One of the biggest questions as well as dilemmas, for New Afrikan people, is the issue of “Who am I really?” The big business of DNA testing has really been racking in riches based upon the hunger of New Afrikan people to reconnect with their Afrikan true heritage. Without going into many of the scientific inaccuracies of these tests, most of these Afrikans are left wanting and in need of much more information. Often times more questions are created than answers. Many are not aware that there is an Afrikan spiritual cultural way to find out exactly who you are.
In the Yoruba language, the word ipiile means “root, foundation“. In the Fon language of Benin Republic, the word dodo means “origins”. The reading often referred to as a Roots Reading is more properly called Ipiile Fa in Yoruba. It is roughly translated as “the root/foundation according to Fa/Ifa”. This is the reading whereas New Afrikans gather the pertinent spiritual, social, and mundane information reconnecting them to their Afrikan ethnic root. It is one thing to know that you are Afrikan, but even more important to know exactly where you come from. Not only does the Ipile Fa tell you this, but it also tells you such things as if your people were captured, and if so, how your people got into captivity, what kind of family you come from (what they were doing in Mawufe- Aja/Fon word for Afrika-before being captured), what did they do, what side of the family your soul descends from (hence, “root”), family taboos, the deity or deities your family worshiped, the Odu or sacred spiritual sign that governs your family, if one descends from royalty, blacksmiths, merchants, kwk (etc etc), which tribal nation was responsible for them being captured, when they were captured, to which part of the itankale (Yoruba for “diaspora”) they landed in, what happened with them when they got there, what other Afrikan ethnicities entered the family line, if there are any curses (spiritual illnesses) found within the lineage and how to rid the lineage of such ills, kwk (this is Ki Bantu or so-called “Ki Swahili” short for katha wa katha which means “etc., etc.”). Though there are not many priests trained within this system, we encourage all New Afrikans, Afrikans torn away from their Afrikan motherland, to seek out priests that do this very important reading. You do not have to depend on the distorted world of DNA testing companies. Read The Flawed World of DNA-Ancestry Testing Technology.
The Zoto Fa – Finding Your Ancestral Sponsor
The zoto (pronounced jo-to) is a unique West Afrikan Vodun ancestral concept. The word loosely translates as “the person who gives fire to the soul”. This is the ancestor most vested in helping their descendant achieve all of the good in life and avoid the bad. This ancestor is of the same sex as the person whose zoto they are. Often, the zoto will have unfinished business in relation to their own destiny and will seek to achieve that through their descendant. The zoto may have certain taboos, certain proclivities, certain standard for one’s mate choices and the like. Knowing one’s zoto is important for those Afrikans who wish to be complete.
In Vodun, it is preferable to set up a completely separate shrine to one’s zoto. This ancestor is deserving of special attention and a unique kind of veneration. There may be certain items, numbers, colors, kwk that are sacred to the zoto that will often play a part in the construction of the zoto shrine. One can say that the Zoto Fa (Fa divination that reveals the Zoto) is a direct compliment to the Ipiile Fa (Roots Reading).
For the Education of those Sincerely Seeking
It should be noted that this is a West Afrikan Vodun concept carried out by trained bokonon (those initiated to and trained in Fa/Ifá divination). The word zoto is an Aja -Fon) word. If there are those in other Afrikan systems claiming to be able to reveal your zoto, but are not trained in and using Fa divination from the Vodun perspective (people can have training in more than one system), then it is no different than those in Benin who are lying saying that they do Roots Readings when, in fact, the Roots Reading is a uniquely New Afrikan system created in the United States. The people in Benin are not trained in it.
You may contact us through this site on how to go forward with getting a Roots Reading and/or Zoto Reading of your own or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, for more clarity, check out our videos African Divination Systems: Finding Your Afrikan Identity Through an Ifa Roots Reading and Real vs. Fake Roots Readings below. All readings are currently done by His Imperial Majesty Axosu Agelogagan Jisovi Agbovi I