Westerners of all ethnic origins tend to think of Orisa tradition as a "religion," but this is not quite accurate. More precisely, the Orisa tradition is better thought of as a "LIFESTYLE."
The word religion literally means "that which reconnects." It implies a process of restoring one's relationship to the Supreme Being. Lifestyle, on the other hand, has a wider meaning than the word religion.
Those who practice Orisa Lifestyle, are guided by spiritual, social and moral rules, actions, knowledge and duties which are responsible for balancing the seen and unseen realms.
In simple terms, one can say that Personal Priesthood means allowing the consciousness of your Ancestral Promise to permeate everything you do. It means using your natural gifts and talents to heal your life and heal the lives of the people and causes you are destined to serve.
Personal Priesthood is the realization of the Good Condition and carrying out every small act of your life with the clear intent to bring it about. As you are able to do this, you are practicing Personal Priesthood. If other interests distract you, even though you may have a multitude of beads, pots and titles, you are not in compliance with Orisa Lifestyle.
For this reason, all varieties of religious faiths, various forms of worship and spiritual practices, diverse rituals and customs have found their place, side by side, within Yoruba Civilization. Orisa Lifestyle, unlike other religions, does not dogmatically assert that there is only one path of spiritual freedom. Not at all. Our tradition is defined by its pluralism.
The religious and cultural hospitality of the Yoruba people is legendary on both sides of the Atlantic. As a rule, Yorubas pay respect to all religious traditions, accepting and honoring truth from wherever it may come. At the same time, however, we are relentlessly traditional. Consequently, the vast majority of Yoruba people continue to practice Orisa Lifestyle under the guises of Christianity and Islam. We adhere to the principles of Personal Priesthood while practicing Yoga, Astrology and Chinese Medicine.
Orisa Lifestyle is governed by the moral laws of Ifa, combined with spiritual discipline that guides one's Personal Priesthood. We consider Orisa Lifestyle to be the very foundation of life, which is why we sing, "Ifa gbaiye lo o" which means, Ifa holds the world together.
Obafemi Origunwa, MA | ObafemiO.com