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Oshun is the orisha of love and happiness. She is the one that makes the spirit full of life and love. Oshun also known as Ochun, Iyalorde, and Oxum is also known for her aide in maternity alongside with her sister Yemaya. Oshun is seen as a fair skin bronzed color woman who has a body and a smile to die for. Oshun is always seen with her revealing dresses and cocky and flirtatious ways. In the house of the priest or priestess she lives in a yellow or gold looking tureen where her secrets are kept. 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 Chango, Orula, Ogun, Inle, Agallu and Asojano (San Lazaro). With her sensual and sexual ways, Oshun would conquer any man or obstacle that laid in her way. This orisha is not or was not a whore, it is that Oshun loved to take what she wanted and if by having a relationship with a man was one of them, then she would get what she wanted. Oshun is the owner of the sweet river waters in which her sister Yemaya gave to her. 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 Obatala. He raised her since she was a little girl. One small pataki I’m going to tell you is that one day Obatala would always sing a particular song to his little girl Oshun. Day and night he would sing her this song and one day Oshun left the house and never returned. Years passed along and the great Obatala who was still depressed about the lost of his daughter Oshun, was walking through the woods near the riverbank. He was walking and he overheard a voice singing this particular song that brought memories back to him. Obatala said that there was only one person who knew that song and it was his daughter Oshun. He glimpsed by the river water and saw a young beautiful woman singing “Sawani Ibo Eleri, Leriche Oka Di Pola” (ceremonial song) and he walked up to her and asked her where did she hear that song. Oshun told him that when she was young, her father would sing that song to her everyday and every night. Obatala with a tear told Oshun that he was Obatala, her father, the same orisha that taught her that song. They both hugged and cried and were never separated there after.

Oshun’s color is yellow now and when I say now I mean that is the color that represents her in this time life. 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.

Pataki on Oshun

One day Oshun was at the river where she dwelled and was sitting at the bottom of it getting her garments ready to go to a party. She gathered all of her gold and yellow scarves and her glamorous head wrap. She grabbed her jewels and perfumes and headed to the surface of the river. She sat down and started to wrap her body in her silky scarves.

She perfumed her body from head to toe and put her gold bangles and other jewelries on. She braided her hair and decorated it with shells and placed her head wrap in a fashion form that her hair style showed. All of this was done looking at her beautiful reflection in the mirror of the river water.

After she was dressed Oshun started to walk through the village heading towards the party. She noticed the little children that were playing, jumping and laughing with each other and that brought a great smile and happiness to her. Oshun walked pass them and sprinkled some honey on them and they became happier and they bowed to the orisha Oshun. Oshun missed the company of children as she saw how her sister Yemaya raise the divine twins. She kept walking and now she was heading through the forest. Her thoughts became deep with the fact that she wanted some type of youth activity and she sat down near Iroko (the cieba tree). She sat there and a tear came from her eye. Iroko looked at Oshun and asked her what was wrong. Oshun went and told Iroko of how she missed having children around her. How she loved the laughter and smile in a child’s

heart. Iroko agreed and told her that the children of the world are truly something special

to all of us. She asked Iroko to help her bare a child that she could raise own her own and

love. Iroko who was magical told Oshun that he would help her indeed and she could pay

him by coming by and spending time with Iroko as no one ever came by to keep the big Iroko company. Oshun said that she promise to keep him company and converse with him if she did bare a child.

Time went on and Oshun had a little boy. She loved and raised this young little bundle of joy and he was the center of her eye. Oshun one day was walking through the forest and came upon where Iroko was standing. Iroko greeted Oshun and told her that he heard that she bared a child. Oshun responded yes to Iroko and started to walk away, forgetting that Iroko helped her. Iroko asked Oshun if she was going to stay and keep him company and Oshun said politely no that she had something else pending. Iroko told Oshun that she had promised to keep him company and now she was not sticking to her deal. Oshun walking off turned and told Iroko that she was sorry and that she will bring him a goat to keep him company. Iroko agreed.

A year passes by and Oshun is again walking through the forest and stumbles on Iroko.

She sits for 2 minutes to fix her scarves. Iroko was happy that Oshun was sitting with him and maybe they can have some type of conversation. As the minute he thought that, Oshun stood up and was gathering her things to start walking again. Iroko asked Oshun if she was going to stay and talk. Oshun said softly no and apologized. Iroko told Oshun that he thought she was going to sit and talk with him. He also told her that he was still waiting for the goat that she was going to bring him to keep him company. Iroko was bothered and Oshun noticing this, told him that she would come back later on and bring him some amala (cornmeal). Iroko agreed once again.

Another year passes by and Oshun was heading to the market place and she passed by her good old friend Iroko. She was in a hurry due to the market was closing. So walking by Iroko, she saluted him and gave him a smile. Iroko told Oshun that he was tired of waiting because he did her a favor and now she couldn’t live up to her words. Oshun

baffled asked Iroko what words was he talking about. Iroko told Oshun that she had promised him a goat to keep him company, she promised him some amala as an offering and she has not bothered to bring neither or. Oshun hearing this felt very bad for the great Iroko and told him that she promise to bring him the child that he helped her conceive to spend some time with him. Iroko already knew how Oshun was but was gracious that she was one of the only orishas that spoke to him and with that Iroko agreed.

It has been a total of 5 years now and Elegua was walking through the forest and saw his

friend Iroko standing at the same spot as usual. So Elegua walked over and greeted the great Iroko. Elegua sat under the shade of Iroko for hours talking and listening to Iroko’s stories that he has seen in the forest. Elegua who is always noisy sat there drank his rum and played with 5 precious stones that he had in his bag. Iroko then started to tell Elegua how happy he was that he stopped and talked with him. Iroko was very grateful and told Elegua that he loved for people to sit under his shade, in where he Iroko would give magical dreams to all. But Iroko started to tell Elegua how Oshun would also come by but she hasn’t been in a while. He also told Elegua how she promised to bring him a goat and some amala and she hasn’t brought it neither. Elegua who knows how his friend Oshun is told the great Iroko not to worry that he was there to keep him company but with that said and done, Elegua heard some juicy gossip in the winds that was coming from a nearby town. Iroko who knew how Elegua was, smiled and told Elegua to go about his journey and to stop by whenever he wanted to.

A couple of weeks later Elegua was walking through a village and saw some kids

playing. So the childish orisha stopped to play with the kids. He saw one of them who was dressed in yellow with a red slash leave the company of the other kids and started headed towards the roads that lead out of the town. Elegua followed and stopped the kid and noticed that it was Oshun’s son Ideu. He asked Ideu where was he going and the little one said that he was going to meet his mother at the market place. Elegua told him that he was going the long way and showed him a short cut through the forest. Elegua also gave him 5 precious stones to give to his mother Oshun. He laid him a path and Ideu was on his way.

Ideu was walking and came across a big tree that was standing in the middle of the forest alongside with the other trees. He sat under it and started to play with the stones that Elegua gave him. When Iroko opened his eyes he saw a young boy sitting at his roots playing with 5 precious stones. He remembered when Elegua was sitting there only a couple of weeks ago playing with the same stones. Iroko grew happy as he thought that he had another friend that came to hear his knowledge and share the shade of his leaves. Iroko spoke to Ideu and the little one was amazed of the great cieba tree. Ideu told Iroko that he was the son of Oshun. Iroko hearing this thought that Oshun finally gave word and sent her son to spend time with Iroko. Iroko started to tell the little one stories and Ideu was intrigued. He told Iroko not to stop to continue and Iroko brought his roots from under the earth and brought Ideu to his domain to continue his story telling.

When Oshun came home she noticed that Ideu was not in the house and she wondered where he was. Days and months passed by and there was still no sign of Ideu. Oshun was

frantic and searched everywhere she could possibly think of where he would be at.

5 years later Oshun who was still depressed, was walking through the forest and walked past Iroko. Iroko noticed that she didn’t speak to him as to her mind has been in the disappearance of her son. The look was written all over her face and Iroko knew why the happy orisha was not happy no more. He decided to do something about it.

The next morning Oshun was making her way through the forest and noticed Iroko was standing there happy as can be. She stopped and greeted him but not with the happiness as she had in the past decade. Iroko asks Oshun if she found her son and Oshun told her no. Iroko told her that she should always stay to her word and not promise something and don’t pay for it. Oshun nodded her head as she indeed understood what Iroko was saying. Iroko looked at Oshun and told her that he had a gift that she would love. And by him saying that, the earth opened and a hill was rising from it. This was no ordinary hill, this was a hill full of gold, jewels, money and riches. On top of the hill was the joyous Ideu. While Ideu was under the earth with Iroko, time went by very slow and he did not realize it. Iroko told him many stories and showed him lots of riches of the earth. Oshun seeing her son cried and grabbed him. Ideu told Oshun all the stories Iroko told him and the riches of Iroko. Oshun told Ideu that he would now guard her riches the same way he guarded the riches of Iroko from beneath. Oshun looked at Iroko and thanked him but she told him that he shouldn’t have done that. So from now on her children go no where near Iroko as she remembers what happened to Ideu.

Oshun’s feast day is September 8th. She is synchronized with Our Lady of Charity. Her number is 5 and all multiples of it. She loves all kinds of sweets, fine wines and champagnes. She loves all aromatic flowers and perfumes. She is the essence of flirt and seduce in both men and woman. Oshun has many children and her children are well protected under her power. She does consecrate on the head. With her main attribute the honey, she dominates everything in her path. She is an orisha that is always feared. It is said that she is sweet as honey but when you give someone too much honey what happens, they get repugnant. Oshun is an orisha to have on your good side because if she crosses your path in the wrong way, she will bring havoc to your lives. She rules the lower abdomen and the blood that runs through your veins. In Palo Mayombe Oshun is associated with Mama Chola.

Paths of Oshun

Ibu Kole

This path of Oshun is known as the vulture. Ibu Kole is the Oshun that reached the house of Olofi to tell him that the people on the lands were dying of thirst. With that said Olofi took off the punishment off the land and let rain fall again. This Oshun is said to be a very magical witch. She takes 5 little mortars where additional secrets are kept where her initiate can make powerful spells. Her colors are honey, coral, amber and onyx stone. She is adorned with feathers of a vulture. Her children must have a juiro where an Osain is kept that hangs over her to keep Ibu Kole in one spot and to make sure she is there in here

tureen. When this Oshun comes down she dances like if she was a bird, swaying her arms up and down as if she was in flight.

Ibu Ololodi

This Oshun is said to be a great warrior. She wears pants when she goes to war. She rides on a horse and she uses a sword in battle. Ibu Ololodi is also the wife of Orula and she is his preferred apetevi. Her enemies can never defeat her. She protects her children to the up most. She takes the table of Ifa with the ekueles and the irofa. You can put iron implements to her. The owl is her messenger and she is invoked with a copper cow bell. Ololodi also takes a needle and thread as she is seen sewing on her off times at the bottom of the river. She is the mother of Aporoye and Oloshe. This Oshun takes everything double due to a pact she did with Boyuto. If you give her a mirror another one should be placed to her. If you give her one bottle of perfume there has to be another. She is the protector of the home. When this Oshun comes down she is very repugnant and she speaks very stern to her followers. Her colors are honey, coral with touches of green and yellow to represent the marriage she had with Orula.

Ibu Akuaro

Ibu Akuaro is the Oshun that lives where the river and the ocean meet. She is said to live and reign there. She loves the corodniz (cornish hen) and they are here messengers. It is said that with the feathers of the corodniz, you must sew her a net that lives on her. This is due to a story where she was running from Chango and a group of corodniz covered her completely so Chango would not find her. She takes a cane which is covered with the feathers of the corodniz as well and is consecrated where the river and ocean meet. Her colors are a pale yellow, coral, onyx, green and white. When Ibu Akuaro comes down she is seen to be shaken, imitating the corodniz.

