Wednesday 30 March 2022

The sacred ritual to consecrate Opele. Who is an Oluwo? Corruption, hypocrisy and deception among some high-level Ifá leaders of Ile-Ife. The title-scam business, and other topics of interest and importance

New developments in Ifá:

There are different arrangements of the 16 major Odu Ifá. We are all familiar with two major arrangements by Oyo and Ile-Ife, but for the purpose of this article, I will be introducing the new 16 major arrangements of Odu Ifá invested by Dr. S. M. Opeola, the founder of Ifá Yoruba Kabbalah Temple.

This is the new 16 major Odu Ifá arrangement by the founder of Ifá Yoruba Kabbalah Temple:

















Having listed the above arrangement, the next step is to prove how Ifá Yoruba Kabbalah Temple derived their own arrangement, but before that let's give a little explanation about the studying of Ifá in the olden days and nowadays.

The studying of Ifá seemed to be more difficult in the olden days than now because of lack of education by the babalawos training the people, but nowadays, with the good analysis by Dr. S. M. Opeola (Baba Kabbalah), he has made the training of Ifá very simple and easy.  People can now get basic foundational training easily and be well trained as far as the basic foundational principles are concerned within 3 to 6 months. This is an improvement over the old method of long term duration that we are all familiar with. Previously  people spent 4 to 5 years to acquire the the full range of training training, that is, for those who are able to capture things easily, while those who were slow in learning took 8 to 10 years to acquire the full range of trainings.

Now with the new method discovered by Baba Kabbalah, which he has also published in one of his book titled Ifá is a 9 bit binary computer. In this book he gave an explanation and a method of binary calculation to derive the 16 major Odu Ifá on opele chain, and this has enhanced the training and made it much easier for people to learn Ifá who are willing to enjoy the new developments in the Ifá and Orisa world. One should not forget that  this new development and method of training can only be accessed in Ifa Yoruba Kabbalah Temple. Some educated babalawos still engage in old way of training which gives provision for "Isi Pele", but Baba Kabbalah system have eradicated the old custom of Isi Pele. The purpose of the method of Ifá Yoruba Kabbalah Temple is to make Ifá more simple and easy to learn.

What is Isi Pele?

In the method of training or imparting knowledge to their learners, the other babalawos who are not following the wind of changes that Ifá Yoruba Kabbalah Temple is blowing around the world, still engage in the method of Isi Pele. Isi Pele is a method associated with beginners in Ifá training. It is a process whereby a beginner in Ifá must develop his own opele with whatever materials he decided to choose to develop his opele, such as broken calabash, a pieces of dunlop or tyre, but he must not and could not choose the popular half nuts known as "Ese Aguntan" to develop his opele because the opele is primarily for training and not for divination as of that moment.

Isi Pele is a ritual for the beginner in Ifá to enhance his training. It is believed that the ritual will help the beginner to remember whatsoever he has been taught during the period of his training and after his training.

Here are the materials use for the ritual:

Dried cat fish(es)

Dried rat(s)



Bitter kola(s)

Alligator pepper

Dry gin.

All these materials will be prepared, then the babalawo who is the trainer will put these prepared materials on the Opele for this beginner/learner to eat this prepared materials with his mouth without using his hand to take it to his mouth. Instead he will use his mouth to eat this prepared materials on the floor. We all know opele has two arms which comprises 4 half nuts on each arm and making the total of 8 half nuts. This prepared materials will be put on each of the half nut of the Opele by the trainer which is the teaching babalawo of the beginner-learner and is expected to be eaten by the learner with his mouth on the floor one after the other untill he has finished eating all materials that have been placed on the Opele without using his hand to take any of it to his mouth. Then he will drink dry gin instead of water immediately after he has finished eating the materials.

After this ritual the babalawo-trainer will start to open opele for the beginner-learner, starting from 16 major odu (oju odu) from eji ogbe to ofun meji base on the arrangement the babalawo-trainer adopted down to the 240 minor odu ( apola/amula odu).

If you notice, I emphasize on the use of the word he for the trainer and the learner because in the olden days, it was forbidden for women to learn or use opele as an instrument of divination but it seem things have changed nowadays, with the Installation of Dr. Patri D' Haifa, the first female Araba, installed by late Araba Aworeni Adisa Mokan'ranrale.

How can a female be installed as Araba? 

Another question to ask is how can a foreigner become an Araba?

See where the scam started, and it doesn't stop there until the same Araba Adisa Aworeni produced Araba Ajegunle who is a male and also a foreigner. 

