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Who are the Iyami?

Started by Omowale, Feb 07, 2023, 03:28 PM

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The Iyami (Ìyààmí àjẹ́) are very important feminine entities for all those who practice the isese tradition. The Iyami are the Great Mothers of the Night.



It is said that: "anyone who makes a plan by excluding from it the ideas of the women, must know that their plan is intended to fail". The Iyami are great and powerful and are capable of assisting us by protecting us from ibi, so our plan to receive the blessings of life may come. That being said, while the Iyami are able to do great things for one, they may also do great evil if they are displeased.

This is why there are many stories about the Iyami doing harm against humanity. From the Odu Ifa creation story, the Iyami tried to stifle all of humanity. And there are other lessons from the Odu Ifa where they may be an enemy of progress. The Iyami can be involved ones suffering. This is why it is important for the babalawo/iyanifa to appease the Iyami on behalf of themselves and on behalf of their godchildren. This is called ipese (ìpèsè). Ipese is performed by giving an offering to the Iyami, a gift so that we may stay in their good grace. My iya has performed ipese on my behalf for this reason. I try to stay in good favor of these powerful women so they may protect me from harm. This is why they are the caretakers of the world.

While the Iyami represent powerful feminine energy from a spiritual perspective. They are also a real society here on ayé. They are a secret societies and initiation is said to be challenging. Therefore it is not an open initiation and many may claim that these societies don't exist.

All that being said we greatly respect the Iyaami, and great women should never be forgotten. May the arrogance of men never tempt us to exclude the great contributions from women of the world.
~Manifest destiny from within~


There is always a lot to be said about the elements of isese. Please feel free to ask questions or enlighten us more on the topic. I know the Iyami are also associated with birds but I'll need to study up more on the subject.
~Manifest destiny from within~