Reading for the Year 2018  - an in-depth look
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by Oluwo Ifasunlade- Stephen Epps
  • If we can initiate and manage change, from day to day, then 2018 is our year.
  • If we can anticipate and navigate through unexpected twists and turns, then 2018 is our year.
  • If we can see life as an adventure, capable of unfolding in ways beyond what we think we already know, then 2018 is our year.
  • If we can trust that there is still more for us to experience and discover, then 2018 is our year. And that's what Osa Ose is essentially about for the year 2018.

This Odu leads us to come to grips with an important truth - there is nothing so essential or irreplaceable, or so fixed or off-limits, that it can't be impacted - even uprooted - by the winds of change. Changes, at first, may seem a bit unnerving or difficult, but it pushes us to explore and experiment even further. These changes need not be perceived as disappointing disasters but rather disruptions that lead to different and deeper discoveries. Displacement of relied upon thoughts, actions, and people feels like a loss initially. However, ultimately, we're able to pursue and align ourselves with what life is offering to us in a new form. Osa Ose introduces us to changes, acting as catalysts, propelling us beyond old "truths" to search out new "truths." "What is" becomes "what was" so that "what can be" becomes "what is." And it's these types of changes, leading to transformation, which are part of the mysterious powers of Osa Ose.
Osa Ose carries within it a natural momentum. On the practical side, we’re open to change, even inviting change into our lives. And on the spiritual side, we’re persuaded, if not convinced, that beyond these changes is life in another form. Openness to change is not merely a preparation for loss but rather the beginning to finding the corresponding gain life is offering us. In Osa, nothing needs to be “nailed down.” All of life – our goals, our habits, our beliefs – are ready to be “shaken up.” Nothing, including ourselves, needs to be as it has always been. “Business as usual” gives way to a readiness to attain a better positioning in what really matters most in the long-term. We learn here that changing course is the first step in moving from a one-dimensional focus to a multi-dimensional perspective.
This, at first glance, may seem unsettling. However, in Ose, we realize a beautiful, yet humbling truth.  We exist in an illusion if we believe that life must or will unfold in only one way – our way. Ose encourages us to trust – adopt as our worldview – that life is multi-faceted, layered, and nuanced. Life is dynamic and fluid. It is not a dogmatic march; it is a melodious dance. And life has many more joys, creativities, opportunities, and wonders than we thought. In other words, Osa Ose is about “blowing” away our “one way” approach to uncover the many ways we can think, act, progress, grow, and be that’s beneficial for the long-term. In Osa Ose, change is not just a discomforting disturbance but an appeal to seek out and find the other ways life can unfold. In this sense, Osa Ose is the gift of different and new experiences that transforms our lives in meaningful ways, giving us a richer and fuller life before it’s all said and done. Now is the time to acknowledge and embody the fact that we aren’t just settlers, we’re explorers.
This fact might be challenging for many of us to accept, if we live in Osa Meji. Why? Because we’re inclined to hold on to what we’re accustomed to. We’re often too reliant on the routines that make us feel safe and comfortable. Too often, we’d rather avoid than address a situation. The results of our action don’t fare well if we constantly dismiss needed changes or unravel when changes occur. Resisting or poorly managing change renders our decisions and actions ineffective and directionless. Not to mention, our emotional/spiritual selves remain in a state of anxiety. Feelings of vulnerability and helplessness take over. Why? Because we’re more concerned about the short-term discomfort than the long-term results of the transformative process. Where a total shift in approach is called for, fixation and habit are employed. And whenever and wherever reinforcing is prioritized, when and where life calls for reimagining, we’ll miss the benefits of Osa Ose. And if we aren’t disciplined in our alignment with Osa Ose, Osa Meji can overtake us. And we’ll miss the benefits that come with using changes to achieve total transformations.

There are ancient sources of support that can empower us to transcend any misalignment in which we may find ourselves. Firstly, there’s Oya. Oya represents a formidable feminine force that topples all systems of disharmony and imbalance. Oya rips up the rules that hold us hostage to our comfort zones. Conformity to stagnation, stupidity and negativity are the targets of her power. And in 2018, Oya brings to bear an intensity that demands that we release and let go of useless and detrimental approaches.