I have seen women using opele for divination, of which they are even popular with it, if you ask some babalawos they still believe that is wrong and unacceptable for women to use opele for divination, some even claimed the consequences of any woman using opele as divination may result to suddenly disappearance of her menstruation for life which as a result may affect the woman’s ability to give birth, in that case they believe only women who have stopped giving birth or who doesn't want to give birth can adapt the use of opele as a divination tools, while other claimed it was only 16 cowry shells (Eerindinlogun) that Òrúnmìlà authorized for the  women to use, because his wife complained of not being able to help or attend to people's request and complained in his absence. Then Òrúnmìlà asked his wife to bring out 16 cowry shells and he taught her how to use it, and also gave her the approval of positive result whether she used them correctly  or mistakenly used them incorrectly.

"Ki e ma fi ofun pe ogbe, ki o fi ogbe pe ofun, Agba si yin lowo”.


“If you wrongfuly pronounce ofun as ogbe and mistakenly call ogbe as ofun, fear not, I have given you the approval and you will get a positive result.

To some babalawos the 16 cowry shells is the simplest divination tools to use because it has 11 odu ifa and it will be much easier for women to learn, but some babalawos believe it is not perfect and accurate, while some regard it as fake, claiming some of those who are involved in the use of 16 cowry shells use the seer "Arina" and not that they are well trained as people believe. 

The question to ask is if the 16 cowry shell method isn't perfect, why can the women use opele as perfection, or are these babalawos looking at gender inequality that the men are superior than the women, or are they trying to push the women to some restricted aspect or certain areas in tradition? Or some reason that since Òrúnmìlà is not physically present on the earth, then the approval given to his wife by using the 16 cowry shells either correctly or mistakenly and still getting the positive result must have stopped or must stop.

Although I asked if all these claims can be backed up by any Odu Ifá,  but none of them could provide any Odu Ifá to back their reasons up. I asked this question because I met a young lady learning opele years back, after she finished her training and decided to practice with opele.  She hadn’t given birth to any children when I knew her during her training with my friend, but I am happy to tell you she still engaged in using opele as a means of divination and she has given birth to 3 children now. The lifestyle and success of this lady has demolished the first claim of some babalawos who claimed that any woman who uses opele as a divination tool must forget about giving birth once she has engaged in the use of opele.

Let us leave that and discuss about the scam created by the late Araba Adisa Aworeni who made a spiritual title to be honorary title by installing Dr. Patri D'haifa as Araba and also the Araba Ajegunle. First of all, these two people have no deeper training or knowledge in Ifá and Orisa, and they have never been in true Ifá and Orisa practice. The only thing that they were practicing using these honorary titles that they paid so much money for to acquire to dupe other foreigners. I call the title of Araba given to these people as merely artificial honorary titles because the titles where not earned as a result of training, practice and acknowledgement of the Ifá and Orisa community, but appear to be fake titles that have no spiritual back up simply because they are not qualified to own these titles. 

Who is an Araba?

Araba is the spiritual head of  the traditional religion, in history, Araba was restricted to the people of Ile-Ife alone, believing or claiming Ile- Ife is the ancient town and Òrúnmìlà orginated and created world of Ifá in Ile-Ife, since they are direct descendants of Òrúnmìlà, they are the only person entitled to the title. For these reasons no other towns or villages have the title Araba, but the nomenclature oluwo was generally adopted by other towns, villages and communities.

In my interview with Goke Aworeni, popularly called Goke Araba, he said the wide spread use of the title Araba in many towns, villages and communities started when the people of Lagos came to take the title as honorary, due to popularity of Eko, and also have been a civilized town as at that moment. He further gave his reason why only Ile-Ife is entitled to the title Araba, because it is only Ile-Ife that has Awo Olodu, and Awo is headed by Araba, and next to the Araba is Agbongbon, down to Akoda and Aseda etc.

Goke Araba also gave some information about the mode of their dressing, the Araba use "Oro" known as crown while the Awo Olodu use hat which has been designed with "ikode" (feather of a pariot).

The beautiful beads that they use to cross their shoulder to chest and down to their waist is called "iko", and one should not forget the orere/osu awo that they normally designed with palm fronds any time they are on outing which also serve as their staff. Now despite that their  are alot of Arabas in Yorubaland no Araba from outside Ile-Ife must use Oro the crown that the Ile-Ife Araba uses, not to talk of using iko or osu Awo to walk as staff in Ile-Ife. The biggest offense is to use umbrella in Oke Itase which is believed that only the Araba has the right to use umbrella in Oke Itase and no other other person must do so. 

Since we have highlighted the position of Araba in the olden days, how did other towns install their oluwo in the olden days, and what is the system used by oluwo in olden days and the position of oluwo nowadays?

