Making a great diviner


Training individuals to become diviners is a long and intricate process. A process that new diviners often shortcut as a matter of feeling they have learned all that is necessary or b. the difficulty of looking at things through a different lens then they have spent most of their lives using

This is, of course, not including the myriad of individuals who have been initiated either with NO training, incorrect training, or in different lands where no training is available, or able, to continue.

My purpose in this Blog is those who feel “they have learned all that is necessary.” First, let me say that anyone, with a modicum of intelligence, can spent six months training with the Foundation, and will be better equipped, more able and accurate in reading those who he takes on for clients. And that, is more than satisfactory for many.

Just as the foundation teaches that any Orisha can solve any problem, the measure of a very good diviner, is to identify the VERY BEST Orisha to do so! The same hold true regarding Ebbo etc. Why then don't so many get it?

To be honest it requires a sea change in most people thinking. It is very much like the individual training to become a doctor. They ultimately end up specializing in what they do. If you are a cancer specialist, you view the individual within those boundaries you have come to trust. In other words, every problem the patient has will be viewed in relationship to their cancer. The facts of what they eat, are they loved, are they supported by friends and family, plus a hundred other important factors, are basically overlooked. After all, he “knows” cancer.

The same holds true in divination. AFTER a person has learned (to use an analogy) how to accurately draw a human figure, then, and only then, can they embark on the journey of asking themselves what are the series of Odu casts actually telling them? Not as unconnected, stand alone “truths”, but as an entire, comprehensive and incredibly important story of EVERY aspect of the person’s life and behavior. So, you can see, the original training teaches them that the human body is connected, not a leg, and arm etc. And the implication is that they should now be ready to view divination as a trip into the universal energy of knowledge it be able to access problems or difficulties the individual himself has never confronted. To understand the pressures and potentials that we all have. To understand the thinking that predisposes them to certain wants and preferences. All this and a hundred other realities will eventually appear as if in a panoramic movie before them...and they will begin to understand how to REALLY help people in a meaningful, long term, workable fashion that sets the stage not only for a successful divination, but towards more lasting actions and planning for the future.

You see, divination is not just getting what you is about a trained diviner beginning to show you the path you selected and how to achieve that path with fulfilling relationships, success and health.

Love and Blessings

Philip Neimark





Why most Diviners Won't Learn


Getting well by doing well...

A look at Oluwo Philip John Neimark's remarkable recovery from adult onset diabetes and vascular issues. In 13 months Neimark found that his healing was accelerated by his personal dedication as well as his discovery that the more good deeds he performed, the better he got.! Now free of all insulin and pills for diabetes care, his story is something you can learn from.


The Orisha Speak To US


Some of you may not be aware that I critique the divination  of our initiates It’s all about keeping them growing and becoming more skillful at the art of divination. So, it was both gratifying, and slightly disturbing, when, following hurricane Sandy of the recent week in the northeast, I began to receive their readings which spoke of their “feeling badly,” of being “off balance” and generally “out of sorts” as the storm approached. It was gratifying because it showed that many of them had learned the ongoing lessons of Ifa. It was slightly disquieting, as I had not warned them of such an occurrence. Let me explain...

The Orisha are all Natural Powers. Immense, Eternal, Limitless Energy that has existed since the Universe came into creation. They have been here before the Dinosaurs and will be here after us...They are the “glue” of our Universe.They act as Ouludumare’s (Initial creative Source),

board of directors, utilizing individual or combined sources of energy to create and to destroy. Most important, their individual energy is also interconnected with one another...not simply the 100 or 101 we know, but literally with hundreds more, the names and purposes of which we may, or may not ,yet understand. Within that interconnectedness is an awareness of the health of the Whole, or our Universe.

The Perfect Storm I referred to was an instance where, the imbalances CREATED BY MAN, was called to our attention in a major way. WE were in danger of harming the whole...which, by the way, we treat as “our” whole to do with as we please. The Orisha had had enough. If we were not bright enough to see the ever increasing natural disasters, they would place it in the financial world center so that we might notice before it is too late.

This is what my initiates were responding to. This unrest they felt was their own beginning to meld into the whole...and they had no immediate answer.

It is a beginning point when we work with our Orisha. They help us, BUT, the quid pro quo is, we must learn from them as well! We have failed to do so. We “want”what we want, but with little or no consideration to even our immediate Whole let alone our Universal relationship.

It is past time to consider only what we want, and to consider how our desires help the community and the planet prosper and thrive... more later


Philip Neimark



Change Your Life...and the World!

