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The Way of Orisa: Empowering Your Life Through the Ancient African Religion of Ifa

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Carried to the Americas by slaves, the 8,000-year-old philosophy of Ifa originated with the Yoruba peoples of West Africa. Ifa's enduring message of strength and inner peace, one that offers a way to harmonize our spiritual and worldly aims, is enjoying a resurgence of popularity in the West. Written by an avid student and accomplished practitioner, The Way of the Orisa pr Carried to the Americas by slaves, the 8,000-year-old philosophy of Ifa originated with the Yoruba peoples of West Africa. Ifa's enduring message of strength and inner peace, one that offers a way to harmonize our spiritual and worldly aims, is enjoying a resurgence of popularity in the West. Written by an avid student and accomplished practitioner, The Way of the Orisa provides an exhilarating introduction to the orisa, the powerful messenger spirits who act as our personal guardians. Through fables, rituals, prayers and simple guidelines, Philip Neimark shows how we can further our personal and professional goals by cultivating the loving support of orisa energy. Joyous, wise and eminently practical, The Way of the Orisa brings a vibrant ancient tradition to contemporary life.


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Carried to the Americas by slaves, the 8,000-year-old philosophy of Ifa originated with the Yoruba peoples of West Africa. Ifa's enduring message of strength and inner peace, one that offers a way to harmonize our spiritual and worldly aims, is enjoying a resurgence of popularity in the West. Written by an avid student and accomplished practitioner, The Way of the Orisa pr Carried to the Americas by slaves, the 8,000-year-old philosophy of Ifa originated with the Yoruba peoples of West Africa. Ifa's enduring message of strength and inner peace, one that offers a way to harmonize our spiritual and worldly aims, is enjoying a resurgence of popularity in the West. Written by an avid student and accomplished practitioner, The Way of the Orisa provides an exhilarating introduction to the orisa, the powerful messenger spirits who act as our personal guardians. Through fables, rituals, prayers and simple guidelines, Philip Neimark shows how we can further our personal and professional goals by cultivating the loving support of orisa energy. Joyous, wise and eminently practical, The Way of the Orisa brings a vibrant ancient tradition to contemporary life.

30 review for The Way of Orisa: Empowering Your Life Through the Ancient African Religion of Ifa

  1. 4 out of 5

    Janice

    When I first began to read books on the ancient Yoruba religion of Ifa and Orisa worship, I found the material to be sometimes confusing and fragmented. Mr. Neimark's work, is concise, clear and informative. Much detail appears to be absent from the book, but it is nonetheless a good primer for more detailed and difficult readings. Ifa is a very complex religion, and Mr. Neimark's explanations are simple and straightforward. ... the lack of too much detail is precisely what helped me to read it e When I first began to read books on the ancient Yoruba religion of Ifa and Orisa worship, I found the material to be sometimes confusing and fragmented. Mr. Neimark's work, is concise, clear and informative. Much detail appears to be absent from the book, but it is nonetheless a good primer for more detailed and difficult readings. Ifa is a very complex religion, and Mr. Neimark's explanations are simple and straightforward. ... the lack of too much detail is precisely what helped me to read it easily and move on to more complex works. I recommend the book to everyone who is interested in learning what is meant by Orisa worship.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Arthur

    I found this to be a great introduction to Ifa. There is a lot of information and stories about the orishas. It is very helpful if one wanted to find out who one's guardian orisha might be (though one can only be sure by consulting a babalawo.) There almost no information about the very important practice of divination, though the author does give a profound argument in favor of animal sacrifice. I found that Ifa (as described in this book) reminded me of three other traditions, tantra and alche I found this to be a great introduction to Ifa. There is a lot of information and stories about the orishas. It is very helpful if one wanted to find out who one's guardian orisha might be (though one can only be sure by consulting a babalawo.) There almost no information about the very important practice of divination, though the author does give a profound argument in favor of animal sacrifice. I found that Ifa (as described in this book) reminded me of three other traditions, tantra and alchemy with their non-dualist approach to spirituality, in which body and soul are both seen as sacred...the "material" is not rejected. Also, I saw many similarities between Ifa and another "pagan" religion, Asatru. Some of the orishas reminded me of the gods and goddesses of the Northern Tradition. I think Asatruar and other similar groups would find the Ifa ways of working and mythology interesting. Also monotheists might enjoy reading about one of the world's oldest monotheistic traditions.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Good introduction for those wishing to know more about the religion.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maria Maniaci

    The caveat being that I'm not familiar with Ifa, this seemed like a good introductory book. Very accessible, very digestible, and when the author veered off into personal anecdotes, those tended to be my favorite sections. The caveat being that I'm not familiar with Ifa, this seemed like a good introductory book. Very accessible, very digestible, and when the author veered off into personal anecdotes, those tended to be my favorite sections.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rell

    I loved this book. It’s a semi detailed book about the most well known Orisha and some that are not. The author did a phenomenal job writing this and telling the stories of each Orisha. I actually caught a lot of flack for reading this book because it’s on Ifa religion, that is African based but written by a white man. If that’s going to bother you then don’t read it but if you can look past that and learn a little then it’s a fantastic book

  6. 4 out of 5

    The Dope Librarian

    This book served as a great introduction to Ifa. It gives a very high level understanding of the religion which makes it easy to digest. As a reader I recognize that there elements or areas that lack substance but to include those things may have made the reading much too complicated for me, or the average reader, to understand

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ketsy Resendez

    Very interesting pick from my book club. I still stand by my view that all religions are cults and inherently sexist, but constant rebirth with the sole goal of each lifetime being self-growth isn’t a terrible ideal.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Karen Georgia

    a good introduction

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Barrett Dylan Brown, Phd

    A very good introductory book on Ifa and Orisha for the beginner. Particularly the sections on attributes of particular children of Orisha is very good, if over simplified. Neimark transmits his love and enthusiasm for the Orisa admirably, without adding the "spells" and spooky "Juju" other books find necessary. Some of the traditional Ifa stories that are recounted are the same as I have read elsewhere, but with different Orisha as the main characters. This can be confusing but is not at all u A very good introductory book on Ifa and Orisha for the beginner. Particularly the sections on attributes of particular children of Orisha is very good, if over simplified. Neimark transmits his love and enthusiasm for the Orisa admirably, without adding the "spells" and spooky "Juju" other books find necessary. Some of the traditional Ifa stories that are recounted are the same as I have read elsewhere, but with different Orisha as the main characters. This can be confusing but is not at all unusual in Orisha literature. It's the whole that is important, rather than the exact details. It is sometimes confusing that Neimark continually espouses the benefits of Ifa, without giving enough examples of how and what exactly Ifa is. All in all this would make a great gift or first book for someone interested in Ifa who has not read anything else, but for the seasoned student does not have much to offer.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Zandra

    I reread this book in Cuba and on the way back. It truly is a spiritual gem that has helped me understand myself in an even deeper way. Whether you are new or old to this journey, you can always pick up something new.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ben Baker

    Very informative

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Worth reading as an introduction to one of the oldest single deity spiritual systems.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Very interesting book. It explains a religion that is considered devils work or voodoo. I really enjoyed reading this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Seven

    This was a very easy read and great for someone who wants a better understand of the orisha.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emerlize Clarke

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bobby B

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sheena B

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jamie C

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  20. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Johnston

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lee

  23. 4 out of 5

    Beth Keene

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rhondalyn

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mignon Grayson

  26. 5 out of 5

    Oya Amakisi

  27. 5 out of 5

    Corbin

    Maya Deren did it first and better.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Noah

  29. 4 out of 5

    El-Rey Saavedra

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michael Costa

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