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Who are the Orishas?
(Versión en Español)

The Yoruba religion isn’t a polytheistic religion, although the Orishas are referred as Gods sometimes, there is only one supreme deity in our religion. God has the representations as the catholic religion does.

Olodumare, the creator of all things and father to us all. Olorun, the manifestation of God visible to us as the sun, the owner of the heavens. Olofi, the representation of god that communicates directly with the Orishas, teaching them what humans must know.

The Orishas are intermediaries between the humans and God also watch over us to report our actions to Olofi. Also they use their ‘aché’, or spiritual energy gave to them by Olofi, to maintain harmony in the world.

In the past, most of Orishas were humans and gained their status after death, similar to the Catholic saints.

The word Orisha means “head guardians” as they’re the ones watching us for Olofi. We can worship them, but they are never placed above Olodumare.

As previously told, each one of Olodumare’s eldest children are imbued with aché, with this spiritual power they guard the earth, watch over human affairs and the nature. They’re represented with colors, numbers and in occasions with the image of a Catholic Saint.

Here is a list of some of the Orishas and a little information about them:

Eleguá
Also known as Elegguá, Elewá and Elegbá. In catholic religion he’s represented by Saint Anthony.
Colors: Red and black
Number: 3 and 21
Eleguá is the first and one of the most important Orisha in Santeria. He is the owner of all paths and the witness of fate. He’s often perceived as a trickster who tests our integrity.

Ogún
Also known of Oggún. In catholic religion he’s represented by Saint Peter.

Colors: Green and black
Number: 3
Ogún is a mighty warrior, the divine blacksmith and the hardest working Orisha of them all. He is often perceived as a powerful muscular man wearing a skirt made of palm fiber and he carries a machete.

Ochosi
Also known as Ochossi, Oshoshi. Represented by Saint Norbert.
Colors: Blue and amber
Number: 3, 7
Ochosi is the divine hunter whose arrow never misses its mark. He is the force of blind justice that is applied equally to all. He is best friends with Eleguá and Ogún and is often found hunting with them.

Obatalá
Represented by Virgen de las Mercedes
Colors: White
Number: 8
He is the eldest of the Orishas, the owner of white cloth, the king of peace and logic. He encourages us to use diplomacy and reason when acting and is often the Orisha who mediates disputes between the others.

Ochún
Also known as Oshún, and represented by Our Lady of Carida Del Cobre.
Colors: Yellow and amber
Number: 5
Ochún is the Orisha of love and beauty. She is a generous and loving mother, but she can also quickly turn bitter if she is wronged. She is the youngest of the orishas and is depicted as a flirtatious, mixed-race woman dressed in yellow, gazing in a mirror.

Changó
Also known as Shango, Sango and Shangs. Represented by Saint Barbara.
Colors: Red and white
Number: 6
Changó is the king of the religion of and was once the fourth king of the city of Oyó in Yoruba land before he was deified and became an Orisha. He is the Orisha of lightning, thunder and fire, the owner of the sacred batá drums, the power of passion and virility. Changó is a ladies’ man and a charmer.

Yemayá
Also known as Yemoja and represented by Our Lady of Regla.
Colors: Blue and clear
Number: 7
Yemayá is the mother of all living things, the queen of heaven, earth and all waters. She resides in the ocean and is the mother of many of the other Orishas. In addition to being a loving mother she is a fierce protectress. She can fight with a machete or a scimitar and bathe in the blood of her enemies.

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Obatalá

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The orisha of the white cloth is Obatala. Obatala is the only orisha that has male and female aspects. He is the orisha that is the owner of all heads whether crowned or not crowned. Obatala is the orisha that Olofi entrusted to judge justice on the earth. Obatala is the purest of all orishas and one of the wisest orishas. He is said to vary from an old man that is always trembling to a young person that is riding a horse. Depending on the path, his main color is white with touches of other colors. Everything put to Obatala is white. He lives in a white tureen that contains his secrets and mysteries. He is a compassionate father and a good listener. He is the father that all that the orishas look for.

Obatala created mankind and it’s said that Olofi came and breathed life into his creations. Obatala as much as he is the owner of peace and tranquility, he is also a great and fierce warrior when he wants to. With his sword he battles against evil and triumphs over all. But when he is summoned it is to bring order and peace. He is the white pigeon that is seen flying over to announce peace is here. Obatala is associated with the mountains and high elevated place.

