“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 January 2021

Dafá (Ifá Oracle Divination) revealed Ìwòrì-Atẹ̀ (aka Ìwòrì Ìrẹtẹ̀), we are feeling somewhat restless because the “inner fire” within us is not in balance; the life force that empowers our lives' mentalphysicalemotional, and spiritual areas. They are like the four tires of your car, and you can’t get very far when one tire is deflated. Ìwòrì-Atẹ̀ speaks about not neglecting areas of our lives for things to go smoothly.

Ọ̀sá Ìwòrì indicated Ibi (off-path) for your circle of family and friends. The implication is that some members may be displaying poor judgment or asserting strong alienating opinions and making you concerned.

Traditionally, when Ìwòrì-Atẹ̀ was cast for a person with a tendency for trouble, it told them that their way out of their predicament was “initiation” so that their guardian Òrìṣà could guide their head. The following Patakí (oral narrative or parable) illustrates this divine guidance.

Awo! Do not climb the palm tree with a defective rope.

Awo! Do not dive into the water if you cannot swim.

Awo! Do not pull out a knife in anger.

Awo! Do not wear the apron of another Awo.

For someone with the Icofa tool, Ìwòrì-Atẹ̀ encourages you to plan the next stage of your spiritual growth; where do you want to go from here?


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

Ìwòrì is the fiery or passionate energy that wants to come out, and when we’re able to channel it in some creative pursuit, it takes us far in life. Ìwòrì is about motivation, ambition, and drive. However, the indication of Ibi reminds us that “The same fire that enables progress can also destroy.” Be “mindful” of how you’re expressing this “inner fire.”

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

Ìrẹtẹ̀ means “conquering good fortune,” note that the word Iré is part of the name. We need to do the character work to receive good fortune; it is the type of energy that drives us to better ourselves.

Ìrẹtẹ̀ always has spiritual implications, and reminds us to attend to our spiritual work (e.g., offerings, rituals, prayers, shrine maintenance, etc.)

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

  • Cocoa butter (Òtúrá Mejì)

  • Cascarilla (Òtúrá Mejì)

  • Sweet Liquor (Ọ̀sá Ogbè)

  • Candy (Ọ̀sẹ́ Ọ̀wọ́nrín)

  • Yams (Ìdí Ọ̀kànràn)

  • Mint (Ìdí Ọ̀yẹ̀kú)

Light a white candle, burn sage or other space clearing herb; 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. Then make the prescribe Ebó to the 16 Ikin. Most people have more than 16; take care of 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.

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

See also:  Last Month's Icofa Reading


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.


Blessings! … Oluwo Ifájuyìtán



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)


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