Divination is a ritual which is performed to interpret present events and to foretell the future by looking at signs. We might call it "fortune telling," but it is really much more. Many African communities practice divination to solve problems, cure sickness, and help people make important decisions in life.

Who Performs Divination?

Among the Yoruba of Nigeria divination is practiced by a diviner, the babalawo, which means the "father of ancient wisdom." A client comes to a diviner to help solve specific problems -- personal, medical, social, political, and religious. The diviner seeks information from Ifa, the god who assists with divination. Ifa offers humans the possibility of knowing the forces at work in specific situations in their lives and of influencing the course of events through prayer and sacrifice. Diviners also performs rituals to help people heal from illness.

How is Divination Done?


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