Secondly, there’s Ogun. Ogun represents the skill, persistence, and effort required to make an impact. Ogun is the intersection between imagination and work that brings about innovation. Recklessness nor a disregard for the “truths” of “what we’re working with” will be allowed in Ogun’s workshop. And in 2018, Ogun ignites a cleverness, an ingenuity, a dexterity of mind that sets in motion a new reality.

Finally, there’s Ela. This is primordial energy. It is the formless foundation from which all forms emerge. Ela is the creative vibration for existence. It strips all to the essentials and frees all from its acquired complications. And in 2018, with Ela, one may use even the smallest things, make even the smallest changes – at the most fundamental level – and experience a “big picture” one never imagined.
The energies of Oya, Ogun, and Ela will be quite important as we align ourselves to receive the benefits of Osa Ose in 2018.
In 2018, aligning ourselves with Osa Ose will be most important as it relates to our overcoming challenges. Why? Because the challenges faced require that we stay grounded in reality as we discern which opportunities are best for us in the long-term. That’s easier said than done. Why? Because the challenges we face may be so intense that we get stuck in wishful thinking or clouded judgement. Osa’s change is rooted in the reality/realizations of Irosun. And the transformative discoveries of Ose aid us in achieving the new beginnings of Ogbe. The truest victory in 2018 is changing the realities we currently face so that we can begin to fully explore the best available realities for the long-term.
An additional supportive energy for victory in 2018 is ESU. Don’t panic! Very often, with the energy of Esu nothing is straightforward. However, the energy of Esu, in this case, empowers us to realize more keenly that changes appear as both beginnings and endings, simultaneously. As well, Esu, keeps us “on our toes” by enabling us to realize more clearly that life is a lived experience of “both/and” – not “either/or.” So don’t take everything too seriously. Because life’s experiences have endings built into its beginnings and beginnings built into its endings. Esu will help us see that. And perhaps we’ll see some irony and laugh at ourselves on the way.
If we successfully align ourselves with the energy of Osa Ose, we can look forward to the long-term benefits of Irosun Owanrin. A heightened level of perception and piercing insight into our reality leads us to healing, repairing, and evolving. Our ability to more clearly see thru the matters in front of us empowers us to confidently discard what is no longer useful for the long-term. The mind and spirit become in tune and breaks negative and outdated cycles of living. We come to see matters clearly and place life’s concerns in its best order for long-term progress. And this is truly a benefit!
In 2018, being “family” is more than blood-relations. It’s about discerning when, how, and with whom there is an opportunity to “start over.” As we grow out, we mustn’t forget to grow up. No family is perfect and how to be “family” must be relearned over and over again. Find reasonable – even unusual - and healthy ways to begin moving beyond mishaps and misfortunes. Employ a new approach that gives room for you and others to learn from mistakes and achieve what “second chances” remain available.
The energy of the Nana – the primordial mother of all – should be sought. In other words, respect and seek the counsel of wise women/mothers. For the Nana energy is available to show us how to better navigate the phases of family life.
In 2018, it’ll be wise to change – “shed” – the negative inventory that sits on the shelf of your relating to others. We have a choice regarding what we’re not going to do or be in our relationships. We have a choice in what’s acceptable and unacceptable, knowing when, and for what reasons, to move forward or be still. Take stock and prioritize what works best and determine whether your strategy to get there requires a bold move or a principled stance.
The energy of Ososi – the great hunter – is best for our relationships here. Ososi’s energy can aid us in discarding the “extra baggage” and calmly and competently getting to the heart of what’s most important in our relationships. And with Ososi’s energy, there comes an activation of skill, especially in how we communicate, in word or deed. And this is important. Why? Because we’ll need to know exactly what to do and how to do it no matter the environment of our relationships, whether earthly or spiritual.
In 2018, we have the opportunity to reconsider our definitions of “success.” No matter how many issues we come across, it’s important that we not “lose our heads.” A constant state of worry, tension, or fear is not the price we should pay for “success.” If we keep our “peace of mind” and “centeredness” – as difficult as that might be  - we can better make informed decisions, less the negative inputs. Know the situation you’re in very well, it’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This leads to better understandings of what turns matters around favorably. The “class” we display within our situations and insight with which we use to perceive of our situations help us realize we are fully capable of bringing order to chaos.
The ancient and transcendent energy of Onile is quite helpful here. Why? Onile sits in the center as an ever wise mediator. Representing the meeting place where potentials meet manifestations, and the abstract meets actuality, Onile crystallizes as the earth in its entirety. Onile embodies the full landscape and layout of what is closest to us, what touches us, what impacts us, what’s in us and around us. As a result, Onile can empower us in 2018 to (1) use Ifa, and its earth-based ebbos, to mediate our situations more calmly/evenly, finding the smoothest path and (2) give us the emotional/spiritual “land” for us to cultivate what we choose to make life better for ourselves in the long-term.
In 2018, we’ll start to see and feel what we really need to start doing in order relieve “the pressure.” There’s quite a bit we’ve been frustrated about and dissatisfied with. Using our energies aimlessly or recklessly, in the short-term, only brings about those changes we’ll regret in the long-term. Just get out of the way. Intelligently clear away the obstructions and distractions. Watch and see the positive changes that occur because we’ve prepared and worked toward them coming through. Discern the work that needs to get done and just do it, diligently and sensibly. And we do realizing that the goal of our “work” isn’t to be change-resistant but rather a change-agent.
Here the energy of Iyaami – supreme guiders, owners and bringers of Ase – will do us well. Iyaami represent the deepest knowledge – the powerful “knowing” of the Feminine. It is the “Feminine Knowing” that is beyond the five physical senses. Lean on and seek the insights of this guiding feminine energy. Why? Because in 2018, the Iyaami add additional impact to our work by guiding it beyond any limiting threshold. This energy is so significant and powerful that Ase can be made available in many/countless forms to us, even in the midst of extraordinary life changes.
In 2018, we’ll have to nurture and protect our physical, emotional, and spiritual health. How so? We can do two things. One, let’s remember to be attentive to those aspects of our health that are often overlooked or dismissed. That just means pay close attention to what really holds you together, taking care of what really makes us and keeps us “healthy” – both the on outside and the inside. Two, let’s be vigilant about setting needed boundaries. Why? This ensures that only what’s best for the “bigger picture” is secured within and whatever’s not best isn’t allowed to intrude our “healthy” space. Our healthiness is more than just feeling “okay.” It’s about bringing ourselves into a unified alignment so that we can achieve wholeness. And where there is wholeness of mind, body, and spirit, anything can be carried to term and brought to fulfillment.
“The Mothers” play a central role here in 2018. By “the Mothers” we mean the energies that influence any and everything by giving life to something new.  These energies are by nature ingenuously creative, fiercely caring, deeply intuitive, and can influence any outcome. But why is this helpful for our healthiness? This year, the energies of “the Mothers” can be sought to help align us with the perfect timing for “shifting” to what’s happening in the “shadows”, impacting our healthiness.   And this is important. Why? Because it is from within the “shadows” the light of potentiality can and will eventually burst forth.

