Initiation

“Initiation” means to begin, marking the first stage of a new life working with energies of Orisa and/or Ifa.

Ifa teaches us that there are many reasons for initiation. For example, often in life after experiencing various hardships without an identifiable cause, initiation may be called for in order to reveal to us the taboos or life contracts that we made with spirit prior to birth on this Earth. They could be taboos that we may be unknowingly breaking, and therefore working against the fulfillment of the destiny we chose.

It is also common for many to come for initiation in order to acquire the spiritual assistance and re-enforcement to fulfill our dreams, goals, and aspirations – Personal, professional, socially, or otherwise. Reasons for initiation are very unique to the individual this is because we all have our own individual destinies and spiritual blueprint. However the intended outcome remains the same: to have richer fulfillment and contentment of life through greater knowledge of self and the unseen world we live within. Determining this important step begins and ends always with divination to see if this is the right course for you to take, as well as to learn the needed pre-initiation steps to smoothly prepare you for this journey.

Spirituality cannot be bought or sold – this is a true statement and you won’t find it argued here. The path of spirituality is a personal and communal journey. The path of spirituality does not have a price tag. Prayer is free, afterall, while earning credit towards a masters in theological study will run you several hundreds per hour. The path we choose, regardless of spiritual devotion or character development, will at some point cost us money.

What is so comforting about the Orisa and Ifa tradition is that it is inherently recognized that to properly collect the good things in life, you must have money. After money can come spouse, house, children, and long enjoyable life. There is no one price tag for a long enjoyable life – only the knowledge and acceptance that sacrifice in its many forms will need to occur at various points along the road of this long life. What does have a price, on the other hand, is the time and effort of the elders that have already walked the path you are on, reaching out to share, teach, elevate and overall advise you in how to stay on the path to happy old age. This is why initiation costs money – supplies, time and effort of elders and the making of sacrifice by the initiate.

Initiation - Itefa
Itefa - Ifa Initiation - casting the odu
Water Shrine - Yemonja Olokun

Initiation can be performed locally at the Temple. Kabiessi Oba Ifagbemi also frequently leads 1-2 trips per year to West Africa for initiations, ceremonies, and study. Some of the various Orisas one may initiate to include the following:

  • Ifa (Babalawo / Iyanifa)
  • Esu
  • Obatala
  • Osun
  • Obaluaye
  • Egbe
  • Yemoja
  • Olokun
  • Ogun
  • Osoosi
  • Sango
  • Oya
  • Egungun
  • and various societies within the tradition
Obaluaye-initiation-implements
Itefa - Initiation to Ifa
Ita prep - Initiation
Itefa - Initiation to Ifa, 3

While our Temple has hosted trips to West African for initiations, our current focus is on performing initiation to Ifa and/or Orisa locally.

There are many levels of participation within Ifa from Aborisa, to initiated devotee (Ifa/Orisa priesthood), to practicing priest. Most important part is to determine what your destiny has in store and balance that with the practice level in which you feel comfortable, and then growing from there.

If you have further interest in knowing more about this, then we invite you to contact Kabiessi Ifagbemi and receive an Ifa divination reading to learn and ascertain more about the practice level that may be most appropriate for you.