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“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 February 2021

Dafá (Ifá Oracle Divination) revealed Ìrẹtẹ’Rosù (aka Ìrẹtẹ̀ Ìrosùn), a spiritually challenging Odù, even as it comes Iré (on-path, blessings) because we feel pressure to break away from old behavioral patterns to manifest our potential; and that is as slow and unpleasant as slogging through the mud.

What is fortunate is that we recognize that we’re far from perfect and are more than willing to work on ourselves. We just need to remember that fundamental changes don’t happen overnight; it takes determination to toil away each day; make incremental changes that are doable and sustainable.

For my part, I know that I tend to be hypersensitive and impatient and easily get overwhelmed by people; so, I work on getting grounded through prayer, meditation, and mindfulness so that I don’t dwell on the past or stress about the future. I strive to maintain a calm state where I can tap into the wisdom afforded by the “Icofa” (hand of Ọ̀rúnmìlà), which is essential for someone that performs divination.

Ìrẹtẹ’Rosù is telling you to take an honest look at your life and see where you can do better, then actually take incremental steps to address it. Once you do, that “restlessness” that you feel will subside. Overall, this is a good time for spiritual growth; make the best of it.

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

Ìrẹtẹ̀ always applies pressure to get us to react in some way, and rather than getting annoyed; we should listen to what it has to tell us. Ìrẹtẹ̀ is an Odù with profound spiritual implications for someone on a spiritual path; it means “conquering good fortune,” note that the word Iré is part of the name. Good fortune requires effort, you have to earn it, and Ìrẹtẹ tells us that we should always strive to better ourselves and develop Ìwa-Pẹ̀lẹ̀ (kind and gentle character).

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

Ìrosùn is the energy of endurance and caution; “measure twice, cut once” so that we don’t make mistakes. It asks that we pause and think about what we’re doing. We don’t need to rush; it’s more important to get it right so that we don’t have setbacks.

Ìrosùn is also known as Olósùn, a reference to a spiritual force called Òòsùn that listens to what flows from our consciousness, the inner voice that alerts us when our desires don’t reflect good character and when our intentions will get us in trouble.

Òòsùn is represented by a small chalice that must be kept upright; it has a rooster on top with four bells.

Ìrosùn also refers to ancestors whose collective experiences are imprinted in our DNA (epigenetics), making us respond instinctively to situations. It is our job to fine-tune these instincts to react to situations with greater wisdom and good character. Strive to break away from old behavioral patterns (e.g., phobias, anxiety) that don’t support you and strengthen those that do.

The Iré (on-path, blessings) was revealed by Ogbè Ìdí with the following emphasis which shows that emotional pressures are subsiding in these areas after some turmoil.

  • Success (Òtúrá Mejì)

  • Family (Òtúrá Mejì)

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

  • Honey (Ìdí Ọ̀sá)

  • Shea Butter (Ìdí Ogbè)

  • Coconut Oil (Ògúndá Òtúrá)

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

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.

Commentary about last month’s reading:

It is good practice to revisit a previous reading to see how well you handled it, particularly when it came Ibi. You may recall that for the January 2021 Icofa reading, it warned about people in your circle of “family and friends” displaying poor judgment and asserting strong alienating opinions that would concern you.

In retrospect, we had the Capital building's insurrection in Washington, DC on January 6th that generated strong emotions and further divisions. I recommend that you study last month’s reading to see where we could have done better.

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

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)

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