One of the most difficult questions we encounter today is: “what should I be doing with my life?”
This is particularly true of younger readers, but has become true for readers of all ages. For the very young, in college or looking to enter the workforce, they are victims of the television depiction of what success and happiness consist of. For the middle aged worker, who initially engaged in this particular exercise, the outcomes have dramatically changed in the ensuing years. Some have survived the transition from knowing that if you did your work honestly, the company you worked for would take care of you through sickness and health, to the act of “shopping for jobs,”, changing locations and loyalties, and watching the safety nets disappear into the night. Much like their marriages or relationships, life had gone from a sense of permanence to a transitory reality. And, each and every one of you, has been left to wonder “what should I be doing with my life?”

Let’s see how Ifa and the Orisha might help us....

First and foremost we all must slowly, but inexorably, wipe from our psyches every ad, every t.v. show, every vestige of the alluring, but insupportable past, and build a new set of dreams and behavior on a more rational basis. A basis that is not supported by money alone, but places a higher priority on the areas of companionship, character, the environment, and a healthy body that is allowed to exist without the stress and threats of today’s disintegrating society. You see, there are other rewards, other accomplishments other feelings of pride, love and family than we have come to accept. And NOW, before we are too late, it is time to re-establish these eternal values.

This Ebbo involves ALL the orisha, our Ancestors, our Ori...and it will take time before it is complete. But it is time well spent, time not running for the next opportunity, but carefully constructing (irosun) a long term plan for happiness and success.

First, you will need to sit quietly and think...think of what you have been chasing...think about what would happen if you were one of the “lucky” few that temporarily achieved your goal...ask what would happen to your relationships, family, and character. Then think about how that short term excitement compares to the warmth and care of spending your life with a compatible soul,, with watching your children grow and become involved in worthwhile jobs and behavior...that allows them to “come home” not as a matter of not having a job, but to enjoy and share the holidays and life in general with you. As that sounds and feels better and better, you will seek out each Orisha, Ancestor, Ori that might help you and yours achieve the dream...

Utilize Ochun for the love and joy and movement you need. Esu (Ellegua) for  the opportunities to explore this new(old) path, Ogun for the character and strength to achieve it, Yemonja for the abundance and the home that serves as your base, Oya for the Sudden Change needed, Obatala for the Clarity of seeing it through, Shango for the strategies to make it all work, your Ancestors for helping show you, and guide you, in the process, your Ori for giving you the good character to make it all work. One by one, over weeks and months, work with each energy specifically to achieve your goal.

May you have abetter life, and help make a better world

Love and Blessings,

Philip Neimark



"While not rampant, too often, the Ifa priest, or Orisha priest, uses fear, intimidation, superstition and outright lies to achieve things not in the purview of the priest."

A recent article on the Catholic Church caught my eye. It referenced the Churches' reaction, or lack thereof, to acts of pedophilia, within the structure.   As stated in the New York Times article by Laurie Goodstein it reads: "Defying Canon and Civil Laws, Diocese Failed to Stop a Priest"

On the surface, the Rev. Shawn Ratigan was just the kind of dynamic new priest that any Roman Catholic bishop would have been happy to put in a parish. He rode a motorcycle, organized summer mission trips to Guatemala and joined Bishop Robert W. Finn and dozens of students on a bus trek to Washington for the “March for Life,” a big annual anti-abortion rally.

But in December 2010, Bishop Finn got some disturbing news: Father Ratigan had just tried to commit suicide by running his motorcycle in a closed garage. The day before, a computer technician had discovered sexually explicit photographs of young girls on Father Ratigan’s laptop, including one of a toddler with her diaper pulled away to expose her genitals.

The decisions that Bishop Finn and his second-in-command in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Msgr. Robert Murphy, made about Father Ratigan over the next five months ultimately led to the conviction of the bishop in circuit court on Thursday on one misdemeanor count of failing to report suspected child abuse. It was the first time a Catholic bishop in the United States had been held accountable in criminal court in the nearly three decades since the priest sexual abuse scandals first came to light.

Both Bishop Finn and Monsignor Murphy, as ministers, were required by law to report suspected child abuse to the civil authorities. But they were also required to report under policies that the American bishops put in place 10 years ago at the height of the scandal — policies that now hold the force of canon law.

This is an account of how, as recently as 2011, in violation of both church and civil laws, a bishop and church officials failed to stop a priest from pursuing his obsession with taking pornographic photographs of young girls. Eventually it was Monsignor Murphy, not Bishop Finn, who turned in Father Ratigan.

