People are saying:
Thanks so much for the invitation to contribute my experience. 17 years!!! Amazing. It blows my mind to imagine the exponential impact that your work has had on all of us and our families of origin AND our communities. If I just count the people in my world that have been impacted by the transformation the Institute has made possible in my life…it numbers in the hundreds.
The opportunity to have a reading on our cosmic union and are a retreat designed specifically for the growth and evolution of our couple has been priceless. Learning the sacred odu for our relationship (Ogunda Ogbe) has given so much clarity to the divine role we play in each other’s lives and has given us a tangible way to create an evolutionary relationship every day. We also gained sacred insight into the connections between the purpose of our relationships and the legacies of our families of origin. Sangodare even wrote a song inspired by the odu and used it for a special surprise growth proposal. Out of this insight we have been able to create collective commitment, a context that honors both our role in each other’s lives to cut through all blockages and open the way for light and also our shared role to bring light to our communities.
The blessing of my father’s access to a whole life oracle reading from Baba and Iya goes beyond words (and both my father and I have a LOT of words.) My father was able to reclaim his purpose and destiny as a king in the spiritual sense of the word. He had this reading towards the end of his physical life, but he lived the end of his life with profound purpose. The fact that his origin odu (Ogunda Ogbe) is the same as our relationship odu (mentioned above) was profound for us while he was alive (he felt that it was a sacred message) and has become even more profound after his death. He died before our first collective commitment ceremony and the ceremony was the same week as his memorial service in Anguilla. The oracle made it perfectly clear that our relationship (and all our relationships) is a direct continuation of the life mission of my father to clear the way for the light of creation and creativity to come through everyone.
The Sacred Feminine Mysteries Priestess Initiation has been a blessing to my whole family. The multiple generations that are alive now and far beyond. During this initiation my father and grandfather dying, and my sister was on a journey to give birth. At this time of major shift for my family (and it turns out our planet) the access to the tools to go deep within, to connect with my cosmic purpose beyond the physical plane and to commune with ancient ancestors and future realities has allowed me to be present to the divine purpose for everything and to serve as a healer and creative presence in my family in a deeper way than ever before. This initiation also happened as my first books were released into the world and the divine grounding of this work has allowed my work as a scholar, artist and writer to resonate on a level beyond ego and smarts, that activates accessible transformative love across the planet. And the journey continues every moon cycle, every week, and every day.
Love love love,
Namah Lilah Mingshee (Alexis Pauline Gumbs)
Although 2016 was the first year I attended the weekend to honor the Great Mother, I have had opportunity to speak with and receive from Iya lots of wisdom, assistance, and healing guidance. Typical of Iya and Baba, they invited me to do what I do and be what I am. This was a powerful weekend for me: to get to be fully embodied and fully manifested; to call the ancestors; to help facilitate healing. Am grateful for the opportunity to be with other women in praise and healing; and to be with men in the same space. I love that Iya and Baba continue to open their arms and home to “traditional” practitioners from many walks and for those who walk paths older than tradition. Am grateful that they have created a community where all can show up fully themselves without apology. This is such a gift to receive from one’s elders. I look forward to working with them in the future. – Much love and grace, always, -M. Eliza Abbgunde Hamilton
Over the past few years of knowing Iya Osunnike and Baba Koleoso, I’ve been honored to receive spiritual intuitive readings and attend weekend journeys of exploration and celebration. I started my journey with the Institute of Whole Life Healing when a good friend and sister gifted me a reading with Iya Osunnike. The spiritual reading was so powerful and spot on. I was on a spiritual journey, but I wasn’t living a life in tune with my spiritual values with regard to all my relationships. Iya was so free of judgment and full of love in offering interpretation and advice during this challenging time in my life. It felt especially heart-warming since I had never met her, let alone, had a conversation with her prior to this reading. It charged and encouraged me to dive further into myself and learn more about the spiritual blockages that prevent me from achieving my life purpose. It also encouraged me to look more deeply into the need for ancestral healing. Before I left to visit my homeland, I received an Odu reading with Iya. Chanting and connecting with this sacred Odu truly helped me achieve a space of healing and peace with my ancestors, both on their land and in my womb space. I give so much thanks to Iya for helping me cultivate this space of magic and healing within my being.
