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African Traditional Religions Textbook: Ifa

African Traditional Religions: Ifa

Categories of Spiritual Forces; and Praise Names


àasà - Female Spirits.

àbikú - The Spirits of young children who live a short life between reincarnations.

àjínde - The spirit of a deceased ancestor (Egún) who speaks at their own funeral through a medium.

agbasà - The Spirits of a sacred stones.

ajobi - Ancestors of a woman, matralineal ancestors.

Ajogún - Destructive Spirits that bring death, disease and poverty. These Spirits are generally associated with the Spirit of the Divine Messenger (Èsù) and are considered an aspect of the balancing dynamic that occurs in Nature.

Àríwa - The Spirits of the North, ancestral Spirits.

Aronimoja - Spirits of the forest, elemental spirits.

Ayélalà - The collective Spirit of Ancestral Mothers.

elénìní - Elemental spirits that block human growth, they are usually generated by interalized fear.

èbora - The Forces of Nature (Òrìsà), that provide protection, ie the Divine Messenger (Èsú), the Spirit of the Guardian of Consciousness (Osun), the Spirit of the Tracker (Òsóòsì), and the Spirit of Iron (Ògún).

eburu - Destructive elemental spirits.

eburú - Elemental spirits that work with the Spirit of Infectious disease (Babaluaiye).

Égún - The Spirit of an ancestor.

eléré - The Spirit of a child who dies young and reincarnates with the same destiny, same as àbikú.

emere - Elemental spirits.

Èmí Òrìsà - Spirit of a Force in Nature (Òrìsà).

Guusu - Spirits of the South, a reference to Spirits who bring spiritual transformation.

Ìbamolè - Spiritual Forces in Nature (Òrìsà) that are worthy of respect.

Ìgbamole - Calabash of light, reference to the primal polarity of Creation at the beginning of time, and a reference to those Spiritual Forces that bring Light into the World.

ilà Óòrùn - Spirits of the East, a reference to Spirits of wisdom.

Ìmólè - Forces of Nature (Òrìsà) in their earliest manifestation as expressions of light, meaning: "House of Light."

Ìranse - Olórun Messengers of the Source of Being (Olódùmarè), praise name for Forces in Nature (Òrìsà).

Irúnlè - The Spirits of all the Ancestors (Egún).

Irúnmòle - Forces in Nature (Òrìsà) that created the Earth.

Iwin - The spirit of ghosts, a reference to earth bound human spirits.

ìwò - Oòrun Spirits of the West, a reference to nuturing Spirits.

Olorí - Spirits that organizes personal consciousness, guardian Spirit, a reference to the Òrìsà associated with a person's character and destiny.

Olose - Force in Nature, same meaning as Òrìsà.

Oluéri - Spirits of the Rivers.

Òòsà - Force in Nature (Òrìsà).

Òrìsà - Spiritual Force in Nature that guides evolution through the expression of its own unique form of consciousness.

Òrìsà Ìdílé Spirits of an extended family.

Òrìsà ìlú - Spirits who are the guardian of towns and cities in traditional Yoruba culture each town honored a particular Òrìsà.

Òrìsà orí - Spirit of personal consciousness, guardian Òrìsà.

Òrìsà - Oríle Spirit of the Nation.

Osara - Forces in Nature, same as Òrìsà, meaning: "One who gathers children."

Osi - Spirit of the Ancestors (Egún).

Olokanran - Spirits of Prophecy, those Spirits who speak of the future.

wòròkò - Elemental Spirits who work with the Spirit of Infectious disease (Babaluaiye) to help spread disease.




Aàjà - Spirit of the Whirlwind.

Abanigbele - Spirit of Fire, this is a reference to the animating consciousness that exists inside a burning flame.

Agayu - Spirit of the Fire at the Center of the Earth.

Àgbìgbò - Spirit of the Forest that causes trouble.

Agemo - Spirit of the Forest worshipped in the Ijebu region of Nigeria.

Àguala - Spirit of Venus.

Àjàlá - mòpin - Spirit who shapes the head and forms the consciousness of each new born child.

àjé - Spirit of a Bird used by women (Ìyáàmi) to invoke powers used for abundance and justice. This same power is used to consecrate the crown of the Yorùbá Kings. Also used as a reference to money or abundance.

Aje Saluga - Elemental Spirit of Abundance, sacred to the Spirit of the Mothers (Ìyáàmi).

Akódá - Spirit of one of the Prophet Òrúnmìlà's first two students.