The witnesses never told their stories in court. The verdict was decided by a judge in a bench trial that lasted less than an hour and a half. But the facts of the case are known and even agreed upon by both the prosecution and the defense — summed up in a nine-page stipulation of testimony that contained details about the case that were not public until they were submitted to the judge on Thursday. Many details were also revealed in what is known as the Graves report, an independent investigation commissioned by the diocese last year and conducted by a former United States attorney, Todd P. Graves.

“I truly regret, “ Bishop Finn said in court on Thursday, “and am sorry for the hurt that these events have caused.”

The bishop had advance warning about Father Ratigan, well before pornography was discovered on the priest’s laptop. Julie Hess, the principal of the parochial school, next door to St. Patrick Parish where Father Ratigan served, had sent a memorandum in May of 2010 to the diocese, which said:

“Parents, staff members, and parishioners are discussing his actions and whether or not he may be a child molester. They have researched pedophilia on the Internet and took in sample articles with examples of how Father Shawn’s actions fit the profile of a child predator.”

Children in the diocese’s schools are taught about appropriate boundaries between adults and children in an abuse-prevention education program called Circle of Grace. Ms. Hess said that while she was inclined to believe that Father Ratigan’s behavior amounted to nothing more than “boundary violations,” other adults were alarmed about specific events: Father Ratigan had put a girl on his lap on a bus trip, attempted to “friend” an eighth grader on Facebook, and had an inappropriate “peer to peer” relationship with a fifth-grade girl. On a children’s group excursion to Father Ratigan’s house, parents spotted hand towels shaped to look like dolls’ clothes, and a pair of girls’ panties in a planter in his yard.

The bishop told Father Ratigan in June 2010 that “we have to take this seriously.” But the testimony showed that the bishop, too, perceived the concerns simply as “boundary issues.”

Nine days before Christmas, Father Ratigan took his sluggish laptop to Ken Kes, a computer technician on contract with St. Patrick Parish, for repairs. Mr. Kes was startled to find photographs of young girls’ torsos and crotches. When he saw the one of the naked toddler, he took the laptop to the parish’s deacon. Mr. Kes is described in the testimony as “being so upset that his hands were shaking to the point he couldn’t open the laptop.”

The deacon immediately took the laptop to Monsignor Murphy at the chancery offices. He gave it to Julie Creech, a technology staff member at the diocese. Ms. Creech found “hundreds of photographs,” according to the testimony, many taken on playgrounds, under tables or in one case, while a girl was sleeping. Many pictures did not show faces — only close-ups of crotches. Ms. Creech wrote a report for her superiors noting that only four or five of the hundreds of pictures appeared to have been downloaded from the Internet: “the rest appeared to have been taken with a personal camera.”

Nevertheless, even before getting the laptop, Monsignor Murphy had already consulted with a Kansas City Police Department captain who served on the diocese’s Independent Review Board. The Graves report said that the captain, Rick Smith, recalled being told by Monsignor Murphy that the diocese had found only one nude photograph, that it was of a member of Father Ratigan’s family, and that it was not a sexual pose. Monsignor Murphy said he did not remember telling the captain those things. Their recollections also differed on what the captain had said about whether the photograph constituted pornography.

The next day, Dec. 17, 2010, Father Ratigan attempted suicide. He left messages apologizing to his family for “the harm caused to the children or you.” When he survived, he was sent first to a hospital, and then to Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons, a psychiatrist in Pennsylvania selected by Bishop Finn. The bishop testified that he was told by the psychiatrist that Father Ratigan was not a risk to children, and had been falsely accused by the school principal.

During this period, two women on staff in diocesan headquarters were urging their superiors to turn Father Ratigan in. Rebecca Summers, then the director of communications, told Monsignor Murphy to call the police, according to the testimony. And Julie Creech, the technology employee, said in a deposition in a related civil suit that she went to see Bishop Finn in his office to make sure he understood what she had seen on the laptop.

“I really got the feeling that maybe he didn’t understand,” Ms. Creech said in the deposition. “I don’t think he saw what I saw.”

The bishop assigned Father Ratigan to serve as a chaplain to the Franciscan Sisters of the Holy Eucharist, in Independence, Mo. He placed seven restrictions on the priest, including not using computers and avoiding all contact with children. But the bishop allowed him, on a “trial” basis, to celebrate Mass for youth groups at the prayer center that the sisters ran.

