What should a Babalawo reveal about the Odu governing your life?

topic posted Mon, March 9, 2009 - 9:06 PM by  Segeju
For the second time, I visited a Babalawo, because I wasn't sure about the first Babalawo I had visited and just wanted to make sure. Please note that I am very new to the tradition and this is why I am respectfully asking for your assistance.

I was going for a general reading on certain occurrences in my life these past few months. Both Babalawos I visited are Nigerian men in their 40's, and both live here in the United States. The first Babalawo was very professional, though he charged me what appeared to be an exorbitant amount for my reading ($250).

With the second Babalawo, everything seemed okay. the same odu came up (Odi-Ofun), but again, this Babalawo did not reveal what the odu meant, what I should do etc. he charged me $150.

Are Babalawos supposed to recite the odu for you and tell you prohibitions, etc?

I have no idea what Odi-Ofun means and don't know what to do or how to act.

Please, if someone can tell me what this odu means, I will greatly appreciate it. I have looked everywhere and cannot find the meaning or story.

I thank you for all your help.
posted by:
  • Unsu...
    Hello Segeiu,
    I am very sorry to hear your story concerning these two readings with Babalawo's. First let me say I am a member of a Cuban Babalawo house not a Nigerian one and things may in fact be different in those traditions. However in my house a reading when given would cost a great deal less than the numbers you gave and would include a great deal of information. I am in contact with a trustworthy Cuban house of Ocha in the Houston area, it is run by a Babalawo and his wife who are initiated through my Godparents (so we are brothers and sisters I guess). If you want to speak with them I could put you in touch. My advice to you and all people is don't get readings from people you don't know or know someone who can vouch for them. Best of luck to you.
  • Alaafia, Bendicion,
    My name is Oro and I have many things in common with the first reply. My Ile is based in Cuban Ifa.
    Our prices for readings are usually much less depending on the reading. I have also heard of reading prices like you paid in other parts of the country also but I don't think the price is what is bothering you as much as the sign you were given.

    There are a few things about the information you give about the readings that may explain why you were not given any information about Odi Ofun.

    In our Ile we are taught to never second guess the words of a Babalawo in a reading. The fact that you went to 2 different Babalawo's for the same information is a show of disrespect to both Babalawo's involved. You need to remember the words of a Babalawo, no matter who they are, are the words of Orunmila.
    There are common sense things that will tell you whether or not the person you are recieving the reading from is morally good or otherwise.
    As far as getting the same sign in 2 readings from 2 different Baba's tells me you need to pay close attention to any other information was given.

    Sometimes the lesson to be learned is to deal with the lack of information if none is offered.

    One question I have for you is this. Did you share the information from your first reading with the second Baba before, after, or not at all ?

    Hope this helps.

  • Hello Segeju,

    Let me speak from my personal experience: The first babalawo that ever read for me came up with Ofun Konran. I was told at the time that I was getting a swollen head (western interpretation) and that my heavenly friends were calling me, that's pretty much it.

    It took me asking in forums like these, and asking students of Ifa as well as initiated priests to give me more info, that a real picture emerged about what this Odu meant, and more importantly what it meant for me. It's been true to the money, ever since as I see the message contained in the Odu in my everyday life.

    So on one hand, I think it's important for the babalawo to give you adequate instructions when they read for you (often in my case language has been a barrier) but I think the odu only began to resonate with me when I started finding out stuff on my own. =

    Don't know if this helps, but it's just a little perspective of mine.
    • Iboru Iboya Ibosise

      Hello forum. I normally don't post but I think some clarification is in order.

      I have been studying Odu for some time now (about 7 years), mostly under the guidance of Lucumi Olorishas and Babalawos. One of the things I have learned is that in most traditions\houses\lineages there are times when the information given to an individual seeking divination is purposely limited. This occurs for various reasons.

      First let's clarify what the point of divination is. Divination is an occurance which takes place in order to seek the remedy to an "illness" (at least in the African sense of the word). If what you seek is "knowing the future" and being told the past you don't need to seek divination in ATRs, rather I suggest you see a Tarot card reader.

      Second, all of this is directly linked to the concept of your destiny (Ogbe'Yono). I won't bore you with those details but in short you are told what you need to know.

      Third, there exist Odu (such as Odi'che) which directly tell the diviner that it is NOT good to speak too much during the reading because the diviner's words will cause confusion or an argument. Simply prescribe a remedy if indicated and move on.

      Fourth, there are instances when a negative Odu comes in a complete ire. Many believe that when this occurs it is best for the diviner to be quiet. Odu is much more than a mathematical occurance which tells the diviner what to say, each Odu is a specific being (and much more) which comes to the matt and may cause postive or negative things. In such a case speaking the Odu may cause more damage than good (which I suspect would be the issue in the Odu that you received). Sometimes it's better to live the ire than invoke an osogbo ;-)

      While what you were charged may seem high (but this also depends if this was a regular reading with an opele or was Orula consulted using the divining tray and were 3 Babalawo present???) there is no doubt that what you received was real...there is a 2 in 512 chance (1 in 256 x 2) that the same Odu would manifest in your divination, the fact that it did should tell you something. I would prefer to pay $300 for real divination than to pay nothing for something that isn't any good.

      Just my 2 cents


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