About Obafemi Institute for the Divine & Universal Study of Ifa

OIDSI logoPurpose and Mission

In its many definitions, Ifa speaks of the wisdom of nature and universal truths, which is referenced and understood through Universal Laws – the pillars that support this dimension and is at the base of most world religions and spiritual practices. The Western theological approach to spirituality (i.e. religion) is to teach/preach that in order for one to know, one must first believe, then expand on that belief. The African Spiritual Science approach is the same at base, but expands on that knowledge of the system of knowing one’s self. The Yoruba people who trace their roots back to the Nile Valley teach that in Ifa there is no devil and there is no hell. Ifa teaches that there are not only positive forces, but negative forces. The practice of good character and ancestral reverence are the first steps for one to understand their paths. Ifa also teaches that through oracle divination, the Sacred Odu, prayer and the ritualization (fusion) of elements, minerals, plants, certain invocations and incantations and various other methods, that one can understand his/her path. This also enables the person to realign him/herself back on their path properly if they have veered off path. It is the belief of Ifa that the overwhelming majority of those people who are off path can be attributed to the person’s lack of self-awareness, lack of sincerity to put forth personal effort, and their immediate environment. In Obafemi Institute of the Divine Study of Ifa (O.I.D.S.I), we believe that the incorporation of good character, a well aligned Ori and an ancestral altar to one’s own lineage constitutes the beginning of freeing the mind, spirit and body. It is our mission for those practitioners of Ifa to understand the cosmology of heaven, earth, Òrisà (forces of nature), and one’s own Ori (inner head/ consciousness). By understanding and internalizing these concepts, the practitioner brings peace of mind to their lives, gains knowledge of his/her own personal journey, develops an understanding of the importance of staying in good character, and gains freedom from the overwhelming conditions of the various institutions and systems that deplete our quality of life. O.I.D.S.I. believes that by using Ifa as a tool, one will learn to trust themselves and the creator who lives within. By this, we mean that the Ifa oracle can help one to understand one’s purpose. This helps one to chisel, shape and create their own environment and their philosophical perception of their world. Our book list brings enlightenment to the cosmology of Ifa. Our other references encourage one to invest in meditation, yoga, body cleansing, and the education of signs and symbols, i.e. the universal language of the one true source. We believe wholeheartedly that our mission can be fulfilled with the dedication to teach, study and continuously work to maintain an emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically healthy life that can be shared with family and others who are present and/or in the vicinity of a practitioner’s light. This is not an attempt to proselytize Ifa. We are a group of brothers and sisters from various backgrounds, careers and religious persuasions who embrace Ifa as a tool to expand on our own personal journeys. We encourage all Ifa practitioners to embrace all individuals who exemplify good character and energy, regardless of their spiritual/religious affiliations. My belief as a priest of Ifa, is that one‟s salvation, especially African Americans, lies first with the knowledge of self through the history of one‟s lineage, the Creator, the understanding of nature and one‟s environment. I believe that the best system is the system that works best for you. I pray that the system you choose incorporates the concepts of Africa, nature, the science of self, and the source of all things.

May you walk in Ire.