Welcome to the Ifa Foundation's Women's Empowerment area of our website.
This is not exclusively for women, but for the men as well. It is important for their minds to have this knowledge as part of their base…as many men touch the lives of many women!
So please enjoy what is shared ahead.
Click here to see the latest news from Iyanifa Vassa in the Iya's Corner section of this site.
This is a great place to see all that is possible for women that are interested in working with the path of Ifa.
There have been many myths in the past that some of you may have encountered along your spiritual journey. Set those aside for now and turn the light switch up a bit so you can see more of how a woman can be more.
As a seeker of knowledge…you have come to the right place for empowering your full self. The Ifa Foundation's destiny is one that shares the wisdom of the path of Ifa openly and without using fear to motivate change as we know fear breeds more fear. But empowerment breeds greater empowerment!
A very important piece to start off with here is the fact that both women and men have a male and female side. Understanding how to tap into, and utilize, the strengths of the two sides brings wholeness. It is also very important to clearly understand that we each shared a womb sac from our mothers to bring us life. We need to see the similarities first and see how the areas that are different are so important to be honored and respected. One is not higher than the other…One is not better than the other…they are the same.
Harmonizing with this idea will help all of us get farther in our lives…growing with positive creative flow.
Many have confused Ifa with the idea that women cannot do certain things…they cannot see certain things and they are of a different, somewhat, “inferior” level. This simply is not true.
While there are certain women’s only sects, and male only sects, the overwhelming percentage is simply a matter of the slightly, to significantly, different way each gender uses the same tools. As to those tools that are gender significant, they are based on 1. The appraisal that either men, or women, can provide better use of the tool in question. In the majority of instances, even these exceptions will find the opposite gender helping or aiding in the ritual, and for those that few that are gender specific, that the employment of female, or male, energy only makes logical sense.
In the past there has been the myth that women can only have one or at the most 2 ikin in their Icofa, one hand of Orunmila or Arula. This is not the case in the path of Ifa and with the worldview of the Ifa Foundation. Women are to have a full hand…just as the men do. It is only truly made properly when it is so.
In the past there has been the myth about women and their menstrual cycles…and that they would not be able to work with their spiritual tools or inside their prayer room or at ceremonies during the time they were menstruating. This has been a topic of conversation for many years and one that we took time to understand through experiences. What we have concluded is that when a women works with her spiritual tools during her cycle of menstruation she may experience more fatigue after giving at the level of her connecting. It would not be about the idea that a woman bleeding could be misconstrued as an offering. This path is of a higher intellect than that! So women…do not feel cut off from your spiritual work during the time of your period. Plan on continuing your journey of working with your energies every day of the month year round. It is your birthright!
In the past there has been the myth that women could not be full Ifa Priests…Iyanifa's or Iyalawo's. Not so in the path of Ifa. If you would see some of the historical photos and read some of the writings and teaching from those that have been involved over in Nigeria for generations…there have been female Ifa Priests from the beginning of time. They are diviners, healers and teachers!
In the past I have heard some bizarre stories about what women can and cannot do. For instance if a women read the book about the 256 Odu's…she would go blind. Humm…I never met a blind woman that has had this experience…have you? What was that about. Could it be that certain men just did not want women to know more than them? So they made this up to prevent that possibility from happening! Women…please read what teaches you more…learn, grow and become all you can be.
In the past in many other indigenous cultures…MEN AND WOMEN, WOMEN AND MEN…WORKED TOGETHER SIDE BY SIDE. THEY DID THIS BECAUSE THEY KNEW that each has something truly remarkable, unique and special not to mention…IMPORTANT to contribute to the whole. And for those that do not have a counterpart in position during a specific time…please feel within yourself to connect to that balancing energy and use it.
In my relationship with my husband…a man from a different generation than mine…a man that is 15 years older than I, he did have certain preconceived ideas in general…outside the path of Ifa, about what a women's role was. I did not share his views and from the beginning of our sharing space in a relationship we had to work on finding a middle ground…a place of agreement for both our world views. This took communication, work and understanding. It was when the path of Ifa entered our lives that our relationship began to become whole.
