Give yourself four gold stars if you knew there was a difference between Ifa worship and Orisa worship, and five gold stars if you know what the difference is. An Iyalorisa explains:

Ifá worship

“Ifá worship is practiced by a Babaláwo or Ìyánífá. Ifá is the esoteric word of Olódùmarè. Ifá is the connector between mankind and Olódùmarè. Ọ̀rúnmìlà is the intermediary between Ifá and Olódùmarè. Ọ̀rúnmìlà is the Òrìṣà of wisdom, prophesy and ethnics. Babaláwo or Ìyánífá are believed to be able to contact Ọ̀rúnmìlà during their divination, rituals. They make use of Ọ̀pẹ̀lẹ̀ and Ikin Ifá as their means of divination.”

Iyalorisa Ifawemimo

Òrìsà Worship

“While Òrìsà Worship is being practiced by Babalórìṣà or Ìyálórìṣà. Òrìṣà are considered as ministers of Olódùmarè and intermediaries between humanity and Olódùmarè. Òrìṣà are human beings who once lived on earth and who performed in an exemplary way. They were later venerated as Òrìṣà after their death… people like Ṣàngó, Ọya, Ọ̀ṣun, Yemọja et al. Òrìṣà devotees make use of Ẹ̀rìndílógún (Sixteen Cowries) for their divination.”


The origins 

“Ifa Orisa worship began from time immemorial. My take is that as mankind evolved and became aware of natural phenomena and the works of Olódùmarè around them, they found that all these things couldn’t have just come to being on their own, hence the need to reverence a Supreme Being (Olódùmarè). You know the Supreme Being (proves) its existence through nature like water, fire, wind… which represent each Òrìṣà. It is this belief that helped maintain our ecosystem.”


Omítọ̀nàdé Ifáwẹ̀mímọ́ is an Orisa priestess and a graduate of Economics from the Obafemi Awolowo University. She was interviewed by Kola Tubosun. Read the full article here




9 thoughts on “The difference between Ifa Worship and Orisa Worship

    1. Hi Luiz and Anonymous, thanks for following my blog. I believe I’m correct in saying that Orunmila is the intermediary between mankind and Olodumare, likewise Orisa. While Erindinlogun is the connector used by Olorisa between humanity and Olodumare… I would appreciate your comment on this. I am also learning, and we can enlighten one another.

  1. In Yoruba religion, God does not speak directly to mankind through of oracles, like Jeova to Moses in Sinai Mount.

    In itan Ifa/Orisa, Olodumare does not directly communicate to the mankind.

    The oracles are the words of the Orisas. Ifa is only geomantic signals divinatoires that keep sacred histories.

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