In the olden days before the wide spread of the office of Araba the  Oluwo or Olu Awo was installed by the king or village-head (bale).

Who is an Olu-Awo/Oluwo? 

Oluwo means the leader and head of all awos/babalawos. Mostly babalawos today are referered to as Awo.  Awo means initiate in the English language.

Oluwo is a title given to the outstanding babalawo by the king or community-head but it seems the situation has changed now.  In the olden days oluwo are installed as an official title that has been earned and has received the stamp of approval of the knowledgeable Ifá community and senior learned priests but now most babalawos attach the title oluwo to themselves without having been installed by king or community-head except in the case of oluwo iledi of ogboni, these people still get the title by normal rites (installation).

When I spoke with these oluwos, they give reasons why they prefer to be called oluwo without installation, in-fact those who were installed by the king as oluwo used money to acquired the title because they have little or no training in the mysteries, secrets, rites and procedures of Ifá, while some have never been practitioners of the priesthood of Ifá.

There are different ways babalawos now become oluwo. Some make the claim of being Oluwo based on the years of experience in Ifá and Orisa practice. Automatically they made themselves or installed themselves as oluwo, while some defend their self-given oluwo title based on the number of Ifá initiations that they have performed for their students and clients. These completed initiations according to them made them deserving to be called and become an oluwo, and the last group I spoke with claimed that they installed themselves as oluwo  because they have alot of students that are training or trained under them, and as a result these students see them as oluwo and call them oluwo.

With all of these explanations I discovered that  there is no different between omo Awo and Awo. Awo is a term use for single or many, while omo Awo is just to specify. If -olu- means head and awo means initiate or babalawos, then oluwo is the simple definition which refers to the head or leader of Awo (babalawos), and with this analysis, the common oluwos that can be found nowadays are those that claim to be oluwo because they initiate people into Ifá or Orisa. Through this I discovered someone who claimed that someone who is an oluwo can also be omo awo to another oluwo.

The title scam: Araba Ajegunle.

The wide spread multiplication of the use of the title of Araba wasn't limited to Nigeria only but it also extended abroad. Such an extension is the title of Araba Ajegunle, despite the fact that the man is a foreigner, he rightfully choose a good and sweet name for his title: Araba Ajegunle.  The first time I heard the title I thought this man was from one of the Ajegunles of Yorubaland, but later I discovered that it was only a title used in a ‘honorary’ way which was endorsed by late the Araba Adisa Aworeni.

Through my investigations and contacts I discovered that this man spent alot of resources to acquire [to buy and not earn] this title and then he went back to North America to then claim that he had been endorsed and installed as the Araba of both South and North America! According to the information I got from my brother Alan Edgar in Mexico,  Alan became sad about the misuse of the title by Araba Ajegunle and decided to make necessary corrections. Then in may 2016, this became a serious issue besides the man who had acquired [purchased and not earned]  the title of Araba Ajegunle had became a big problem in Mexico. Lovers of our good traditional religion came together, and Alan gave a solution by inviting the late Araba Aworeni to solve the problem created by Araba Ajegunle, not knowing it was the late Araba Adisa Aworeni that had ‘installed’ the Araba Ajegunle. Although due to old age and sickness, it seems that Araba Aworeni may have totally lost or almost lost his memory before his death, not that he only denied getting involved in installing the Araba Ajegunle, but the late Araba was well known to always forget whatever or everything he was doing or did before his death. 

The situation seemed to be very difficult and it got worse because during the period that the late Araba had just left the hospital my brother Alan sent me to Oke Itase to arrange with the late Araba on when he will come to Mexico to solve the problem of what was being done by the man who had the title of Araba Ajegunle. My brother Alan from Mexico sent thousands of dollars to finance the trip.  The late Araba was suppose to come with one of his sons, which will serve as helper to him. The trip was planned for three people, the late Araba, one of his sons  and me, Olu Awo Ifanla.

Later on Aworeni's family called me and demanded that I should tell my friend Alan to add another slot so that the Araba could come with two of his children and not one as planned earlier. I told my friend Alan in Mexico and he refused. During this argument, the late Araba called my friend Alan in Mexico with the purpose to make the attempt to exclude me from the trip but my brother Alan refused.

I kept quiet when I heard, but I continued my investigation about the installation of Araba Ajegunle. I was worried if the late Araba Adisa Aworeni claimed not to be involved in the Installation of Araba Ajegunle, then my worry  was to figure out who was the person that gave Araba Ajegunle that boldness, called [unearned but purchased] TITLE,  that he was and is using to exploit and intimidate his fellow foreigners.