Since then, I’ve been honored to meet with and share space with Iya and Baba-ji through the Igniter weekend and the Great Mother celebration. These opportunities have allowed me to tap into my sacred power and to continue to work towards honoring my worth and purpose in my work life and in relationships. I’m still a work in progress, but I have no doubt that much of my emotional and spiritual growth is in part thanks to my spiritual family and the way they’ve taught me about the discipline of having a spiritual practice. Each opportunity to be present with Iya Osunnike and Baba-ji has been a treasured one. They are gifted with the light of divinity, like all of us, but the difference is that they work to access and share this light with all of humanity. They have always given me spiritually resonant and healing advice to help guide me through my own spiritual transformation and arrival into sacred womanhood. The love-filled work that they offer our communities is priceless and so necessary. It’s incredible that we have such beautiful beings as Iya and Baba willing to share spiritual practices with our communities, so we can continue to collectively evolve into a more divine space of human consciousness. I intend to begin the SFM journey within the next year or two, so I look forward to deepening my journey with the Institute over the next few years. -Sheena
My Whole Life Reading with Baba Koleoso and Iya Osunnike laid the foundation for my spiritual path over these last six years. The reading was extremely comprehensive and provided important and highly accurate insight on my spiritual, mental, relational, physical, and emotional well being. Because the reading included the consultation of several different oracles from different traditions, I received rich guidance that has continued to be a guiding light in my development. I continue to refer back to this reading to better understand my life and purpose. It is an invaluable investment!
Iya Osunnike is the most spiritually perceptive, loving, and intuitive guru that I have encountered on my path. She is able to gracefully yet powerfully understand the roots of spiritual imbalance and challenge, and offer clear and specific guidance toward healing. I have referred many women to her and all have shared that they felt safe, empowered, and understood during their session; all of them left with greater insight on their lives and greater clarity on how to further evolve. All of my readings with Osunnike have been fruitful and given me more tools to realize my purpose in this lifetime.
My Weekend Healing Intensive was truly a transformational experience. Every aspect of the two days that I spent with Iya Osunnike and Baba Koleoso was thoughtfully designed for my spiritual, physical, and emotional needs. I ate fed delicious, nourishing food, engaged in deep ritual practice that allowed me to connect with my body and begin to heal ancestral trauma, and received loving and highly insightful counseling in many areas of my life. I left the weekend feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and with much greater clarity. Without a doubt this was the best investment in self care I have ever made.
The Sacred Feminine Mysteries Initiation completely transformed my life. It allowed me to uncover personal and ancestral wounds–wounds which had caused unhealthy patterns in my life and which had caused me to shut off essential parts of myself. SFM also helped me recognize the expansiveness and power of who I am AM, particularly as a feminine being in this lifetime; it has allowed me to own my gifts and to begin to better articulate my life purpose. Most importantly, Iya Osunnike has helped me cultivate the tools I need to consciously continue on my path of spiritual evolution so that I can be of service to humanity.
I attended an Igniter Weekend in 2011, which set me on my path to claiming my power as a feminine being. Through that experience a very deep, divine part of me was reawakened and I began to truly hear the wisdom of my intuition and recognize the ancient knowing that lived in my womb and my heart.
Love & Blessings,
Aboru, Aboye, Abosise Awo Koloeso and Apetabi Iya Osunike:
I pray that the ancestors and Orisa are blessing you!
I am still sitting in the healing energy of Oshun’s grace and light.
Before too much time passes, I want to share with you the vision(s) that came and the messages that came through during my profound experience on the mat at your home. Feel free to use this testimony for your archives or web site or for clients who would like to know a LITTLE of what they might experience.
On 3/23/2010 I had my very first healing session with Ifa Priestess and Olorisha Iya Osunnike. I was scheduled to have a divination with Awo Koleoso but decided to have this at a separate time so that I could sit still and absorb the intense Ase of my first session with the Apetabi. I am clear that my work is not complete until Ifa speaks to me through the Awo’s oracle.
It’s important to note that I am a 20 year veteran civil rights activist, community and world healer, Iyalocha (presiding priestess of a Yoruba temple in Denver), High Priestess of Yemoja and Ifa who has been on the battle zone far too long.
I am also a mother, grandmother of four boys, wife, sister, auntie, friend, as well as a writer, poet and journalist who uses her words to heal herself and others and to end wars and fight battles for justice. A few months ago, Orisa sent me to the back of the formation (like they do pilots who’ve been at war too long) for reflection, restoration and resurrection.
