Choosing an Egbe
Choosing an Egbe is arguably the most important decision one can make when contemplating Orisa worship. The decision has vast implications as it can affect not only one's spiritual path but also an individuals physical and mental health; in addition to financial stability. An Egbe is a spiritual family in which the elders undertake the task of guiding one to spiritual enlightenment.
Some important questions to ask oneself, is whether the proper research has been done in understanding the basic construction of an Egbe. An Egbe should be comprised of or at least have access to a group of competent Babalawos (Ifa priests). A functioning Oba Oriate (an elder specializing in Meridilogun divination). A group of elders with eight or more years experience having fully gone through all the initiation ceremonies required to be a priest or priestess representing their specific Orisa. And certainly last but not least, a group of competent spiritualists which can assist in attending to the spirits in one's spiritual framework (Egungun). At times some of these spiritual functions may overlap as an Oba Oriate, Olorisa or Iyaolorisa can perform multiple spiritual functions and operations. For the most part Babalawos operations within the realm of Egungun are somewhat limited in contrast to the other priests and priestesses in the religion.
Another important decision is what mode of worship you plan on engaging. Should you choose a traditional Anago Ifa Egbe (an Egbe which adheres to a strict Nigerian modes of worship). Or Lukumi Egbe (post diaspora mode of worship). While the latter was certainly spawned from the first it is different. Both are totally acceptable but have stark contrast in practice.
Ethics should be a major concern in all spiritual matters. Sizing up individuals comprising an Egbe can perhaps be the most difficult thing to do as one can only come to those realizations over time. Human frailties notwithstanding, certainly one should expect good moral behavior, cleanliness and a genuine concern by those elected to assist you in realizing your spiritual journey.
Oluwo Ifalasa Omolodun