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The Yoruba Orisha Part 2 (Part 1

An Orisha (also spelled Orisa or Orixa) is a spirit or deity that reflects one of the manifestations of Olodumare (God) in the Yoruba religious system. (Olodumare is also known by various other names includ
ing Olorun, Eledumare, Eleda and 

Olofin-Orun). This religion has found its way throughout the world and is now expressed in practices as varied as Candomblé, Lucumí/Santería, Shango in Trinidad, Anago and Oyotunji, as well as in some aspects of Umbanda, Winti, Obeah, Vodun and a host of others.

These varieties or spiritual lineages are practiced throughout areas of Nigeria, the Republic of Benin, Togo, Brazil, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela among others. As interest in Yoruba religion system grows, Orisha communities and lineages can be found in parts of Europe and Asia as well. While estimates may vary, some scholars believe that there could be more than 150 million adherents of this spiritual tradition worldwide.

(Please note some of the Orisha have male/female personifications)

Click here for A brief understanding 

 

Courtesy: James C. Lewis (http://www.noire3000studios.com)


Do not remove the original comments.

Diasporic Heroes #4

Adechina Remigio Herrera (Obara Meji)

Adechina (“Crown of Fire”) is credited as being one of the most important founding fathers of Ifa in Cuba. A Yoruba born in Africa and initiated as a babalawo there, he was enslaved and taken to Cuba as a young man in the 1830s. Legend has it that he swallowed his sacred ikin ifa used in divination in order to take them with him across the ocean. An intelligent and gifted man, he later bought his freedom and became a powerful property owner in the Havana suburb of Regla. In addition to his large African and Creole religious family he had many influential godchildren from Havana’s Spanish, white elite and had important high society connections. He set up a famous religious institution, the Cabildo of the Virgin of Regla (the Cabildo Yemaya) in around 1860, which became a powerful centre of Ifa and Orisha worship. Along with his daughter, the famous Ocha priestess Echu Bi, he organised the annual street procession on the feast day of the Virgin of Regla, every September 7th. Each year seminal Afrocuban drummers like Pablo Roche Okilakpa would sound the mighty Ilú batá in honour of Yemaya as they processed around the town. Incredibly, Adechina is also reputed to have returned to Africa, the land of his birth, in order to acquire the sacred materials needed to initiate babalawos. He returned again to Cuba with these sacred items in order to build Ifa there.

All the mojubas (prayers and recitals of lineage to honour the ancestors) of babalawos in Cuba include Adechina.

A great man who helped carry African profound spiritual knowledge to the Americas, my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather in Ifa, I salute you.

Mo juba Oluwo Adechina Obara Meji, ibae bae tonu.

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The Yoruba Orisha Part 1 (Part 2)

An Orisha (also spelled Orisa or Orixa) is a spirit or deity that reflects one of the manifestations of Olodumare (God) in the Yoruba religious system. (Olodumare is also known by various other names includ
ing Olorun, Eledumare, Eleda and 

Olofin-Orun). This religion has found its way throughout the world and is now expressed in practices as varied as Candomblé, Lucumí/Santería, Shango in Trinidad, Anago and Oyotunji, as well as in some aspects of Umbanda, Winti, Obeah, Vodun and a host of others.

These varieties or spiritual lineages are practiced throughout areas of Nigeria, the Republic of Benin, Togo, Brazil, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela among others. As interest in Yoruba religion system grows, Orisha communities and lineages can be found in parts of Europe and Asia as well. While estimates may vary, some scholars believe that there could be more than 150 million adherents of this spiritual tradition worldwide.

(Please note many Orisha have male/female personifications)

Click here for a Brief understanding. 

Courtesy: James C. Lewis (http://www.noire3000studios.com/)

Do not remove the original comments.


"A higher wisdom." That’s how one of my mentors describes the Ifa spiritual tradition. Ifa, the sacred oracle that has guided the Yoruba tribe since the beginning of time, knows your destiny as well as mine. Ifa says there is so much more to you than you can see yourself. Ifa challenges you to see beyond illusions: to question the way that you think and the way that you live. Ifa is an intellectual challenge, a spiritual workout, a way of life. An ancient path to empowerment and self-discovery."

Black Americans, Orisha, & Spiritual Homegoing
  • Black Americans, Orisha, & Spiritual Homegoing
  • Rev. Dr. Mark A. Ogunwale Lomax - Atlanta, GA
Play

Christianity would call Yoruba religion “the devil’s work.” Some in Ifa have exactly zero tolerance for the Christian way.

