Wednesday, January 3, 2018

~ The Student - Teacher Relationship in Traditional Ifa Part 3 ~

The following © information is courtesy of Awo Falokun and shared with his permission

Agbo ato, 

The Ifa extended family is the Ifa school for learning how to embrace iwa pele or good character and for learning the sacred technology of divination, healing and initiation. When you ask someone to be your teacher their title becomes father or mother. In traditional Yoruba culture you do not call people who are older than you by their name you call them by the word that describes their position in the family baba is father iya is mother babagba is grandfather and iyagba is grandmother. I want to address the Baba omo obinrin relationship meaning father daughter relationship.

It is absolutely taboo for a teacher to have sexual relationships with their daughter. The taboo is absolute, there are no exceptions, no wiggle, no room for debate and no room for discussion. If you are a woman and an male awo tells you divination says you need to have sex with them the person who says that is lying. Part of the responsibility of being an elder and a teacher is to role model proper behavior. In English sexual relationships between fathers and daughters is called incest. In African culture and in Western culture incest is taboo. Anyone who tells you differently is lying.

There is never a circumstance where it is alright for a father to have a sexual relationship with their daughter and there is absolutely no odu that sanctions this kind of relationship, none, never it does not exist anyone who claims to quote an odu saying this is all right is both lying and making stuff up. Having said that it does on occasion happen that an omo will ask a baba to be their teacher and the baba has healthy and legitimate feelings of attraction for the student. If the baba wants to court the omo he must stop being baba. At that point the baba needs to refer the omo to another baba to be elder teacher. The number of elders who violate this taboo is epidemic and threatens to render our faith ill relevant just as the Catholic sex scandals diminished the number of Catholics around the world.

The problem is compounded by the fact that sexual predatory behavior among awo tends to focus on victims of childhood sexual abuse. The reason for this is that sexual predators know that victims of childhood sexual abuse protect the abusers in an effort to survive. Unfortunately this behavior of victims follows them into adulthood. Every awo who enters igbodu leaves igbodu with a obligation to protect the family and not prey on the family. If we do seriously address this issue our faith has no future and the wisdom of the ancestors will be lost forever.

Ire Baba
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