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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: EGUN (The Ancestors)

Photography: Will Coleman, Ph.D.  

Iyami ( mother).  Our mothers are the way through which we are incarnated from orun (the other dimension) into aiye (physical manifestation).  They shape and mold our ancestral DNA.  They carry us in their wombs and support us in very specific ways in this life.

EGUN (The Ancestors)

Egúngún kiki egúngún,

Praise to the mediums of the Ancestors,

Egún ikú ranran feawo ku opipi.

Ancestors who have preserved the mystery of featherless flight.

O da so bo fun lewo. Egún ikú bata bango egún de.

You create the words of reverence and power. The drums of the Ancestors announce the arrival of the Ancestors.

Bi aba f’atori na leegún a sede.

On the strong mat you spread your power the Ancestors are here.


May it be so.



EGUN JE WA MEMU (Pouring Libation  to the Ancestors)

Iba se Ose - Oyeku.

I respect the sacred scripture that guides our communication with the ancestors

E nle oo rami oo.

I am greeting you my friends.

Eiye dudu baro Babalawo la npe ri.

The black bird touched the dye in the name of all diviners.

Eiye dudu baro Babalawo ma ni o.

The black bird touched the dye in the name of all diviners in his name.

Igba kerindinlogun a dana igbo Ose.

Sixteen times we make a fire in back of Ose.

O Digba Kerindinlogun a dana igbo Ose 'na oo rami o.

The sixteen fires do not harm me

O jo geregere si owoko otun.

The roaring fires burns to the right.

O gba rere si tosi o.

The roaring firs burns to the left.

Ora merindinlogun ni won ima dana Ifa si.

Sixteen places we make fires of wisdom.

Emi o mona kan eyi ti nba gba r'elejogun o.

When I did not know the road to follow, I should have followed destiny.


May it be so.



ORIKI AWON BABA MI (Praising the Ancestors of the Spirit of Destiny)

Egungun gun ani o gun, Akala ka ani oka lekeleke foso.

Spirit of the ancestors mount the mediums smoothly, the vulture circles the ceremony like a snake.

Ani ofun fun a difa fun. Orunmila Baba n'on ko lase lenu mo.

The white-feathered bird cleans us in flashes of light. The wisdom of the Spirit of Destiny is emitted in flashes of light.

Woni kolo pe Baba pe lode Orun. Tani Baba Orunmila, morere ni Baba Orunmila.

The wisdom is acknowledged as coming from the Owner of the Realm of the Ancestors. Look to the Spirit of Destiny, all good fortune comes from the Spirit of Destiny.

Mije morere no o. To ase si ni lenu morere mi o.

Seven blessings is the power of light. The seven blessings of light as the spiritual powers that come to us.


May it be so.

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