Rada, Petro and Ghede Loa in Vodoun
[Compiled by 7M]
The name Vodoun means “high and sacred of God”. There is no right side and left side in Vodoun. There is only one side which is through God and Loa. The Loa (Lwa) can be viewed as forces of nature, but they have personalities and personal mythologies. They are extensions of the will of Bondye, the Supreme Cosmic God, the ultimate principle of the universe.
The Loa are the Spirit Gods which are served in Vodoun. They act as intermediaries between humans and Bondye (God). The Loa are not worshipped as Gods, we serve them so that in turn they serve us. It is safe to say that the Loa are ancestors. Some are older than others, such as Damballah Wedo, The Great Serpent who is considered to be the primordial creator of all life forms, and who also carries all of the ancestors on his back, therefore making him our First Ancestor. Other examples of Loa who were born as Spirits would include La Sirene and Met Agwe, the king and queen of the ocean, who are the Seas themselves. Continue reading
Haitian and Dominican Loa and Deities
Adjasou-Linguetor (f): Goddess of spring water. Characterized by protruding eyes and a bad humor, lives under the mombin tree near a spring and is very fond of liquor.
Agassu, Agasou (m): God of Water. Agassu is Dahomean in origin, and belongs to the Fon and Yoruba tribes. He is associated with water deities and sometimes takes the form of a crab. He is one of the mythical creatures who once gave assistance to the Ancestor. He is considered one of the Loa masons.
Agau, Agaou (m): God of Wind and Storms. Agau is a very violent god. Earth tremors and the frightening sounds associated with storms are because of an angry Agau. “It is I who am the gunner of god; when I roar the earth trembles.” One has to be very strong to harbor this spirit. Agau is the inseparable companion of Sogbo. When Sogbo and Bade (the loa of lighting and wind) act together and call upon Agau, a thunder storm is produced. Bade and Agau share the same functions, loa of the winds. Continue reading
African and African Originated Gods and Deities
Until you remember to honor your ancestors, you will continue on the path of self destruction your enemies have planted for you.
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Abasi (m) – Creator God – Efik of Nigeria – wife Atai
Abasi (m) – Messenger God – Anang of Nigeria
Abasi Ibom, Abassi Enyong – Ibibio of Nigeria
Abewera (f) – Primordial woman – Akan Ashanti of Ghana
Abonsam (m) – Spirit of Accidents and Disease – West Africa
Abora (m) – Creator God of the heavens – the Canary Island of Palma
Abradi (m) – Creator God – Ama and Nyimang of Sudan
Abua (m) – first man on earth – Abua of Nigeria – wife Egule (first woman), children Otabak (water), Amogan (hunt) and Akpede (medicine)
Abuk, Abuku (f) – first woman, after death merged with Ayidawedo into fertility Goddess – Fon of Benin and Dinka of Sudan – husband Garang (first man) Continue reading
Yoruba Gods and Deities
The Yoruba are the majority ethnic group living in south west Nigeria and there is a Yoruba minority in east Benin, numbering approximately 20 million in all. The Yoruba language belongs to the Kwa branch of the Niger-Congo family. The Yoruba kingdom was broken up in 1820 by an invasion of the Fulahs who captured the city of Ilorin.
According to Kola Abimbola, the Yorùbá have evolved a robust philosophy, in brief, it holds that human beings possess “Àyànmo” (destiny, fate) and are expected to eventually become one in spirit with Olódumarè (the Supreme Creator) or Olorun. The emissaries of Olodumare are the Yoruba Gods and deities called Orishas. The Orishas rule over the forces of nature and the endeavors of humanity. All the Gods have their own duties; and while perfectly independent in their own domain, they cannot trespass upon the rights of others.
Aganjú, Aganyu (m): Orisha of volcanoes, the wilderness and rivers. Aganjú is a force that is essential for growth, like his symbol the Sun. Like the volcano, Aganju forms the foundation upon which societies are built and is the catalyst for the production of vast amounts of wealth and commerce needed for advanced development, assisting humans in overcoming great physical as well as psychological barriers. Aganjú is noted for his legendary strength and his ability to bring about drastic change. As the third Orìsha to have come to earth, Aganjú is a God of great antiquity. Together with his sister Yemaja, he is the offspring of Heaven and Earth (Obatala and Odudua). Continue reading
Igbo Gods and Deities
Igbo traditional religion is based on the belief that there is one Creator God, also called Chineke or Chukwu. The word that is used for God in Igbo is Chi. It is a reference to the individual spark of divinity that exists within everyone. The collective spirit of everyone and everything is known as Chukwu. It is a contraction of two words: Chi (God) and Ukwu (great or large in size). Literally, Chi-Ukwu or Chukwu means the Great God or the Great Spirit.
The Creator can be approached through numerous other deities and spirits in the form of natural objects, most commonly through Ala, the Goddess of Earth or Amadioha, the God of thunder. There is also the belief that ancestors protect their living descendants and are responsible for rain, harvest, health and children. However, the western influence, Christianity, has taken a dominant role in modern Igboland. Continue reading
In the top centre sits Vajradhara, flanked by Gedun Drukpa, the first Dalai Lama (left) and his disciple Panchen Zangpo Tashi (right). In the bottom corner are two of the great stupas, on the left Budhgaya (India) and on the right Borobudur (Indonesia).
The Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist Pantheon
The principal beings are the five Dhyani Buddhas – the esoteric meditation Buddhas of the five colors found in The Tibetan Book of the Dead and other sources. The deities are not Buddhist Gods, but rather different aspects of the one God. Among these are several teachers or gurus, who have attained notoriety and importance, and as such are venerated.
Like the Hindu Deities, these are meant to express particular aspects of the Infinite, and are are used as devotional images helping the seeker visualize, concentrate on, and thus in time attain, that aspect of the Infinite in him or herself. Each of the deities represents a unique spiritual personality or essence.
The essence of each being is: Continue reading