Pataki of Obatala

Olofi was thinking one day in the heavens about the creation of life down on the planet earth that him and Olodumare created. The planet earth was just water where Olokun ruled. Olofi called his wise court to sit and discuss the creation. Orula who was present told Olofi that life can be created on Olokun’s kingdom but an ebbo needed to be performed. Orula looked into the divination oracle that he had some knowledge of and told Olofi that someone wise had to perform this ebbo so that life can be created. Olofi told Obatala that he would be entrusted to perform this task. Orula looked deeper into the oracles and told Obatala that he had to descend with some items to create the lands where civilization and life can exist. Orula told Obatala that he had to descend on a long chain from the heavens with a hen and sand. Obatala asked Orula if that was all in which Orula replied yes.

The day came and Obatala descended onto the watery domain of Olokun and performed the ebbo that Orula spoke to him about. Right before his eyes the land started to appear right beneath his hanging feet. Obatala jumped down and was the first orisha to hit land. When Obatala looked up Elegua was descending on the chain. Obatala asked Elegua what was he doing and Elegua responded to him that he was seeing if he needed any type of help. Obatala started to walk the lands that were created from the heavens. Obatala and Elegua noticed how trees started to grow, grass started to grow, flowers were springing out. Obatala was happy and told Elegua to go back and tell Olofi that the work on earth is being done. Elegua climbed up the rope to tell Olofi what was going on. Olofi pleased, sent a white pigeon down to earth to Obatala which this became his symbol.

Olofi came to the earth and told Obatala that it was needed for some type of life form to be on the earth. Olofi said that he wanted mankind to walk the earth but did not want them to have the ashe that the orishas have. Obatala agreed and told Olofi that he would help him create mankind. Olofi told Obatala that he would give him that task as he had other things to create within the heavens and space. Obatala bowed his head and agreed to create mankind. Obatala asked how should he create mankind and Olofi told him to make them in human form just as the orishas. Olofi told Obatala to form them and when he was ready to call him and he would come down and breathe life into them. Obatala agreed and with the sands of the earth he started to form and mold what we are today. After a few hundred of molds Obatala called Olofi to come breath air and life into the molds. Olofi came and saw miles upon miles of human molds lying on the sands of the earth and proceeded to blow life into them. Once life was blown, these humans stood up and were told to make prosperous and humble lives praising Olodumare as the creator. They went in different directions and started to live their lives.

This went on for days and Obatala worked hard making human forms. The sun was hot supplying light and energy to the land and it made the job hard to do. But one day Obatala grew very tired and decided to take a break of his task that Olofi asked of him. He walked over to a tree that was giving shade to the land and sat underneath it. He took a breather and reached for his white pouch where he had his oti. Obatala sat under the tree and started to drink his oti to quench his thirst. Without realizing, he drank all of his oti and he had none left. Obatala stood up and staggered over to where his molds were. He began again molding and shaping human forms. But without noticing, his molds and creations were coming out a little weird. He made molds that were missing limps, he made deformed bodies, he made molds with no type of pigmentation and so forth. When he finished he did what he usually does and summoned Olofi to breathe life into them.

Olofi came to the earth and saw the molds lying lifeless on the sands and since he trusted and reviewed Obatala’s work in the past he did not notice that these molds were different. Olodumare proceeded to breathe life into these humans. When life was given to them, they stood up and Olofi noticed that they all had different deformed bodies. Olofi got upset and questioned Obatala on this creation he did. Obatala seeing this, knew that he did something wrong and disrespected Olofi’s overall dream. Obatala told Olofi that he was drinking and it made his mind blurry and he did not mean to do this. He begged Olofi for forgiveness and told Olofi that from this day forward he would take all of those creations as children of him. He would take care of them and look after them and keep them from harm. Olofi shook his head and accepted Obatala’s apology and request. Obatala also told Olofi that he would never drink again due to what he did with the creations of man.

Obatala’s feast day is September 24th, the same day as the catholic image, The Virgin Mary. His number is 8 and all multiples of it. Obatala is a loving and caring father not only to his children but to the other orishas. The orishas seek advice and give a high respect to the great orisha. Obatala which means father of the cloth is said to cover all man and earth from harm. He loves all that is white and all of his offerings are made of white, whether it is foods or animal sacrifice. He loves white yams, snails, fruits, white cloths and etc. Everything given to him must be topped with efún (powdered egg shell) or orí (cocoa butter). Obatala walks with a tall walking staff and with his white iruke, cleaning himself and the world. Obatala does have children as said above and he is initiated on their heads. His children are very smart and wise and they can also be very sneaky. He is the patron orisha of all deformed humans such as albinos, down syndrome humans, and the medically challenged. He also has children that he created who do not have any of these symptoms but he took their heads due to he loves them dearly. Obatala’s sacrificial animals are all white and they are female goats, hens, pigeons, guinea hens. In some of his aspects he eats roosters and turtles as well. His abode is made up of nothing but the finest and purest white cloths found. He is the owner of silver that the orisha Boyuto found and gave to him. He is a swift and just judge. He is the one that contains the key to his son Ochosi’s house. Whenever there is war or disagreement amongst the orishas, humans or nations, Obatala is summoned to bring peace and restore order.

