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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 March 2020

“The path gets treacherous, watch where you’re going.” 

The month of March brings us Òtúrá Ọ̀sẹ́ in Iré (on-path, good fortune) as indicated by Ìdí Ìrẹtẹ̀ and speaks of “self-preservation” at a time of elevated risk that calls upon us to be more vigilant.

On the right leg, we have Òtúrá in Iré, which is mostly concerned with spirituality and the perfection of our character. A sign that we are living our lives according to the principles of Ìwa-Pẹ̀lẹ̀ (kind and gentle character) and with greater intuition. Consequently, it allows Ọ̀sẹ́ to manifest in a way that ultimately benefits us.

Ọ̀sẹ́ is a sign associated with the river deity Ọṣun and stirs a lot movement, and when we stir things up, it brings to the surface (awareness) anyone and anything that may be lurking about and pose a danger to us. This is good because in Iré, we see the threat before it sees us. The name Ọ̀sẹ́ signifies “triumph” and the symbol itself resembles a broken stick, a reminder that nothing is infallible. Listen to your intuition, do not dismiss your gut feelings even if at the moment, you don’t understand why or how it fits into your plans.

The Ebó to your Icofa is Ìyèrè Òsùn (aka Ifá powder) as indicated by Ìrẹtẹ̀ Òtúrúpọ̀n. This is made from sacred termite dust from the Iròsun tree, used to mark Odù on the divination board; also used for protection. You will also need to offer Olive Oil (Òfún Ogbè) and Honey (Òtúrá Ogbè.)

Light a white candle, burn sage or other space clearing herb and place a clear glass of cool 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 ingredients from the Ebó on the 16 Ikin.

Note: Most people with an Icofa have extra Ikin, so separately do the Ebó 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. Sprinkle some of the Omiero on him.

[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)