The Ifa Foundation would like to acknowledge and thank Oluwo Ifasunlade- Stephen Epps for the wonderful explanation of the "Reading for the Year". We also thank Oluwo Philip Neimark and Iyanifa Vassa for casting the Odus for the year.

by Oluwo Ifajuitan - Javier Lujan
Oya reminds us that “Breath is life, change your breathing, change your life”.

Shallow breathing is often caused by our resistance to change!, experienced as anxiety, fear, worry and other negative emotions. If these blocked emotions are not expressed properly and released timely, these emotions will ultimately manifest in health problems affecting our cardiovascular, digestive, respiratory and immune systems.

You can significantly improve your health and well-being, reduce stress, alleviate anxiety and even lower your blood pressure simply by breathing properly. So, this year, be more aware of how you're responding to change. If you find yourself struggling with it, then make it a point to meditate more frequently while doing breathing exercises.  It's a simple action that will profoundly change your life for the better.

Simple Breathing Exercise:
  • Sit quietly and comfortably.
  • Touch your upper palate with your tongue during this exercise.
  • Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, feel your abdomen rise.
  • Hold it for 4 seconds, then release slowly until most of the air is out.
  • Don't breathe for 4 seconds.
  • Repeat several times.
  • NOTE: focus ONLY on your breathing, keep your mind from wandering. 