Ibu Yumu

She is one of the oldest Oshun. She lives at the bottom of the river sewing as she knows the craft to sew beautiful cloths. She doesn’t like to be bothered that much as she sits in her rocking chair at the bottom. When she is bothered she comes out from the bottom of the river and she fights. She as well as Ibu Ololodi is called with a copper cow bell. This path of Oshun is hardly to come down.

Ibu Aña

This Oshun is very young and she loves to dance. She is said to be where ever the Aña (sacred drum) is playing. She dances all day and all night until the Aña stops playing. At her tureen you must have 3 little drums that represent the Aña at her feet. She is always dancing in front of the drums holding her breast and laughing. A child of this particular orisha is said to always be partying and dancing and whenever they step into a ceremonial drumming, if they are a horse of the orisha, Ibu Aña will make her presence. Her colors are honey, yellow, coral, onyx and red. When she comes down she is always

dancing and may take the time out to speak to her followers.

Ibu Ileke Oñi

This Oshun is a fighter and she gets what she wants. When she is determined she gets her results. This Oshun walks with a walking stick and she is always seen near the river banks covering her body with her honey. If she is not near the river you can see her next to a pariso tree. She walks with a net that’s tied around her waste. This Oshun has 4 necklaces that she wears. One is made of the peonia seeds, other is made of all coral, another of all onyx stones and a bead of honey and yellow beads.

Ibu Itumu

This path of Oshun is said to reside in the lagoons. She is always dressed in pants and a shirt like a man. She is very tall and she is always seen with Inle and Asojano.

Ibu Aremu Kondano

This Oshun is said to be the first Oshun that ever came down from Olofi’s castle to the earth. She is dressed all in white and her color is off white with coral with just a touch of yellow and green. She is said to have helped Orula out is certain occasions. She is very mysterious.

Ibu Asedan

This path of Oshun is said to be also a warrior. She rides a horse as well as Ibu Ololdi when she is at war. This Oshun is seen with a sword in one hand riding to battle. Her sacrificial foods must be offered with a ring or gold oar through its nose. Her color is honey, yellow, red and onyx.

Ibu Eyede

This is Oshun is known to be a queen. She is seen with all her fine dresses and jewelry. She doesn’t like anything dirty or messy around her. Her sacrificial foods are sacrificed on top of a yellow plate that sits next to her.

Ibu Iña

This Oshun loves to debate and argue. She is a rare Oshun and is always seen by the river sands combing her hair with her coral comb. She loves to cook and she loves to fan herself with her fan made of African grey tail feathers and bells.

Ibu Iñale

This is the daughter of Ibu Aña. She lives on the beach and river sands on top of all types of money. She does not like to give money as it is all for her.

Ibu Tinibu

This also is a rare Oshun. She is the boss of the Iyalordes. She loves to go out at night never during the day. She is said to be riding the river in a boat listening and answering her petitioners.

Ibu Idere Lekun

This Oshun lives in the caves alongside the sea where the waves enter and hit the rocks of the caves. Where they turn into rivers and travel on the inside of mountains. She has a deformed face and she is seen playing a small drum made out of bamboo.

Ibu Aye

This is an orisha that maintained and positioned the riches of Oshun on earth. When Oshun was spending her money like crazy she found herself without any money. Ibu Aye reaffirmed her money and showed her the right way to maintain and control it. This is a orisha that is received on its own. Her color is honey, onyx and her necklace is made the same with 5 shells intertwined in between.

Ideu

This is said to be the lost child of Oshun. Where Iroko took him from her for the promises that she owed Iroko. He is the third child that Oshun had after the twins. He is received on its own and is said to watch over the riches of his mother Oshun. He lives in a yellow tureen where his secrets are kept with a doll of a boy dressed in yellow. His original bead is yellow with red stripes on them, gold and coral.

Ajé Shalunga

Ajé Shalunga or Cobo is the orisha of prosperity and abundance. He is used to help bring money and prosperity into ones life if there are worthy and right for it. His secrets are kept in a small sopera or vessel and his secrets are slightly born in a different way as to the other orishas. Same chants and sacrificial foods, but certain things change when he is born that cant be discussed here. He is also born with multiple coins from all parts of the world. It is said that when he is born, depending on the sign that he comes with, he will live next to a certain orisha in which he will bring prosperity to you. Only if your worthy! Don’t think by receiving him you are going to win the lottery or anything. Only if Olofi says your worthy for that. But health is also another form of prosperity and that he can bring to you. He has no specific color but his chain is made of different shells and coins.

Yeye Lamba

This is an orisha that is said to have been the cook of Oshun. She taught Oshun how to cook all sorts of sweets and foods for her town. She is an orisha that is received and her

tureen is kept either with the other orishas or live near or in the kitchen. Alongside her secrets, one puts a wooden spoon and fork to her with different bags of dried foods.

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.

Pataki on Yemaya

One day Olofi was having a party in ara onu. He invited all of the orisha to come to the gala. So he sent word out with Elegua to invite all of the orishas. Elegua ran with the word as Olofi was having a party and he knew there would be lots of sweets for him to pick on. So Elegua came to earth and went to each orisha and gave the invitation on the party. House to house Elegua went spreading the news and of course getting paid for it by receiving candy, oti and smoked fish.

The orishas decided to take Olofi a gift as it was an honor to go to the palace of Olofi. Each orisha went on there way looking for gifts to take to Olofi. Obatala decided to take Olofi a white staff made out of pearls and gold. Ochun decided to take Olofi perfumes so the great king can perfume his body. Each orisha went picking up what they thought would be a nice gift for Olofi.

Yemaya received the invitation from Elegua but she had so much work to do in the seas

and all parts of the world. She was still maintaining life on the lands and bearing gifts to her followers. Time went on and the date of the party was near and the orisha of the ocean still did not get her gift for Olofi. While attending to her domain, Elegua popped in and asked her what was she getting for Olofi. Yemaya looked at Elegua and asked him in what was he talking about. Elegua reminded her that Olofi was having a party in the heavens and that all of the orishas were required to attend and that they should all bring a gift. Yemaya with a shocked look on her face, called for one of her fishes to immediately take her to the shore so she can get something for Olofi. Her fastest fish came and rushed her to the shore where Yemaya proceeded to look for a gift that was honorable for Olofi.

Yemaya though and though and she did not have any idea of what to get Olofi. She went to the only thing that was open which was the market to see what she can get. Once she arrived at the market place she noticed that Oya was still there tending to the market. She asked Oya what was she getting Olofi and Oya replied that she was getting Olofi baskets of most beautiful fruits so that he may feast upon them. Oya told Yemaya to look around and hurry up and pick something as the party was just in an hour or so. Yemaya ran to every merchant in the market place and everywhere she went either they were closed or they didn’t have anything that would suit a king. Yemaya was very upset at herself because she had ample enough time to get a gift but she was tending to her children of the sea and children on land. Finally Yemaya came to the last merchant and asked him what he had. The merchant replied to Yemaya that the only thing he had was the head of 3 fishes and that was it. Yemaya looked at him with dismay and told him that she would take it. She knew she couldn’t walk into the palace of Olofi empty handed. The merchant wrapped up the 3 heads and gave it to Yemaya.

Yemaya went back home to the oceans and she proceeded to get dressed with her most luxurious blue dress. She adorned herself with all of her cowrie shells and pearls with corals. The great orisha had to look her best as she would be in the presence of Olofi. But in the back of her mind she still wasn’t content on the gift she got Olofi. There was no more time and nothing she can do. Yemaya took off to the sky to attend the party with her gift in a basket.

Yemaya arrived at the party and saw all the orishas with there best clothes on. She was saluted at the door by Elegua as the orisha of the sea. All orishas who were present bowed and paid Yemaya her honor. She mingled with all the orishas and started to ease her mind about the gift she bought to Olofi.

The trumpet sounded and Olofi entered the room and every orisha, animal and trees stopped to bow their heads to the great Olofi. Olofi sat on his golden throne and started to greet his court one by one. Each orisha started to bring their gift to Olofi. The great king, very happy and surprised accepted their gifts and blessed each and every one of them. Yemaya stood all the way to the back as she did not want to be making of mockery of her gift. After the last orisha gave Olofi his gift, Olofi called out to Yemaya and asked her for hers. She walked over to Olofi and told him that she was very sorry that she did not bring him a gift as she was tending to her children in the sea. Olofi looked at Yemaya and told her he understood but since he is Olofi he knows all and asked her what was it that she

brought in that basket. Yemaya bashful told Olofi that it was nothing and Olofi told her in

a soft voice to give him what she had in the basket. Yemaya opened the basket and there

came out, a white plate with 3 heads of a fish. She was so embarrassed because first it was Olofi and second because what would all the other orishas think of her. She bowed

and gave it to Olofi.

Olofi looked at it and asked Yemaya if this was the gift that she brought to him. Yemaya

responded to him that yes it was. Olofi asked Yemaya if this is the sort of gift you give to

a king. Yemaya started to respond when Olofi sat back in his chair and started to laugh.

All the orisha silently started to laugh at Yemaya while she put her head down. Olofi told her to keep her head straight as this was no ordinary gift. He told her that the other orishas brought him gifts of great vain and beauty but she Yemaya brought him something that had significant meaning. Yemaya wondered what he was talking about while she raised her head .Olofi stood up and walked off his throne towards Yemaya. He took the plate that held the head of the 3 fishes and told Yemaya that the same way she brought him a head, he would make her head of all waters. While he said that the head of the 3 fishes turned into 3 separate beautiful crowns made of nothing but silver and gems. He placed one crown on top of Yemaya and told her that from this day forward she will be queen of the oceans. He placed the other crown on her head and told her that from this day forward she will be queen of the lands and he placed the last crown on her head and told her that from this day forward she will be queen of the heavens. The 3 crowns glowed and became one big crown. Olofi then proceeded to tell her that her crown will always be recognized in every ceremonial birth. Her color blue can not be excluded from any ceremonial births as she is a queen. She as an orisha does not have to wear her crown because it is not forever bestowed on her and she is always to be known as royalty.

Yemaya saluted Olofi in the tradition of lying side by side and Olofi picked her up. He then told her to face the court and had everyone come and salute the new queen of the ocean, land and heaven. One by one all the orishas came and paid respect to Yemaya. After the party she was escorted back to the seas by Olofi’s high court with trumpets that sounded as she entered the ocean and saw her new castle that was given to her by Olofi. She looked up into the heavens and saw Olofi looking down on her and she crossed her hands asking for blessings. Olofi blessed her and she asked him why he bestowed her that honor as a triple queen. Olofi told her that he did it since she is always tending to her children of the seas and of the lands. He told her that she catered to her children so much that she didn’t have time to even get him a gift that he did not require for anyone to bring. Olofi told her that each gift brought to him was a gift from the heart and he sees where her heart lies. Yemaya sat on her gigantic throne flushed with gold, silver, pearls and corals and all the fishes of the sea came to pay respect to the new queen of the sea

Yemaya’s feast day is September 7. Her color is blue and all tones of it. She is synchronized with Our lady of Regla. Her number is 7 and all multiples of it. In the home of her followers she resides in a blue and white tureen where her tools and mysteries are kept. Yemaya has traveled all around the world as why she has many paths. Yemaya loves everything that is motherly. She loves jewelry, sea rocks, corals and mirrors. Her sacrificial foods are rams, roosters, ducks, guinea hens, swans and gooses. In some paths

she loves turtles as well. Yemaya loves all types of fruits and sweet cakes. Plantain chips fried pork chunks are her favorite. She loves the sweetness of oni (honey) as that is he sisters gift to the world but she loves the taste of her own syrup which is melao (cane syrup). All of her offerings are taken to the ocean where she dwells. Her children are said to be mother figures in the world. They can be very loving and can be very stern. They can be very appeasing and very hostile in their warrior aspects of their mother Yemaya. You can call on Yemaya when you need advice, female powering, having children and wealth. Also being a warrior, Yemaya is also a smart and great witch. Her spells and magic vast far and beyond and as quick as the oceans wave move, her magic is quicker. You can use her for love spells and money spells. In Palo Mayombe Yemaya is associated with Madre Agua, a fierce water deity who is a witch not to be denied.

