A Synopsis on Libation


Kefentse Akim Bandele in Yoruba Study Group of Detroit

On the matter of what to offer the Ancestor or Deities, we have the choice of Water, Wine and “Hard” Liquor. The choice of liquid depends on the nature of the libation and prayer and what your aim is in invoking (awakening) the Ancestors.

As has been my own experience:

Water is for cooling and healing and creating or reconciling relationships.

Liquor is fiery and is usually used to rouse, cement, ignite, protect and perform strong purification.

Wine is mid-way between the two and is good for friendly relations, creating comradeship between man and spirit.

This is an important matter as many of us do not realize that when you pour libation you are AWAKENING the Ancestors. The libation is only the 1st part of the process. After awakening the Ancestors, we have to actually DO something, DISCUSS something or WORK a ritual. Libation is not complete without at bare minimum THANKING the Ancestors or REQUESTING something like support, stability, clarity, spiritual cleansing or protection etc.

Ideally, once you have poured libation you should be TALKING to the Ancestors like you talk to any other living person. You should converse and build the relationship. Over time, you will hear messages in distinct ways. Sometimes several people will hear the message or hear parts of the message that then can be pieced together to make one complete communication from the Ancestors.

If you are pouring libation prior to a public event, you ask for BLESSINGS for that event or those in attendance.

The important part to remember again, is that libation in and of itself is not enough. You craft your libation prayer (in the diaspora people still don’t understand that the best prayers have been empowered or handed down directly from specific Egungun or Orisa, so they are still most comfortable writing their own libation prayers) then you craft the conversation that EXPLAINS WHY YOU INVOKED the Ancestors on this occasion.

After doing these two things you close with Ase (which is a spiritual command/declaration of sorts of “Let it be so/Let it be done”) and you GIVE THANKS PRIOR to seeing the fruits of your efforts. That is, you assume with confidence that provided you have not been unethical or lazy or cutting corners in your life that whatever you have asked for will come or Spirit will tell you what is it that you really need in place of that request.

Young people do not normally pour libation in the presence of Elders unless their youthful energy is identified as a necessity for that particular ritual or ceremony. Libation is done by community elders or the oldest member of the family. It can also be done by clergy of all ages, provided the eldest clergy present sanction and approve of the person identified. (This may sound familiar. In some churches young people ask publicly for the right to speak or preach, even when their presence has already been planned, to guarantee that the eldest among them will be supporting their efforts and firming up the spiritual energy present.

The person officiating Libation must possess the spiritual FORCE to open the way to Spiritual communication. We go with the safest route during this occasion and choose to allow those that are older, trained or more versed than us conduct such affairs.

Libation is a powerful spiritual science. Learn the steps well!

I guess I will share one other matter. Not all forms of libation are poured. Sometimes libations are shared with the addition of personal Ase, which is done by SPEWING the liquid from one’s mouth onto the Earth or Deity or Ancestor Shrine. This carries much strength, but is not done carelessly.  If you don’t know when to do it, ask a traditionalist for assistance.

In contemporary times people do not always have a consecrated shrine or the actual Earth beneath them to pour libation. They wonder how to conduct the process properly in these situations without making a mess, especially when they do not own the space in which they are conducting their event.

You can pour libation on

  • the ground
  • on to a shrine
  • on the ground in front of a shrine
  • at the doorstep to a building
  • on to a living plant
  • into a receptacle which on the floor symbolizing the ground
  • on the street

There may be other ways, but these are safe bets.


Omi Tutu (Cool water)

Ona Tutu (Freshen my road)

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Ile Tutu (Freshen my house)

Ori Tutu (Freshen my head)

Tutu Esu (Refresh Esu)

Tutu Orisa (Refresh the Orisas)

Tutu Egun Mi (Freshen my Ancestors)

Tutu Gbogbo Egun Ara Orun Tiembelese Oludumare
(Freshen all the Ancestors that sit at the feet of Oludumare)

Mojuba Oludumare (I Praise Almighty God)

Mojuba Olorun (I Praise the Sky God who gives us the Sun)

Mojuba Olofi Ayie (I Praise God Who Gave Us The World)

Mojuba Ibae Egun Gbogbo Egun Ibae (I praise the Ancestors)

Mojuba Gbogbo Orisa (I Praise All The Orisha)

Mojuba Baba Alagba Osin Ati Olosin Egbe Egungun Mi (I Praise Father Alagba, Chief Ancestor, Owner of My Place of Worship)

Mojuba Iya Tobi Mi (I Praise the Mother who birthed me)

Mojuba Baba Tobi Mi (I Praise the Father who bore me)

Mojuba Iyalorisa (I praise the mother of Orisa)

Mojuba Babalorisha (I praise the father of Orisha)

Ki Nkan Ma Se (Godmother’s name) (I Praise my God Mother)

Ki Nkan Ma Se (Godfather’s name) (I praise my God Father)

Kosi Ko Iku Ojoji (Never let me die a sudden death)

Kosi Ano (Don’t Let Sickness Take Me)

Kosi Arun (Protect me from sickness)

Kosi Ina (Don’t let passion fixate me, or let me experience fights)

Kosi Eyo (Don’t let obstacles get in my path)

Kosi Idina (Protect me from obstacles)

Kosi Fitibo (Don’t let me be overwhelmed)

Kosi Egba Don’t let me be paralyzed)

Kosi Ofo (Don’t let me experience loss)

Kosi Ese (Don’t let me succumb to evil)

Kosi Akoba (Don’t let sudden change interfere in my life)

Ariku Babawa (Let me not see death Father)

Ariku Iyawa (Let me not see death Mother)

E Fun Mi Ni Aiku (Give to me long life)

E Fun Mi Ni Alafia (Give to me peace and prosperity)

E Fun Mi Ni Owo (Give to me money)

E Fun Mi Ni Ola (Give to me honor)

E Fun Mi Ni Isegun (Give to me victory)

E Fun Mi Ni Imo (Give to me knowledge)

E Fun Mi Ni Ogbon (Give to me wisdom)

E Fun Mi Ni Onje (Give to me food)

E Fun Mi Ni Iwa (Give to me good character)

E Fun Mi Ni Suuru (Give to me patience)

E Fun Mi Ni Agbara (Give to me strength)

E Fun Mi Ni Aso (Give to me cloth – clothing)

E Fun Mi Ni Omo (Give to me children – biological, spiritual and/or creative)

E Fun Mi Ni ILE Odara (Give to me a good home)

Ase, Ase, Ase!

Ofo Ase, Ofo Ase, Ofo Ase

Iba se ori egun Ìlà arun (Offer to the East)

Iba se ori egun Ìwò arun (Offer to the West)

Iba se ori egun ariwa arun (Offer to the North)

Iba se ori egun gusuu arun (Offer to the South)

Iba se ori egun orun (Offer to HEAVEN)

Iba se ori egun ayie (Offer to Earth)

 Iba se….. (call the names of all the Ancestors you can
remember and call those whose names you can’t
remember but on whose shoulders you stand.)

 Peace & blessings


Article by Baba Kefentse Akim Bandele

Now known as Fabayo Adesanya Awoyade, Baba Kefentse is a single Father, writer, urban gardener and teacher. Kefentse was initiated to Ifa in Ode Remo on March 10th 2014. He is also the founder and President of the Yoruba Study Group of Detroit which he started in 2009.
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