Many people from Yoruba regions believe there are deities who know our destinies from birth, and trained priests who can call on them to guide us through life and beyond.
An Ifá session begins with the person needing guidance, a priest, and three items:
- 16 palm nuts or shells in a cup or bag
- One tray with dust in it
- A ‘tapper’ instrument (See the photo)
He then tosses the sixteen nuts in his left hand and attempts to grab the entire group with his right. If one palm nut remains in his left hand, he makes two vertical marks with his fingers in the dust on the tray. If two palm nuts remain, he makes one vertical mark.
After making eight successful casts, there will be two columns of four vertical marks in the dust, forming a configuration that represents one of the 256 possible signs, which the person and the priest interpret together.
The person with the problem or decision leaves the session with the confidence to take action for improving his/her life.
However, Ifá divination provides knowledge, but not action. Each session also results in an offering or a sacrifice of some kind. Action learning!
More about Ifá.