Alááànú - Spirit that helps shape consciousness prior to birth, "The Merciful One."

Alúdùndún Òrun - Guardian Spirit of personal destiny in the Realm of the Ancestors, the Source of personal destiny.

Àmòká - Spirit of the Sun.

Amúsan - Spirit of one of the children of the Spirit of the Wind (Oya).

Apetebi - Spirit of the wife of the Spirit of Destiny (Òrúnmìlà).

Àpárí - inú - Spirit of the inner self.

Aroni - Spirit of the forest, elemental spirit with the body of a human and the head of a dog.

Arúku - Spirit who transforms and elevates the spirit of the ancestors.

Àsedá - Spirit of one of the Prophet Òrúnmìlà first two students.

Abanigbele - The Spirit of Fire, this is a reference to the animating consciousness that exists inside a burning flame.

Babaluàiyé - Spirit of the Surface of the Earth, this is the Spirit associated with those infectious diseases that are carried by the wind across the surface of the earth during dry and hot times of the year.

Dada - The Spirit of Vegetables, also the guardian Spirit new born children with large tufts of hair.

Ejufiri - The Spirit that shapes consciousness, the foundation of inner strength.

elekeji eni - Spiritual double, higher self.

Erinlè - Spirit of Song.

Èsú - The Spirit of the Divine Messenger, who also as a role as the Spirit of the Divine Trickster and the Spirit of the Divine Enforcer.

Èdán - Spirit of the Male aspect of the Spirit of the Earth (Onilé).

Egbéògbà - Spirit honored by the society of women (Ìyáàmi).

Èlà - The Spirit of Purity, the First Reincarnation of the Spirit of Destiny (Òrúnmìlà).

Elédà - Creator, associated with the power center between the eyes.

Ibeji - Spirit of Twins.

Ìbéta - Spirit of Triplets.

Ikú - Spirit of Death.

Ìpònrí - Higher self, described in Ifá scripture as a person's spiritual double that lives in the Realm of the Ancestors (Ìkòlè Òrun).

Iponri - The Force in Nature (Òrìsà) that guides the consciousness of a particular individual.

Ìpòrí - The Spirit of the Big Toe, in Ifá Ancestor reverence the big toe is the place where personal consciousness (Orí) forms a link with Ancestral consciousness (Orí Egún).

Ìràwò alé - The star Sirius, the Spirit of Sirius refered to as the canoe star in Ifá scripture.

Irépò - Spirit of Cooperation

Korí - Spirit who creates the calabash of the inner self.

Mágbéèmitì - Spirit who shapes consciousness.

Odù - Spirit of the Womb of Creation.

Odùdúà - Same as Odùdúwà.

Odùdúwà - Spirit of Black Character, black is a symbolic reference to that which is invisible, the opposite of light. In some regions of Nigeria this spirit is the primal Goddess, in Ile Ifè this Spirit is the original male Ancestor of Yoruba culture.

Odumare - Regional variation of Olódùmarè who is the Source of Creation.

Ofere - Spirit of the Morning Star.

Ògún - The Spirit of Iron.

òjìjí - Shadow spirit created by the physical manifestation of a person's negative emotions.

Òjòntarìgì - Spirit of the wife of the Spirit of Death (Ikú).

Olódùmarè - Spirit of Creation.

Olófin - Spirit of the Law, meaning: "Owner of the Law."

Olojongbodu - Spirit of the Wife of Death (Ikú).

Olókun - Spirit of the Ocean.

Olóore - Spirit who shapes the head of infants before birth.

Olorí - Mérìn - Spirit who protects towns, meaning: "Spirit with Four Heads."

Olosa - Spirit of the Lagoon.

Olumu - The Spirit of Understanding.

Olúworíogbó - The Spirit who makes Heads, meaning: "Creator of the heads in the forest."

Onílé - Spirit of the Earth, meaning: "Owner of the Earth."

Oòrùn - Spirit of the Sun.

Òòsàoko - Spirit of the Farm.

Opèlé - Spirit of the wiife of the Spirit of Destiny (Òrúnmìlà)

orí - Spirit of Consciousness, also means head in common usage.

Òrìsà agbala Guardian Spirit of the back yard, the younger brother of the Spirit of the Farm (Òrìsà Oko).

Òri s à - bi - Spirit of the wife of Orungan.

Òrò - Spirit of the Forest, invoked as part of Ifá funeral rites.

