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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.

Appendix B: Categories of Spiritual Forces; Spiritual Forces; and Praise Names


àasà Female Spirits.

àbikú The Spirits of young children who live a short life between reincarnations.

àjínde The spirit of a deceased ancestor (Egún) who speaks at their own funeral through a medium.

agbasà The Spirits of a sacred stones.

ajobi Ancestors of a woman, matralineal ancestors.

Ajogún Destructive Spirits that bring death, disease and poverty. These Spirits are generally associated with the Spirit of the Divine Messenger (Èsù) and are considered an aspect of the balancing dynamic that occurs in Nature.

Àríwa The Spirits of the North, ancestral Spirits.

Aronimoja Spirits of the forest, elemental spirits.

Ayélalà The collective Spirit of Ancestral Mothers.

elénìní Elemental spirits that block human growth, they are usually generated by interalized fear.

èbora The Forces of Nature (Òrìsà), that provide protection, ie the Divine Messenger (Èsú), the Spirit of the Guardian of Consciousness

(Osun), the Spirit of the Tracker (Òsóòsì), and the Spirit of Iron (Ògún).

eburu Destructive elemental spirits.

eburú Elemental spirits that work with the Spirit of Infectious disease (Babaluaiye).

Égún The Spirit of an ancestor.

eléré The Spirit of a child who dies young and reincarnates with the same destiny, same as àbikú.

emere Elemental spirits.

Èmí Òrìsà Spirit of a Force in Nature (Òrìsà).

Guusu Spirits of the South, a reference to Spirits who bring spiritual transformation.

Ìbamolè Spiritual Forces in Nature (Òrìsà) that are worthy of respect.

Ìgbamole Calabash of light, reference to the primal polarity of Creation at the beginning of time, and a reference to those Spiritual Forces that bring Light into the World.

ilà Óòrùn Spirits of the East, a reference to Spirits of wisdom.

Ìmólè Forces of Nature (Òrìsà) in their earliest manifestation as expressions of light, meaning: "House of Light."

Ìranse - Olórun Messengers of the Source of Being (Olódùmarè), praise name for Forces in Nature (Òrìsà).

Irúnlè The Spirits of all the Ancestors (Egún).

Irúnmòle Forces in Nature (Òrìsà) that created the Earth.

Iwin The spirit of ghosts, a reference to earth bound human spirits.

ìwò Oòrun Spirits of the West, a reference to nuturing Spirits.

Olorí Spirits that organizes personal consciousness, guardian Spirit, a reference to the Òrìsà associated with a person's character and destiny.

Olose Force in Nature, same meaning as Òrìsà.

Oluéri Spirits of the Rivers.

Òòsà Force in Nature (Òrìsà).

Òrìsà Spiritual Force in Nature that guides evolution through the expression of its own unique form of consciousness.

Òrìsà Ìdílé Spirits of an extended family.

Òrìsà ìlú Spirits who are the guardian of towns and cities in traditional Yoruba culture each town honored a particular Òrìsà.

Òrìsà orí Spirit of personal consciousness, guardian Òrìsà.

Òrìsà - Oríle Spirit of the Nation.

Osara Forces in Nature, same as Òrìsà, meaning: "One who gathers children."

Osi Spirit of the Ancestors (Egún).

Olokanran Spirits of Prophecy, those Spirits who speak of the future.

wòròkò Elemental Spirits who work with the Spirit of Infectious disease (Babaluaiye) to help spread disease.



Aàjà Spirit of the Whirlwind.

Abanigbele Spirit of Fire, this is a reference to the animating consciousness that exists inside a burning flame.

Agayu Spirit of the Fire at the Center of the Earth.

Àgbìgbò Spirit of the Forest that causes trouble.

Agemo Spirit of the Forest worshipped in the Ijebu region of Nigeria.

Àguala Spirit of Venus.

Àjàlá - mòpin Spirit who shapes the head and forms the consciousness of each new born child.

àjé Spirit of a Bird used by women (Ìyáàmi) to invoke powers used for abundance and justice. This same power is used to consecrate the crown of the Yorùbá Kings. Also used as a reference to money or abundance.

Aje Saluga Elemental Spirit of Abundance, sacred to the Spirit of the Mothers (Ìyáàmi).

Akódá Spirit of one of the Prophet Òrúnmìlà's first two students.