  • I welcome “change” because each life experience brings me closer to my destiny.
  • I welcome “change” because it clears away that which no longer serves my purpose.
  • I welcome “change” because it makes me feel alive!
  • I thank Oya for forcing change in my life when I’m stuck or refuse to move on.
  • I thank Oya for giving me opportunities to try something new.
  • I pray to Oya to not let me fear, worry, or resist change.
  • I pray to Oya that I may be always be treated fairly.
  • I will seek Oya to guide me through important phases of my life.
  • I will seek Oya to bridge my connections to my departed ancestors.
  • I will seek Oya to guide me with the ultimate change, my eventual transition from life to death.

by Iyanifa Vassa

The Egbe Community… is where every human being would have belonged to before coming to our planet earth.  

A person’s destiny on earth is pre-determined before leaving the heavens and their particular Egbe community.  It is important to do what you came here to do.  

Before we depart for earth... we may be asked to do something for someone or for more than one person or even for our particular community... during our journey out.

We may make a promise to them… and we commit to doing something we would like to take care of while we expand with the lessons we receive during living our time on the earth in the conditions we find it in.

Before we are old enough to do some of the work of fulfilling these promises we may have had so many things happen to us that create distractions and shut us down and create a disconnect from our Egbe community.  This is where we can get the feeling of being lost.

As an individual is leaving their 20’s and heading into a new phase of a 7-year shift… the seeking for more comes in strong.  Our minds and our hearts want more.  This is when many people seek the guidance and support of spiritual teachers… they go on a search for how to open and find something.

Depending on where they are drawn to… they may find ceremonies such as the plant medicines… as this is a place they have been told they can meet their ancestral community.

If a person finds themselves connecting to the path of Ifa… they will have a clear map of how to go to the portal of the Egbe community.
Between the sheddings and the Ori/Destiny ceremony and the rituals for connecting with the ancestor world… and a true meeting with their guardian ancestor… they have the keys to open more doorways to their Egbe community.

When a person aligns themselves and does the work of building a language to connect with their Egbe community... they can then feel the peace of knowingness… and a certainty of their true destiny path.

When one feels at ease…and has cleared the pathways…freeing themselves… now they can begin to actively engage in what they came here to do.  When the re-connections are made... they can be on their path to fulfilling their promise they made before coming. 

This is when life really feels a great flow of relevance. 

With this energy alignment…each person can feel elevated and an expanded sphere of creative energy to work with.

We all feel at times we have synchronicity with certain people and not with others.  This is important to honor.  We had our communities where we related to certain people in the Egbe world.  You know how you feel like you have known someone from before. And you even find yourself saying… I feel as if we have met in another lifetime… yes… yes!

You have arrived at a position of knowing.  And their life begins really flowing.

by Oluwo Ifajuitan - Javier Lujan

(ancestor is a departed relative in your bloodline)

* Place a clear glass of water, offering, and light a white candle. 
  • I stand on the shoulders of my departed ancestors.
  • I draw from their collective wisdom to advance my destiny.
  • I inherited my good instincts from my ancestors.
  • I am blessed with their continued love and support.
  • I acknowledge and thank every one of my departed ancestors.
  • I thank [name of ancestor] (say their name 3 times)
  • I thank [name of ancestor] (say their name 3 times)
  • I thank [name of ancestor] (say their name 3 times)
  • … (do this for each ancestor name that you know)
  • I also thank those ancestors whose name I do not know.
  • I acknowledge and thank the spirit guide who is my “guardian ancestor”. This ancestor guide guides me throughout life and speaks through my conscience.
  • It’s now my turn to experience life, may my life experiences contribute to our collective wisdom. May my experiences benefit you, myself, and those that may follow me.
  • With your support, I will honor you by living my life to the fullest and with good character.
  • I now invoke my guardian ancestor to guide me through the following … (say what you need guidance on).

by Iyanifa Vassa

Each tool created has manifested from the Oracle revelations for this powerful year ahead. Each will open the portals for you to manifest at a higher vibration… bringing more possibilities.