The paths of Obatala.

* Only listing a few paths as there is about 24 paths of Obatala

Baba Ayaguna

Ayaguna is the young and warrior aspect of Obatala. His colors are white with touches of red. He is said to have brought war to the world while in his warrior aspect. Ayaguna rides on a white horse swaying his sable. This Obatala takes everything that has to do with war. You can place bullets, swords, spears, arrows, a white horse that is packed with different secrets and covered with a red cape. Ayaguna is said to have drank a lot as well and he is always bring revolution to where he goes. In this aspect he fights and guards his children with a heavy hand. When he comes down, he imitates the act of swinging his sword and riding a horse. He is the son of Osagrinan and he takes a white and red flag next to him or in the house where he resides. He is the ONLY Obatala that in certain cases of war and battle he will take corojo in his osain or foods.

Baba Osagrinan

Osagrinan is an old Obatala who was married to Oshanla. Osagrinan is said to walk with a walking staff or preferably 2 crutches that he uses. Osagrinan’s color is white with touches of coral or red. It is said that he hears all and when this Obatala gets upset he releases his crutches and dances on one leg. He is the father of Orula. When Osagrinan comes down, he dances and trembles like an old man. His vessel is broken into 4 different compartments where different secrets live including some of Ifa. He also lives on top of a table of Ifa that was given to him by his son Orula.

Baba Agema

Agema is the Obatala that lives high in the cieba tree. His colors are white with touches of green. He is represented by a chameleon in which the skin is so transparent that Odudwa can see all the bad that the world is doing. Walks with Oduduwa every where he goes. He’s also said to be seen on top of the ceiba tree leaves or by the walls of the river where Oshun is at. There is a special hat that is made for his children whenever they are sick that they put on their head and do a cleansing with. He also takes inside of his vessel a silver chain with 9 silver pigeons alongside with 7 arrows in which he uses to send messages to Olofi. When he comes down he imitates the look of a chameleon.

Baba Oba Moro

Oba Moro is very old and frail Obatala that suffered for the bad of mankind. His color is white with touches of purple. He is said to have held the cross that the Catholic Church Jesus was said to be crucified. When he comes down he acts like he is carrying the cross of the world on his shoulder. He takes thorns, a ladder, a silver axe and other tools that he uses inside of his vessel.

Baba Ochalufon

This Obatala is an old man and he is the Obatala that invented the tongue and showed mankind how to speak. His colors are white with off white beads. He is the constant and honorable right hand man of Olofi. He is the rays of the sun when setting. Ochalufon gave Chango the secrets to pack Oggue. He invented the art of sewing and he is the preferred child of Odudwa. You place to him a quartz stone and a crown that holds 16 African grey feathers. His followers place him behind a curtain where not that much light touches his tureen.

Okè

Okè is the orisha of the mountains, hills and peaks of the Earth. He is a very important and special orisha in which is he is the first orisha to actually symbolize a birth of a priest or priestess within our community. This is due to that one of the first ceremonies is of Okè initializing the consecration of the herbs to make the ashè for the birth of the priest or priestess. He represents firmness in our lives. Just as a mountain is tall and strong so is Okè. This orisha is part of the Obatala court and he is represented by a large white stone. Usually this stone is found on the floor in the house of a priest/ess in a white bowl covered in cascarilla, cocoa butter and covered with cotton. In some houses, priest/ess place Okè inside of Obatala or even next to him. I like him on the floor because of the representation of a mountain or hill starts from the ground and grows up tall and strong. Okè sacrificial animals are the same as Obatala in all aspects. They must be clean and white. Some people tend not to work with Okè as I believe maybe they don’t know how to work with him but he is an orisha just as the others and his ebbos are very powerful and strong. When you want to strengthen something or calm a situation or someone you can use Okè.

Baba Oloyu Okuni

This aspect of Obatala is said to be the creator of eyes of humankind. He is petitioned when there is a problem with the eyes. His colors are all white.

Baba Asho

This Obatala is a young path of his as well. He dances on one leg and is the owner of the cloth. It is said that he climbed the cotton tree, fell and brought the seed of cotton to humanity. His colors are white and he likes to be covered in different types of cloths. He takes a white horse that should be packed with different secrets and placed next to him. Even though he’s young, he takes a cane that is covered all in his beads and then covered with Ache of Orula. He’s also a warrior and has a red cloth around his waist.

Baba Yelu

This Obatala is missing leg and is old. He is the son of Osagrinan and the brother to Ayaguna. He wears the same color just like his father and he takes a osun next to him. Baba Yelu takes an additional tools that go with his mysteries with a wooden figure inside.

