Tag Archives: Yoruba

Preparing for Initiation

Ile Ife ArtPREPARATION FOR INITIATION
by Awo Falokun Fatunmbi

Egun

The first step in preparation for initiation is to set up an ancestor shrine and to start asking the ancestors for support in the initiation process.

Building an Ancestor Shrine

In traditional Ifá culture everyone is believed to have the ability, and the obligation to communicate with the ancestors on a daily basis. According to Ifá oral tradition, communication with your ancestors is a
birthright and requires no special sanction. At times this communication can simply involve remembering a revered ancestor and making use of the memory as a basis for making an important decision. In many ways ancestor communication is an extension of the training and wisdom we receive from our parents and grand parents. In Yoruba culture it is common for the uninitiated to make direct contact with ancestors spirits. The most prevalent method of Continue reading

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Prayers to the Ori-Kra

PRAYERS TO THE ORISHAS
A LOOK AT SANTERÍA
By Diane Elizabeth Caudillo, 2007

Introduction

Who owns your head? This provocative question means a great deal to many people around the world who practice a religion known as Santería, or alternatively La Regla de Ocha. This tradition originates among the Yoruba people of West Africa, in the area of present-day Nigeria.

A great percentage of the [enslaved Africans] who were brought to the New World were Yoruban— according to David Brown of Emory University, 500,000 Africans were taken into Cuba between 1800 and 1870, and one third were Yoruban or from Yoruban-influenced areas.1 According to Robert Farris Thompson, 40% of all Africans abstracted from Africa came from the Kongo and Angola regions.2 This fact helps explain some of the traditions observable today in the United States, in the form of yard shows, bottle trees, words like “banjo”- “mbanja” and “goober” (peanut) – “mgooba”. Many popular dance and musical styles – the Charleston, jug bands, jazz – owe Continue reading

Oya and Shango and Oya

Oya and Shango - CKOya, Yansa
From Soulmindbody, 2010

Wind in her hair
Lightning in her eyes
Storms in her voice
And thunder in her thighs!

Sacred number: 9
Sacred colors: Brown, orange, purple, arterial blood red, deep red, burgundy, maroon, rainbow plus black, brown, and white
Symbols and Embodiments: Storms, wind, whirlwinds, hurricanes, storm and/or disease vector symbols, chaos symbol (cross of two or four arrows) with whirlwind (tapering zigzag), more symbols below… Continue reading

Oya Yansan

Oya - Lazaro BrandNinth child – Oya
From The Yoruba Religious Concepts

Not unlike her sisters, Oya Llasan, brought a physical beauty to the world. Her appearance also brought great conflict to the orisa. Oya had eyes of amber they where large and round and very expressive. When the people made eye contact with her, they would fall under her spell. With her birth into the kingdom also came the breath of life and movement of air, great storms and tornadoes.

Although she was female and feminine, She had a strong temperament and when she was forced to she would assume the personality of a masculine warrior in battle as well as lead others into war fighting as a equal at their side. Oya had the soul of a Continue reading

Oya

Oya - Dylan MeconisOya
Great Orisha goddess of Wind, Storms and Guardian Between Worlds
From African American Wiccan Society

Oya is a Great Yoruban Orisha. She is the goddess of Storms and Winds, and Her realm ranges from rainbows to thunder.  Her name means “She Who Tore” in Yoruba.  She can manifest as winds ranging from the gentlest breeze to the raging hurricane or cyclone.

Oya is known as a fierce Warrior goddess and a strong Protectress of women, who call upon Her.  It is She who assists us with rapid inner and outer transformation. Oya, is about absolute change (especially for the good) and is not a Continue reading

Wata Mama

yemay - shepsaritesMami Wata

Myth of mermaids is popular all around the world, but the African water spirit Mami Wata remained respected and celebrated from the time before the African nations came in contact with Europe, through the ages, and even up to today where she is venerated in West, Central, Southern Africa and the diaspora in Americas. She represented one of the most powerful goddesses in the African religion of Voudun (not to be mistaken to the newer and more heavily publicized Voodoo) and is today celebrated as a goddess that must be both loved and feared.

As with many other old mermaid deities such as Assyrian Astarte, Babylonian Ishtar and Greek Aphrodite, she is regarded as an immortal spirit that personifies polar opposites, such as of beauty and danger, natural force and healing, Continue reading

Yemaya

Yemaya - tdmYemaya
By Santeria Church of the Orishas

Yemaya (also spelled Yemoja, Iemoja, or Yemayá) is one of the most powerful orishas in Santeria. She is the mother of all living things, rules over motherhood and owns all the waters of the Earth. She gave birth to the stars, the moon, the sun and most of the orishas. Yemaya makes her residence in life-giving portion of the ocean (although some of her roads can be found in lagoons or lakes in the forest). Yemaya’s aché is nurturing, protective and fruitful. Yemaya is just as much a loving mother orisha as she is a fierce warrior that kills anyone who threatens her children.

Yemaya can be found in all the waters of the world, and because of this she has many aspects of “caminos” (roads), each reflecting the nature of different bodies of water. She, like Oshún, carries all of the Continue reading