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2019 By Ifa Foundation


“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 December 2019

Grandpa: “I’m just a chapter in the long story of our ancestors; the next chapter belongs to you.”

Look behind you and you’ll notice those following you, it may not be your intention for anyone to follow you in footsteps; nevertheless, they gravitate to you when you adhere to the Ifá principles of Ìwa-Pẹ̀lẹ̀ (kind and gentle character). The question becomes then, “what are you going to do about it?”. We are all role models to someone at some point in our lives, and it doesn’t matter that you’re not the ideal or perfect role model. Others learn from you regardless, not only by your successes but your mistakes as well; it’s all in how you respond to these life challenges.

The month of December brings us Ìwòrì Ìdí in Ibi (off-path, attached to the past and obsolete) as indicated by Ọ̀sẹ́ Òtúrúpọ̀n. It is a time of self-reflection when we review what we have accomplished throughout the year. Because the reading comes Ibi, we’ll likely to miss the point of what transpired and measure success solely on what we wanted for ourselves. Ifá is reminding you that you must also see things from the point of others to get a true perspective, whose lives did you touched?

The troublesome area this month is Destiny (Ìdí Ogbè) because we’re worrying about the future and ruminating about what didn’t go well in the past. Ifá warns that you can’t advance your destiny with so much baggage. Just remind yourself that while you may not be at the place you had hoped for, you are at the place you need to be now.

The question of legacy comes up in the reading, and that implies children. If you don’t have your own children, it may apply to anyone that you have taken under your wing, counsel, or taught. It is through them that you will be remembered. Why is this coming up? It is our destiny to pass the baton to the next generation eventually; your wisdom becomes the foundation of others to build their lives. Ifá references Egbe (translates to: society, group or community), which in a spiritual context refers to souls having a shared or symbiotic experience, needing each other to reach another level of spiritual evolution.

Ìwòrì is a transformative energy that invokes introspection and self-assessment to get a true sense of yourself. That implies doing some mental cleanup, determining what is clouding your mind, what is obsolete, and no longer serves your purpose. In essence, the word Ibi (off-path) means “afterbirth,” essential while the fetus is in the womb, life-threatening after birth if cord detachment is delayed. So, when you think of Ibi in that way, you can see how something that once may have supported you, could now be harming you.

Ìwòrì is visiting Ìdí on the emotional side, manifesting as pressure. Ìdí is the energy of a “womb” where the new “you” is being created, the next chapter in your life if you will. In a way, we’re continually reinventing ourselves to advance our destinies. So, be conscious of what thoughtforms you are feeding the new you, so that you don’t self-sabotage.

The Ebó to your Icofa is “honey” (Ìdí Ìrẹtẹ̀) to sweeten your view of yourself and continue to attract people to you.

When making the Ebó, create the sacred space by lighting a white candle, burn sage or incense to clear the space; then place a clear glass of water in front of your Icofa. 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 say a prayer to Ọ̀rúnmìlà. Then make the Ebó offering, rubbing the honey on the 16 Ikin.

Note: Most people with an Icofa have extra Ikin, so separately rub the honey 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 its destination.

[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:


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)