When Yemaya makes her appearance at a festival, she mimics the ocean waves at its best and its worse. She is said to continuously spin in circles as a whirlpool. Its said that she does this because she is looking for the crown that Olofi gave her. Elegua was in her domains visiting the queen orisha and he knocked over her crown that began to fall to the bottom of her waters. She started to spin and spin looking for her crown. Once she did not find it, she went on land seeing if her son Elegua took it on land. She is the sister of Ochun in who Yemaya gave Ochun some of her riches. She is the mother in different aspects to all of the orishas. She is the orisha that raised the divine twins of Chango.

Yemaya is also the protector of all fishermen. When they are out to sea, it is said that she watched over them and give them her children so that humankind can survive. When they disrespect Yemaya, she causes gigantic waves that come aboard there vessel sometimes even turning it over. It is said that her domain is also an enormous cemetery as there is so many deaths that happen at sea.

Paths of Yemaya

Ibu Achaba

This is said to be one of the oldest Yemaya. Her colors are light blue with off white beads. Also touches of green and yellow given to her by her husband Orula. She is known as the captain of the boat and her main attribute is the anchor. She also takes an ekuele (divination tool of Ifa) and the irofa (divination brush of Ifa). She is a stern mother and she talks to her children given them her back. When she comes down that’s the way she addresses the community.

Ibu Okunte

This Yemaya is one of the main warrior and violent paths of Yemaya. Her color is dark blue with red. She wears a mariwo around her waist. She also carries the chain that holds her husbands Ogun tools around her waist when she is going to battle. She is a quick and strong warrior. Okunte also knows the roads of sorcery. She lives 6 months in the water and 6 months on land. It is said that when high waves come upon crashing on land, it is Okunte that is stepping on the land for her 6 month trial changing and shaping the land.

When Okunte comes down, she mimics swaying her machete from side to side. She loves to drink oti and smoke cigars. Her main attribute is the machete.

Ibu Mayelewo

This Yemaya lives in the middle of the ocean. She is the owner of the 7 water currents that make up our 7 seas. She also looks at her followers form the side of her face. She is a merchant as she knows the trade of goods. Mayelewo was the orisha that Olofi gave the colors of the world. She painted the skies blue alongside Ibu Asesu. She was also entrusted by Olofi to distribute the colors of paint to the other orishas. With her blue dress, she also wears a belt with 7different colors. She takes a mask and a juiro (empty calabash) where she holds her paints and different secrets. Her main attribute is a little box where she keeps all of her money that she makes at the marketplace. When she comes down, she spins like the ocean waters and dances with plates just as in the house of her followers, she lives in a basket surrounded with plates.

Ibu Okoto

Ibu Okoto is another warrior aspect of Yemaya. She resides in the red sea. This Yemaya is the orisha that is seen where there is blood shed at sea. She watched over war ships especially when they are at battle. Her color is also dark blue and blood red. She was a virgin and she did all that the young male orishas did. You can say like a tomboy. One of her main attributes is a flag. Whether it is a blue flag or a pirate flag. When she comes down she looks like she is stabbing herself with daggers to soak the blue waters red.

Ibu Asesu

This path of Yemaya lives at the seashore where the foam of the water is created. She is the owner of ducks and gooses. Her color is light blue, off white and coral. She is the inseparable daughter of Olokun. She takes a set of masks and a little drum. She is forgetful like the duck in which she always forgets the petitions of her children. It may take her some time to remember, but when Asesu remembers she comes with great force.

Ibu Ataramawa

This Yemaya lives in the depths of the ocean waters where the coral reefs and fishes reside. Her colors are like Ibu Asesu. She takes a small treasure box where she places her treasures of the ocean. She is the guardian of the coastline where there are trees and grasslands.

Ibu Oro

This Yemaya is very mysterious. She lives within the dead of the ocean and she resides over them there. Her color is dark blue and onyx. The followers of the Yemaya should keep her behind a curtain with a mask.

Ibu Elowo

This Yemaya is the owner of all the riches within the sea. She is said to have treasures that have been lost from the beginning of time. She takes chains of pearls, conch shells, and other treasures of the ocean.

Ibu Agana

This Yemaya is said to live at the ocean floor with Olokun. She was the wife of Orisha Oko. She is very beautiful but has 7 balls on her womb. One leg bigger than the other. Olofi’s favored daughter and she is now married to Olokun. She works closely with Oroina and it is said that she is the one that helps it to rain over land so the water returns back to her. Her colors are a deep blue with coral. She takes a mask and a fan made of coral.

Ibu Tinibu

This Yemaya is known for making the oceans waves very rough that human kind enjoys when they go to the beach. She is the one that causes the waves to go high where surfers especially enjoy surfing. Her colors are deep blue, crystals and off white.

Ibu Iña

This Yemaya is known for her arrogant ways. She loves to debate. She is the mother of Inle and Ochosi. Her colors are deep blue, off white and amber.

Ibu Oggun Asomi

She is the sister of Okunte. She is just like her sister with all of her warrior attributes. She takes 2 machetes where she wears at her side. She resides in the superficial part of the ocean. She like her sister loves to drink and smoke and share the same colors.

There is many more but to long to list. The other aspects are more profound within the Ifa traditions.

The family of Yemaya

Ikokó

This is the orisha that is in charge of all the aquatic plants of the ocean,

Olosa

She is the orisha of the lagoons. Also said to be one of Olokun’s daughters or wives. She is said to have saved the children of Yemaya and Ochun from a trap from the babalows. Her messengers are the crocodiles.

Olona

This orisha is said to live in lakes.

Yembo

Yembo is the great mother of all the orishas. They say that she is a path of Yemaya in the aspect of Oddudwa. She is the orisha that gave birth to the orishas. She is the calm seas at the seashore. Stories said that Olodumare had installed in her the different orishas to grow and nurture from her womb. One day she fell at the seashore and the orishas all came from her wombs. She is a great mother aspect in our religion and through her the real crown of Yemaya was born. Her secrets are kept in a white or blue sopera, depending on house or rama you come from. She also takes the secrets of Yemaya and Obatala in her vessel. All of her sacrificial animals are white and must be clean. Her sacrificial foods are not used with a knife as she had a very disrespectful encounter with her son Ogun. For that she uses a bamboo knife for her foods. Her colors are blue and an off white color.

Elegua is the orisha who opens and closes all paths to mankind. He is the divider of heaven and earth. He travels between heaven and earth letting Olofi and Olodumare know what goes on in this realm. Elegua is a child orisha in some aspects that loves to play tricks and tests the faith of man. He walks between night and day searching for mankind to test their faith for the great Olofi and the orishas. There is said to be 121 paths of Elegua. He ranges from a young child to an old man with lots of knowledge. There is also a path of Elegua where the essence is of a woman. In more than half of Elegua’s paths, he is a young child that sits on corners, mountain tops, seashores, hospital entrances, cemetery gates and so on. He has many names as he has been called Elegba, Elegbara, Legba, Eshu or Exu. Elegua is seen all around the world. From continent to continent Elegua’s presence is felt, praised and heard. Inseparable friend of Ogun and Ochosi who the trio makes up the “The Warriors” first set of orishas to receive in Santeria. Elegua is any and everywhere.

Elegua is the guardian of the dead also as thru him he unlocks the door for the deceased to walk through to reach Olofi where they will rest. In this path he is called Eshu Alagwana. In other religions or beliefs you can associate him with the Egyptian god of the dead Osiris, who leads the dead through the underworld.

Elegua is the one that makes you play at your own risk. In that I mean, he is the one that if your stuck at a crossroad and you don’t know which way to go, its him that testes you and watches you make your decision. If you make the wrong decision, Elegua will open the door with his garavato (hook stick made from the guava tree) to make you pay your consequence. While you are paying for your mistakes, he testes you again to see if you will continue to do wrong or take the right path. If you succeed and take the right path he will unlock the door to happiness and fortune. If you’ve heard of a maze then you can

associate it with Elegua. Our lives are shaped into mazes to see which path we go. Elegua

is the guardian that sits at every corner and turn of the maze. If you make the wrong

move, he will open the path to the wrong outcome. If you take the correct path, he will open the path that you are seeking.

Elegua knows and sees all. There is nothing that Elegua doesn’t know. He is the messenger of Olodumare and Olofi, alongside with the orishas. Which means, he is the one that takes the messages from humankind to the orishas and the messages from the orishas to Olofi. This is why he is the first and last orisha to be praised to in every ceremony done in Santeria.

A Pataki on Elegua

One day Olofi was greatly ill and depressed on situations among the universe. He was doing so much in the universe and here on Earth as in still creating life, giving orishas their ache (powers) and so on. He was so tired that he grew frail. All of the orishas were summoned to see if they can help cure Olofi from his dilemma. All of the orishas gathered in the great hall of Olofi where the supreme being sat on his throne with a lost look in his eye. You can tell his mind was going a mile a minute and due to this he wasn’t feeling very good. As he sat slumped on his throne, the orishas gathered around and were conversing amongst each other. Obatala tried to clean him with his white cloth, Olofi remained the same. Orula prepared him a tonic to drink, and Olofi remained the same. Ozain tried to rub a medical herb and the great Olofi stayed the same. Inle tried to clean Olofi with his staff and still the same action. Every orisha tried and tried but were unsuccessful.

Elegua was amongst the orishas but since he was a child the other orishas out stood him. He shrugged on Yemaya’s skirt to get her attention. He asked Yemaya if he could try, Yemaya told him to behave and be quiet. He then shrugged on Oya’s skirt and with the look that Oya gave him he ran under the legs of the other orishas that were standing nearby. He then shrugged on Agallu’s pants and Agallu told him to go outside and play that this was for the elder orishas and his presence is not needed here. Elegua grew upset and ran to Obatala and asked him why he couldn’t try to help and revive Olofi. Obatala looked at Elegua and began to tell him in a soft voice that the ache that Elegua contained had no match to heal Olofi. He went on to tell Elegua that all the other orishas are trying their best to do what they can for Olofi. Elegua looked at Obatala and asked him to please let him try. If he is also an orisha then he should be able to try as well. He said if the others are trying, why cant him. Obatala who contains the ashe of peace and knowledge raised his staff and ordered silence among the orishas. He told them to step aside and let Elegua try and revive Olofi. All the orishas began to whimper under their breath not to make Obatala hear them since he was the eldest and father figure to all the orishas.

Elegua walked slowly to Olofi’s throne and looked at him from head to toe. Olofi still with a weak look in his eyes didn’t even pay attention to Elegua’s presence. Elegua put his garavato on the floor, reached into his nap sack and pulled out 3 herbs. See Elegua was always roaming the woods and he has seen Ozain work with the different herbs of

the forest. So with the herbs that he picked up he grabbed a leaf from each branch and placed it gently in the mouth of Olofi. Now all of the orishas are seeing this young child on the lap of Olofi and are wondering how long Obatala is going to make this mockery last. Elegua grabs the mouth of Olofi and manually moves it so the supreme being can chew and swallow what he has placed. After Olofi has swallowed the herbs, Elegua takes out a feather from his nap sack and passes it over the body of Olofi. After he is done he jumps off Olofi’s lap and starts to walk down from the throne. Obatala has grief in his eyes as Olofi is still the same.