Ochanla/Orishanla

This is a female aspect of Obatala. She is a very old woman who is always trembling. She passed over to the land of Ifa where she was incorporated there. She does not like any noise and the light bothers her. She is said to have big hands where she pulls her children out of situations and maintains order. They say her tools are mysteries live apart from each other. Both contained in the same white vessels but they live apart. She loves to sit and knits different cloths and shawls. Her color is white and adorned with pearls. Ochanla lives behind a silk curtain in the house of who worships her. She sits in a chair and is very respectful and when Ochanla comes down she likes to be covered with a white shawl and she consults under candle light. She doesn’t dance much but when she dances, she portrays an old women until she lets her cane down. She takes strands of pearls, silver combs, a silver mirror, a silver Ifa divination charin, sewing needles and her cane should live next to her which is also packed. The chair that Ochanla’s children are consecrated on should be washed and packed with a specific Osain.

Elufora/Eluforo

She is a young Obatala that is depicted as a young virgin. She came to the land of Ifa riding an elephant where she was made queen. She is the owner of all oils as to light her, it must be an oil lamp and you can use vigin olive oil. She is said to talk to her children through dreams. She lives in the house of her priest behind a silk curtain. She works closely with Ifa as well. Her tools as well as Ochanla live apart and she takes a cane that has 3 curves that are packed with her Osain. All of her offerings should be placed in a white basket that sits in front of her and you must talk to her from afar because she does not like anyone to raise their voices in her house or in her presence. She takes a sable, a silver Ifa divination tool and a horn. She also has a Osain that lives next to her that her children must have and this is something between her and her children that are consecrated by a babalow.

Yeku Yeku

She is portrayed as an old woman. Her tureen should be kept well covered with cotton and she takes an additional set of mysteries that only are put together with her when she is going to feast. When this Obatala eats its recommended to brind Oke down to eat with her. and she is no where near any type of light or wind. She is always cold.

Yeye

She is the oldest of all the woman aspect of Obatala. She is the Obatala that originated the secrets of the female Obatala’s. Through this Obatala, it is why the mysteries of the female Obatalas are separated. She is the owner of the monkeys and guerrillas which are sacred to her. She also takes bows and arrows with her additional mysteries.

Obanla

She is the Obatala that it is said to be the shining light. She accompanies Obatala everywhere he goes. Obanla is also the protector of marriage as it is said that she was suppose to marry Baba Ayaguna, but due to his adventures in war he left her at the alter. She wears a white dress with a white veil. She too as Ochanla sits in a chair and watches all. She walks with a cane that has 3 crowns ranging from small to large and on top of the cane, it has a silver pigeon. She takes a silver sun that has 16 rays and a special osun that lives next to her. In Ifa they place a wooden male figure next to her dressed in white that suppose to represent Ayaguna who left her at the alter.

Enuayé/Eluayé

She is an old woman in the court of the female Obatala’s. She is the favorite daughter of Olofi and she is always seen sitting in a chair like a queen. Her children who have her crowned she have her sit in a chair of high status. She takes 2 sets of shells and like the other female her tools and mysteries are kept separate. She takes an additional of 4 silver stars and adorned with 16 African grey feathers.

Ogan

This Obatala is known to be the guardian of Obatala and Ayaguna. Ogan is a young warrior that guards the sacred heart of Obatala. He is summoned when one has problems with the heart. His color is white with touches of red just like Ayaguna.

Ogbón y Ogbóni

Ogbón y Ogbóni are the brothers of the orisha Ogan. These 3 orishas are the guardians of Obatala. They are similar to the divine twins as there mysteries are very small and similar and there secrets are kept in small white vessels or tinajas. Only a few people have these orishas as they ceremonies are somewhat fading. They take arrows and marbles alongside with there official secrets that are covered entirely in white cotton. They are said to be in charge of the souls of the children of Obatala when they pass on. They live high in the room of the priest/ess near Obatala.

Bromú and Brosiá

Bromú and Brosiá are the orishas who guard the orisha Odduduwa. When you receive Odduduwa, they are given to you and they live next to him. Bromú represent the bones of deads, and also the desert lands. They also are incorporated in the Obatala family. They say that Bromú is also represented by sea currents in the ocean. Bromú is the orisha that was borned from Yewa and who she taught all of her secrets. His secrets are placed in a white sopera or tinaja. Bromú’s colors are green and white. When one is performing an Inle initiation, the godparent must have Bromù as since he is dealt with the bones and structure of the human body and Inle is the medical diviner.
Brosiá is represented by strong winds and tornadoes. This orisha is very strong and it can be calm as a soft wind or turn strong just as a whirling tornado. Brosiá’s color is a dark red. The sacrificial offerings to these orishas are roosters, pigeons and guinea hens.

