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About the initiation process

The ashe contained within a devotee's Ori's can be heightened through what is known as Kari'osha or the placing of orisha on the head of a devotee. This ceremony ritually sits the ashe of the orisha on the body of a devotee and reinforces the original ashe given by Olorun at their birth. The initiation ceremony reflects the crowning of a king in Yoruba-land and lasts up to 7 days, sometimes longer if indicated by divination and other circumstances resulting from the ceremony itself. The ceremony itself installs the ashe of the Orishas into the Ori of an Iyawo (bride/initiate of the orisha) who will undergo a yearlong novitiate period to complete the transformation process.

A devotee is transformed from the ordinary person they were then reborn as a new priest/priestess ordained into the tradition. Rituals included in the ceremonial process are intended to strip away the old person's being and put them in contact with ashe so that they are reborn to have a new spiritual existence. The devotee's body is spiritually cleansed, their head is shaven in preparation of installing ashe into their head, and the orisha the devotee will worship for the rest of their life is infused with devotee's own Ori.

The Iyawo will receive deities that will compliment the initiation process and will be included as part of worship to their tutelary Orisha. They will receive an Ita, which is one of the most extensive divination sessions that the devotee will undergo, whereby each orisha that the devotee receives will directly speak and provide the devotee with advice that can be used for a lifetime. The Ita will layout the devotee's destiny and thoroughly explain their obligations and prohibitions that will follow them.

During the time the initiate is an Iyawo, the devotee has to dress in white from head to toe, eat in a certain manner, must not be touched by others not ordained into the priesthood, and must live a simple and quiet lifestyle. There are other rules that the Iyawo must abide by so that they are able to solidify an understanding of their ita and how to function in life as a new priest. There are several other rituals that the Iyawo must complete during their year in white in order to function as a priest when the year is complete.

Once the year is finished, a celebration will take place on the exact day the devotee was ordained and will continue to do so every year after that until the day they die. After the year, the initiate will resume their life according to their Ita, fulfilling all the obligation required from it in addition to those required resulting from their priesthood.

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