top of page
  • Writer's pictureAwo Ifasola Sangobolade


Ori a spiritual concept to the attainment of oneness a Yoruba spirituality way of life.

Ori, literally meaning "head," refers to one's spiritual intuition and destiny. It is the reflective spark of human consciousness embedded into the human essence, and therefore is often personified as an Orisa in its own right .

In Yoruba tradition, it is believed that human beings are able to heal themselves both spiritually and physically by working with the Orisas to achieve a balanced of character, or what is termed iwa-pele. When one has a balanced character, one obtains an alignment with one's Ori or divine self or inner GOD self.

Alignment with one's Ori brings, to the person who obtains it, inner peace and satisfaction with life for attainment of reaching your optimal destiny. To come in an alignment with Ori is, essential and the entire purpose to come to know oneself.

The primacy of individual identity is best captured in a Yoruba proverb: "Ori la ba bo, a ba f'orisa sile". When translated, this means "It is the inner self we ought to venerate, and let divinity be." This surely is a pointer to the extreme importance of that which we ORI!

IFA and Ori :

It goes without saying that within the ifa literary corpus we will find verses in reference to Ori in every of the 256 odus available within the corpus . The verses themselves are uncountable and no one knows all . But what is known , is that every odu will at some point have a verse or two or more that will touch bases on the aspect of ori. For IFA knows all to well the significance of the internal GOD within each and every single one of us. The fact of the matter is as I stated before previously above . The end goal if you want to call it that for lack of a better term. Is complete and total alignment with one inner GOD self to your higher self or what is termed iponri in traditional Yoruba belief system.

A small excerpt form the book : The Hand Book of Yoruba Religious Concepts by baba Karade pg 10 . States it best .

“IFA devotees strive to reach a state of divine oneness that comes about when ones earthly consciousness ( known as ori) is developed and elevated to the place of unification with ones heavenly consciousness (known as iponri). Orunmila teaches that such an endeavor is arduous , difficult , and takes years of soul searching and effort . Those who embark on the journey ( irin ajo) need do so with a pure heart , and with sincerity for although the attainment is glorious , the pitfalls are horribly devastating.”

As you can clearly see baba karade has hit the nail on the head! Though in all my years in IFA I have never heard anyone put it so eloquently nor actually pointed to or even mentioned . It took me over a decade plus to confirm that which baba Karade mentions above. Which is nothing more than the basis of ifa worship in a nutshell. Oneness! With the creator of worlds , is and has always been the goal within IFA and orisa practice of spirituality. Its extremely unfortunate that this topic is not spoken about on a grander scale. Because today in age this point has seemly taken a back seat to so many absurdities that are to many to mention here with in this practice arcoss all traditions in and outside of Africa.

We need to give people the real understanding of what ifa is truly about. And it isn’t about beautifull attire or shinny beads or or titles or exquisite orisa pots and shrines . There is certainly nothing wrong with that. What is tragic is that for the most part this is what most have made it about. We only need to look left and right to see the level of absurdity and the lengths people will take to build delusional sand castles that have absolutely no real meaning or true importance within the ifa practice of worshipping ones destiny via the orisa and there ori. Listen to ifa as he has said it in holy odu Irete Otura.

Irete Otura!:

To focus on extravagant beads

is to miss the true nature of orisa!

To focus on beautiful containers and pots

Is to miss the true nature of Orisa!

To focus on KINGS and QUEENS!

Is to miss the true nature of orisa!

To focus on shells and seeds and orisa implements

Is to miss the true nature of orisa!

It is ONLY! by focusing on the true nature of things

That we can find the TRUE! Nature of Orisa!

Ifa begs us to focus on the true nature of things. Which include by default the true nature of yourself as a individual. What is your true nature? Have you ever wondered ? This is a clear pointer to your ORI. That which is an was before you ever came to know yourself to be who you now take yourself to be.

Orí bíbo/Head propitiation:

This is one significant and crucial aspect of the Yoruba culture and tradition, the Orí is a superior deity or the greatest of all deities and the right sacrifice or propitiation should be done for one individual respectively. Why do we believe this about ori . Is because Ori as holy odu Ogunda meji tells us is all deities failed to render help in times of need our Orí(Head) can never forsake us. For it is who we truly are in essence. That which is beyond Ego separate self of who you believe or take yourself to be.

Majority haven’t come to a clear understanding of propagating ones ori . It is alignment that we should all be seeking . Alignment with our inner divine self . Which more often than not we tend to dismiss when it comes to the for front of our aid. it only ever tries to help us. It like ignoring that feeling that something isn’t right , with a person place or thing. And yet! We go through with the experience we knew wasn’t good for us . And all we are left with is regret.

There are things to know because many people are having issues these days because of the person that help them to propitiate their head, you should know the spiritual level of the person or your spiritualist. If it is done in a wrong way, make affect you for life, it should be done correctly and completely. Nothing should be left undone to make it a perfect propitiation. The propitiation can be done by your wife or husband or a virgin child or a spiritualist.

The things that can be used for head propitiation are but not limited to : Goat, Duck, Ram, Guinea fowl, Pigeon, Catfish, Adun, Honey, Gin, Sugar, Kolanuts, Bitter Kola, Water with different kinds of fruits and so on, but all these depends on what your head request. It also good to know if one has any taboo’s in which certain items should be avoid for adherent or individual getting there head feed as it is commonly referred to .

Head propitiation is usually done in the evening from 5pm and after . Person should have bath and preferable dressed in white . After the head feeding the person that head has been feed should have a none eventful day . Just home relax read to sleep. The next morning the person can bath and remove head covering and any items that could have remained in or on the persons head/hair. No sexual acts with others or oneself shall be refrained from during this ritual head feeding. As this is taboo in any ritualist ceremony and this is no different. One needs to be clean in every sense of the word.

677 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page