And then, perhaps by Eshu’s grace, there is at their crossroads Mark Lomax. As Reverend Dr. Lomax, he is a Presbyterian minister and head of the First Afrikan Church in Lithonia, Georgia. As Ogunwale, he is an initiate of Ifa - his conviction there too as hearty as the forged metal beloved by Lomax’s guiding Orisha Ogun, the deity of iron.

For Dr. Lomax - a black American raised in the Church of God in Christ - there are so many parallels between the two belief systems.

What he also understands, and explains here, is that for black people in this country, Yoruba takes one extra, vital, step - a sankofan traversal of the Atlantic (and the ancestral bones powdering its floors)  that makes the religion especially special. 

"For many African Americans," Lomax explains, "this is an opportunity to get home, to travel, at the level of the spirit."

Osanyin is the orisha of herbal medicine. This is one of the most neglected orisha in all of the world’s indigenous systems. As a result, the Europeans’ most powerful weapon against melanin-rich people has been the usurpation of their healthcare. There is no greater power. The control of the FDA and health insurance companies have made it so that it is difficult to escape his authority over your health. If there is only one goal that we have in the liberation of our people, it is the reclamation of our control over our own healthcare. Even in the so-called orisha worshipping community many of you are bedazzled by babalawo who travelled to Nigeria. They know countless rituals and love nothing more than to “consult Ifa for you” for a nominal fee. However, if you ask them about their knowledge of herbs they will focus on the chanting of words of power and more mysticism. They generally have done little worshipping of Osanyin. While there are various specialties for all babalawo today, in the Pre-Maafa Yorubaland, you could not call yourself a babalawo without extensive knowledge of effective herbal medicinal practices. The babalawo, or Father of Secrets, first role was not a diviner, but a healer!

For those who have taken the step of doing kariosha (ceremony to become an olosha or priest in Santaria) I have news for you; there is no way of getting rid of the orisha once it is seated on your head. You can do as many ceremonies as you want, you can renounce the orishas until you are blue on the face, you can do a hunger strike, you can do as you please, but the orisha will be sealed inside your skull until you take your last breath and itutu follows.

Very interesting article that many should read before taking the step to making Osha or just jumping into the religion.

 I think this foto may be related to Santeria, or another religious practices from Africa. In matriarchal groups, the women were  priestesses, had the power, and tobacco was part of the practice to enable connection with spirits.  I am not married to any one religion or philosophy—-I take bits and pieces from many earth spaces and regions, with deep connection and allegiances to Oshun and most recently Lakshmii. I had a ceremony where I married Oshun and Lakshmi—-OHHH LA LA! I share this foto because I love HER—from the moment I saw this Goddess Woman——I loved her. She is sooo cute, playful, alive—-such a yummy soul. The eyes, the smile, the cigar swag! As a non smoker, I love watching women smoke—I think it invokes the deity within me to show up and show out. Kiss!

Ori is a metaphysical concept important to Yoruba spirituality and way of life.

Ori, literally meaning “head,” refers to one’s spiritual intuition and destiny. It is the reflective spark of human consciousness embedded into the human essence, and therefore is often personified as an Orisha in its own right . In Yoruba tradition, it is believed that human beings are able to heal themselves both spiritually and physically by working with the Orishas to achieve a balanced character, or iwa-pele. When one has a balanced character, one obtains an alignment with one’s Ori or divine self.

Alignment with one’s Ori brings, to the person who obtains it, inner peace and satistaction with life. To come to know the Ori is, essentially, to come to know oneself, a concept extremely foreign to Western philosophy. The primacy of individual identity is best captured in a Yoruba proverb: “Ori la ba bo, a ba f’orisa sile”. When translated, this becomes It is the inner self we ought to venerate, and let divinity be.

Oriki Ori:

Ori o,

When I look for my path, it is you who walks beside me

may we walk in harmony and not stumble upon each others feet

When I am in my darkest hour, it is you who shine a light

may our depths of sorrow always be matched by heights of joy

When I am lost and without direction, it is you who takes my hand

may wisdom reign in the kingdom of our soul

When I am alone in the darkness I ask

my Ori, what are you?  

you are the other reality inside

you are the owner of righteous intuition you are my power to observe,

reason and inspire you are my one real identity

you are me

Ori o bless your omo

Ase o

Photography Courtesy: James C. Lewis (http://www.noire3000studios.com)

 Text by: Teekay Akin

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