Orishas of Santeria

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Orishas of Santeria

Post  Admin on 10/24/2008, 2:38 pm

Orishas of Santeria



Agallu The Orisha of transporters, rivers, the earth and volcanoes. Agallu was a very important Orisha in Africa and stil is considered one of the most powerful. Agallu and Yemaya are the children of Obatala and Oddudua. They married and are the parents of Chango. The Ceiba is considered to belong to Agallu and to be a holy tree which shelters the dead. His river forms the boundary between the land of the living and the land of the dead.
Elegba The Orisha of communication. Acts as a messenger between people and the other Orishas. A child at times, at others an old man. His colors are red and black or white and black. He is recognised by the numbers 21 and 3. He is really two Orisha in one, Eleggua and Echu. He is the first to receive any offering to the orishas because without him there is no communication possible. His favorite gifts are candies, candles, toys, rum and cigars. Nothing can be done without his approval.
Ibeii The Divine Twins. Both are healers and help to maintain good health. The twins are often represented by a monkey. They are also known as the Melli. Wooden statues are made and consecrated to represent the Orisha Ibeii. In Nigeria their names are Taiwo and Kehinde, but in Cuba they are Taebo and Kainde. They are considered to be the children of Shango and Ochun, however they were raised by Yemaya. They must never be separated or it will result in a loss of magical power.
Inle Orisha which represents the spirit of good. He has never done evil to anyone, he is a fisherman and hunter as well as a healer. Many invoke him to cure illnesses. His wife is Abbata who is represented as a serpent. Inle was formerly with Yemaya. While they lived together he learned her secrets. When he left her, she cut his tongue out so he does not speak of them. When Inle is contacted witht the shell oracle he speaks through Yemaya because he cannot speak. His symbol is a metal arrow wrapped with two serpents like a caduceus.
Obatala Obatalá is the kindly father of all the orishas and all humanity. He is also the owner of all heads and the mind. Though it was Olorun who created the universe, it is Obatalá who is the creator of the world and humanity. Obatalá is the source of all that is pure, wise peaceful and compassionate. He is the oldest of the Orishas, King of the Dead, and the first ancestor of the Yoruba. He has a warrior side though through which he enforces justice in the world. His color is white which is often accented with red, purple and other colors to represent his/her different paths. White is most appropriate for Obatalá as it contains all the colors of the rainbow yet is above them. Obatalá is also the only orisha that has both male and female paths. Invoked for health, peace and harmony.
Obba The legitimate wife of Shango. She is the Orisha of the home and marriage. She represents the devoted wife who waits at home for her husband. The story is told that she was tricked by Oshun into preparing a stew of her ear for Shango to attempt to stop him from cheating on her. It did not work, and now when she appears she hides her missing ear with her hand or a head wrap. She is nevertheless invoked to aid faultering marriages and end infidelity. She is the treasurer of the Orishas and is represented by a jewelbox. She can be quite influential in bringing money and prosperity into the home.