As we deepen our connections with the natural world in our work with Ifa… we see how each tree has an Orisa and each element of nature has keys for us to tune into and use and so we included all of this wisdom into the new tools.
We have been working with wands and staffs for a while now and truly see the most incredible results… and wanted to create one of each type for you to have the opportunities to work with as well.

With the main energy of the year being Oya with the Odu of Osa Ose (Osun’s sign on the spiritual and emotional side)… we were drawn to using amethyst and citrine clustered stones as the top element and then each of the subsets of the reading of the year having their own strand of stone beads strung with special amulets on the ends… and some copper wire is woven around as well… with a few powerful bird feathers added on.

The tools this year are to empower you and elevate your shaman ancestor energy connections with the source.

Across all cultures in history… Seers, Sages, Medicine Men, Healers, Shamans, Orisa and Ifa Priests all possessed their own empowerment staff and wands. 
We know that our ancestors passed into our DNA the ability to know how to take care of ourselves, our families and our communities using powerful tools.
With the layout of this year’s Odus…we know your lives would benefit greatly from having certain types of tools created to assist you in making connections to the “Mother’s” energies.

We are creating this opportunity for you to have one created for you as well.  We each have these abilities…and with Staff and Wand in hand…you can build a strong connection with the sources of energy matrix’s that will elevate your abilities.


The wood branches come from the WICKED BLACK LOCUST TREE  (the Robinia pseudoacacia)  This tree is special because it prefers to grow where no other trees will.  It wants to stand out in the middle of nowhere and be the center of attention (hence the Osun energy (Ose) element being brought in)


The Sacred Spirit Staff - Created as an all in one tool manifestation tool.  There are elements embellishing each staff that include all of the subsets and main energy Orisa from the 2018 Reading of the Year.

Beaded strands on copper wire with a different amulet on each one that relates to each specific subset matrix and the 3 main are rapped all around the one-of-a-kind naturally kept staff.  Each strand goes into that specific Orisa garden to become charged up with the energy therein ceremonies with herbal formulas and the sacred earth portal right there in the earth.  They will sit into that portal for the length of time necessary for alignment.  Pressed up into the bottom of the staff is the sacred earth from the Mother’s shrines…sealed to stay in, and to energize the staff.

When you receive your staff you will have complete instructions on how we suggest you begin using it along with a chant to open with. includes all of the materials created as corresponding elements and the rituals for each of the subsets and all of the ritual that has been divined for…to be done inside each of the sacred gardens pertaining to the reading of the year.  There are 9 different ritual locations we take your staff into. 
The Sacred Spirit Staff - $750 complete

The Sacred Spirit Wand -
 Oya energy matrix right at the top with the uniquely cut amethyst stone…copper wire, stones, beads & feathers.  Brought through ceremonies of empowerment inside the sacred Orisa gardens as well.  (each a one-of-a-kind branch from the sacred wicked black locust tree) Left can see all kinds of things in the growth marks of each limb.  So ancient in feel and deep in emotions when you hold one. 

You can do all sorts of things with your wand.  From taking it out with you everywhere you go and having this incredible connection to an inner peace but bigger than that…a strength that brings on the feeling that you are connected to the “see-ers” and “the Mother’s”.

You can clear obstacles…you can transmit your intentions with more clarity and certainty… and you can feel so much more elevated in your personal empowerment.  Amazing things just happen when you hold one!  They can range from 15” to 20”. 
The Sacred Spirit Wand - $295. complete

Oya Copper Mask stone & copper beaded necklace - $100.

Esu/Oya - for Victory this year.  $255.

Personal Year Reading - defining specifics of your path and how this year’s reading influences it.  $100.

$1500 to complete all of the New Year Ebbo’s with their respective tools.

  • Destiny: Iyaami
  • Health: The Mothers
  • Success: Onile
  • Relationships: Ososi
  • Family: Nana
  • Victory: Esu
The top three Orisas for creating balance and harmony this year are:
  • Oya
  • Ogun
  • Ela

* The 2018 tools mentioned above can be ordered
 Spiritual Tools


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Our mailing address is:
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2018 Reading was cast by Iyanifa Vassa and Oluwo Phil Neimark
Iyanifa Vassa

2018 Reading Write-up:
Oluwo Ifasunlade- Stephen Epps

Graphic and Mail Design:
Oluwo Ifajuitan - Javier Lujan