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Chapter 1 - Rules for Neophytes and Non-Initiated Believers






  1. The person who needs Yoko Osha, the neophyte or the non initiated practitioner, should go to the house of the godfather/godmother he chose and offer him/her a plate, two dry coconuts; two candles and a certain amount of money which varies in each Ile Osha. Such offering should be placed before the priest’s Guiding Osha to know whether this deity accepts or rejects this person.

  2. The priest (ess) may or may not accept to perform the requested ceremony and is not obliged to explain the reasons. He she can also explain what best suits the priest’s interests.

  3. Priests priestesses already know that any incompetence, negligence, embarrassing and/or disrespectful acts; offences; crimes or acts against other individuals or the society on the part of their godchildren become a disgrace for the priests themselves. These misbehaviours also affect the prestige and authority of the priests and fall on the religious family. That is why priests should be cautious and prudent when accepting an individual as a future godchild.

  4. Priests should always be careful with the Yoko Osha applicants who are non initiated practitioners that already belong to other Ile Osha because of the problems that may arise from the acceptance of such applicants. So priests should seek on these obliged topics which tell them all the information they need to accept those individuals as future godchildren.

  5. In general, it is widely accepted that the Yoko Osha applicant and some witnesses be present in the moment when the priest gives coconut too his/her Guiding Angel. Witnesses can testify the deity’s decision as well as to the whole ceremony.

  6. The neophyte and the non initiated practitioner should provide the priest with enough evidence of their firm decision to fulfil the Osha Ifa rules and his/her Itá and, as long as this is not assured, the priest should not initiate the applicant.

  7. The priest should provide the applicant with the necessary documentation about the Osha Ifá Rules so the future godchild should know what he/she is facing and what he/she should fulfil.

  8. The priest should answer all questions within his/her rank and should also make clear those parts which may seem complicated to the applicant and also thoroughly emphasize the obligation to fulfil the Ita.

  9. The priest (ess), having agreed with the non initiated practitioner, gives coconut to his/her Guiding Angel to choose the Oyugbona. If the priest agrees then, they all should give coconut to his/her Guiding Angel to have its approval.

  10. The priest will introduce the future Iyawó to his/her new brothers and sisters and, in general, to the whole religious family so the feeling of belonging to a new place and group grows and strengthens inside the future Iyawo.

  11. The future Iyawo should study all materials given by the priest and should also ask as many questions as he she needs to clarify any unclear sections which he doesn’t understand fully.

  12. The future initiated person will seek information to know if there are any members in his her biological family (dead or alive) who may belong or had belonged to a given Osha Ifa family and the rank they have (had). This information should be ready by the time it is requested by the future godfather/godmother.

  13. The religious family receiving the new member should welcome the Iyawo and let him/her know about the importance and valuable benefits he she will receive by making Yoko Osha.

  14. The priest should write a complete list of the future Iyawo’s deceased relatives and friends so they can be invoked during ceremonies and rites. The ceremony and the list of dear dead invoked are called Moyugba. The priest should also make the list for the future Iyawo which must include not only relatives and friends but also those from the new religious family. The names of those who already passed away are mentioned at the beginning of each important ceremony and at other relevant religious actions. The future Iyawo should learn the Moyugba by heart and should never forget any dead person from the list.

  15. The future Iyawó should have made enough spiritual masses to investigate and ascertain the accompanying spirits before Yoko Osha.

  16. The godfather/godmother should consider and take into account each and every ceremony before Yoko Osha and also should Know and prepare all those ceremonies coming out from the Entrance Registration and this priest is the utmost authority in all of them.

  17. The future Iyawo must have everything ready for the Initiation for at least ten (10) days in advance. All religious objects, food, etc. must be at the godfather’s house and both of them should check out everything to be sure that nothing is missing. Finally, both the godchild and the priest must assure transportation to and from the river and from the Ile to the market place and back. Nothing should be improvised.

  18. Three days before Yoko Osha, the future Iyawo should not drink alcohol nor any other toxic substances; neither should he/she stay out late at night nor be involved in any shocking or violent situations .Evil thoughts should be kept away from the mind. Sexual abstinence is recommended and any erotic thoughts should also be kept out of mind.

  19. The money used in the Initiation or in any consecrations must not come from robbery, assaults or any other crimes including narcotics, frauds, murder, embezzlement, etc. That money is accursed by disgrace and, in the end, such curse will fall on the initiated and on the priest as well.

  20. The money for the Initiation should come from personal sacrifice on the part of the future Iyawó. This person, on the other hand, can accept contributions from friends and even from the future godfather/godmother.

  21. The godfather/godmother is the utmost responsible for both the Inning Registration and Ebbo and should always be present in each ceremony.

  22. The godfather/godmother should know that if the future Iyawó’s “Mano de Ifá” godfather has never made Yoko Osha then this priest has the only right to do the Registration; the Entrance Ebbo and the sacrifice. On the given day, he introduces the scissors and the penknife and say the corresponding Odun prayers and, after saying so, he leaves the Osha Igbodun.

  23. Needless to say that the female Iyawó’s menstrual period should be taken into account as no woman should be menstruating during the ceremonies. However, if the female Iyawo starts her period while the ceremony is taking place, then the Initiation continues.

  24. The future Iyawo has to know and understand the importance of the Initiation as he/she will acquire a different perspective in seeing and accepting life and reality. The Iyawo will have new knowledge, abilities and capacities which he/she will develop and learn from their closer contact with the oracular system, their Guiding Osha and through the different consecrations, ceremonies and rites they take part in. The stage of an Iyawo is that of purification, sacrifice and strengthening for which these rules become an invaluable tool.


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