Baba Airanke

This Obatala is the warrior that guards Ochalufon. He walks aside him wherever he goes. His tools are made of cedar wood and also sits behind a curtain beside Ochalufon. His Osain is a special one and it is packed on to a horse that goes with him.

Baba Oyedade

This Obatala is seen in the woods with Ode. He is a great hunter and helps Ode in all of his matters. He takes a deer antler and arrows. His Osain goes packed inside of a wooden figure that lives next to his vessel.

Baba Bibinke

This aspect of Obatala is a giant cyclops that has a spear protruding through the front of his forehead. He is always elegant and likes fine things.

Baba Oshereibo

This Obatala accompanies Chango in everything. He is always watching over Chango and clears his path for battle. He also has an oshè that Chango gave to him in which he uses for battle which is one of his tools. He takes a wooden statue of a male and female which is packed and placed together. One holds a silver ladder and the other a double axe.

YEMAYÁ

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Yemaya is the ultimate universal mother. Yemaya also know as Yemoja, Yemanja Yemalla or La Sirène is the orisha of the ocean and all that inhabits in it. She is the water that pushes up against the seashores. She gives life in all aspects. Yemaya’s domain is all waters, the sea, rivers, lakes, lagoons all that is water she it. She is even the water that babies are held in for 9 months inside of there mothers womb. Yemaya is seen to be a woman that has big breast as she nurtures and tends to all existence. Her color is blue and all shades of it. The fishes are her children and messengers.

She is the patron orisha of all women and women that bare children. She is called upon a woman who is pregnant to ensure the safety of the embryo. During pregnancy a woman calls upon the orisha to make sure that the baby is safe and flows through the vaginal walls and becomes into existence into the human world. Yemaya is said to have nurtured and raised almost all the orisha. Her followers worship her all across the globe. From Africa to Brazil. All have gone and spoken with Yemaya. Even if you don’t think so, we have all at least once in our life gone to the ocean and dipped in and spoken with the ocean. That’s Yemaya and she hears all.

Yemaya is that celestial being that when one wants to be held, they can feel her grasps as a mother. She is that mother figure that you can talk to and explain or pour your heart out to and she will always listen. When one doesn’t have a mother to talk to, you can always speak to her by going to the ocean and sitting down by the seashore or lighting a blue candle at your place of dwelling and call upon her. You will feel that warmth embrace hover over you, that’s Yemaya. Also as a mother, she is a warrior and she will defend her children very quickly. She can be stern and punish her children as well. The same way a mother gives and teaches her children, the same way she can punish and teach you a lesson.

Source:101.myyoruba.com

WHAT IS AN EBBÓ?

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In simple words an Ebbó is an offering or sacrifice made in a ceremony to transform negative energies into positive energies. This ceremony entails a sacrifice that could be stopping eating our favorite food, stop drinking something we like, offer sweets, Addimú and other offerings to ask the favor of the Orishas. To know what the Orisha wants as an Ebbó can be found by divination.

In delicate situations as sickness or death, the Orisha might ask for an animal sacrifice to keep away death. This is disapproved by our modern society as our concept of death is different from the one our forefathers had. Blood means life, in every birth there’s blood. This is why when we’re going to sacrifice an animal we do it with great respect, reverence and gratitude since its life is taken so we can obtain a better life.

In some occasions the Orishas doesn’t ask for the animal’s life, instead they ask us to take care of the animal with respect and love.

The Ebbó transmute the ashe of the ingredients and it is consumed by the Orishas to  restore the natural course of things. The finality of an Ebbó is to refresh, honoring and make pleas to the Orishas according to our needs.

Here’s a list of the name of some Ebbó and what they do:

-Ebbó Alafia: Offering to the Orishas

-Ebbó Misi: Baths with different kinds of ewe.

-Ebbó Idanewa: Charity

-Ebbó Ope: Offerings of gratitude.

-Ebbó Sisun: Sacrifice to fire.

-Ebbó Fifí: Sacrifice to sea waves.

-Ebbó Orí: Sacrifice to your Orí.

-Ebbó Eshe: Sacrifice for being disobedient.

-Ebbó Eso: Offering of fruits.

-Ebbó Isorá: Offering to keep enemies away.

-Ebbó Alebidano: Offering to keep bad luck away.

