The first thing a beginner in the Ifa Orisha tradition asks is how do I learn more. Most will suggest that they find an elder. Of course the tradition is still mostly oral and one MUST have an elder to help navigate their way. It what if you are wanting to learn and you live in a town where there are none, or you don’t connect with the ones where you are, or you were initiated in Africa and the vast distance inhibits the ability to gain all of the necessary training you need to practice? These are real issues and the world of the internet can lead you to succeed just as much as it can lead you astray. Most find sooner or later, that everything said on YouTube is not always…right or accurate. Some of it is just dead wrong. So what do you do to get good quality information from experienced priests and elders in the tradition?
Ori Institute has provided a solution to such dilemmas. Ori Institute is rolling out some online courses for beginners in the tradition as well as post initiation training for Ifa priests. The courses will be offered online and can be viewed in your phone, home computer, or tablet. The Ifa Priesthood Education Program is a series of courses for those who have undergone Itefa or itelodu. They are not intended to replace any elder or personal training. As stated, they are still necessary. What it can do is supplement your Ifa training with a comprehensive educational tools that will help you to be an even better priest. Whether used as continuing education or a foundation to begin, you are guaranteed to come away learning something valuable from each course.
The courses consist of recordings of live in person and video classes with real students. Many are unedited so you aren’t missing a thing! There are hand outs for some, homework and some quizzes too to round out training. The student will have access to a student forum with students who are also taking the class as well as access to the instructor for questions, clarifications, and additional insight.
But What About if I’m A Beginner
and Just want to learn more?
Beginning is the first step. Admittedly, it can be overwhelming with the amount of information that is coming out about the tradition. People of African descent are seeking out their ancestral traditions in record numbers. But, like all traditions and religions, there are some things you need to know before you commit. Ideally these things can be shared in an objective way with no bias towards one elder over another. The Introducton to Ifa Orisha Spirituality intends to do just that.
The Intro course will offer foundational information for those who are curious as well as for those who are serious and what a foundation to start with. This course will not replace direct training from a God parent or Oluwo. It will give the student a base from which to start looking for one as well as what they can do to start practicing right now while they are looking. In addition, the Introduction to Ifa Orisha Spirituality will cover important topics from a traditional Ifa perspective. There are a number of diaspora based traditions and traditional lineages each with its own nuances, gifts and challenges. Lucumi, Candomble, Umbanda, Sango Baptist, Palo, Santeria, Etc all have varying protocols and approaches. This course will be taught in accordance with traditional African lineages while touching on the others briefly so that the nuances can be explored by the student.
The introduction course will leave the student capable of determining next steps from their with a foundation to ask more clear questions, avoid miseducation, and determine their path forward.
The Ifa Priesthood training has already begun with the first courses ready. The Introduction course is coming in the spring of 2017. Both will be hosted at Oriinstitute.com