All of the orishas start to talk again on how Elegua’s tactics was unforgivable and he should be reprimanded for it. While they are talking, there’s a slight glow from Olofi’s chest. The glow gets brighter and brighter until the great Olofi is standing tall and mighty on his throne with a light so powerful that all of the orishas fall to their knees in respect. A loud deep voice calls Elegua to the throne .Olofi thanks Elegua for what he has done. He tells him that all have come and tried to revive him, but they all have failed. He then asked Elegua how did he know what to use. Elegua looked at Olofi and told him that he studied every part of the forest and its secrets. He has seen how every orisha works differently with their elements. He went on and told Olofi how he wanted to try but none of the orishas would let him, only Obatala. Olofi smiled and told Elegua that from this day forward he would have the virtue to open all gates and doors and pathways. He gave Elegua a gold key that unlocked Olofi’s house and every door in the universe. He also blessed his feather and told him with this feather you are able to walk through time forward and backwards, through light and dark, through evil and good. Then Olofi proclaimed in front of the orishas and the universe that Elegua would be his personal messenger, since he knows and has seen all what the orishas are doing on Earth. He told them that they will always have to count first with Elegua in all that they do. If Elegua wasn’t appeased, then their work and messages would not reach his castle. He then went on and told him that Elegua would also be the first to eat in every ceremony. The first to be prayed to in every ceremony. With that said and done, Olofi touched Elegua’s head and a inner light shined from within Elegua.

Elegua as a kid at heart turned and faced the court of orishas and stuck his tongue out at them as to say ha ha. Olofi smiled at Elegua and sent him on his way to maintain order in the crossroads of humanity and the orishas.

Elegua’s feast day is June 13th. His colors are red and black. In certain paths white is also given to him. Elegua loves to play and dance. He loves candies, cakes and all types of sweets. He watches over children of all ages and races. He loves games and doing mischievous stuff. Even as a child orisha, Elegua loves to drink oti and smoke cigars. I guess since you have the key to everything given by Olofi, you can do as you please. Elegua is a glut when it comes to food so he is never turns down any type of food. His sacrificial foods are male goats, chickens, roosters and possum rat. Elegua does not eat pigeon in the majority of his paths. Only in a handful does he. Elegua does have children that he crowns. His children are very intelligent, driven individuals. They are kids at heart. They love children and are infatuated by adventures. In Palo Mayombe Elegua is associated with Lucero Mundo, the door opener in Palo.

The difference between Eshu and Elegua

Eshu and Elegua are 2 different entities that form a bond. Eshu is the force that brings the trickster out and the negative energies. Eshu is consecrated through Ifa and he is used to send the different offerings to the orishas. The difference you can say between these 2 are simple. Elegua always resides inside of the house behind the door and Eshu resides outside of the house. And this is because Eshu is so complicated that every time he comes inside a house he brings torment and arguments. Elegua was an orisha and Eshu was not an orisha. Eshu would walk the streets to see what torment he could do to humans because they did not pay him any homage. Elegua who is always attended to would always be seen eating because that’s what he loves to do. He saw Eshu one day and gave him some of his offerings. Eshu and Elegua sat and ate and made fun of the people in the streets. It was time for Elegua to go inside and Eshu to continue to roam the streets. Eshu would always try to go inside the house of the humans but when he did he would cause havoc until one day Oshun saw him and devised a plan. She saw how Eshu would be controlled when he was fed so she made a pact with him. She told him that as long as us humans put a plate of food for him outside the house he promised he will not come in to cause havoc. Eshu agreed to the pact and they shook on it. Elegua who was there said that he would walk alongside Eshu and that’s where the bond grew in between them. Obatala came down and gave Eshu and Elegua a white bead so that they can wear together to overpower the havoc and torments Eshu had. From that day Eshu Elegua would walk together side by side as one. Eshu is given by babalows in Ifa and Eshu is not allowed on the head of an initiate in the Yoruba belief. You must receive Elegua who is allowed to go to the head of an initiate. Eshu will eat alongside Elegua and the table scraps will go outside by the front door or by a tree in the front yard for Eshu. You should place a wooden bowl (jicara) with the table scrappings, a tabacco or cigarette standing up in the center and place it for Eshu so he will be content and not come inside the house of the priest/ess.

Some paths of Elegua

Eshu Alaroye/Laroye

This path is one of the youngest of the Elegua’s. He sits behind every door. He loves to play jokes and be mischievous. He is the good friend and messenger of Oshun. He loves to walk the streets and he is very useful in money problems. He can cause you to loose everything or gain everything. When Laroye comes down to earth, he goes around and plays with the children, eat cakes and dances alongside with the orishas. You have to keep an eye on him as he likes to take to the streets to find who he can play a tick on.

Eshu Alagwanna/Lagwanna

This path is a very strong Elegua. This Eshu is said to be the overseer of the egungun which are the spirits of the dead. Alagwanna sits at the cemetery gates guarding and maintaining order of the dead that pass through the gates. Close friend and messenger to

Oya. Chains are very essential to him When Alagwanna comes down to the earth, he is very stern and does not like foolishness. He enjoys to dance and loves to consult about family or ancestors that have passed on.

Eshu Bi

This Eshu is known to be seen at crossroads. He is an Eshu that causes distruct and misfortune to those who deserve it. He gives painful and dangerous lessons in which if you don’t learn the lesson, he will instruct another one that would be more terrible. He can be best friend or your worst enemy. When Eshu Bi comes down he likes to talk stern to his followers. He gives good advices and expects you to listen to them.

Eshu Anaki

This path is said to be one of the paths that Elegua is represented as a female. It is said that Anaki is the one who keeps order among the Elegua’s. She is the one that sends each path out to do what is needed to be done among humans.

Eshu Aina/BaraAina

This Eshu is said to walk closely and the messenger of Chango. He is said to open the paths for Chango when he goes to battle. Eshu Aina wears a thunderstone on his head and alongside with his garavato, he holds a double axe like Chango. This Eshu is said to also cause fire as one of his punishments.

Eshu Arerebioko

This Eshu is said to be the path that walks alongside Ogun. When Ogun is in the forest its Eshu Arerebioko that accompanies him and keeps him company and he also sits at corners. It is said that when an accident happens at a corner, it is Arerebioko who caused it so he and Ogun can eat.

Eshu Aye

This path of Elegua is said to walk the seashores. Aye is the conch shell that lives in the salt waters accompanied by Yemaya. This Eshu knows all what we want. Aye also means mundo (world). So he is the one that knows and contains riches to all.

Eshu Elegbara

This path of Eshu is from the land of Ketu. He brings good fortune and blessings to his followers. One can attend him outside of your house by the dumpster. He loves to smoke and drink.

Eshu Alaketu

This Eshu sits on the outskirts of the town of Ketu in Africa where Eshu is praised. He is a wise man that brings fortune to the town.

Eshu Afra

This path of Elegua is from Arara, the land of Dahomey . Afra is the close and personal friend of Asojano. He is received when one receives Asojano. He is said to be a middle age and loves to smoke cigars. This Eshu does not like rum nor corojo. He likes dry wine to be placed to him. He is the one that opens the roads for Asojano to take or dispel epidemics on the land.

Eshu Ana

This Eshu is the owner and path owner to the sacred drums. He is the one that opens the path for communication between the sacred drums and the orishas. When Eshu Ana comes down, he loves to dance.

Eshu Ashikuelu

This path lives at the entrance of the marketplace. He is a great negotiator and can be used for money resolutions. He loves a good bargain.

Eshu Bara Layiki

This Eshu loves to dance and party. He loves to drink and play just as Laroye. He is called to make the party happy and blissful.

Eshu Dako

This path is always in the forest. He knows the secrets to many herbs and the secret also to the hunt. He likes to dress in animal skin.

Eshu Alboni

This Eshu lives high in the moutains. Very close to the heavens and guards those doors. Close to the orishas of the white cloth.

Eshu Ayeru

This Eshu is the messenger of Ifa. He works closely and guards the Ifa and its babalows.

Eshu Aroyeyi

This path guards the entrance to Olofi’s castle. He stands near the entrance and through him you have to pass to get to Olofi.

Eshu Ode/Ode Mata

This path of Eshu walks alongside Ochosi in hunt. He is the one that opens the path and trees so Ochosi can aim in on his prey. He likes his rum or anisette. He takes a crossbow and arrows cemented on him in which he uses to hunt with his friend.

Eshu Owo

This Eshu is the one that guards all the riches of the world. One keeps him happy so he can bring abundance to the home. He will always maintain you with money in your pocket if you attend to him correctly.

Eshu Beleke

He loves to play as a child. Loves to dance and brings good fortune to ones who deserves. If not he will bring the opposite and until you are ready, he will not bring you happiness.

Eshu Eluufe

This is an old and wise Eshu. He doesn’t like to be disrespected under any circumstances. This Eshu can for see all

Chango is one of the most talked about and most favorable orisha of Santeria. Chango also know as Shango, Sango, Alufina, Xango in Brazil, was a great warrior. He is the orisha of the thunder and thunderbolt. He is the thunderbolt that falls from the sky upon the land. When you hear the loud sound of thunder roaring through the heavens, it is Chango that is riding his white horse looking to serve justice. Chango is seen as a tall handsome man with an extreme physique. He is always dressed in satin outfits with his tiger skin wrapped around him. His crown is always firm on his head and it is always shining. His colors are red and white and in the home of a priest, he lives in a wooden batea (vessel), where his secrets and implements are kept. Chango loves to dance and he knows how to hype up a party. When he arrives, the party has just begun as he will dance and impress everyone that is there. He is also the owner of the bátá drums (the double headed drums in Santeria). When he finishes his dance, he is quick to grab the drums to show his skills.

Chango is a womanizer. He loves to flirt with all women. His dance is very seductive in which he uses to seduce his woman onlookers. Chango had many relations with females from every village. Maybe out of all the orishas he had the most with all and any woman. He had 3 wives that he loved dearly, each for their own special characteristics. Ochun, Obba and Oya. He loved Ochun for her flirtatious and cunning ways, as she kept the lust between them. Whenever Chango needed that spark for lust he will look for Oshun sometimes at a festival where should we be dancing and flirting amongst all the orishas. Oshun would bedazzle him with her exotic dance.

Obba he loved dearly for she was the way a wife is idolized. The relation he had with

Obba was so pure that he made her his legitamate wife and queen of his village in Oyo. She was the one who tended to his every need and made sure that the king was satisfied as the way he should be as well with her cooking as she knew how to get to a mans stomach. She kept the castle clean and organized and for that Olofi created the first marriage to be recognized. Due to a trick by his jealous mistress Oya (before Oya and Chango were married), Obba did something so disgusting that the king never forgave her and that ended their marriage.

Last Oya, who he stole from his brother Ogun, loved because she did not fear anyone. Oya was the one that gave him that life and spark that he needed. She always surprised him. She was a warrior that could stand right next to the king Chango. She would go with him into any and all battles that Chango had. It is said that Oya would ride on her horse first before any battle that Chango had. If you look today, when a storm is approaching, lightning which is also Oya, flashes across the sky, then soon after you will hear the sounds of Chango’s horse galloping through the skies which is the thunder. If you’re lucky enough, you will also see Chango throwing a thunderbolt down to the earth.

