West African traditions have been followed for centuries, and countless people adhere to them to this very day. Chances are that you have come across Diloggun and Obi Divination. When we talk about Obi Divination, it is a West African system used to foretell the future. It originates from the Yoruba religion and is practiced by New World lineages like the Santeria. Obi readers use four cuts of cowrie shells or four pieces of coconut to answer questions for clients, whereas the African form uses kola nuts.

Obi literally translates to coconut in the Yoruba language. The Lukumi religion considers it to be an Orisha or deific spirit. As for the contemporary hoodoo practice, Obi is used to divine answers. American obi readers even use four coins if kola nuts, coconuts, or cowries are unavailable. Similarly, Diloggun Divination also has African origins. It is commonly practiced among Afro-Caribbean practitioners. However, diviners who use the method tend to be initiated, priests. They employ specific religious techniques and perform complex rituals when casting the cowrie shells.

Use of Coconut
Obi Divination is commonly performed by using coconut. It is an easy and quick form of fortune-telling. Four coconut pieces are cast or thrown to do a reading. Hoodoo adopted Obi readings through contact between African diasporic religions and American spiritual practitioners. It is important to note that Obi readings only provide answers in “Yes” or “No.” The physic reader would hold four coconuts in their hand to tell your fortune. They would pray for the answer and toss the coconuts onto the ground or a mat. The way the coconuts fall would allow them to get the answer that you desire. Coconut pieces will either fall outside up or inside up.

From a mathematical perspective, the toss would generate either of sixteen possible combinations. These would be grouped to provide five possible answers as mentioned below.
Alafia: It happens when 4 white coconut pieces are up. The response is in the affirmative and provides blessings. One can even get more than they requested when they receive such a response. Alafia simply means peace which means that the light will assist you.
Etawa: It occurs when there is 1 dark and 3 white coconut pieces. It means that you would get what you desire. However, you would have to be prepared for delays and must work hard. Etawa can be considered an unstable response as it reveals that the outcome would be dependent on different factors.

Ejife: It occurs when 2 dark and 2 white coconut pieces appear. It is a definite response. However, you would be cautioned not to ask further questions as the Orisha Spirit of Divination would get mad.
Okanran: If there are 3 dark and 1 white coconut pieces, it means “No” and requires more effort from your end.
Oyeku: Finally, if you get 4 dark coconut pieces, it is a firm “No.” Hence, you would require serious spiritual cleansing for getting rid of negative conditions