Through my investigation I discovered that it was in fact the late Araba and a king in Ile-Ife that conferred the Araba Ajegunle title with alot of resources and money paid by this foreign man to acquire the title. I called my friend Alan in Mexico to gave him the information and he explained to me how the late Araba Aworeni's family called to slander and misrepresent me before him in an attempt to hide the wrong things that they had being doing or trying to keep as secret as possible! Immediately the truth had been revealed. I cancelled the trip to prevent my friend from wasting that huge amount of money to fight a scam that was invented by the late Araba Adisa Aworeni.

We can all see how the late Araba made a mockery of the spiritual title of Araba by giving a foreigner and an unqualified one at that the title of Araba which is supposed to be reserved for special people of good reputation that have unique training and qualifications in Ifá and Orisa practice, and who also have the respect and acknowledgment of the learned traditionalist Ifá and Orisa community.

Reasons for different arrangements in Ifá (For example: The Oyo arrangement of Odu-Ifá and the Ile-Ife arrangement of Odu-Ifá)

Why do babalawos from different geographical locations and areas criticise each other?

According to Oluwo apon ile ado, Olori Ajo Moore, he gave several explanations and reasons why there are different arrangements of Odu-Ifá (Oyo and Ile-Ife arrangements). He also claimed that Ile Ife has the best arrangement because they use the direct arrangement passed down to them by Òrúnmìlà.

He said that the general belief was that Òrúnmìlà lived in Ile-Ife and that people from other towns came to learn Ifá from Òrúnmìlà and that the closest of these people are the people from Oyo. When the Oyo people came to learn Ifá from Ile-Ife, after their training, it was mandated for them to go back to their town. They requested that Òrúnmìlà should help them with the marking and arrangements of the 16 major Odu Ifá [by inscribing the proper arrangement of the 16 major Odu-Ifá signatures in the correct order] on the OPON IFÁ (Ifá Tray). On their way back to Oyo they wanted to cross a stream. Suddenly there was a great and heavy storm and gust of wind that scattered the order of arrangement on the tray. They  wanted to come back to Òrúnmìlà for another arrangements [so that Òrúnmìlà could again inscribe the original Odu-Ifá order of arrangement for the 16 major Odu-Ifá signatures], but Òrúnmìlà saw everything that happened to them and sent his voice to them.

Immediately they heard Òrúnmìlà’s voice telling them not to turn back, but go with the scattered arrangement, and no matter how they arrange it, it will work because he has given them the approval and they will arrive at the same result!

I asked Olori Ajo Moore, if there is any Odu-Ifá  that backed his claim up.  He said yes and gave the Odu-Ifá  Irete-Ogunda:

"Ka da gun da, ka te gun da gun da.”

I furthered my research by asking why do different babalawos from different geographical locations and areas criticise one another?

He said Ife babalawos are the best, because Ile-Ife is the home of Ifá, for example, Ife babalawos sing irosokun and not iyere Ifá like other babalawos from another geographical locations do.  The Oyo and other babalawos from different geographical locations sing iyere Ifá, which always sound like they are crying when singing it to him. This response really surprised me, I laughed. Seriously, how can a babalawo mock his fellow babalawos by saying  that their Ifá songs sound like they are crying? 

A few days after I got this information I went to Ekiti. To my surprise, Ekiti babalawos condemned everything Olori Ajo Moore told me, claiming that Ifá is from Ekiti and not from Ile-Ife! They gave some names which are popular with Ifá such as ewi Ile ado, ijero and erinmilode owo etc. These Ekiti babalawos claimed Ife knew nothing about Ifá to the extent of making wrong, incomplete or fake Ifá initiation for people. They also claimed Ife babalawos do not know how to sing Ifá songs (iyere ifa), instead they take Odu-Ifá verses and turn it to a song or make a song from it!

The Odu Ifá  arrangements:

Ile - Ife         Oyo       Ifá Kabbalah

Ogbe          Ogbe        Ogbe

Oyeku        Oyeku       Oyeku

Iwori           Iwori         Obara

Odi              Odi            Ika

Obara         Irosun       Irosun

Okanran     Owonrin   Oturupon

Irosun         Obara       Ose

Owonrin     Okanran   Iwori

Ogunda      Ogunda    Ogunda

Osa             Osa           Okanran

Irete            Ika             Odi

Otura          Oturupon  Ofun

Oturupon   Otura         Irete

Ika               Irete          Owonrin

Ose             Ose            Otura

Ofun           Ofun           Osa

We will use the Opele to derive the Ifá Kabbalah arrangement. Here is the simple method or calculation developed by Dr. S. M. Opeola.

