How To Join Ifa

Ifa is an ancient Yoruba divination system that provides guidance and insight into various aspects of life. It has been practiced for centuries and is deeply rooted in the traditions and beliefs of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. If you are interested in joining Ifa and exploring its spiritual teachings, this guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to become a part of this mystical tradition.

Understanding Ifa

Before delving into the process of joining Ifa, it is important to have a basic understanding of what Ifa is and what it entails. Ifa is a divination system that is believed to have been gifted to humanity by the Orishas, spiritual deities in the Yoruba pantheon. It involves the casting of divination tools, such as palm nuts or sacred cowries, to communicate with the Orishas and receive guidance.

Ifa also encompasses a vast body of spiritual knowledge, teachings, and rituals. It covers various aspects of life, including relationships, health, career, and personal development. Ifa practitioners, known as Babalawos or Iyanifas, undergo years of rigorous training to master this complex system.

Connecting with the Yoruba Community

Given the strong cultural ties between Ifa and the Yoruba people, it is beneficial to connect with the Yoruba community in South Africa. You can join Yoruba cultural organizations, attend Yoruba festivals and events, and participate in Yoruba language and cultural classes. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of the Yoruba traditions and values, which are integral to practicing Ifa.

Seeking a Babalawo

A Babalawo is a highly respected Ifa priest who acts as a guide and mentor to those seeking to join Ifa. Finding a trustworthy and knowledgeable Babalawo is crucial to your journey in Ifa. You can start by asking members of the Yoruba community for recommendations or conducting online research to find reputable Babalawos in your area.

Once you have identified a potential Babalawo, it is essential to schedule a consultation or meeting to discuss your interest in joining Ifa. During this initial interaction, the Babalawo will get to know you better and assess your readiness and commitment to the path of Ifa.

How To Join Ifa

Preparing for Initiation

If the Babalawo determines that you are ready to embark on the journey of Ifa, they will guide you through the preparation process for initiation. This typically involves undergoing a series of spiritual cleansings and purification rituals to remove any negative energies or impurities.

Additionally, you may be required to follow specific dietary restrictions, observe certain lifestyle changes, and study Ifa teachings and rituals. The duration of the preparation period varies, but it can range from several weeks to several months, depending on the guidance of the Babalawo.

The Initiation Ceremony

Once you have completed the preparation phase, you will be ready to undergo the initiation ceremony. This ceremony is a sacred and solemn event that marks your official entry into the Ifa tradition.

The initiation ceremony is typically conducted by a group of Babalawos and involves various rituals, prayers, and offerings to the Orishas. It may also include the performance of Ifa divination to receive specific instructions and messages from the spiritual realm.

During the initiation ceremony, you will receive your personal Ifa shrine and tools, such as a divination board and divination chain. These tools are essential for your future practice of Ifa and will be blessed and charged with spiritual energy by the Babalawos.

Continuing Your Ifa Journey

After the initiation ceremony, your journey in Ifa is just beginning. It is essential to maintain a strong connection with your Babalawo and continue your studies and spiritual practices.

You may be required to attend regular meetings, workshops, and ceremonies within the Ifa community. It is important to actively participate and engage with the teachings and rituals, as they will deepen your understanding and connection with Ifa.

Additionally, practicing Ifa involves personal introspection, self-discipline, and adherence to the ethical principles of the tradition. It is a lifelong journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth.


Joining Ifa is an enriching and transformative experience that requires dedication, commitment, and a genuine desire to explore the Yoruba spiritual tradition. By connecting with the Yoruba community, seeking guidance from a knowledgeable Babalawo, and undergoing the initiation ceremony, you can embark on a meaningful journey in Ifa. Remember, Ifa is not just a divination system, but a way of life that encompasses profound teachings and insights into the nature of existence.