is based on divine intervention, a learner Babalawo may have to wait for a particular Odu to appear for him to know the full details of its verses, sacrificial order, constituents and many more (Most especially under group divination).
In some cases, some Odu are elusive and a learner Babalawo might not witness its chanting, he therefore may have to rely on those taught him by chance or if he himself is inquisitive. One can rightly say that it is what he himself knows that he would teach another learner priest under him.
Conservatism and self Aggrandizement: Due to the spiritual intonation and power of some verses, some Babalawos would rather keep those verses to themselves and refuse to teach others so that they alone could explore the efficacy of its power maximally. Some people who possess such gifts at times would prefer to die with them than to share them for everyone to use. Best, they may decide to teach just one of their children.
Incursion of foreign religions: Christianity and Islam had at one time or the other been the greatest threat to global Ifaism as people, rather than see Ifa as a religion would shy away because of they want to conform to the dictates of the contemporary society. They do not want to be branded as outcasts.
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