Upon arriving at the temple of the Whole Life Institute, Iya Osunnike had the insight to allow me to engage her spiritual counsel. I believe it was this exchange that tore down the walls or as she put them, “the guard rails” that allowed me to open up to consider my own healing. Our sharing was much more than just talking.
I arrived there closed, in my own self-made prison (which I thought was a place of safety and protection from the daggers of life as an activist). As we began to dialogue my heart chakra began to open, I fought back tears many times, and then my Ori began to recognize her as one of my healers. I was reminded that I was in a safe space both by her and my Egun (ancestors). She not only heard what I was saying, she heard what I wasn’t saying….
Through our dialogue, Iya was able to diagnose many of the areas and levels she was being called to treat me for. She was like a doctor doing a spiritual evaluation through words, through energy being cast off through tone, body language and expression. She is profound at the art of listening and hearing with her third eye and heart chakra. To me, this is the mark of a master Shaman.
Later we ascended to the healing room. After I gave my offerings to the Orisa, I was instructed to retire to the mat, her healing mat. This was a spiritual journey in and of itself.
The mat’s spiritual alignment with the shrines in her altar room, with the specific Mandalas that surround the shrine, with windows and doors in the room–only a Shamaness selected by God and the Orisa could orchestrate physical alignment to this level. I felt every beam of light moving through the altar room.
When the mat work began I was asked to close my eyes. And having my sight cut off forced me inward, forced me to align my own Ori with the spiritual surgery and surgeon that I was now in conjunction with. When sight is cut off, as we all know, the inner journey is intensified.
There are many other things I could share about my experience but I feel intuitively that the Shaman’s rituals must not be fully exposed in writing. So I will share only those experiences which my Orisa tell me are approved for public review.
During my time on the mat, three animals came to me–they may’ve been Apetabi’s totems–or perhaps they are animals that walk with me too. Perhaps these were animals which Iya recognized as my totems and called/invoked to come forward to help her do the work. They say that a truly great healer opens you up so that you can heal yourself….
There was a bear–he worked on my left breast which has always given me trouble. Being positioned over my heart has not helped it any. Being the sensitive Yemoja priest that I am, I carry a great deal of energy in my heart which my breast tends to absorb. I have set intentions not to follow the family tradition of having breast cancer. I have made it almost 50 years with clear breast screenings. I not only reject the idea of getting breast cancer just because my mother and father’s sister did, I continue NOT to set up the condition for cancer in my breast by doing self-care, setting boundaries and limits, by choosing to eat right most of the time, by drinking fresh organic juice and exercising.
The bear crouched over me as he scissored out any unhealthy cells in my breast. I could feel his breath eradicating the non-cancerous tumors I’m told I have in my left breast.
Then there was a snake who wrapped itself around my Ori. He said he was Damballah. This took place as the Apetabi was chanting Odu into my heart and crown chakra (that’s what it felt like). I felt the snake’s scales and the coldness of his skin as he cleansed my ori of self-doubt, fear, anger, anguish, mistrust and negating messages (both internal and external). At first I was scared because though I respect snakes, snakes are not my favorite species. But he told me to relax, to breathe, to trust him to do what he came to do. He slithered away when he was done. His body felt heavier than it did when he arrived.
Then I felt Apetabi shapeshift. I truly felt that she was no longer in the room. I felt the presence of a large, powerful leopard. Then a cougar arrived too. Then Iya shapeshifted again and became the Oshun with the red sash, the warrior Oshun Ibukole who goes to battle with negating forces. She was fighting off entities who feed on people’s hearts and souls with their negativity. I felt these entities leaving my person, then leaving the room, then leaving the house.
Then the two large cats returned and worked on my digestive system, my reproductive organs, my womb, the birth canal and the kundalini energy that flows from the base of my spine by opening up the energy there that was blocked by me watering the seeds of hurt and resentment for far too long. At this point, it felt like the mat was levitating. My body felt weightless. Yemoja arrived.
For a while I fought being mounted by Yemoja and asked her instead to help with my healing. I wanted to be present and felt possession by the Orisa would take me away from the gift I was being given. When my Yemoja comes down it is usually to do work for others and I really wanted my own time, wanted something to be all about me.
