Ifa Studies: Iré -vs- Ibi:
The Orí is the seat of consciousness; it resides on the crown of your head to guide your destiny; a sort of blueprint of potential experiences that the soul requested before birth. While Egbe is your emotional self; what the heart desires; your free-will; the character you’re trying to shape.
The Orí and Egbe regularly interact to form a polarity that either complements or detracts from one another. “What you need and what you want are not one and the same.” Try telling a child to eat their veggies because it’s good for them when all they want is ice-cream.
When Orí and Egbe are in alignment, we say Iré; they are in harmony and the potential to manifest your destiny increases. We often refer to this as being “On Path.”
When Orí and Egbe are NOT in alignment, we say Ibi (also known as Osogbo) and manifesting your potential diminishes. We often refer to this as being “Off Path.”
I do not like to refer to Iré as “good fortune” or Ibi as “bad luck” as that is an oversimplification. To be more accurate and precise in our interpretation; when Iré, there’s a “strong alignment to manifest the potential in the area that it highlights.” When Ibi, there’s resistance to change; misplaced energy or effort; being in the wrong place and time; a missed opportunity; denial of what is happening now.
Regardless of Iré or Ibi, your character plays a vital role in the outcome. In Iré, you have free-will to act on the opportunities that you’re presented with or do nothing. In Ibi, you can choose to stay in a rut or do something about it; In Ibi, your character is challenged… “will you respond with Ìwa-Pẹ̀lẹ̀ (good character)?”
In divination, we examine the primary Odu, whether it comes Iré or Ibi, and also the seniority of the Odu that indicated this direction to understand the likelihood that it will manifest. The person's character also needs to be taken into account to encourage them and point them in the right direction.
To further understand how Iré or Ibi applies to a situation, the diviner cast to delineate the areas that it applies to. These reading subsets can vary between diviners and clients; but typically include some aspect of “destiny”; “health & well-being”; “success in our endeavors”; “personal relationships”; “family and friends”; “challenges to overcome”.
Ifá divination is wonderful in that it not only counsels you on the direction to take, it also tells you what Ebo (offering) to make to strengthen a potential outcome or mitigate fallout.
Blessings! … Oluwo Ifájuyìtán