Pataki of Chango

One day the great orisha Chango was playing the bátá drums in a nearby village. Chango as usual was beating the drums and he had the party going. He would take a heavy drink of his oti and beat harder and faster on the drums. Everyone was dancing and enjoying themselves. Yemaya came to the festivities and she was dancing and enjoying herself alongside with everyone present at the party, while Elegua who was already there was talking and playing tricks on the villagers. Elegua left the party for a moment and arrived back as it was finishing with some gossip that he had seen. When the party finished he called his good friend Chango over and told him the gossip that he saw.

Elegua told Chango that he left and stopped at Obatala and Yembo’s house to see how they were doing. He told him that he was talking to Osun (the last orisha received alongside with “The Warriors” represented by a rooster standing on a silver stick) about situations that were occurring in Obatala’s house. Elegua as devious as he is started to give Osun oti to see if he could keep talking. Just as he planned, Osun talked and talked and told Elegua what was going on. He told him that Ogun would come to the house drunk when Baba (another form to call a father orisha) was not there and speak rough to his mother Yembo. Osun went to say that this has been happening for awhile now and that today out of all days, Ogun came very drunk. As the two were conversing Ogun came by staggering and swaying his machete. He walked right past Elegua and Osun and did not even see them. He barged into the house and grabbed Yembo. He started to rip off her clothes and threw her onto the bed where she and Obatala lay. Yembo who was helpless, screamed and called for help. Right before Ogun could mount her, the great Osagrinan (a path of Obatala) appeared. He screamed out to Ogun to stop and to get out. Ogun out of shame left to the woods never to stop working for his actions that he did. Elegua who saw this was very upset that Ogun violated Yembo and the great Obatala.

Chango hearing all of this from Elegua was in a rage and he knew that his friend Elegua wouldn’t lie about this as he knew that Elegua knew all. His rage turned into fury to hear the disrespect Ogun did to there mother Yembo. He immediately jumped on his horse and rode to the house of Ogun. When he arrived he saw that Ogun was not there but he did see the beautiful Oya wielding the new sword that her husband Ogun made for her. He has seen her in many festivals and at the marketplace but never spoke to her because of the relationship she had with his brother Ogun. Chango had a spark in his eye and proceeded to walk up to Oya. When Oya saw Chango she kept her eyes off of him as she too was infatuated with Chango but never dear follow the situation, because she was faithful to Ogun. Chango fixed his shirt and moustache and approached Oya with a great swag.

Oya could not resist his swag and she looked at him directly into his eyes. She was in a trance as she noticed the gleam in the irresistible Chango. Chango asked for his brother in which Oya told him that he has not been home for hours. Chango asked Oya for a drink of oti and Oya immediately ran and gave it to him. She knew that he was a king and whatever the king wanted he must have. Oya gave him his drink and Chango took a sip of

it and placed in on the table. Oya asked him if there was anything else that he requested.

Chango smiled and grabbed Oya very softly and gave her a kiss. Chango’s passion rose from within him straight to his lips that now caressed the lips of Oya and she fell at that moment in the arms of Chango. The great king made passionate love to Oya in Ogun’s house. The same disrespect that he tried to perform on his mother Yembo would be the same disrespect he would perform in the house of his brother Ogun.

Hours later Ogun arrived to his house, ashamed of his actions toward his mother and

father. He was picking up his tools to begin work as that was his punishment he put on himself in front of his father Obatala and Olofi. He noticed that the house was empty and his wife Oya was no where in sight. He called for her but there was no answer. He noticed that there was an empty cup on the table with some left over oti in it and wondered whose it was. Ogun baffled, went to his room and noticed the bed was in a mess. Since he had been drinking heavily he did not register on what he was seeing. When he came out of the room, he saw his friend Elegua sitting by the door. He asked Elegua what happened and Elegua with a stern voice reminded him on the shameful act that he did today. Ogun who was hung over did not want to remember what happened earlier but wanted to know what happened to his wife Oya. Elegua smirked and told him

a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye. Ogun did not know what Elegua was saying

asked him what was he talking about. Elegua told Ogun that where ever Chango is at, Oya is very near. Ogun now put the pieces together, grabbed his machete and charged out of his house running to the house of his brother Chango.

Ogun ran and ran all the way to the gates of Chango’s castle. He demanded to be let into the kingdom. Chango’s guards notified Chango of the noise that Ogun was making outside. Chango stepped on his balcony and asked Ogun what was the ruckus and disrespect he was doing outside of his house. Ogun said the disrespect was he Chango coming to his house and taking his wife Oya. Chango brought Oya onto the balcony and showed her to her husband. Ogun’s rage grew more and demanded Chango to release her.

Oya told Ogun that she was not there by force but on her own will. Ogun stated to her that she was under a potion that Chango gave her. Oya told Ogun that Chango did not give her a potion and this was a day that she yearned for since the first time she saw Chango. Ogun repeated to her that Chango did something to her. Ogun turned and looked at Chango and asked him why did he disrespect him for, come to his house and take his wife. Chango with a roar told Ogun that the same way he barged into the house of his parents and violated his mother, this was pay back. And with that said and done Chango leaped from the balcony that was high up in his castle straight to where Ogun was at. Before Chango touched the floor a thunderbolt landed right next to Ogun that made him fall back quite a few feet. Chango and Ogun started a battle that lasted for hours. As Chango’s guards watched in confusion because they did not want to get involved between these 2 brothers wrath. The 2 orishas fought against each other. Chango threw thunderbolt after thunderbolt hitting the ground where Ogun’s feet were. Ogun with each leap got close to Chango and swayed his machete hitting Chango. These 2 orishas gave each other bruise after bruise. Oya seeing all of this wanted this to stop, so she blew her winds so far and fast until her cries reached to the ears of Obatala. She then glided on towards them both.

Obatala who heard Oya’s cries came fast on his horse to see what was going on. When he reached Chango’s castle he saw the 2 orishas fighting each other with Oya in the middle. Oya stood in the middle of them both trying to stop the battle but they both did not listen to her. The great Obatala approached them both and as he is the king and orisha of peace, his soft voice brought a silence over the kingdom of Chango. He demanded both of them to stop the brawl. Chango seeing his father threw himself at the great orisha of the white cloth in homage. Obatala lifted Chango up and gave him a hug. Ogun asked his father Obatala that why he was being so nice and humble to Chango when it was Chango that started all of this. Obatala asked Ogun in what way did Chango disrespect him. Ogun went and told him that Chango went to his house and took his wife Oya from him and now she is with him. Obatala turned and asked Chango if this was true and Chango proclaimed that it was. Chango then turned and told Obatala that it was revenge. Ogun screamed revenge and brought his machete high over his head to strike Chango. Immediately Chango raised his oshé to strike back. Obatala raised his hands and both orishas brought down there weapons. Chango told Ogun that it was revenge for him going to there fathers house and taking advantage on there mother Yembo. Chango said the same way you went in and took advantage, I went to your house and took advantage on your wife in which now she is mines.

Obatala turned to Chango and told him that 2 wrongs don’t make a right and that was wrong on what he did. He continued to tell him that he shouldn’t have gone and barged into Ogun’s house and take Oya from him. Elegua who was present as usual bowed his head to Obatala and told him that Chango did not barge in that Oya let him in with no problem. Oya stated that it was true. She turned to her former husband Ogun and told him that she always loved and respected him but that Chango brought to her a wild fire passion that she has been yearning for a long time and it is with Chango she is going to stay with. Obatala told Chango to take Oya inside and he told Ogun to go back home and think of all the defects that he did today. Chango asked Obatala why was he so easy on

his brother Ogun. Chango asked where was his punishment in which Obatala said Ogun already has received his punishment. Chango turned and took Oya inside and peace was brought back to the kingdom of Chango.

Chango’s feast day is December 4th. He is the owner of fire and passion as well. Chango loves to drink, dance and eat. His sacrificial animals are rams, roosters, turtles, cornish hens and guinea hens. His favorite food is cornmeal with okra and he loves red apples and green bananas. He is the orisha that brings justice to mankind. Chango rides day and night looking to bring justice to his father Obatala and Olofi. The drums beat in his heart. He loves everything perfect and nothing deformed. His children are very outgoing people. They love to drink and party and they have a passion and fire on their tongues that they conquer all battles when they use their head. Chango is friends to all the orishas except to his brother Ogun that they are constantly in battle whenever they are in front of each. But never the less, Chango aides and loves the children of Ogun and vice versa. Chango is a great friend and ally to have in your corner. He keeps a close eye on his children and he protects them to the fullest from everything.

Chango is able to breathe fire from his mouth. He found out the secret from the herb orisha Osain who gave him Abocun which is the secret of the fire. Chango keeps Abocun deep in his mortar locked in a safe room. When Chango is going to battle he first goes to Abocun to gain the secret of the fire. He puts it on his tongue and is instantly able to blow fire from his mouth. He then rides out with his daughter Aiña, who is the heat of the fire. Abocun was found by Oya who was snooping around Chango’s castle and saw the lock door. As the air we breathe she passed right through and put the secret of Abocun on her tongue and from that day she was able to breathe fire from her mouth.

In the religion Palo Mayombe, Chango is represented by the palo deity Siete Rayos who share the same characteristics as the orisha Chango. They are not the same but the share a lot of similarities.

While a storm is going on where there is lightning and thunder, you should always salute Chango with his salutations. “Kabi O Sile” The great king. If you see a thunderbolt hit the ground, after the rain has subdued, go to where the bolt hit and dig a hole. It is said that he leaves traces of his thunderbolt through a black stone that is called and odu ara (lightning bolt stone). He loves this stone and all of his followers wear this stone around their necks or on them to represent the orisha.

Dada y Ibañi

Dada and Ibañi are the orisha of new born children. Dada and Ibañi are siblings to the orisha Chango. Dada was the orisha who raised her little brother Chango when he was thrown out by Obbatala due to the ordeal that Ogun caused on Yembo. Dada is used to ensure the crown of the priest or priestess. She is received to reaffirm your crown so you do not lose it. She is accompanied by Ibañi, who sits as a crown that was given back to her brother Chango when he lost his head and crown due to hot head. Dada is represented in a wooden vessel similar to the one used by Agallu where her secrets are kept. Her

mysteries take a lot of things that are placed inside of this wooden vessel. Ibañi is represented by the crown that sits on top of Dada that is adorned with shells and beads. Her colors are red and white as Chango but they have a specific order in which they go. 2 white followed by 2 red until completion with shells. 6 braids of a girl is also used to adorn the crown of Ibañi. These braids must be from a virgin girl and must be black. On top of the crown, priest adorned it with African grey feathers which show royalty. Inside of Ibañi, the priest will pack it with different secrets and mysteries pertaining to Dada and the guardian angel that originally is crowned on the priest/ess head. It is said that Dada is a orisha that shouldn’t be given out to everyone because of the simple fact that you are giving your crown to someone else and ultimately you will fall. Especially if you have a specific sign in that you definetly cant give it. This orisha lives on top of Chango 6 months or for the remaining of your life depending on the sign or oddun that you bring with Dada. Her sacrificial animals are the same foods that Chango eats. In some houses, Dada’s mysteries are born but are fed with Obatala and Osun which he is the owner and ruler of all heads whether you are initiated or not. Both procedures are correct. Dada does have children but he is not crowned on the head actually. If there is a child of Dada which is rare and has not been seen in ages, they are initiated into Chango’s realm and are given Dada and Ibañi’s secrets aside and live on top of Chango forever. One pataki says that Chango had lost his crown due to his stubbornness and a king is not a king without their crown. His sister Dada who she always was with Ibañi, saw the way Chango was not respected as king. Ibañi told Chango that he would be his crown and he will make his crown more fundament. Chango placed Ibañi on his head and walked back into his kingdom where he was noticed as the king once more. Dada helped raise Chango alongside with Maselobi. You can say she was like his nanny but in reality she was his sister.

