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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 June 2020

“Mo dàgbà mo dàgó, aré ọmọdé ò tán lójúù mi.” ~ Yoruba Proverb

“I’m old and wise, but child’s play still pleases me.”

The month of June brings us Ìwòrì Ogbè in Ibi (Òtúrá Mejì) for destiny (Òfún Mejì.)

Ìwòrì is the fiery or passionate energy within us that wants to come out, and when we’re able to channel it in some creative pursuit, it takes us far in life. The indication of Ibi, however, means that we’re stifling this energy in some way, and that’s blocking our destiny. Keep in mind that it is only when we channel our passionate energy that Ogbè can unlock our full potential. Ogbè is the energy of possibilities, and consequently, it allows new opportunities to unfold.

Whenever you can’t see your way in life, explore your passions to discover what you’re good at. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to creativity, only in not doing anything with your talents. The Icofa reading calls for you to release that inner child within you that wants to create, play, explore, have fun, and discover. It’s only then that you’ll start to see your destiny more clearly.

Ìwòrì gives us “discernment,” to judge a situation correctly and find a balanced response, the middle road. It’s that creative energy within us that helps us think outside the box and develop a clear perspective and see the many possibilities, so don’t be afraid to be different.

Ìwòrì Ogbè puts an emphasis on children; they need to be allowed to be children for it’s an important development time in their lives. The seriousness of life, adversity, and struggles are challenging their confidence and forcing them to grow up too quickly, leaving gaps in their emotional maturity. If children only see trouble and danger, they will be hesitant to try anything in the future, and their potential will be stunted. If you have children, look for ways for them to play, explore, discover, and safely have fun.

Òfún Mejì, also known as Ọ̀ràngúnméjì came out for destiny and is a senior Odù, it means “to give out whiteness,” a reference to the illumination of the mind. Òfún teaches us perspective by showing us contrast; the “Aha!” moment when suddenly it all makes sense, and we can walk away from a life experience or lesson with more knowledge and wisdom than when we started. However, acquiring wisdom is not a “given,” and we need to do the work by going through the experience. In the context of the reading, it means unleashing your inner child and exploring your potential.

To realign with your path and strengthen your destiny, make Ebó to your Icofa by rubbing “olive oil” (Ọ̀sá Ogbè) and “Ìyèrè Òsùn” (Ọ̀sá Ogbè) on your Ikin. Note the same Odù came out for both. Then place some candy (Ọ̀sá Òtúrúpọ̀n) in front of your Icofa to remind you of children and your inner child.

Note: Ìyèrè Òsùn (Ifá powder) is sacred termite dust from the Iròsun tree that is always used to mark Odù on the divination board.

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 olive oil and Ìyèrè Òsùn on the 16 Ikin. Most people with an Icofa have extra Ikin, so separately do the same on the remaining Ikin. Place the candy offering in front of your Icofa.

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)

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