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Does a Babalawo tell "All"?

Being a competent Babalawo is quite different from being a "wise" Babalawo. Over the years I have seen our own initiates take one of two paths: a) the easy one or b) the wise one. In the easy path you yes and no your way through life. In the wise path, you use your experience, knowledge and understanding of the client to make the divination meaningful AND useful. The following is an example of how that works.

A client of mine with a two year old daughter, and a nine month pregnancy, called me for a reading. She was concerned on several points. Her two year old, a bright, beautiful child had been born with a small hole in her heart. Heart specialists had informed her that the likelihood was that the hole would close by itself, and in the event that it did not, was repairable through surgery. My client had been cautioned that the only thing to be aware of was a period of unexplained lethargy, poor skin color and general lassitude from the child. So, when a week of what appeared to be a virus dragged on to two, and when the Day Care informed the parents that the child was just "lying around," the mother became concerned.

She had taken the little girl to her Pediatrician who found nothing specific.but thought it was probably a virus.

In addition she was worried about the delivery of the second child. She had gone through a protracted and difficult labor with the first baby.

So, she had called for divination.


The reading showed the child off path in an energy of pressure on the temporal side and ancestral influence on the emotional/spiritual side. I began to subset the issues:

(As I do in many readings, I do NOT ask every question out loud. While the clients specific questions will always be addressed, the most efficient, accurate way of obtaining those answers is one of the skills of the experienced Babalawo. An ancient Yoruba proverb translates to: " A Babalawo is as good as the questions they ask." )

Q: Is the child's heart o.k.?
A: No

Q: Will the child be all right from the heart issue?
A: Yes

Q: Is the child's lethargy caused by a virus?
A: Yes

Q: Will she soon be over it?
A: Yes

Q: Would the labor with this child be as difficult as the first?
A: No

With those six questions I had pretty well identified the issues. BUT, a major question remained: Was there any point, anything to be gained, by informing the mother her little girl's heart was still an issue?"

After years and years of readings, your mind almost instantly organizes the facts for you. Much more quickly than it takes to write this, my mind took into consideration that 1. the client was a highly emotional Osun; 2. the client was within weeks of delivering another child; 3. the first little girl would be fine; 4. if I informed her of the heart problem she would worry and be frantic and probably result in a less than optimum delivery for the new baby.

So, What I did tell her was that the child had a virus, that the lethargy was not caused by her heart, that she would soon be fine, and that the delivery for the next baby would be slightly easier than the first. She was also advised to do a fruit cleansing of the baby through Osun. The mother was happy.

A week later the client called from her car following the annual visit to the little girls cardiologist. Indeed, the hole had not completely closed. But, the Doctor had assured her that either it would close, or that, if it did not, it would not effect the health, longevity or behavior of her daughter throughout her life.

Hearing that I understood the reading, and was comfortable that my decision not to needlessly stir the emotional waters had been correct.

It is the difference between wisdom and knowledge.


Oluwo Philip Neimark