Alááànú Spirit that helps shape consciousness prior to birth, "The Merciful One."

Alúdùndún Òrun Guardian Spirit of personal destiny in the Realm of the Ancestors, the Source of personal destiny.

Àmòká Spirit of the Sun.

Amúsan Spirit of one of the children of the Spirit of the Wind (Oya).

Apetebi Spirit of the wife of the Spirit of Destiny (Òrúnmìlà).

Àpárí - inú Spirit of the inner self.

Aroni Spirit of the forest, elemental spirit with the body of a human and the head of a dog.

Arúku Spirit who transforms and elevates the spirit of the ancestors.

Àsedá Spirit of one of the Prophet Òrúnmìlà first two students.

Abanigbele The Spirit of Fire, this is a reference to the animating consciousness that exists inside a burning flame.

Babaluàiyé Spirit of the Surface of the Earth, this is the Spirit associated with those infectious diseases that are carried by the wind across the surface of the earth during dry and hot times of the year.

Dada The Spirit of Vegetables, also the guardian Spirit new born children with large tufts of hair.

Ejufiri The Spirit that shapes consciousness, the foundation of inner strength.

elekeji eni Spiritual double, higher self.

Erinlè Spirit of Song.

Èsú The Spirit of the Divine Messenger, who also as a role as the Spirit of the Divine Trickster and the Spirit of the Divine Enforcer.

Èdán Spirit of the Male aspect of the Spirit of the Earth (Onilé).

Egbéògbà Spirit honored by the society of women (Ìyáàmi).

Èlà The Spirit of Purity, the First Reincarnation of the Spirit of Destiny (Òrúnmìlà).

Elédà Creator, associated with the power center between the eyes.

Ibeji Spirit of Twins.

Ìbéta Spirit of Triplets.

Ikú Spirit of Death.

Ìpònrí Higher self, described in Ifá scripture as a person's spiritual double that lives in the Realm of the Ancestors (Ìkòlè Òrun).

Iponri The Force in Nature (Òrìsà) that guides the consciousness of a particular individual.

Ìpòrí The Spirit of the Big Toe, in Ifá Ancestor reverence the big toe is the place where personal consciousness (Orí) forms a link with Ancestral consciousness (Orí Egún).

Ìràwò alé The star Sirius, the Spirit of Sirius refered to as the canoe star in Ifá scripture.

Irépò Spirit of Cooperation

Korí Spirit who creates the calabash of the inner self.

Mágbéèmitì Spirit who shapes consciousness.

Odù Spirit of the Womb of Creation.

Odùdúà Same as Odùdúwà.

Odùdúwà Spirit of Black Character, black is a symbolic reference to that which is invisible, the opposite of light. In some regions of Nigeria this spirit is the primal Goddess, in Ile Ifè this Spirit is the original male Ancestor of Yoruba culture.

Odumare Regional variation of Olódùmarè who is the Source of Creation.

Ofere Spirit of the Morning Star.

Ògún The Spirit of Iron.

òjìjí Shadow spirit created by the physical manifestation of a person's negative emotions.

Òjòntarìgì Spirit of the wife of the Spirit of Death (Ikú).

Olódùmarè Spirit of Creation.

Olófin Spirit of the Law, meaning: "Owner of the Law."

Olojongbodu Spirit of the Wife of Death (Ikú).

Olókun Spirit of the Ocean.

Olóore Spirit who shapes the head of infants before birth.

Olorí - Mérìn Spirit who protects towns, meaning: "Spirit with Four Heads."

Olosa Spirit of the Lagoon.

Olumu The Spirit of Understanding.

Olúworíogbó The Spirit who makes Heads, meaning: "Creator of the heads in the forest."

Onílé Spirit of the Earth, meaning: "Owner of the Earth."

Oòrùn Spirit of the Sun.

Òòsàoko Spirit of the Farm.

Opèlé Spirit of the wiife of the Spirit of Destiny (Òrúnmìlà)

orí Spirit of Consciousness, also means head in common usage.

Òrìsà agbala Guardian Spirit of the back yard, the younger brother of the Spirit of the Farm (Òrìsà Oko).

Òri s à - bi Spirit of the wife of Orungan.

Òrò Spirit of the Forest, invoked as part of Ifá funeral rites.

