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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.

Icofa Reading for October 2019

“Those who want rain must also accept the mud.” ~ African proverb

Symbolism: Rain refers to “blessings” and mud to “burdens.”

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

The month of October brings us Ogbè Ìrosùn in Iré (Ogbè Ìká). If Ogbè is representative of the rain in the proverb, then Ìrosùn is the mud.

Ifá speaks of the complexity of our lives, the more we have; the more effort it takes to maintain the type of lifestyle. We live in a material world surrounded by a myriad of comforts to pamper ourselves; gadgets to play with, and beautiful things to enjoy, yet we’re always left wanting more. The quality of life that we have now with all the modern conveniences is very different from those of our ancestors; yet, it doesn’t equate with greater happiness.

Ifá says that we can enjoy material things so long as we don’t lose sight of our destinies and our connection to the natural world. When was the last time you enjoyed simple things like getting soaked by refreshing rain on a hot day? Chances are that we complained that it disrupted our plans.

Ogbè shows you endless opportunities to choose from, while Ìrosùn on the spiritual side cautions you that the choices you make can become a burden. Ìrosùn is the type of energy that says “measure twice, cut once”; are you sure this is what you want? Ìrosùn reminds us to consider the long-term effects of our choices. Traditionally, it warns of the consequences (e.g., legal, losses, etc.) of being impetuous. Fortunately, the reading indicates that we are blessed with Iré and favors quality time in Personal Relationships (Ìdí Ogbè).

The Ebó to your Icofa is “shea butter” (Òtúrá Mejì) for clarity and pure thoughts. Interestingly, it is the same Odu and offering as last month; encouraging you to continue doing what you’re doing as it reflects Ìwa-Pẹ̀lẹ̀ (kind and gentle character).

Light 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 silently say a prayer to Ọ̀rúnmìlà. Then make the Ebó offering, rubbing the shea butter on the 16 Ikin.

Most people with an Icofa have extra Ikin, so separately do the same 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:

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)