Osu - Spirit of the Moon, daughter of the Spirit of Lightning (Sàngó).

Òsùmàrè - Spirit of the Rainbow.

Osun - Spirit who protects individual consciousness.

O'yansa - Spirit of the Mother of the Spirit of the Wind (Oya), meaning: "Mother of Nine."

Oye - Spirit of the Harmattan Wind, lives in Igeti hill with the Divine Messenger, the male aspect of the Spirit of the Wind (Oya).

Oba Ìgbàláyé - Spirit of the Four Seasons, meaning: "King of the Calabash of the Earth."

Obalùf òn - Spirit who protects Artists.

Oba Oke - Spirit of the Mountain.

Obàtálá - Spirit of the King of White Cloth.

Obba - Goddess of the Iba River.

Olórun - Ultimate Source of Being.

Olósà - The Spirit of the Lagoon.

Oramife - Spirit of the Father of the Spirit of Lightning (Sàngó).

Òranmiyàn - The Spirit of War, considered the Father of the Spirit of Lightning (Sàngó) in Ilé Ifè.

Òrò - Spirit of the Power of the Word.

Òrungan - Spirit of the child of the Spirit of the Mother of Fishes (Yemoja).

Òrúnmìlà - Spirit of Destiny, the prophet of Ifá, physical incarnation of the Spirit of Purity (Èlà).

Òrun Òkè - Spirit of the Mountains in the Invisible Realm of the Immortals.

Òsányìn - Spirit of Herbs and Medicine.

Òsóòsì - Spirit of the Tracker.

Osun - Spirit of the River, fertility, sensuality and abundance.

Oya - Spirit of the Wind, Spirit of the River Niger.

Òràányàn - Spirit of the First King (Oba) of Oyo.

Òràngun - Spirit of the grandson of Odùduwa.

Poripon Sigidi - Spirit of Combat.

Sàaragaá - Spirit that shapes consciousness (Orí), meaning: "The Strange place of Uniqueness."

Sùngbèmi - Spirit that shapes consciousness (Orí), meaning: "Be Closer to Me."

Sàngó - Spirit of Lightning, also the fourth Aláàfin of Oyo.

Sigidi - Messenger Spirit for warrior spirits who protect a particular family lineage.

Sigidi Sugudu - Spirit of Nightmares.

Sòponnà - Spirit of Small Pox.

Yemò - Spirit of the Wife of the Spirit of the King of White Cloth (Obàtálá).

Yemòwó - Spirit of the Wife of the Spirit of the King of White Cloth (Obàtálá).

Yemòja - Spirit of the Ògún River, meaning: "Mother of Fishes."




Agongo ogo - He Who Carries a Club.

Alajìki - One Who is Addressed First.

Amónisègùn - mápò He who has all the Knowledge of Powerful Medicine.

Bara - Strength.

Elégbà - Spirit of Good Character.

Elégára - Spirit of the Trickster.

Olóf ín - àpèká - lúù Enforcer of the Law Giver.


Ata - mátàsé The Sharp Shooter.

Olog arare - Master of Himself.

Òrìs à ipapo adun - Spirit of Sweat Togetherness.


Atóónàlórógùn - Hefty Hunter.

Àwàlàwúlú - Rugged and Rough Spirit.

Àwònyè Òrìsà - The Enraged Spirit.

Lákáyé - Chief of the Earth.

Olú irin - Chief of Iron.

Olumaki - Chief of Strength.

Oni're - Chief of the Town of Ire.

Os ibiriki - The One who Bursts out Suddenly.

Òsìn Imole - Chief of Spirits.

Olona - Owner of the Road.

Òsìn Imolè - First Among the Immortals.


A - kè - bí - àlà Radiant White.

Alábalese - He Who Predicts the Future.

Alamorere - Owner of the Best Clay.

Oluorogbo - Chief of the Medicine of Truth.

Oluwo Igbo - Chief Diviner of the Forest.

Òòsáálá - Spirit of Mystic Vision.

Òòsà Ìgbowújìn - The Spirit who lives in the Distant Forest.

Òrì s à Al ase - Spirit with the Power of Dreams.

Òrí sálá - Spirit who Creates Light.

Òrìsà - og'enia - The Spirit who Owns Humans.

Oba - i gbó King of the Forest.

Obalofun - King of Pure Speech.

Obanla - King of Purity.

Obàtálá gbingbin iki - The Big Big Spirit of the King of the White Cloth.

Oba - ti - álá - King of Vision.