Osu Spirit of the Moon, daughter of the Spirit of Lightning (Sàngó).

Òsùmàrè Spirit of the Rainbow.

Osun Spirit who protects individual consciousness.

O'yansa Spirit of the Mother of the Spirit of the Wind (Oya), meaning: "Mother of Nine."

Oye Spirit of the Harmattan Wind, lives in Igeti hill with the Divine Messenger, the male aspect of the Spirit of the Wind (Oya).

Oba Ìgbàláyé Spirit of the Four Seasons, meaning: "King of the Calabash of the Earth."

Obalùf òn Spirit who protects Artists.

Oba Oke Spirit of the Mountain.

Obàtálá Spirit of the King of White Cloth.

Obba Goddess of the Iba River.

Olórun Ultimate Source of Being.

Olósà The Spirit of the Lagoon.

Oramife Spirit of the Father of the Spirit of Lightning (Sàngó).

Òranmiyàn The Spirit of War, considered the Father of the Spirit of Lightning (Sàngó) in Ilé Ifè.

Òrò Spirit of the Power of the Word.

Òrungan Spirit of the child of the Spirit of the Mother of Fishes (Yemoja).

Òrúnmìlà Spirit of Destiny, the prophet of Ifá, physical incarnation of the Spirit of Purity (Èlà).

Òrun Òkè Spirit of the Mountains in the Invisible Realm of the Immortals.

Òsányìn Spirit of Herbs and Medicine.

Òsóòsì Spirit of the Tracker.

Osun Spirit of the River, fertility, sensuality and abundance.

Oya Spirit of the Wind, Spirit of the River Niger.

Òràányàn Spirit of the First King (Oba) of Oyo.

Òràngun Spirit of the grandson of Odùduwa.

Poripon Sigidi Spirit of Combat.

Sàaragaá Spirit that shapes consciousness (Orí), meaning: "The Strange place of Uniqueness."

Sùngbèmi Spirit that shapes consciousness (Orí), meaning: "Be Closer to Me."

Sàngó Spirit of Lightning, also the fourth Aláàfin of Oyo.

Sigidi Messenger Spirit for warrior spirits who protect a particular family lineage.

Sigidi S ugudu Spirit of Nightmares.

Sòponnà Spirit of Small Pox.

Yemò Spirit of the Wife of the Spirit of the King of White Cloth (Obàtálá).

Yemòwó Spirit of the Wife of the Spirit of the King of White Cloth (Obàtálá).

Yemòja Spirit of the Ògún River, meaning: "Mother of Fishes."




Agongo ogo He Who Carries a Club.

Alajìki One Who is Addressed First.

Amónisègùn - mápò He who has all the Knowledge of Powerful Medicine.

Bara Strength.

Elégbà Spirit of Good Character.

Elégára Spirit of the Trickster.

Olóf ín - àpèká - lúù Enforcer of the Law Giver.


Ata - mátàsé The Sharp Shooter.

Olog arare Master of Himself.

Òrìs à ipapo adun Spirit of Sweat Togetherness.


Atóónàlórógùn Hefty Hunter.

Àwàlàwúlú Rugged and Rough Spirit.

Àwònyè Òrìsà The Enraged Spirit.

Lákáyé Chief of the Earth.

Olú irin Chief of Iron.

Olumaki Chief of Strength.

Oni're Chief of the Town of Ire.

Os ibiriki The One who Bursts out Suddenly.

Òsìn Imole Chief of Spirits.

Olona Owner of the Road.

Òsìn Imolè First Among the Immortals.


A - kè - bí - àlà Radiant White.

Alábalese He Who Predicts the Future.

Alamorere Owner of the Best Clay.

Oluorogbo Chief of the Medicine of Truth.

Oluwo Igbo Chief Diviner of the Forest.

Òòsáálá Spirit of Mystic Vision.

Òòsà Ìgbowújìn The Spirit who lives in the Distant Forest.

Òrì s à Al ase Spirit with the Power of Dreams.

Òrí sálá Spirit who Creates Light.

Òrìsà - og'enia The Spirit who Owns Humans.

Oba - i gbó King of the Forest.

Obalofun King of Pure Speech.

Obanla King of Purity.

Obàtálá gbingbin iki The Big Big Spirit of the King of the White Cloth.

Oba - ti - álá King of Vision.