The final phase of the healing was the closure of metaphoric stripes on my back. I could feel pure light stitching these lashes closed. I could feel a spiritual salve being placed over the wounds. I could feel thorns, daggers, the imprints of fists; hate filled names (bitch, nigger etc.) on my back that had been tattooed by seen and unseen negating forces being stripped off my back, being exorcised. Then there was a spiritual hand on my back which was light, pure light, restoring the outer layer, the inner layer, the inner most layer–my soul. I fought going into a convulsive cry…I channeled that crying/purging energy into light to heal my heart.
Finally, my ancestors came. My Aunt Janice, who was an activist and frontline community organizer, who Osunnike accurately said had unfinished business with me. Iya was on the money. The night my Aunt died, I was on my way to the hospital to see her but was so exhausted from my flight that I went on to the hotel with the intention to see her the next day. She crossed over that night.
My aunt and I finally got to say goodbye. She gave me the messages she wanted me to have about my health and how to continue take care of it.
I was also given messages from Iya about my mother who crossed over in 2008. Iya shared that mom was doing light work with kids from the other side who were healing from various issues. And this made so much sense–my mother loved children. A Yemoja in her own right, she’d had taught art to inner city kids for three decades when she was a school teacher in South Central Los Angeles.
After a meditative resting period, I rose from the mat and went into two yoga poses. The downward dog which segued into the mountain pose. I was free….
I did receive a few messages for Apetabi.
One, the book must be published. Must set a date for publication. The Orisa said she is to write something about healing ancestral karma and rebirthing one’s divine purpose. This is a part of my role in her life to help her birth this baby that is her book.
Two, I saw her officializing her healing modality in a clinical sense and introducing it to academia (Chinese medicine, holistic medicine audiences)
Three, I saw her becoming a renowned lecturer and writer on something the Orisa called, AARM, African-American ritual medicine (combines rituals of Africa with the cultural and ritual practices from our southern roots). She would be the one to bring this modality to an international audience.
Four, I saw her getting some sort of clinical title (only for legal reasons–the medicine is already in her blood, her DNA).
Five, I saw her and Baba’s model for Orisa worship being a model for a new era of Orisa spirituality.
What an incredible journey this was. I continue to sit still in the light of Oshun’s grace and power.
May Yemoja bring your blessings 100,000 fold for healing her daughter/sister Oshun.
My partner got a good chuckle about her little medicine men and women who came to help….
Ase, ase, ase,
Ifalade Ta’Shia Asanti
I am blessed to have been introduced to Reiki Ase Natural Healing technique by Osunnike Robin Scott-Manna. She initiated me to Reiki Level I and this experience has assisted me toward greater levels of self-healing than I ever thought imaginable. New insights and abilities to understand who I am are present in my life. Even though I do not perform Reiki professionally, I have performed this healing technique with several of my friends. I hope to expand my use of this beautiful and powerful spiritual energy force in the future under Osunnike’s gracious guidance by achieving Reiki Second Degree in the near future. I am truly grateful and honored to know and learn from such an incredible spiritual teacher.
Baba Koleoso give’s you inspiration and strength for life. He’s dynamic in his lectures, he has purpose and he’s a strong family man. He first befriended me and my family during the National Student Leadership Conference @ Rust College and event held yearly by Dr. A. J. Stovall. Since then, he’s introduced me to the Sweat Lodge, I’ve received my Ilekes and he’s lectures at many of our retreats. Many people agree that he leaves you informed, inspired to do more than you’ve done before and committed to the community. “Ancesteral Voices” gives you insight into the man behind the voice, the instruction and the life of a true warrior. He’s been very instrumental in giving me peace and a voice of my own(the Sweat Lodge).
I love you Baba,
“Iya and Baba are TRULY my Godparents. They have been so supportive, nonjudgmental and on point with their wise counsel. I honestly do not have any other elders in my life that I can turn to when I really need sound, wise counsel. I am also a Sacred Feminine Mysteries Initiate. My life as been completely transformed as a result of this process. Osunnike….it is sometimes difficult for me to actually put into words what I think about her because it is just that deep. What comes to my mind as I write this is that she is truly a great example of womanhood. Not just because she is so wonderful, but because she is also so real. That is one of the reasons this process has been so powerful for me. Also, Sacred Feminine Mysteries initiation has been powerful because of my new found connection with our Greatest Mother, The Goddess. Again, I am at a loss for words when I think about how powerful this connection has become for me. LIFE SAVING!!!!! SFM has been life saving for me. I know that each and everyday, I continue to rise to my highest and greatest good because I have acknowledged and acted on my connection to the Sacred Feminine Mysteries within me.