2^0 = 1

2^1 = 2

2^2 = 4

2^3 = 8, 

Let's consider ^ as power of.

Opele has two arms, the right arm and the left arm.

How can we differentiate the right arm from the left arm of the Opele. Opele gone beyond common identity, but in most cases the right arm is been differentiated with cowry shells or numbers of cowry shells attached to the right arm while the left arm may not have or have less than the right arm, some times beads or different colours of beads can be use to differentiate the right arm of the Opele from the left arm. 

Another things to consider is the front and back in Opele, and we only count wherever the half nuts of the Opele is showing the back and not the front like in 16 cowry shells (Eerindinlogun) where you count the numbers of the cowry shell(s) that turn front out of the 16 cowry shells.

Let's use ll to represent wherever the opele turns back 


Let's use l to represent wherever the opele turns front.

Having highlighted all these, let us now use the simple method or calculation invented by Baba  Kabbalah to derive the 16 major odu from the right arm of the Opele.

Let's use this diagram below to represent opele

L       R

(          )

O        O 2^° =1

 !          !

O        O 2^1 =2

 !          !

O        O 2^2 =4

 !          !

O         O2^3 =8

 *         °°

          Total =15.

Let us use this calculation to derive the Ifá Kabbalah arrangement on the right arm of the Opele.

Let us re-arrange the Ifá  Kabbalah arrangement of Ifá from junior odu to the senior odu. Please notice that wherever you have the same Odu-Ifá in both arms of the Opele they are called and regarded as eji/meji (double).

1) Osa

2) Otura

3) Owonrin

4) Irete

5) Ofun

6) Odi

7) Okanran

8) Ogunda

9) Iwori

10) Ose

11) Oturupon

12) Irosun

13) Ika

14) Obara

15) Oyeku

16) Ogbe.

Now let's start, to get osa

Il 2^°=1




This is Osa.

To get Otura 

Il 2^1 = 2 



This is Otura.

To get Owonrin

Il 2^°=1

Il 2^1=2



i.e 1+2 = 3 Owonrin

This is Owonrin.

To get Irete



Il 2^2=4 


This is Irete.

To get Ofun

Il 2^°=1

Il 2^2=4


i.e 1 + 4 = 5 Ofun

This is Ofun.

To get Odi


Il 2^1=2

Il 2^2=4


i.e   2 + 4 = 6 Odi

This is Odi.

To get Okanran

Il 2^°=1

Il 2^1=2

Il 2^2=4


i.e 1 + 2 + 3 = 7 Okanran

This is Okanran.

To get Ogunda




Il 2^3 = 8 Ogunda

This is Ogunda.

To get Iwori

Il 2^°=1



Il 2^2=8

i.e 1 + 8 = 9 Iwori

This is Iwori.

To get Ose


Il 2^1 =2


Il 2^3 =8

i.e 2 + 8 = 10 Ose

This is Ose.

To get Oturupon

Il 2^°=1

Il 2^1=2


Il 2^3=8

i.e 1 + 2 + 3 = 11 Oturupon

This is Oturupon.

To get Irosun



Il 2^2=4

Il 2^3=8

i.e 4 + 8 = 12 Irosun

This is Irosun.

To get ika 

Il 2^° = 1


Il 2^2= 4

Il 2^3= 8

i.e 1 + 4+ 8 = 13 Ika

This is Ika.

To get Obara


Il 2^1=2

Il 2^2=4

Il 2^3=8

i.e 2 + 4 + 8 = 14 Obara

This is Obara.

To get Oyeku

Il 2^°=1

Il 2^1=2

Il 2^2=4

Il 2^3=8

i.e 1 + 2 + 4 + 8 = 15 Oyeku

This Oyeku.

Now looking at the calculation which we have been using since it ends at Oyeku which is the fifteenth  (15) Odu, if you don't forget I said it earlier that we only count when the opele turn back and not front, but this method give reasons why Ogbe is the most superior Odu-Ifá.

It is only when we have all the 4 half nuts showing the front in each arm of the Opele that is has been regarded as Ogbe which is the sixteenth  (16) Odu.





Is regarded as Ogbe. 

You can all see we have used the binary method or calculation invented by Father Dr. S. M. Opeola, Founder of Ifa Yoruba Kabbalah Temple to derive the 16 major Odu Ifá arrangement created by him.

In my next article I will discuss how to get the message of Ifá, how to determine if Ifá comes positive or negative, how to ask yes or no questions and how to choose the materials of the sacrifice. After that I will explain the method of Ibo in Ifá, how to use Ikin for divination and a lot more.

Thanks for reading. 

By Olu-Awo Ifanla Ogbe Ate Temple

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...