Oggue

Oggue is the orisha that represents the horns of animals. He lives with Chango or alongside of him. He was a gift that Oya gave to Chango. Oggue is represented by a set of bull horns. He does not mount or get initiated. He was given to Chango because one day Chango’s enemies tried to poison the orisha with a pigeon. When Chango was about to eat the pigeon he grew weak and Oggue knew something was wrong. So Oggue offered to eat the pigeon and when he did he noticed that it was indeed poisoned to kill Chango. From that day forward Chango does not eat pigeon. Who eats pigeon is Oggue for Chango due to that pact that they have. He rumbles over all obstacles that lay in Chango’s path and the path of all initiates who have him. His dance is represented by placing your forefingers on your head and imitating the movement of a bull.

The Ibejis

The Ibejis or the divine twins are 2 of the most adorable orishas in our community. They are small but very powerful. These orishas are given to priest/ess to overcome difficulty within our everyday lives. They are represented by 2 small vessels that are the same and 2 dolls that are also the same. One usually a male and the other a female. The girl is

dressed in blue and the boy is dressed in red and white. They both have the necklaces of the 5 major orishas that are given to every new initiate. They love to be kids and toys should be put to them. The Ibejis just at Elegua love cakes and parties and they are summons when something is really hard to obtain. That’s by either throwing them a party in their name or just attending to them. They do not have children that they are crowned to but it is said and believed that when a mother gives birth to a set of twins, their guardian angel is either Chango or Yemaya. You usually will bring the guardian angel of one of them and if it comes out Chango, the other twin is automatically a child of Yemaya and vice versa. The next child the mother bears following the twins is usually a child of Oshun, due to that Ideu is the third child that Oshun bore after the divine twins. The twins are children of Oshun with Chango. Oshun became pregnant and stepped out the scene of the orishas to tend to her secret pregnancy. After the twins were born she secretly rushed to her sister Yemaya’s house. Yemaya who was wondering where her sister Oshun was for such a long time greeted her and there is where she found out why Oshun was lost. Oshun told Yemaya that she was too young to nurture for her twins and that Yemaya would be a better mother that can give them all they needed. So Yemaya took them as her own. Oshun as a gift to her kids gave them a necklace of hers. These twins were said to have defeated Olosi (the devil) by making his life impossible. Olosi was walking the earth planning to attack the humans on earth and the twins who saw Olosi decided to have some fun with him. They attacked him with the sounds of the drums and playful tricks. Every time Olosi would try to chase one, he would disappear and the other one would come out from where he was hiding. Olosi did not know that they were twins, he believed that there was only one. Olosi grew so tired of chasing that he retreated back to where he came from and the twins were praised. Another story says that one time Obatala’s enemies were trying to kill him for always changing the ways that they were living. His enemies went to Obatala’s cook and bribed him to be on their side. They offered him a better pay and a better life for him. Obatala’s cook gave in and agreed. Obatala is allergic and does not like salt in his foods and that’s how his enemies were going to get rid of Obatala. The twins overheard this and told Obatala what was planned for him. Obatala did an ebbo and found out that it was true what the twins were telling him. For their courageous efforts, Obatala gave them a white bead each in his name. Their sacrifical foods are male chickens and pigeons. What you give to one you must give to the other. Their sacrificial foods are cooked and served to them on 2 plates. When you want to resolve something with them, you can make a shrine for them and throw them a simple party where other kids are at with cakes, foods, toys and your everyday party favors. But make sure what you serve to the other kids at the party, you must place the same for the Ibejis.

Aiña

Aiña is one of Chango’s children. She is a girl that represents his fire. Not the secret but she represents his fire. She is said just to be like her father and when Chango goes to war, she goes alongside of him burning everything in her path. She eats the same as her father Chango. She lives in a red vessel with her secrets and mysteries. She also takes a guiro

where her other secrets are placed. This is said to hang in the house of Chango’s followers but not where anybody walks under. You should keep a glass of water next to Aiña so she can keep the fire out of your house and path. When one is at war, you place Aiña next to Chango and you wear her ceremonial necklace that is made up of fire red beads.

Irawo

This orisha is said to live with either Chango or Orisha Oko. Irawo is represented by a shooting star or comet. It is said that Chango rode Irawo to earth. If you look up in the dark sky of ara onu, you can see Irawo soaring across the sky.

Obacun

He is one of Chango’s guards. He is represented by a wooden statue with an oshé on top of his head. This statues is painted or dressed in red and white and sometimes he is riding a horse. He has his own tureen that sits next to Chango.

Abokun

This is the orisha that is the secret of Chango’s fire that he lets out of his mouth when he is at war or upset.

The orisha of the woods is Ogun. Ogun is a tall, strong man that wields a heavy machete from side to side chopping everything in his path. He is the one who knows how to manipulate the metal of iron. With his great big anvil deep in the forest he forges and changes the shape of metal into the everyday tools that we as humankind use. Ogun is a well know sorcerer and he knows secrets to all of the plants that the forest contains. With this, he can see where and what you are doing and before you know it, he is in front of you preparing to attack. He is also in charge of construction and the fundaments of building. He is the chief constructor. He is the overseer of labor workers. Without his leadership there is no foundation in anything we do. Ogun is also the technology we use to survive in life. He is the wires that lights up our streets and homes, the cars and buses we drive, the trains and planes we ride. Inseparable friend of Elegua and Ochosi who the trio makes up the “The Warriors” first set of orishas to receive in Santeria.

There is a pataki of Ogun that says that a long time ago he was working hard in the forest. He arrived back to his town and notice that the people of the town were actually not giving him the recognition that he deserved. Ogun worked all day at this and one day his longtime friend Elegua came to visit him. Elegua told Ogun that it seemed like no one really paid him any attention in the town and all they did was use him for his talents. Ogun noticing and listening carefully to Elegua, stood up and turned off the fire that he used to heat up his metals. He grabbed his machete and oti (liquor) and walked into the forest without saying a word. Elegua looked at his friend that just walked until he disappeared amongst the bushes.

Days upon days, the town grew weary and all life came to a stand still. Everyone noticed

that Ogun’s house was empty and dark and there was no sign of anyone being there for days. Farmers needed new tools for their plows, soldiers needed new armory. Even the orishas who came to Ogun as well were in need of tuning their essentials. Oya needed her sable sharpened, Ochosi needed new arrow points, Orisha Oko needed a new plow for his crops. Everyone wondered where was Ogun.

The orishas called upon Olofi who came to the town and asked them why are they looking for Ogun. Everyone started to say what they needed, what they wanted and so on. Olofi then told them, did they ever stop to thank Ogun for his work. Did they ever pay homage to the great orisha who works day and night due to his own curse that he put on himself to work day and night. Everyone stayed quiet as the great Olofi was talking. Olofi said that Ogun has retreated deep into the forest and lets see who can get him to come back. Olofi said he was not going to interfere, that he was going to let the orishas and humankind delegate on how to get Ogun back to civilization.

Each orisha, one by one went deep into the forest in search for Ogun. Elegua went looking for his friend and found him sitting by a rock sharpening his machete. Ogun saw him and chased Elegua until Elegua came out of the forest gasping for air. Oya went to look for Ogun and when she found him, he grabbed her and threw across the woods with one swirl of his arm. Oya came back out staggering. Yemaya went, Ochosi went, Chango went, but none succeeded. All the orishas went but their was one orisha who was requesting to go. Oshun. Everyone laughed at her idea because she was the youngest and least knowledgeable of the woods and to face Ogun with the rage that he was in, it would be dangerous. Olofi gave her his blessings and Ochun grabbed 5 yellow cloths, her pouch and marched into the woods.

Oshun saw Ogun from far working on some tools and she started to use her tactics. She went to the river that was nearby and she got undressed. While all of this Oshun is singing and laughing to herself. Showing the lovely and admirable side of her. Ogun heard the singing and laughing and wondered where it was coming from. He glimpsed Oshun bathing naked in the river and was blinded by her beauty. Oshun came out of the river and caressed her body with her main implement, oni (honey). She rubbed it all over while laughing and singing. Without Ogun’s knowledge, Oshun went behind Ogun and smeared some of her honey on his lips. The great orisha was like a tame beast. He was dumbfounded and was in a trance. Oshun walked slowly while giving a seductive dance and dropped one of the yellow cloths on the ground. Ogun still in a trance slowly grabbed the cloth and followed the seductive orisha. Oshun kept her composure and glimpsed at Ogun from the corner of her eye and noticed that he was coming out of the trance, so she danced up to him and smeared more honey on his lips to reinforce the trance. Ogun was caught again and continued to follow Oshun picking up another cloth. Oshun continued to do this until she got near to the town. She dropped the 5th cloth and smeared more honey on Ogun’s lips and walked him straight into town where everyone was waiting in shock to see that this young orisha was able to bring the great forge man to town.

When Ogun reached the center of the town, everyone started to cheer in Ogun’s name. Everyone ran to Ogun and told him how they were sorry for not giving him his homage.

All the townsmen brought out the best liquor and foods and they beat the drums in honor of Ogun. Olofi turned to everyone and stated that this was a lesson needed to be learned. When one does something nice for you, you should always be respectful and be humble to that person because you never know when you will need them again. Olofi blinked his eye at the lovely Oshun and retreated back to the heavens.

From that day on Ogun has always been recognized for his actions and he has always received the homage that he deserves. Maferefun Ogun and Ochun!

Ogun feast day is June 29. His colors are green, red and purple. His main implement is the machete. His sacrifice are all animals but he loves goats, roosters, possum rat, pigeons and the guinea hen. He loves to drink, smoke cigars and dance. Ogun is also know to reside at the train tracks where some of his offerings are taken to besides the forest. Son of Obatala and Yembo, husband of Oshun and Oya his lost wife who was stolen by his brother Chango. The children of Ogun are hard working individuals and they do not rest until they are finish. They love to be in charge of the situation. They will cut and forge anything that they want. Just like Ogun, his children love to dance, drink and enjoy life. Ogun watches over his children very strongly and when he is in battle for one of his children he will not rest until he has won the battle. In Palo Mayombe Ogun is associated with the great warrior Zarabanda in which he was a great king. The same implements used by Ogun is used by Zarabanda. They say if you take out Ogun’s secret from his cauldron, he turns into Zarabanda in egun form.

There are different paths of Ogun

Ogun Alagwede

This Ogun is the oldest. He is the Ogun that knows the secret to forging the metal. This path of Ogun is a hard working and he does not rest until he gets the job done. When Alagwede comes down he mimics the act of forging the metal on top of his anvil.

Ogun Arere

This Ogun also knows the secret of the metal. He is a warrior and cuts through the tall grasses to conquer what needs to be conquered. Accompanied by Ochosi and Elegua to look for game to hunt. Arere loves to drink and battled Chango on certain occasions. He knows the woods profoundly and knows its secrets.

Ogun Chibiriki

This Ogun's rage makes him a great ferocious warrior. This path of Ogun is always in battle for his children and does not rest. Chibiriki has many machetes and knives under his belt that he uses to slice and dice at his enemies. He loves to see blood shed from his enemies. He loves to drink. Its said that when this path of Ogun comes to the land you have to be careful not to have any knives around for he will grab one and begin make cuts

on himself to show that he is in battle.

