ifa scholars

Oluwo Fagbamila (Philip John Neimark) Founder of the Ifa Foundation of North America, Inc. Author of the best selling The Way of the Orisa- HarperCollins Publishers, co-author The Sacred Ifa Oracle- HarperCollins Publishers.







Iyanifa Olufadeke (Vassa) Co-Founder of the Ifa Foundation of North America, Inc. Priest of Ogun and Ifa. Artist & Healer. Advocate for Women's role in Ifa.












Iyanla Vanzant - (pronounced EE-yan-lah) is a Yoruba Ifa priestess initiated at the Ifa Foundation. Iyanla overcame enormous personal difficulties to become a lawyer, talk show host, best-selling author, and national advocate for literacy. In the late 1990s and through the early 2000s, and recently in 2011, she was a regular, or featured, speaker on The Oprah Winfrey Show. In 2001 she hosted her own talk show for ABC. Ebony magazine recognized Vanzant as one of the 100 Most Influential African American’s Vibe  magazine called her one of "100 Leaders of the New Millennium, “and Newsweek featured her as one of the "Women of the New Century. “Her empowering books have been listed on the New York Time’s Best Seller list.





Oluwo Ifaraba (Hermes Torres) - is a Babalawo.  In 1998 he was initiated into the priesthood of Obatala in Elizabeth, New Jersey. In the year 2001 by recommendation of his guardian Orisa Obatala he traveled to Ile-Ife, Nigeria to receive Itefa by his elders Yeye Araba Agaye Dr. D’Haifa Odufora Ifatoogun and the Araba Agbaye Aworeni Awoyemi Adesa.  In 2006 as part of his personal commitment to Ifa he returned to Nigeria and receives initiation into Egungun, Egbe and Iya Mis. Along with his work and continued study of the Ifa/Orisa Tradition Ifaraba has conducted workshops on Ancestral Communication, the Ifa/Orisa Tradition, Ori, and Ifa Meditation. Ifaraba brings to his Ifa work a diverse knowledge of healing and spiritual philosophies and modalities.



Iyanifa Jookotifa (Janina Walters) – Initiated a Sango/Chango and Ifa Priest through the Ifa Foundation of North & Latin America, Janina brings great insights into the challenge of helping modify the Latin diasporic view of Orisa/Orisha worship. Janina lives in Panama and is the Foundations’ Director of Latin America operations.





Oluwo Ifalade brings extensive experience in individual and group counseling to his work as an Ifa Priest. A theologically and clinically trained counselor/ supervisor his full-time commitment has been to counsel patients, exploring and working through the spiritual dimensions of human suffering in hospitals with the mentally ill, oncology patients, burn patients, gunshot and accident victims, and dying patients. Ifalade has also worked with incarcerated persons.

He was intitiated at the Ifa Foundation both as Priest of Ogun and as an Ifa Priest, receiving Igba Iwa and Ela this past year during a moving ceremony with Oluwos and Babalawos from around the world. Oluwo Ifalade has also traveled to West Africa for various initiations.

A former journalist, Ifalade also lectures on Afro-Caribbean Spirituality, the role of spirituality during traumatic events, and on cultural issues at the end of life.



Oluwo Ifafore (David Graham) Priest of Oya and Ifa, initiated bloodlessly. Businessman, conservationist, surfer and art enthusiast. With over 15 years experience in various spiritual paradigms, Ifafore is one of the pioineers of "bloodless" Ifa, an active teacher/mentor and an active environmentalist.






Oluwo Fagunwa Apesin Ayedun Ola (Robert Lavtar, PhD) is the founder of Center of Alternative Altorion in Slovenia (Europe) and runs it together with his wife Petra Lavtar Slapar (Iyanifa Ifamukomi Ayoola Elewa), he has primarily searched for, and found The Truth for himself. During his study of spiritual practices, Robert put to the test and mastered numerous practical philosophies and techniques from achievements of contemporary authors to ancient tradition of consecrated successors. All his knowledge is based on personal experience. All the methods were used first on himself, family members and then with hundreds of clients. From his point of view, his Center Altorion contains the best and the most efficient methods on this planet. The goal is a free, happy, fulfilled, fearless and powerful human being.





Oluwo Ifatokun (Glenn Lewis) Born in Surinam and lived in Curacao until the age of 15, Glenn has resided in the Netherlands for the past 35 years.  Following 25 years in the financial industry, Glenn chose to follow his passion for healing others.







Babalawo Ifayori (Paul Alfalla, D.C.)  Initiated priest of Oko and Ifa through the Ifa Foundation of North America. New York born and raised , and is now currently living in Peru , South America. Dr. Paul is a professional Chiropractor , Certified Energy Healing Practitioner, Shaman Apprentice , and Initiated (Willakoq)  Inka Priest.  Through the use and application of universal wisdom and knowledge, He inspires , motivates , and helps others to realize their full potential.  Living life with joy and passion, loving openly, and making a difference.




Fagbenle (aGregorio AdyMcDonald). Lecturer and workshop leader in indigenous Yoruba wisdom. Initiated into Ifa at the Ifa Foundation of North America. Member of the Yoruba Kabbalah Centre, Ile-Ife, Nigeria."









Fajuitan (Javier Lujan) is a long time Ifa scholar and supporter of the Ifa Foundation. He was first initiated as an Osun priest in 1996 and subsequently became the first openly Gay Babalawo 4 years later.  

Javier started on this spiritual quest as a young man but it wasn't until he came across the Ifa Foundation that he finally felt at ease to learn more about IFA and continue to grow spiritually.  "The Ifa Foundation was the right fit for me because it did not only valued diversity but it was also devoid of fears and superstitions".  "The teachings are true to IFA as it has been handed down from generation after the next, yet remain pragmatic and contemporary to make it applicable to our current world view".