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African Traditional Religions: Ifa

This guide, created by the Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library with funding from the Atla OER Grant Program, exists as an Open Educational Resource on "African Traditional Religions: Ifa." Content licensed CC-BY-NC 4.0.

Prayer

Photography: Will Coleman, Ph.D.  

Somewhat like chomkah (wisdom) in Proverbs 8 and "logos"( word-thought) in John 1:1-5 of the Jewish and Christian sacred texts,  Ela is the pre-existent and omnipresent spirit of wisdom and knowledge.  This intelligence is incarnated through Orunmila.

ORIKA ELA

(Invocation to the Spirit of Destiny)

Ela omo osin. Ela Omo Oyigiyigi ota omi.

Spirit of Manifestation, Child of the Ruler. Spirit of Manifestation, child of the offspring of the Stone in the Water.

Awa di oyigiyigi. A ki o ku wa.

We ourselves become manifestation. The stone that birthed the Spirit of Manifestation will never die.

Ela ro a ki o ku mo, okiribiti. Ela ro (Sokale) Orunko Ifa.

The Spirit of Manifestation has descended to earth, we die no more. This is the name we give to destiny.

Entiti ngba ni l'a. Nwon se ebo Ela fun mi.

He is the one who saved us. We made sacrifice to the Spirit of Manifestation.

Ko t'ina, ko to ro.

He is of no substance. He is too small to be thought of.

Beni on (Ela) ni gba ni la n'Ifa, Oba-a-mola.

Yet he delivered the Immortals from all trouble, the Chief for whom to know is to be saved.

Ela, Omo Osin mo wari o! Ela meji, mo wari o.

The Spirit of Manifestation, Son of the Ruler, I praise you. The Spirit of Manifestation, the Spirit of Manifestation, I praise you.

Ela mo yin boru. Ela mo yin boye. Ela mo yin bosise.

Spirit of Manifestation praise the sacrifice that opens the way. Spirit of Manifestation praise the sacrifice that brings life. Spirit of Manifestation praise the sacrifice that proceeds work.

Ela poke. Eni esi so wa soro odun. Odun ko wo wa sodun.

The Spirit of Manifestation has appeared. The friend has returned for this year's festival. The celebration returns.

Iroko oko. Iroko oko. Iroko oko.

I come Iroko Oko. I come Iroko Oko. I come Iroko Oko.

Odun oni si ko. Ela Poke. Ela ro. Ela ro. Ela ro, Ko wa gbu're.

The celebration has returned. The Spirit of Manifestation has appeared. Holy Spirit descend. Holy Spirit descend. Holy Spirit descend, prayers to accept.

Ela takun wa o. Ela ro o. Eti ire re. Ela takun ko wa gbu're.

Holy Spirit with string descend. Be the ears of our prayers. Holy Spirit with string descend to accept our prayers.

Enu ire re. Ela takun ko gbure. Oji ire re.

Hear the lips of our prayers. Holy Spirit with string descend to accept our prayers. Hear the eyes of our prayers.

Ela takun ko wa gbu're. Ela ma dawo aje waro. Ela ma d'ese aje waro.

Holy Spirit with string descend to accept our prayers. Holy Spirit with lips of blessing embrace us. Mighty Spirit with lips of blessing embrace us.

Atikan Sikun ki oni ikere yo ikere.

From door to door remove the hinges.

Ipenpe ju ni s i'lekun fun ekun agada ni si'ekun fun eje.

He who removes the hinges opens the eyelids for tears.

Ogunda'sa iwo ni o nsilekun fun Ejerindilogun Irunmole.

The Spirit of Iron, the Spirit of Wind, the Spirit who opens the door for the Immortals.

Ela panumo panumo. Ela panuba panuba.

Holy Spirit resounding. Holy Spirit rebounding.

Ayan ile ni awo egbe ile, ekolo rogodo ni awo ominile.

Near the crack in the wall where the elders meet, Peace ascended to Heaven and did not return.

Eriwo lo sorun ko do mo. O ni ki a ke si Odi awo Odi.

Upon blockade the priest for Blockade is called to earth. He asked us to call upon the Priest of Peace.

O no ki a ke si Ero awo Ero. O ni ki a ke si Egun osusu abaya babamba.

Upon the shrub thorns he asked us to call. Upon the blockcade we call the Priest of the Blockade.

A ke si Ero awo Ero, ke si Egun o susu abaya babamba a ni eriwo lo si Orun ko de mo, won ni ki Ela roibale.

Upon the thick shrubbery  thorns we call, to Heaven calmly ascend. Holy Spirit descend.

Ela ni on ko ri ibi ti on yio ro si o ni iwaju on egun.

The Peace of the Holy Spirit said; "I have nowhere to descend."

Eyin on osusu agbedem'nji on egun osusu, awo fa ma je ki'iwaju Ela gun mori on tolu.

I find the front filled with thorns, I find the rear and the middle filled with thorns.

Orunmila ma je ki eyin Ela gun mosi Olokarembe Orunmila ma je ki agbedemeje la gun Osusu.

The humans appealed to the Spirit of Destiny to pray to the Great Spirit of Manifestation.

Ela ro. Ifa ko je ki iwaju re se dundun more on tolu.

Holy Spirit descend. Remove the thorns front the front and rear.

Ela ro. Ifa ko je ki eyin re se  worowo.

Holy Spirit descend. Remove the thorns fro m the middle.

Ela ro. Ela ni'waju o di Odundun.

Holy Spirit descend. At the front place of Peace, the Holy Spirit becomes manifest.

Ela ni eyin o di Tete. Ela ni agbedemeji o di worowo.

At the rear place of Peace, the Holy Spirit becomes manifest. At the middle place of Peace, the Holy Spirit becomes manifest.

Ase.

May it be so.

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