Source:101.myyoruba.com

Orisha Ochún/ Oshun

(Versión en Español)

Oshun is the orisha of love and happiness. Owner of the sweet river waters, gift gave to her by Yemayá. She is also known as Ochún, Iyalorde, and Oxumand also aids Yemayá with maternity. Oshun is seen as a fair skin bronzed color woman who has a body and a smile to die for. She is always seen with her revealing dresses and cocky and flirtatious ways. Her metal is of gold and she is adorned with lots of it. She is one of the happiest orishas as that is one of the attributes that she beholds. She loves the finest things in life and sometimes she is never satisfied.

Oshun had many relationships with the male orishas. These included from Changó, Orula, Ogún, Inle, Agallu and Asojano (Saint Lazarus). With her sensual and sexual ways, Oshun would conquer any man or obstacle that laid in her way. This orisha is not a whore, but she always gets whatever she wants, if she desires a man she will make him hers. She was watched over by the mighty orisha Nana Buruku when she was young. She shared a close connection with Ochanla and she was very close to Olofi.

Her father is the great Obatalá and he loves her greatly.

When Oshun was first born she had on a white dress. This was the only dress that Oshun had and owned. But everyday Oshun would go to the river and wash her only white dress. After a while Oshun noticed that her white dress was starting to fade into a bright yellow. Oshun was amazed and happy that she had a yellow dress because none of the adult orishas owned or had anything with the color yellow. From that day forward, yellow became the primary color to the orisha Oshun.

Other Names:

  • Oshun

In Catholicism:
He’s represented by Our Lady of Charity.

Offerings:

  • Ochinchin
  • Tamale
  • Candy

Source: http://101.myyoruba.com

OGGUN AND HIS ABUSES


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The sad story of Oggun not only brought the Araye into the world or sexual abuse but as well the saddest part of abuse the coercion of others as well.

It is without saying that of all Oddúa’s children , Oggun was the center of controversy while he remained arrogant and abusive to everyone. Always to take the advantages when others where not looking or committing the abuses he undertook , Oggun indulged in his morbid desires .

His selfishness possessed him and his truly believed he could obtain everything and everyone around him. Oggun was he who allocated the food in the home , he would use this as his weapon and advantages over his siblings to obtain his hold and position for pure selfish reasons.

Always of problematic and fury character , it was because of his temperamental rage that nobody knew if he was of good or foul mood .

Oggun , told his siblings he would withhold their meals if they had told Oddúaor anyone else what was transpiring within the home during Oddúa’s absences, most of tell him of the of his sexual abuses on his mother Yembo, who he never respected . Oggun had broke all of Oddúa’s confidences in him to obtain his own desires.

As Oddúa left in the morning Oggun would then force himself upon his mother , since he thought of her as just another woman. And Yembo kept this information and abuse away from Oddúa as she feared Oddúa’s reactions, Oggun’s deeds where extremely serious and caused her such embarrassment. she knew that if Obatalá had known the consequences would only end in major disgrace.

Ogguns elder brother could always see in him the evil deeds that where to come , for this the two brothers where not close and Argayu kept his distance , but he never could believe that his brother Oggun was capable of such despicable acts such as to abuse his mother.

Argayu came to visit one day very early and to his surprise he found Oggun once again abusing his mother. He became petrified and speechless, what he had seen was so great for him that it caused his dual being to explode and come together simultaneously. The skies of heaven turned red as blood and the Volcano began to erupt violently . The earth shook with such ferociousness and it opened up , and from within tongues appeared destroying everything in its path. The tongues they saw coming from the earth where flames of fire, an unknown element till this moment in time. Fire was and still is Ogguns worst enemy. ( metal melts in contact with fire)

The beating that Oggun received from Argayu was enough to stop Oggun only for a short time as he planned and stewed on new ways to overcome Argayu’s surveillance’s to continue in his ways.

Although it must not go unnoticed that with these acts here is where fire was discovered .

Argayu as well like Yembo decides not to tell his father in fear of embarrassing his mother and provoking a reaction only to end in disgrace. some say in Africa today that when the Volcano erupts it is because Argayu is punishing Oggun for his illicit acts upon their mother.

after a few short months of peace Oggun had discovered another way to work around Argayu’s watchful eyes and started his abuses once more. He would intimidate his younger brothers Osoosi/Ochosi and Ozun that where so afraid to loose their meals from the hands of their older brother they allowed him to blackmail them in return they would play ignorant to the abuse in their father’s home.

The only brother he could not intimidate was the youngest . Oggun tried to blackmail him with the abundance of food and the youngest brother only glared at him with the fury of despise , it was here that Oggun knew he had found in this brother the formidable enemy . That is when Oggun tried to make the young princes life impossible and refused him food . this young prince was Eleggua the playful and bad mannered as well as the jokester of the family .

[Note: Is here that Oddúa transforms into Obatalá]

One day after Obatalá had left , Oggun began his ritual of abusing his mother .