Ogun Onile

He is one of the youngest paths of Ogun. This path loves to drink and dance in all occasions. Onile is able to run swiftly through the woods and attack his enemy without them even noticing he’s approaching. Onile is very fast with his machete. When Onile comes to the earth, he dances and mimics the action of cutting through the tall shrubs.

Ogun Ode

He is the path that walks with Ochosi to bring justice and hunt to mankind. Ogun Ode is always in hunt with Ochosi looking for game to hunt. He is very swift with his actions and he has a hard hand when it comes to justice. He is a sorcerer and knows the secret of the woods.

Ogun Oke

Owner of the forest. This path knows every inch of the forest. The beginning and the end alongside with every plant and animal that grows in it.

Ogun Meyi

This Ogun takes everything double. He walks around swaying machetes in both hands. He is a great warrior and is fond of battles. Everything you put to him should be in double forms. You just cant give him 1 machete you must give him 2.

Ogun Alada

This path is said to be the one that fights alongside Yemaya when she is at her warrior stage.

There is much more paths but it would be impossible to list them all

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.

Olokun is the orisha that resides in the bottom of the ocean. He is an androgynous orisha that can turn into any shape or form. Olokun is half man and half mermaid. In some houses, Olokun is a female but the majority including myself sees him as a man. Olokun is the depths of the ocean floor. He resides where no man can reach. The only ones who knows of his domain are Olokun himself, Olofi and Olodumare. His domain is a dark solitude area of water and rocks. Not all fishes can swim to his domain. He is represented by both the living and the dead. Olokun’s kingdom is one of the biggest cemeteries ever. Everything sinks to the bottom of the ocean. Its there where Yemaya gives him all the cadavers of the world that happens in her waters.

Olokun is one of the biggest, and usually the orisha that one receives after “The Warriors”. He is given to ensure health, prosperity and foundation in ones life. He hides all the riches at the bottom of the ocean for his petitioners. In the house of his followers, he lives in a blue and white tureen which holds his secrets. His secrets were given to mankind by Olofi. Olofi is one of the only ones who know his secrets. He is said to reside somewhere dark in the house of his followers. This reason for this is because no light ever hit’s the bottom of the ocean.

Olokun is very mysterious and has a compulsive temper. He is said to be chained to the bottom so his rage would not come upon the lands of the earth. Olokun is petitioned especially for health. He is an orisha that can bring that in seconds. His color is blue with off white. His number is 7 or 9. He is the true ruler of the ocean water but through Olofi the superficial part was given to Yemaya. He takes a mask that he wears. Both santeros and babalows give this orisha, different secrets but they are both the same entity.

Pataki on Olokun

This pataki derives on the previous one from Orisha Oko.

The day came when Orisha Oko was introduced to Ibu Agana, Ibu Agana was the preferred child of Olofi but she was the favorite daughter of Olokun. The great king of the ocean tended to Ibu Agana and gave her everything she asked for with Olofi’s gift of the ocean terrain. Olokun was not happy at first that Ibu Agana found love on the lands with Orisha Oko. He was very skeptical because he did not want anyone disrespecting her. But to Olofi’s command he bowed his head and agreed with the marriage between Ibu Agana and Orisha Oko.

Time went on and he saw his daughter Agana very happy until one day she came to him upset and crying. Olokun asked her what was wrong and she proceeded to tell her father Olokun what Orisha Oko did to her. Olokun became so enraged that he surfaced immediately to the top to take actions. Meanwhile Orisha Oko out of guilt and hurt he was making sacrifice to Olofi for his disobedience. Olofi accepted his apology and Obatala was entrusted to receive the sacrifice and to restore peace on the lands and in the oceans.

When Olokun hit the surface he immediately threw his waters on top of the lands. Drowning everything in sight. The depths of the ocean waters were swallowing the lands. Obatala seeing this from high above send messengers to Olokun to refrain from sending his waters upon the land. Olokun out of rage did not respond to Obatala’s messengers and kept on sending waters upon the land. Animals, humans and all life that sustained the lands were drowning deep in the ocean waters. Obatala consulted with Orula who told him that Olokun was upset and he will not stop until the waters cover the entire land. Orula told Obatala that a chain was needed to tie Olokun so he can stop this madness.

Obatala sent word to Ibu Okunte to go to her husband Ogun and have Ogun make the biggest and strongest chain he has ever built. Okunte rode the waves that Olokun was sending upon the lands deep into the forest where Ogun was at. She told Ogun Obatala’s order and the god of iron started immediately to construct a chain that was the most biggest and strongest ever built by him. Once the chain was made he gave to Ibu Okunte who fought the gigantic waves back to the ocean where Obatala told her to give the chain to her sister Ibu Achaba. Obatala told Ibu Achaba that since she as well has the chain as her attributes to swim to where Olokun was at and wrap the chain around him from top to bottom. Ibu Achaba did as the great king of peace instructed her to do.

She swam around and around Olokun wrapping him with the chain that Ogun made. Olokun was so upset that he did not even feel or see Ibu Achaba wrapping the chain around him. Once it was tight she pulled and brought him to the bottom of the ocean. He was chained to the bottom of the ocean in disrespect for not following or listening to Obatala. The waters subdued and returned back to the waters. Ibu Agana who saw her father tied to the bottom of the ocean told Orisha Oko from this day forward we will live apart but when I feel I will come upon your lands. Not so great but you will feel me touch your lands.

Another pataki on Olokun

Olokun had 2 servants that would always accompany him in battle. One day after one of the battles that Olokun had said he would reward his 2 servants. One of his servants was very arrogant and rude while his other servant was very nice and humble. He asked his humble servant what would he like and the servant told him that all he wanted was to be happy and to be able to serve the great Olokun. Olokun asked the arrogant servant what he would like. The rude and arrogant servant told Olokun that he hated to look at the world and that he wished that Olokun would take out one of his eyes. Olokun accepted the request and took out the eye of the arrogant servant.

Olokun told the arrogant servant that from this day forward he would be on land and see the misery, the famine and hear the cries of all mankind on the earth. He could never come back to the depths as he would not have the sight to see the bottom. He then looked at the other servant and told him because of the other servants request he can no longer see the light of the land, but he will always have the sight to see within the depths of the ocean. He also told him that he would live with him Olokun in the depths and share all of his wisdom, riches and secrets.

Olokun turned to the arrogant servant and told him that since he would be on land he had to make sure that everyone on land was contributing to the offerings that were to be given to Ibu Agana and himself Olokun. He said that through this servant he would eat on the land and bring him the offerings to the ocean and deposit them there where it would be sent to the bottom where the other servant alongside Olokun resided.

Both servants agreed and it is now the reason why both santeros and babalows feed Olokun on the land. The first servant makes sure that the offering of sacrificial animals and offerings are given to him in which he brings to the ocean to the other servant. It is also the reason why you have 2 sets of shells inside the tureen of Olokun. One that lives on the bottom with the secrets and mysteries of Olokun and one that resides on top near the opening.

Olokun is received for blessings, health and prosperity. His offerings are taken and deposited into the sea. He sacrificial animals are roosters, ducks, pigeons, guinea hens, pigs and gooses. He wears a mask and loves all fruits and harvest that comes from the earth. His children are not initiated on their heads. His children are entered into Yemaya’s mysteries and he is received. If one of his children is recognized usually their path of

Yemaya would be Ibu Agana. Once a year the babalows feed Olokun his animal sacrifice deep within the open waters of the ocean to ensure blessings on mankind.

Egun are the spirits of the dead. Mainly of our egungun (ancestors) that have passed on into the world of the dead. We all have eguns that walk with us. Eguns range from family members that have passed on, to the spirits that God has appointed to us. Even eguns that are in our orisha lineage or family that have passed on walk with us. It is said the God appoints us a number of eguns when we are about to be born into this world. He sends them down when your mother is giving birth and it is there that they are appointed to walk with us and watch over us so that the mission is completed.

The spirits/eguns are very important to us in our everyday life. They just as the orishas, teach us and guide us on the correct path to fulfill our destinies. They are very sacred in our religion as we praise them before any ceremony we do. “Iku Lobi Ocha” (The dead gives birth to the Orishas) is the correct format in our religion. Without the praises of the dead, we can not be closer to God or to the orishas. It is very important that we maintain that bond and understanding with the eguns. It is said that we all have a guardian angel that God appoints to us and we all have a ruling orisha that walks with us as well but we are introduced to the orishas by our eguns. It’s the eguns that take us to the house where we will perform our ceremonial orisha crowning. As I say, we are born with our eguns, not with an orisha crowned. That comes after.

Now in our spiritual cord we have different ranges of eguns. We have the eguns that everyone knows about which are the Congo eguns. These are the eguns that came from Africa that lived an everyday life and were taken as slaves to the New World. They are familiar with the Palo Mayombe rites. This including the men and the woman who the majority are called Francisco’s and the Francisca’s. These are the guides who teach us how to be strong through their practices to God.

We also have our Jitana’s and Jitano’s. These spirits are Spaniard spirits who were once gypsies. These spirits often teach us how to love one another. The Jitana’s are also worked with to help us in love situations and or money situation. They are used to worship and divine through tarot cards and coins.

The nuns, priest or monks are another type of eguns that walk with us. Strangely you would wonder why would a nun or priest walk with you in your spiritual cord? They are all servants of God and they teach us serenity and to be close with God. These spirits love to hear lots of spiritual and church hymns. Bible scriptures are spoken to these spirits.

Now there’s much more. We have our Indians, Arabs, Egyptians, Mayans, Romans. All walks of life are eguns because they once walked this earth. And with the help of God for us, they now walk with us being God’s voice on how to live humble and with one another.

The Boveda or Spiritual Alter

The boveda is the sanctuary where we worship our eguns. It is usually placed somewhere

quiet in the home where you can sit and meditate with them. The items that are needed to construct this alter is indefinite. But the main things that you need are:

A small table

A white cloth

A rosary

A bible

Incense

White candle

A crucifix

Florida water 7 or 9 clear glasses

*Note- spiritualist use either 7 or 9 glasses. It doesn’t matter because this is your alter and your eguns run this alter. 7 is the universal number so that’s why 7 can be used. 9 is the number of the dead so that’s why 9 is used. Which ever way they are both good unless your eguns say other. Now once you located your house of ocha, your godparents or through a divination with the shells or Ifa, they might tell you specifically which number

of glasses to use.

These are the main items that are needed. You first locate the area in your house where you can set your boveda or spiritual alter up with no interruptions ever. You clean the

area with holy water and perfume (Florida water). After the area is clean and blessed you burn church incense in the area to purify it and your home. Place your table with the white cloth in the center of the area. Out of the 7 or 9 glasses you are going to use, one of them should be slightly bigger than the rest. This glass is known as the dedication to God and it should always be placed in the center of the table. The remaining glasses are placed either around the main glass or as in a pyramid affect. Again however your eguns indicate. But to start off place them around the main glass in a circular formation. Fill each glass to the brim with crystal clear water. Water is the main conductor in the spiritual world. Place your bible on the table and your incense, whether its incense sticks

or the actual coal. Now place your rosary and your white 7 day glass candle which should

be in front of all the glasses and lit. That’s the basic way of constructing your boveda or spiritual alter. Now once you have gotten the hang of it you can start to place pictures of dead relatives, different color cloths around the edges when you are praising the Congo spirits, you can place a cup of coffee with a cigar or a small shot glass of rum. You can place different types of healing and meditating stones as well to help you in your transition. Flowers are important because it brings a sense of joy in our lives as well as the eguns lives. Tarot cards and coins for the Spaniard eguns. Basically anything and everything that you know your eguns like you can place it on the alter.