Over the next five months, Father Ratigan, who is now 46 attended a sixth-grader’s birthday party, co-celebrated a child’s confirmation, communicated with children on his Facebook page, hosted an Easter egg hunt and attended a parade, the testimony recounts. Invited to dinner at the home of parishioners, he was caught taking photographs, under the table, up their daughter’s skirt, according to a federal indictment of Father Ratigan.

Neither the bishop nor any church official told church members or Father Ratigan’s large extended family — which includes many children — that the priest had been ordered to stay away from children, Darron Blankenship, a brother-in-law of Father Ratigan and a police officer who has handled child abuse cases, said in an interview on Friday.

“For somebody that was under restrictions, he had free rein,” Officer Blankenship said. “He just went and did what he wanted.”

Some family members had heard that Father Ratigan’s laptop had contained pornography, Officer Blankenship said, but they assumed it was adult pornography taken off the Internet — upsetting but not surprising, they thought, for a man who had become a priest and had to adjust to celibacy later in life.

Bishop Finn and Monsignor Murphy learned about some of Father Ratigan’s violations of his restrictions. “I will have to tell him,” Bishop Finn wrote in an e-mail to the psychiatrist, “that he must not attend these children’s gatherings, even if there are parents present. I had been very clear about this with him already.”

The testimony filed in court on Thursday says that because the bishop trusted Father Ratigan to respect the restrictions, he was never monitored and the community was never informed.

On May 11, 2011, while Bishop Finn was out of town, Monsignor Murphy again contacted Captain Smith at the Police Department and told him that the diocese had indeed found not one, but hundreds of photographs of little girls. A week later, Father Ratigan was arrested for possession of child pornography. He was convicted in August and is awaiting sentencing.

Bishop Finn and the diocese were indicted by a grand jury in October 2011. Monsignor Murphy was given immunity for cooperating with the prosecution. He testified that he turned Father Ratigan in because he had grown concerned that he was truly a pedophile. The monsignor said that when the bishop learned he had turned in Father Ratigan, “It seemed he was angry.”

After Father Ratigan was arrested, Bishop Finn met with his priests. Asked why Father Ratigan was not removed earlier, the bishop replied, according to the testimony, that he had wanted “to save Father Ratigan’s priesthood” and that he had understood that Father Ratigan’s problem was “only pornography.”

Yet, as repugnant as this is, I was forced to wonder about our own paradigm, our own arrogance, our own bad behavior. While not rampant, too often, the Ifa priest, or Orisha priest, uses fear, intimidation, superstition and outright lies to achieve things not in the purview of the priest. Whether it is a Babalawo seducing his female client across the table from him, the bombastic threats to deny sincere questioning, or ANY deviation from the Priest, or the promise of future destruction and suffering because some family in Cuba combined the worst of Catholicism with the worst of other African Religions, it doesn't matter.  It is ALL wrong!

There is one major difference. Catholicism has been plagued by priests who liked young men and young women, quite horrific enough. Santeria, Ifa and Lucumi, too often, prey on a wider audience of adults, and secondarily as well with children. They use language, place of birth, Nationalism and a large dose of lack of Western education or unfamiliarity with English, to hold their followers in a state of fear.

This is not to say that many Priests and Priestesses are not sincere and honest. It is to say that almost no one is willing to stand up and expose the wrongdoing that does go on. Ours is a  beautiful system of working with one God, no devil and a Universe that  seeks to help us... if we help ourselves. It is past time to do just that.

Love and blessings,

Philip Neimark


Ifa Priest and Communication with Orunmila/Arula

Today it's a world of specialists. The gastroenterologist examines your stomach, the cardiologist your heart and vascular system, the ophthalmologist your eyes.  If the patient should die of a broken heart, no one has any answers other than the pathologist who is given the specialized task of examining the dead, non-speaking container of what was once a thinking and feeling human being.

It's become the same for divination.

I remember as a child, when the FAMILY doctor would come by to see us. When he would stop at my father's office to see what was the matter. I remember him saying "Mort, your blood pressure is a little high....what's going on at home?" What was the basis of his question? He was treating the patient, the WHOLE patient, and he understood the relationship between illness and stress.