Yembo resisted his brutal attack but was over taken by his brute force. As he raped his mother there upon the door came three knocks.

Oggun rose up and crossed over to the doorway and he opened the door . There before him was his father Obatalá and he knew something terrible was about to happen . Obatalá stared at him and looked over to the mat , where he saw Yembo in tears as she raised herself from the mat.

Oggun saw in Obatalá something different , something colder and he knew he was in trouble . He saw his fathers body but knew the one in front of him was not his father and before Obatalá could utter sentence Oggun stopped him and said ” Baba mi , dont curse me , let me curse myself”. Obatalá stopped

And Oggun began his sentence ” I, Oggun Arere ( Oggun the warrior) do promise that as long as the world in the world and it remains , I shall work for all the Inhabitants day and night till the end of time.” Obatalá answered “To ban’esu ” ( so may it be ) .

This is where the mistrust on earth ,came to be and the curse also the meaning of Work as a sacrifice.

Obatalá stood in utter silence for a few minutes and then he began to speak in a firm tone and clearly how things would be from now on …

“Oggun you have chosen your sentence for yourself and from this day nobody will lift this curse from you. You will be forever from this day Mo-re-oggun ( the sacrifier , the one who feeds the orisha) and I shall never trust you again”.

He glance at Osoosi and he said ” Osoosi , you chose to be coerced by Oggun with the payment of food .. From this day on you shall in charge of dispensing the justice and Hunt, this way nobody will ever be without food.”

Obatalá now turned his gaze upon Ozun and he said

“Ozun , you where the head of this kingdom , it was your duty to notify me of all that transpired in the kingdom and you chose food over your duties. For now on you will never speak unless it is of danger or notice of death . You will only come to the floor if danger is near until then you will live above the door and watch over all in the kingdom.

While all this was being said Yembo trembled and listened to the sentences that Obatalá was passing out to her children . She knew soon it would be her turn of sentence and her OCO( husband ) would also punish her for her role that she had played and she waited in silence for her sentence .

Obatalá now looked upon his youngest son Laroye and he announced

” Eleggua Laroye, You are a true Prince in my kingdom . You came to me not afraid of what I would say and you told me the truth . I promise you will never go hungry again or be mistreated by others . You did not allow yourself to be coerced into silence.-”

From this day on … I decree, you will be the first to eat and everyone will have to give you moforibale ( offerings). They will even have to give you moforibale before me, To enter the this house they will have to ask your permission and you deny them entrance -they will not be able to enter. You will guard the roads and opportunities of life. NO ONE , will be able to reach me or any other orisha with going through you .. and you will be able to be everywhere at the same time. ”

Eleggua laid down on the floor in sign of respect to Obatalá and said ..Mo’ dupe baba mi ( thank you my father)

**at this moment is when it was written that the youngest came before the eldest and that all good deeds would receive the blessings of Olodumare in his kingdom.

At this time Obatalá turned to Yembo and he said unto her, “Obini (wife), From this moment on your punishment will be that any male child you bear into this world shall be put to death !”

Yembo’s blood froze , she expected her fate for herself but not for her children . Upon hearing her husbands sentence she became crazy with anger .

** It was at this time Obatalá renamed his Obini from Yembo to Yemaya ( furious mother) , Yemaya’s fury became to great no one in the kingdom could calm her and it is only Obatalá himself that keeps her in control .

So say her fury was so great that Yemaya wanted to swallow the earth with the sea, and when she does remember they say it is then that the Tsunami’s occur on earth.

Yemaya understood that although her son’s actions where grave and should be sentenced and punished . She could not understand Obatalá’s sentence toward her future children and unborn sons .

And this caused a great despair and abyss in her soul and Yemaya began her transformation from Yembo toYemaya and Yembo became Nana Buruku ( the moon) in the night skies .

Source: 101.myyoruba.com

Orula is the orisha of great divination. He is the divine and wise man that knows the future of everyone one and its existence. He consults through the Ifa divination and is very accurate on his readings. Orula is the first prophet that came upon land. He was sent and given that gift from the great Olofi. He was instructed that through his Ifa oracles he will entrust the safe being, the wisdom and the clarity within humans. He is there when a spirit in reincarnated in the flesh of a human. He instructs and guides the spirit to the world and gives them a list of what should be done. It is that spirit who makes the decision that everyday man does. Orula was said to be walking amongst the 16 ancestor spirits that make up the Ifa divination oracles. With these oracles Orula can see the past, present and future.

Orula is the knowledge and intelligence that is used to govern the people and triumph over all evil. Orula was with us while Olofi was creating the earth. He is the great witness of Olofi’s work. He even saw the creation of the orisha. That is the ultimate reason why Orula knows our entire destiny. He is a great counselor and his words are of good teachings. Ones who do not follow his words will deal with the wrath of Eshu.

