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2019 By Ifa Foundation

MONTHLY ICOFA

“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 April 2020

“May your character inspire others to follow you; May your wisdom inspire others to trust you; May your courage inspire others to believe in themselves.” 

The month of April brings us Ọ̀bàrà Ìká in Iré (on-path, good fortune) as indicated by Ìká Ogbè, with the need for “temperance” so that we don’t get in the way of manifesting blessings of destiny (Òtúrá Mejì) and health (Òtúrá Mejì).

The blessings of destiny (Òtúrá Mejì) and health (Òtúrá Mejì) are especially significant because they are indicated by the 13th Odù, Òtúrá Mejì which have the qualities of Funfun (means white or illumination); a bright light that shines in our spiritual path.

Ọ̀bàrà Ìká speaks of the inner transformation that is taking place. This month is an opportune time to start planning for what comes next. Use this time to better yourself, either through self-study (e.g., books, online classes.) When this crisis is over (and it will come to an end), we’ll come out of our homes and see a different world; be ready for it.

Ọ̀bàrà speaks of “personal power” and urges you to take the initiative to make your life better, not only for yourself but for others who are looking to you for leadership and guidance. The initiative, however, does not mean going at it alone nor trying to figure everything out by yourself. You must enlist the support of others because you don’t hold all the pieces to the puzzle; what you have is the intuition and vision to see how everything comes together.

Ọ̀bàrà is associated with strategy, courage, and leadership; a reference to Ṣàngó, who was believed to be the reincarnation of Òrìṣà Jàkúta. A beloved ruler and “ascended master” who ultimately became Òrìṣà and was known as the charismatic voice that brought everyone together; qualities that we need to aspire to.

There’s always a duality that comes with Ọ̀bàrà and animals with “cloven hooves” are associated with this Odù for this reason. The “cloven hooves” represents a split path, a fork on the road where decisions must be made, and it is up to the wisest person in the group to choose for everyone. This duality also implies “risk and reward” and opposition from detractors who will thwart your efforts and could bring “loss.”

Ìká speaks of the adversity that we face in our journey and the importance of always having good intentions and responding with Ìwa-Pẹ̀lẹ̀ (kind and gentle character) to challenges. You don’t need to look too far to see how a crisis can bring the best in people as well as the worst; Ìká exposes the selfish and wicked actions of a person’s character.

Fear and ignorance are formidable adversaries for they undermine your best efforts. “Truth-deniers” are not only a risk to themselves but a danger to you and your loved ones, so don’t ignore it; Ìká implores you to mount a defense and speak up for truth.

The Ebó to your Icofa is Cocoa Butter (Ìrẹtẹ̀ Òtúrá).

Light a white candle, burn sage or other space clearing herb, and place a clear glass of fresh water. Take the 16 Ikin 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 rub the Cocoa Butter on the 16 Ikin. Most people with an Icofa have extra Ikin, so separately do the same on the remaining Ikin. Remember to share some with Èṣù/Ẹlégbá.

[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:

Yoruba

Ọ̀rúnmìlà, ẹlẹ́ẹ̀rí-ìpín

Ibìkejì Olódùmarè

A-jẹ-́ju-oògùn

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,

A-mọ-i-kú.

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)