“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 October 2020

Dafá (Ifá Oracle Divination) revealed Ọ̀sá‘Gbè (aka Ọ̀sá Ogbè) for this month with Iré (on-path, good fortune.) We face the gentle “winds of change” with optimism and anticipation of better times. We understand that we must gradually move on with our lives and trust that everything will turn out well.

Ọ̀sá‘Gbè gives us a cautionary tale of someone that is always on the move, never staying in one place long enough to appreciate the moment. It says that life is not about rushing from one accomplishment to the next; it is also experiencing the time in between. It’s like cooking a nice meal but not making time to savor it.

Ifá is telling us this month to open our eyes to the grandeur of life and appreciate the moment before us, that’s the key to staying grounded this month. While we shouldn’t resist change, we shouldn’t rush either; everything will come in due time. Be mindful of what each experience has to offer, it is joy? a lesson? Don’t be quick to dismiss a moment as insignificant or you will find yourself trying to recapture those lost moments later on.

The “Icofa” (hand of Ọ̀rúnmìlà) helps us see the nuances of experiences, the intuition that tells us there’s more to uncover. When we open ourselves to wisdom, as Ogbè suggests, we receive insightful information to discern the experience; trust your intuition even when it doesn’t seem to fit the situation. I recall times when something or someone didn’t feel quite right to me. I couldn’t pin it down at the time but learned later on, the reason for my apprehension.

I want to point out that eight out of the ten months this year, the reading has come Iré for those that have Icofa, which shows the importance of the wisdom tool in deepening our connection to Ọ̀rúnmìlà. It was only in May and June that we lost our way during the expanding pandemic and then came back strong in July. Our ability to tap into wisdom has been essential in navigating the upheavals we faced this year.

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

Ọ̀sá is changeable and sometimes unpredictable energy that could bring about a sudden change in fortune. In Iré, it could manifest as luck or being in the right place and the right time. That is why we must be mindful and experience each moment to notice things.

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

Ogbè is an expansive type of energy that we can’t ignore, for it casts a bright light that shows us a wide range of opportunities and experiences to consider. In Iré, we are open to whatever life has to offer, and we’re responding with optimism.

The Iré (on-path, good fortune) was indicated by Òtúrá-Oríkọ̀ (aka Òtúrá Ogbè), indicating composure, humility, and acceptance.

Ogbè’Gúndá (aka Ogbè Ògúndá) came out for both “health” and “relationships.” It predicts worthwhile opportunities in these areas that you will at first ignore or refuse but should be given serious consideration.

Make Ebó to your Icofa:

  • Cocoa butter - revealed by Ògúndá Ìrẹtẹ̀.

  • Beads - revealed by Ìwòrì Òtúrá.

The beads should be made into an Idé (bracelet) as revealed by Ìrẹtẹ̀ Mejì. The Idé is for your protection as there are tumultuous times ahead, including potential civil unrest. It should be made of two alternating colors and kept with your Icofa until you need it.

The traditional Yorùbá colors for Ọ̀rúnmìlà are maroon (dark red) and green. In the Diaspora, however, you will find people use yellow and green. Whatever your preference, it should resonate with you and evoke a sense of connection to Ọ̀rúnmìlà. You may also buy one if you’re not able to make one.

The Idé (bracelet) is always worn on the left wrist by Ifá followers to keep us bound to our earthly destinies until its conclusion; it signifies protection from Ikú (death.)

The role of Ikú is to guide the spirit home when the time comes, so death should not be feared. However, the Idé signifies an agreement that Ọ̀rúnmìlà has with Ikú that you will not be taken home to Òrun (the spiritual realm) prematurely; you’re here to experience life and gain wisdom under the guidance of Ọ̀rúnmìlà.

Light a white candle, burn sage or other space clearing herb; place a clear glass of water. Take 16 Ikin (palm nuts) and the Idé 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 have more than 16, rub the Cocoa butter on the remaining Ikin.

You may store the Idé in the same container with the Icofa and be sure to wear it during times of unsettled energies.

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)


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