“Icofa” - hand of Ọ̀rúnmìlà

The “Icofa” - hand of Ọ̀rúnmìlà is a spiritual tool that consists of 16 Ikin (palm nuts) and allows the Ifa student to deepen their relationship with Ọ̀rúnmìlà in order to gain greater insights and wisdom. Each of us has a unique spiritual path that we must follow, and it benefits us tremendously to approach life lessons and challenges with wisdom and awareness than to stumble upon them half-hazard. Ọ̀rúnmìlà protect us from “death before our time” by helping us make wise choices in our lives. If you have the “Icofa” - hand of Ọ̀rúnmìlà, this reading is for you.

Abọru Abọye Àbósíse (Ah-boh-ruu Ah-boh-yay Ah-boh-she-shay)

Icofa Reading for September 2021


Dafá (Ifá Oracle Divination) revealed Òtúrá-Sá (aka Òtúrá Ọ̀sá). When our heads are "cool," we take a step forward; when our heads are "hot" (become angry), we take a step back. The Odù highlights the harsh reality experienced when we respond negatively to situations versus calmly assessing and responding with wisdom. Some troubles are self-inflicted because we act impulsively or fail to maintain our cool.

Òtúrá-Sá is an Odù that speaks of the consequences of ignoring advice and failing to make Ebó (sacrifice/offering) and the rewards for those who do. However, we should never view Ebó as the "get out of jail free card" that you find in the game of monopoly. We must be willing to change the behavior that led to the imbalance when Ibi (off-path). We are here to develop Ìwa-Pẹ̀lẹ̀ (kind and gentle character), and that means gaining wisdom from our experiences, learning from mistakes, and adapting to new situations.

If you are getting frustrated and can't manage your temper, put some cool water on your Orí (crown of your head.) Our spiritual tools also tend to heat up, so it's good practice to regularly sprinkle cool water (see the "Omi Tútù" ritual in the members' area.)

Òtúrá-Sá contains an ẹsẹ Ifá (Ifá Divination verse) that say, "To buy and run away, to buy and run away, the bad fellow ran away with my money." Dafá revealed to pẹpẹyẹ (the duck) that he was too trusting and would be deceived; Ebó was required to mitigate difficulties, but this advice was ignored, and thus, pẹpẹyẹ joined the society of agbẹbomarú (those who receive wisdom but fail to follow it).

Because the reading indicated Ibi (off-path) for health, we must heed warnings and not let our guards down; we must not be too trusting or incredulous and ignore what's happening around us.

Òtúrá appears on the right-leg of the Odù, which is our temporal side, what we're consciously aware of at a given moment.

Òtúrá is a peaceful and gentle energy that is concerned with our character's perfection. This inner peace keeps us spiritually attuned to our destiny, making us more aware of the world around us. When we have peace of mind, we're more likely to consider the consequences of our actions and advance our destinies.

Ọ̀sá appears on the left-leg of the Odù, the preconscious side that shows the potential of how we're likely or should respond.

Ọ̀sá is the essence of the "wind" and the need to be flexible and adapt. The "wind" can also be unpredictable and quickly change directions, and that can rattle us. Change is only difficult when we resist; consider the tree that bends with the wind versus the tree that doesn't and ultimately breaks.

Ọ̀sẹ́ Ìwòrì is the Odù that indicated Ibi (off-path). It reinforces the central message of failing to complete sacrifice. Furthermore, it recommends shea butter to Ọ̀rúnmìlà to gain greater clarity, inner calm, and wisdom.

Ogbè Odí is the Odù that indicated health. Again, for the third time, the reading touches on making the proper sacrifice to ensure well-being. Pay attention to your digestive system around this time as Odí deals with the midsection of your body.

Please make the following Ebó (sacrifice/offering) to your Icofa:

  • "Shea butter" as indicated by Òfún Ogbè.

  • "Coconut Oil" as indicated by Ìrẹtẹ̀ Ìrosùn.

Rub the offerings on the Ikin. Also, place some on your Orí at the crown of your head. Remember also to share some with Èṣù/Ẹlégbá.

Light a white candle, burn sage or other space clearing herb; and place a clear glass of water. Take 16 Ikin (palm nuts) into the cusp of your hands, share your breath by blowing on them three times, then bring them up to your forehead and chant a prayer to Ọ̀rúnmìlà. Say the Odù of your Icofa three times, or if you're an Ifá priest, the Odù of your path. Make the offering; most people have more than 16 Ikin; separately, rub the offering on the remaining Ikin.

Note: When making offerings, always offer a taste to Èṣù/Ẹlégbá first who is the divined messenger and takes your prayers and offerings to their destination.

Blessings! … Oluwo Ifájuyìtán

"We talk to God through prayer; we listen through meditation."


The Ifá Foundation is dedicated to unlocking your life's potential through the timeless wisdom of the Ifá philosophy, which includes the veneration of ÒrìṣàAncestorsẸgbe Ọ̀rún, Orí, and Ìyáàmí (the primordial mothers.)


Through the spectrum of the 256 Sacred Odù, you will be guided on your destiny's path to grow from your life's experiences and ascend the spiritual ladder of Ìwa-Pẹ̀lẹ̀ (kind and gentle character.) Às̩e̩

See also:  Last Month's Icofa Reading

[Image Credit]  Ifa Divination Vessel: Female Caryatid (Agere Ifa), 17th–19th century.  - The Met Museum

Ebó Supplies:
Please visit our spiritual tools store for Ebó supplies:  SpiritualTools

Note: regarding prayers, while there are some known prayers that people recite, make sure it means something to you and that you understand what you’re saying, don’t just repeat words like a parrot. Feel free to adapt it to your specific needs and in the language that you feel most comfortable. Since I’m a priest, I choose to first say a prayer in Yoruba to honor the origins of Ifa but will follow it up in English.


Prayer to Ọ̀rúnmìlà:


Ọ̀rúnmìlà, ẹlẹ́ẹ̀rí-ìpín

Ibìkejì Olódùmarè


Obìrìtíi –A-p’ijọ́-ikú-dà

Olúwa mi, A-to-i-ba-j’ayé

Ọ̀rọ̀ à-bi-kú-j’igbo

Olúwa mi, Ajiki,

Ọ́gẹ̀gẹ̀ a-gb’ ayé-gún;

Odúdú ti ndú ori emèrè;

A-tún-orí-tí-ko sunwọ̀n ṣe,


Ọlọ́wa  Aiyẹrẹ,

Agiri ilé-Ilọ́gbọ́n;

Olúwa mi; àmọ̀ìmọ̀tán,

À kò mọ̀ Ọ tán kosẹ

À bá mọ̀ ọ́ tan ìbá ṣẹ kẹ.

Àjubà Akoda,

Àjubà Aseda.




English translation

Ọ̀rúnmìlà! A witness of fate,

Second to Olòdúmaré {God}

Thou art far more efficacious than medicine,

Thou the immense Orbit that averts the day of Death.

My Lord, Almighty to save,

The mysterious spirit that fought death.

To thee, salutations are first due in the morning,

Thou Equilibrium that adjusts World Forces,

Thou art the One whose exertion it is to reconstruct the creature of a bad lot;

Repairer of ill luck,

He who knows thee becomes Immortal.

Lord the un-deposable King,

Perfect in the house of Wisdom!

My Lord! Infinite in Knowledge!

For not knowing thee in full, we are futile.

Oh, if we could but know thee in full, all would be well with us.

I pay homage to Akoda (1st disciple of Ọ̀rúnmìlà who taught elders, divination)

I pay homage to Aseda (1st disciple of Ọ̀rúnmìlà who gave elders wise counsel)