Hi, I’m happy you’re here. I answer the most frequently asked questions about Ase Ire below. Still have questions? Get in touch!
What is Ase Ire?
Ase Ire is a place to learn, grow, and connect with spirit! It was created by Funlayo E. Wood, first as a blog and online resource center, and has now grown to include what Iya Funlayo calls a “communiversity” with online and in-person classes and workshops, retreats to spiritual locales around the world, and more! Members of “The Ile” — Ase Ire’s community — get the most access to everything Ase Ire and Iya Funlayo have to offer. The goal is to share knowledge and genuine heart connection as we grow in our spiritual practices.
Who is Iya Funlayo?
Iya Funlayo is a scholar-priestess: a scholar specializing in African and Diasporic religions and cultures, and an initiated priestess in the Ifa-Orisa tradition. She received her PhD from Harvard University in 2017, has been featured in documentaries for PBS and National Geographic, and had her writing published in both popular and academic outlets. More on her scholarly work at FunlayoPhD.com, more on her spiritual life here.
What does Ase Ire offer?
In addition to everything available through The Ile, Iya Funlayo & Ase Ire offer services for all occasions, for individuals and groups. Services include:
- Weekly Prayer and Meditation (Join the Facebook event for reminders!)
- Orisa-inspired tarot divination
- Obi divination and offering to orisa and Ifa
- Ifa divination (provided by Chief Awo Ifakunle)
- Personal spiritual counseling and advisement
- Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, and Memorial Ceremonies
- Group bonding rituals and workshops
- Group spiritual travel
What is “The Ile”?
The Ile is Ase Ire’s membership community. Members participate in weekly prayer and meditation, a monthly book discussion, get free access to most print materials and online classes, free or discounted admission to live events, discounts on trips, and an annual members-only retreat. Find out more and join here!
Do I have to be initiated to participate in Ase Ire or The Ile?
No! In fact, much of what Ase Ire produces is specifically geared toward people just getting started in African spirituality. People at all levels are welcome to join The Ile and participate in everything we have to offer.
What if I’m White or of another ethnicity?
The lessons of Ifa and Orisa are applicable to all people and all are welcome to learn with us. Ase Ire is, however, a decidedly Afrocentric, pro-Black, and a safe space for Black spiritual experience and expression. The perspectives, safety, and comfort of African-descended people will always be privileged here.
Does joining Ase Ire mean that I’m Iya Funlayo’s godchild or that I have been initiated?
No. You cannot become anyone’s godchild online, as the spiritual ceremonies that would create such a bond must take place in person. Every ile (temple group) has multiple levels of membership, even if informally. There are:
- Alejo (aleyo), or “guests,” who support, participate in events, and receive services as they desire but who have not made any formal commitment to the ile or leader(s)
- Akeko, or “students,” who make a commitment to studying with, learning from and financially supporting the ile
- Omo, or “children/godchildren” of the shrine do all that akeko do, but also make an even deeper commitment by receiving spiritual initiations that more deeply connect them to the temple and its leader(s)
You are invited to begin your journey with Ase Ire as an Alejo or an Akeko (recommended). Becoming an omo takes time and commitment; barring special circumstances, you must be an Akeko for at least 3 months before you can be considered to move to the next level as an omo.
I have a question not answered here.
Please contact Iya Funlayo for any questions not answered here. Blessings!