When we began our relationship…my husband was already involved in the path of Ifa for almost 2 decades. I had never met Ifa nor met anyone I knew that was in it. So everything was foreign. I had to learn from the beginning. I was never pushed into anything by him…I was never asked to do anything…my husband waited until I was ready and waited until I asked him for his guidance. He had the maturity of knowing that one should come to the path of Ifa because they truly want to…not because someone pushes them into it.
When I found out who my Guardian Orisa was…albeit from a Santeria Babalawo in the beginning ( mis read as Obatala) I began to find my way. When I knew what my husband's Guardian Orisa energy was as well…I was able to understand him much better and accept him for who he was and what he chose as his life path. I could let go of what I wanted for him and recognize that we each have a certain makeup that is our way of living life and that we must be free to be who we truly are…if we are to remain at peace in our marriage.
This one piece of information was a true turning point for me and for us. We stopped trying to make the other something we wanted…and we began to honor each others Ori (destiny choice). It was a blessing…it made more sense to work "with" each other and seeing things with a longer term view.
When we each grew in our personal spiritual space…we could see the strengths that each of us had. We could then call upon each other's strengths to be there for one another. We had a lot of different strengths. For example…my husband was a great overview thinker while I was a great implementor…so I would take his big picture ideas and put them into action and build the form…and it was viewed as uniting what we had together. We both realized what the other was a little clearer with…a little better with…what came more naturally and so we began to work with that in our minds on a daily basis. We began to build the Ifa Foundation with each of our strengths and gifts…and not looking for the other to do it any other way than their own.
Each step in that I took with my levels of empowerment ceremonies…first with the Icofa, then Orisa Priest initiation, then Ori and then Iyanifa and eventually Nana Buuken level…I was able, as a woman, do so much more contributing. As I strengthened… so did what I could offer and teach. I was able to be more a part of what my husband had started and built. I was able to help him and his vision for the Ifa Foundation the more I developed myself as a person and as an Ifa Priest. He admired what I was doing and moved over a little more and made room for me to be more in the forefront …along side him.
Partnering with each layer has taught us a great deal of what to teach others. Today we have more and more couples coming to the Ifa Foundation. It is so wonderful to see what happens inside their families lives when you see what they are doing with each other. If others could see how much more there is when both the male and female energies come together…we would have a healthier human race. Perhaps even change the way our world is living today.
Both of us,as man and woman…as a man in touch with his female side…its strengths and gifts…and as a woman who is in touch with her male strengths and gifts…are able to see endless possibilities for this formation of a special energy matrix. We are doing our part out in the Universe to have a positive impact on peoples lives…if only one person at a time…we are making a difference…and what an incredible feeling it is! Ase.
We offer all levels of empowerment ceremonies for men and women.
- For the women the top levels are going to be Iyanifa and then Nana Buuken.
- For the men, the top levels are going to be Babalawo and then Oluwo.
- Both are able to divine at the highest levels…Opele and Ikin.
- Both can create spiritual tools at the highest levels.
- Both can do healing work at the highest levels.
- Both can guide, mentor and teach anyone seeking.
Women do not need to fear any longer. Women do not have to feel there are secrets being kept from them. Women do not need to be made to feel they are the lesser and would not be able to do many of the things the men are able to.
The worldview of the Ifa Foundation is one of empowering people to their fullest potential…so they can walk throughout their lifetime in alignment with their chosen destiny path.
It is our responsibility to do our part by taking action and using our logical brain. Learning to trust what you know and not give up your power to another is so important.
Developing self trust is a part of what we teach as well…and through supporting each other with the knowledge that is ready to come into place when the person is ready to receive.
This page is developed for all those seekers who are ready. Use what you have just learned. Take action and move forward. We are here for you. Always, Iyanifa Vassa