Published on January 29th, 2024 |
by Dr. Jerry Doby
Exploring Cultural Traditions: A Deep Dive into the insights of Oracle Ifa
In a riveting Live Session interview with spiritual leader Oba Ifagbemi Faseye Babatunde also known as the fatherly Oracle Ifa, I received an in-depth look into the profound importance of building upon existing cultural traditions and uncovering commonalities to bridge diverse cultures. Our conversation tackled pertinent questions about cultural and spiritual appropriation, emphasizing that while certain aspects of African culture may lean Afrocentric, everyone has the right to explore their destiny and engage in traditions to some extent.
Oracle Ifa is the author of the highly touted book Practical Foundations of Ifa which is”…suitable both for those who have already received a hand of Ifa (Isefa) or initiation to Ifa (Itefa/Itelodu), and also offers a fair and balanced view of what to expect for those who may just want more information…” available here.
Bridging Traditions and Addressing Appropriation
As we began, Oracle Ifa underscored the significance of understanding oneself and finding common ground between cultures to foster unity. We explored the delicate issue of cultural appropriation, acknowledging that appropriation can occur but promoting the idea that everyone has a right to engage respectfully in traditions.
Bond and Connectivity in African Traditional Spirituality
I inquired about the deep bond between Oracle Ifa and Nana Amoako Yiadom Gyata, who sat in, unraveling a connection beyond the spiritual realm, rooted in a natural earthly bloodline. Oracle Ifa shared how their bond was predestined, intertwining their shared background in African Traditional Spirituality with familial ties.
l to r: Oracle Ifa, Nana Abena, Nana Amoako Yiadom Gyata (Used with Permission)
Sharing Core Principles of African Tradition
We discussed the challenge of sharing African traditions with those holding preconceived notions. Oracle Ifa emphasized the importance of relating concepts to familiar ideologies, using teachings from the Bible and other beliefs to build understanding and bridge cultural gaps.
Addressing Trauma and Ancestor Veneration
An essential part of our conversation reached into the impact of trauma on African people and the role of ancestor veneration in healing. Oracle Ifa emphasized the need for conversations, storytelling, and spiritual practices to shed the negative effects of trauma.
African Spirituality, Blood Sacrifice, and Cosmology
Our thought-provoking discussion expanded to African spirituality, blood sacrifice, and cosmology…pretty much no stone unturned in this conversation… We explored the historical context of Christianity’s impact on indigenous people, touching on the differences between African and Eurocentric perspectives on time and the value of human life.
Sincerity and Self-Discipline in Endeavors
Oracle Ifa’s message centered on sincerity and self-discipline in all endeavors. He encouraged individuals to be genuine, give their utmost effort, and engage fully in their pursuits. The importance of self-discipline, seeking guidance from ancestors, and embracing one’s core human frailty were highlighted. Certainly increasingly relevant in the current global climate.
The Importance of Immortality and Tradition
We delved into the concept of immortality and the role of traditions in preserving legacies. Drawing parallels between the Ifa tradition and Christian saints, we were in synch on the vital role of family and community in perpetuating these traditions.
Igbemo Ekiti, Ekiti State, South-West Nigeria (Facebook)
Addressing Action Items and Key Questions
Our Live Session concluded with Oracle Ifa touching on actionable steps, including education on cultural appropriation, advocacy for the recognition of African spirituality, and fostering dialogue.
In summary, Oracle Ifa’s insights provided an illuminating journey into the heart of African spirituality, encouraging sincere exploration, bridging cultural gaps, and preserving traditions for generations to come. Our conversation was a testament to the power of dialogue in shaping a more interconnected and understanding world. Tune In Below!!!
Explore the richness of African spirituality, embrace sincere endeavors, and perpetuate traditions for a legacy that transcends generations.
Practical Foundations of Ifa is available in both hardcover and paperback via online retailers like Amazon, as well as Oracle Ifa’s website.
The Overall Mission
Guiding the Mission: Actionable Steps for Oracle Ifa’s Vision
Building on the enriching Live Session conversation with Oracle Ifa, the mission encompasses a set of profound action items aimed at fostering understanding, promoting cultural recognition, and preserving heritage. Here are the key action items that encapsulate Oracle Ifa’s mission:
Illuminate Cultural Understanding
Objective: Educate and raise awareness about cultural appropriation and spiritual appropriation.
Why: To dismantle misconceptions, fostering an environment of respect and understanding between cultures.
Champion Recognition of African Spirituality
Objective: Advocate for the recognition and respect of African spirituality in mainstream society.
Why: To break down barriers and establish a space where African spirituality is acknowledged and respected on a broader scale.
Facilitate Enlightening Conversations
Objective: Foster dialogue and conversation about African spirituality and its connection to African American culture.
Why: To create an open platform for discourse, bridging gaps and building connections through shared narratives.
Preserving Cultural Heritage
Objective: Learn and educate others about the Epa tradition.
Why: To safeguard and share the rich cultural heritage embedded in the Epa tradition, fostering a deeper appreciation for African traditions.
Empower through Self-Reflection
Objective: Encourage self-reflection and reframing of language and beliefs.
Why: To empower individuals by promoting self-awareness, challenging preconceived notions, and fostering personal growth.
Uphold Integrity through Self-Discipline
Objective: Practice self-discipline in all endeavors.
Why: To instill a sense of integrity and commitment, ensuring sincerity in every pursuit and fostering personal and collective growth.
Seek Guidance from Ancestors
Objective: Call upon ancestors for support and guidance.
Why: To establish a spiritual connection with ancestral wisdom, seeking guidance and strength in navigating life’s journey.
Perpetuate Family Traditions
Objective: Establish and maintain family traditions.
Why: To strengthen familial bonds, creating a sense of continuity and identity through shared traditions.
Honor Ancestral Legacies through Storytelling
Objective: Promote ancestor veneration and storytelling to preserve, honor, and share our heritage with the next generation.
Why: To immortalize ancestral legacies, passing down wisdom and values through the art of storytelling.
In aligning with these action items, Oracle Ifa’s mission unfolds as a transformative journey, shaping a future where cultural understanding, recognition, and preservation thrive. Each step contributes to a collective effort to build bridges, foster growth, and preserve the rich tapestry of African spirituality for generations to come.
That’s a heavy load and we salute you.