Roots Reading – Learning Your True Afrikan Identity Through the Afrikan Oracle of Ifá

Roots Readings are THE key to true Sankofa

Roots Reading – Learning Your True Afrikan Identity Through the Afrikan Oracle of Ifá

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.

African Divination Systems: Finding Your True Identity Through an Ifá Roots Reading

In the Yoruba language, the word Ìpilè, or more properly Ìpilèşè, means “root, foundation“. In the Fon language of Benin Republic, the word dodo means “origins”. The reading often referred to as a Roots Reading, for those who have heard of such,  is more properly called Ìpilèşè Fá in Yoruba. It is roughly translated as “the root/foundation according to Fá/Ifá oracle“. This is the reading whereas New Afrikans (Descendants of those Afrikans who were captured and sold into captivity) 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 Ìpilèşè Fá 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 group 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.”).

Right now, even with the dna testing, we are like buildings without foundations (an anomaly that can’t be). Our ancient sacred Ifá oracle states, in Ofun Owonrin, one of its 256 sacred Odù or chapters:

Orí òrùlé ni ò şeé rìn
Gbaragada, gbàràgàdà, gbaragada
A dífá fún Ìpilèşè
Tíí şe Baba Ìlékè
Wón níi kó rúbọ
Ó gbébọ, Ó rúbọ
Njé bí ò bá sí Ìpilèşè
Emi là bá fi Ìlékè şe?

It is difficult to walk on a rooftop
With wanton recklessness
That was the message of Ifá to Ìpilèşè (Foundation)
The father of Ìlékè
He was advised to offer ẹbọ (sacrifice)
He complied
Behold, without Ìpilèşè (foundation)
Of what use is Ìlékè (building)

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 False World of DNA-Ancestry Testing Technology.

The Zoto Fá – 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 Ìpilèşè 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 Fá/Ifá divination). The word zoto is an Aja (Often referred to as Fon) word. This culture is firmly rooted in Togo, Benin Republic, parts of Southern Ghana, and in Badagry SW Nigeria. If there are those in other Afrikan systems claiming to be able to reveal your zoto, but are not trained in and using Fá 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 Afrika are not trained in it. 

Contact us at on how to go forward with getting a Roots Reading and/or Zoto Reading of your own. All readings are currently done by His Imperial Majesty Axosu Agelogagan Jisovi Agbovi I.