Ifa Initiation for Men & Women
For too many, the path to initiation began with a reading that warned of imminent disaster, unless they received a major initiation. In each and every instance, the motivating factor was not wisdom, nor growth, or personal fulfillment.
It was fear. And, the people falling prey to this manipulation, did so because their previous cultural life and religious experiences had been motivated by the same emotion. It did not matter if it was their Spanish slave owner’s threats of killing or imprisoning those who disagreed, or the Catholic Church wielding the threat of excommunication, Purgatory or a Devil waiting to entice you to an eternity in Hell, generation after generation had been conditioned by their temporal and spiritual leaders that fear was the primary motivation to the decisions of their life...So, when confronted by a Priest who warned of imminent disaster unless they moved blindly ahead on the path, they were conditioned to accept…rather than think.
The decision to initiate is one of the most important decisions anyone can make in their life. It is a decision that should be based on a great deal of thought, analysis and consideration. It is equivalent to deciding what college or university can best provide you with the information and training necessary to be most successful in your career. If becoming a practicing priest is your goal, it is exactly the same!
The Ifa Foundation was created to provide access to information, not prohibitions against receiving it. It was designed to be inclusive, not discriminatory. It was designed for open access to individuals from all over the world, not as a segregated community prohibited from interrelationships with others. It was structured to provide the very best in Orisa/Orisha training to those of good character.
Initiation is a process of birth, or re-birth. This accurately defines the new born, and vulnerable, condition of the initiate. Our view, and approach, is to make the path prior to initiation, initiation itself, and the period following initiation, as nurturing, powerful, and loving, as possible. From the time the initiate arrives at Ola Olu, they are encouraged to open emotionally to the positive energy of the natural setting which surrounds them. Nurturing cleansings from the priests, that will help conduct their ceremony, follow a day of decompression, of simply allowing the stress and negative energies to peel slowly away, The ceremony itself is conducted with an emphasis on the love and appreciation for the ase' of the Energy that make their journey into priesthood possible, as well as the love and ase' of those conducting the ceremony. It should not be a frightening, or terrifying experience.
Following the actual ceremony, the initiate needs even more nurturing and care. Rather than a time of noisy celebration, it should be a time of quiet introspection and growth. The beginnings of profound energy changes have been initiated, and they need the most nourishing conditions to grow. At Ola Olu we feel that a proper time for celebration is on the one-year anniversary of the person’s initiation.
Initiation and wisdom are two separate experiences.
In ancient times an individual began their career as an Ifa priest the same way they began any other career: By learning as apprentices from those older and expert in their craft. Only after years of learning did the act of actual initiation take place. By that time the apprentice had learned the mechanical process of Divination, as well as the knowledge of how ceremonies, healings and initiations, and sacred objects were created. In today’s Western World, the process has been reversed. Individuals begin by spending a week or less getting initiated, with little or no teaching either before or afterwards. Tragically, once their money has been spent, those who initiated them seem to miraculously become uninterested, unavailable or unwilling to continue the process. Perhaps it is because the financial incentive is gone. Perhaps it is because they were not really trained and so have little real knowledge to give. Regardless, it is not fair to the individual or Ifa!
Realistically we are not going to roll back to the days of apprenticeship as it was practiced in ancient times. Equally we should not allow this pattern to continue to place “Babalawo” or “ Iyanifa’s,” unable to meaningfully practice their craft and help themselves or others, out on the streets without genuine training.
The Ifa Foundation has constantly attempted to solve this situation. Our Ifa College provided not only endless information for the public but ongoing training for our initiates. Our initiates were offered the opportunity of ongoing Ifa training via the internet and by attending and working ceremonies at Ola Olu. Now, we have developed and are offering a unique program that goes far beyond anything offered elsewhere. A program that will allow the initiate to acquire the knowledge, personal support and guidance to become the best Ifa Priest they are capable of.
The Personal Mentor Program
Each Mentor has been personally trained by Oluwo Philip Neimark, founder of the Ifa Foundation of North & Latin America, co-author, with his original mentor, the late Afolabi Epega , a fifth generation Ifa Priest, of The Sacred Ifa Oracle, and author of The Way of the Orisa – HarperCollins Publishing, among others.
Following initiation and initial training, each initiate will be assigned a Personal Mentor. These Mentors will be available to teach in English or Spanish! They will will teach, train and guide you in a carefully designed – step by step – program for your individual needs and capacity.
Each individual will e-mail their divinations to their mentor, using a form developed by the Ifa Foundation. The Mentor will analyze, comment and expand on the divination based upon their years of experience. That analysis will be returned via a voice recording file that for you to study as well as save for future reference.
Additionally, twice a month your mentor will host a video class for in-depth analysis and learning of specific areas of expertise. (Initially these will be available through using the no-cost Skype programming allowing for free video contact almost everywhere in the world)
These twice monthly individual 1 hour lessons will be offered for two years. Following that initial period you will have the opportunity of continuing your education in our: Advanced Ifa Training Program
Areas to be taught include:
Understanding and application of the Odu
Asking the right questions
Selecting the proper Orisa/Orisha for Ebbo
Understanding of, and working with, your Personal Ancestor
Selecting the best Ebbo
Correct Life Path Readings
Doing a Itefa
Effective Ancestor Worship
Identifying Personal Ancestral Guardian
Asking the right questions the right way
Why Direct Readings are more effective
Plus much more!
If you would like more information, please CLICK HERE to contact Iyanifa Vassa