Obi Divination


Most forms of divination that come from Yoruba Ifá traditions, such as divining with the Odu Ifá and dillogun (sixteen cowries shells), are completely closed without the required initiations and accompanying training within various religions such as Yoruba Ifá, Santería, or Condomblé. However, there is one method called Obi divination for yes/no answers that is open for black witches and rootworkers as a part of both hoodoo and these Ifá divination traditions. It’s quick, easy, and great for Afrocentric practitioners!

All you need for Obi divination is one set of the following…

Buy a coconut from the supermarket and cut it into four equally-sized pieces with white meat on one side and brown skin on the other


You can order cowrie shells quite easily online!


Four quarters, four pennies, four dimes, etc.

Methods for Casting the Obi

The general method for using the Obi is to throw the coconut pieces/cowrie shells/coins after praying over them and asking your yes or no question. You will want to consider which spirits you are asking to guide the Obi and answer your question. For example, Obi divination can be used to communicate with your ancestors, the orishas, or other guardian spirits.

However, keep in mind if you are a non-initiate of any ATR, there are certain boundaries you should not cross. For example, one absolutely cannot use this type of divination to determine which orisha rules your head, as that is something only an initiated priest or priestess can do for you.

Obi Correspondences

When the objects land after you toss them, each one will either land up or down, which we will refer to as “open” or “closed” here. See the chart below for reference, which will come in handy when reading the results.

Reading Your Results

ALAFIA  |  4 Open
A strong “yes!” Whatever was asked about will certainly and easily happen. This is also associated with blessings as a very positive answer!

ETAWA  |  3 Open + 1 Closed
A “maybe.” It may happen but there will likely be obstacles to work through. You may want to do a second toss as a follow-up to see just how difficult this endeavor may be. Okana or Oyeku as the second toss means “no.”

ELIFE  |  2 Open + 2 Closed 
Yes,” but do not question any further on the topic. If you continue to question it, the guiding spirit may become angry or upset with you.

OKANA  |  1 Open + 3 Closed 
This is a regular “no.” It will not come to pass, but that is all.

OYEKU  |  4 Closed  
This is a strong “no!” Unfortunately, this very negative answer and indicates that you probably need to cleanse yourself and seek out spiritual help or assistance of some kind as soon as possible.

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but from what I’ve read and seen, obi divination using only four cowry shells for yes/no answers is open to non-initates! (pics: x)