The following are excerpts from my book, Fundamentals of Orisa Lifestyle, available at ObafemiO.com/publications
The paternal spirit is your conduit to spiritual identity. There can be no connection to the source of collective consciousness and ancestral wisdom without orí baba, the paternal spirit. This is the case because the Ancestral Promise is handed down to you by way of orí baba. One aspect of this is your family name, which you inherit from your father, who inherited it from his father and so on. In this regard, you are an ambassador of your paternal lineage. As such, the way you show up in the world either enhances or detracts from the integrity of orí baba. In the Ondo dialect of Yoruba language, “O m’owo osi juwe ’li ba e,” means “You pointed out the direction to your father‘s house with the left hand.” It suggests that a person has demonstrated some form of inappropriate behavior that will bring shame and dishonor to his family name.
Not only that, to neglect your father is to invite personal ruin:
Ifa divination was performed for Nwonmile,
The one who saw her father’s spirit in a dream.
She said, "I have seen my father today,
father of the leopard."
Father, descend from heaven and help me.
The father never fails to support his child."
Ifá says that someone has forgotten her father.
If she does not care for her father's spirit
She will not find someone to care for her.
Ifá says this person should sacrifice.
So that the way will be made clear
For all of her endeavors.
Indeed, something belonging to this person
Will be completely ruined
If she does not care for her father,
Whether he is in heaven or on earth.
- Holy Odu OgbeIrosun
In this sense, orí baba serves as a catalyst for inner strength. Thus, when parents take their children to the babláwo to consult Ifá at the time of birth, fathers will bring offerings that symbolize agility and strength. Orí baba endows the individual with the resources necessary for accomplishment. Thus, the elders say, “Bí ọmọ́ bá yó, a fikùn han baba,” which means ‘When a child is full, he shows his stomach to his father.’ It suggests that when you accomplish your goals, it is proper to show appreciation to your benefactor. The cultural assumption is that your father gave you something and you made good use of it.
In like fashion, the balè, or founding ancestor of every family lineage has passed down ancestral authority to his sons. Each generation, the eldest and most capable man in the extended family inherits the title of balè. As such, it becomes his duty to manage family wealth by adjudicating family business decisions. Invariably, every balè looks at the next generation and hopes to confer material, financial, moral and spiritual advantages to the members of his lineage. According to the precepts of the Ancestral Promise, he formally invokes the spirit of orí baba to guide him in the cultivation of character and leadership. More precisely, every year the balè organizes the Orí Kadun festival on the very day that the original balè is said to have venerated his own orí. At that time, he makes offerings and prayers on behalf of the extended family. This is one way in which the balè aspires to help all members of the extended family find and follow their individual callings in ways that are consistent with the Ancestral Promise.
Unfortunately, however, very few families successfully maintain the balè’s enthusiasm for more than a generation or two. The few lineages that enjoy four or more generations of sustained alignment with the Ancestral Promise become legendary. This is why the elders say “Agba kii wa loja, ki ori omo tuntun wo”, which means ‘Where there are good elders, the children do not go astray.’ It means that in those lineages where the presence of orí baba is strong, orderliness prevails. The objective of maintaining order is to perpetuate the family mission deeper and deeper into the future. The Holy Odù OturaMeji says the following:
The person with the title of Araba is a father
Araba's title makes one a father
The person we meet in the hut is a father
The person in the front is good enough to be our father
This was the divine message revealed for an elderly Muslim with elegant robes
When he was going on spiritual mission to the land of the Muslims
They pray for money, good spouses, good children,
befitting houses, good health and all good things of life… ALAAFIA.
- Holy Odù OturaMeji
The main purpose of the Baba Imale or Elderly Islamic priest was to manage his subjects. Because of this, he went to consult Ifá for guidance. He performed the necessary sacrifice and a special charm was prepared that would make his word become law. As a result, he was a successful father for his spiritual community in the sense that he enabled his people to achieve prosperity.
Whereas the seat of royal authority resides in the palace, the paternal authority of each family lineage is housed in the agbole, or extended family compound. Everyone who descends from the balè of a particular lineage is a member of a specific agbole. Agbole literally means “a flock of houses” because, over generations, male members of the same extended family build their houses around their Balè’s original family compound. Even when family homes are no longer built in close physical proximity to the original locale, nuclear families continue to pattern themselves according to the organizational structure of the Balè’s agbole. Consequently, whereas the Balè is the head of the extended family, every married man is the Olori Ebi, or head of his own immediate family. His primary duty is to sustain family wealth, the most precious of which is the people. Of this, the Holy Odù EjiOgbe teaches:
Otototo, the priest of the rich man
Otototo la j’epa, the priest of the wealthy man
Kajepa tan, ka ngbonwo e saja popopo, the priest of the man with children
Only the man with children made sacrifice
When the rich man died, his money perished and he was buried shamelessly
When the wealthy man died, his wealth perished and he was buried unceremoniously
People of the world, don’t you see that the man with children will never perish
Because his children will continue to multiply and carry on his legacy
The man with children was given a befitting burial
- Holy Odù EjiOgbe
The paternal spirit is what unifies your family in its quest to deliver on the Ancestral Promise. The best time for you invoke and venerate ori baba is when you need to draw upon the essence and clarity of your spiritual identity. Your connection to ori baba helps you develop uncompromising focus and discipline as you deliver upon the Ancestral Promise. This is what it means to live the medicine.
Taken from Fundamentals of Orisa Lifestyle, available at ObafemiO.com/publications
 Agboola, Awodiran. Personal conversation.
 Agboola, Awodiran. Ifá Ohun Ijinle Aiye
 Female descendants physically move to the agbole of their husbands, but retain membership in their lineage of birth.