The Differences Between Lucumi Systems Of Ifa Divination & Traditional Forms Of Divination
Agbo ato I frequently get asked about the differences between Lucumi systems of Ifa divination and traditional forms of divination preserved in the oral scripture of traditional Yoruba culture. Looking at this post gives us the opportunity to explore those differences. Let us start with the statement Ifa is not Memory, Ifa is wisdom. I would suggest traditional Ifa contains an element of both memory and wisdom. Those who study Ifa in traditional Yoruba culture are expected to memorize the metaphysical meaning of each verse and to memorize at least two ese from each verse. The word wisdom in Yoruba is ori ire meaning consciousness that brings good fortune. The integration of the metaphysical principles of each verse coupled the triggering effect of the ese supports an altered state of consciousness called possession by Ela that is the foundation of the Ifa divination process. The ese ifa are taught to young students of Ifa first by memorization and then by teaching the process of going into possession with the distinct frequency of each odu. Over time the training leads to a familiarity with the frequency so that an awo is able to recognize the frequency present in any moment during the course of the day. This is important because when a particular frequency presents itself as a conflict or problem the awo immediately knows that the solution to the problem is the invocation of the opposite odu.