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Library - Theology - Odú Ifá

OverviewLinks and ResourcesPublications

Odú Ifá (often referred to as just "Ifá") is an ancient polytheistic religion that is believed to have originated at least as early as c. 6,000 BCE.  It is practiced primarily by the Yoruba people in West Africa, and also Brazil, Cuba, and the USA to some extent.

Deities:   Supernatural agents:   Beliefs:   Traditions:
  • Olodumare (creator god)
  • Olorun (supreme deity of heaven)
  • Olofi (conduit god between heaven and earth)
  • Orunmila (deity of divination, knowledge, and wisdom; known to offer a hand in marriage to women and homosexuals)
  • Ochumare (rainbow deity, and guardian of children; represented by the umbilical cord)
  • Eshu (god of fertility, divine messenger for humans, and undergod of duality)
  • Aganju (god of mountains, volcanoes, and the desert)
  • Iemanja (goddess of the ocean, and loving mother of all humans; daughter of Obatala; wife of Aganju)
  • Shango (warrior god of masculine power, male sexuality, fire, and thunder)
  • Oya (powerful warrior goddess of underworld gates, winds, hurricanes, unpredictable change; Shango's favourite lover)
  • Ogoun (warrior god of war, politics, technology, iron, labour, and sacrifice)
  • Oshun (god of love, fertility, feminine beauty, art, and rivers; Shango's lover; loved by Ogoun)
  • Ochosi (hunter god of searching who also advocates for the accused and those who seek justice)
  • Ozain (god of the forest, and guardian of certain essential herbs)
  • Erinle (goddess of healing, comfort, medicine, and personal family physician for deities and supernatural agents)
  • Oku (god of harvesting and agriculture)
  • Babalu Aye (spirit of healing and the earth, and of diseases and illnesses)
  • Ibeji (sacred twin spirits who represent vitality and youth)
  • Obatala (father of humankind, provider of light, morality, and purity)
  • Obba (divinity of marriage; daughter of Iemanja; jealous wife of Shango)
  • Ori (spiritual ruler of the head)
  • Iwa (righteousness and character of behaviour as supported by the creator, Olodumare)
  • Ifá is purely the truth (and provides a system of guidance that provides a genuine course of action and combines the way of living with the psychological)
  • Ìṣẹẹ̀ṣe (see "Ifa speaks..." under Links & Resources)
  • Itefa, Itelodu, and Elegan represent the varying degrees of performing one's initiation or rite of passage to determine their purpose or destiny (this ritual is typically performed by a priest or diviner or Orunmila)

 
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