Òsèèrèmògbò - Source of Good Things from the Forest.

Pàkelemò - The Calabash of Wisdom.


Àjíbáajé - The Spirit Who Wakes up to Discover Money.

Oba Omi - King of the Waters.


Elekú o. - Owner of the Cave.


Olúgbé - rere - Giver of Good Things.


Àrìrà - Fast as Lightning.

Bámbi - Spiritually Reborn.

Kábiyès í - Greeting of Respect.

Kábíyès ìlè - Greeting of Respect.

Olúbambí - The Creator helped me before I had this child.

Olú kòso Àìrá - The Controller of Lightning.

Olúòrójò - King Who Must Not See Rain.

Oluoyo - Chief of Oyo.

Obakòso - King of Kòso.


Afefe - jeje Whirlwind.

Aférifélégélégé - Mysterious Wind.

Àjàláiyé - Winds of the Earth.

Àjàlórun - Winds of the Realm of the Ancestors.

Efufu - lege - lege Gentle Breeze.

Iyansan - Mother of the Child of Nine.

Olúwèkù - The controller of those who wear the Ancestral masquerade.


Olodo - Owner of the Brook.


Atoobajayé - The Adequate Protector.


Asin - mo - l'égbàá - ìyànjú - The Mystery of Power that Comes from Eating the Yam.

Obalúaiye - King of the hot earth.

Omolú - Child of heat.


Ilè Ògéré - House of Perfection.

Yeye Aiye - Mother of the Earth.


Àáyán - awo - inú - igbó Ayan - Tree is the Mystery of the Inner Sanctum of the Sacred Grove.

Agbónire - Hunter of Good Fortune.

Agbónìrègún - Hunter of the Medicine of Good Fortune.

Aje - ju - Oogùn - Stronger than Medicine.

A - kò - mò - ó - tán - Not to Have Full Knowledge of You is to Fail.

Amáiyégún - The Guardian of Medicine on Earth.

Amodídá - One Who Cuts through Sickness.

Amòlà Ifé Owòdáyé - "The Savior of Ifé from the Early Days.

A - sòrò - dayò - One Who Makes Things Prosper.

Ibìkejì Èdùmàrè - Second to the Creator.

Ifá Olokún - Diviner of the Sea.

Ká - mò - ó - ka - là - Whom to know is to be saved.

Ló - l'òla - Master of tomorrow.

Ló - l'òní - Master of the Day.

Ló - lòtunla - pèlu - è - Master of the day after tomorrow.

Obírítí - The Immense Orbit.

Olónìímoro Owner of Cleanliness.

Olúmmaàmi Òkítíìrí - The Chief Averter.

Olùnrin - dúdú - òkè - Ìgèté - Black Man from Ogeti Hill.

Olúwà - mi - àmò - imò - tán - Who Can Most Understand the Source of Being.

Onílégangan - ajíkí - Owner of the Spirit of the Traditional Drum that is saluted first.

Òpè - Palm Tree.

Òsígbìwa - The One who brings the right hand path.

Ti npojó ikú dà - The Changer of the determined day of Death.


Èkèmí - First Soul.

Èmi Mimo - Spirit of All Wisdom.

Oga - ogo - The Brave One.

Olúwa - Chief of Character.

Oba Àlórí - Almighty Chief.

Oba Òrun - King of the Invisible Realm of the Immortals.

Obayíya - Highest King.

Olójó Òní - Owner of the Day.


Ìkòlè Òrun - The invisible realm of Spirit.

lé Ifè - The Spiritual capitol of traditional Yorúbà culture, also refers to a Spiritual City in the Realm of the Ancestors (Ìkòlè Òrun).

ilogbon - House of Wisdom, mystical home of the Spirit of Destiny (Òrúnmìlà).

Ipò - okú - Ancestral home of the a person's spiritual shadow (ojiji), place where the spirit of the deceased lingers if it does not receive proper elevation.

ìsálú - Òrun - The entire Invisible Realm of the Ancestors.

làí - làí - The beginning of time.

òde - Òrun - The entire invisible realm, home of the ancestors (Egún) and the Immortals (Òrìsà), the Source of Creation.

Oríta - The boundary between the visible realm of Creation and the invisible realm of Creation.

Òyígíyigì - The primal stone of Creation, the Source of Creation.

Ònòméfà - The six sacred directions, meaning the four directions of the compass plus up and down, or the center axis.

Òrun - Apadi - Home of disruptive earth bound ancestor spirits