Study the Teaching of Ifa and the Orisha's
Her full name is Oya-Yansan, which means “mother of nine.” In Brazil, in candomble she is generally saluted with the phrase “Èpa heyi!. while in Cuban-derived Yórùbá traditions, the faithful often salute her by saying “Hekua hey Yansa.”
She is closely associated with many Orishas, but most especially Shango/Changó, Oggun, Oba (Obba), Yewá/Euá and Ochún/Oxum. Oyá is also called “the one who puts on pants to go to war” and “the one who grows a beard to go to war”. As the Spirit of the Wind, Oya manifests in Creation in the forms as sudden and drastic change, strong storms, and the flash of the marketplace. Oya’s representation of wind, creation, and death is not as arbitrary as it may seem. Oya has a sister named Ayao that is received by her initiates.
Oya has been syncretized in Santeria with the Catholic images of Our Lady Of Candelaria (Our Lady of the Presentation) and St. Theresa. Her feast day is February 2.
In Brazilian Umbanda she is represented by Saint Barbara.
The country of the Ifes was at that time subject to fierce raids by a tribe called the Igbos, who were of such an uncanny appearance in battle that the Ifes thought them not human, but a visitation sent by the gods in punishment for some evil. In vain did they offer sacrifices to the gods; the raids of these strange beings continued, and the land was thrown into a state of pamc.
Now the heroic Moremi, desiring to bring an end to this condition of affairs, resolved to let herself be captured during one of the raids, so that she might be p. 15 carried as a prisoner to the land of the Igbos and learn all their secrets.
Bidding farewell to her husband and her little son, she went to a certain stream and promised the god of the stream that, if her attempt was successful, she would offer to him the richest sacrifice she could afford.
As she had planned, she was captured by the Igbos and carried away to their capital as a prisoner. On account of her beauty she was given to the King of the Igbos as a slave; and on account of her intelligence and noble heart she soon gained the respect of all and rose to a position of importance.
Before she had been in the country very long, she had learnt all the secrets of her enemies. She found that they were not gods but ordinary men. On going into battle they wore strange mantles of grass and bamboo fibre, and this accounted for their unnatural appearance. She also learned that because of these mantles of dry grass, they were much afraid of fire, and that if the Ifes were to rush among p. 16them with lighted torches, they would quickly be defeated. As soon as it was possible, she escaped from the palace and from the territory of the Igbos and returned to her own people. Her tidings were joyfully received at Ile-Ife, and shortly afterwards the Igbos were utterly defeated by the trick Moremi had suggested.
Moremi now went to the stream and made a great sacrifice of sheep, fowls, and bullocks; but the god of the stream was not satisfied and demanded the life of her son.
Sorrowing, Moremi was forced to consent, and sacrificed the handsome boy Ela. The Ifes wept to see this sad spectacle, and they promised to be her sons and daughters for ever, to make up for her loss.
But lo! Ela as he lay upon the ground was only half dead, and when the people had departed, he recovered consciousness and sprang up. Making a rope of grass, he climbed up to heaven, and it is certain that he will some day return to reap the benefits of his mother’s noble sacrifice.
Orunmila is also referred to as Ifá (“ee-FAH”), the embodiment of knowledge and wisdom and the highest form of divination practice among the Yoruba people. In present-day Cuba, Orunmila is known as Orula, Orunla and Orumila.
Orunmila is not Ifa, but he is the one who leads the priesthood of Ifa and it was Orunmila who carried Ifa (the wisdom of Olodumare) to Earth. Priests of Ifa are called babalawo (the father of secrets)
Olodumare sent Orunmila to Earth with Oduduwa to complete the creation and organization of the world, to make it habitable for humans.
A woman will not be allowed to divine using the tools of IFA. Throughout Cuba and some of the other New world countries, Orula can be received by individuals regardless of gender. For men, the procedure is called to receive “Mano de Orula” and for women, it is called to receive “Kofa de Orula”. The same procedure exist in Yoruba land, with esentaye (birthing rites), Isefa (adolesants rites) and Itefa coming of age. Worshippers of the traditional religious philosophy of the Yoruba people all receive one hand of Ifa (called Isefa) regardless of which Orisa they may worship or be an Orisa Priest, it is that same Isefa that will direct all followers to the right path and their individual destines in life.
The title Iyanifa is in suspect since it is not used by either the Cuban or most of the West African practitioners of IFA.
Among West Africans, Orunmila is recognized as a primordial Irunmole that was present both at the beginning of Creation and then again amongst them as a prophet that taught an advanced form of spiritual knowledge and ethics, during visits to earth in physical form or through his disciples.