god, goddess, divine being, supreme being, divinity, immortal; creator, demiurge; godhead.
African spirituality practices date back thousands of years, so in the following paragraphs, we hope but to offer an outline so to entice your appetite for further investigation.
In African spiritual practices, the ultimate spiritual being, Olofi, has various aspects, some people say, are broken down into Orishas. (1) In most African religions, the supreme god is a distant being no longer involved in day-to-day human life (2).
Vodoun > Lwas
Voodoo > Loas
Macumba > Orixa
The Orisha we most commonly know today are what is commonly called “The 7 African Powers” (1)
I. PAPA LEGBA:
Also Eleggua, Elegua. The trickster, the opener of the way and the guardian of the crossroads, both physical and spiritual.
Also Obatalia. Obatala’s help is sought in ethical dilemmas and the problems of self-discipline.
Also Yemalia, Yemalla. Literally “mother of fishes”. She rules birth and the surface of the oceans, and works closely with Olokun, who rules the depths.
Also Ochum. The Goddess of love and abundance.
A revolution in constant progress, Oya brings sudden change.
Also Shango. Chango is a king, and his name is synonymous with justice.
Also Ogum. God of iron and machines, Ogoun is a smith, a soldier, and a politician.
Where did the Bible come into practice?
During slavery in Haiti & the USA, white masters forbade the slaves from pursuing “Vodou” as a religion and anyone caught practicing any religion other than Catholicism were severely punished. A monotheistic faith such as Orisha was NOT acceptable in the new lands.
The slaves, still deeply attached to their African roots, were obliged to use Catholic Saints during “Vodou” ceremonies, pretending to be praying to them while deep in their heart they were praying to their African gods.
This is the main characteristic that differentiate the Hoodoo/Vodou that is practiced in the USA and in Africa.
Over 400 years have passed, but the tradition still remain today; it is so deeply rooted in the religion that it is almost impossible to even imagine Hoodoo and Voodoo without the representation of the Loas with Catholic Saints’ images.
Now that you know this information, it will be up to you to decide to work with the Orisha or with the Saints. Perhaps for now it is ok for you to work with both as you do further research into this delicate area.