Sometime in the past, it all changed. People placed their faith in science and their trust in doctors who had become experts in their individual fields. Fifty years later my dad was given a prescription for his blood pressure, not an understanding of his situation. My father was a solid man. A wise man. He believed in the sanctity of marriage. After 50 plus years he stayed home and played Scrabble with my mother as she slowly ebbed away. He waited a year, and then had a remarkable love affair with an 80 year old woman (it is never too late) who three years later suddenly became ill and died. It was simply more than he chose to bear. After spending a Sunday at my home, with all members of the family there, my son drove him to their apartment where he laid out his cloths as he had for 80 some years, got into bed and closed his eyes for the final time on this plane. To this day I hear him speak to me, imparting his wisdom and knowledge...telling me things would never be as bad as I feared or, probably, not as good as I hoped. And, I have learned to listen.

That's the second part of how the world has changed. Today our children and grandchildren...even many adults... have no desire to listen to what we have learned and experienced. They, like the doctors "know better".

Parents beg the doctor to give their child some medicine to make him better...and they allow themselves to be caught up in the kind of medical testing that obviates their humanity and jeopardizes their potential for getting better. All in the name of science and specialization. They have forgotten that life is so much more than their is the sum of their parts and the  life they are part of.

Well, the Universe simply doesn't operate on a specialists point of view. And it certainly was not meant to communicate with its priests on that level. Divination between a knowledgeable priest and the meta intellect of all the accumulated wisdom and knowledge of all the people who have ever lived (Orunmila/Arula) is a complex, and subtle, experience. It requires the priest to Feel, to Empathize with and to understand that, for the most part, our clients of today have little or no concept of the questions that Need asking. It is, once again, the analogy of the patient and the doctor...the vast majority of today's patients simply want something to make them feel better or send them to the next test. A small group is willing to listen to the priest examine his/her life in terms that really matter. It's not a matter of your turning down the blood pressure medicine, it's a matter of how you create your world so that you will not need it in the future! When it comes to losing weight, exercising etc. they will put it off and hope the pills do the job.

The Universe has more meaningful solutions. It may tell you that you don't need to work so hard, that a walk in the woods or beach, would do you a hell of a lot of good. That your neighbors new car, big T.V. or larger home has nothing to do with being happy. That walking on the arm of a beautiful woman or handsome man is not the key to happiness. That being with a man or women that will be there for you...always, is the key. What brings you happiness is living life with good character. If that comes with those objects, so be it. But it never is the reason you do things.

And only a Priest who has felt these things can help manifest them...all others are simply writing a prescription to ease your pain.

Love and blessings

Philip John Neimark


No More Fear - part 3

There is a third part of our series on "No More Fear"...and it has to do with the reaction, behavior and character of the Ifa priest. We all know fine , good character Ifa priests. We all know dishonest, bad character Ifa Priests. Most of us know examples of both.  Some of us will be controlled by fear. Some of us will be controlled by ignorance. Yet, most of us will select our path with no knowledge of what is possible...with what was meant to be the Ifa World View.

Ifa was never meant to frighten or create fear in its clients or adherents. Indeed, the Yoruba were a happy people. Their understanding that there was no Devil is evidence of that.  Equally, there recognition that you must have both positive and negative energy in all things, showed their practical side. They understood the difference between negative energy and a negative force.  Negative energy could be coped with, balanced, negated; while a negative force, with a power equal to Olodumare, would be constantly battled throughout their lifetimes. 

The Christian missionaries made their world view predominant. Worse, they made the possibility of living a happy, fulfilled life almost impossible. It permeated the Priests and the people. It made you believe you could not have a worthwhile life.

We could go on and on...but to us the hope is in bringing the results of our work to you in  a non-frightening, enlightened, good character path for people to enjoy and to share.  Our results, as they apply to divination, are a combination of the way Ifa used to be conducted, combined with the expertise of navigating through today's world. The individual who seeks divination through a priest trained and initiated at the ifa Foundation, will find it a positive experience. They will find it an examination of the energies that can honestly bring them the happiness, fulfillment and health they seek. The specter of death and of loss are replaced with a genuine look at their Destiny, Health, Success, Relationships, Family and Victory over difficulties. A look at how to improve what is happening and  to rectify mistakes that have been made.  It is this understanding that life can be positive if we leave our fear behind.

Our Weekly Ifascope will reflect this original worldview, and our personal divination will cement it.

We invite you to find what life was like before people were manipulated by their fear. How the belief (a Yoruba concept) in this as a glorious world can bring us the love, success, health and  family we desire. Only then will we begin to appreciate the words of IrosuWori:  "Let's do things with joy! Those that wish to go may go. Those who wish to return may return. Definitely, human beings have been chosen to bring good fortune to the world...Orunmila said: The good position is the world. A world in which there will be full knowledge of all things, joy everywhere...without the fear of death."