Òsèèrèmògbò Source of Good Things from the Forest.

Pàkelemò The Calabash of Wisdom.


Àjíbáajé The Spirit Who Wakes up to Discover Money.

Oba Omi King of the Waters.


Elekú o. Owner of the Cave.


Olúgbé - rere Giver of Good Things.


Àrìrà Fast as Lightning.

Bámbi Spiritually Reborn.

Kábiyès í Greeting of Respect.

Kábíyès ìlè Greeting of Respect.

Olúbambí The Creator helped me before I had this child.

Olú kòso Àìrá The Controller of Lightning.

Olúòrójò King Who Must Not See Rain.

Oluoyo Chief of Oyo.

Obakòso King of Kòso.


Afefe - jeje Whirlwind.

Aférifélégélégé Mysterious Wind.

Àjàláiyé Winds of the Earth.

Àjàlórun Winds of the Realm of the Ancestors.

Efufu - lege - lege Gentle Breeze.

Iyansan Mother of the Child of Nine.

Olúwèkù The controller of those who wear the Ancestral masquerade.


Olodo Owner of the Brook.


Atoobajayé The adequate Protector.


Asin - mo - l'égbàá - ìyànjú The Mystery of Power that Comes from

Eating the Yam.

Obalúaiye "King of the hot earth.

Omolú Child of heat.


Ilè Ògéré House of Perfection.

Yeye Aiye Mother of the Earth.


Àáyán - awo - inú - igbó Ayan Tree is the Mystery of the Inner

Sanctum of the Sacred Grove.

Agbónire Hunter of Good Fortune.

Agbónìrègún Hunter of the Medicine of Good Fortune.

Aje - ju - Oogùn Stronger than Medicine.

A - kò - mò - ó - tán Not to Have Full Knowledge of You is to Fail.

Amáiyégún The Guardian of Medicine on Earth.

Amodídá One Who Cuts through Sickness.

Amòlà Ifé Owòdáyé "The Savior of Ifé from the Early Days.

A - sòrò - dayò One Who Makes Things Prosper.

Ibìkejì Èdùmàrè Second to the Creator.

Ifá Olokún Diviner of the Sea.

Ká - mò - ó - ka - là Whom to know is to be saved.

Ló - l'òla Master of tomorrow.

Ló - l'òní Master of the Day.

Ló - lòtunla - pèlu - è Master of the day after tomorrow.

Obírítí The Immense Orbit.

Olónìímoro Owner of Cleanliness.

Olúmmaàmi Òkítíìrí The Chief Averter.

Olùnrin - dúdú - òkè - Ìgèté Black Man from Ogeti Hill.

Olúwà - mi - àmò - imò - tán Who Can Most Understand the Source of Being.

Onílégangan - ajíkí Owner of the Spirit of the Traditional Drum that is saluted first.

Òpè Palm Tree.

Òsígbìwa The One who brings the right hand path.

Ti npojó ikú dà The Changer of the determined day of Death.


Èkèmí First Soul.

Èmi Mimo Spirit of All Wisdom.

Oga - ogo The Brave One.

Olúwa Chief of Character.

Oba Àlórí Almighty Chief.

Oba Òrun King of the Invisible Realm of the Immortals.

Obayíya Highest King.

Olójó Òní Owner of the Day.


Ìkòlè Òrun The invisible realm of Spirit.

lé Ifè The Spiritual capitol of traditional Yorúbà culture, also refers to a Spiritual City in the Realm of the Ancestors (Ìkòlè Òrun).

ilogbon House of Wisdom, mystical home of the Spirit of Destiny (Òrúnmìlà).

Ipò - okú Ancestral home of the a person's spiritual shadow (ojiji), place where the spirit of the deceased lingers if it does not receive proper elevation.

ìsálú - Òrun The entire Invisible Realm of the Ancestors.

làí - làí The beginning of time.

òde - Òrun The entire invisible realm, home of the ancestors (Egún) and the Immortals (Òrìsà), the Source of Creation.

Oríta The boundary between the visible realm of Creation and the invisible realm of Creation.

Òyígíyigì The primal stone of Creation, the Source of Creation.

Ònòméfà The six sacred directions, meaning the four directions of the compass plus up and down, or the center axis.

Òrun - Apadi Home of disruptive earth bound ancestor spirits

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