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Nurturing Good Character

In Ifá belief, the character of individuals is profoundly shaped by the influences of their family and ancestral lineage. Rooted in the wisdom of Ifá divination and the teachings of Orunmila, this understanding emphasizes the interconnectedness between past, present, and future generations, highlighting the pivotal role of familial influences in shaping one's character and destiny.

Central to Ifá belief is the concept of "Iwa Pele," which translates to "good character" or "gentle character." According to Ifá cosmology, individuals are born with a unique destiny, or "Òrìṣà" that guides their path in life. However, the manifestation of this destiny is intricately linked to one's character and conduct, which are heavily influenced by familial and ancestral influences.

From a young age, individuals are imbued with the values, beliefs, and behaviors of their family and community. These cultural and familial norms serve as the foundation upon which their character is developed and nurtured. Through observation, imitation, and socialization, children internalize the moral codes, ethical principles, and behavioral patterns of their familial environment, shaping their worldview and sense of identity.

Moreover, Ifá emphasizes the significance of ancestral lineage in shaping the character and destiny of individuals. Ancestral spirits, known as "Egungun" or "Ìyámi," are believed to exert a profound influence on the lives of their descendants, guiding, protecting, and intervening in their affairs. Through rituals, prayers, and offerings, individuals seek the blessings and guidance of their ancestors, acknowledging their role as spiritual guardians and custodians of familial wisdom.

Furthermore, Ifá divination serves as a powerful tool for uncovering the hidden influences and ancestral patterns that shape an individual's character and destiny. By consulting with a trained diviner or Babalawo, individuals can gain insights into their familial lineage, ancestral blessings, and inherited traits, enabling them to navigate life's challenges with greater awareness and alignment with their true purpose.

In essence, according to Ifá belief, our character as adults is deeply conditioned by the familial influences and ancestral lineage that shape our upbringing and worldview. By honoring our familial heritage, cultivating good character, and seeking the guidance of ancestral spirits through rituals and divination, individuals can align themselves with their true destiny and fulfill their highest potential in life.


Alaje Fadesiye

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