“My whole life reading has proven to be pivotal. I constantly refer back to it as issues and experiences arise in my life. I got my whole life reading in August, 2002. This is April, 2006 and I think I revisit the reading, either on paper or in my head, at least 5-6 times per month. The reading has been more than on point, it has been TRUTH. And the parts that I did not fully understand when I spoke with Baba and Iya, now make complete sense. I think that what has been most fulfilling for me when it comes to this reading is that it helped me accept parts of myself that I may have been trying to change to make others happy and it helped me to recognize aspects of myself that need improvement and healing. For instance, in my reading, Baba emphasized how critical meditation is for my spiritual path. I have struggled to meditate consistently. Just recently, my mind was so scattered that I reminded myself that had I followed the counsel of Baba sooner, then I would not be so scattered. I have since begun to meditate more consistently and of course, I am much more calm and unified.
My advice: GET A WHOLE LIFE READING!!!! You will never be the same if you take heed to the reading.” There is not one friend of mine who I have not told about Osunnike and Koleoso. Treasures…..they are TRULY TREASURES!”
I have been doing energy healing work for six years. The people that I use as my healers are Osun and Koleoso. They have a rare and unique talent of being able to hold a person while the wounds that cause disease and pain are healed. I come to Lexington every 3 months or so to do energy healing work and am often unavailable to clients who have emergencies. I refer clients to Oshun and/or Koleoso when a client needs help and I am unavailable. They have enriched my life and filled my soul with riches beyond measure.
-Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
For over 10 years I have had the pleasure of being loved and directed by Iya Osunnike unconditionally. We have never met, yet from the moment I called her we were linked by Osun and the Ancestors. These past two years, my life needed an anchor in Ifa and when I reached out, Iya grabbed my hand, hoisted me up on her shoulders, and pushed me gently into the realm that had opened for me. She says: I am here for you. I am watching you. As your elder, it is my responsibility to support the work you do. Little sister, I am here.
-M. Eliza Abbgunde Hamilton
I realized I have been through alot with you all. I have used alot of your services and have and still am benefitting from them. The couples weekend was one of the best things ever for my family. If it have not been for the work that Ibrima Faal and I did with you all we may not have the strong foundation that we have today. Our family probably would not exisit. That intense healing session that we went through with you all is what allowed us to break through the sea of “boxes” that was keeping us disconnected. We had the blessing of our Divine Ancestors to proceed in marriage, so that was not the problem. What was needed for us to succeed was wisdom from an elder married spiritual based couple just like it was in our Afrikan cultural history. Because of the torn family base that we both were birthed from with not much (we did have some, but not much) spiritually based couples that we could turn to for marriage counseling we are blessed to have had Baba and Mama to direct us then and now.
I first met Iya Osunnike on the cusp of the millennium. During my session, she asked me why are you wishing to die? My eyes popped open because deep within my spirit I knew it was true but I did not want to know consciously and I did not want anyone else knowing. In essence, she made me aware of this unhealthy desire and changed my life.
I believe that I am here and thriving today because of the seed of life she planted within me seven years ago.
My most recent encounter with her was equally as powerful. I came to her because I was in pain with a stomach ache that had lasted since I lost my last baby more than a year before. I told her that I felt something was in me and that I wanted to push it out. On the second day of my treatment we discovered that I had been carrying twins and that the spirit of one of them had remained in my womb. That is why I felt heavy and ached.His birth was long overdue. The reiki, sound and energetic treatments were so powerful that I have not felt that pain since I left Kentucky and the spirit of my baby was taken safely into the arms of Mother Mary and the spiritual midwives.
I respect Iya Osunnike as a healer, woman, and teacher. She plants seeds and allows you to grow without being a spiritual busybody. Iya Osunnike exudes love and kindness. Most of all, she possesses an abundant amount of spiritual maturity that is sometimes hard to find in those who have been blessed with a lot of spiritual power.
Baba Koleoso has also been a blessing to me. I utilize his presentation of my Whole Life Reading as a roadmap for everything I do in my life. In addition, he is insightful and transmits peace, love and balance. I take any advice he offers seriously and I appreciate him because in him I see what every Black man should strive to be.
-P. Dennis. Baltimore , MD