Continuing our discussion of shamanism as a spiritual path we’re going to go deeper into Gay Ifa, the path I follow, and all it has to offer for the development and growth of queer people across the sexuality and gender spectra.
What is Ifa?
Ifa is an ancient shamanic tradition originally practiced by the Yoruba people from present-day Nigeria, Benin, and Togo. There is a lot of discussion about what “real Ifa” is. Ifa is a living system that develops along with its followers. What I am presenting here is an Ifa that honors its ancient African roots but is informed by modern Western culture and ideas.
Ifa is monotheistic. We believe in a single creative force called Olodumare. Olodumare is the benevolent evolving Universe. The Orisa are the energetic forces in Ifa that we work with to create balance in our lives. They are not Gods. They don’t intervene in human affairs. But, alignment with them can powerfully shift life circumstances.
What About Gay Ifa?
The Ifa practiced by queer people is influenced by our unique experiences, and orientation to life. Because our queerness is an integral part of who we are, gay Ifa aligns with our unique cultural perspective.
In Ifa we pursue growth through the fulfillment of our individual destinies. Your density is the learning and growth you decided to pursue in this life. Things like sexuality and gender are critical components of your destiny. Honoring everyone’s path, including yours, is part of the basic belief structure in Ifa.
Divination is an important component of Ifa. It is a gift given to us to assist us in finding our way to our destinies. Your destiny choices are stored in your Ori, or higher self, and were forgotten when you were born. Your life is a series of steps towards discovering your destiny path. Divination guides you forward.
There are two kinds of divination, the Life Path Reading, and the Universal Guidance Reading. The Life Path reading reflects the energetic choices you made before your conception. It brings specific focus to your life and its various components. When you receive your Life Path it includes information about your Guardian Orisa, the energy you selected to express in this lifetime, as well as your Guardian Ancestor, a departed blood relative who acts as your primary connection to the greater pool of ancestral wisdom.
A Universal Guidance reading is a look at the energies flowing around you in the present moment. Its purpose is to provide specific guidance to maximize your learning and growth for the coming month. This elegant, powerful, divination system was designed to help you fulfill your destiny.
Our Unique Path in Gay Ifa
Just as each individual has their unique path, so do communities. Ifa encourages us to consider the larger journey of our community and our role in it. As queer people, we have a unique perspective. Our relationships with the Orisa and our ancestors are different as are the ways we show up in the world.
We have unique roles to play in enriching our spiritual communities. Ifa invites you to contribute fully by honoring rather than demonizing the things that make you different. It is a beautiful system that has enriched my life in countless ways as I made my way from lay practitioner to high priest, and beyond. I love sharing it with you.