He has children but his ceremonies are not initiated on the heads of his followers. They are called babalows. These olowos are followers that have been initiated into the Lukumi cult with the orishas first then studied the oracles of Ifa in which that is the highest honor a practitioner can receive. You also have babalows who are followers that have not been initiated within the Lukumi cult of the orishas and are limited on certain things when it deals with the orishas. The babalows can work constantly with Orula and know as well as the olowos the secrets of Ifa.

Orula is good friends with the orishas but most of all with Chango. Orula and Chango go hand in hand as Chango also has the knowledge of divination. His trusty friend as well is Eshu who testes the faith of mankind. Orula knows all within mankind. He knows the beginning and end of all humans, animals and all existence. Men who are his followers receive mano de Orula (hand of Orula) and the women receive kofa de Orula (box of Orula). The women followers are not initiated into Ifa cult but there voice is much equal to the men. The women are called apetevi (servants or wives) of Orula.

Source: 101.myyoruba.com

IKU: YORUBAN CONCEPT OF DEATH

For the Initiates of the Cuban religious cults of origin Yoruba, death is not but that of another life form, when the individual has successfully fulfilled the mandate or the tasks of spiritual purification that was entrusted to him while being incarnated; when in addition, by their material and spiritual work assignments are fulfilled and all rituals where rigorously completed, at the time of their death, Are able to extend to dimensions that convert them in “BA” or luminous spirits and in possession of this category or aspect, are reincarnated in the material essences of spiritual and/or power that they are compatible to them .

In case that all the conditions are not fulfilled suitably that an individual soul takes into importance, the death estimates transformation in “Ku” or nomadic spirit, who’s only existence is to cohabit in the alive material essences, like negative energies, because they do not contribute to increase the spiritual purification, or the same, not to offer to be able to give ache to the collective whole.

IN the states of “BA” and “KU” exists on different plains.

-the world of the living on Ode aiye ( earth)
- for the spirits on Ode Isa
-and for the orisha’s in Ode Orun

The individual only gets to the category of “BA” when their spirit and soul gets to Ode Orun ( world of the orisha) although in the path to this higher Grade of spiritual quality, Olofi , entrusts to them each time a more diverse and difficult assignments for the good of the collective whole.
This explains the reason of the writings of the Yoruba’s -and the same of those of the texts of the bible-the death of relevant prophets takes place after hundreds of life cycles. That death is not synonymous of non reincarnation. if not in the possibility of re-encarnation into a particular divine light.

Click the link below to read the complete article.
http://101.myyoruba.com/iku-yoruban-concept-death/

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  Pataki of Iroko and Oshun
One day Oshun was very sad because she couldn’t have a child. She wanted a child so badly, but no matter what she tried, she just couldn’t have a child. In sadness, she sat down and leaned against an Iroko tree. She cried and cried, praying so hard that she could have a child.

As she was crying, she suddenly heard a voice speak to her. The voice said, “I am Iroko, and I can give you a child if you promise to make ebó to me.” The voice was coming from the Iroko tree!

Oshun, in desperation, cried to Iroko, “I’ll make any ebó, if only I can have a child to bring my happiness back to me! Oh please, Iroko, I will make your ebó!”

"We have an agreement," said Iroko. "I will give you a child, and in exchange you will make ebó to me."

Oshun was overjoyed. Her heart filled with life again, knowing that Iroko would give her a child soon. “What is the ebó that you require, Iroko?” she asked.

"I will give you a child," said Iroko. "But to make ebó, you must sacrifice that child to me on his seventh birthday." Oshun was shocked, but Oshun is very cunning. She agreed to make this ebó.

And soon, Oshun’s belly began to blossom, and she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy who brought her happiness back to her and great wealth. And Oshun’s husband, the king, was very happy with her. And all was well for many years. But Oshun never forgot her promise to Iroko. And Iroko never forgot her promise, either. Whenever she passed by the Iroko tree, he would remind her of her promise, and soon she simply stopped walking by Iroko.

Oshun couldn’t give up this beautiful child she had grown to love so much, and she thought that if she just kept him away from Iroko, all would be well. She made the little boy promise never to go near Iroko. And the years went by.

That is, until his seventh birthday. That day, Oshun, who had by now almost forgotten about her promise to Iroko, decided to take her son to the market. Distracted at the market, she lost sight of him. When she noticed, he was gone and Oshun was filled with panic. She looked all throughout the market and couldn’t find him. Finally, she caught sight of him, mere feet away from the Iroko tree!

Oshun ran, calling out his name, but he walked straight up to the Iroko tree. The ground opened then and swallowed him up whole. Iroko got his ebó.

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