Chief Iya IdiAgba Olaifa
I am the founder of St. Christopher’s Metaphysical Temple. My name in Ifa is Chief Iya IdiAgba Olaifa. I am a Shango (Sàngó) priest, Chief in Ogboni, Iyanifa in Ifa, and also initiated to Olukun, Aganju, and Egbe, all which took place between Osogbo and Oyo, Nigeria. I am also a Reiki healer. For over 30 years, I have played an active role in my community as a healer and educator of the Santeria Lucumi religion. However, for the past three years, my involvement in Ifa has taught me how to use my gifts extensively to help those who seek spiritual help and information.
My journey began in my late teens in London, as a Nurse specializing in Psychology and Psychiatry. Although life had different plans for me, my goal was to always help and guide people. My intentions have not changed but has been redirected to the spiritual aspect of life.
Throughout my early years, I had always had the gift of seeing through dreams, visions, and spirits themselves; but I did not know that one dream specifically would change my life. Though this wasn’t my first encounter with spirituality, it was the first dream I acted on. In London, I had dreamt I would visit a woman in New York who would give me a reading about my destiny and true faith. The woman in my dream fit the description of my mother’s godmother in Brooklyn. Taking the trip from London to New York I visited her and she gave me a reading about a spirit I have, the gifts I have possessed since birth, and I also received elekes (beaded necklaces). From that meeting and before traveling back to London, I started learning about the Santeria Lucumi religion.
November of 1981, I moved to New York. I then had another dream about the Palo system. The following year, I got involved and initiated to Palo Mayombe through a ceremony called Rayamiento. Moving forward to September of 1985, I was initiated Sàngó Oro for Aganju in the Santeria Lucumi religion. As a priest I started working in New York, Queens. I moved to Florida in June of 1990 and continued my work as a Sàngó priest. As time went on, I became more educated in Santeria by working with experienced Oriates and Babalows; learning the techniques to be a successful priest.
Although I was progressing, I still felt as if something was missing. In 2008, I moved to North Port, Florida (Sarasota County). After moving and trying to develop myself in this area, I realized that not many places have a true understanding of this religion or offer the many services that are needed by so many individuals. I needed to open a place that people could feel welcome and get a better understanding of the religion and assistance in finding their true path/ way in life. I then opened St. Christopher’s Metaphysical a 501(c)(3) in 2009. In the interim of everything, this, the Santeria way, was not what my spirits wanted. My spirits guided me to the Ifa religion and I joined in 2010. I am now both traditional and Lucumi.
Fear is a common denominator and can be life altering. Fear is also primal emotion that we have all inherited from our ancestors. Everyone wants to freely express themselves and live secure and peaceful lives without feeling that openly practicing our religion will have us feeling threatened or endangered by those who may not believe or have a true understanding of our religion. Over generations, this religion has lost its significance in society and there are many Olorisas, Iyanifas, and people who want to move forward and practice openly in this religion but without knowing it have allowed fear to play a part in blocking their progress. As a healer and educator, my ultimate goal is to help, make people aware, and teach people. I hope to spread this knowledge to all that are curious and willing to learn. Ifa directed me through dreams and I hope to direct others with the help of Òrunmìlà, Olódùmarè, Òrìsà, and our ancestors. At St. Christopher’s Metaphysical Temple Ifa is a form of realization and resolution. Ifa helps to identify our problems but also helps us to resolve them.
We are a family growing and learning together and looking for like-minded people with positive energy to bring that energy to our Temple. I hope you join us as an active member of St. Christopher’s or I get to work with you in the future.
Chief Iya IdiAgba Olaifa