Once your alter is set up you can now sit in front of it and start of with some of the selected prayers in the Kardec's Book of Prayers or you can say any prayer you want.

You can read versus from the bible in worship of God and sing any type of hymns or songs you wish and meditate upon your eguns. You can also place your egun stick (palo de muerto) there as well and you can summons your spirit using this particular stick which is prepared for you by your spiritual godparents through certain offerings.

Another spiritual alter that is allowed in our religoin is the teja (roof tile) which is marked by Ifa. When one gets a consultation from Orula, it might be specified that the person needs to tend to their eguns and Ifa will open that portal as well with the teja in which the babalow will diving through the oracles and consult directly with your spiritual cord. The babalow will perform certain ceremonies and mark this spiritual teja with certain markings to call your eguns and eggunguns closer. This is usually placed in a spot where it wont be bothered. Whenever you perform some type of ceremony within the ocha realm, that egun teja will be praised and certain services will be put to it in homage of the eguns.

The Misa or Spiritual Mass

The misa or spiritual mass is where a group of people gather around with spiritualist to contact the eguns. A white table where the boveda or spiritual alter is placed and a selected prayers usually from Kardec's Book of Prayers are performed and songs and praises are sung to them After the procession of prayers and hymns, usually the medium will pick up any egun activity that’s in the spiritual mass. The portal is open in where the eguns are now welcomed to communicate with us and to send us messages to guide us in the direction where we connect with God.

Now just as in our world we have people who are liars, manipulators and evil people, the same thing happens in the world of the eguns. There are eguns that are liars and manipulators and we have to be very careful of the connection with them. In a spiritual mass, the mediums have to be very careful and not communicate with these eguns. The negative eguns are given a set of prayers to look into the light and to return to the foot of God for forgiveness. Sometimes a person is said to have a negative egun that walks with them and in order to get rid of this negative egun you should see a santero or babalow to rid this or you can go to a spiritual mass and if there are responsible mediums there, they can tend to this energy.

Now a lot of people in our Spanish community speak and sing spiritual songs in Spanish. This is understanding due to that the majority of our eguns that were enslaved in Africa were brought over to Spanish speaking countries such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, Panama and Dominican Republic. So these spirits have adapted to the Spanish speaking communities. Now you have lots of African Americans who are into our worship and they worship their eguns in English, due to some of the spirits didn’t all go to the Caribbean’s, they were brought to English speaking countries. This means that no matter where your from or what language you speak, your eguns will always listen and understand you.

Where ever you go you will see some kind of egun worship. In all lands you see people who worship the dead. Whether it be in your own home or at a church, it is around.

Usually in a orisha celebration there will be a service made for the eguns outside on the ground. People who live in apartment buildings or who are discrete usually have these services or the foods for the eguns in the kitchen, bathroom or by the boiler room. This is because the pipes lead to the earth where the eguns final resting place was. Some priets or priestess will have gigantic alters for their spirits or numerous alters for them. You can see the usual alter or boveda in the house and you can also see some type of boveda outside of the house in a backyard and this is from certain signs or oduns in a divination that speaks of other astrological eguns that we have as well. There alter is usually outside and its prayed to the same and gets its strength not only from God but from the astros in the universe. I’ve usually seen the children of Oya have the majority of these spiritual alters due to the relationship there guardian angel has with the dead.

Oya is the orisha or storms and changes. She is a much feared orisha due to her powers as she can create a storm so powerful that she can destroy towns upon towns. The winds, tornadoes and lighting are at her every command. Oya also known as Xansa, Oya Yansa (Mother of Nine) was the wife of Ogun before Chango took her away from him. Oya is said to be a lovely tall amazonic woman who is dressed in a wine color dress with a belt that holds a grass skirt with 9 different color cloths. Oya is also the owner of the market place where she would go and sell her goods to maintain her children. Oya's main home or domain is the cemetery. Now a lot of people say or believe that she is the owner of the cemetery. That's all not true. Oya is the gatekeeper. She stands at the cemetery gates and she lets the dead into the cemetery where her sisters Obba and Yewa tends to the body.

Oya is a great warrior who loves to go to battle alongside her husband Chango. Stories say the Oya would put on a pair of pants and grow a beard just to fight like a man at war. Oya has a younger sister named Ayao who is the orisha that resides in the clouds in the sky. It is Ayao that gives her sister Oya the ability to take the spirits of the dead to go fight alongside her which makes up her powerful army.

Oya has brought down many men, many towns and many lands. But as a warrior she protects her children with a strong look and with her destruction she brings changes. Whenever there is a storm that brings destruction, change is needed to rebuild. Sometimes the land is expanded for new homes or new business. That's Oya. She has helped all the orishas in one time or another. As well she has feuded with the orishas at one time or another. Oya is the one that convinced Obba to cut her ear to feed to Chango. Oya is the one that brought down Osain’s gourd where he kept most of his secrets of the herbs.

She also had a feud with her sister Yemaya in which she does not eat ram anymore. At one time she did but due to that disagreement she doesn’t anymore. Let me clear something. Oya and Yemaya are not enemies. The only dilemma between them is the ram. It is said that one day Chango was eating with his mother Yemaya and Oya and with his court and Oya saw that he was giving all of his attention to his mother and Oya became very jealous. Oya saw that Chango gave his mother Yemaya first bite of the ram and since that day, Oya said she will never eat it again. One of Oya’s characteristics is the wind that causes hurricanes. Hurricanes come off the coast of Africa where her town is and logically, a hurricane needs the assistance and strength of the ocean to come on shore

to bring change.

Pataki of Oya

Chango was at a party one day having the time of his life. Chango was drinking and dancing like no ever. He was swaying his hips and showing all his sexual masculinity. His crown was kept firm on his head as every moment he did, it did not move. That was to show all that he is truly Chango, a king. Everyone in the party was enjoying Chango and was cheering him on. The great king of Oyo kept on drinking and did not realize that some of his enemies were outside of the party noticing Chango.

The party was dying out and Chango decided to leave the function. He went around the room giving his good bye to everyone. He was eyeing some of his mistresses that were there to see if they would go home with him. Chango staggered to one of the corners of the party where his enemies were hiding. Within a minute, his enemies grabbed him and tied him up. No one in the party saw and Chango was taken to a cell where his enemies kept him.

Days passed by and Chango was no where to be found. Oya who was married to Ogun already had left Ogun and had a fling with Chango. Oya also did not hear anything from Chango. She did notice that Chango had left his pilon (a wooden pillar that Chango sits on) and his mortar (where Chango hides his secrets) in her house. Oya grew very weary and was worried about Chango. But besides her worries Oya was very inquisitive and wondered what was so special about Chango’s pilon and mortar. She moved the red cloth that was covering his pilon and mortar and saw nothing special about it. When she touched the mortar she noticed that it had a gleam to it. Inside the mortar there was some kind of clear liquid that vibrated. She looked closer and an image started to form in the liquid.

In the image in the mortar was the face and body of Chango. Oya saw that Chango was being held captive by his enemies. She saw that he was locked in a cage fit for a dog and his enemies were surrounding the cage making mockery of him. Oya looked harder into the mortar and saw that Chango was in a rage but he couldn’t do anything because he didn’t have his oshé and his powers. Oya grew upset and lighting sparks started to form in her hair. She yelled up in the sky and called for a centella (lighting) to come and help her and she would ride it to find Chango. With that the image of Chango’s face reflected in the liquid and Oya grabbed the liquid and put it to her lips, as in to kiss the face of her loved Chango.

In that instant Oya’s lips and mouth started to burn her furiously. She staggered back and forth wondering where the heat was coming from. She ran outside of her house to where she had a well to grab some water. The water did not do anything to ease the pain. She finally opened her mouth as she could not stand the burning sensation and when she did a huge fireball came from her mouth. Everywhere she turned and screamed out, fire was released from her mouth and everything was burned on fire. At this moment a centella crackled in the sky and fell right to her feet. Oya screamed and stepped onto the centella.

The centella rose to the sky and Oya was standing on it and the centella proceeded to take her to where Chango was held captive.

In a second the centella was above the place where Chango was kept and when the centella started to come down, Oya who was riding it screamed a war cry and fire was released from her mouth. Another centella came from the sky that broke the locks that were holding Chango. When Chango’s enemies saw Oya coming down on a centella breathing fire they all ran for cover. Chango was wondering how was he released and when he ran outside he grabbed his oshé and he saw his mistress Oya standing in the fields surrounded by centellas that crackled around her and that she was breathing fire. Chango was reluctant to run the other way because he never saw Oya in this state. Oya sent another centella to grab Chango and he to was standing on a centella alongside with Oya. Chango started to throw thunderbolts with the help of his oshé while Oya was throwing lighting and fire upon the enemies of Chango as they rose into the sky together.

They both arrived at Oya’s place safe and Chango was still in amazement of Oya’s actions. He told her that the only one who knew the secret of him throwing aiña (fire) was him and that secret was kept with his pilon and mortar. Oya turned to her lover and told him that she looked into his mortar and tasted the secret that he had there. Chango was upset that she discovered his secret but he was grateful that she saved him. From that day when Chango goes into battle, his mistress Oya goes in alongside him fighting.

Oya’s feast day is February 2nd. She is associated with Our Lady Teresa and Our Lady of Candelaria. Her number is 9 and all its association. Her color is maroon or a dark wine. Oya also takes 9 other colors that are her children. Those children make up the rainbow and they live in the skies making the crown of the orisha Ochumare. She is the queen of the dead. Oya is the official secretary of Olofi. She knows when life is being born and when life is dying. She is the air we breathe everyday. Oya stands at the cemetery gates and she marks down every body that comes through the gates of ile iku (cemetery). In the house of the priest, Oya lives in a brown or wine color tureen where her secrets and mysteries are kept. Some houses have her with water and some do not. I believe she shouldn’t be with water. The only time I put water on her is to calm her down when she is upset and to refresh her. She also takes an iruke that she uses to clean the dead and clean new paths.

Her crown is made up of copper in which that is her main metal. All of her tools and weapons are made up of copper. Oya’s sacrificial animals are black female goats, hens, pigeons and guinea hens. Oya’s children are very outgoing and strong willed people. There are very spiritual individuals at they have the gift if used correctly, to communicate with the dead. She is initiated on the heads of her followers in which is a lengthy and mysterious procedure. Her ceremonies are one of the most gorgeous due to all of the many colors that are used. Her zarasa (the throne of the dead) is made up of multiple plates that are placed for the dead. These plates range from 29 all the way to 209 plates of different offerings to the dead of her initiate and the spirits that her initiate collects to walk alongside her.

Oya is the owner of the mask as she at times is wearing one. Some people say that no one can stand to look at the face of Oya because it is too horrific to look at. I don’t believe so. I believe that she is a beautiful woman; she just doesn’t like to be messed with or fooled with. She is good to use to take masks off of people who you believe that are being two faced with you. She is also good to use when one wants change in their lives. She is a good healer but she loves to defend and be at war when war is present.

Ayao

Ayao is the younger sister of the orisha Oya. Ayao is said to reside high in the clouds of the sky or at the top of the cieba tree. She is said to sit there and help guard the spirits that pass through her clouds to reside at the kingdom of Olofi. Ayao is an orisha that is given to the children of Oya. Now any priest or priestess can receive Ayao. Her secrets are kept in a tureen that is kept high in the house of the priest. This orisha can never touch the ground as her ceremonies are done on top of a table. It is said that when an initiate of Oya is performing their consecrating birth, the spirits that they pick up are tended by Ayao. When Oya is getting ready for battle she calls her sister Ayao who releases those spirits to aide Oya in battle. She is not initiated on the heads of anyone.

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