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Re: Orishas of Santeria

Post  Admin on 10/24/2008, 2:39 pm

Ode The father of Ochossi. Deer are very connected to both Ode and Ochossi, their antlers are used in preparing the Fundamento or basis of the Orisha. Ode is a special Orisha and can only be given by babalawos who are the only ones who know the secrets of the ceremonies. Pictures of this orisha are not for public display. Ode does not live with the other Orishas in the home, he prefers to live outside. An Orisha of much respect, Ode is associated with court cases. He is a hunter like Ochossi.
Ogun He is the God of iron, metal and metal working, war and labor. He is responsible for all technology. His recognised in the number 7 and the colors green and black. He is often associated with trains and railroad track where offerings are often left for him. His day is Tuesday. He lives in an iron cauldron with his tools. Ogun is brute force, the power to defeat enemies. he protects you from those who would harm you.
Oko The Orisha of cultivated land, the harvest, and plenty. Represented by a metal farmer with a team of oxen, a painted tile and two coconuts which are painted red and white. An Orisha of fertility, there is a secret society of women who work with Oko to insure fertility in women. Oko is the judge of the Orisha. Whenever there is a dispute between them, he settles it.
Oloddumare The central creative force, the concept of God. He is viewed as being remote from humans who worship him through the Orishas rather than directly. He is in all things and created the Orishas who act as his intermediaries.
Orunmilla Orunmila is the orisha of wisdom and divination. He was the only orisha allowed to witness the creation of the universe by Olorun and bears witness to our destinies in the making as well. This is the source of his title of Eleri Ipin or "Witness to Destiny in its Creation". His priests, the babalawos or "Fathers of the Secrets" must devote themselves entirely to the practice of divination and the accompanying arts. Through the Table of Ifá his priests unfold the secrets of the universe and the secrets of the unfolding of our lives. His colors are green and yellow which reflect Orunmila's relationship with Osayín (the secrets of the plant world) and with Oshún, with whom he has an extremely close relationship. Orunmila is wisdom and Oshún is knowledge, for wisdom without knowledge is useless, and one who has knowledge without wisdom is merely a danger to themselves and others.
Osain Orisha of the trees and plants that grow wild in the rainforest. His day is Sunday and his colors are white, yellow and red. A great herbalist, he must receive an offering before his plants may be gathered. He was master of all the medicinal plants which he stored in his calabash gourd hung high in a tree. The other Orishas were jealous of his knowledge and brought up a great wind to blow the calabash out of the tree. They then grabbed as many plants as they could for themselves. The knowledge of medical and magical uses of herbs is granted to those upon whom Osain is made. Osain has a servant named Aroni who has a human form but the tail of a dog. He also has great knowledge of plants. It is he who enforces Osains ownership of the plants of the forest. He can kill or blind those who come with fear in their hearts. Osain is a celebate Orisha who has no parents. He grew directly from the earth like a plant. He is a brujo, or witch and has great magical powers.
Oshosi The third warrior, he is the hunter and scout of the Orishas and assumes the role of translator for Obatala with whom he is very close. He is the Orisha of the hunt and is represented by a bow and arrow made of iron. He is associated with prisons, the police and court matters, and is the Orisha that grants intelligence and the ability to resolve problems. He is also represented by deer antlers as his secret implement. Oshosi is the owner of dogs, a brujos or witch he lives in the rainforest. Ochossi has great magical powers. His colors are blue and yellow.
Oshun Orisha of love, wealth, fertility and water, Oshún rules the fresh water, the brooks, streams and rivers, and embodies love and fertility. She is invoked in money matters. She is the youngest of the female Orishas but is referred to as Iyalode or Great Queen. She heals with her water and with honey which she also owns. She recognises herself in the colors yellow and gold and her number is five. Peacocks and vultures are used to represent her. Offerings are left at waterfalls for her, and ceremonies are done on riverbanks. She is a master of divination and her children are often psychic. She is often invoked to aid troubled marriages or in matters of matrimony.
Osun The fourth warrior, he is represented by a small metal staff with a metal rooster mounted on top. He represents the head and his function is to warn of danger. He is often placed high in the house so that he will be better able to see approaching danger.
Oya A female Orisha and ruler of the winds, fire, thunderbolts, and the gates of the cemetary. Her number is 9 for her title of Mother of Nine or Yansa, in which she rules ofthe the egun or dead. Her color is maroon, flowery patterns and 9 different colors. She is a fierce warrior who goes to war at the side of Shango and was once the wife of Ogun. She is strong, assertive, courageous and independent. Oya is a witch and guardian of the gates of death. She is invoked when there is a serious illness or when transformation is needed.
Shango Perhaps the most popular of the Orishas, Shangó rules over lightning, thunder, fire, the drums and dance. He is a warrior Orisha with quick wits, quick temper and is the epitomy of virility. Shangó took the form of the fourth Alafin (supreme king) of Oyó on Earth for a time. He is married to Obba but has relations with Oyá and Oshún. He loves all the pleasures of the world: dance, drumming, women, song and eating. Though he traded the Table of Ifá to Orunmila in exchange for the gift of dance, his children have an innate ability for divination. His colors are red and white and he recognises himself in the numbers four and six. He is most often represented by a double headed axe.
Yemaya Rules maternity as she is the mother of all. She lives in and rules over lakes and seas. Her full name is Yeye Omo Eja which means Mother whose children are the Fish for the uncountable number of her children. She wears seven skirts of blue and white and like the oceans she is deep and unknowable. In her path of Okutti she is the Queen of Witches, carrying within her deep and dark secrets. Her number is 7 for the seven seas, her colors are blue and white, and she is most often represented by the fish who are her children. She is ruler of the collective unconsious and ancient wisdom. She is often invoked in fertility rituals for women and in any ritual concerning women's issues.

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